Melissa Foster Passionate Romance for Fiercely Loyal Hearts

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Maybe We Will – Sneak Peek

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**FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

**This book is published by Montlake Romance (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE Kindle ereader app to read it (link below) or order the paperback.
Free Kindle eReader app ➜ http://bit.ly/FreeKindleApp1

This freaking hill is going to kill me!

Abby winced against the sliver of guilt slicing through her for joking about death and pushed herself to run up the steep residential sidewalk toward the main drag on Silver Island. She was not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but from time to time she needed to escape the monotony and stress of working as a cook in a busy New York restaurant. When that happened, she became one. Or maybe jogger was a better word for her sluggish pace. It was easier to run on her treadmill at home in New York, in the comfort of her apartment, where she could watch television or read. She’d forgotten how hilly her hometown was. But she’d spent half the night arguing with her older sister, Deirdra, and she needed to work out her frustrations.

Deirdra had kept Abby up, badgering her to accept an offer they’d received from an investor to purchase the Bistro, their family’s beachfront restaurant. But their mother’s unexpected death three months ago had caused Abby to take a long, hard look at her life, which was nothing to write home about. She’d felt stuck in her job and in the quasi relationship she’d let go on for far too long. So she’d stepped out of her comfort zone and had thrown caution to the wind, quitting her job and ending the relationship, and she’d come out the other side feeling better than she had in years, despite having no plan for her future in place. Abby was still trying to figure out how to tell Deirdra she’d quit her job, because she knew her sister would give her a hard time about being irresponsible. But Abby saw her decision as an act of self-care—and probably the most responsible decision she’d made in ages. It wasn’t like she was broke and had given up her apartment. She had a nest egg that would cover her rent for a while.

She wasn’t quite sure what her plans were, but she definitely wasn’t ready to sell the Bistro. In a few hours they were meeting with their mother’s closest friend, Shelley Steele, who was the executor of her will. Shelley had been like a second mother to Abby and Deirdra when they were young, and she’d graciously allowed them time to wrap their heads around their mother’s death before dealing with her final wishes.

When Abby reached Main Street, the flat terrain felt like heaven. She slowed to a walk, peering through the windows of the shops as she passed. It was the end of April, not yet tourist season, and the streets were quiet, the sidewalks empty. She had always loved the island’s quaint small towns, with their inviting wooden benches and flower boxes, which were starting to bloom. Her family’s Sunday-evening strolls down Main Street were some of her fondest memories. Her parents would hold hands as their father captivated them all with his thick French accent, telling stories about when he’d first come to the island and bought the Bistro and how much both had changed. Abby had been the epitome of a daddy’s girl. She’d adored his sense of humor and kindheartedness and had wanted to be just like him. Back then, her mother had been full of life, and her parents had been so in love, it had emanated from them and had felt indestructible. Unfortunately, after their father died from a heart attack, their mother had found solace in alcohol, forcing nine-year-old Abby and eleven-year-old Deirdra to grow up far too fast.

Sadness pressed in on Abby, and she picked up her pace, jogging the rest of the way through town and along the winding roads toward Silver Harbor. The expansive patios and the pool at the Silver House, which stood sentinel on a bluff overlooking the harbor, came into view. She looked past the mansion-turned-sought-after-resort to the sunlight glittering off the inky water, the waves kissing the shores of Sunset Beach, and her worries fell away. Boats were tethered to the marina, and more were anchored in the harbor like rebellious teenagers refusing to come home. While she’d eventually left the island to start her life, growing up here, she’d always felt like a marina boat, following the rules and making the best of it, sticking around the island long after Deirdra had gotten scholarships and left to make her mark on the world.

Feeling the pull of the Bistro, she pushed herself to run the few extra blocks to take a quick peek before heading back to her mother’s house. Unlike the Silver House, the Bistro, a renovated boathouse, was built on the flat terrain of the sandy beach. The back faced the parking lot, and the front overlooked the water.

Abby’s breath caught at the sight of The Bistro sign perched tall and proud on steel legs attached to the double-peaked roof. The sign had been there since her father had first opened the restaurant several years before she was born.

Surrounded by the scents of the sea and memories of her parents’ laughter, which had once seemed ever present, she made her way to the side patio, taking in the shuttered windows and the Closed for the Season sign hanging on the weather-beaten siding. She could still recall images of her father with perfect clarity, his long white hair tied back in a ponytail, his matching beard unkempt, and his gray-blue eyes dancing with happiness as he wandered through the restaurant, joining guests at their tables for brief chats. Memories of her mother always took her back to her youth, when Ava de Messiéres’s sandy hair was shiny and beautiful and a gap-toothed smile was always at the ready.

Her eyes shifted to the beach in front of the restaurant, where she and Deirdra used to play. The rickety, weathered gray fence that had once held colorful lanterns had been consumed by bearberry bushes as untamed as her hair. Memories of better days floated around her as she stepped off the side of the patio and onto the sand. Even in her sneakers, she loved the feel of sinking into the sand. She rounded the front of the building and was surprised to see a man sitting at a table reading a newspaper in the shade of the covered patio. It reminded her of her father, who used to read every page while he drank his coffee in the morning. But who reads actual newspapers anymore? And where did you get that table and chair? A travel mug from the Sweet Barista, her friend Keira Silver’s coffeehouse around the corner, sat on the table beside a book and a delicious-looking croissant. He’d made himself right at home, in his crisp short-sleeve button-down shirt, which revealed enticingly defined but not overly muscled arms, khaki pants, and loafers. Loafers? On the beach? A gold watch clung to his wrist, another anomaly. His toffee-brown hair was brushed back, giving her an extraordinary view of his clean-shaven, handsome face as she stepped closer. His chiseled jawline and aquiline nose were a little too familiar, though she couldn’t place where she’d seen him. He looked a lot like a distinguished David Beckham—Yum—but he wasn’t tattooed. Was that why he looked familiar?

He lowered the newspaper, his serious dark eyes finding hers as he said, “Good morning.”

His rich voice gave her goose bumps. His lips quirked up in amusement, and she realized she was standing on the beach right in front of him, hands planted on her hips, blatantly staring. “Hi. I, um . . .” She chided herself for sounding flustered and a little embarrassed and threw her shoulders back as she said, “You know this is private property, right?”

“Yes, I’m aware,” he said, setting the newspaper on the table as if he had all the time in the world.

“Do you always make yourself at home on other people’s property?”

He arched a brow. “How do you know I don’t own this place?”

She was amused by his attempt to seem important. “I’m pretty sure you don’t.”

“Are you? Well, then, you’re probably right.” He leaned forward and crooked his finger, motioning for her to come closer.

It had been so long since a man had caught her attention, much less since she’d been beckoned by a hot guy, and her pulse quickened like a schoolgirl’s. Only she was a grown woman wearing a sweaty tank top with Flippin’ Awesome written across the chest and a picture of a spatula beneath it, which quite possibly made her look like a silly schoolgirl.

“I’m staying at the Silver House, but I’m not fond of crowds,” he said conspiratorially. “I bought this table and chair at a store around the corner, and I’ve been camping out here in the mornings. If you promise not to tell, I’ll share my raspberry-and-Bavarian-cream croissant with you.”

“Ah, draw me into your web of deceit with the allure of one of Keira’s pastries,” she said in a low voice, mentally shuffling through magazines and commercials, trying to figure out where she’d seen him before. “Normally I’m a rule follower, but I like your style, Chair Guy. I’ll keep your secret.”

He cut the croissant in half and pushed to his feet, bringing to light his six-foot-plus stature. His identity hit her with the impact of jackpot-winning bells, and before she could reel in her excitement, “You’re the guy from the Nautica underwear ads!” came roaring out.

His brows slanted.

“Oh God. You’re not him, are you?” She covered her face. “This is so embarrassing,” she said as she lowered her hands.

“Not for me. I’m taking that as a compliment. In fact, if you feel the need to narc someone out for trespassing, please say it was that underwear model and not me.”

She was glad he had a sense of humor. “They’d probably drag you in anyway. You look just like him.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” He waved to the chair and said, “Join me?”

“I can’t. Thanks, though. I have to go meet my sister.”

He gathered half of the pastry in a napkin and descended the steps to the beach. His eyes remained trained on her, making her pulse quicken again. He handed her the napkin-encased croissant and said, “If you run this way tomorrow, I’ll have a whole pastry waiting for you.”

Oh.” There was no hiding the surprise in her voice.

“Not all criminals are bad guys. I’m Aiden, by the way.” He offered his hand.

“I’m Abigail de Messiéres. Abby.” She shifted nervously on her feet, wondering what had possessed her to say her full name, as if she were someone special. “It’s nice to meet you.”

When she put her hand in his, he lifted it to his lips and kissed the back of it. “It’s been a pleasure, Abigail. I hope to see you tomorrow, and remember, if I get dragged into jail, you’re now an accomplice. I go down, you go down.”

Butterflies swarmed in her belly at the way he said her name and the low, seductive way he said that last part. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d gone down with anyone. “You play dirty, Chair Guy.”

“Only for very special people,” he said with a wink. “Thanks for brightening my morning, Runner Girl. I hope to see you tomorrow.”

She walked away, nibbling on the sweet croissant, but she couldn’t resist taking one last peek over her shoulder. Aiden was standing on the side of the patio watching her. Butterflies took flight in her stomach as he flashed that sexy grin and waved.

Real smooth, Abby.

She hurried toward the street. He was probably just as bad for her as the croissant—and even more delicious.

**

By the time Abby made it back to her mother’s house, she’d devoured the croissant despite the butterflies nesting in her belly and mulled over her conversation with Aiden at least a dozen times. It had been so long since she’d flirted with a guy, she was kind of proud that she hadn’t made a complete fool of herself. Well, except for the underwear model debacle.

She walked down the narrow dirt road to her mother’s driveway on the outskirts of Silver Haven, feeling lighter than she had when she’d left. But the sight of Deirdra’s car parked in front of their funky four-bedroom, three-bath bungalow brought a knot of tension. While Abby didn’t even own a car, her control-freak sister had brought hers with her on the ferry.

Their mother’s house also had a one-car garage with an apartment above it and a gorgeous view of the water, which Deirdra called their saving grace. The house looked as haggard as her mother had when Abby had visited over the holidays. The picket fence was missing boards, the lawn was long and uncared for, the vegetable and flower gardens overgrown with knee-high tangles of weeds. The white siding on the house was so dirty it looked gray, but the wide front porch still held memories of Abby singing with her mother as her father stood at his easel painting with the wind in his hair and the familiar spark of happiness in his eyes.

Deirdra had it all wrong.

The view she deemed as their saving grace was something everyone on that side of the island had. It was gorgeous and it added to their property value, but to Abby, her cherished memories were the real saving graces.

She held on to those treasured thoughts as she breezed through the front door, humming as she walked into the crowded living room, refusing to stress over Deirdra’s mood or the boxes and piles of magazines, records, books, and other things littering the floor. It was as if time had stopped when their father passed away. Their mother had never gotten rid of any of his belongings. Abby had already begun going through the living room, but she didn’t want to think about how difficult it would be to go through the other rooms. She was glad Deirdra would be there with her. She’d been embarrassed when her mother’s friends had stopped by over the last couple of days, bringing casseroles and pies and all sorts of other food, and had seen the mess. The freezer and refrigerator were packed full, and the counters held so many dishes, it looked like they were having a potluck gathering. You’d think her mother had just passed away. But that was life on Silver Island, where everyone pulled together during difficult times. Her mother’s friends had all known of her alcoholism, and Abby remembered the carefully choreographed dance of talking around the elephant in the room when she’d see them at the Bistro or around town. Thankfully, they had never looked down on her or Deirdra because of it.

Abby found her sister pacing in the cozy, though outdated, kitchen with her cell phone pressed to her ear. They shared the same brownish-blond hair color, but while Abby’s was coarse and rebellious, always appearing a little messy, Deirdra had been blessed with silky hair that looked perfect at any length. Her natural waves fell just past her shoulders. As always, Deirdra was ready to take on the day, although she looked like she was going out for drinks in the Hamptons in her skinny jeans, white-and-blue-striped shirt, a pink blazer with the sleeves rolled up, and sharp strappy sandals.

“Damn it, Malcolm, this is the one week—” Deirdra pursed her lips, anger simmering in her mossy-green eyes. Malcolm was her stern sixty-year-old boss. “No. I need to be here.” She paused, listening. “Fine. I’ll see you Friday afternoon.” She ended the call and grumbled, “Bastard.

“What’s wrong?”

Deirdra put her phone in her pocket, closing her eyes. She straightened her spine and lifted her chin, her eyes opening as a calm came over her like a curtain. The momentary slip in her behavior was pushed aside as if that part of her didn’t matter. But it did matter. Abby missed the unpredictable side of her sister, which she’d lost when their mother had started drinking.

“The shit hit the fan, of course.” Deirdra’s gaze softened, and she said, “I’m sorry, Abby. I know I promised to help you go through Mom’s things this week, but this is my—”

“It’s okay,” Abby said, cheerily masking her disappointment. Deirdra was a corporate attorney for a major Boston tech company. Abby knew how much pressure her sister was under and how overwhelming her schedule was. It had only gotten worse since her promotion last year. Even though they were very different by nature, they usually enjoyed each other’s company, and they used to make time to see each other one weekend each month, but ever since Deirdra’s promotion, those get-togethers had been few and far between. They hadn’t seen each other since their brief visit with their mother over Christmas.

“I can handle going through Mom’s things. Like I said last night, I’m here for however long it takes, so I have plenty of time.”

“Even the junk room?” Deirdra arched a brow.

The famed junk room, aka the Bermuda Triangle, was down the hall from the kitchen. Abby was pretty sure it was meant to be the master bedroom because it protruded from the back of the house, had two walk-in closets, a full bath, and three walls of nearly floor-to-ceiling windows, offering exceptional views of the water. They had used it as a playroom when they were young, and even back then the closets had been packed with boxes. Sometime after their father died, it had become the junk room—a catchall for everything from outgrown toys and clothes to broken furniture.

“That might take a bulldozer,” Abby joked. “I don’t mind doing it alone. I was just looking forward to spending time with you, beyond the Mom stuff and the restaurant.” She lifted one shoulder and said, “I miss you, Dee. You know what? After you’re done with whatever you’re dealing with at work, if you can’t come to see me, I’ll come to Boston and hang out for a weekend.”

“Thank you for understanding, but I’ll be back my next free weekend. I don’t want to leave you with this nightmare.”

“It’s only a nightmare to you because you resent Mom so much. What’s happening at work, anyway? What’s so dire that they need you back so fast?”

Deirdra gave her a deadpan look. “You know my work is confidential.”

“Really? I’m your sister. Who am I going to tell?” Abby opened the fridge and dug out a water bottle. “Fine, keep your lips sealed and I won’t tell you about the hot guy I met when I was out running.” She opened the bottle and took a drink as she sauntered out of the kitchen.

“If you’re talking about Wells Silver, I’ll slaughter you for even looking at the hot two-timer,” Deirdra called after her.

Abby had gone out with Wells briefly in high school, until she’d found out that he was also seeing her best friend, Leni Steele. They’d both ditched his cheating ass. She went upstairs to her bedroom, remembering the chicks-before-dicks pact she and Leni had come up with after that. But while Silver Island had three primary schools, it had only one high school, and before long they’d forgiven Wells for his indiscretion. Mostly, anyway. Leni still carried a chip on her shoulder about it.

She turned on the shower, and as the water heated, Aiden’s sexy smile and serious eyes pushed to the forefront of her mind. She touched the back of her hand, thinking about his warm, soft lips and the spark of heat in his eyes when he’d said, I go down, you go down. Her body shuddered with the tease of something more.

She stripped off her clothes and stepped into the shower, wondering if she’d misconstrued heat for mischief. Even if she had, a girl could fantasize, couldn’t she? She closed her eyes, letting the water rain down her face and body, and imagined Aiden’s dark eyes and tantalizing lips and his rich voice whispering in her ear, Only for very special people . . .

To continue reading, please buy MAYBE WE WILL

KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO

**FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

**This book is published by Montlake Romance (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE Kindle ereader app to read it (link below) or order the paperback.
Free Kindle eReader app ➜ http://bit.ly/FreeKindleApp1

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