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Can broken promises ever be made whole again?
After her parents die in a car crash, four-year-old Nicole is raised by staunch grandparents, where toys are sparse and love even sparser. But when the boy next door sticks his head through the hedge to say hello, Nicole learns that life is more than just routine, and as the years go by, they form a bond of love that nothing can break.
Will wants nothing more than to be with Nicole forever. But when he finds himself faced with a difficult decision and sees no other option, he must break his promise of forever to the woman he loves in order to be the man he can forgive.
With time unable to heal unseen wounds, do Nicole and Will have a second chance to make good on their promise of forever?
“Liz Scott’s stories are filled with gentle humor and an exquisite, endearing romance. It’s quite easy to get lost in You Promised Me Forever and forget to come up for air.”—USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Lennox
✿Read An Excerpt…✿
Nicole sat at her tiny dining table, eating a meal she’d thrown together and thinking of the way she’d reacted to Will earlier when she stopped mid-bite and sniffed. Smoke. The charred smell came through the opened window and almost choked her.
It must be the new neighbors. The smell became even more intense, causing her eyes to water. She got up to close her window and saw smoke billow from the neighbor’s back door. Before she could decide if she should call the fire department, a smoking cast-iron frying pan flew through the door, followed by two burning oven mitts, and if she wasn’t mistaken, a few muffled but very colorful and inventive words.
Nicole giggled and stepped out her back door to get a better look as a large man darted out of the door and ran for the water hose to douse the flames. A large man that looked suspiciously familiar. Nicole narrowed her eyes and blood began to boil through her veins upon recognition.Will! She quickly stepped back inside her door before he saw her. Did he know she lived next door? She smacked her forehead with her hand. Of course, he did. Later she’d examine why her heart sped up and began to flutter at the thought of Will living next to her.
She pursed her lips, narrowed her eyes, and slammed her back door in frustration. She marched back to the table, but her appetite had disappeared. The nerve of the man. Would he keep popping up wherever she went?
She knew when she heard the first knock on her door who would be standing on the other side. She closed her eyes and wished she could ignore him. But that would have been the old Nicole. Sugar wouldn’t avoid the obnoxious person.
At least when she opened her door, he had the good sense to look remorseful. Nicole crossed her arms and asked coldly, “What do you want?” She tried to remain totally unaffected by his nearness. Even through the smoky smell on his clothes, she could still get a whiff of his aftershave; the musky one, her favorite. Stop it!
“The dial on the stove said low heat. It lied. I burned my dinner.”
She bit her lip to keep from smiling. Will had the audacity to use his puppy dog eyes on her.
Nicole rolled her eyes and casually checked her nails to be sure none were chipped before the power of Will consumed and made her burn in places long dormant. “I know. It wasn’t hard to smell. What do you expect me to do about it?” She couldn’t care less that he’d burned his dinner.
“I noticed you were having spaghetti for dinner. It smells delicious.” He sounded hopeful, looking over her head and then giving her one of those smiles.
“Yeah, so?” Suddenly she didn’t like where the conversation was headed; he wouldn’t…
“So…” Will gave her that look again, the one that always got him exactly what he wanted; the last chocolate chip cookie or the last jump from the rope swing into the lake or one last orgasm after she’d already given him two. Whoa…Whoa!
She shook her head to erase that thought. “No! Oh no, you are not sharing my dinner.” Nic tried to close the door, but he simply stuck his boot in the jam and pushed his way inside.
“Why thank you, Nic.” Will grinned and walked inside, zeroing in on the dining table. “I would love to join you for dinner.”
Nicole glared in annoyance as he waltzed by, right into her house as if he owned it. “I didn’t invite you!” she screeched, just before she got another whiff of the unmistakable Will-scent, catching her off guard and sending her stomach into a nose dive.
“Yes, you did.” He hurried on into the kitchen, dismissing her refusal.
She ran after him. “No I didn’t,” she argued, but knew it wouldn’t do any good.
“You just forgot. You meant to invite me at the grocery store, but you left before you remembered to,” he explained politely, as he began opening and closing drawers, searching through her cabinets.
“Stop! Just stop! I did not forget! Why would I invite a man I detest to dinner? Get out!” Nicole shrieked, and pointed towards the front door. She rolled her eyes and stomped her foot in a childish display of irritation.
Will snapped his head around and looked down at her foot in disbelief. His eyes sparkled with mischief. He grinned. “Now, Nic, where are those manners you are so famous for?” Will tut-tutted, wagging his finger in front of her face. “Your grandmother would be appalled at your inhospitable behavior.”
Nicole’s brows scrunched together as she stood by helplessly while Will went through her cabinets, located dinnerware, and proceeded to serve his plate with her food! When he started towards her table, she’d had enough.
“Just take it and get out, Will.” Nicole closed her eyes and pushed on her temples with her fingers to alleviate the throbbing headache she felt coming on. Being around him was stressful. The flashbacks and memories she kept having weren’t helping either. She needed him to leave.
“Oh, Nic, you’re not being very welcoming to your new neighbor,” Will mumbled around a mouth full of her food. “Come and join me. This is delicious. When did you learn to cook?” He reached for a piece of garlic bread.
“I…” She’d had to learn in order to survive when she had no other options. She felt a tingly sensation behind her eyes. She swallowed and pursed her lips. She wouldn’t let him get to her. “No big deal. I just learned.” She joined him at the table, wishing it were bigger. Their knees bumped as she scooted her chair up. She fought the little kick to her system from his touch.
“Well, it’s very good. You need to give Mom your sauce recipe. I think yours is better.”
Nicole watched in astonishment as he used a huge chunk of her last piece of garlic bread to sop up marinara sauce on his plate and then stick the whole thing in his mouth, and then…he had the nerve to smile at her!
“Wanna know my favorite type of food.”
“I know your favorite type of food, William. It’s those unhealthy hamburgers I’ve smelled your father grilling outside. I’ve seen you out of my window eat three for dinner.”
“Nuh huh. It’s see food!”
Will opened his mouth wide for her to “see” all the “food” inside and fell over laughing when she started gagging until she threw up on his new Chucks.
A smiled play around the edges of her lips. His mom had told him he deserved it. Nicole blinked away the memory and sat up straighter. “That would be difficult since your parents haven’t spoken to me in five years,” she said through gritted teeth.
Hours later Will still lay awake, unable to sleep. Nic lay beside him where he’d tucked her in for the night in the bedroom of the plane. Will smiled as he looked down at the precious body that had molded to his. Nic always snuggled up to him during the night, trying to get as close to the heat of his body as she could. She said he was her personal heater. He was glad to see that hadn’t changed. Her face was pressed into his chest and one of her creamy smooth legs was draped over his. He brushed back some of the auburn curls from her face and she stirred.
Will’s skin shivered her lips came into contact with his chest. “Yeah, baby.”
Nic threw a leg over his and scooted her body even closer. Her hand wandered over his chest exploring under his t-shirt. “I need you.”
He tried to do the right thing and move away before she realized how desperately he needed her. “I’m right here, honey.”
Nicole sat up in the bed and pulled her nightgown over her head. “No…I want you to make love to me.”
Will’s eyes went immediately to her breasts. He’d undressed her earlier and had only been concerned with helping her. Now, seeing those lush and rounded globes again he wanted more than anything to feel their weight in his hands, brush his thumbs over her nipples and watched them draw into peaks of pleasure before taking them into his mouth.
Will tore his eyes away and could only croak, “What?”
Nic moved closer and he felt the warmth of her breasts brush against his arm. “I’ve missed you so much. It’s been so long. Please, Will.”
Will closed his eyes and shook his head. She didn’t know what she was saying. “Honey, you’re upset. That’s not really what you…”
A finger at his lips stopped his words. “Yes, it is,” she demanded.
Will saw the need in her eyes. But he couldn’t give her what she wanted. To do so would undermine his chance at reconciliation. He wouldn’t jeopardize that for anything in the world. “Nic, the next time we make love, I don’t want any clouds hanging over us. I want to know that you’ve forgiven me and that we have a future together. You’re feeling vulnerable because you just lost your grandfather.
“Oh, Will. No, I want to feel…”
“I know, baby.” He knew she wanted to feel alive and loved and not all alone. But at what risk. “I can’t give you that. But I can give you this. Let me take care of you, Nic.”
Will brushed his lips over Nic’s and felt her shiver from the connection they’d always had. He wanted more than anything to sink deep inside and hear those whimpers he’d been dreaming about for so long. But he knew that would only take them backwards and not forwards towards their forever.
No matter how badly his body wanted her, he’d be strong enough for both of them. He’d give her the release she needed without engendering regrets she may have in the light of day.
Kissing and nipping his way down her oh-so-familiar body, Will savored each moment of being able to touch her once again. He knew exactly where and how to kiss her to distraction. He paid particular attention to each hardened nub and was rewarded by her gasping moans of pleasure.
His own words came out strained. “I know, Nic.”
Will rained kisses over her stomach and heard her sudden intake of air when he nipped her left hip. So sensitive. So his. Lower his lips traveled until he paused over the very part of her he wanted to devour. He could smell her musky scent and had to take a moment to calm his racing heart. He pushed back her curls with his thumbs and gently blew across the swollen center of her being. Nicole whimpered and he could wait no longer. Leaning in he took her in his mouth and her taste burst upon his tongue. Her hips rose from the bed and Will moved to settle between her legs. He worked his hand under her bottom and pressed his face deeper into her wetness. His tongue slid over and around her beating core, teasing and taking her in.
He wanted to spend hours, days even, lapping her very essence. He’d never get his fill. He knew when he felt her body tense that she was close. He wanted to prolong her pleasure and his torture but he knew to do so wouldn’t make her forgiveness any easier. Nic needed this as much as she needed the medicine the doctor had given her.
“Will, I’m so close.”
“I know, baby. Let it happen. Take what you need and fly, Nic.”
She began to tremble as he sucked her deep into his mouth and felt her start to shatter around his tongue and then pulsed strongly as he pressed harder.
“Will! Will!” she cried.
He stayed with her, slowing the movement and pressure of his tongue on the pulsing nerves until he felt them calm, and with one last kiss on the pink and swollen bud, he moved up her body and pulled her into his side. She was asleep before he’d pulled up the feather duvet and covered her. Will slid out of bed careful not to awaken Nic and took himself in hand in the bathroom. Feeling Nic come apart on his tongue, listening to her sexy pants and whimpers and knowing he couldn’t find his own release deep inside her was more than he was physically able to do without exploding. Will cleaned himself up in the small bathroom sink and quietly made his way back to the bed where he lay awake long afterwards.
✿Meet The Author…✿
Who is Liz Scott? A voracious reader, full-time writer wanna be, wife, mother, and PA to two terrier terrors, Powder & Moxie. Liz is the author of The Royal Vow and Hearts of Gold Series and a Carolina girl who loves sand between her toes as frequently as possible. Liz is also known as GumShoeMom on the Geo-Caching circuit.