By: Kathy Coopmans

Chapter One

I’m standing in the Atlanta Airport fidgeting and pacing back and forth as I wait for my husband Turner to come walking through the gate. It’s been a week since I have seen him; to some that may not be a long time, but to me it’s been forever. This is the longest we have been apart since we started dating in our sophomore year of college. Both of us were studying to be accountants and now we have our own small firm in a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta.

Usually when Turner goes away on a business trip I go with him. However, my brother Zack and his wife Krista just had their first child- my handsome nephew, Nolan. I had to be there for his birth. I couldn’t miss seeing my brother’s first child come into this world, and I am so glad I didn’t. The look on Zack’s face when he showed Nolan to me from the nursery window is one I will never forget. It was a moment of pride for my entire family, one I simply cannot describe.

My dad stood beside me with tears of happiness welling openly as he observed my brother holding his son. When Nolan was placed in my father’s arms for the first time, I cried right along with him as he cooed at the baby. I have never seen my dad cry, not even when my bitch of a mother left us all ten years ago to move on to bigger and better things . . . her words, not mine. Zack and I haven’t talked to her in two years.

She showed up one day on my doorstep. I freaked the hell out when I answered the door and there she stood, draped in diamonds and some fancy designer dress, pulling me in for a hug like we were best friends. Turner hated her, and to this day I still don’t know why she was there. To brag about how she was happily married to some guy with lots of money, I suppose. She went on and about how happy she was, how she missed us all so much, and how she made a mistake by leaving us. She said she wanted to start over. I told her there was no chance in hell that I wanted anything whatsoever to do with her again.

When Turner asked her to leave and never come back again, she fake cried all the way to the damn door. Now we have no idea where she is, not that she was around much, anyway. She should be the poster child for the worst mother. No, I take that back. She is the worst mother. But today is all about the man who I call ‘my world.’

I shiver just thinking about him and how much I have missed him. Turner Calloway stole my breath away eight years ago when he walked into class and sat down right next to me. I was the shy, timid nerd girl who just wanted to be happy and to make my father proud.

After my mother left, I took care of my dad and brother the best way I knew how, cooking and cleaning and doing everything else my selfish mother should have been doing. Dad and Zack were constantly riding my ass about going out and doing something. I never wanted to. Sure, I had friends, and they usually came over to my house. I just didn’t want my dad to ever be alone. I went to school and came home, and even when I went to college I still lived at home. Dad tried to convince me I needed to get out and experience the college life. Nope. Not me. I just wasn’t interested, until the day I laid eyes on Turner.

After two weeks of talking back and forth to each other in class, he finally got me to give him my number, and we’ve been together ever since. My dad about shit himself and practically shoved me out the door when I finally told him about Turner. Instead of being the typical dad who claims no man is good enough for his daughter, my dad was the opposite. He fell in love with Turner just as I did.

My older brother Zack, not so much. He’s only older by 18 months but he acts as if it’s a decade. He grilled Turner and even threatened to kick his ass once if he ever hurt me.

Turner’s response was, “Dude, I have a woman worth spoiling. For years she was yours to protect and now she’s mine, so back the fuck off.”

That was all it took to win Zack over, and the two of them have been best friends ever since. Heaving a heavy sigh, I keep my eyes on the door of the terminal and wait for them to open. All I want to do is leap over all these people and into the arms of my man.

Finally, the doors open. I can already feel his arms wrapped around me and his lips moving reverently against mine as I get lost in handsome, green-eyed, dark-haired Turner Calloway.

I freeze on the spot when I see him walk through the door. When he lifts his head and scans the area, his eyes land on mine, and the crooked smile that made me fall in love with him is where my eyes stay focused. As his pace quickens and he approaches me with a toxic and lethal stare, I can’t help but smile back.

“Jesus Christ. I fucking missed you so damn bad.”

He scoops me up in his arms and twirls me around burying his face into my long blonde hair.

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