Coming Home:Baytown Boys Series

By: Maryann Jordan

Dedication





Four years ago my husband and I discovered the Eastern Shore of Virginia and fell in love. The mostly rural strip of land forming the peninsula originating from Maryland has managed to stay non-commercialized. The quiet, private area full of quaint towns captured out hearts and we rushed to buy a little place there.

It has become our retreat when we need to leave the hustle and bustle of our lives. I gather ideas, create characters, and spend time writing when not walking on the beach collecting sea-glass.

My mother became ill and passed away during the writing of this book. She was my best friend, supporter of my writing, spent endless hours helping the homeless and refugees in our area, and a selfless, devoted wife, mother, and nana.

This book is devoted to the woman who gave me life, taught me to dream and gave me the courage to follow those dreams.

I am so pleased that she was able to visit the Eastern Shore before she became unable to travel. She loved our little place and knew it would spark my creative juices.






Author’s Note





I have lived in numerous states as well as overseas, but for the last twenty years have called Virginia my home. All of my stories take place in this wonderful commonwealth, but I choose to use fictional city names with some geographical accuracies.

These fictionally named cities allow me to use my creativity and not feel constricted by attempting to accurately portray the areas.

It is my hope that my readers will allow me this creative license and understand my fictional world.





Chapter 1





It never gets old. I could stand here for a thousand years, watching it over and over…and it would never become less spectacular.

Mitch Evans sipped his beer as he stood on the weather-worn wooden back porch of his small cottage, his eyes never leaving the sun setting over the Chesapeake Bay. One hand wrapped around the warped board railing and the other curled around the sweat-beaded beer, he viewed the sun dipping lower and lower until the round, orange ball was no longer seen as the sky painted every shade of pink, red, and blue.

He walked a few steps to one of the Adirondack chairs, settling his tall body in, leaning back, continuing to appreciate the sky’s ever-changing panorama.

Did I appreciate this when I was a kid? Did I even notice this when I was a kid? I sure as hell didn’t when I was a teenager, too busy, chomping at the bit to leave this place.

Shaking his head, he could not help but smile at the brash young man he had been. Desperate to leave this small town and see the world. Well, I saw some of it all right, he thought, his mind drifting to the tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army. Front lines. The dust, the dirt. Little sleep. Making new friends only to lose some…permanently. Shaking his head once more, he pushed those thoughts out of his mind, preferring to note the darker blues drifting across the sky as the night morphed into brilliance.

The ever-present breeze coming off the bay offered a respite from the evening heat that sizzled. His mind drifted over his day, busy with moving a few belongings into the house, having driven over three hours from Charlestown. The house was furnished, but he brought clothes, toiletries, books, and a few personal items to place around.

After a few more minutes, he hefted his body out of the chair, the still-sweating, but now empty, beer bottle dangling in his fingers and walked inside his house.

The small cottage had belonged to his grandparents, before they moved into town. His grandfather, wanting to keep a place to spend weekends fishing, never sold the property. “That house was built back when people knew how to build houses,” his grandpa would brag. “It was built to withstand wind and weather.” Years later he left it to his grandson. Mitch used to wonder if he would keep it or sell it, but as long as his parents were living, it gave him a place to stay when he came to visit.

Who would have thought I’d end up living here? Stepping into the kitchen, he tossed his bottle into the recycle bin by the door. The kitchen was U-shaped, with a new black stove and refrigerator. The sink had been upgraded as well and a dishwasher took the place of a few bottom cabinets.

The remaining cabinets and counter space were not abundant, but served his needs. Opening the refrigerator, he chuckled at the amount of food his mother had stocked. Reaching in, he grabbed a plastic storage container labeled Lasagna and popped it into the microwave.

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