Secrets and Solace (Love at Solace Lake Book 2)

By: Jana Richards


Ignoring the sweat and dirt, she wrapped her arms around his waist and held him tightly, resting her head against his chest. His body stirred to life at her touch, disgusting him. His world was crumbling around him and all he could think was that he wanted to bury himself inside her until she screamed his name.



“Go,” he said roughly. If she was smart, she’d run away and never look back. He was a bad-tempered, recovering alcoholic with nothing to offer her. He wasn’t worth the risk.

She looked up at him, her blue eyes clear and steady. “No. I won’t leave you.”

He pushed her up against the wall of the workshop, not sure if he was trying scare her away or make her stay. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She shook her head. “You won’t.”

Cam closed his eyes and groaned. He wrapped his arms around her in a vice-like grip, unable to resist her any longer. God, he needed her.

He lowered his head and kissed her. There was no subtlety in the kiss, no gentleness or finesse. Only passion and raw need. But she stayed with him, returning his passion, giving solace. He greedily lapped it up, taking everything she had to give.

But he wanted, needed more. He lifted her and she wrapped her long, slender legs around his waist. He buried his face against her soft, sweet-smelling neck, inhaling her clean, floral scent. At the same time, he snaked his hand up her thigh.

“Tell me to stop,” he rasped. “Tell me now while I still can.”





PROLOGUE





Angry voices hung on the humid summer air, as heavy as the scent of the pine trees in the forest surrounding her. Scarlet Lindquist tiptoed along the well-worn path, the soft earth muffling her steps. If Mom and Daddy caught her following them, they’d be mad. They’d told her to stay with Grandma at the lodge because they had things they needed to talk about. Adult things.

Her older sister Harper said Daddy’s unexpected arrival at their grandparents’ fishing lodge meant he was taking them home. He wouldn’t have come all the way from Minneapolis if that wasn’t his plan. Didn’t he tell them how much he’d missed them since he went away?

Scarlet wasn’t so sure. Harper hadn’t heard the fighting between Mom and Grandma Dorothy. But she had. They thought she didn’t understand, but she understood plenty; she was eight, not a baby like her sister Maggie. Mom said the marriage was over, and she was never going back. She was going to start a new life. Grandma said she’d be a fool to throw away her marriage. That she had a good life with Daddy, a secure life, and surely there could be forgiveness. Mom said Grandma didn’t understand, that she’d never understood.

She hoped that didn’t mean her parents were getting a divorce. Her friend Becca’s parents got a divorce and she had to move between their houses every week, and they were constantly telling her how much they hated each other. Scarlet wished Daddy would come home, so things could be the way they were before.

She stopped and crouched behind a clump of trees. Her parents had arrived at The Point, a finger of land that stuck out into Solace Lake. Her mom kept her canoe here because it was easy to launch from the small sand beach on the very tip of the point, but today Scarlet saw that her mom’s yellow canoe was tied to the dock. Grampa had built the dock at The Point for the use of his customers, the fishermen who came up to the lodge to catch the fish that lived in the lake. There was another dock closer to the lodge, but Grampa said fishers liked this one because the deep water at the end of the dock was the best spot on the lake to fish.

When she peeked between the branches, she saw that her parents had stopped walking and were facing each other on the beach. Scarlet held her breath, afraid they’d hear her and make her go away.

“I know what I said before, but I can’t give you up. I don’t want a divorce. We can try again. We can work this out.” Daddy’s voice sounded funny, as if he was crying. “You know I love you, don’t you? I’ve always loved you. That hasn’t changed.”

“I know,” Mom said. “But I can’t go on like this, living a lie.”

“It’s not a lie! We have a family! The girls need us. Can’t we try again? At least for them?”