New York Times Bestselling author, Corinne Michaels, brings a new breathtaking and emotional love story to life in the second STANDALONE in the Arrowood Brothers series.
Fight for Me is LIVE!
I fell in love with Sydney Hastings when I was ten years old.
At sixteen, we whispered promises of forever.
When I was twenty-two I broke them all. I left her and promised never to return.
After my father’s death, I’m forced to go home to Sugarloaf for six months. She’ll be everywhere, no longer just in my memories and regrets.
When we’re together, it’s as though time never stopped. She’s still the one I want, but I don’t deserve her. Instead of apologizing, I take that beautiful, broken woman in my arms. But after that, it’s her turn to leave me.
Now I have to fight. For her. For us. For the life we both want …
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“Do you want to dance?”
I hear my brother make a noise and pretend I didn’t. She said yes, and I’m going to cling to that.
Here might be the last time I ever get to hold her in my arms, and I’m going to take it.
“I love this song.”
I love you.
“Why is that?” I ask.
Her arms move to my chest, and I wonder if she can feel the pounding of my heart. My nerves are bowstrings, being pulled taut before the arrow is ready to fly. Everything inside of me is strained, but I keep it together.
Sydney and I move, the world falling away as it always does when I am with her. Gone is the hurt of my past, the uncertainty of my present, and the regret of the future ahead. Right now, I have her.
She’s here, in my arms, where she’s meant to be.
I don’t care if the sky lights on fire because she’s all I see.
“Listen to her.” Sydney’s voice is quiet and pensive. “Listen to her talk about him giving up and her asking him to stay.”
And I do. I hear the words, and I swear that she’s singing to us.
“Don’t tell me it’s too late,” Emily croons.
“I won’t give up that easy.
Don’t call me darlin’ and tell me that you’re leavin’.
Don’t walk away.
Stop pushing me when you know you want to hold on.
It could be so easy for us, baby.
I’ve been here, but you don’t see me.
Don’t let go if you’re not ready for me to walk away.” The acoustic guitar takes over as her voice drifts off.
“Syd,” I say her name as both a plea to let go and hold on.
Her hands grip my shirt tighter. “Don’t. Don’t let go. Don’t push me away.”
I see the tears in her eyes. I don’t want to push her away. I want to hold her close, kiss her senseless, and love her until she knows it in every fiber of her being that she’s everything I want.
I see her. I feel her. I know her in my bones, but I won’t be able to be who she needs.
No matter how much I wish it weren’t the case, I can’t give her the life she wants with a husband and babies. All I can offer her is a friendship that has an expiration date because once my six-months is up and she has moved, I know I won’t allow myself to see her again.
The song ends, and the two of us stop moving, just watching the other.
The spell that was surrounding us seems to break and awareness fills her gaze. Her fingers loosen and drop from where they had been clutching my shirt and she takes a step back.
The loss of her is felt everywhere. My heart doesn’t seem to beat as strongly, the cold hits my chest, making it hard to breathe, and the emptiness from her loss leaves me weak.
For those minutes I held her, the world made sense. And now … I need to leave.
Meet Corinne Michaels
Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller author. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.
After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.
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