My phone rings, breaking the peaceful silence that has settled in the room. I glance at the caller ID, seeing Eliza’s name flashing on the screen. With a grin, I pick up the call and answer, ‘It’s been five minutes.’
Eliza’s laughter tinkles through the phone. ‘I know, I know,’ she admits, cackling. ‘I just couldn’t wait any longer. I’m so excited for you, Skylar! Everything is coming together so perfectly. We’ve got the final edits lined up, and by the time you reach New Zealand in March, your book will be ready for your approval. You’re going to be a published author, Skylar!’
Her words make my chest burn…because a few months ago, I never would have envisioned this being my life.
‘I can’t believe it,’ I say softly, my voice tinged with gratitude. ‘Thank you, Eliza, for everything.’
Eliza’s tone softens, a hint of emotion sneaking in. ‘Skylar, I’m so proud of you,’ she murmurs sincerely. ‘You’ve come such a long way, and you deserve all the success that’s coming your way.’
A lump forms in my throat as I absorb her words.
With a deep breath, I reply, my voice trembling with emotion, ‘I’m proud of me too, Eliza.’
We share a moment of quiet understanding, both of us aware of the significance of this achievement. She’s been my rock, my guiding light throughout this entire process, and I couldn’t have asked for a better friend and mentor.
As our conversation continues, I can’t help but reflect on how much your life can change…in just a few months.
I never thought I’d be given a second chance, a chance to finally pursue my dreams while also getting back the love that had always been a part of me. The future looks magical where before…it only looked gray.
Eliza and I chat for a few more minutes about the details of the publishing process before she says, “Alright, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Go enjoy that hottie of yours,” she teases.
Just as she says that, the door to the room swings open, and in walks Noah. A vibrant spark dances in his eyes, and he saunters towards me with an air of mischievous confidence. I can’t help but admire how incredibly attractive he is. Like he was made just for me.
Noah waggles his eyebrows in a teasing manner, like he can read my mind, and his playful expression prompts a burst of laughter from deep within me. It’s a laughter filled with warmth and happiness, a stark contrast to the years of solitude and longing.
‘Speak of the devil,’ I say, addressing the unexpected but very welcome guest in the room.
Noah’s grin spreads across his face, and I catch a glimpse of his endearing dimples. ‘Did I just get summoned by the mention of a hottie?’
I glance down at my phone, fully aware that Eliza can probably hear my delighted laughter through the line. ‘I’ll let you two lovebirds catch up. Enjoy your time together, Skylar,’ Eliza chimes in, her laughter joining the joyful atmosphere.
‘Thanks, Eliza,’ I reply, my voice carrying genuine warmth. I end the call and place my full attention on Noah.
“Couldn’t stay away?” I drawl, and he prowls towards me, my insides fluttering in anticipation for what’s to come.
We can’t keep our hands off each other. And something tells me…that’s never going to change.
We’re both so grateful for this second chance. I’m never going to take it for granted.
‘I decided I was hungry,’ he growls, scooping me off my chair and laying me down on the bed.
He yanks my leggings down and presses his nose into my covered sex, inhaling deeply. I squirm with hot need as he yanks off my panties, dragging the flat of his tongue through my folds.
‘So sweet,’ he growls. ‘Exactly what I wanted.”
His stubble scrapes against my folds and inner thighs, and I moan as his teeth bite gently at my clit. Noah’s tongue licks demandingly between my legs, and I cry out his name as his tongue pushes into my opening. His thumb massages my clit as I pant and thrash against the bed until his biceps tighten over my legs so I can’t move at all.
I cry out again when his tongue spears into me, thrusting as deep as he can.
‘Please, baby. Suck my clit,’ I beg, pulling on his hair. He listens to me, sucking hard. My core clenches in response, my thighs quivering as an orgasm pumps through me. He continues to lick and suck until I’m whimpering from how sensitive I am.
‘Turn over,’ he demands suddenly. And I immediately obey.
‘Get on your knees.’
I do what he wants, getting on all fours. He slaps my ass and my core gushes, drops of my wetness sliding down my thigh.
‘Fuck, you are so perfect for me,’ he mutters as his tongue licks up the drops.
He pushes one finger inside of me and I drop to my elbows, forehead pressed to the mattress.
‘That’s it. That’s my good girl.’
He eats at me from this angle, his mouth and chin covered in my wetness, my hips jerking against his face as he pushes me into another devastating orgasm.
As soon as I’ve come down, he slides his cock through my core, slowly pushing it inside me. I’m overstimulated and swollen from the two orgasms, making him feel bigger, harder.
‘Fuck. You’re so tight,’ he moans as he continues to push, stretching me to the point of euphoric pain.
Once he’s sheathed all the way in, he pauses for a moment. I grip onto the sheets, trying to move against him.
He pulls back and then slams back in, pushing my body forward. His hands grip my hips as he slams in and out of me, forcing a cry from my lips every time.
‘Fuck, baby, I love you,’ he swears as his tongue licks up my spine.
He continues to thrust into me, one of his hands slipping between my legs, massaging my clit. Another orgasm shoots through me, and he growls as he follows me over the edge, filling me with shooting streams of his hot cum.
I collapse onto the bed, with him still inside me, and he carefully moves over me, until he’s enveloped me in his entire body, peppering sweet kisses across my skin.
‘I love you,’ he whispers again as he holds me in his arms.
A tear slips down my cheek, because I’m so damn happy.
I love him so much.
And this time, nothing holds me back from telling him.
“I love you, too.”
The night before our departure to New Zealand, Daisy and I decide to have one last sister sleepover. We clear out my room, covering the floor with blankets and pillows, ready to relive our childhood for one more night. The room is adorned with fairy lights, casting a warm and cozy glow, just like the many sleepovers we had enjoyed growing up.
As we settle down amidst the soft blankets, playful banter and laughter flow freely between Daisy and me. We reminisce about our shared memories and inside jokes, relishing every moment.
‘Do you remember the time we tried to bake that cake for Mom’s birthday and you ended up covered head to toe in flour because I dropped the bowl on your head?’ Daisy chuckles.
I grin. ‘Yeah, and then you decided it made sense to try and convince Mom that someone broke into the house, and their only crime was to cover me in flour. Made a lot of sense,’ I drawl with a roll of the eye.
She snorts and lays back on her pillow, staring up at the ceiling with a small smile on her face.
We have a huge spread of our favorite snacks surrounding us, and I grab some chips, stuffing them in my mouth.
“Whatcha thinking about?” I finally ask when I’m done chewing, noticing she’s gone quiet on me.
She glances over.
“It feels like the end of an era,” she says softly, playing with the ends of her hair, her voice tinged with a hint of sadness.
“You did decide to get married on me,” I joke, staring at the new addition on my hand that signifies I’ll be following her sometime soon. “And I have been gone for seven years.”
“Yeah, but for some reason, that doesn’t seem as big as this. Maybe because I didn’t really have time to prepare for you to leave last time. And now I do.”
My immediate response is to feel guilty for the past, but I do my best to push that away. I’m a constant work in progress with that, but I am in progress.
‘I’m going to miss you like crazy, Sky.’
I nod, my own emotions swelling within me. ‘I’ll miss you too, Daisy. You’re not just my sister; you’re my best friend.’
Tears well up in Daisy’s eyes, and she blinks them away. ‘You’ve always been there for me, Skylar. Through thick and thin. And I want you to know that no matter how far apart we are, I’ll always be here for you.’
I reach out and squeeze her hand, our fingers interlocking like they always do when we need to draw strength from each other. ‘I know, Daisy. And I’ll be just a call or a message away. We’ll still have our late-night chats, even if they’re from opposite sides of the world.’
Daisy smiles, but there’s a hint of sadness behind it. ‘It won’t be the same, though.’
I sigh, feeling the weight of the impending distance. ‘I know, but we’ll make it work. And just think, when I come back, we’ll have even more stories to share.’
Daisy chuckles, the sound tinged with nostalgia. ‘Yeah, you’re right. We’ll have a lot to catch up on.’
As the hours tick away, we continue to reminisce, sharing our dreams and aspirations.
‘When you come back, you’re going to be a star, Sky,’ Daisy shrieks proudly.
I put my hand on her mouth. “Don’t jinx me.”
She shakes her head and grabs my hand. “You know, growing up, I used to envy you.”
“What?” I ask, completely flabbergasted. “Why?”
“You’re so fucking talented. The sky’s always been the limit for you.”
I go to tell her she’s talented too, but then she’s the one putting her hand on my mouth.
“I have my strengths. But not like you. And that’s okay. I just wanted you to know—you’ve always inspired me. I’m so freaking proud that you finally decided to show the world how special you are.”
A hitched sob comes out of my mouth, because my sister is just so damn wonderful.
I’m going to miss her so much.
“I always envied you too,” I tell her. “Of your ability to live so freely, so unapologetically. I’ve tried to channel you all these years when I needed to be brave. Because you were the first person to teach me how to do it.”
There are tears in Daisy’s eyes now too, and we hold onto each other’s hands tightly.
Eventually, fatigue begins to overtake us, and our conversation lulls into comfortable silence. We lie side by side, gazing at the ceiling, lost in our own thoughts.
Before drifting off to sleep, I whisper, ‘I love you, Daisy. You mean the world to me.’
Daisy turns to me with a soft smile. ‘I love you too, Skylar. Always have, always will. You’re my person.’
And with those words, we settle into a peaceful sleep.
The night is a poignant reminder of the unbreakable connection between us, a bond that can withstand any distance or time apart.
The air is cool and crisp as Noah and I make our way through the quiet cemetery. The soft crunch of fallen leaves beneath our feet is the only sound in this serene place. We pass by rows of gravestones, each one a silent testament to lives once lived.
I can’t help but feel a heavy weight in my chest as we approach the familiar grave, the headstone adorned with a simple inscription—Annabelle Fontaine, Loving Mother and Wife.
Noah’s hand finds mine, and he gives it a gentle squeeze, as if sensing the turmoil of emotions within me. We stand together in front of the grave, lost in our thoughts, neither of us speaking a word. The wind rustles through the trees, and I shiver, feeling a chill down to my bones.
Noah clears his throat, breaking the silence. ‘Hey, Mom,’ he begins, his voice filled with a mixture of sadness and tenderness. ‘It’s been a while. I…I just wanted to say I won’t be able to visit for a while. But I wanted you to know…I’m finally…happy. Just like you wanted for me.”
He glances over at me, emotion in his eyes, and I feel the weight of his words.
I swallow hard, my own emotions threatening to overwhelm me. ‘Hi,’ I say softly, addressing the woman whose memory is etched in this place. ‘I just want you to know I’ll take care of him, just like you would’ve wanted. I promise.’
Noah’s grip on my hand tightens, and he nods, his eyes glistening with unshed tears. ‘Yeah,’ he murmurs. ‘Mom…she will.’
I blink back my own tears, feeling a deep sense of gratitude towards this woman I never met. Because she gave me the greatest man I’ll ever know.
We stand there for what feels like an eternity, sharing our thoughts and feelings with the woman who can no longer respond. It’s a bittersweet moment, a goodbye that’s much harder than I thought it would be. Noah’s shoulders slump, and I wrap my arms around him, offering what little comfort I can.
After a while, Noah steps away from the grave, wiping away a tear. He looks at me with a small smile.
‘Thank you for coming here with me, Skylar.’
I nod, my own eyes misty. ‘Of course, Noah. Always.’
As we turn to leave the cemetery, I can’t help but feel a sense of closure. The weight in my chest has lightened, replaced by a profound sense of connection and understanding.
Noah and I walk hand in hand, leaving behind the resting place of his mother. The leaves crunch beneath our feet once more, but this time, the sound is accompanied by a faint sense of peace. We face the future together, ready to embrace whatever challenges lie ahead, knowing that the bond between us is stronger than ever.
The morning sun stretches its golden fingers across Thatcher’s Bay, bathing everything in a warm, gentle light. The salty breeze carries with it the promise of a new day as Noah and I stand on the familiar dock, surrounded by our family. It’s a moment filled with mixed emotions, a poignant beginning to our journey.
Daisy and I share a tearful hug, clinging to each other as we say our goodbyes. ‘Promise me you’ll come back soon,’ she whispers, her voice quivering with emotion.
I hold her close, feeling the weight of our parting. ‘I promise, Daisy. We’ll have more adventures together, just like old times.’
Our embrace lingers for a moment before we reluctantly let go, Daisy sliding into her husband’s arms for a comforting hug. My mother approaches next, her eyes glistening with tears, but her smile unwavering. She takes my hands in hers, her voice trembling with pride. ‘You’re going to do great things, Skylar. I believe in you.’
Tears well up in my eyes as I hug her tightly. ‘Thank you, Mom…I love you.’
We still have a ways to go with our relationship, but I no longer fear it won’t ever be mended. Some things just take time. And I’m okay with that.
I watch as Noah shares his own heartfelt farewells with his father and my mom. Their silent understanding speaks volumes, acknowledging his readiness to embark on this new chapter.
Noah turns to me, his eyes filled with a mixture of excitement and anticipation. His hand reaches out, a silent invitation. ‘Are you ready, little stalker?’
Without hesitation, I place my hand in his, our fingers intertwining. ‘More than ready,’ I reply, with determination in my voice.
Noah leads me onto the boat, his confidence reassuring. As we step aboard, I take one final glance at our family gathered together on the dock. Their smiles and tears reflect the love and support that have brought us to this moment.
Noah swiftly prepares the boat for departure, and I watch as our families become smaller and smaller in the distance. The sails whip us forward, and we begin our journey away from the place that has held our deepest memories and most profound challenges.
As we sail into the open sea, the morning sun bathes everything in a soft, warm glow. Noah and I stand side by side, the wind tousling our hair and the gentle splash of seawater on our faces.
I lean against him, our hands still firmly intertwined. We both know that we’re embarking on a new adventure together. The past has shaped us, but the future holds limitless possibilities. As we sail towards the horizon, I feel completely at peace. Because we’re together.
I’m finally where I’m meant to be.
Noah wraps his arm around my shoulders, pulling me close. I rest my head on his chest, and together, we watch as the world fades into the distance, ready to embrace the next chapter of our lives in the morning light.
I once knew a boy whose stormy eyes stole my very breath away just by looking directly into mine.
Because of the boy I once hated, I’d never be the same girl again.
And I was perfectly alright with that.