When Presley Howard loses his job and his lover of five years, control of his life is gone. His daily routine is thrown into disarray, bringing him close to a nervous breakdown.
On the advice--or rather, the insistent prodding--of his twin sister, he takes a vacation in Pensacola, Florida to relax and reconnect with parents he hadn't seen in years. What he finds is a sense of hope and the only man who can rein him back in and save his broken heart, hunky pediatric surgeon, Dr Camden Brooks.
Together, they conquer Presley's fears and temper his need to control everything around him, and their blossoming love gives Dr Brooks something new and beautiful to look forward to.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.
"What do you mean you're leaving?" I couldn't believe my ears. My Blake, the man I'd dedicated five years of my life to, actually wanted to leave me, right now, of all times in my life! Seriously? He didn't even wait to get his damn clothes on before dropping that bombshell on me.
I had told him I lost my job.
Now he wanted to break up?
"What the hell?"
"I'm sorry," he said, but I didn't hear sorrow in his voice. I didn't hear sadness or angst. He wouldn't even take pity on me after everything I'd done for him, after what I'd given him.
He stopped ripping clothes from the dresser, turned toward me, and gave me the most gut-clenching look I'd ever seen. His eyes became cold and calculating, like he'd been practicing his speech and just couldn't wait to spear his words at me. He finally had the nerve to ask me, "What can you bring to this relationship now, Presley?"
I bolted straight up from the bed and charged right toward him, finger jabbing through the air but never making contact with his incredibly muscled chest. My voice came out as a rumbling growl when I said, "I've given more to this relationship than you have! I put a roof over your head when you didn't have shit to call a home! I fed you and clothed you when you didn't have a damn dime to your name! That's what I put into this relationship!" Dropping my arm, I took a deep breath and counted back from ten while he stared at me with wide, shocked eyes. "What? Now I don't have a job and you don't want me anymore?"
He went right back to shoving his clothes into a suitcase I'd bought when he'd needed one for a business trip but didn't have the money to buy one himself. He acted like I'd never said a word, like this whole thing wasn't a big deal. I wanted to rip the suitcase right out of his hands, along with every piece of clothing he crammed into the damn thing. But I didn't. I could calm down and be the bigger man.
"Fine." I bit down hard-teeth grinding, jaw flexing. He didn't seem to notice or maybe he didn't care, and I knew if I didn't take a step back and relax, I would end up saying or doing something I would regret later. "Fine. Get your shit and get out of my house."
"Fine," he said with a smile just to add insult to injury.
I wanted so badly to hate him. I wanted to pretend his walking out didn't bother me, but as soon as he slammed the door to my loft, I dropped to my knees in the middle of the floor and started to sob. Thank God he'd gotten the hell out of my place before I had my little breakdown. No way would I give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry like a baby.
Cheek pressed against the hardwood, I lay there for hours, letting my tears soak into the grains. I could still smell remnants of his designer cologne lingering in the air. I'd always loved that scent on him; the bergamot and cinnamon with hints of vanilla, a perfect addition to the clean, masculine scent of his skin.
Oh God, kill me now.
And that's when reality came crashing down on me.
In one miserable day, I'd lost the last five years of my life. The company I'd slaved for decided to downsize and all of their top executives got the boot. Then the man I'd given my heart to walked out on me. I had nothing left, nothing at all. No peace. No love. And frankly, no will.
Sayonara, Presley Howard. It was a fun ride while it lasted.
My body curled into a fetal ball; limp and empty, no soul, no will. My fingers gripped at the floor because it felt solid and sturdy when everything else wanted to fall apart around me. Tears drenched my cheeks. At some point during my nervous breakdown, I managed to find enough peace to fall asleep, or maybe I'd simply drained myself until I had nothing left to keep me going.