Regan Hale is running away.
She is finished being nice, sick of doing the right thing and tired of always being wrong. She jumps at the chance to spend a few weeks on the Olympic Peninsula caring for her ailing aunt. Regan’s plans for quiet introspection and growing a backbone are derailed with the arrival of the doctor to whom her aunt has rented the guest cottage.
J.T. Thomas has work to do and an idyllic former life to forget. The deserted winter beach outside Port Townsend seems to offer the privacy and gloom he desires and his first order of business is getting rid of the woman in his beach cottage when he arrives.
Even with the help of her husband’s ghost and the worlds most lovable dog, bringing these two together seems unlikely. When a careless moment turns them into each others worst nightmare, it may take the whole of the Pacific Ocean and the Great Wall of China to heal these two battered hearts.
So here I am, middle of the night, lying in his bed, calling it ours. Thinking about leaving in a week. Knowing I have things that have to be done and so does he and it doesn’t bode well for either of us till, possibly, next fall. I slide over against him, snuggle under his shoulder. I slip my hand across his stomach. I love the crinkly hairs under my fingers, I follow their path down toward his waistband. I want to wake him up and tell him I’m not leaving, beg him to let me stay.
I know I cannot.
I want him to touch me. I want that slow lazy way he has of kissing me until it feels like time just stops. Like there is nothing else but us and we have all the time in the world. Like he doesn’t have other responsibilities or dates, or work and neither do I. It’s only us. I want to fill myself with that feeling then hoard it like some crazed middle-aged woman who can barely open her front door because the inside is so full. I move my hand lightly up to his chest, my fingers slipping over his resting hand. I feel his arm move from under my pillow, tangle into my hair and feel his beard against my forehead as he kisses me.
“What love?” he asks, clearing his throat.
‘Nothing,” I whisper.