Secrets never stay in the past.
The night before high school graduation changes everything. Lies are told. Mistakes are made. Secrets tucked away. Lives are changed in the span of a few hours.
A year later, Haley is still reeling, numb with the constant ache of guilt. She’s in a place she never expected to be: lost without her friends and Seth. Until he enters her life again, dredging up everything she’s trying to forget. Everything about that night.
Seth returns to his hometown determined to share his truth, his side of the story. He desperately needs to make things right with Haley, even if it means losing her forever. Because the truth will ruin any chance of her ever loving him again.
Except neither of them are prepared for the shock of what really happened the night before graduation.
He grabbed my fingers and held them loosely in his. “You ready for tonight?”
“Sure.” I noticed that even though he was looking at me, he didn’t really see me. Not the way he was usually tuned in. “Are you?”
“What?” Then he coughed. “Um, yeah, ready.”
After years together, instinct told me something was wrong. I rubbed the light scruff on his cheeks and kissed him. I giggled. “You need to shave.”
My touch seemed to pull him out of whatever funk he was in and he grabbed hold of me. “Really? I need to shave? Are you sure?” He rubbed his cheek against mine.
I held back a giggling fit and squirmed away but he clamped down on my waist and tucked me into his arms.
“Haley!” the girls yelled.
“Seth!” the guys yelled.
Just to spite them, I reached up and pulled Seth toward me. We engaged in a long, slow kiss. The heat spread throughout my body and sizzled in my stomach. I clung to him, to this moment. My hands slid up and my towel dropped. This time, I lightly traced his cheek. “I like your scruff.”
He pulled away and for one intense moment his blue eyes pierced mine. No word was spoken, but he felt it too. He had to. I didn’t break our gaze, and he reached out and pulled his thumb across my lips. Then he leaned forward and kissed my cheek.
Moments like those made me fantasize about spending the night with Seth. Him and me. Naked. What it would feel like to be next to him, skin on skin, touching, kissing.
But then that made me think about our future and commitment. Ugh. I wondered if Seth had talked about the fall and his plans with Carter. Did he fear the changes coming after tomorrow? Hopefully, I’d find a chance to talk to him tonight. Poke around in his head to see if he saw me in his future. I wasn’t necessarily thinking forever, but at least into next year.