To every single woman in the world.
You are powerful. You are beautiful. You are enough.
Be unapologetic as you seek out happiness, because your story is your own.
“AT NUMBER ONE for the eighth week in a row is ‘If I See You Again’ by The Fallen. I think I speak for every woman in the world when I say I wish that song was about me,” the female DJ says, and I quickly turn off the radio before the song begins but still hear the lyrics whisper through my mind, having memorized them without even trying.
When I see you again, I’ll be the man you need.
When I hold you again, I promise to never let you go.
I left so much unsaid.
I should have told you what you meant to me.
Now I live each day with a hole in my heart.
If I see you again, I’ll take my shot.
If I see you again, I’ll lay all my cards on the table.
I grit my teeth as my fingers clench the steering wheel. It’s been four years since I last saw Cohen Michel, with his dark hair, crystal-blue eyes, and lean body covered with ink. Still, it feels like yesterday. I need to get over him.
I should be over him, but he won’t let me heal. His voice haunts me every time I turn on the radio, his image haunting me every time I look at the TV. I can’t even go to the grocery store anymore without coming across him. I know Cohen is not the one for me, not after watching my sisters and cousins fall in love with men who’d fight tooth and nail to be by their sides. But even knowing that doesn’t make it easier.
I pull into the driveway in front of my townhouse, shut down the engine, then groan when my cell phone rings. If I had any other job, I might ignore it, but as a realtor, every missed phone call could be thousands of dollars lost.
A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone anymore, and since then, I’ve been building my empire brick by brick. It hasn’t been easy as a woman in an industry where men are the ones normally calling the shots, but I’ve learned quickly to not take no for an answer and to use every asset I have.
It’s thrilling, making and closing deals, but it’s also exhausting, working seven days a week from the time I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. Don’t get me wrong—I have no problem working my ass off, because I have big plans that are just floating at the tips of my fingers. But there are days when I just want to stay home, put on PJs, and veg in front of the TV for hours.
Picking up my phone, I frown when I see it’s my dad’s cousin, Kenton, calling. It’s not that I don’t talk to him, but I can’t recall a time that he’s ever called me.
“Hey, Uncle Kenton,” I answer as I exit my car, slamming the door with my hip while juggling my oversized leather handbag, reusable coffee mug, and cell.
“Hey, April, you doing okay?” he asks as I head up the walkway toward my front door.
“Yep, what’s up?” I ask, too hungry for all the niceties.
“I have a favor to ask.”
“Shoot.” I stop at my front door and put my key in the lock, then push inside, taking a deep breath. There really is nothing like being home, especially after a long day.
“I’m not sure you remember my friend Kai, but his daughter already lives here and is going to Vanderbilt, and his oldest son, Maxim, is looking to move to the area and open a business,” he says, and my heart does a strange little thump as a memory from when I was sixteen—sharing my first kiss with an eighteen-year-old Maxim in the middle of the dark woods when we we’re supposed to be playing flashlight tag—floats through my mind. The first and only time I ever saw him, a kiss I must have replayed over and over in my head a million times after it happened.
“I…” I clear my throat. “I kind of remember him.” I kick off my heels, then pick them up before heading up the stairs to my first floor. “What do you need from me?”
“Maxim is coming into town next weekend and needs a realtor to set up a few viewings. He’s also trying to figure out if he should buy a club or bar that is on the market or build something from the ground up.”
“I might be able to help him with that. Do you mind sending me his information so I can reach out to him directly to find out what he’s looking for exactly?”
“Yeah, I’ll text it to you when we hang up.”
“Great.” I hear him take a deep breath. “Is there anything I need to know about this guy?” I ask, because a lot of time has passed since I saw him last, years ago.
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