Hate at First Sight–When Old Lovers Meet Again for the First Time–HEARTSONG Excerpt, ON SALE and a Giveaway!
Seeing an old lover for the first time after a bad breakup can be hard. But tragedy can make for strange bedfellows as the old saying goes–even if you’ve convinced yourself you hate the other person. This is the case in Heartsong, book 2 of the Singing to the Heart series.
In this scene Micki shows up at Gabe’s concert to bring tragic news, and they both realize the sparks might just still there…
“What’s going on, Michaela?”
She wrung her hands together. “I’ve come to–to tell you Sam and… and Frankie…”
“If this is about Dad and your sister, I don’t care.”
She sniffed back the sudden burn of fresh tears. “Oh, Gabe…”
When she wobbled on her feet, he was there in a heartbeat and guided her to sit on the edge of the bed. He quickly withdrew his arm, but sat next to her. Their thighs touched. Her heart leapt and her breath caught. How could she want him to wrap her up in his strong arms? She never wanted him to touch her again, did she? Mustering all of her strength, she pulled her shoulders up, breathing air scented with leather, sandalwood, and Gabe.
No amount of pretending she was strong would stave off her overwhelming grief. How could she have any more tears left to cry? The last thing she wanted to do was bawl in front of him, but she detested the news she was about to break. Even if he didn’t care.
“What’s going on?”
His face was a blur through a watery haze. She used her hands to wipe away the tears and sniffed again. “Sam and Frankie were flying from Dallas to Brownwood and Sam’s plane crashed. They’re gone, Gabe. That’s all I know.”
* * * *
Gabe let the news sink in. When it did, the shock quickly gave way to… nothing. He wanted to feel grief for the man who’d given him life, but in the end only numbness and hatred penetrated his heart.
His hand fisted against his thigh. Micki reached out, and after a brief hesitation laid her hand over his fist. He sucked in a breath at the buzz of awareness zipping through him at her gentle touch. All too fast, and yet not soon enough, she withdrew and folded her hands together in her lap.
Gabe despised his father for cheating on his dying mother with Micki’s older sister. She was half his age, but Sam married her three months after Gabe’s mother died from breast cancer. Frankie had been five months pregnant.
As Gabe met Micki’s shimmery blue eyes again, fear twisted his gut. “Where’s Jesse?”
“He’s with Momma, and Mary Nelson is looking in on them.”
Her words eased the fear a little. He wanted nothing to do with his father or his father’s wife, but he didn’t hate the product of their union. Somehow, their ten-year-old son had stolen his heart. His baby brother was safe.
“Momma and me are…” She hiccupped and shook her head. “We were watching him while Sam and Frankie went to Dallas for one of her art shows.” From her back pocket, she pulled a red and white handkerchief to wipe her eyes and nose. “I knew you’d want to know.”
He stared at her. Despite everything that went wrong between them, she’d brought him the news instead of him hearing it through other channels.
Don’t read too much into it. Michaela never cared about him before, or she’d not have broken their engagement two days before the wedding. She’d have believed in him when Andrea took him to Nashville, and she would have trusted him.
“Thanks for telling me.” Gabe stood and leaned on the doorframe. His father was gone. What did it all mean for him? Loud music sounded from the main room, drawing his attention. The drivers of the two busses would be anxious to get moving; the production crew would follow with their semi-trucks and another two busses. They had another show in Omaha tomorrow night. Jesse’s being alone was all that mattered now.
Gabe jerked when a knock sounded on the door. As he straightened, the panel cracked open and Gary said, “Gabe, we need to get rolling.”
“I’ve got to go. I have to get back home. Momma is taking all of this hard.” Micki stood by his side. “And I can’t leave Jesse with her too long.”
He focused on her red-rimmed cornflower eyes. She’d been crying for a while. “Michaela, I’m sorry.”
She sniffed, close to tears again, and nodded stiffly. “I loved my sister. Despite all of her bad behavior and her marriage to your daddy, I loved her.”
“I know.” He wanted to touch her wet cheek and take away the tears.
Gary shattered the impulse. “Is the girl staying or going? We’ve got to move.”
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Gabriel McKenna is living the dream. A rising country music star he’s no stranger to fame, money, or beautiful women. Despite his bad boy image, he’s also got a heart of gold, and when his ten-year-old brother is orphaned, he wants to take him under his wing. But the judge on the case is less than impressed by Gabe’s reputation and awards custody to the grandfather Gabe knows firsthand is abusive.
Michaela Finn is no stranger to heartache. Years ago she was engaged to Gabe McKenna, but two days before their wedding he ran off to Nashville with a female talent scout. Now Gabe is back in her life with an insane plan. Marry him, so he can get custody of his younger brother. Michaela can’t bear to think of any child being hurt, but she’s just not sure her heart can carry a happy tune when Gabe is playing lead…
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