By: Len Webster
Publication: January 2015
Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Cover Design By: Najla Qamber Designs
One breath of air,
One moment in time …
Could change your life forever.
Growing up, Peyton Spencer fell in love with the boy across the road, Callum Reid. As the years went by, it only made sense that they would wind up being completely and utterly infatuated with each other. That was, until the morning Peyton wakes up to find Callum packing up and leaving the small town they lived in. Left heartbroken and with no explanation, Peyton spends the next four years of her life without him, ensuring they never cross paths again.
At seventeen and months after Callum leaves her, Peyton buries her parents—feeling more alone than ever before. Now at twenty-one, she’s inherited the family hotel, The Spencer-Dayle. Just when she thinks life couldn’t get more complicated, the one person that shattered her heart, soul and belief returns. For Peyton, his return opens up all her old wounds and resurfaces the memories she’s tried to forget.
He’s not the same boy she once fell in love with. He’s guarded and keeps secrets close to him. Peyton knows her life will begin to unravel.
Untold truths will finally come to light. Whether or not Peyton wants to hear it, the truth will undoubtedly break her heart all over again.
“I’m hoping you still like Vegemite and cheese sandwiches. You had it all there so I assumed,” Callum said as he sat in the chair in front of Peyton.
He gave her a faint smile before he stared at the candle; the flame reflected in his eyes. Not liking the circumstances she was in and the pressure in her chest, Peyton leant forward and blew out the flame he intently looked at.
“What was that for?” he asked. The light from the other candle on the table made his cheek visible.
Peyton sat back and gave him a shrug. “I’m not one for romance and these candles are a red alert for me. I’d rather we eat in the dark since my first want of you leaving my house isn’t happening.”
“Fine,” Callum said before he leant forward and blew out the last candle on the table. Only the light from the candles behind him made some things visible. “I’m not trying to romance you, Peyton. I don’t want that.”
She rolled her eyes, not caring if he could see or not. “Me either.”
She smirked at the curiosity in his voice. She didn’t want him to; purely because she knew her heart couldn’t withstand him for much longer.
“No, Callum Reid. You are the last man I want romancing me.”
She was just able to see a smile on his face. And that didn’t make her feel satisfied with her response at all. She couldn’t figure him out. She gave him what he wanted and yet he wouldn’t take it. He was far too much of a mystery. A challenge her heart wanted to conquer and claim.
A tremble coursed through her. She blamed it on those feelings the seventeen-year-old she had been had harboured for him. Not the twenty-one-year-old. No. That Peyton hated the man that sat in front of her.
“Glad we can agree on something. You know you can be pretty stubborn, Peyton. Always have been. Guess with time it’s gone from pretty stubborn to definitely and proudly stubborn,” Callum pointed out.
Crossing her arms over her chest, she glared at him. “I’m not stubborn. You’re a challenge not worth my time. Been there done that. I’m over you.”
There was no quick reply like she expected. Instead she heard the sound of a matchstick and then the candle to her right was lit and then the one to her left. Callum blew the matchstick out and placed it on the table.
She missed the darkness that consumed him. The light provided a detailed look of anguish on his face. Peyton’s breathing became shallow, hardly reaching her lungs.
“How’d you get over me, Peyton?”
She heard the break in his voice. He didn’t seem to notice it but she had. That vulnerability made her heart leap, filling it with useless hope.
“It was easy.”
“How easy?” he asked.
Peyton sensed the hurt in his question.
“It was a simple task,” she stated as she sat up and uncrossed her arms. She picked up the sandwich and took a large bite. She internally cursed him for remembering one of her favourite foods.
“Do tell,” he said with a raised brow.
“What’s to tell, Callum? It’s simple. You ripped out my heart, crushed it in your hands and forced it back in my chest. You left me with a gripping ache for four years. That’s how I got over you… because I had to. Because life made me.”
Her throat tightened and she found it difficult to hold back a sob, but she’d be damned if he saw her like he did in the forest. Never again.
“How did life make you get over me?”
Peyton put the sandwich back on the plate and stood up, looking down at him. He had grown since her. He’d experienced more and saw things she hadn’t. She closed her eyes for a moment before she stared at him. The regret on his face was one she winced at.
“Because life… God… the universe… any higher power out there killed my parents and broke me more than you could have. Grieving their deaths made it easier to forget you. I didn’t just get over you. I forgot you. I had to.”
Lie. Death made me remember you more.
The truth is, Len Webster is a romance-loving Melbournian with dreams of finding her version of ‘The One’. She calls Australia home, but secretly wishes a man with a beautiful accent would whisk her away. She’s been called a hopeless romantic and a firm believer of happily ever afters, which she doesn’t object to.
When Len isn’t acting as the voice of her characters, you can find her drowning in business textbooks as she slaves over her Bachelor degree. She spends more time than she should daydreaming of her next Europe adventure or swooning over Mr. Darcy.
Len can be found sitting at her University library, earphones in, and writing instead of studying. If she could, she would own a cupcake bakery just for an endless supply of red velvet cupcakes. Her best friends are a hot cup of tea, a warm jumper and her MacBook, ready to write to her heart’s content.