Trailer park born and raised. It’s my legacy. That’s how my mama lived. And that’s how her mama lived. It’s the life I was born into and it’s the life I swore I would leave the second I was old enough to make it out.
Only legacies have a funny way of sneaking up on you. An innocent decision the night of high school graduation led to a series of complications in my plans to escape.
Seven years later, I’ve resigned myself to this small town and the roots I’m tied to. Nothing could make me leave. And nothing could make me spill the secrets that keep me here.
Until he walks back into town with a chip on his shoulder and a stupid hunch nobody else in town has been smart enough to follow.
Levi Cole is my opposite. Born on the right side of the tracks with family money to spare, he’s the kind of black sheep that can afford to be rebellious—because his family will always pay for his mistakes. He’s also the only living heir to Cole Family Farms, after his brother Logan was killed in duty seven years ago.
He sees something in my life that he thinks he has a right to. But he’s wrong. And obnoxious. And he needs to take his stubborn good looks and that intense way he looks at me and go back to wherever it was he came from.
I know better than to trust men like him. I was born and raised in a trailer park, I know nothing good happens to girls like me—girls with trailer park lives and trailer park hearts. Especially from gorgeous, kind, pigheaded men like him.
He stared at me, unspeaking, unmoving. The hurt in his eyes and the frown on his face devastated my already broken spirit.
“And I don’t even know what to tell you,” I cried some more. “Because my mistake led me to Max and for that reason I can never really regret it. But I hate how I hurt you. I hate that my mistakes meant pushing you away. I hate that I finally know how I feel about you and it’s too late.”
His eyes flashed with something so intense I gasped for breath. “How do you feel about me?” How could he ask me that now? How did he not know? How had he not always known? “Don’t make me say it,” I whispered, my voice dragged over gravel. “It hurts too much.” “Ruby,” he pleaded, his voice just as fragmented. “Say it. Please.”
I didn’t bother brushing away the tears, there were too many of them, my grief was too heavy. “I love you,” I whispered. “I’ve always loved you. I’ve just been too afraid to say it.”
To admit it.
Rachel Higginson is the best-selling author of The Opposite of You, The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, Bet on Us and The Star-Crossed Series.
She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising five amazing kids.