***CONTENT WARNING*** New Adult Standalone Romance for ages 18+ due to sex scenes and adult situations.
"What's your name, sweetheart?"....
That was the first thing. I wasn't his sweetheart, and he should have already known my name. But, that was the moment I became caught in Tyler Lohan's sight. He was wonderful and complicated, and I'd spent my life trying to hate him for being the golden boy who had everything so easy. However, as with all things, Tyler wasn’t the person he appeared to be from the outside, and once I saw him – the real him – I fell, and I don’t think I ever got back up.
There would be a total of forty-seven things that sucked me into Tyler's life then forced me away. Forty-seven things that ruined me forever.
Forty-seven was never going to be enough.
There was no number great enough...
47 Things. A standalone new adult romance that follows a couple as they come to terms with falling love in a world they can't control, and the certainty of the inevitable.
A sharp whistle pulled me out of the lives I was escaping into while reading The Poisonwood Bible. It had me engrossed as the family tried desperately to escape a wave of fire ants by running and jumping in a river that contained even greater dangers. My heart was in my throat and it took me a while to snap back to reality.
When I looked up, a familiar black Navaro was idling at the curb in front of me, and an even more familiar face was smiling down as he leaned across the car and peered at me through the open passenger window.
“I like your new footwear,” Tyler commented, grinning at me like he hadn’t just vanished from my life for two weeks.
“It’s the latest style,” I replied, squinting up at him as the sun shone down upon me where I was sitting on a park bench within the hospital grounds. An old lady with an IV pole was sitting on the other end, talking on the phone to someone about wishing she was allowed to have a cigarette.
“Suits you. Need a ride?”
“Janesa and Alex are coming to get me.”
“No they aren’t, I told Alex I’d fill in.”
Nodding, I chewed on my lip a little as I gathered my things and tried to ignore that jealous pang that hit me right in my stomach. Why hadn’t he called me first?
Switching off the engine, he got out of the car to help me up into the cab, the familiarity of his hands on my hips only served to remind me how much I’d missed him while he was gone. I’d really gotten used to his presence in my life after just a few short weeks, and in a way, I think it may have been better if he’d just stayed away. I wasn’t sure that I could cope with his disappearances the way his friends did.
“Feel better without the cast?” he asked as he climbed back into the driver’s side.
“I suppose,” I replied with a shrug, looking out the window as he started up the engine.
“Hey,” he said, reaching over and taking my hand in his. “I’m sorry, OK? I know I let you down.”
The feel of his skin against my skin filled me with more emotions than I had the right to feel where he was concerned. But, they got to me anyway, and it took me a moment before I could reply. “You don’t owe me anything, Tyler.”
“Yes, I do, sweetheart,” he said, giving my hand a light squeeze before he placed both hands on the wheel and drove away from the hospital. I wanted to ask him where he’d been and why he hadn’t called. I wanted to ask him what he was really doing with me, but when I opened my mouth, an entirely different question fell from my lips.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked when he turned in the opposite direction to my apartment.
“Alex’s. Supposedly to study for the exam next week, but from what I hear, he and Janesa are getting pretty close. So who knows if we’ll get much done.”
“What are you going to do about the exams you missed?”
He glanced at me, grinning the million-dollar grin of his. “Taken care of. No need to worry about me.”
“If you say so,” I replied, folding my hands across my chest.
“You’re pretty pissed at me, aren’t you?” he asked after a while of driving in silence.
“Why would I be pissed at you, Tyler?”
He shrugged. “I promised to look after you and I didn’t. You have to know that I’d never break a promise like that unless I absolutely couldn’t help it.”
I released a sigh. “Seriously, Tyler, I’m sure you had a great reason for taking off the way you did. But, it’s not like we’re in a relationship or anything. You’re here because you feel bad about breaking my ankle. I’m not naïve enough to think that it’s anything other than that. So, forget it. I’m not pissed.”
He glanced at me. “You’re pissed,” he stated with great authority.
“Oh, because you know me so well?”
“Yeah, I know you, sweetheart, and I’m pretty sure I’ve even told you that I like you. So I’m suggesting that you get the whole pity friendship bullshit idea out of your head and accept that I’m around because I like you.”
“You don’t know me at all,” I mumbled, feeling totally uncomfortable with the rest of what he said. I wasn’t sure why. I guess I just didn’t really believe it. We were never friends before I broke my ankle, and the time he spent away made me really struggle to see how suddenly, everything changed and we were friends or whatever we were supposed to be. It didn’t make sense to me.
He reached out and placed his hand over mine, entwining our fingers. “I know you, Sarah. And I like you. And I’m going to keep turning up to hang out with you. Deal with it.”
“Fine,” I replied, still looking out the window but secretly, my pulse was racing at a million miles an hour from the fact he was holding my hand as we drove. God, I missed him, and no matter how hard I tried to be angry with him, that simple gesture made my heart sing. I was a mess, and Tyler Lohan was going to break my heart. I could feel it, but I wanted him anyway.