What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
Remington Rohan was not a rule follower.
Former model (though not one of the “super” kind), successful influencer and life coach. Currently paid to tell people how to achieve the best from their lives and careers. In other words, a complete contradiction to how he preferred to live—namely, on his own terms and without input from others.
Everything about his life was going according to plan.
Until he started spending way too much time with a woman who defied his prejudices and challenged his beliefs.
Lydia Larkin was not a genius.
Gifted, clever, and stubborn. Raised on star maps and Hendrix, she was born an explorer. Temporarily tied down to a private sector science job, she knew she was biding her time before she was off to discover and build something new.
Not one to let society tell her who she was, she wasn’t about to let a professional influencer tell her she had to change to be happy.
Buckle up and brace for impact.
“And as I got older, I realized whatever burned inside dad, also burned in me. I hate staying still for too long.” She cracked a half-smile. “I joke with Brenda about how my soul needs to reseed.” She narrowed an eye at Remington. “Have I told you about how I see people as plants?” He shook his head once. “Merrick is the California wild lilac, and Brenda is sweet alyssum. But I’ve never been a flower. I see myself as grass, pollinated by the wind blowing through. Just like him.” She nodded to the photo.
Remington reached for her, his fingers touching the bare skin of her arm and running down to her hand where he hooked the palm.
“Dance with me,” he said.
“Are you asking or telling?” Her lips tugged up and to the left.
“Neither,” he replied, guiding her hand to his shoulder. His left hand went to her waist and then to the small of her back as he brought her against his body. His right hand cradled her neck and jaw, the thumb brushing against her cheek.
She sucked in a soft breath that puffed lightly against his ear as he brought his face next to hers. Both of her hands rested on his biceps.
“There’s no music, Rem,” she said softly, her lips brushing his cheek as she spoke.
“Sing me a song. One you sang here before.”
He heard her swallow, felt her body begin to sway with the rhythm in her head, and sank into her calm energy.
Her voice soft on his neck, clear and sweet as she sang “You Can Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor.
And he did close his eyes. Every word sinking into his skin, blood, and guts.
They swayed together, her voice leaving him with hope and goodbyes and all the things he was both afraid of and wanted more of.
He could picture both in that moment. The child singing this song on a stage with her dad, and the woman he held in his arms.
And all he wanted was to be closer to it.
To the light and the love and the words.
“What am I?” he asked. “Of all the flowers in your world, which one am I?”
One of her hands slid from his bicep to his neck and then the back of his head, where her fingers threaded through his hair and tightened.
“Remington…” she sighed against his cheek, soft and sweet. “You’re not.”
His hands flexed against her and she held on tighter.
“You’re a star, baby,” she whispered. “Bright, burning, and beautiful.”
She hummed against his throat and repeated the chorus one more time.
Remington closed his eyes. And let her love him.
Because he couldn’t stop her anymore.
Heidi Hutchinson was born in South Dakota and raised the exact right distance away from the Black Hills. She had an overactive imagination very early on, and wasted no time in getting most of her friends in trouble due to her unrealistic and completely ridiculous ideas. Seeing as she was so lazy and also afraid people would think she was bonkers, she didn’t write down any of the story lines that played out in her daydreams.
During her high school years, she took pen to paper and filled more notebooks than she is proud of with angsty, depressing, self-deprecating poetry. This led to her writing down more things: notes, ideas, character bios, plot twists that had no plot yet to twist. After years of cleaning up her own scraps of imagination with nothing solid to hold on to, she sat down and wrote the story that had been in her head the longest. Fueled by coffee and her unwavering and perfectly normal devotion to Dave Grohl, she discovered a writer living inside of her.
She still lives in the Midwest, though not as close to the Black Hills as she would prefer, with her alarmingly handsome husband and their fearless child. They eat more pizza than God intended and she listens to her music the same way she lives: loudly.