Summer Love_ A Steamy Small Town Romance Anthology - Piper Rayne

Chapter One


Brooklyn and Wyatt’s son, Lance, plays in front of me on the couch with some action figures in their farmhouse on the outskirts of Lake Starlight while Brooklyn makes us tea. Their home is beautiful, as is their life together. I’m happy knowing my best friend found her place in this world.

Me, I’m still searching for mine.

“Here you go, lots of sugar just like you like it.” Brooklyn sets down the steaming cup on a coaster on the coffee table and carries hers to the corner of the plush couch where she crosses her legs and faces me.

“Thanks.” I smile.

“So, how’s work going?” she asks.

I tilt my head. “I’m sure you know.”

Brooklyn’s husband, Wyatt, is the owner of Glacier Point Resort and my boss. I’ve worked my way up to being the manager of housekeeping, which in itself is a small miracle given that I’m pretty sure he wanted to fire me when he first showed up in town.

She shrugs. “I hear about things from his end, but I want to know how it’s going from your end.”

I pick up my mug and blow on the steaming liquid. “It’s going well. I enjoy being the manager. It’s a different set of responsibilities, so the challenge is nice, and I definitely do not miss cleaning up after the benders the tourist college kids leave when they come up for their ski trips.”

Brooklyn chuckles, understanding full well what I mean. Before she married her millionaire husband, she worked alongside me, cleaning rooms in the resort. “Oh God, do you remember those kids who came in from California that year who booked one of the suites and thought it would be fun to throw ham and cheese slices into the ceiling fan?”

I giggle and sip my tea, just so it won’t spill while I’m laughing. Who knows how much this couch cost? “It took us hours to clean up all those little pieces of meat and cheese from the ceiling and walls.”

We both start laughing uncontrollably. It was so gross, but it’s funny as hell to relive the memory now.

“Mommy, what’s funny?” Lance asks.

Our laughing steals his attention away from his toys.

Brooklyn ruffles his mop of brown hair. “Nothing, buddy. Reagan and I are just laughing about something from when we used to work with each other at the resort.”

He smiles sweetly at his mom. “Daddy’s resort?”

She nods. “That’s the one.”

“I wanna go see Daddy!” He throws his hands up in the air.

Even though it’s Saturday, Wyatt’s the owner of the resort, so he has owner responsibilities. Lucky for me, I’m middle management, so I have the weekends off unless an issue arises.

“Daddy’s working,” Brooklyn says in a soothing voice. “But he’ll be home soon.”

Lance frowns. “But I want to see Daddy now.” His voice holds a whine.

“Sorry, buddy. Not today.”

He pouts, his full bottom lip curving down toward his chin and trembling like he’s about to burst into tears.

“Tell you what. Why don’t I turn on the TV for you and after Reagan and I are finished talking, we can take her out to the greenhouse and show her our new plants?”

“Yay!” Lance looks over at me with a proud smile.

Brooklyn had a greenhouse put in on the property a few years ago so that she could grow all the plants she uses for her essential oil business year-round.

“Will you show me all the new plants you and your mom are growing?” I ask him.

He smiles and walks to my end of the couch. “They’re gonna be huge.” He stretches his arms out as wide as they will go.

“I bet they will.” I can’t resist the urge to tickle his ribs, because he’s so damn cute.

He giggles and rushes over to the small chair in the middle of the great room, ready to watch television.

Brooklyn turns on the kid’s TV channel, then turns the volume down before rejoining me on the couch. “I swear if I have to listen to any more toddler shows, I’m going to lose it.”

I chuckle. “The last time I was here, I had the damn song from whatever show Lance was watching stuck in my head for a week.”

“Seriously. It’s like some kind of brainwashing, I swear.”

We both laugh and then take a sip of our teas. The mood between us falls somber as I knew it would at some point.

Brooklyn looks across the couch at me with concern. “How are you really doing?”

Tears instantly well in my eyes. My best friend knows me well and although