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MJ walked by her and opened his bedroom door. With his hand still on the knob, he looked back at her. “My dad found out about me today.”
A second jolt rocked her chest like an electric shock. He’d waited so long for his dad to find out about him—that he even existed—and she hadn’t been there for him when it finally happened.
But she was here now.
Before she could speak, he turned away and shuffled into his room, collapsing on the bed. Maddie followed and shut the door behind them. “MJ, what did he say?”
“Nothing,” he mumbled into his pillow. “The Old Man got my dad’s girlfriend to come here so he could break the news to her, use her as the messenger. She told my dad about me and he took off. She doesn’t even know where he went.”
This was the worst possible outcome, and over the years she and MJ had considered them all.
“What if he finds out about me and doesn’t want anything to do with me?” MJ asked, sitting on the branch beside her, high up in the willow tree beside the lake.
Maddie watched their feet dangle and sway, side-by-side. It was the summer after eighth grade for her. She’d be a freshman in high school in the fall. She knew everything, or thought she did. “Of course he’ll want to be your dad. Why wouldn’t he?”
MJ shrugged his boney, ten-year-old shoulders. “What if he doesn’t, Mads?”
She elbowed him in the side, making him laugh. “Then I’ll kick his butt.”
He elbowed her back. “Like you could.”
She swung and arm over his shoulder. “For you, I would.” She squeezed him against her. “I promise.”
Maddie walked over to the head of MJ’s bed. She reached out to brush a hand over his hair, but drew it back. “Want me to find him and kick his butt? I did promise after all.”
She heard him sigh into his pillow. “You made a lot of promises.”
Maddie let herself fall onto the bed beside him. Sitting at his side, she put a hand on his back. He was warm under the soft cotton t-shirt. She wanted nothing more than to snuggle up against him and make him forgive her.
The emotional rollercoaster of the USA TODAY bestselling Give & Take series by Kelli Maine continues with MJ and Maddie’s story!
Maddie Simcoe knows the devastation that comes from keeping secrets. Now, she’s desperate to move on from the heartbreak that almost destroyed her — trading wild passion that once made her knees weak for a life of comfortable stability. But before Maddie can start over, she must return home to put the past behind her once and for all…
When Maddie blows back into MJ Rocha’s life, nothing will stop him from proving to her that walking away from him was the biggest mistake of her life — not even the engagement ring she wears. Her every look, every touch tells MJ that the fire that once raged between them still burns hot, and MJ won’t give up until Maddie gives in to the inferno.
Trapped by a hurricane roaring through Turtle Tear Island, MJ and Maddie find shelter in each others’ arms. While the lightning flashes, MJ and Maddie are helpless to fight bonds of desire that tie them together. But just as they’re about to surrender to the torturous longing that consumes them both, the storm unleashes violent secrets from MJ’s past…secrets that could wash away all MJ and Maddie’s hopes of forever…
TAKEN BY STORM
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