Choose Me by RC Boldt
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Choose Me, an all-new standalone coming-of-age romance
by RC Boldt.
Wearing the nicest suit I own, I stand in the very back with a flask full of whiskey in my inner pocket. I put on a brave face as I watch her walk down the aisle.
Because it’s too late.
I refuse to be the bastard who makes her cry on her wedding day, but I’m dying to tell her what I’ve always known. She’s my best friend, but she doesn’t realize she owns my f*cking heart and soul, too.
Each step down that aisle takes her farther away from me and brings her closer to him, forcing me to face the truth: I’ve fallen in love with someone who can’t be mine. If she’d just turn around, maybe she’d realize I love her more than he ever could.
I won’t ruin her perfect day, but my broken heart begs me to try and convince her.
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I startle at the male voice calling my name. When I turn, I find a guy about my height wearing a button-down shirt beneath a sport coat and a pair of pressed slacks. He regards me with a mixture of surprise and recognition while I have no idea who the hell he is. He steps closer with a smile.
“Sorry to catch you off guard,” he apologizes and holds out his hand to me. “Grant Stevenson.”
I shake his hand warily. “Hollis Barnes.” I pause before adding, “But somehow, you already knew that.”
He grins, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t detect any douchebag vibes. “I recognized you from one of the photos Magnolia has in her room of the two of you.”
It takes all my control to suppress the jolt that zigzags through me at his words. She still keeps a photo of us?
His eyes crinkle at the corners, and he lifts his chin to gesture to me. “Although I have to be honest, the ink and beard initially threw me off.”
A surprised laugh escapes me, and I slide my hands into my pockets.
Grant steps closer and glances around before lowering his voice. “I’m actually glad you’re here. I know you and Magnolia haven’t seen one another in a while, but you’re her oldest friend…”
Oldest friend. Not best friend. I don’t miss the phrasing. Although I don’t feel it’s intentional, it cuts deep just the same.
“I’m nervous as hell, and I’m hopin’ you can tell me if she’d like this.”
It takes me a moment to realize what he’s pulled out of his pocket.
A velvet ring box and a packet of Pop Rocks.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
I resist the urge to rub at the center of my chest, where searing pain radiates.
He flicks open the box to reveal a ring with a large diamond that’s fancy as hell. Something Mrs. Barton would love and deem appropriate. But Magnolia? Hell no.
“Her mom helped me pick it out.”
“And I know she loves Pop Rocks since she always has a pack.”
Not the strawberry flavor.
But he’s trying. I can see the nervousness in his expression. The hope. The excitement.
I can’t crush this guy. He’s exactly what her parents have always wanted for her. The kind of guy who doesn’t get his hands dirty. The one with money and connections.
The one who can give her the future her parents expect her to have. The one who won’t come home with rough hands, callused to hell and back from working on a project that’s for a high-end client or due to be auctioned off to a car collector with more money than they know what to do with.
The man who wears button-downs like they’re second skin. Designer clothes.
So caught up in my thoughts, I don’t immediately realize that he’s pocketed the items and is gazing in another direction. When I turn and follow his focus, catching sight of her weaving through the crowd, I take advantage of the moment and let my eyes drink her in. She’s…so goddamn beautiful.
Her long blond hair spills down her back, and even beneath the shapeless graduation gown, her sleek, tanned legs peek out from the bottom hem, her heels accentuating her toned calf muscles.
When she catches sight of Grant, her entire face lights up, and…goddammit.
I can’t do this. This was a fucking mistake. It’s like someone’s performing open heart surgery and just cracked my chest open without anesthesia.
About RC Boldt:
RC Boldt enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.
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