Home > Near and Far (Lost and Found #2)

Near and Far (Lost and Found #2)
Author: Nicole Williams

Chapter One

SOMETIMES LOVE WAS about compromise, and sometimes it was about sacrifice. Most times, it was a little of both. I’d learned that the trial-and-error way.

One other thing I’d learned the trial-and-error way? I didn’t care how much I had to compromise or sacrifice to be with Rowen Sterling. I’d do whatever I could to make her happy. To let her live her dreams. To feel fulfilled. To recognize she was so damn special to me, I ached—a deep, throbbing pain—whenever we were apart.

She was sacred to me.

I made it a priority to treat her as such. That’s why I was on my second energy drink and had both windows in Old Bessie cranked down despite the near-freezing temperature.

It was Friday night. Scratch that. It was early, early Saturday morning . . . and I was heading west. Rowen didn’t like me driving eight hours after a full day of ranch detail. Well, she didn’t like me driving any distance in Old Bessie period, so we’d made one of those all-important compromises and settled on me leaving Saturday mornings for my monthly trips to Seattle.

One problem with that.

I wasn’t willing to sacrifice a night with her, so I’d never really gone along with that compromise. I’d sacrificed sleep and pushed through exhaustion to get to her Saturday morning on every one of the six trips I’d made.

See? Sacrifice and compromise around every relationship corner.

She’d always grumble a little and try to pretend she was all put out I’d risked life and limb to get to her twenty hours sooner than planned, but one smile and shrug from me melted that act. She was a sucker for my smile. It got to her. Every. Single. Time. I wasn’t above admitting I’d used that knowledge to my advantage when I found myself heading into deep-ish water with her. A smile, a shrug, and a shimmy, and she was putty in my hands.

Before anyone goes and thinks I’m not playing the love game fair, let me get it on record that I am—one hundred and twenty percent of the time—putty in Rowen Sterling’s hands. No matter what she does, or what facial expression she makes, or what words she chooses, my steady state around her is putty. Pliable, gooey putty. I never thought I’d be so damn happy to be a glorified form of Play-Doh in a girl’s hands. Life’s ironies, right?

As I’m reaching for my third and last energy drink, I see my exit in the distance. As bushed as I am, I perk up instantly. I’ve driven that route enough to know Rowen’s apartment is fifteen minutes away. Ten minutes if I really push Old Bessie to her upper limits. I pushed her to those upper limits every time, and so far, Old Bessie had never failed me.

I passed the sprawling community college Rowen attended. I’d walked around the campus with her a few times. It’s a nice school, and the art building where she basically lives when she’s not working is impressive, even to someone like myself, who didn’t know the difference between Monet and Manet until a certain impassioned someone took it upon herself to school me in art history. I’d learned more about art than anyone would guess some cowboy from Montana knew.

I loved that about Rowen. I loved that about us.

We took normal, average, and what was expected . . . and turned it upside down. We didn’t do anything just because that was what society expected. We held to our own standards and didn’t worry about meeting the expectations of some nameless majority.

By the time I pulled onto Rowen’s street, I’d hit fifty miles per hour. I didn’t even try to ease off the gas. I knew from previous attempts that trying to hold back would be a wasted effort. When I was that close to having Rowen in my arms, I couldn’t pull back. When she was that close, I couldn’t get to her fast enough.

Old Bessie practically got air when I pulled into the apartment complex’s entrance. As I whipped through the complex’s old buildings—that had enough wear and tear to look even older—I took note of every burnt-out light lining the sidewalk to Rowen’s building.

She didn’t have a car. She didn’t do public transportation, except for the Greyhound bus she took once a month to come to Montana. What mode of transportation did my girlfriend choose to use in rainy, traffic-ridden Seattle?

A bike.

Yep, an old, single-gear bike she’d found at the apartment complex a week after she moved in. It made me uneasy in every way a guy could be. Every time I thought of her peddling to school or the funky doughnut shop she worked at that wasn’t exactly on the low-crime side of town, I wanted to buy her a bus pass or a reliable little Honda.

She’d refused all of my suggestions about some kind, any kind, of transportation other than a bike. She was adamant I was being ridiculous. I was adamant she was being just as ridiculous. So what did I do when she thought she was right and I thought I was just as right?

I let it go.

Rowen rode a bike in a part of Seattle that made my stomach clench into knots when I thought about it. There was no compromise there. I had to sacrifice what I wanted for what she wanted, because ultimately, no one could control another person. The harder one tried, the more the other slipped through their fingers. I wasn’t going to let Rowen slip through mine by being a controlling, overbearing caveman.

I couldn’t and—perhaps what was more essential—I wouldn’t control her. So I controlled the few things I could when it came to her chosen mode of transportation. Like tending to burnt-out streetlights on the sidewalk to her apartment. Or checking her tires. Or greasing the chain. Or making sure she kept the can of mace I’d given her the day she’d moved-in in the side pocket of her backpack. I took care of the things I could control and didn’t waste my time trying to control the things I couldn’t.

Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)
romance.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2020