CRIMSON ROMANCE- JULY 2014
Unable to perform her duties in the army after a twelve-month deployment to Afghanistan that leaves her with scars no one can see, Sera Cavins returns to her hometown hoping that some time alone will help her find her way back to being the girl everyone once knew. That is, until she finds herself sharing a house with the man who left her heartbroken merely weeks before her deployment.
Tyler Creech made it to Nashville and even earned a number one hit, but being a rising country music artist isn’t as easy as he thought. He’s back in Cobb City, Kentucky, looking for something to ease the stress of his next release. He discovers it standing on his mom’s and stepdad’s lawn when Sera, the girl he once planned to marry, shows up.
They’d been perfect for each other, until the strain of Sera’s deployment and pressure of Tyler’s career drove them apart. Now with neither of their lives going the way they anticipated, both are fighting different yet similar demons.
But change is good, and sometimes going a little crazy is too. Sometimes it’s what keeps you sane.
Feeling Tyler’s warm breath spraying across her ear, she fought the blackness. She wanted to go where Tyler’s voice could take her. Good memories. Happier times. A place that if she ever got the chance to go again, she’d do whatever it took to accept it openly.
However, it was the smell of smoldering plastic mixed with the tartness of gun powder that won the struggle in her head. The blistering patches of black intermingled with the streaks of red running down Rollins’s face were all she could think about. The long minutes of seeing his mangled body pinned helplessly under the truck made time feel as if it had stalled. She cried, screaming out for help, all the while thinking it was too late. Smearing the grime around his face, trying to get a clearer picture of what she was dealing with, she finally saw Rollins’s eyes move and in that moment a gush of relief came. She really thought it was going to be okay.
His physical injuries healed. The charred skin on his face was restored to barely a blemish. The dislocated shoulder was put back in place. The broken leg made a full recovery. But it wasn’t the physical wounds that haunted her. They were merely a symbol for the damages she couldn’t see. Rollins lived. At least he woke up and breathed air in each day. But she wasn’t sure one was really alive if they did little more than open their eyes. His last few months in the army had been painful. Knowing he was getting out, he didn’t bother to show up for work. Most days when she visited he hadn’t showered or bathed and she could usually tell by the volume of beer bottles lying around how his day had gone. He isolated himself in his bedroom, staring off at the television, but she was sure he never absorbed anything he saw. He might have woken up each day, but he wasn’t really there. At least, not as the man he was before Afghanistan.