Home > Second Start (Holiday Springs Resort #5)

Second Start (Holiday Springs Resort #5)
Author: S.E. Rose






I watch as Ty runs down the slope. He stops in front of me, and I grin like a fool as he pulls off his baseball cap, revealing his sexy blue eyes.

“You’re looking good!” I encourage as he stretches. I watch as his abdominal muscles ripple with each flex. Damn is he sexy!

“Thanks, Superstar. I can’t wait to get to training.”

I internally groan. Ty made the Olympic team a few weeks ago, and he leaves for training camp in two days. I knew this day was coming, but it doesn’t make this any easier. We’ve been together for two years. He’s my biggest supporter and my best friend. I can’t imagine him not being here all the time. I’ve been trying to get an agent to work with me. I want to be a musician so badly, I can practically taste it! Ty says I’m an amazing singer and songwriter and should pursue my dreams.

“I gotta get home and finish packing,” he says as he walks toward his car. We’re over at the Holiday Springs Lodge hanging out like usual. It’s halfway between our houses, so it makes for a good meeting point. I walk alongside him as we head over to our cars. I glance up at Ty as we walk. Something has been off with him since he made the Olympic team. I know he’s excited. And I’m excited for him, but he’s been acting weird. My bestie, Harley, says I’m reading too much into it. She’s probably right. I tend to overthink things.

I stop behind my car, which is parked a few cars away from his. He turns to me and gives me a sad smile.

“What’s wrong?” I ask as I reach out to pull him against me. He might be sweaty, but I don’t care. In fact, it’s kind of a turn on. We’ve only been having sex for a few months now. And I don’t know if it’s him or me, but I want to jump him all the fucking time.

He steps back, and I freeze. Frowning, I look into his eyes. “What’s wrong?”

He runs a hand through his hair. “We need to talk, Brit.”

This time, it’s me that steps back like he just slapped me. “W-What?” I stammer because this sounds dire; this sounds like he’s breaking up with me, which is impossible. Ty loves me. I know he loves me. And I love him.

He looks down at his running shoes. “Brit… this isn’t going to work. I need my head straight. I can’t be focused on you and get a gold medal.” He pauses and glances up at me and then back down again.

“You’re breaking up with me?” I ask because I can’t quite comprehend his words. I hear them, but they don’t make sense to me.

“Yes,” he mutters and looks anywhere but at me.

“But Ty—”

His gaze travels up my body until he locks eyes with me. He reaches out and strokes my cheek and then abruptly pulls back. “I’m sorry, Superstar. I’m so sorry.”

He quickly turns and walks to his car, leaving me standing in the parking lot with tears streaming down my cheeks. I can’t breathe as I lean against my car and bury my head in my hands. Why would he do this to me? I cry until my eyes are so swollen that no more tears can fall over the rims. And then something snaps inside me. I wipe my nose on my sleeve and kick the rocks in the parking lot.

“Fuck you, Tyson Mitchell!” I scream out into the morning air. “I don’t need you anyhow!”

And with that I get in my car and drive home, planning my escape from the Poconos as I steer my way around the curvy mountain road. By the time I get home, I know what I’m going to do. And it doesn’t involve Ty or the Poconos. It’s time for this superstar to follow her own damn dreams.









Four years later…

The airport is packed with people. It’s almost Christmas time, which means the Poconos are alive with tourists looking for their next snowy adventure. I sigh as I make my way to baggage claim. When I left almost four years ago, I never thought I’d be back here again. Well, except to visit my dad.

But here I am, with my tail tucked between my legs, crawling back to the only place that’ll have me. The Poconos in Pennsylvania.

I sigh as I spot my father waiting for me at the baggage carousel. What can I say about Jeff Evans? He’s my biggest fan, my most loyal supporter, and my dad.

I suppose that’s a good thing because if he hadn’t come home, he wouldn’t have met my mom, and I would never have existed. Sadly, my grandmother died two months before I was born, but her spirit lives on in her artwork. Dad took over the art studio after his father had a stroke. Grandpa lives at a local nursing home now, so it’s just me and Dad.

Dad sees me and does a silly, slow-motion run toward me. I do the same until we meet and hug.

“I missed you, kiddo,” he whispers in my ear as he squeezes me to within an inch of my life.

“Dad, air,” I manage as I smile.

He tightens his arms before releasing me. I take a breath and look up at him. My dad is a handsome guy. After my parents divorced, I always hoped he would find someone, but that hasn’t happened yet. My mom, Sharon, and stepfather, Walter, live on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where they run a small wine shop. I worry about dad, here all by himself, so there’s a small part of me that feels less guilty now that I’m back home.

“How was your flight?” he asks, his arm wrapping around my shoulder as he leads me to collect my two bags. We each grab one off the conveyor belt.

“Good, uneventful.”

“You want to stop at PJ’s on the way home?” he asks as he takes my backpack and slings it over his shoulder.

I shrug. “I guess so.”

PJ’s was one of my favorite restaurants. It’s a small pub near our home. They make the most amazing Rueben sandwiches. And considering that I’d been living on ramen noodles for months, an actual sandwich sounded like heaven. Of course, I wasn’t going to admit this to my dad. I only gave him the glorified version of LA. I had told him that I was in between jobs right now and thought I’d come home to work on some music of my own for a bit. He has no idea that I only ever sang at a local coffee shop’s open mic night once a week. I’d tried to get an agent for a year while waiting tables, but I didn’t even make it that far. I was a dime a dozen out there. So I tried working as a personal assistant for some bands. I couldn’t even get a solid gig doing that. I was usually a fill-in for the real assistant when they were busy or an assistant to the assistant. Yeah, I am just another LA story, another dreamer the city chewed up and spit out.

“Mind if I stop by the gallery for a second?” Dad asks.

“I don’t mind.”

Dad pulls into the Sinclair Art Gallery parking lot.

“I’ll just be a second,” he says as he gets out of the car and goes inside. I’m left staring up at the brick fronted building with giant windows. It was his mother’s gallery.

I glance inside, staring at my grandmother’s art that still hangs on the walls. Loretta Sinclair was a well-known East Coast painter. Her art is in museums and private collections. She opened the gallery when my father was a boy. He spent his formative years learning about art, studied photography in college, and for a brief time, traveled the world as a photojournalist. Then, his beloved mom got sick, and the dutiful son came home to help care for her. And here he is still, taking care of her art.

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