The walkways by the canal are packed with joggers,
stroller-pushers, and dog walkers. Gavin masterfully navigates us through the
human gridlock. His fingers are threaded through mine, and he occasionally
brings my hand to his lips for a sweet kiss.
Once we break free of the crowd, I say, “So, you want to
tell me what’s going on? I only overheard bits and pieces, but it sounded like
a miserable conversation.”
“Work,” he grumbles. “Never-ending work.”
“You’re the boss. Can’t you just make someone else do it?” I
don’t really have any business sense, but it seems like he should be able to
He laughs. “It doesn’t work that way. I wish it did, but it
doesn’t. Next week, I have to fly to Oslo, Cairo, and then Tel Aviv. It’s going
to be hell.” He explains how his company is rolling out a new product. It’s top
secret, so he can’t go into details. But if it’s successful, it could save
thousands of lives on the battlefield. Apparently, he’s the only one in his
company that can sell it the way he wants, so the buck stops with him. I can
hear in his voice how much the business matters to him and his worry that he’s
dropping the ball.
I lightly hip-check him “It’s tough being the boss, huh?”
“Yes, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. As much as I
hated my family’s company growing up, I know what we do makes a difference.”
“And you get to see the world. One boardroom at a time,” I
“I’ve seen the world. It’s not as glamorous as sounds.”
“I’ve never left the US,” I reply. “Well, with the exception
of some trips across the border when I was living in Arizona. But that hardly
counts. Nogales and Tijuana are not really jet-setting destinations. ”
“Really, you’ve never gone abroad?” he asks.
I shake my head. “Nope. Never had the money. We were
supposed to go to Tahiti on my honeymoon, but it didn’t work out.”
He puts his arms around me. “When you’re ready, I’ll take
you around the world. Show you everything.”
“Oh, think of the frequent flyer miles,” I say deflecting.
While I would love to be taken around the world, I’m not holding my breath. I’d
learned a while ago that men love to promise the sun, moon, and stars but
delivery is a whole different story.
His arm drops from my shoulder. “You doubt me?”
“It’s not you I doubt. It’s life,” I reply. “Life’s an
endless assault of curveballs. I mean, look at us, the only reason we’re
together is because your crazy crashed into my crazy. If one of them had been
five minutes later, neither of us would even know the other existed. In a world
that random, it’s hard to trust that anything’s going to work out. So, don’t
expect me to hold my breath for an around-the-world cruise.”
The muscles in his body tense as his gait speeds up. “Wow, I
had no idea you were such an optimist,” he said sarcastically.
The conversation has suddenly taken an ugly turn, something
I seem to have a knack for causing. It isn’t my intention to cast a dark cloud
over us, but I refuse to go along to get along ever again. I’m going to be
honest with myself and with him every step of the way. “I’m optimistic.
Cautiously optimistic. It’s not like I don’t have hope. I do. I’m just careful
He face falls. “You don’t trust me?”
I pull a leaf off a passing tree and pull it apart as we
walk. “I do trust you. I just don’t get my hopes up. Trust me, Gavin. It’s not
you. it’s me. I’m a ‘believe it when I see it’ kind of girl.”
“Well, I guess I’ll just have to show you then.”
When Fates Collide Synopsis:
Life can change in the blink of an eye. One moment, Lily is trapped in a loveless marriage. In a split second she is free, but at what cost?Her mundane life is set into a freefall of tragedy and terror. Her husband may be out of her life, but he left a storm of collateral damage behind and the burden is on Lily to sort it out.
Fate connects Lily with Gavin, a charmingly handsome British gentleman that has been drawn into her tangled circumstance. Gavin is everything Lily’s husband wasn’t and gives her hope that love really does exist. Gavin wants nothing more than to sweep Lily up and carry her off into the sunset, far away from the devastation left behind by her husband. Gavin has been the first breath of fresh air in her life, but she isn’t looking to be saved. She needs to clean up her husband’s mess and find a way to save herself in the process.
Does she throw caution to the wind and open her heart? Or listen to her head that tells her and go it alone until she’s found herself again?
Isabelle Richards Bio:
Isabelle Richards spent years as a speech writer before tackling fiction. An avid reader of all genres, Isabelle is drawn to romance novels as they provide an escape from daily life.Through her complex cast of characters, Isabelle creates a sanctuary for readers to dive into for a break from reality.
When she is not writing, Isabelle works as an advocate for persons with disabilities in Washington, DC. Her two yellow labs are her writing partners, although they frequently sleep on the job.