I’m afraid so. There’s probably going to be cameras?

Carson smirked and for a moment thought she’d have him carry her, just because she could. The flat bottom of the Zodiac allowed Blake to get them close to shore. They only had to wade through knee-high water to get to the beach. After all the kite surfing, she’d have been too embarrassed not to wade in this short distance herself.

These are perfect. Can you carry these boxes?I think I can manage it. Taylor smirked and stepped forward and picked up all three boxes as easily as if they were filled with feathers. If you can grab the small trunk. It’s not heavy.

Taylor turned and cast her a hooded glance. Careful. I can’t catch you this time.As she followed Taylor down the stairs, leaving the dust and rising heat, she was sorry to leave the attic.For the next several days as the rain pattered the roof and Taylor painted the kitchen, Harper’s fingers tapped at her keyboard. Taylor’s words had sparked her enthusiasm anew. She couldn’t stop the flow.

But of course she’d tell you that you can’t write. She doesn’t want you to be like him. Your dad. It wouldn’t matter if you wrote like Charles Dickens, she’d have told you that you had no talent. The more she thought about it, the more true Taylor’s words rang.It had been a good week. She was making progress on her novel. In some ways it was more memoir than pure fiction, rather what she imagined Louisa May Alcott must have thought while writing the first draft of Little Women. Harper wasn’t putting any pressure on herself to make it one thing or another. She was simply intent on getting the words down on paper, and she’d edit it all later. She didn’t yet know how the story would end.

By one o’clock her stomach growled. She’d risen early and dived right into her work. She hadn’t eaten yet that day, though she’d drunk coffee like a camel. She rubbed her eyes, then closed her laptop.

Looking out the window, she saw that the rain had finally blown off, leaving in its wake a clear, fresh day with an azure sky that stretched to forever. The birds were out in force, calling out songs of joy in the sunlight. Harper rose and stretched. After so much rain, it was too beautiful a day to be cooped up indoors.Devlin inched forward and let his hand slide along her thigh. You sure? he asked in a husky voice.

No. She sighed and pushed his hand away. Damn Harper, she thought to herself as she stepped closer to her sister. Weaving slightly, she called out over the noise. Harper! We’re going.Harper turned her head. Her hair was mussed and she moaned against Will’s chest, So soon?

She took her sister’s arm and pulled her to her feet, shaking her head against the chorus of offers to take Harper home, knowing full well none of them would go directly to Mamaw’s. This fun-loving, carefree woman was not the shy, retiring little girl she remembered. Carson watched with amusement as Harper laughed out loud at something the big fellow in the black T-shirt whispered in her ear, then waved a coy good-bye. Carson kept a firm grip on Harper as she tottered across the room. Once outside, the gravel and sand proved too much for Harper’s spiky heels. She bent over to slip them off, and in the process began hurling out the evening’s tequila.Carson held back Harper’s hair and kept a steadying hand on her shoulder until she finished. Then she settled Harper in the passenger seat and walked around the car to the driver’s seat. She was fumbling for her keys in the dark when she was startled by the sound of a man’s voice at her window.