(Missing Pieces #1)
by Keyanna Butler
Release Date: July 19, 2016
About Maybe Forever
Family. Harper Montgomery has been trying to define the term for years…
When Harper got pregnant at fourteen, her family abandoned her to be a single mother with no support system. She survived the only way she knew how—hard work and determination. Now she is a nurse in her early thirties, and her son Jamie is ready to embark on high school. Harper can finally say they’ve made it. She can’t take all the credit, though.
Dakota Daughtry isn’t family, but when he signed on to be a Big Brother to Jamie, he finally felt at home…
Joining the Big Brother community program was only meant to boost Dakota’s resume while working on his GED. Once he met Jamie and his mother Harper, he finally found a place where he belonged. Years later, Jamie is graduating the program, and his obligation to hang around is over, but he can’t make himself leave. Jamie is more like a son than a little brother now, and Harper…well, he’s been trying to deny his feelings for her all along.
Jamie is thrilled about the blossoming relationship between his mother and Dakota. His birth father Aiden, not so much…
Aiden doesn’t want Harper—he’s too focused on his career for that—but he doesn’t want Dakota to have her either, and he’s willing to play dirty to ruin Harper and Dakota’s chances at becoming a real family. But things get complicated when Aiden starts to develop actual feelings for Harper’s best friend, and a secret is revealed about Dakota’s past that could change everything…
Harper must choose…family or love? Or can she finally have both?
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An Excerpt from Maybe Forever
“Jamie thought I was going to call it quits from coming around so much just because he’s starting high school.” Harper looks back up at him, a little worry written on her face as well. “What did you say?”
“There’s no place I’d rather be than here,” he says smoothly. Harper smiles brightly. She downs another swig of her soda.
“To be honest, I’m a little worried about this change too. It’s like he doesn’t need me all of a sudden.”
“It isn’t that he doesn’t need you. He’s just going through something,” Dakota says. “I talked to him tonight about it.”
“Do you think it’s something serious?” He gets up and slowly walks over to Harper. He leans up against the counter next to her.
“I don’t think it’s anything life-threatening. All I told him was if he ever needs to talk, he can talk to me.”
“I’m sure he already knew that. You’re always there for him.” Dakota folds his arms across his chest, and Harper looks up at him.
“I guess he just needed me to say it out loud, you know?” He looks down at her. She turns around to face him, setting her empty soda can on the counter’s top. She runs her fingers softly through her hair and bites her lip nervously.
“I don’t know if I say it enough or ever, Dakota.” She puts her palms on his wide chest, feeling like some sort of contact should be made. “It’s hard raising a teenage boy without the full support of his father. Thank you for making it a little easier.” Her eyes slightly glaze over with emotion.
“You’re welcome,” he says softly. “I know it’s weird to say because I’m not his father, but wherever you lag, I’ve always picked up the slack, automatically. It was never a question for me. We’re in this together and it’ll always be that way…in case you were wondering too.” Harper looks at him as if she’s seeing him for the first time. He’s far from the teenage boy she let into her home seven years ago. She takes her hands off him and rests them at her side. Suddenly the soda can on the counter has become very interesting, and she studies it to avoid his eyes and her beating heart. She shakes her head clear.
“Did I freak you out?” he asks. Harper finally looks up at him.
“No, no…” she says. “I just hadn’t realized how much you’ve changed.”
“Changed?” he says. She looks at him, and he’s a lot closer to her than he was a moment ago.
“Yes,” she says breathlessly. She swallows her unpredictable fogginess. “You’re not watching as much Teen Nick as you used to,” she teases. Dakota laughs, and the tension in the room evaporates.
“If I’m not mistaken, you were the one obsessed with The Amanda Bynes Show.” Harper laughs.
“Oh my goodness, am I ever going to live that down?” Dakota shakes his head. He pulls at a shorter curl, blocking her eyelid, and twirls it in his fingers, slipping it behind her ear softly. He outlines her ear with his thumb, and Harper releases a soft sigh. Her eyes close involuntarily and without preamble, she’s once again too close to Dakota Daughtry.
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Keyanna is a simple girl living in mostly fantasy worlds. She’s been writing since she was 13 years old, jotting down full length stories on construction paper and reading them to her childhood friends for entertainment. She’s a self-proclaimed dork extraordinaire and a library card carrying book nerd taking mental residence in the Wizarding World, coffee in an IV, collecting movie stubs like memories, and constantly contemplating what life would be like if she were one of the Avengers. Her hobbies include TV, sushi, Facebook, and incorporating movie quotes into everyday conversation.
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