TO HAVE AND TO HOLD Excerpt (Timing is Everything)


“We were so happy back then,” he said.

She nodded.

“You were gorgeous in your dress. I swear my heart stopped when I got my first glimpse of you walking down the aisle.”

She pictured him standing on the steps of the gazebo, a star-struck look on his face. He used to have a way of looking at her that made her feel like she was the only person in the entire world. “I remember.” It had been a while since she’d seen that look. Lately it seemed they avoided each other’s eyes more often than not.

“Good. I know you didn’t want to come, especially this weekend.”

Tension gripped her body tight in its grasp. She rubbed a hand over her stomach, remembering what it had felt like being pregnant. She’d been overjoyed when Connor was born on their anniversary, even though a part of her had missed that feeling of him growing within her. Her body had kept him safe then.

But she’d ultimately failed in that respect, hadn’t she?

She hadn’t been able to protect him in the end.

“But I think Dr. Barstow was right to suggest we come back here. We need to remember the good things, too. Not just the bad.”

“How?” She turned to face him, startled to find herself pressed tight to his chest. She stepped to the side. “How do you do that? Because I can’t.” She wrapped her arms around herself, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. She missed Gabe’s warmth. Why couldn’t she bring herself to sink into his arms like she wanted?

“We can make new memories.”


He took a deep breath and her stomach sank. He was about to bring up something she might not like. “We’re still relatively young. We can have another baby.”

A buzzing in her head drowned out the rest of his words. His mouth continued to move, but she couldn’t hear what he said. The next noise that registered was the smack of her hand against his cheek.