Never Just Friends 1
Five years ago, I walked away from Sunbury, Oregon, and left my best friend behind. The move was supposed to get my life on track. I even had a list.
Life-changing epilepsy surgery. Check.
See the world. Check.
Get over my straight best friend … Not exactly.
No matter where I go or who I meet, I can’t let Tanner go.
I’m back to tell him how I feel. To get the closure I need once and for all.
Only now I’m here and falling for him all over again, it’s getting harder to say the words. Because once I have my closure, I’ll be gone.
And this time it will be for good.
When my best friend, Roo, left for Australia, it was the worst day of my life.
I thought we’d have each other always.
But Roo needed the surgery so I let him go, thinking he’d come straight back.
Five years is a long time.
Now he’s here, all I want is to hold on tight.
I need to show him what he means to me.
The problem is, I’m not exactly sure what that is.
My draw to him has always been confusing and different—everyone in town says so. But I struggle to understand it.
All I know is I won’t survive him leaving again.
And I’ll do anything to make him stay.
“Tell me something I don’t know about you,” Roo blurts out.
My eyebrows jump up. “Ah, like what?”
“I don’t know. That’s the point of the question.”
Huh, I guess it is. I frown at the ripples in the water as I try to think of something—anything—Roo might not know about me. “I …” What? Where the hell was I going with that? “I don’t think there’s anything you don’t know.”
“Not off the top of my head. What about you?”
He bites his freckled lip as he thinks. “I’m sure there’s probably a lot. Out of curiosity, is there anything I could tell you that would make you hate me?”
I scoff. “Never.”
“What about if I hurt animals for fun?”
The hypothetical takes me a second. “Yeah, okay, that would be a deal breaker.”
“Or if I was an arsonist?”
I shake my head. “But you’re not those things.”
“I’m not. But like you said, things are different. Maybe there are things about me you wouldn’t like.”
And out of all the hypotheticals in the world, those are a steaming pile of stupid. “Nah, because no matter how much you’ve changed, you’re still a good person. So I don’t think anything would make me walk away.”
His expression is full of skepticism. “Remember you said that.”
“Should I be worried?”
“I don’t think so.” But he doesn’t look happy.
And Roo being unhappy is unacceptable. Deciding the conversation is over, I grab the hand resting on my shoulder and tug him until he’s behind me, before grabbing his other hand and locking his arms around my neck.
“Tanner, what are you—”
Holding his wrists with one hand, I dive, submerging us again, but this time I don’t let him go. If swimming gets him out of breath, then I’ll make things easy for him, because that’s what I do.
We spend another hour there, Roo holding on as I swim up and down the pool. We toss remember whens back and forth, and his voice in my ear reminds me of old times. Of falling asleep listening to his fierce rants about the world. Or his jokes. Or his plans for the future.
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Saxon James is an author from Australia who's obsessed with writing queer characters. She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.
When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.
Connect with Saxon: Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/thesaxonjames/ Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/ Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/saxon-james Amazon: www.amazon.com/Saxon-James/e/B082TP7BR7 Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/19404191.Saxon_James Instagram: www.instagram.com/saxonjameswrites/