Finding Reese

Searching for Love Book Two

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Reese is scared she might be falling for Brody, the man she met in Malibu. Fleeing to Yellowstone National Park seems like a good idea–it’s a place she’s always wanted to visit, and it’s far away from Brody.

Unaware of her reasons for leaving, Brody knows he’s fallen for her, and when she runs away without so much as a good-bye, he decides to find her and convince her to give him a chance.

Will his love be enough to help her overcome her self-doubts?

Scroll down to read the first chapter.

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Chapter 1

“I need to borrow your camping gear,” Brody Ford said into his phone as he stood on the balcony of his beach house and gazed at the Pacific Ocean. The sun was beginning to set, which made him think of Reese and her love of taking sunset photos.

Though this phone call was all about taking the first step toward finding her, he tried to push away an image of her face. The idea that he would never see her again pained him. But it wasn’t like she was gone forever. She wasn’t Megan.

His thoughts went to the woman who had been killed in a car accident over a year before. The woman he had loved with all his heart. She was gone forever.

But Reese wasn’t Megan. Reese was out there somewhere. And he was going to find her.

“Sure, you can borrow my camping gear,” Logan said, then he laughed. “You haven’t been camping in years though, bro. Do you remember how to do it?”

Ignoring the jab, Brody frowned. “I’ll need to borrow your truck too.”

“My truck? What for?”

Brody’s jaw tightened, then he forced himself to relax. “Your gear won’t exactly fit in my Porsche.”

“If you take my truck, what am I supposed to drive?”

Brody hesitated, but only for a few seconds. “You can use my car.”

“Wait, what? You’re going to let me drive your pride and joy?”

With a small shake of his head, Brody put aside his worries that Logan would scratch or otherwise damage his little black sports car, and instead focused on the task at hand. “Yeah.”

“What the heck, bro? Why do you want to go camping all of a sudden?”

Not eager to tell his younger brother how he had kissed Reese and then how she had fled without so much as a good-bye, Brody said, “I have my reasons.”

“Obviously. But I want to know what they are.”

Brody chuckled. “You’ve always been nosy. I guess some things never change.”

Logan laughed. “Yeah, well.”

With a sigh, Brody decided to come clean. Maybe Logan would have something helpful to say. Brody’s mouth turned up in a half-smile. “Fine. You remember Reese?”

“The woman who showed up at your beach house the other night and took pictures of you, me, Trinity, and Rochelle?”

Brody thought of that embarrassing evening where he had bungled everything. Logan had brought two women to his house—without telling him in advance—and when Reese had shown up and Brody had invited her in, she had thought he wanted her to take pictures of him and Trinity. The corners of his mouth turned down in a frown as he thought about how stupid he’d felt after realizing his mistake. At least he’d cleared things up the next day. “Yes, her.”

Logan laughed again, this time louder. “You’re taking her camping? What kind of date is that? You’re slipping, bro.”

Brody shook his head, his patience about gone. “Would you stop? I’m not taking her camping.”

“All right. Then why do you need my camping gear, and what does Reese have to do with it.”

Feeling more foolish now at his idea to try to find the woman who had been on his mind since the moment he had seen her walking down the beach a week before, Brody’s shoulders slumped. “You know what? Never mind.”

“Never mind you’re not going camping, or never mind you’re not going to tell me why?”

Confused and discouraged—where should he even begin looking?—Brody ran his fingers through his hair as he watched a flock of seagulls fly overhead. Silly as it was, even this reminded him of Reese. Two nights before, when she had come for dinner, a seagull had crapped on her back.

“I don’t know what I want.” Brody shook his head. “I gotta go, Logan.” He disconnected the call, turned his back to the ocean, and leaned against the railing as he stared at his house.

Without having Reese’s arrival to look forward to as he had each of the last few days, it was hard to get motivated to do much of anything.

He’d only known her a week. How could he have fallen so hard for her already?

Baffled at the question, he shook his head, then sank onto a lounge chair as he thought about what he should do about it.

* * *

Reese pulled her RV into the Walmart parking lot, found an open area at the far end of the lot where two other RVs were parked, parked near them, and shut off the engine. Resting her arms on the steering wheel, she leaned forward and looked out her windshield.

Seemed as good a place as any to spend the night.

When Reese had gotten her RV, she had learned about something called boondocking, where RVers park their RV’s overnight for free at places like Walmart, or at truck stops and such. Needing to save money—and needing to stock up on supplies—it seemed like a good idea to spend the night right here.

She climbed out of the driver’s seat and into her living room.

“I guess that’s one good thing about this being my home,” she murmured. “I don’t have to go far to get a snack after driving for hours.”

Trying not to think about what she had left behind in Malibu—about Brody—she opened her fridge and pulled out a bottle of cold water before opening her windows to let the cool evening breeze flow into the interior of her RV.

She made a list of supplies that she needed, then grabbed her purse and headed into the Walmart. Forty-five minutes later she was loading those supplies into her cupboards, grateful to her brother Seth for depositing money into her account. 

Eventually she would earn enough from her photos that she wouldn’t need his money. Wanting to be completely independent, she looked forward to that day. 

Using her cell phone as a hotspot, Reese set her laptop on the table and went to the website where she sold her pictures. To her surprise, she saw she had sold a copy of one of the sunset photos she had taken in Malibu. As she studied the picture, she recognized it as one she had snapped from Brody’s balcony only the night before and had uploaded just that morning.

As she stared at the image, her mind went back to her date with Brody the previous night, which led to thoughts of their time together earlier that day. And to memories of their kiss. 

Closing her eyes, she leaned her head back and tried to conjure up the memory of the way it had felt when he had slipped one hand around her waist while curling his other hand around her neck before his lips had descended toward hers. As she remembered the way his lips had devoured hers, warmth wrapped around her, and she craved his presence.

But you left.

Her eyes snapped open at the reminder, and her gaze went to the asphalt parking lot outside her window.

She sighed, then murmured, “It’s for the best.”

With a confident nod—although her heart wasn’t so sure—she pushed aside thoughts of Brody and focused on where she would go when the morning came.

* * *

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