The Forgotten Pact Read Online Iona Rose

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 69
Estimated words: 64335 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 322(@200wpm)___ 257(@250wpm)___ 214(@300wpm)
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Clarissa,
We made a pact many years ago. If we were both single by the time we were thirty we’d just do ourselves a favor and marry each other. It seemed logical to marry your best friend if nothing else worked out. Back then, we were both so young, the whole world was our oyster, and we had such big plans. Thirty seemed so old, so far away. Of course, I’d be married with kids by the time I was thirty.
Jeez, how wrong could I have been?
Here I was, at twenty-nine, no ring on my finger and heading back to my hometown. The world had given me a good beating and I needed a place to lick my wounds for a bit. Imagine my surprise when I saw a bar called The Black Swan. Cole had once dreamed of buying a bar and naming it that.
Surely, not. Cole wouldn’t still be in this forgotten town.
But Fate is a funny thing.
It is Cole’s bar!
Even more incredible, he lives in the same building I just moved into… and Cole has grown into what can only be termed a hunk of a man. A blindingly gorgeous, dreamy hunk of a man, who must surely have been snapped by some woman by now.
Nope. Turns out not. He’s as firmly single as I am.
Still, he is my best friend, so the pact remains in the shadows of my mind, only half-remembered. No doubt he’s forgotten all about it though. Not that I can blame him, we were only kids.
Then the unthinkable happens, and Cole comes to my rescue. Not only does he remember our pact, he wants to make it official. He wants to put a ring on my finger!
Maybe the universe is finally smiling down on me, and maybe, just maybe, Cole and I could make our childhood pact work…

FULL BOOK START HERE:

1

CLARISSA

I can’t help but smile as I get off the bus at the bus station and look around. I wasn’t sure how I would feel coming back here after all of these years, but with the familiar scent of jasmine in the air welcoming me home, I’m so glad I’m here. It’s like stepping back in time, back into my childhood. All at once, I feel a rush of nostalgia go through me. I feel as though it’s been forever since I was here and yet at the same time, I feel as though I’ve never been away from the place.

I leave the bus stop and start walking through the town. The apartment I’ve rented isn’t far from the bus stop and it’s a nice enough day. I was all set to take a cab to my apartment building, but I find that I want to walk, to soak up the atmosphere of the town and reminisce somewhat. Most of my things have already been sent to my apartment with the moving company and I only have a weekend bag with me so it’s not like I’m laden down with luggage.

It’s been fourteen years since my dad got offered a job in Italy. I was fifteen and of course I hated the idea of moving away, but as a child, I didn’t get a say in the matter and before I knew it, I was in Rome. Rome is a beautiful place and looking back now, I’m glad we went. It will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s no St. Augustine. This feels like coming home in a way that returning to Rome after college just didn’t.

I smile to myself as I pass the park we used to play in when we were kids. We would spend hours there in the summer and on weekends and evenings after school.

Nothing much has changed in the park. I can see the swing set, the top of the slide, the duck pond and the bandstand. The trees are taller, and the flower beds are different, but aside from that, it almost feels like I’ve gone back in time rather than just come back to town. I suppose that’s part of the appeal of a small town like St. Augustine – nothing changes, meaning people will always feel at home here, even if that hasn’t technically been true for almost a decade and a half.

I round the corner at the edge of the park and my smile widens when I see the large oak tree with our tire swing still attached to it. The tree has grown a lot over the years and the tire swing is now too high for any kids to be able to play on it, but the fact it’s still there is amazing to me.

The tire swing reminds me of long, hot summer days when Gabe, my best friend at the time, and I would come down here and spend all day on that swing, daring each other to go higher and higher. I miss those days and I miss Gabe. We were inseparable for years before I was whisked off to Italy. We made the odd call to each other after my family and I moved away but long-distance calls are so expensive and both of our parents used to moan at us about the phone bills and eventually, we just lost touch.


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