Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

Previous: Chapter Twelve
Next: Epilogue

Chapter Thirteen


Angela went to see her father that weekend and he looked better than the last time which was weeks ago. She knew she’d find less and less time to be with him once shooting for the first season began. She was so happy to see him looking stronger and now sitting out in the roofed patio of the facility, enjoying the gentle breeze entering from the garden.

He couldn’t talk much, which was fine since Angela was happy to do all the talking. She needed a listening ear even more than she needed words of advice, which was why she was there. Her younger sister Sasha had been a pillar of support. Sasha heard all Angela had to tell her about Shane, and had only one conclusion: what’s it worth to you to have him back, she’d asked?

Angela had never known Sasha could be so wise. Sasha had laughed when Angela had said exactly that. “Not wise, sis. I’m just thinking with my heart, which is what you should be doing. If it’s worth more to you to move on with your life than to go back and see where things go with you and him, then by all means, move on with your life. But if not...”

Angela had found the answer to that days later when she’d got on the plane to Nashville, ostensibly to see her father before she got too busy with her new role. But on the plane trip, her every waking thought and dreams were all about Shane. How in such a little time, he’d come to mean the world. Knowing he’d flown out to see her at that party, had warmed her soul. The fact that he cared that much gave her a twinkle of hope that there could be more than she’d ever dared to hope for.

“Dad, I’ve met someone,” she said softly now, and saw her father nod encouragingly.

“Yes. I heard some talk about that. Folks around the hospital saying stuff. Not that they knew I could hear them. Mostly gossip about a racecar driver millionaire – the one who’s paying the bills to this place. I thought you two were done.”

Her father spoke very slowly, but she heard every word clearly. She placed a hand on his which held the arm of his chair. “How could we be done when we really had nothing to begin with?” she said sadly before telling her father all that had happened.

“It was always just about business; no strings attached,” she finished on a deep sigh. “He picked me banking on the fact that I wouldn’t fall in love with someone like him. He didn’t want me to. To him, I’d be more likely to stick to the plan than any other woman he could have picked. At first, it galled me that I’d managed to prove him wrong. I didn’t stick to the plan at all.”

Her father looked pensive for several minutes. “You’ve made your choices, dear, and I don’t say I approve of most of them. I’m glad you kept to your honor and wouldn’t sleep with him for money. I’m not glad you were so pushed to even agree to such an arrangement. But it did help you get closer to him, to see the kind of man he really was because he’d have no cause to pretend with you. With you he could act real since he never planned on for keeps and wouldn’t need to impress you. And you still think that from what you saw with him, you’d like to give it another try?”

“I think I definitely deserve to give it another try.”

“There’s only one way to find out,” her father said shrewdly, smiling and squeezing back on her fingers. Angela nodded in silence, her eyes brimming as she found strength in her father’s support and the gentleness in his smile.

She could do this. She would try. The love she felt inside was more than worth the fight and this time backing down was not an option.

Previous: Chapter Twelve
Next: Epilogue