Friday, September 23, 2022

#ChapterReveal #ComingSoon #Standalone #PreOrder - Wilder Presley Says He Loves Me by Winter Travers

Title: Wilder Presley Says He Loves Me
Author: Winter Travers
Genre: Small Town Romance Standalone
Release Date: October 1, 2022

Chapter One

He’s back…


“He’s back.”

I snagged the last roll of black ribbon and dropped it into my basket hooked on my arm.

“I saw him this morning at the diner. When he walked right by, I was getting my two scrambled eggs with wheat toast and maple sausage.” Missy clicked her tongue. “He looked as fine as fireworks on the fourth of July out on Mason Lake, let me tell you.”

My eyes searched the shelf for the second time hoping for more black ribbons to magically appear. “Maybe they have more black ribbon in the back,” I mumbled. I needed at least five more yards to ensure I had enough to finish the wreath Mrs. Baxter ordered. Halloween was fast approaching, and I needed to get a jump on my orders.

“Shelby Lyn.” Missy snapped her fingers in my face. “Have you heard a word I’ve said?”

I stepped back and swatted her hand out of my face. “Yeah, you ate your breakfast this morning, and it was as good as the fourth of July fireworks.”

Missy scoffed. “You missed the important part.”

Missy spoke a mile a minute, and while I’m sure most of what she said was necessary to someone somewhere, most of the time, I tuned her out. After almost twenty years of friendship, I learned that if I missed something important that came out of her mouth, she tended to return to it until I heard her. This was one of those times. “Then tell me the important part while we wait for Jack to get his butt out of the backroom and help me.”

“You know he’s probably reading the old Playboys back there.” Missy visibly shivered. “I hope I never have a boy. I don’t think I could have handled the crusty socks and forty-minute showers.”

Missy. Did you need to go there?” Dear god in heaven. I did not need that mental picture painted in my brain. “I doubt Jack is doing anything in the backroom. Please, he’s eighteen. I hope he can control himself till he gets off work.”

Missy shrugged. “Girl, you remember how boys were when we were eighteen. Horn dogs looking to rut.”

“Uh, rut?” Was she talking about men or deer? Sometimes the lines did blur.

She scoffed and grabbed the dark blue ribbon. “Dad was watching the hunting channel last time I stopped by. What about this one?”

I shook my head. “It’s navy.”

“Nonsense. This is black,” she insisted.

I grabbed the ribbon from her and set it back on the shelf. “It’s navy, and it won’t work.” The backroom door swung open, and Jack walked out. “There’s Jack,” I sighed.

“Oh lordy. See, he’s tucking his shirt in.” Missy hissed. “Whatever you do, do not touch his hands,” she advised. 

“Jack,” I called. “Can you check to see if there is any more one-inch black ribbon in the back?”

Jack gave me a two-fingered salute and backtracked to the backroom.

“Gonna be ten minutes before he surfaces again. You gave him an excuse to read a few more pages,” Missy laughed.

“You’re a nut, Missy.” I moved over to the selection of orange ribbons and tried to figure out which shade would be perfect. It needed to be bright, but not neon bright.

“Can we get back to what we were talking about before?”

“Your breakfast? It must have been pretty good if you want to keep talking about it.” I fingered a light shade of orange and wondered if it would clash with the dark shade of orange I already had at home. Mrs. Baxter was as sweet as pie, but she would have a bird if the colors weren’t right for her fall wreath.

Missy scoffed. “Wilder Presley is back, Shelby,” she shouted.

I dropped the light orange ribbon, and Missy's words hit me like bullets to my head. “Uh, what?” There was no way she had just said that.


No, no, no.

Missy snapped her fingers in my face. “Now you’re gonna listen, huh?” she laughed. She shook her head and turned to the rack of ribbon. “What if you did a dark purple instead of black?” she suggested.

I grabbed her shoulder and spun her back to face me. “We’re not going to talk about ribbon right now,” I spat. 

“You’re about a minute behind on your shock, Shelby. I’m over having to tell you about Wilder.”

“I was listening all along,” I muttered. I crouched down to grab the ribbon I had dropped and shoved it back on the rack. 

An amused smile slid over Missy’s lips. “Wilder Presley is back in Adams, Shelby Lyn, and you look like you saw a ghost.”

I glared at Missy and tugged on the hem of my shirt. “I heard you the first time you said it.”

Missy cackled. “Second time I said it, you heard, but I had to repeat it now because the look you get when I say his name says so much.”

I didn’t get a look when she said his name. There was no reason why I would get a look. None. “Where is Jack with my ribbon?” I grumbled. I had changed my mind. I didn’t want to talk about Wilder.

“So now you’re just going to act like I didn’t tell you the Wilder Presley is home?” Missy smirked. “You can’t act like this with me, Shelby.” She wagged her finger in my face. “I have known you for eighteen years and one hundred ten days.

I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t acting anyway, just like I didn’t have a look when she said Wilder’s name. “And this isn’t his home,” I insisted. “When you leave for more than nine years, the place you go to becomes your home.”

“Is that a rule?” Missy questioned. 

“Here ya go,” Jack called. He held up three rolls of black ribbon. “These are the last of them.” He made his way to me, and I grabbed the rolls from him.

“Thanks.” I nodded to the orange ribbon. “I need to grab a couple of rolls of orange. I’ll meet you at the register.”

Jack nodded. “Sounds good.”

I grabbed three shades of orange and hoped they would work for the wreath, but my mind was too wound up about Wilder to even notice what I grabbed.

“Shelby,” Missy called.

My eyes darted to her. “What?”

“What is going on in that head of yours right now?” she demanded.

I shrugged and dropped the orange ribbon into my basket. “I’m thinking I have two days to finish this wreath, and then I need to start thinking about the Christmas wreaths for the church while I work on the twenty other orders I have for fall or Halloween wreaths. I’m busy, Missy.” And that was the truth.

Missy tipped her head to the side and crossed her arms over her chest. “You are so full of shit, girlfriend. The man you had a crush on all of your life is back in town, and you’re going to tell me you’re thinking about wreaths?”

I nodded my head. “Yes, you will believe that because you are my best friend, and you know I don’t want to have this conversation at the craft store.” I turned on my heel and headed to where Jack stood behind the check-out counter.

“You know I’m just going to come over to your house after I get off of work,” Missy called after me.

I raised my hand over my head. “I wouldn’t expect anything less from you, Missy.” Missy had been my best friend for almost twenty years. She had moved to Adams when we were both ten and had become one of my close friends that summer.

“You want wine or hard booze?” she asked.

I needed a damn tranquilizer if what she had told me was true. “Bring the Southern,” I replied.

“Woo, wee,” Missy chuckled. “This is going to be a fun night.”

I rolled my eyes and set my basket on the check-out counter. “You wouldn’t by chance have a bottle of booze behind the counter, would you, Jack?” I blew my hair out of my face and sighed.

“Uh, well, I think my dad might have a bottle hidden in his office,” Jack stammered. “I could see if I could get you a glass.”

Oh, sweet Jack. He was just a little too naïve for his good.

I nodded to the basket. “I think I can make it home without a glass. Thank you, though.”

Jack sighed and looked visibly relieved. 

Five minutes later, I was sitting behind the steering wheel of my truck and closed my eyes.

Wilder Presley was back in town.

More than nine years ago, I had watched that man drive out of my life with not so much as a backward glance. He had broken my heart that day and he hadn’t even known it.

Wilder Presley was back, and so were all those feelings I thought I had buried.

No amount of Southern was going to make this any easier.



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