After the Mountain Man (Wylder Bluffs #0) Read Online Tarin Lex

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Wylder Bluffs Series by Tarin Lex

Total pages in book: 9
Estimated words: 8363 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 42(@200wpm)___ 33(@250wpm)___ 28(@300wpm)

This is Kinsley & Bennett’s story…

I gaze into my wine, curling my fingers tighter around the stem. There’s still a tan line on my ring finger. I notice Bennett noticing it.
“I called it off,” I tell him.
“Oh,” he says, like that explains everything.
“I wasn’t sure,” I also say, softly. “And I…” I swallow, hard. “I know what it’s like to be sure.”
That smile of his could make me forget my own name, but then it falls off his face. “You don’t seem that bothered by it?” Bennett says.
Bothered by…which one? The engagement to Maverick I called off?
Or the engagement to Bennett I called off…five years ago?
My official response is a looong drink of wine. I drain the glass. I feel my inhibitions fall away. My vulnerabilities taking over. My heart taking over. My soul…trying so very hard to speak up for itself.
“A scorned fiancé isn’t going to show up at my door?” Bennett says, finishing his glass of wine.




What on earth am I doing?

It was one thing to break off my engagement. Again.

It’s a whole other thing to run away afterward. Again. I guess that means I am oh for two?

Maverick and I were just…comfortable. It’s like we stopped trying. He especially stopped trying. With me, that is. He kept trying with other women. Trying, and succeeding.

He barely even attempted to hide it from me.

I barely even cared.

So maybe from the outside it looks like I’m a serial engagement breaker-offer. It’s not like I backed out on the day of the wedding. Although with my track record, I might not put it past me. And, both times, I returned the ring. The first one I wanted to keep because I wanted to keep a little piece of him. The second one I wanted to keep because, spite.

I want butterflies. Is that so hard to find? I want passion. Real passion that comes from that bone-deep feeling knowing that you’ve found your person. The one who will change the course of the rest of your life and you step onto that road into forever without a shred of doubt in your mind that you are right where you need to be.

I had that. I was engaged to that. To the one I gave up, for such different reasons.

It was five years ago when I left Bennett and the hopes of our future together in Idaho for the sunny, sandy Florida coast. But I always knew Bennett would set the bar. I didn’t know that bar would stay set for so…long. I mean, five years. We were barely even grownups when he asked me to be his wife someday. Shouldn’t I be over it by now?

Shouldn’t I maybe…not be running right back to Idaho?

But that’s what I’ve done. The warm mountain air is rolling into my lungs right this very moment. No not even warm, it’s hot as I cough it back out. There are heat advisories warning hikers to come back to these trails another time.

But technically, I’m no longer on the trail anyway, soo…

I realize, brutally, how adapted my body is to Florida now. Where yes, the air is pretty much always warm, but it’s thicker, and wet, and doesn’t seem to make your brains swell up and your heart race like a banshee when you breathe it in, like mine is doing right now.

Fresh mountain air, my ass. I still think the ocean breeze is where it’s at. But these views—damn. I’ve seen many a Florida sunrise and sunsets, but there really is nothing quite like this. There is no horizon here. No end in sight. These mountains just go on and on and on.

There is something so wondrous, and so terrifying, about that.

I can’t really explain why I’m here, not even to just me. Since giving Maverick back the ring I’ve just…moved. I’ve tried not to think. Maybe cutting all ties with Bennett and hightailing it across the country was the wrong thing to do. Could coming back bring us what we have needed all along—closure?

If I’m being honest? I don’t think that’s what I want either. I want to know that I made the right choice. I want proof. And maybe seeing Bennett again, five years down the road will give me that. Maybe he’s butt-ugly now. Maybe he’s broker than broke. Maybe the bad luck he never deserved never ended. All the superficial things I know would never matter to me, not where Bennett is concerned.

Some twisted, masochistic part of me never stopped believing he was my person—and not just in this life, on this rock, but for whatever comes next. We’d be together. Like soul mates.

Twin flames.

I never stopped loving him and maybe, maybe, that’s why I put up with Maverick for so long? I couldn’t ever get that mad about things with Mav. His many transgressions. My heart wasn’t hurtable. Because it was never really Mav’s to hurt.