Torrey Gray hasn't seen the woman she fell in love with in college for 15 years. Taylor Kent, now a celebrated artist, has spent the years trying to forget, albeit unsuccessfully, the young woman who walked out of Taylor’s life. Best friends forever, neither woman ever had the courage to speak of the passion they felt for one another. Now, an unusual but desperate request will throw the old friends together again. This time, will they be able to voice their unspoken desires, or has time become their enemy?
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LJ Maas is the author of Tumbleweed Fever, None So Blind, Meridio's Daughter, Prairie Fire, and coming in 2003, Rebecca's Cove. Her novels are published by Renaissance Alliance Publishing, Inc.Originally from Chicago, LJ now resides in Oklahoma with her partner of almost 6 years. They have an eight-year-old daughter (a blonde, lab/retriever mix who simply doesn't believe she's a dog). Along with writing full time, LJ teaches computer graphics and a variety of writing classes at a local college.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
August 1981: University of Maine - Orono, Maine "Welcome to the University of Maine, Torrey Gray." She stuck her greasy hand out.
Taking the hand in a strong grip of her own, Torrey smiled right back at the older woman. "Thanks a lot, Taylor Kent," Torrey replied, sending a small splash of water in the dark-haired woman’s direction.
Of course, Taylor took this as a direct challenge and soon the two, fully clothed women, were splashing, shouting, and giggling at the top of their lungs, all to more shouting and laughter from the girls in the windows above.
Just like that, they became Torrey and Taylor. It seemed where one was you would soon find the other. Before long people just said T 'nT.
December 1999: Chicago, Illinois
"JT? Is that you?" The blonde woman looked up from her laptop computer to the clock on the bedside table. The clock read two forty-five a.m. and Torrey removed her glasses, pulled from her stroll down memory lane by the sound of a key in the front door.
Torrey stood up to investigate, alerted by the scuffle of boots on the hardwood floor.
"Aw, Jess," Torrey said to her daughter. The young girl was slumped against the door, her bloodshot eyes unfocused and barely able to see. She shook her long dark hair from her eyes and attempted to raise her tall frame from the floor.
"It’s okay, Mom...I can do this," the young girl slurred.
Torrey rushed over to help her daughter. Jessica leaned her back heavily against the door, and then placed some of her weight against her mother as Torrey slipped an arm around the girl’s waist.
"Come on let’s get you to bed," Torrey said, trying not to let her anger show through.
"I swear, Mom, I haven’t had a drop to drink tonight." Her daughter smirked. Standing nearly a head taller than her mother, she had to look down to see into the green eyes that frowned in disappointment.
Torrey took a deep breath and walked her daughter to her bedroom.
"That’s because you’re higher than a kite," Torrey replied.
She managed to guide the young girl to her bed where Jessica fell heavily onto the mattress. Torrey pulled at the combat boots and the black leather jacket.
"You promised me, Jess. You said there wouldn’t be anymore partying," Torrey said.
"Just leave me alone." Jessica rolled onto her side. Her head was hurting and she knew it was going to hurt even worse if she had to look into her mother’s eyes. She had broken her promise, but she didn’t want to have to think about that now, she didn’t want to see her failure reflected back to her from her mother’s eyes. She had failed her mother, and she probably would again. I might as well. I’ll never be good enough for her. I’ll never be as perfect as she is.
Torrey ran a slender hand across her daughter’s cheek, feeling the girl’s breathing become deep and even as she slept.
What did I do wrong with you, Jess? What am I doing wrong? Why is it that you act like you hate me? Why do you only let me touch you when you’re sick or passed out?
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