A throat cleared, parting their cloud of delight. Teddi pushed Calvin away, panting to see Riley standing there, arms folded. His older brother’s average frame and slim waist was highlighted by the white sports shirt he was wearing, the summer heat, sticking it to his stomach.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Calvin asked. Teddi wanted to know the same thing, but she was just as surprised at Calvin's harsh tone.
“One of your little friends said they saw you disappear in this direction,” said Riley. Before either of them could respond, he went on, “You haven't been answering my phone calls.”
“So you took a train cross-country to confront me?” Bitterness laced his voice.
The older Wynne smirked at his brother then painted his eyes over Teddi. Calvin stepped in front of her and folded his arms across his chest. Riley did not seem affected by the gesture. “I would have been here sooner, but—”
“Your real life got in the way. So why don't you get back to it?”
Teddi stepped from behind Calvin. “What's going on? I would say it's nice to see you, Riley, but I'm not sure this occasion calls for such a sentiment.”
Riley scratched his chin. “Well, a real polished lady, you've got there, kiddo.”
“Yeah, she uses nouns and verbs and everything,” said Calvin, narrowing his eyes at his brother.
Riley laughed. “Don't you think this has gone on long enough?”
“This what?” Teddi asked.
Riley turned to her. “You and my brother, sweetheart? It's a joke. You don't really want him. You're using him to get back at your grandmother.”
A hot sting blanketed her body at his words, and she bit her lip. Was this what he thought? Of course, it was.
Calvin grabbed Teddi’s hand. “Riley, I think you should go,” he said.
“Do you know what your father did to our father or are you just stupid?” he shot at her.
Dropping Teddi's hand, Calvin bore down on his brother, seething. “You must have come here because you want me to rip your face off.”
Riley stepped back and flashed his eyes at Teddi again. “Calvin's been keeping a secret about you.”
“What secret?” asked Teddi, heart punching her chest.
Riley’s hard eyes indicted her for everything her family had done yet remained cool and placid.
“Don't look at her,” Calvin said, his voice low.
Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Allison Whitmore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theodora “Teddi” Donovan and Calvin Wynne have always hated each other. They didn’t have a choice after Teddi’s bootlegger father killed Calvin’s and left them both orphaned. The scandal has fueled gossip in quiet, quaint Brookhurst, New York, for over a decade. When a friendship develops between them as teenagers, they are ridiculed and shunned by the strict society that dictates life in their town. As they grow older, friendship turns into love, and Teddi and Calvin have to choose between their future and the scepter of their past. Spanning continents and decades, Forget Me Not is a coming-of-age story about truth, self-reliance, and the freeing power of love.
Allison Whitmore started her first novel, Forget Me Not, one icy morning in her dorm room in Southampton, NY. After many years of teaching high school English, she came back to the novel to rewrite it. Allison comes from a family who loves history and enjoyed immersing herself in the research that brought Teddi and Calvin’s world to life. She lives in her hometown, Los Angeles, California. You can find her on Twitter @alli_whitmore and her website: allisonwhitmore.com.
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