Always You - Book cover

Always You

Roanna Hinks

Age Rating


Savannah and Elijah have been best friends since high school, but fifteen years later, it's time to acknowledge there's always been something deeper between them. Elijah, co-owner of a gym with Savannah's ex, Danny, is tired of being tied to Ruby, his current girlfriend, who just won't quit nagging him. His heart's always been Savannah's, but he's never had the courage to confess his feelings out of fear of ruining their friendship. Now he's hearing talk of Savannah being a cheat, and he doesn't know what to believe. Until one night, Savannah gets under his skin...and into his bed.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1


The clock is ticking, loud and insistent. I stretch my neck, rubbing the tension from the base of it. My eyes flicker back to the clock, and I’m taken aback by the time.

It’s nearing 10 p.m.

I let out a heavy sigh.

I’d hoped to be done with work by now, but my job has never been predictable.

I’m a business owner. I run a small boutique that I’m incredibly fond of. I launched it a year ago. It’s a modest-sized maternity clothing store.

Its success might surprise you. The clothes are affordable, and I also stock essentials for new moms, like baby clothes, strollers, and even a few toys.

I always seek customer feedback, asking what they’d like to see in the store. I strive to keep everyone happy.

A few nights a week, I stay late to handle paperwork and order new inventory. Right now, I’m trying to wrap up some invoices.

I can’t help but sigh again, leaning back in my chair.

My gaze wanders across my desk, landing on a photograph of my three closest friends and me.

A smile tugs at my lips.

In the photo are Elijah, Megan, Alex, and me. We’ve been friends since high school and throughout college. The picture was taken at Megan and Alex’s wedding.

I was Megan’s maid of honor, and Elijah was Alex’s best man.

Megan has been my best friend since junior high, and she’s one of the kindest people you could ever meet. She and Alex are high school sweethearts.

They started dating senior year and have been together ever since. Alex and Elijah are inseparable, just like Megan and me.

Elijah and I never dated, but I’ve always had a crush on him, and I probably still do. I always assumed he didn’t see me that way. He’s the most attractive guy you’ll ever meet.

He’s always surrounded by girls and probably hasn’t been single for a day. He’s always got someone new.

I never confessed my feelings because he never gave me a reason to. I’d steal glances when no one was looking and occasionally stalk him on social media.

I kept my secret crush to myself, but I suspect Megan knows and just doesn’t say anything.

We all used to go out once a month. That was until I broke up with my ex six months ago. I know Elijah is currently dating a girl named Ruby, who seems to despise me.

I never let my feelings for him interfere, knowing nothing would ever happen between us.

Running your own business can lead to a cheating partner.

I was with Danny for three years. He was supportive when I started my business, but as I got busier with the store, Danny started to pull away.

I found him in bed with another woman, in the house we shared.

I remember coming home to the unmistakable sounds of sex. I wasn’t naive. I crept upstairs, and the bedroom door was slightly open.

When I peeked in, Danny was on the bed, and the woman was on top of him, moving rhythmically. I didn’t get a good look at her face, but I remember the butterfly tattoo on her lower back.

I stood there, absorbing the reality of the situation. The strange thing was, I didn’t cry or confront them. I’d been looking for an excuse to leave, and I’d found it.

I remember quietly descending the stairs and walking out the door. I got in my car and drove to the beach.

I spent most of the night there. I didn’t go back home. I waited until I knew Danny had left for work.

I packed up my car and moved into the small apartment above the store, which I’d originally intended to use as an open-plan office, but it became my new home.

Once inside, I packed up my things. I didn’t have much, and I did it all by myself.

I never told anyone what happened between Danny and me.

I remember Danny asking why I left him, and I told him I was done with us, but I never let on that I knew he cheated on me. I knew he wasn’t the one.

Danny didn’t take it well. He thought I would be his meal ticket, that I would work while he stayed home and spent my money.

Danny was jobless throughout our relationship. He was sorely mistaken if he thought I was going to support him.

I knew he wasn’t the one because I never wanted to be with him. The ironic thing was he told everyone that I cheated on him—what a laugh!

I always thought I would leave, but I guess I got stuck. All my friends liked him, but they believed him when they found out we’d broken up. He played his cards well.

Megan and Alex had their doubts, but they never confronted me. Instead, during a night out, Alex started throwing around accusations of infidelity.

No one will ever trust you again.

After that night, I distanced myself from the group. Elijah, who was just like Alex, even became friends with Danny. His girlfriend, Ruby, warned him against associating with a cheater.

I haven’t hung out with my friends in half a year. I’ve only seen Megan recently, but Alex and Elijah have been absent since that night.

Meg has been trying to coax me into joining them, but I’ve been steadfast in my refusal.

I haven’t been intimate with anyone in six months. I didn’t think I’d miss it, but I do. I’ve even invested in some exciting new toys, but they can’t replace the real thing.

I shake my head, trying to clear my thoughts.

The ping of my phone echoes in the small confines of my apartment.

I pick up my phone. It’s a message from Meg:

MegHey girl! We haven’t had a catch-up in ages, how about we meet at your nearby local for a drink. I want to see you xxx

I can’t help but chuckle at the message.

I was on the phone with Meg for an hour last night, and she didn’t mention anything about going out. But I know she called me because Alex was at the gym.

She never calls when he’s around, and if I hear his voice, I always find an excuse to end the call.

It’s petty, and I’m not usually like this, but my perception of Alex changed after that night.

I never thought he’d choose someone he’s known for two years over a fifteen-year friendship.

When I moved into the small apartment above the shop, I didn’t tell anyone. I know Elijah doesn’t know, but Meg found out last month when she saw me closing up the shop.

She might have told Alex.

I stare at the message, debating whether to accept the invitation.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a night out. I sigh, glancing at the little black dress I bought on sale a couple of days ago.

I don’t usually buy clothes for nights out, but this dress caught my eye, and I wanted to wear it.

I guess I could go. As long as it’s just the two of us, it should be fine.

I start to type a response. It might not sound great, but I think I need a girls’ night more than anything. Once the message is ready, I hit send:

MeHey Meg! I don’t remember you mentioning going out on the phone last night. I would love to, but can it be just us girls as I need a girlie night.
MeI bought a black dress to wear, and I want to wear it. How about we meet at Jolly’s? Let me know what time xxx

I step away from my desk and walk over to the window, phone in hand.

Outside, it’s pitch black and raining. I love the rain; the sound always lulls me to sleep.

Another ping echoes through the apartment. I unlock my phone and read Meg’s message. I can’t help but smile.

MegHey! It is most definitely a girls’ night. I have been around too many men lately as Alex has been doing a lot of training and wanted me to attend.
MegJolly’s is a good idea, and I will meet you there on Friday at about six pm xxx

I quickly agree to the time and move away from the window towards my bed. But I pause, glancing at my desk.

I know I need to finish the invoices, but I’ve already done half. Maybe I’ll get Claudia to finish them tomorrow.

Claudia, who works during the week and is pregnant. I have two employees. And then there’s Molly, a seventeen-year-old who works on Saturdays.

Deciding to leave the rest of the invoices for Claudia, I start getting ready for bed. I head into my tiny bathroom and change into my PJs. After brushing my hair and teeth, I climb into bed.

Once in bed, I sit up for a moment. It’s Wednesday, so I have two days before my night out with Meg.

I’m actually looking forward to it.

I set my alarm for early the next morning. I need to open the shop early and get everything ready for the day.

I stifle a yawn.

I lean back onto the pillow, and as soon as my head hits the pillow, I fall asleep.

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