<br />

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A new adult, contemporary romance



By Aimee McNeil





“You remind me of a fox because you are quick, quiet, and…beautiful.”

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chance meeting between two young souls is all it took…

When Adalynne Fairweather was just a child,

her entire life had already been planned. From Ivy League schools to a career

in law, adventure was the one thing out of her reach. That was until a boy with

bright green eyes and a monster truck t-shirt wandered into her back yard, giving

the adventure she longed for.


can be found in the most unlikely places…

Damon Knight’s abusive home life left him longing

for a childhood he never had—until he wandered into Adalynne’s yard. She took

his hand, smiled at him, and even gave him a nickname. Fox. The woods became their escape—a place to flee from reality. He

discovered music through Adalynne’s piano, and not long after that, she gave

him a guitar. Little did he know that gift would change his life forever.


later, their age is not the only thing that’s changed…

Adalynne’s love for Fox took on a life of

its own. As they begin to build their lives, her heart aches for him in ways

she can’t understand. As they slowly begin to drift apart, Adalynne becomes

more desperate to cling to their secret romance.

But Fox is no longer the bright-eyed child from

the woods. Her shy, beautiful Fox has grown into a dark, troubled man with a

guitar. And when her last attempt to salvage their relationship breaks Adalynne’s

heart, catching Fox a second time seems just out of her reach.




Adalynne sat on

her wooden swing, twisting her new white shoes into the dirt beneath her feet.

Tears dripped from her cheeks and she watched as they disappeared into the

fabric of her dress, leaving tiny dark spots on the material. The ropes of the

swing creaked loudly with every sway as she gently pushed it back and forth.

“Why are you


Adalynne looked

up through a veil of perfect blonde curls. A boy close to her age was standing

in the line of trees backing onto her property. His voice was so quiet that she

thought at first it might have been the breeze. His unkempt dark hair fell over

his eyes in dark waves. His knees were visible through his ripped pants and his

shirt was adorned with a monster truck with its tongue hanging out. It was a sight

that brought a smile to her lips despite her tears.

Adalynne wiped

her face with the back on her hand and studied the boy. “Where did you come

from?” she asked, looking around to see if anyone else was in his company.

“I live through

that way.” He pointed into the dense trees behind them. “I heard you crying

while I was playing in the woods,” the boy explained, looking nervous.

“It’s my

birthday today and I wanted to wear my favorite dress with pink and blue

stripes but my mom made me wear this yellow dress and it scratches my skin,”

she confessed sadly.

Adalynne slipped

off the swing and closed the distance between them. The boy took a hesitant

step back with her approach. “What’s your name?” she asked curiously. He didn’t

answer her question but instead looked behind him, anxious and ready to flee.

“Don’t go,” she pleaded.

The boy stood

frozen, watching her intently. Adalynne moved slowly out of fear she would scare

him away. She had never seen eyes like his. The color green they exhibited was

vibrant and breathtaking, putting the foliage around them to shame. It made her

think of her bright green crayon that she had used earlier to color the leaves

of her trees. He was so beautiful and quiet she thought he might be her

imagination. She smiled big and bright, letting him know she wanted to be his


When she was

close enough she reached out and took his hand to confirm he was real. His hand

trembled beneath her fingers as she held it gently. “My name is Adalynne,” she said

softly. He looked back at her with wide eyes. Not even a hint of a smile on his

lips. “It’s my mother’s name too.” She found herself talking out of fear he

would leave if she didn’t keep his interest. “It’s probably why she wants me to

be just like her.” Though he remained quiet he seemed to be interested in her

words. “Sometimes I wonder if I had another name it would be different and I

wouldn’t have to wear uncomfortable clothes, and she would just let me be me

and have fun.”

“You want a

different name?” he whispered. He seemed puzzled by her, as if she were a

strange creature that mysteriously washed up on shore, his curiosity keeping

him captivated.

“Yes! I would

love another name.” Adalynne reached out and took his other hand in hers as

well. He looked down at his hands tightly clasped in hers.

“What would you

want your name to be?” he asked.


giggled. “Hmmm…” She pondered the thought. The idea of picking her own name

excited her. She watched a bee hover over some nearby flowers and her smile

deepened. “Bee,” she responded happily. “Because then I could wear stripes all

the time and play in the flowers whenever I wanted.”

He smiled back

at her then. It was simply beautiful. “What would you choose?” she asked

happily, her tears forgotten now. He shrugged his shoulders and slowly tried to

pull his hand from hers but Adalynne was scared to let him go. There was

something different about this boy that drew her to him. “How about…” Adalynne

thought about what was befitting of the boy in front of her. She remembered

when she was playing in her backyard and saw a fox peeking through the trees.

It left as quickly as it came without a sound. She never told her mother for

fear she wouldn’t let her play outside anymore. “Fox?” He could be her secret


Adalynne grew

excited with her suggestion. “You remind me of a fox because you are quick,

quiet and…beautiful.” The smile fell from her lips. “You don’t like it?”

“No…I do…I like

it,” he responded with a small smile, bringing her own back to life.

“I like you,”

she confessed.

“Adalynne!” She turned back toward her house when

she heard her mother call her name. The boy pulled his hands from hers and

retreated back into the woods as quiet as he came. It felt like he took a piece

of her with him when he left. Her sadness returned as she walked toward her mother’s


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