Excerpt of Second Chance Bride:
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For the rest of the day, Kya couldn’t get her mother’s words out of her head. How do you know if he feels the same way about you or if he’s simply filling a void in his life? There was no doubt she needed to know that answer. Kya looked at her watch—four p.m. If she left the shelter now, she should be able to catch Devon at home before he took Daisy to the park.
She grabbed her purse off the back of her chair and hurried to the reception area. Lyn was talking to a woman who was interested in adopting a cat. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Okay.” Lyn waved as she walked out the door.
On the drive over to Devon’s, she tried to think of what she was going to say but couldn’t seem to find the right words. Hopefully, they’d come to her when she was face-to-face with him. The last thing she wanted was to look like a fool. But she needed to make her decision today. Mark would be back tomorrow, and if she was going to cancel the wedding, it was only fair to let him know right away.
She rang the doorbell and shifted from foot to foot nervously. A moment later, Devon was staring at her.
“I hope I’m not interrupting your dinner or anything.”
Devon smiled. “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s great to see you. I’ve been wondering all day how you’ve been holding up without Lucky.”
She shrugged. “My heart’s broken, but I’m trying not to dwell on it.”
He waved his arm. “Well, come on in.”
“Thanks.” She stepped around him and walked into the foyer.
“Actually, your timing is perfect. I just made some coffee. Would you like a cup?”
“That sounds great. I’d love some.”
She followed him into the living room, where Daisy was sprawled out on the sofa. Devon gathered up the school papers he had spread out over the coffee table.
“Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be right back.”
Kya sat next to the dog and took in her surroundings. Yesterday when she’d been there, she’d been so upset about Lucky that she hadn’t really paid any attention to Devon’s house. Now as she scanned the room, the many feminine touches were evident, like the pair of porcelain vases on the fireplace mantel, and the lovely silk flower arrangement on the chest under the picture window. They’d no doubt been put there by Char. Devon probably hadn’t changed a thing since her death. A deep sadness came over her as she sympathized with his loss.
She was glad when he came in carrying two coffee cups. The last thing she wanted was to dwell on the past. “Thanks,” she said as he put them down on the coffee table in front of her.
“Do you take cream or sugar?”
“Black is fine.”
“I take mine that way too. Just another thing we have in common.” He grinned.
“We do like a lot of the same things, don’t we?” She asked it softly, not so much to him but to herself.
His smile disappeared as he studied her closely. “Something’s telling me you didn’t just come over here because you missed me.”
She shifted her gaze off the floor onto his face. “Mark’ll be back tomorrow.”
Devon was silent for a moment, then he got up and walked over to the window. “I had a feeling that might be it,” he said with his back to her.
“I’m sorry. I had no idea he was coming home until last night when he called.”
He turned around suddenly and held her gaze. “I’m used to people coming and going in my life.” Then he looked at the bookshelf where there was a picture of a woman, a dark-haired woman who looked remarkably like Kya. That had to be Devon’s wife, Char.
Her mom’s words echoed through her head. Is he filling a void in his life? What if it was worse than that? What if he’d been using her as a substitute for his wife? “Devon, I…”
“You don’t have to say anything more. You’re getting married, and I don’t want to be the one to ruin that.” He came over and stood beside her. “I think it’s time we said good-bye.”
The lump in her throat kept her from speaking. She shook her head, then walked to the front door.
Before she left, Devon said, “Be happy, Kya.”
She raced to her car without looking back. This wasn’t at all how she’d hoped things would go. Despite not knowing what she wanted, she did know that she didn’t want things to end like this, even though it might be for the best. What future would she have with a man still hung up on his wife? At least with Mark, she knew that he loved her and not the ghost of someone else.