I met Charlie and Wyatt on the same sultry, summer day. It was unexpected, leaving a feeling in the pit of my stomach like the time I drove too fast over Beckett Hill. The moment happened out of nowhere, all fast and quick and a little strange. Or maybe that was just Wyatt’s personality.
It was Charlie that brought us together. Little Charlie with those ridiculous ears. I found the dog, waiting in a pool of his own blood. Waiting for someone. Waiting for me.
Now Wyatt, he wasn’t waiting for anyone. At least that’s what he said, except I saw something different in the broken guy all alone out in the woods. I knew he needed me before he knew it himself.
Wyatt with his hidden dimples. Wyatt with his warnings to stay away. He was a hard lump of coal, ready to burn everything around him. The more he burned, the more it pulled me into the pain I saw etched on his troubled face.
I wanted to help Wyatt. I wanted to save him like he had saved all the Charlies in the world. He told me not to fall for him, but I did anyway. I fell hard and fast and deeply in love with Wyatt Caulfield.
But that was before I knew his secret.
“I’ll be okay,” I whispered.
“I know. I just . . . I know.” He let out a deep breath, pulling me to his chest. His mouth found my lips, tugging possessively until they were slightly sore from his kiss. And then he abruptly released me. Backing away a few steps, Wyatt let his eyes wander over me as he slipped away into some hazy stare in the moonlit shadows.
“I’m just trying to remember you like this.” His low voice hung on each word. “With your hair falling down around your shoulders and that sleepy look in your eyes. And your lips all red from me kissing you. That’s what I want to remember. When I’m out here alone and I feel like I’m losing my mind. I want to picture you like this.”
SD Hendrickson received a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism and Public Relations from Oklahoma State University. She lives in Tulsa with her husband and two schnauzers. Currently, her days are spent teaching computer software to oil and gas companies. The Mason List was her first novel and it was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards – Best Debut Author 2015.