One More Day (Ebook)

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Ridley had always been the good twin. The one who followed the rules. Her sister was the one who seduced, cajoled, and manipulated to get her way. She’d never understood why her sister did the things she did. Lying seemed like more work than just telling the truth. 

So when she realized the man in front of her thought she was Raina, she knew what she needed to do. Correct him. Tell him who she was. 

Then she looked at him and forgot all of it.

Good Lord, he’s gorgeous.

He crouched down and met her gaze. “I’m sorry if we scared you. The kids saw you passed out in the grass. We’ve already called 911, so don’t worry.”

“No! You can’t.” Ridley jumped up, then swayed when another wave of dizziness hit her. 

He caught her and lowered her back to the grass. “Don’t try to stand yet. Just take it easy.” 

In that one instant, she understood her sister’s dishonesties better than ever. Because she was willing to allow this man to think she was Raina if it meant she got more time with him treating her like this. 

Like someone he cared about.

“I traveled overnight to get here and I must have been more tired than I thought. Please don’t call for an ambulance. I’m fine.” 

Her voice failed and heat flooded to her face as she noticed all the people standing around watching. There was a man with a buzz cut on the ground near her. A blond man stood off to the side on a cell phone. The two boys she’d seen earlier were there, too. They were holding the hands of another man who looked a lot like the guy in front of her. 

Jackson, he’d called himself. 

Despite how bad she felt, all she could think was that she needed to stay under the radar. Her name in some sort of incident report was hardly incognito. If someone was looking for her, she wasn’t going to make it that easy for them to find her.

“I thought you were supposed to be out of the country for two weeks?” Jackson asked. “Did something happen?”

Ridley sighed. That explained why no one had answered at her sister’s house. The last time they’d talked had been a month ago and it hadn’t ended well. Her sister had always been bossy but she’d been unreasonable lately. They’d both said things they shouldn’t have and hadn’t spoken since. She’d assumed that Raina was just ignoring her calls. But if she was out of the country, then she’d come all this way for nothing. 

There was no one here to help her.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” The guy with the buzz cut looked at her arms. She pulled her sleeves down further to cover the bruises on her wrists.

“Yeah, I was in a car accident. But I’m fine. I actually should be going.” Something in the back of her mind warned her not to give out too much information. Being too trusting was how she’d gotten in her current situation in the first place. 

“I’d really be more comfortable if we took you to the hospital.” Jackson gestured toward the one with the buzz cut. “Matt’s trained as a medic but he’s not a doctor.”

“It’s really not necessary. I’m slightly anemic and it’s worse when I haven’t been eating well. This isn’t the first time I’ve fainted after skipping meals. I’m more embarrassed than anything.”

He nodded once before turning and walking over to the man on the phone. 

“Did I interrupt a party?” she asked.

Matt shrugged. “Not exactly. The actual party isn’t until Monday. We just like coming over early to help out. Or to give Jackson a hard time. Both are fun.”

Ridley smacked her forehead with her hand. “Oh, right. I forgot it was Memorial Day weekend. You’re lucky to have such a big group of friends. I’ve only got…” She glanced back at the house and sighed. 

“So, you just got back from a modeling job?”

She heard the disbelief and wasn’t even offended by it. She’d never bothered with straightening her hair or wearing makeup anyway. Considering that she’d been traveling for the better part of the last two days and felt like hell, she was sure she looked nothing like a supermodel.

“Not exactly.”

“Well, you’re welcome to hang out with us. It’s just us guys right now but my sister will probably come over later. Mainly because her new boyfriend is here, the blond guy over there, who happens to be one of my best friends.” Matt’s face twisted as he said it. 

Ridley looked at him and couldn’t think of anything to say other than “Oh. Well…”

“Yeah. That pretty much sums it up,” Matt deadpanned.

She burst out laughing just as Jackson walked up. He looked between the two of them curiously, which just made them break out into another round of laughter.

“Well, I’ve canceled the ambulance but we should at least get you inside and cleaned up.” He held out a hand.

She hesitated a moment but then allowed him to pull her up. He was even better looking up close, all golden-skinned and masculine. She was suddenly hyper-aware that she was wearing a ragged old tee shirt and hadn’t showered in the past twenty-four hours. After a few gentle tugs he released her hand, which she immediately tucked in her pocket. 

“I can’t. I’m locked out.”

Jackson took her arm gently. “Well, that settles it. You’ll come to my house.”

Ridley looked between them awkwardly. “You’re going to let me stay at your house?”

“Well, yeah.” He looked at her strangely. “We’re neighbors. In New Haven that means we’re practically family. You can take one of the spare rooms upstairs and relax until a locksmith can make it.”

Ridley watched, openmouthed, as Matt jogged over to the deck and picked up her backpack. She looked back at Jackson who stood patiently waiting. He didn’t rush her or seem pissed that she was holding him up, either. He seemed to understand that she needed a moment. 

What had seemed like a simple plan had turned into a tangled mess. Not that she’d thought her plan was perfect. Run and hide was about as far as she’d gotten. But now she was stranded, possibly being stalked, and her sister was clearly angrier than she’d suspected if she’d changed the security code. Her plan had taken a huge nosedive, and Jackson had unwittingly just offered her the perfect solution. 

There was no better way to hide than in plain sight. 

If she went to Jackson’s house, she’d be completely off the grid. It was a much better plan than checking into a hotel, at least until she got in contact with Raina. She’d be on her way before long and no one had to be the wiser. She could travel and leave no trail.

Going off with a stranger probably wasn’t ideal, but he seemed so sincere, and Raina wouldn’t be friends with this guy if he was an axe murderer, right? If she was lucky, Raina would call back tonight and then she’d be on her way. Raina was mad at her but she’d still help her until the police figured things out.

She hoped.

In the end she couldn’t see any reason not to trust him.

“Okay,” she said at last. “Lead the way.” She followed the guys to a section where the creek was narrower and they took turns hopping over it. Then they walked down a couple of houses to a sprawling, white-brick colonial. 

Holy cow. 

She didn’t have to worry about him having bad intentions toward her. Gorgeous men with this kind of money in the bank usually had more women than they could handle. Not that it mattered. This wasn’t a social call. She was staying just long enough to get some sleep, charge her phone, and get in contact with her sister. Then she was gone.

We’re practically family.

She ignored the thrill those words made her feel. The only family she had was a father she’d never met and a sister who was halfway around the world. These were hardly normal circumstances and, even if they were, the last thing she had time for was a handsome man.

Especially since the last one she’d liked had ended up dead.

Features Audie nominated and Earphones Award winning Narrator Eva Kaminsky! 

The Alexanders and Friends

  • 1 – One More Day
  • 2 – The Things I Do for You
  • 3 – All I Want –  prequel  
  • 4 – All I Need is You
  • 5 – Just One Thing
  • 6 – One More Chance
  • 7 – With This Ring –  short stories
  • 8 – Birthday Cake (The Simmons)
  • 9 – He’s the Man (The Simmons)
  • 10 – Say You Will (The Simmons)

A heartwarming novel about family, friendship and finding your roots from RITA® winner, M. MALONE. The first book in a USA Today bestselling series. Over 100,000+ copies sold!

Ridley Wells is done with men.

All she wants is to focus on her dream of opening her own nursery but she has the opposite of a green thumb when it comes to love. She’s always been the “good twin” who played by all the rules waiting for Prince Charming to show up. Instead she is currently in hiding from her latest case of bad judgment.

So when there’s a teeny tiny case of mistaken identity, for once she decides to do the “wrong” thing.

Starting over was supposed to be simple, but Mr. Wrong turns out to be a grumpy single-dad with two highly energetic little boys. She was supposed to disappear and start a new life but suddenly she’s wrapped up in a small town that feels more like home than any place she’s ever been and walking in her sister’s shoes feels more like living than hiding in plain sight. Between two adorable kids and their misunderstood and distrusting father, Ridley isn’t sure who will steal her heart first. But one thing is clear, love can never bloom in the midst of lies.

And when her past comes for her, she can only hope her newfound roots are strong enough to hold her down.