Five Days Grace


The McRaes Series -- Book 4

Grace



Then, the most beautiful woman he's ever seen breaks in. 

While Aidan holds Grace McRae at gunpoint, she disarms him with her kindness and concern. Soon Aidan realizes the only thing he has to fear from Grace is losing his heart. 

Grace has already made one dreadful mistake: falling for the wrong man. She isn't sure she can survive another. But Aidan is a true hero-tough, honorable and incredibly brave. 

Aidan is also determined to do the right thing-including walking away from Grace if he can't be the man she deserves.

Read An Excerpt

 

 

 



“Told you I'd do anything for you."

Aidan smiled at her. He had a great smile, Grace thought. One of those smiles that said life hadn't always been easy, but he'd gotten through it. That this was a man strong enough to get through anything.

Grace had spent only a day with him, and she already thought she knew him, knew he was a truly good, strong, kind man. But it would be the height of stupidity for her, a woman so drastically wrong about the last man she thought she knew, to start to believe this time would be different. That she could trust him, and he wouldn't hurt her, wouldn't lie to her, wouldn't leave her, even when things got really hard.

Stupid woman syndrome, her sister the shrink called it, when women did the same stupid things over and over again and kept getting hurt again and again.

Grace couldn't afford to be a stupid woman again.

She glanced outside and realized the sun was slowly sinking in the sky. It would be getting dark soon. She hated realizing that.

"I should be going soon." She forced out the words.

The dog cried, looking for attention she thought, but his timing made her laugh.

"You know, he probably won't stop crying for days after you go," Aidan said. "You're going to leave me here with that? A giant, pathetic, crying dog?"

Grace hugged the dog to her, then turned her attention to Aidan. "I think you're trying to manipulate me again.”

“Okay, you got us. Tink and I worked up this whole bit we were going to try on you. All true, by the way. I want you to stay as much as he does. Stay with us, Grace. What are you going home to, anyway? An empty house? People watching over you a little too closely? Secrets you're keeping from everyone but me and the dog?"

"I can't just stay here."

"Why not?" he argued. "It's Friday, the weekend. You said you were supposed to be gone anyway. Is anyone even expecting you home tonight?"

"Well, no, but—"

"There we go. This is progress. When are they expecting you? I'm betting not until Sunday. Maybe even Sunday night. Right?"

Grace didn't want to tell him, because, honestly, no one was expecting her. And because the idea of hiding out here with him and Tink was much too appealing.

"Come on. I know I'm right," he teased. "And I'm an expert at reading people. You're thinking about lying to me. Why would you do that, Grace?"

“Because it's tempting to stay. After all, I'm crazy about... the dog."

"Okay. I can accept that you like the dog more than me, but only because I know you are absolutely crazy about the dog. Which means, you need to be here, because this is where the dog and I will be all weekend."

"Or I could just take the dog with me. You don't like him anyway," she pointed out, smiling at Tink and laughing when he smiled back at her.

Aidan shot her a pained look. "No way. He's growing on me. I love that dog—"

Grace laughed again. "Now that I think about it, why don't I take him? He likes me, and he has to be missing his owner. That has to be hard on him, and you merely tolerate him. There's no reason I can't keep him. I have a house, and my schedule is flexible. I don't have a fenced yard, but Dad and Rye would build me a fence. They'd be thrilled if I asked them for anything right now."

"Sure," he said. "If that's what you really want."

"Really? You'd make that kind of sacrifice for me?" She grinned at him.

“Honey, anything that makes you smile like that? I'm all for it," he said.

She felt something fluttering around inside of her that felt vaguely like... Joy was the closest word she could come up with to describe it. Joy at the idea of having the dog with her, to keep her from feeling so lonely and make her laugh.

And the man... The man had her feeling all warm and gooey inside, like she could snuggle up against him and just melt from contentment and happiness.

"Okay, maybe I'm not so noble," Aidan said. "You can keep the dog if you stay here until Sunday. Deal?"

"Aidan, this is crazy. I can't just spend the weekend with you."

"Why not?"

"Because. I barely know you."

"So, you'll get to know me. What better way than spending time with me?"

"Women don't just do this. We don't break into places and then spend a long weekend with guys who held us at gunpoint," she argued.

"I only held you at gunpoint for maybe ten minutes, and under the circumstances—you breaking in—you really can't hold that against me."

"Well, that doesn't mean I can spend the weekend with you."

"You want to," he insisted. "I know you do. I can see it in your face. You can be happy here, Grace. How long has it been since you've been happy?"

"A long time," she admitted.

"So why go back there, when you could be here and happy?"

"You make it sound so reasonable, and you know it's not."

"I know no such thing. In fact, I think it would be unreasonable to go back to a place that makes you unhappy."

"So, you think people should just run away from all their problems?"

"I think we don't need to wallow in them. I suspect you've been wallowing, Grace. And you need a break. You're entitled to one. Which leaves you with this perfect opportunity to escape. And really smart on your part, looking out for your own mental health this way. You arranged this perfectly."

"I didn't arrange anything. I didn't even know you or that you'd be here."

"Which is the beauty of the whole thing, the way it all came together, just what you need. Hey, you can sleep in my arms every night," he offered, looking like a man who'd just played his trump card.

And it was a good one. An amazing one.

"Think about it. Two more nights of great sleep. You know how much better you felt after one? Imagine how good you'll feel after three nights of gloriously deep, peaceful sleep."

"If we manage to do nothing but sleep," she pointed out.

"A risk, I know, but I'm willing to take it." He stared at her for a moment, then said quietly, "Seriously, Grace. I haven't felt like there was anything good in my life, anything I was honestly looking forward to, in a long time. I doubt you have, either. Life is just too hard sometimes. Stay with me. It doesn't have to include anything sexual.”

She hesitated, and he pounced on that sign of weakness from her.

"I'd rather be here with you, without having sex at all, than be anywhere else with any woman I've ever been with." He just laid it out there like that.

"That's hard to believe."

"Really? You don't feel the same way? Is there any man you'd rather be with right now?"

Grace groaned in frustration. Of course, she felt that way, but she also knew she was crazy to feel that way.

“My husband… he really hurt me, Aidan. And it hasn't been that long. I'm still so mad and hurt and just bewildered. There are days when I can hardly believe it really happened, when I wake up and think Luc is still with me. That we're together and nothing bad has happened, that it never will."

"I get that. I just can't stand the idea of you leaving now and me never seeing you again. That seems far crazier to me than you staying. I just want some time for us, Grace. We can do nothing but walk around the lake and talk. You can tell me your life's story, as much of it as you want, and I'll tell you as much as I can stand of mine, and I'll be a happy man, just because you're here."

"Aidan—"

"If you leave now, you're always going to wonder what might have happened between the two of us," he said finally.

"I know I will," she admitted.

He grinned, looking like he knew he had her then.

 

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The Series In Order
Twelve Days  Book 1
The Edge of Heaven Book 2
Bed of Lies Book 3
Five Days Grace Book 4
Hero of my Heart Book 5

Christmas with

the McRaes

Box Set -

Books 1, 2,3


More of the McRaes