Unexpectedly YoursBy: Coleen Kwan
He wasn’t what she was expecting…
Derek Carmichael has harbored a secret crush on his best friend’s older sister for years, but she’s always been out of his reach. Now that Hannah is back in their hometown and newly single, suddenly the five-year age gap doesn’t seem so huge. But convincing her to see him as more than just the kid she used to know is another story.
Hannah Willmett can’t believe how grown-up Derek Carmichael has become. The troubled kid from her youth has turned into a sexy, successful TV celebrity, but Hannah’s wary of his player past and the rampant rumors connecting him to beautiful socialites. Still, she can’t help but give in when their attraction reaches a boiling point.
Trying to keep their fling a secret from her overprotective brother is one thing, but when Hannah finds herself unexpectedly expecting, her life is thrown upside down. She and Derek may be becoming parents together, but that’s no basis for a happily-ever-after.
The police officer tapped on Derek’s car window.
Blowing out a breath, Derek lowered the window. “Evening, Officer.” Damn. A cop pulling him over. Just what he needed on his first day back in Pine Falls.
“Driver’s license, registration, and insurance, please.”
Derek handed him the documents without a word.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Derek Carmichael.” The cop leaned in closer. He didn’t exactly look pleased.
Derek sighed. He thought he’d recognized the dour, grizzled cop. “Officer Grady. So what’ve I done this time?”
The officer frowned at him. “You ran a stop sign back there.”
“I did?” Derek blinked. “Sorry, I had a lot on my mind.”
“That’s no excuse.”
Derek’s frustration rose again. Why had he let his crotchety grandpa get to him? Grandpa Otto had never welcomed his presence, not back when his mom had dumped him here at the age of fourteen, and not today when Derek had arrived after a long drive from L.A. Otto had recently broken a bone but insisted he didn’t need Derek, that he could take care of himself just fine despite his right leg being encased in plaster. Then he’d proceeded to criticize everything Derek attempted to do for him.
“So what’re you doing back in Pine Falls?” The police officer eyed him suspiciously.
“Visiting my grandfather,” Derek said.
He’d held his tongue when his grandfather complained that he’d heated the soup all wrong, that he made too much racket in the kitchen, that he took up too much space on the couch. He’d gritted his teeth when Otto had criticized Derek’s sneakers, haircut, shirt. But then he’d started a rambling snark over Derek’s “fancy-schmancy” L.A. lifestyle now he was a TV star. That was when Derek had left the house, on the verge of losing his cool, and gotten into his SUV, hoping a drive would calm him down. Unfortunately his ride had only lasted five blocks.
It seemed fitting that the cop had pulled him over right outside the Willmetts’ house. He and Caleb Willmett had become friends in junior high when they’d both been busted for smoking behind the gym sheds. Derek soon discovered a haven at the Willmetts’, but this evening the neat, three-story house was dark and clearly no one was home.
The police officer glanced at Derek as he wrote on his pad. “You’re on that home renovation show, aren’t you? My wife watches it all the time.”
“Yeah? That’s good to know.”
“She can’t believe you’re the same teenage punk I hauled home to your granddaddy more’n a couple of times.”
Derek kept his mouth shut. He hadn’t broken the law in a while, but here in his rustic hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, people had long memories.
A car coming from the opposite direction slowed as it drew level with Derek’s.
“Derek?” A shocked female voice rose in the warm summer evening.
His heart jolted as he stared at the woman in the other car. “Hannah.”
Holy Christ. Hannah. Caleb’s older sister. He hadn’t expected to see her in Pine Falls; he’d assumed she was still in Florida. But here she was in the flesh, just a few feet away, so close he could almost touch her. And he’d heard through Caleb that she wasn’t married to that jerk anymore. Something restless churned in him at the thought.