To Have and to Hold (The Hold Series Book 3)(121)

By: Arell Rivers

“Are you sure you don’t want to get married before we leave on this leg of the tour?” I can’t help but ask. “I want everyone to know you’re mine.”

She raises her left hand, showing off her engagement ring. “I think this does the trick.” Last week, I finally broke down and told her the truth about my first failed proposal, which seemed to unlock all of the missing pieces of her memory. I’m proud I was able to return them to her.

I lift my empty left hand. “Not for me.”

Rose takes my hand in both of hers and brings it to her lips. She kisses the finger where her ring will reside. “Even though we’re going to have a small wedding, I want it to be perfect.”

I chuckle. “Perfection is so unlike you.”

She gives me a dirty look and continues, “You know Shari and I were inundated after—well, after Lisa. We had to handle the media fallout from her death, the fire. Everything.”

I skim my fingers through her gorgeous long hair. “What you did was amazing. The positive publicity you brought to Roberto, Jared and Wills overwhelmed Kates.”

“Kates personally tracked down her cousin Paul. He confessed everything about how he ‘helped’ Lisa.” After making air quotes, her fingers thread through mine.

I nod. Paul took a plea and will be going away for twenty-five years for killing Jared, not to mention being an accomplice to Roberto’s murder, arson and breaking and entering.

“The way you deep sixed Lisa’s story was brilliant. Gruesome couldn’t have done any better. Her note never went public.”

Rose snorts at my mention of her former boss, then bites her lip. “I bet Lisa’s turning over in her grave knowing the whole world didn’t find out what she said.”

“Hopefully any other would-be stalkers will learn there’s no glory to be had.”

Rose shudders in my arms. She’s thinking about the note, just like I am. I close my eyes for a moment, and Lisa’s final words play across my eyes:

By now the world will know I did what I had to do. To save Cole, this was the only way. It always was for him. His music will live on in your souls.

Forever and always…Starr Manchester

Rose’s tiny palm caresses my cheek. I turn my head and kiss it, admitting, “I don’t want to think about her anymore.”

Her face approaches mine. We share a breath. “Then don’t.” She offers me a sweet kiss.

I close my eyes and inhale deeply, delighting in her floral scent. Rose taught me how to love. She guided me to uncover a deeper purpose for my life. I hope I’ve taught her to be spontaneous, believe in herself and trust in us.

“I’d much rather think about our future.” I kiss the top of her head and we turn to look at the lights again. “What’s your next dream, miss PR guru?”

She smiles. “Keep building up RM Publicity. Continue helping Mom and Doreen with the Julie Manchester Music Foundation. But, more immediately, I have this hotshot rock star client who’s requested my presence on his tour starting next week.” She leans forward and whispers. “He’s kinda a handful.”

My eyebrows raise. “I have it on pretty good authority that he’s more like two-handfuls.”

She shakes her head as a blush steals up her neck. With her, life never will be boring. We’ll tackle it together.


My Rose. My heart. My forever.