HERE TOMORROW 7 PM PST. MARCI BOUDREAUX AUTHOR OF: THIS OLD CAFE SEE EXCERPT

HERE TOMORROW
7 PM PST.
MARCI
BOUDREAUX

AUTHOR OF:


Jenna Reid purchased the Stonehill Café to prove to herself that her ex-husband was wrong...that she could make her dreams come true. Three years later, all she has is a crumbling building, no social life, and her bruised pride. 



Pride is something Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Maguire lost long ago and isn’t likely to find living in the alley behind the café. He just needs a little time to get on his feet. In the interim, keeping an eye on the overworked café owner gives him a sense of purpose. He has no intentions of making his presence known until he hears the woman screaming late one night. 

He rushes into the café but instead of finding her in dire straits, he finds a broken pipe and Jenna—soaking wet and holding a wrench. With her last bit of hope fading, Jenna accepts Daniel’s help to fix up her building, but it doesn’t take long for them to start trying to fix each other.





Jenna sat up in bed, her breath stuck in her throat. She didn’t know what had woken her until blue light flickered behind her curtain. She exhaled slowly as thunder thudded across the sky like a bowling ball rolling over an uneven floor. Wind whistled for a moment, the pitch accentuated in the tunnel created by building next to her, and then the rain started peck-peck-pecking against her window.
A quick glance at the clock told her it was nearly four a.m. She pulled the blankets around her shoulders, silently counting when her window brightened again. One-two-three…
Rumble.
Then another sound caught her attention. Something heavy had been tossed down. In the bed of a truck. Her stomach dropped. She’d hesitantly left the café unlocked when she’d finally called it a night. Daniel had wanted to pull off some of the old paneling so he could check the condition of the walls before they went to Carson’s Hardware to get the supplies he needed to put up new wainscoting. Obviously, he couldn’t do that when the café was open, and she couldn’t stay up all night supervising. She had wavered between trusting her gut where Daniel was concerned to hearing Marcus warn her against hiring someone without the proper references to Peter mocking her for being too trusting.
She’d gone with her instinct and trusted Daniel to be in her café without her—and to have a key to lock up when he was done. And now someone was tossing heavy items into the bed of a truck just outside her window.
Had he left the café open? Was someone stripping the kitchen of all her expensive equipment to sell for profit?
Was he stripping her kitchen?
Jumping out of bed, Jenna flipped the locks on her front door—Marcus had installed three—and rushed down the stairs, squinting at the truck in an attempt to commit the make and model to memory so she could file a proper police report. The truck was black. Maybe dark blue. Big. Dual tires in the back. There was something written on the tailgate.
Burke Construction along with a phone number.
Burke Construction?
Daniel had said his uncle owned a construction company. And that he was borrowing a truck.
She looked to the café’s kitchen door when a man stepped out carrying a sheet of paneling. He tossed it in the back and the sound echoed through the alley. Guilt and a bit of shame washed over Jenna. As much as she’d wanted to trust Daniel, she hadn’t. She hadn’t trusted him not to steal. Not to leave her door open. Not to take care of the things he’d said he’d take care of.
He turned and jerked to a stop when he locked eyes on her.
The rain had increased and his hair and T-shirt started clinging to his skin as he stood there. Finally, he took a few steps. “Jenna, are you okay?”
No. She wasn’t okay. She was mortified by the depth of her doubt in him. He’d proven himself reliable more than once, and she still didn’t believe him. But trust hadn’t come easy to her for a long time. So many people in her past had taken her confidence in them and used it against her. She closed her eyes to stop her train of thought before looking at Daniel again.
Though his broad chest and brooding look would frighten most who crossed him in a dark side street at four in the morning, she only felt shame. “Y-yes. I’m…fine. I heard a noise. I thought there might be trouble.”
He flicked his gaze over her before staring into her eyes. “So you come running out like that to investigate?”
Startled, she glanced down at herself. A thin charcoal-colored tank top and tiny shorts were all that protected her from being naked. She wasn’t wearing a bra, but thankfully the dim light made it difficult to see the effect the cool night air was having on her. Even so, she crossed her arms over her breasts.
Something flashed in his eyes when she looked at him again. She couldn’t quite determine was it was, but his voice was clipped when he spoke again.
“Get back inside, Jenna.”
She glanced at the truck. He followed her gaze.
“My uncle has a dumpster on his work site. I can toss this there instead of you paying to have it hauled away. Unless you want to pay to have it hauled away.”
She shook her head and rain-damp strands clung to her cheeks. “No.”
He stared her down, and she knew he’d seen through her excuse before he said the words.
“You thought I was stealing.”
Guilt hit her again. “No. I…I thought you forgot to lock up and someone else was stealing.”
She hadn’t had to say what her next thought had been. She had considered the possibility that he was robbing her blind. Though the light in the alley was hazy, saw the change in his eyes as he clearly heard what she hadn’t said. She’d hurt him by not trusting him. She wanted to explain. She had a way of trusting the wrong people. She was a terrible judge of character and had been burned before. But the words stuck in her throat.
“Go inside,” he said more gently before turning away from her.











Jenna Reid purchased the Stonehill Café to prove to herself that her ex-husband was wrong...that she could make her dreams come true. Three years later, all she has is a crumbling building, no social life, and her bruised pride. 



Pride is something Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Maguire lost long ago and isn’t likely to find living in the alley behind the café. He just needs a little time to get on his feet. In the interim, keeping an eye on the overworked café owner gives him a sense of purpose. He has no intentions of making his presence known until he hears the woman screaming late one night. 

He rushes into the café but instead of finding her in dire straits, he finds a broken pipe and Jenna—soaking wet and holding a wrench. With her last bit of hope fading, Jenna accepts Daniel’s help to fix up her building, but it doesn’t take long for them to start trying to fix each other.



Kara knew the guilt trip was coming so she wasn’t surprised when Phil walked into her makeshift studio—which was really the back corner of her mudroom—with a steaming coffee mug. He looked so much like Harrison it made her heart ache.
Harry had been terrified to face his mother, and Phil seemed to have that same fear in his eyes.
He held the mug out to her. “I made you some tea.”
Kara frowned as she looked at the blank canvas that had been staring at her all afternoon. She exhaled and accepted the cup. “You want to go to Iowa.”
He sat on the stool that Jess usually occupied and clasped his hands between his knees. “It makes sense, Mom. And not just for the job. I want to know my father. I know we can call and e-mail and all that, but it’s not the same.”
“I know.”
“I want you to come with us.”
Her heart started pounding just at the mention of going home. “I can’t do that, Phil.”
“I know your parents hurt you,” he said softly, “but Harry cares about you. He wants to make things better. For all of us.”
She looked at him and scoffed. “Are they so bad now, Phil? Really? Jess is happy. She’s settled. We have a nice little life, don’t you think?”
He nodded. “For now. But reality will crash in on us sometime. When I was a kid, all I needed was food and shelter. Jess needs medicines and special care that you can’t get in exchange for a mural, Mom. I have to put her first, and if that means taking a job where I’ll have insurance and job security, then I need to do that. Besides all that, I spent my entire life fantasizing about my father. I have the real thing now, and he seems like a good guy.”
She focused on putting her brush down. “He is a good guy. He always was.”
“He was just a kid, but I think he would have done what he said and given up school to be there for us. Don’t you?”
“Yes. I think he would have. And I think he would have grown to resent me for holding him back. I think he would have tried to squeeze me into a mold, and I would have started to hate him. I think we would have had a miserable marriage, an ugly divorce, and you still would have grown up blaming me for not having the life you wanted.”
Phil sighed. “I don’t… Okay, I do blame you, but I also know you did the best you could given the circumstances. But the circumstances have changed now, and Harry deserves the opportunity that was taken from him. He wants to help us out. I think we should let him. Now is the perfect time. Jess is on summer break. She’ll have time to adjust before school starts. We’ll all have time to adjust.” Leaning forward, he put a kiss on her head and handed her an envelope. “He asked me to give this to you.”
He left her sitting in her little room, holding a coffee mug and staring at her name scrawled in black ink. Setting her mug down, she gently tore the envelope open and pulled out several folded sheets of notepad-sized paper with a hotel logo at the top.
Dear Kara,
I cannot begin to express how sorry I am for not responding to your letters sooner. Though I can’t make up for the years you spent waiting, I hope you will accept this delayed reply as the answer you were hoping for.
Since you told me about our son, I have been trying to imagine what your life must have been like. I wish I had been there to help ease the pain of your parents’ rejection. Even more than that, I wish had been there to stop my parents’ deception. I know you must have felt incredibly alone raising a child on your own. While I was at college thinking my life was difficult because I had tests to study for and papers to write, you were providing all of life’s necessities to Phil, nurturing him, and teaching him things he should have learned from me.
The last twenty-seven years of my life seem incredibly selfish and shallow in comparison to yours. I spent my time growing a business, catering to strangers, while you created an amazing man and became a grandmother to a wonderful little girl.
I wish I could have been there to see Phil grow and to help carry your burden. The fact that my mother sent you money every month eases my guilt somewhat, but I know nothing can ever make up for how abandoned you had to have felt by everyone involved in this situation.
I can’t change the past, Kara, but I hope, more than anything I have ever hoped for in my life, that we can move forward. We had twenty-seven years taken away from us without our consent; I don’t want to lose another moment.
~Harry
Kara read the letter and second and a third time, letting his words sink in. Finally, she pushed herself up and walked through the house until she found Phil on the couch with Jess. The girl was bouncing up and down as he showed her something on his laptop.
“Look how big the backyard is, Punky,” he said. “I bet Harry will let us put up a swing set.”
Jess noticed Kara in the door and waved her over. “Grandma, look. Look at the pictures Harry sent.”
Easing on the sofa, Kara laughed quietly. The house couldn’t look any more conventional if Harry had built it himself. White siding, black shutters, two stories, and a white-picket fence to round it all out. It was so traditional, so perfect, so…so Harrison Canton.
“This is where we are going to stay when we go to Harry’s,” Jess said.
Kara nodded. “It’s lovely.”
Jess took her hand. “You’re going, too, right, Grandma? Harry says there are only three bedrooms but that we can make it work. You can sleep in my room if you want. Maybe we can put rainbows and unicorns on the walls.”
“Maybe we can.” Kara hugged Jess closer and looked at Phil. She sighed and nodded.
Yes. Fine. She would go. She would give Phil the house, the yard, the fence…the life he’d always wanted. She would forgive Harry’s unintentional neglect, put the resentment and anger behind her, and yes, damn it, they would move on.
Somehow.





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