It Had to be You

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Sometimes running into your childhood friend can make you realize just how much your life has changed. For Libby and Greyson their lives were set on different paths. Libby had led a rather quiet life, graduating high school, moving out, and now working a quiet office job in a quiet little town in Somerset, Georgia. Greyson’s path had veered in the complete opposite direction, a small role in his early teens turned him into an overnight sensation. He skyrocketed to fame and for seventeen years he was on a fast road of fame and fortune.

When Greyson’s newest movie brings him to Somerset, Georgia, Libby and Greyson reconnect. But Libby finds him less than desirable, his fame had changed him from the boy she remembered. Greyson, though, remembers the little firecracker he loved with the heart of gold and the temper that only he knows how to tame. When the paparazzi forces the two of them in close quarters, sparks and tempers fly as Libby and Greyson realize that things aren’t always what they seem.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Had-Be-You-Emma-Andersen-ebook/dp/B01LBB4W8M/ref=sr_1_3?s=books
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Sample Chapter

Prologue

 

The cloudless sky of the July afternoon found Libby impatient and irritable. At ten years old she was already an impulsive little girl that was not only stubborn but very determined and willing to do anything to get whatever she wanted. And it just so happened, that summer afternoon, Libby Reynolds was tired of being the tag-along kid sister of Charlie Reynolds and she wanted to be just like the boys. She was intent on proving everyone wrong. Libby knew just the way to do it, too. Libby had seen her brother and Greyson doing it a thousand times, how hard could it really be? You just ride your bike really fast and take the jump and land on the other side. It was simple really. If they could do it, she could too.

Pedaling with all her might she rounded the street corner. She knew the ramp was in the middle of the street, because she had seen the boys on it at least a thousand times. It looked so simple, built from scraps of old wood and rusted nails, she had watched as Charlie and his best friend Grayson had pounded and screwed with the light of excitement in their eyes. Why couldn’t she be part of it too? It didn’t look hard at all. The bike did all the work really and all she had to do was get enough speed before she hit the ramp.

Libby’s pink cheeks glowed, her flaxen pigtails flying behind her as she pedaled until her legs hurt. The hum of a lawn mower buzzed as she passed the children playing in the yard oblivious to Libby’s mission as they laughed and rolled in the freshly mowed grass. But she didn’t want to join in their fun. She was undertaking the biggest challenge of her summer, even her entire life thus far. A smile of triumph already spreading across her face, she closed her eyes just for a second, just to savor the feel of the wind on her skin as the bike was gliding over the hot asphalt. Gaining speed, she lowered her head and pedaled faster, the object of her previous woe only feet ahead. At just ten years old, she was determined to defeat it, but along with that she was also stubborn enough to believe that she was just as skilled as her fifteen-year-old brother and his friends.

The pink and white streamers flew free as she pedaled as fast as her legs would allow. ‘I can do this, I can do this,’ she chanted to herself as her fingers tightened around the handlebars, the moment of truth fast approaching.

As soon as the bike wheel hit the ramp she could already taste the victory of making the jump. Her stomach rolled as her bike navigated the rickety wood structure, but right at the wrong moment her handlebars twisted and Libby felt the bike flipping in the air, her body following behind the twisted metal like a broken rag doll, twisting between the bike in horrific slow motion before she felt the sickening impact as she skidded on the hot asphalt. A shock of pain shot through her body, but her leg, which was trapped beneath the bike and the ground was throbbing painfully as if she had been shot. Her scream was high pitched, and likely heard for miles, she was certain she would lose consciousness.

“Libby, Libby!” she heard the voice but couldn’t see, “Libby!” a boy’s bike slid to a stop just inches from her tangled body and the young boy’s trembling hands were wildly working to untwist Libby’s bike as gently as possible.

It was Greyson Hunter, Charlie’s best friend. Everything would be okay, she thought. Greyson would make sure of it. Her faith in the boy at that moment was stronger than any she had before. She trusted him beyond bounds. In Libby’s eyes, Greyson Hunter was brave, courageous, and she depended on him like she had no other.

“My leg, it’s broken, I’m sure of it,” her lips trembled.

“I’ve got you, Libby,” Greyson soothed her as he pulled her from the bike, careful to keep her leg from moving as best he could, “everything’s going to be okay.” He pulled her free, cradling her in his arms as if she weighed nothing. At that moment he may have been no more than a boy of fifteen, but to Libby he was her hero.

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she let her head rest against his chest, thankful that she was safe. Greyson carried her across the street and into her house, settling her on the couch.

“I’ll get your Mom,” he tugged on one flaxen pigtail with a grin before running from the room in search of her mother. Libby watched as his head of dark wild hair disappeared out of sight and she fell headlong in love with him at that moment.

Libby didn’t end up with a broken leg from the fall but she had a lot of scratches and bruises to show for it and a really good black eye. It had been the best day of her summer despite her step-dad spanking her that night when he heard about Libby trying to jump her bike. As she lay in bed that night, despite all the pain she was in, it was the memory of Greyson’s dark eyes and his lopsided grin that comforted her into the night. After that day, she was even more intent on keeping up with Charlie and Greyson up until Greyson disappeared from her life when she was eighteen years old.

 

Chapter One

 

Seventeen Years Later

 

Libby’s friends were all half in love with Greyson Hunter. Who wouldn’t be, she thought, except she herself, of course. She had already fallen down that rabbit hole and had seen her way out with many bruises. But her friends, they didn’t know all the complexities that were Greyson Hunter, they only saw the gloss and shine. He was a leading actor in Hollywood and those deep dark eyes and cocky grin that she had fallen for as a child were the same things that kept audiences entertained and her girlfriends charmed. Not to mention the number of women he had dated over the years.

Libby’s friends loved hearing stories of Greyson Hunter as a child, and Libby would oblige. It was fun going over the stories, but at the same time it was like she was reliving her childhood crush all over again and then the downfall. It became a dangerous road for her to travel down, so Libby learned to place her crush on Greyson Hunter and any thoughts of the man himself directly where they belonged, far away in the past.

Somerset, Georgia was the last place anyone wanted to be in late July. Greyson Hunter was on the first week of production on his newest movie in Somerset, and he tried to go with the flow of the town. That, of course, was slow. The town of Somerset was pretty when he took a moment to pause in the uncomfortable heat, the main street encompassed a couple office buildings and a few shops, but for Greyson it was a quaint town that brought to mind his childhood home in northern California, so he relaxed into the pace within the first day. If he could get past the sticky heat, he might enjoy the next few months, he thought.

Word had already spread that they were filming at a farmhouse in the area. Of course, it would have been hard for anyone to miss that fact when the entire production crew rented out the nicest hotels within thirty miles of Somerset and, for an entire afternoon, a caravan of trailers, vans, and buses rolled through town to set up shop at the farmhouse. For a town like Somerset it meant big revenue and big celebrity sightings, which also brought the hordes of paparazzi and diehard fans to the sleepy little town that had not seen this much traffic in all its years.

Greyson Hunter slipped on a worn blue baseball cap and dark sunglasses and headed out for a morning run; trying to ignore the heavy air that felt as if he had just stepped out of a hot shower, the sticky heat clinging to his skin. He only hoped he could get some of his run in before the temperature rose too high. The dark asphalt was already blazing under the sun. He knew it would be a short run already, because he had woken up late, the humidity the night before gave him a restless slumber.

As his feet pounded the asphalt he went over his upcoming schedule. After this movie wrapped he would start working on a sitcom in Canada and then head to Idaho to work on a smaller indie film he had signed on for. Staying busy, that was what Greyson liked best. It was good for life and good for his health. Keep busy and keep on schedule.

Slowing his run, he walked the last block to a little brick coffee shop he saw on his way into town the day before, the brewing coffee smell reaching him long before he hit the door. If there was one thing that could make or break his morning it was whether or not, he had a decent cup of coffee. He prayed it was good coffee and he would definitely be going with an iced coffee for the duration of his stay in Georgia. The bell over the door rang as he opened it, the buzz of an oscillating fan moved air through the exposed brick interior as people milled around, some waiting for their orders, others just passing time talking to one another. None of the customers seemed to notice Greyson so he kept his ball cap tucked low despite removing his sunglasses.

After ordering his coffee though, the whispers around him made it clear that his cover had been blown. Greyson waited for his coffee hoping the crowd wouldn’t get too big because if he was late again, Zane, the director was going to ream him for wasting money and production time.

“Your iced coffee,” the barista called out, handing the cup over. She giggled when he flashed his trademark grin, his deep dimple flashing for her. “Have a good day, Greyson Hunter,” she said and her wide smile grew bigger when he winked at her.

Taking his coffee cup in hand, he turned to leave and ran straight into a woman as a wave of honeysuckle and long curls assaulted his senses and sent him through time. The young woman was hard to miss since she stood nearly a foot shorter than him and was looking down at her phone. But the honeysuckle. Wisps of memory tugged at him.

Greyson’s coffee now lay puddled on the floor. “I apologize,” he said automatically and when the woman looked up at him with bright eyes, the color of faded denim, fringed with long lashes his smile slipped and words caught in his throat. The sweet smell, her smell, surrounding him, teasing him. It had to be her. Greyson Hunter, the man who could charm the entire nation with only the tilt of his mouth was completely speechless as he stared into the denim blues of a woman he hadn’t seen in nearly seventeen years.

“Oh, it’s fine, really,” she said, her voice so coldly neutral. She absently waved him away, her porcelain skin heating quickly, “it’s nothing, sir.”

“Wait,” he called out to her as she turned and started to dart through the growing crowd, weaving in and out of people at an alarming speed without looking back, “let me buy your coffee at least,” he called after her.

“I really must go,” she called over her shoulder and she was lost within the crowd as the horde of people descended upon him.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” Libby berated herself as she walked the two blocks back to her apartment. Not only had she run into Greyson, literally, but she had made a complete fool of herself, by acting like she didn’t recognize him.

She’d known he would be in town for the next two months and she’d intended to avoid seeing him at all costs. And now, not only had she seen him, but he had touched her and the memory of his hands on her arms as he steadied her would be another thing she would have to push out of her mind and in to the past.

She felt like such a fool, she had run into Greyson Hunter and spilled his coffee all over the coffee shop floor, then run out of the shop like a scared cat. The entire town would be talking for months about it. Why, did it have to be him?

But really, the worst part of it all for Libby was that all of the fantasies she had about him, all of the idle thoughts she had, were all proved false. She thought for sure that if she ever did see him again he would remember her. Those were all dashed within an instant when he stared right at her, for a good ten seconds, and he didn’t even recognize her or remember her. It was embarrassing that she ever thought he would remember her; she obviously hadn’t been a huge part of his life or anything. She was just the kid sister of his friend. It wasn’t like she even spent much time with him. Why had she thought it would be different? She was such a fool.

She jammed her key in the lock and entered her apartment, closing the door with a slam and dialing her phone.

“Well, I just made a complete fool of myself,” she said into the receiver.

“What did you do?” She could hear Quinn, her best friend, typing on the other end of the line. She was already at work, but she was good at multi-tasking.

“Well, I just ran into Greyson Hunter, literally,” Libby sighed, falling onto her couch and covering her face with a pillow. She screamed into it for a good three seconds before resuming her conversation.

“Wait, what?” Quinn’s typing had stopped. “Back up, what happened?”

“I was getting coffee, and he was in line ahead of me. I hadn’t realized it was him because he was just dressed normal,” Libby said, “he must have been in disguise or something, he was wearing a baseball cap and running clothes.”

“Or, he was just running,” Quinn quipped dryly.

“Whatever,” Libby said impatiently, “anyway he turned around and I was standing too close and he ran into me, his coffee spilled all over the place and he looked at me and didn’t even recognize me.”

“Oh, Lib.” Quinn’s sympathetic tone was the last thing she wanted to hear.

Quinn was her biggest cheerleader in life. She was on Team Libby since day one when it came to Greyson Hunter. Sure it was a fictional crush that Libby would never see progress into a relationship, but it had been the only thing Libby had because real relationships were a no-go for her. She tried that and had failed miserably. Maybe she was just meant to be alone and move to the country, where she would sit on her porch swing and talk to her animals. It seemed pretty plausible at this point in time. Quinn had always been the one who listened to all the stories of Libby’s childhood crush on Greyson and how her brother Charlie and him would tease her and chase her around the house. She went to every movie with her and oohed and aahed over Greyson; and they both dreamed of the day when he ran into Libby and remembered her from all those years ago.

But now, now it had happened and Greyson had looked at her like he probably looked at every other overzealous fan he had, as if she was just some other groupie who was gawking at him. She groaned, covering her face with the pillow from the couch.

“Maybe he didn’t get a good look,” Quinn said.

“Oh no, he got a good look,” Libby said. “All up close and personal and for at least ten or twenty seconds,” she groaned, “and then he offered to buy my coffee like I was some teen groupie.”

“Oh, no,” Quinn groaned too.

“It was awful,” Libby whined, “why did it have to be him?”.

“Maybe this was just the catalyst you needed to move on in life,” Quinn offered, “you always said he changed into a different person once he started acting.”

“Yeah,” Libby agreed, “but I had hope that he was still that same boy I grew up with.”

“I’m coming over after work,” Quinn said firmly, “we need to do damage control.”

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