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FirstChoiceSecondChanceSmallerWebUseOnly 1 more week until First Choice, Second Chance is out. Not much longer, and I’ll need a new story to tease you all with. For today, I have a scene from Chapter 6 between Mason and his friend, Brian.

He couldn’t be here. He didn’t care about the wasted money. He would certainly lose his sanity if he stayed. He didn’t know why he ever thought he could do it. He’d go home and wait to even venture into town until she left. He’d turned back toward the gate when someone called his name. He turned his head as Brian walked toward him. He couldn’t help the smile. The two of them hadn’t been great friends in school, but since that summer after graduation they’d grown close.
He turned fully around. “Hey, Brian. Where’s the family?”
“Alyssa wanted to see the ponies. Ashley’s walking through the barns with her. How are you doing, man? Haven’t seen you around much lately.”
It was true. The farm kept him busy, especially since his father’s accident. They employed a couple of kids from the high school, but the farm couldn’t support more workers. He did most of the work himself, one reason they’d sold off about half of their cows, and to help pay his father’s medical bills. “Summer. It’s busy for us.” It’s all he would say. He wouldn’t burden anyone else.
“How’s your dad?” Brian asked, walking forward. Mason fell into step with him.
“He has his days. Summer’s not so bad. His pain gets worse when it’s cold. Not that he’ll admit it.”
That brought a grin out of his friend. “Your old man always was stubborn.”
“Yeah, he was. He is.” That’s the reason the doctors gave for why he even survived the accident. Or he had a guardian angel looking after him.
They walked in silence for a moment then Brian asked, “Have you seen her?”
Mason’s stomach twisted around itself. He didn’t need him to clarify who he asked about. “Ran into her at the bar the other night. She came to see me the next day.”
“You okay?”
“Fine.” Not even close. “I made it clear there was nothing between us anymore. She’s my brother’s wife, for God’s sake.” His hands shook as he said the words, so he shoved them in his pockets. He hoped Brian hadn’t noticed.
There was precious little the other man didn’t notice. One reason he was the youngest member of the town’s small law firm. Why he had been snatched up as soon as he passed the bar, over a year ago. Already he was making a name for himself. “They’re divorced, man. You can go after her if you want.”
Mason shook his head. “I don’t want. She chose him over me seven years ago. I can’t forget that.” It made his heart ache to remember it. “She’ll be leaving again. What’s the point?”
“What if she were to stay?”
“It wouldn’t matter. I can’t be her second choice. I can’t, Brian.”
“All right, man. What are you doing here tonight? I imagine you aren’t going to the concert.”
Mason shook his head. “I don’t think it would be smart to torture myself, but I couldn’t stay away. Maybe I’m not so smart.”
Brian squeezed his shoulder. “You’ll be all right. I see Ashley and Alyssa up there. I better catch up to them. I’ll see you around, okay?”
“Yeah, Brian, go be with your family,” he said as they announced Lila on the stage. She was the opening act tonight. His mouth went dry as her voice rose over the applause. “I’m going to get something to eat then head back home. I never should have come here.”

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