Broken Promises Page 1

Author: Kelly Elliott

Series: Broken #3

Genres: Romance , New Adult

STARING OUT THE window, I dragged in a long, deep breath as I spun my ring around my finger. I couldn’t believe college was over. I closed my eyes and pushed down the same uneasy feeling I’d been pushing down every time I headed home for the last three and half years.

With my eyes closed, I was brought back to that day in the barn when I gave Walker a piece of my heart.

THE LAST PEOPLE from the party filed out of the barn and I watched as Walker and Jase said good-bye to their friends. When Walker turned and smiled at me, my heart stopped. I reminded myself that Walker was just a friend. My best friend, but nothing more. I looked over toward Ava and her best friend, Cindy before glancing back at Walker and Jase. Walker had been my best friend since I could remember. Our parents were best friends, so we were always together. Family vacations, birthdays, holidays—whatever we did, our families did it together. At age six, Walker had vowed that he would always protect Ava and me. We were his whole world, and no one would ever hurt his sisters.

The problem was, Ava was his sister, and I was the best friend who’d been in love with him since the day he made that promise.

Jase laughed and asked me, “How do you think it went?”

I shook my head and said, “If Mom and Dad find out that you threw Walker and me a going away party in their barn, they’re going to be pissed.”

Jase and Ava both laughed.

“Please. I’ve heard all of Uncle Layton’s pontoon party stories. One little barn party is nothing,” Ava said.

Jase winked at Ava. “A girl after my own heart.”

Ava gave Jase the finger and turned to head out of the barn. “Cindy and I are heading home, Liza. See you in a few,” she called over her shoulder.

Everyone had been calling me Liza since I was little, even though my first name was Taylor. It was short for Elizabeth, my middle name.

Jase watched Ava leave the barn and he laughed. “Good thing I have a girlfriend.” He shook Walker’s hand, then kissed me on the cheek. “Love you, sis,” he whispered.

“Watch it,” Walker said. “Ava is still my baby sister, Jase.”

Jase laughed and walked out of the barn, saying, “I threw the party. Y’all clean up.”

I stood and called out, “Jase Morris! You’d better get your ass back in here right now and help!”

Walker shook his head. “Come on. By the time you talk him into helping, we can have the whole place cleaned up.”

As Walker and I cleaned up the empty cups and trash, we talked about college. Walker was going to Texas A&M to major in biological and agricultural engineering. I was going to Baylor University and getting my degree in education. My dream was to be an elementary school teacher right here in Llano.

“Are you still thinking of minoring in horticulture?” I asked as I threw the last empty cup away. I wiped my sticky hands on my pants.

Jase had promised no alcohol, but I was pretty sure that some people had snuck some in. The evidence was all over my hands.

Walker chuckled. “I’m not sure. I think I’ll be too busy with my major, and my dad says he doesn’t want me pushing it.”

I rinsed off my hands in the sink at the end of the barn, then made my way over to a bunch of hay bales. I flopped down and giggled.

“I think you probably know just as much as the teachers anyway,” I said, “with what all you’ve learned from your dad.”

He nodded. “Yeah. My main goal is to help my dad and Layton out on the ranch. I’m itching to get into the racehorse world, but my damn dad won’t even let me go to the races.”

I threw my head back and laughed. As I pulled my knees up to my chest, I looked at Walker and shook my head. “You don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that he caught you getting people to place bets on the horses, do you?”

Walker gave me that smile that had been melting my heart for years as he sat next to me. I’d learned to cover up my true feelings for him, but he still did things to my insides.

“Liza, can I ask you something?”

I shrugged and said, “Of course you can. You never have to ask that.”

He looked out the barn door. “Why haven’t you ever dated anyone for very long?”

His question totally caught me off guard, and I dropped my legs and sat up, clearing my throat. “Um...I don’t know. I just want to be with that one person who...who, um...”

Walker was still staring off in the distance as he said, “Makes your heart stop beating?” he barely said.

I stared at him. “Yes.”

“I want the type of love that takes my breath away,” Walker said as he turned and looked into my eyes.

“Yeah. Me, too,” I whispered as I looked away. “What about you? Never found that one girl who makes your heart stop?” I asked as I bumped his shoulder with mine.

When he took my hand, I sucked in a breath and tried to contain the crazy feeling zipping through my body. As our eyes met, something happened. Something changed between us, and my heart slammed against my chest.

Walker stood, pulled me up, and brought me close. When he placed his finger on my chin, his eyes landed on my lips, and I fought to hold in a moan. He leaned down and brushed his lips against mine. We shared that first kiss, slow, yet full of passion. Our tongues danced, and we both moaned as Walker pulled me against his body.

When he pulled his lips away, he whispered, “Promise me something.” I swallowed hard and whispered back, “Anything.” Walker looked into my eyes and smiled. “Wait for me, Liza.”

I smiled. “Okay.”

“Say it, Liza,” Walker said.

I tried desperately to ignore the feeling of him pressing himself into me as I said, “I promise, Walker, I’ll wait for you.”

“LIZA? LIZA, ARE you listening to me?” Keith asked as he nudged my leg.

I shook my head and chuckled. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“Aww, my deep thinker. Always lost in thought. What were you thinking about this time? A wedding perhaps?”

Keith had asked me to marry him last December when I went home with him to meet his family. It was the first Christmas I wasn’t home with my own family. And the first Christmas I hadn’t seen Walker. I chewed on my lip, like I always did. It was a nervous habit I’d picked up years ago, and it drove my father crazy.

“Um…just wondering what this summer will hold for me,” I said. “For us,”

Keith shook his head and sighed. “Liza, when are you going to give me an answer? I feel like I’ve been pretty damn patient considering the fact that you turned me down in front of my entire family.”

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