Cast of Characters: Adrian Garner

Putting a young child into a romance is a risky move, I understand that. But, I’m all about writing romances that reflect real life. That tell stories with ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances. And for a large portion of ordinary people, children are a constant.

So, we have Adrian Garner. It’s no secret that Adrian has just recently lost his mother and is now living with his dad in a new town with a new bedroom that is not particularly to his liking, and with new people helping guide him through life. He likes people at the onset. Before his mother’s passing, she’s raised him well. Lovingly. She respected his feelings, his dreams, and she taught him to do the same. He’s a good boy.

He’s also a human boy and misses his mother in ways that words don’t always help expressing. So, he draws and he categorizes. He flexes his will and sometimes overshoots. But at the heart of Adrian Garner is a little boy so full of love that he teaches two stubborn men to stop being so bullheaded and love each other already.

Adrian relinquished his grip and sat back. His eyelashes clumped with tears, and his big loopy chestnut curls were matted damply on his head. When their eyes locked, Eddie had to catch his breath—Maggie stared at him from Adrian’s blue-eyed, freckle-faced gaze, waiting to hear what he had to say.

“Can you listen now?” Eddie asked, scratching over Adrian’s ears to loosen the curls.

Adrian nodded, sniffed, and licked at the snot glistening on his top lip. “You’re coming back.”

“I’m coming back. Our new house is less than an hour away. I’m going to get it all cleaned up and nice. Get your room set up—”

“But not too set up because I get to choose.”

Eddie laughed more from relief than good humor; his boy was bent, not broken. “Yes. You get to choose. And I’m going to meet the new firefighters and find the best ice cream shop in town.”

“You’re coming back.”

“I’m coming back,” Eddie said.

“Nana has the calendar to count my sleeps,” Adrian said, as his body relaxed with each spoken word.

“And our video dates.”

“Can we find the Big Dipper on our video dates?”

“If you want to,” Eddie said. “And I can show you the new house so you can start thinking about your room.”

Adrian reached behind him to run his fingers along Eddie’s shirt, a leftover habit from twisting his fingers in his mother’s hair and later curling her scarf tails. “Nana’s bed is soft.”

“I bet it is. And she reads stories better than I do.”

“She does great voices.”

“Maybe I should take a couple books with me to practice.”

Adrian giggled and spun around in Eddie’s arms; his eyes shone brightly for the first time all evening. “I can draw another book to read.”

“I can’t wait to see it.”

“Because you’ll be back.”

Beneath the Stars is now available for pre-order at the IP web store.

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