To Love Someone (Baytown Boys #14) - Maryann Jordan Page 0,1

the horizon captured his interest. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Picking up his phone, he scrolled through saved emails. Not that he got many, and most he deleted, saving only the very few that meant something to him. It didn’t take long for him to find the one he was looking for. The one from Zac Hamilton. His finger hovered over the button for only a few seconds before he clicked on the email.

Joseph, I figured you’d get this email no matter where you were or what you were up to. I came back to Baytown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Coming home wasn’t bad considering a bunch of my friends came back after their service as well. I took the job of Fire Chief, then became a paramedic, and now I’m the EMS Captain. Not bad for a Squid. Wanted to let you know that we’ve started an American Legion here. It’s a laid-back, easy way of life on the shore and sure as fuck a great place to call home. So, besides checking in with you, I’m extending an invitation. If going home wasn’t what you wanted it to be or the wandering I know you’re probably doing isn’t keeping you busy, give Baytown a chance. I sent a note to Jason as well, hoping he’ll make it here. Got a lot of new blood moving in, many out of the service who need a good place to call home. Anyway, hope you’re well and if you’re ever on the Eastern Shore, look me up. Zac

He took another long drag from his beer before setting it down on the table. Scrolling through his emails again, he came to one that came in about a year later from another Navy bud.

Joseph, believe it or not, I took Zac up on his invitation and came to Baytown. Didn’t figure I’d stay, but fuck, the people are nice. Starting a business, got a place to live. I know you’re a drifter, but if you’re ever out our way, come on by. I can always use an extra pair of hands. Jason

His eyes lifted from his phone screen, and he scanned the distance over the water. He knew what was on the far side of the bridge. The Eastern Shore. Baytown. Friends. Maybe some work. Hell, it’s not like I’ve got anything else I’m doing. The sun was still setting, and he considered waiting until the next day before trying to cross the long bridge. But the more he stared into the distance on the other side of the bay, a longing built deep inside, pulling at him.

Tossing plenty of money for his meal and a tip onto the table, he planted his booted feet on the floor, grabbed his helmet, and headed out to the parking lot. Once more throwing his leg over his bike, he revved the engine and roared down the road, stopping only to pay the toll at the beginning of the bridge.

The sun was disappearing into the horizon to the west behind him, but the streaks of color to the east offered enough illumination that he noticed the beauty surrounding him. The seventeen miles of bridge that connected the mainland of Virginia with the Eastern Shore offered a unique opportunity to feel completely connected to the Chesapeake Bay. The mostly-still water reflected the color and sparkles with a few whitecaps crashing against the pylons or the rocks near the tunnel entrances. Two underwater tunnels offered the multitude of sea vessels entering the Bay on their way to Norfolk or Baltimore the opportunity for unimpeded progress.

Traffic was light and he wondered if it was always this way. When he’d looked on a map, the Eastern Shore was little more than a narrow peninsula dotted with small towns and rural farmland.

While the beauty of the water and the skies surrounded him, he still wondered why he was making this trip. To see a couple of old Navy buddies? To discover a new place? Or maybe it was just one more stop in his long quest of trying to find a place to call home. Home. Do I even know what I’m looking for? “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” The quote from Maya Angelou ran through his mind and he grit his teeth, knowing the ache for a home burned in him but had no idea if he was destined to always