Needing Happily Ever After - Elena Aitken Page 0,3

was the real reason Damon had come back to town. To fulfill the criteria necessary to buy back his childhood home.

He turned his back on the heavy timber gate, and got back in his truck.

It was time to find Katie. And he was already late.

Chapter Two

The town of Glacier Falls was in full bloom at the end of June. It was Katie’s favorite time of year to be in town. The townspeople had really upped their game in recent years when it came to the planters along Main Street and in front of individual businesses. There’d been a push for tourism as more and more people in the city that was only three hours away started to look for a place for a quick weekend getaway and some fun in the mountains. Her once small town was starting to become a destination, and although some of the older residents were against the change and the ballooning weekend population, Katie welcomed it. She’d been taking business courses online and was only a semester away from her degree. But more importantly than the piece of paper was the knowledge that she’d gained and the excitement it had generated within her.

It hadn’t taken her long to see the potential in a town like Glacier Falls. And she, for one, had no problem with people coming from the city to spend their hard-earned dollars at the businesses in town. Especially considering she had a burning idea for her very own business. All she needed was…well, money. Starting something new would cost a lot. And it was a risk. And, as it turned out, there weren’t a lot of investors excited about backing a twenty-four-year-old small-town girl who hadn’t even completed her online degree yet.

She couldn’t help but gaze at the vacant storefront that used to be a furniture store that had moved to a larger location a few streets back. The space would be perfect for what she had in mind. The Hub. An adventure center. With all the tourists coming to town looking for fun and adventure, it was the perfect opportunity to both sell and rent all of the equipment that they could need. Katie visualized mountain bikes, kayaks, and hiking gear for the summer and cross-country skis and snowshoes for the winter months. She’d offer a selection of outdoor wear, shoes, and accessories as well. In the evenings and on weekends, she could offer courses and tours that people could join if they were beginners, or even if they were looking to go out in a group. It would be more than a store, but a gathering place. A home base for adventure.

One day.

Reluctantly, she turned away and kept walking toward the falls down the street. With two coffees in a tray, and a paper bag with a special treat that was making her mouth water with the sweet scent coming from it, Katie made the short walk to the park. The town of Glacier Falls was named after just that, a waterfall that was fed directly by a glacier high in the mountains. And as a homage to the namesake, the town had turned the area surrounding it into a pretty little gathering spot, complete with a few benches and picnic tables, and a pile of boulders that had been strategically placed for children to play on instead of the dangerous rocks around the waterfalls. It was one of Katie’s favorite places in town.

Her eyes went directly to a shiny black pickup truck parked nearby and she laughed.


Only her best friend, with more money than he knew what to do with, would buy an extravagant truck like that. It looked as if it had every single upgrade imaginable and had clearly never been off-road or seen any actual work that it had been designed for.

Well, she’d change that. As soon as Katie got Damon out on the ranch, she’d put him and his truck to work.

“Hey, short stuff. Where’ve you been?”

Katie whirled around to see the owner of the pretentious truck standing next to a picnic table. Her heart flipped a little, the way it always did when she saw him. It was hard not to react to his striking looks. His thick black hair and deep-green eyes sat atop a tall, strong frame that had dwarfed Katie since he’d finally sprouted past her in the seventh grade. His skin had a sun-kissed glow, as if he’d spent the last few months in the Caribbean, which she knew he had.