Peach Cobbler Confessions by Addison Moore

Chapter 1

My name is Lottie Lemon, and I see dead people. Okay, so rarely do I see dead people. Mostly I see furry creatures of the dearly departed variety, aka dead pets, who have come back from the other side to warn me of their previous owner’s impending doom.

But right now, I’m not seeing a dead anything. Instead, I’m seeing Noah Fox, my longtime boyfriend—I’m loath to use the word ex when it comes to Noah, but I suppose that’s where we’ve landed.

Noah has dark hair with red highlights, bold green eyes, and dimples for days. He’s got a face that demands the attention of every woman with a pair of functioning ovaries and a body built for speed. His navy suit is in motion as he takes his place up at the podium here at the Salute to Our Heroes awards ceremony.

It’s Saturday evening and it seems all of Honey Hollow has made the trek to Ashford County, where the city is hosting an event that pays homage to its public servants right here at the civic center.

My very pregnant sister, Lainey, is seated to my right, just waiting in anticipation for her husband, my hero of a brother-in-law, Forest Donovan, to be recognized as well.

Noah clears his throat as he accepts the triangular crystal award and leans into the microphone.

“Thank you to the city, and to the people of Ashford for participating in this event tonight.” Noah’s verdant green eyes narrow over mine and a warm sensation radiates through me. Noah and I may be off again, but that doesn’t mean I can just turn off my feelings for him. “I want to especially thank the love of my life, Lottie Lemon, for giving me the strength each day to do what I do. Thank you, Lottie. And thank you, all.”

A round of applause erupts and it seems the entire row of people I’m sitting with coos and moans at Noah’s sweet words.

“Hear that, Lot?” Carlotta elbows me in the ribs from my left. Carlotta is my biological mother, who had the good sense to abandon me on the floor of the Honey Hollow Fire Department when I was an infant. And believe you me, there was no sarcasm whatsoever in that statement. I was raised by Joseph Lemon, the fireman who found me, and his wife, Miranda, a couple of decent, loving people who I will cherish forever as my parents.

Carlotta just recently made her way back into my life. She’s an older version of myself, same caramel-blonde hair, same hazel eyes, more wrinkles, less good sense, and more than her fair share of mischievous bones in her body. “Good old Foxy is still hot-to-trot for you.”

Mom spins around and nods. “You don’t make a public proclamation like that to a married woman unless you’re still very interested.” Miranda Lemon has shoulder-length creamy-blonde hair with sparkling blue eyes, and when you get right down to it, she can be just as mischievous as Carlotta when she wants to. Mom wags a finger my way. “He’s still gunning for you, Lottie. This isn’t over.” She spins back in her seat, and I turn to my sister.

“Why did that sound like a threat?” I whisper.

Lainey hugs her belly. “Everything that woman says as of late comes across as a threat.” Lainey, too, shares my caramel tresses and hazel eyes. She was the reason that as a child I was convinced it wasn’t me who was adopted but my other sister, Meg.

Lainey is married to the love of her life, the aforementioned fireman, and they’re due to have their first child in less than three weeks. I, for one, cannot wait. My best friend, Keelie, is due at precisely the same time. But since she doesn’t have a dog in tonight’s fight—her words, not mine—she decided to stay home and watch TV with her new husband.

Speaking of husbands, I crane my neck toward the right-hand side of the room, where they’ve lined up the recipients of the awards, but I don’t see any sign of my handsome hubby.

Judge Essex Everett Baxter is actually far more than just handsome to a fault. He’s darn right arresting with that shock of black hair, cobalt blue eyes, face that was sculpted by the masters, and a body put together in just the right way by the Almighty Himself. He’s slow to smile, and quick to attract the attention of every woman in a ten-mile vicinity. He can’t help it. When they were doling out