“Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited ‘cuz we understood
There’s one perfect fit and sugar this one is it
We both are so excited ‘cuz we’re reunited, hey-hey”
Okay well, now, back to present day…lol. Reunited is today’s theme and I have the perfect book for that. But it’s not the kind of sexy snippet you’re probably expecting. See, Buck (Sweet Caroline), Decker (Cracklin’ Rosie) and Cort (Forever In Blue Jeans) have been friends for years, but it’s been a long time since the three of them have been together in the same place… And it’s one of the reasons I love this book.
Cort stood against the deck railing of Buck and Caroline’s house. “Cabins, huh? I thought you just lured me up here to set me up with a woman needing an electrician.”
Buck grinned. “The cabins, for sure. The set-up? I ain’t copping to that.”
“Uh-huh,” Cort said skeptically. He knew them better than they thought he did. “Tell me about your business idea.”
“I want to construct cabins all up and down the mountains. I could see it the second I got up here. Everything is natural and awe inspiring.”
“I can’t argue with that. It is something else. A whole other world surrounded by these trees and all the nature, but aren’t there already a ton of cabins around here?”
Cort waited for Buck to elaborate, but when he didn’t… “Then what would make ours special?”
“Green? As in color or eco?”
“Damn, Buck.” Cort whistled low. “You realize how expensive that would be? Not only for us but for the buyers?” Buck sat forward, an earnest look on his face and in his eyes. Cort knew that look well and braced himself.
“Look, we’ve all done a little eco building over the last few years. We all have some contacts in different areas. We can all learn, get the certification, but I think it would be our unique niche. Especially if we can make it more affordable. The cabins might be a little smaller, but I know we can make this work. I’ve put a lot of thought into it. I’ve made a lot of phone calls. There aren’t many green cabins up here yet. I think it’s a good time to do this.”
Cort couldn’t argue with that. The three of them could get any certification they needed and Buck was right, between them, they had all the contact names and numbers. He also couldn’t deny how often he’d thought of working alongside his friends. Maybe he–
“Have y’all seen the blue haze of the mountains in the distance?” Caroline spoke up from her seat on the arm of Buck’s chair.
The way Buck looked up at her when she said anything, the way he was always touching her, whether it be her hair or her back or just her arm, Cort had never seen his friend look happier, more content. Same way Decker was with Rosie. His friends had each found “the one”, and while he would never have admitted to believing in her for himself, he knew she existed, had in fact existed for the last five years.
“No.” Cort shook his head.
“Well, they’re called the Blue Ridge Mountains for a reason. The haze comes from the trees, from a chemical they emit into the atmosphere. It mixes with other chemicals in the air and creates a haze, moisture to protect the leaves from the sun. It’s one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.”
“It sure is. There are some mornings Rosie drags me out of bed just to look out over the mountains.”
Cort laughed. “You’re so whipped.”
“Not as whipped as she is.” Decker winked as he said it and grinned from ear to ear.
“Okay, okay.” Cort held up his hands in surrender. “TMI, man, TMI. Back to this business idea. Equal shares?”
Buck laughed and nodded. “Equal shares.”
“And you’re both certain you want to get into this?”
Cort looked from one to the other of his two best friends in the world. He knew they wouldn’t steer him in a direction that was wrong or unstable, even though at the present time the construction industry was a bit on the unstable side. But the eco-boom going on would provide some interesting challenges, experiences, and income. He wasn’t one to shy away from the challenges, and it wasn’t as though he had a permanent address right then. He tried not to think of Blue, of her address and how it could likely be his too, of how things had been left when Neil arrived and gave Cort an excuse to leave.
Before arriving in Blue Ridge, he’d have said he didn’t care to settle down anymore. He was happy roaming, not being any one place for too long. On the surface, anyway. Deep down he wanted what he’d always wanted: the wife, the white picket fence, the kids, and pets. He wanted the summer evenings on the front porch and the Christmases complete with decorations and lights and midnight assemblies of toys.
He pulled himself from those thoughts and refocused on the conversation at hand. It was iffy that Blue would even have him for a lover now, much less as more. “How hands-on would we be?”
Buck slid back in his seat and wrapped his arm around Caroline. “I figure at least one of us would have to travel to each site pretty regular, and I want to do the actual building on-site. I don’t want to manufacture something and have it shipped in. I want to build on-site. I want to use as much of the natural materials of the land as possible. I know we’ll need to hire a few people, but for the most part, I want us to do the work. It’ll help keep some of the costs down and we’ll be able to keep an eye on everything from the ground up.”
“How much funding do you think it’s going to take outside of what we each contribute?”
Buck smirked. “More than I want to think about. My father will pony up some as an investment, and a few of his guys will be available to us as workers.”
“We always talked about going into business together. Now that Decker and I are in the same area, we’d hoped you’d consider joining us.”
“Yeah, man. It’s time, I think. We’re settling down, or at least Buck and I are settling down. I think it’s something we all would like and like Buck, I don’t think there’s a better place to do something like this.”
He couldn’t argue with either friend. “I assume you have figures and a business plan.” Cort was the more cautious of the three of them. Always wanting to know everything up front. Always needing to know where the exits were. It had served him well, but it also kept him from experiencing a lot of the spontaneous fun in life. Decker and Buck were forever telling him to lighten up, to just have fun, to just live in the moment without having to know all the details before making a decision.
At the same time, this was a big damn decision and a lot of damn money. Not that he didn’t have more than enough to put into this new venture, and they wouldn’t steer him wrong, but he needed to see all the facts and projections.
Buck nodded. “Yes, I have everything you need to look at.”
“Good. I’ll do that and get you an answer in a few days. When are you looking to get this underway?”
“I want to have everything in place by the time the ground thaws in the spring.”
“All right. That will give me enough time to finish up a few projects I’d committed to for the next few months.”
“You got more than Blue’s place to do?” Buck asked, taking a swallow of tea.
The move prompted Cort to pick up his own glass of tea. It was the best sweet iced tea he’d ever had. While he was a boy from out West, he had developed quite a taste for the Southern elixir. “Yeah. There’s a townhouse in Charleston, and in the fall, I need to head out to Texas for a job that was put on hold a while back. The guy thinks he’ll have the money to finish it up before winter.”
“If it would help, I can work on Blue’s place.”
“I’m the electrician.”
“I can do some.”
Cort grinned. “Yeah, but I can do it all. Besides, you’re not the expert on historical homes.”
Decker shielded his eyes. “Okay, you two. Put the dicks away. I don’t really care to see you compare whose is bigger.”
Caroline grinned. “You might not, but I wouldn’t mind seeing.”
“Like hell.” Buck held up his hands in surrender. “I give. You’re right, but if she needs any general work…”
“Yeah yeah. I can do that too, remember?” Buck had a lover he was head over heels for, but that didn’t mean Cort was going to give the other man any reason to spend an inordinate amount of time with Blue.
Good God, he was jealous. There was nothing to be jealous about, but damn… What the hell other explanation was there?
“I haven’t been out to the plantation yet, but Rosie said it really is beautiful.”
“It is. It’s been well taken care of, and it’ll be great as a bed and breakfast.”
“It’s not open to the public right now, though, is it?”
“No, I don’t think so. I think she’s concentrating on the renovations. It’ll need work after the electrical is done. Looks like electric light was added back in the forties, but the last work that was done was around the sixties or seventies.”
“So you’re rewiring the whole house?”
“Yeah. I’m going to hire some local guys, maybe from down in Atlanta to come and help me out. No way I can do it all myself. I need to go through the place, make some calls, and write up an estimate. It won’t be cheap, but she’ll get exactly what she wants.”
Buck nodded. “I’ve made a few contacts just over the Tennessee border. There are some local guys who grew up around these areas that might be willing to lend a hand.”
“You think there’s some that are skilled enough?”
“Won’t know until we start asking around. Might be good to train some of the young guys around here. A lot of them could stay, and the more that stay, the more work that’s needed.”
“Rosie said there’s a lot of tourism around this time of year and into the fall,” Decker added.
“Yeah. Busy times up here. Could draw more people if there were more places for them to stay. Not to mention, it could bring in a whole different type of clientele.”
“You’re really getting into this small-town thing, aren’t you?”
“I am. I never thought I’d like a town this small, but Caroline was right. It kind of grows on you.”
“And you?” Cort turned his gaze on Decker who looked him square in the eye. “You’ve always traveled everywhere, just like me. You’re okay here? You like it?”
“Yeah, man. I do. It’s time to stop roaming.” Cort wasn’t ready to admit he agreed. He only nodded and finished off his glass of tea.
“We’ve got time to see how it all shakes out. For now, though, I’m hitting the hay.”
Decker snorted. “That’s not all you’re gonna be hittin’.”
Buck grinned. “Nope. Y’all can show yourselves off Caroline’s porch.”
Cort and Decker watched as Caroline slid off the arm of Buck’s chair, saw the look in the man’s eyes when she went inside. Buck followed her through the glass doors and locked them firmly behind himself. “Well, I guess that’s our cue.”
Make sure you visit the following blogs for more Reunited snippets:
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Have a great Saturday!