“Paul seemed pretty excited about that ad campaign,” Emily said after a moment of silence.
Mitch glanced at her and nodded. “Advertising is his passion.”
The tiny furrow appeared above her eyes. He thought it was adorable and had to stop himself from reaching over to rub it. “What?” she asked.
“His passion,” Mitch repeated. “You know the thing he loves.”
Emily cocked her head and gave him a smile. “I thought Rachel was his passion.”
Mitch laughed. “Well, yeah, that’s a given. But advertising is also a passion. It gets his juices flowing. He loves it. You can tell.”
He watched as she thought about it. She nodded once. “I guess you’re right. I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
Mitch took a drink of his soda. “I believe everyone has at least one passion. It may not always be a healthy one, but everyone has to have something that drives them.”
“What do you mean?”
It was a theory Mitch had developed after years of investigative reporting. He studied people and had come to the conclusion that everyone had to have at least one thing to motivate them. For someone hooked on drugs, it might be their next fix. For a workaholic, it might be the next deal or promotion. But everyone had something that got them to the next day.
“Take Steven, for example,” he said to her. Emily looked over at his brother. “You know him pretty well. What do you think is the most important thing to him?”
“Anna,” she said promptly. “Well, and Mia. And your parents, you, and Tori.” She stopped and laughed. “I guess that’s more than one thing.”
“No. You got it right. It’s family. Steven has always been a family guy. Has always wanted to be with his family, in his hometown. That’s his passion.”
“Hmm,” Emily said, thinking.
“But there’s more. He is also passionate about the law. Not being a lawyer, although he does enjoy that, but the law itself. He likes studying it, using it to right a wrong. It motivates him.” He paused a moment and studied her. She seemed genuinely interested in this topic so he continued. “Now, Tori, well, I don’t know how many passions Tori has, but it’s a lot.”
As expected, Emily laughed. “Family for her too.”
“Yes, but expand that to people in general. Victoria loves people – all people. Getting to know them. Learning about their lives. You remember that driving vacation she took last summer?”
Emily nodded. The previous summer, his sister had taken a ten day vacation driving through the south, across Texas, Louisiana, all the way to Florida and back.
“She met a lot of people and enjoyed every minute of it. It broke her heart when she learned that the homeless man she had met in New Orleans had passed away this winter. And she did learn about it as she has kept in touch with the people she met on that trip.”
“She does love people,” Emily said. “She is the only one I know who can get a smile from Tim Moreno.”
Tim Moreno was a grouchy old man that lived on his family farm just outside of town. He was abrupt and rude to most people, but in typical Victoria fashion she had him wound around her little finger. The old man had a state-of-the-art greenhouse where he grew lilies of every shape, size, and color. It was what had brought him and Victoria together in the first place.
“Mr. Moreno’s passion is lilies.”
“They are beautiful. I love the calla lilies he grows.” Emily paused and then asked, “Do you have a passion?”
“Sure, I have three.”
“Three? What are they?”
He shot her a sly look. “You tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine.”
He hadn’t expected the sad look that crossed her face. She didn’t respond. He reached for her hand and squeezed. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t think I have a passion,” she whispered.
“Sure, you do.” She shook her head so he continued. “You’re passionate about computers.”
She thought about it for a minute. “Not really. I mean I like working with them. I enjoy teaching about them, but I don’t think I can call it a passion.” She paused. “I really don’t have a passion.”
“Well, then, I guess we will have to find you one.”
Leaving Emily was Mitch’s greatest mistake. Can she forgive him?
Growing up, Mitch Carson had always dreamed of leaving Holton, Texas, traveling the world, and writing life altering stories. As an investigative journalist, he made those dreams come true, but he left behind the only woman he ever loved. That was his greatest mistake. Mitch has returned home to see if she can forgive him for leaving her when she needed him the most.
In high school, Emily Fairview had fallen deeply, madly, and completely in love with Mitch. The two of them planned a life together far away from Holton, but when Emily’s family needed her, she chose to stay. Mitch chose to leave. Fifteen years later Mitch is back and wants a second chance, but Emily doesn’t know if she can forgive him.
Return to Holton, Texas one last time to see if Mitch can get Emily to forgive him. Forgive Me is the fourth and final book in the Holton Series but may be read as a standalone novel.