Haven married Brody, the boy she'd loved forever.
After five years and countless arguments, it's time to admit the marriage is broken. She needs a break. A summer mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo will give her that time. But Brody insists on coming with her, promising her the unexpected: a truce.
In Africa, they find the friendship they lost after making too many mistakes. Hope for their future blooms in Haven but Brody isn't telling her everything. Willing to sacrifice his own happiness for hers, he's secretly made a decision that will forever end their fragile new beginning.
Despite the changes in both their relationship and Brody himself, and believing it will be for the best, when they return home he carries through on that decision, leaving them both hurting. Can their love survive this latest trial? Will they get their happily ever after?
Of course she could go. How could he deny her helping a child she loved? "I'll go with you." Had he really just said that?
Surprise flashed in her eyes and then acceptance. He desperately hoped happiness would come in its wake. But she closed her eyes again, and when she opened them there was a sad sort of resignation.
It cut deep. She didn't want to spend the summer with him. She wanted to go alone. Letting her go might be easier than spending the summer with her, when she didn't want him. But fear of the infinitely dangerous possibilities overrode his pride. He couldn't let her go with no one to watch out for her. Despite what she thought, he couldn't imagine a life without Haven.
"Don't look so excited, honey." Anger fired out the words.
"Stop." The single, broken syllable held his tongue better than rage would have. "I can't... I can't do this. Please, Brody. No more." Her dry eyes were empty. "I'll do anything to help Eliya, but I can't spend the summer fighting with you. Not here and not in Africa. I need a break."
Brody sat in silence, staring at the drops of water running down the side of his glass. Maybe they were crying for Haven, because she didn't and wouldn't. Maybe they were crying for him, too, because he couldn't figure out how to make her happy.
There was no way he could let her go alone. He had to either go with her or tell her to stay. Because he couldn't stand the unhappiness he saw on her face, he clutched desperately to the one thing that came to his mind. "A truce."
Her head jerked backward.
He held up a hand of reassurance. "No fighting. We'll go to Africa on your terms. I'll be your bag boy and body guard. I'll do everything I can to help you and not get in your way. I'll have no expectations of you, Haven. If we start arguing, I'll go home and you'll get the break you think you need."
"What do you get in return?"
"I guess I get the satisfaction of knowing if something goes wrong, I'll be there to do what I can." He leaned back, settling in to the idea.