“No worries,” Mr. Riley replied. “I’ve been trying to get these two kids to shut up for the past few years, too, with no luck.”

The guy smiled and held out his hand. “I’m James Bateman. I’m guessing you’re Eric from our phone conversation. So that must be your baby,” he said, gesturing toward the boat hooked up to Mr. Riley’s truck. He walked over to the boat and started rubbing it down. “You sure you don’t want to do a trade maybe? I could get you something real nice for this girl.”

Mr. Riley grimaced. “No, thanks. We could really use the extra cash—at least that’s what the wife told me.”

“Ah, it’s best to always listen to your wife.” He laughed.

Mr. Riley chuckled. “The great struggles of marriage.”

“I know the struggle too well. That’s why I’ll probably never do it again after my wife left me.”

“I thought the same thing after my first wife left, but here I am again.” Mr. Riley smiled, looking down at his wedding band.

“No regrets?” James asked.

“Never,” Mr. Riley replied. “Even on the hard days.”

James snickered, nodding. He patted Mr. Riley on the back. “You give me hope that maybe someday my situation will change. So, how about we head inside and talk numbers?” He turned toward his shop and shouted, “Michael! Michael, get out here for a second.”

A young guy came outside. He looked to be in his early twenties. “Yeah?”

“Can you show these two boys some of our top of the line boats while I work with a customer? Boys,” James redirected his words to Calvin and me. “My son will take care of you and keep you entertained. Michael, how about you show them around Jenna for a few?”

“Sure thing.” Michael smiled and waved us over to him. “So, interested in seeing the best yacht that no one in Harper County can actually afford to buy?” he asked.

“Heck yeah,” Calvin replied. “Is it the kind of yacht Leonardo DiCarpio would party on?”

“Sure is. My dad and I actually went out of our way to get a boat like Jenna. She’s not for sale because she’s our pride and joy, but a few people from the north side of town rent her out every now and then for weddings, or retirement parties.” The north side of town was where all of Harper County’s money was located. A person had to have a nice sized wallet to live on that side of town.

When we walked around the corner there were dozens of boats docked up. There were workers running around caring for the boats. I’d never been in a place with so many different sized water vehicles, and I wanted to take them all home with me. My top three favorite things in the world were Maggie, music, and being out on the water. Someday I planned to have all three of those things happening at the same time.

“Holy crap,” I muttered, staring at Jenna. It had to be Jenna. She was the biggest and most beautiful boat out there. Maggie would’ve probably slapped me for staring the way I did.

“She’s something else, huh?” Michael asked.

“Oh, she’s more than something.” I rubbed her side as we walked over to her.

“Wait until you climb aboard.” Michael laughed.

When we were on the yacht, I felt as if I were Leonardo—rich and cool as hell.

“So, this babe comes with all kinds of water sports equipment. We have a Yamaha WaveRunner Jet Ski, a Kawasaki Ultra 250 Jet Ski, and one Kawasaki Super Jet stand up Jet Ski. There’s snorkeling gear, fishing supplies, and all that jazz, too. As far as entertainment.” Michael walked us below deck and smiled before opening a set of doors. “We only have the best. We have this area, the main saloon with a sixty-five-inch plasma television. Over here we have the sky lounge with two full bars. Then there are the master stateroom, the VIP cabin, and the three guest cabins which all hold fifty-inch plasma televisions and the most comfortable beds you’ll ever sleep on. What do you guys think?” he asked.

Calvin’s eyes were bugged out the same way mine were.

“So, this is what royalty feels like.” Calvin sighed. “I love royalty.”

“We’ll take it,” I bellowed.

Michael took us to the top deck, and we stood at the nose of the boat.

“So, Michael, you and your dad just run this business together?”

“Yeah. He took on the business from my grandpa. I plan to do the same someday. There’s nothing I love more than this, the boats, the water.”

“There’s nothing else you’d ever want to do?” Calvin asked.

Michael’s eyebrows grew closer as he thought on it. “No. Nothing else. After my mom ran off with another man Dad had a hard time moving on. He went into a deep depression. I was fourteen and remember there being days when I had to force him to eat. He blamed himself for her leaving.”

“Why did he blame himself?”

“I really don’t know. He worked long hours, and I knew it bothered her, but that wasn’t a reason to leave him. Yeah, they fought, but they laughed more. Yet sometimes people aren’t always who you believe them to be, and it turned out we were better off without her. He’ll never say that, though. He still keeps a picture of the three of us on his office desk. Some days I feel as if he’s waiting for her to come back. The only thing that helped him heal was being out on the water. It cleansed him, I think. If it weren’t for this place, I probably would’ve lost my father, too. This place is home to me. What about you guys? What do you want to do?”

“Music,” we said in unison.

Michael laughed. “Well, don’t stop until you make it. Then, you come rent out Jenna from me and my pops.”

“I apologize ahead of time for my childish actions that are about to take place, but I have to do it,” my best friend stated. Calvin jumped up onto the railings and held his arms out.

I laughed. “I always knew you’d be Kate Winslet and I’d be Leo in this situation.”

“Shut up and hug me!” Calvin said mockingly.

I hopped up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. “I’ll never let go, Cal!” I shouted as he held his arms out.

Michael chuckled. “I wish I could tell you the amount of Titanic bromances I’ve witnessed on that railing.”

“Bromance?” Calvin questioned. “Oh no, we’re in a committed relationship.”