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Snippet Saturday

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Theme today: Prologues. From Soul Deep


He watched.

The water shifted gently above where Dylan lay hidden in the shallows, the surface of the ocean calm tonight, revealing Rachel’s face clearly. Her smooth skin glowed in the moon’s reflected light, her russet hair turned darker and richer under the pale glow. The sadness in her eyes tugged at his heart, just as her beauty tugged at his body.

His groin ached.

Her scent dissipated between air and water but everything else about her beckoned him. A pulsing need rocked through him that thickened his cock, readied his body to take her. She belonged with him and he would not be denied for much longer. The time for waiting drew to an end; the time for action approached and he reveled in the thought.

His heart pounded.

For so long, ‘patience’ had been his watchword, and he’d satisfied himself with hidden glances and distant surveillance. But now situations changed and aligned in his favor. The seasons. The waters. Rachel shifted on the park bench and his gaze traced her long limbs, the short skirt pulled askew as she relaxed and stared over the water. Over his domain.

His smile widened.

Dylan blew a final kiss in her direction before turning and swimming away, his thoughts full with the next steps in preparing her for her rightful place. By his side.

* * * * *

Rachel gazed at the water, mesmerized by the moon’s dancing reflection as it rose above the harbor. Its light shone brighter than the lights of the city skyline across the bay. Through the whole heart-wrenching sickness and loss of her brother the only constant she had experienced was the peace that surrounded her when she spent time near the ocean. Robert was gone, had left this world today, and yet she lived. He no longer suffered; instead, she suffered for him.

She stood and threw the last of the small stones she’d gathered during her walk to her favorite bench. She started this ritual as a coping strategy several weeks ago. One night, before she’d kissed her brother farewell, he’d whispered his plan to her. He wanted her to concentrate on the good times, the experiences they’d shared that would remain in her heart and mind long after he’d gone. Gather eight skipping stones every day, he’d told her, and think of one good memory for every jump each stone makes across the water. Walking to the bench to unwind that night, she discovered a pile of perfectly oval stones lying along the path. Intrigued, she’d paused, and when she counted them her breathe caught in her throat. There were exactly eight stones. The coincidence had shocked her. Thrilled her. Confused her already overtaxed heart and mind but she’d accepted it as a gift, or a sign. From whom and for what reason she didn’t know but the stones became a part of the journey through Robert’s illness and now . . . .

Now, a part of her journey alone, beyond his death.

She watched and counted carefully as the final stone skipped lazily, striking the water’s surface five times before dropping beneath the waves.

“For the time you sang with your ear buds in and didn’t realize how rotten you sounded.” Rachel whispered. “For the time you thought you’d remembered everything you needed and still came back inside the house to fetch the sunglasses that were on your head. For the time you gave me a ride home when you wanted to stay and party.” Good memories from her twenty-six years with him. Memories that made her smile. She took a deep breath. Two more things, the skipping stone called for two more shared memories before she left.

She finished the ritual, each word easing a little of the pain, releasing a tiny bit of the cold that had sunk deep into her soul as she fought to stay strong for him. Brushing the dirt off her fingers, she stepped toward the water and dipped a hand in. Ripples spread from the shore and Rachel smiled.

It still hurt but she would move on. School, friends. So much to experience that he never would and she had promised to live life to its fullest. Take the opportunities presented to her, no matter how challenging or unpredictable.

Casting one final glance at the gently waving water, and the city lights’ sparkling in reflection, Rachel gathered her things and walked away.

Soul Deep Available from Noble Romance Publishing

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