Your Book Social Media Profile Awaits
The crescendo of his heartbeat rose in his ears. It began as a low, deep sound of a bass drum accelerating to the medium tone of the tom-tom. It drowned out all other sounds of that glorious day, like the cheerful song of the spring robin. His ears turned deaf to every audible vibration, including the wind rustling through the branches of the willow tree.
Why couldn’t he hear the wind? He could feel each gust tussling his hair. How a few dark strands caught on his stubbled jaw. He would brush it away if he could move. Right now, he didn’t want to move. Nothing mattered. Not the wind or his hair. Not even the birds or the tree. All that mattered stood before him. God help him. Nothing could deter him from his fascination…with her.
His eyes coursed over her delicate features. Chestnut curls. High cheekbones. Full, voluptuous lips…
Calling her beautiful would be unjust. A sin even. Lust came natural to anyone. But with her, it went deeper. She radiated like an angel. Soft. Sweet. Heavenly. It drew him in. Yet her presence, the way it made him shake inside, kept him wanting more.
The breeze blew her ringlets from the nape of her neck. Each swaying lock carried a hint of sandalwood. The same scent rushing through his nose. One more breath and he’d be intoxicated.
Her skin, a soft shade of peaches-and-cream, glistened every time gilded sunrays broke through the swaying branches of the weeping willow.
When he gazed down into her eyes, his breath caught. He tried swallowing the lump in his throat, but his constricted chest held it in place. Her warm, inviting eyes were a rich shade of gold woven with flecks of olive green. She was looking past him to the broken, shale wall surrounding the estate.
Something about the lush green grass and the smell of roses tugged at him. Wasn’t I about to… God, she’s beautiful.
He ignored his duties. Why shouldn’t he? Nothing could be more important than this moment under the willow tree with her, his golden-eyed angel.
His eyes searched hers for proof that she sensed the same magnetic force drawing them together. A force so powerful it was irrefutable as it called to his soul.
He waited for her to meet his gaze, shifting his weight from one foot to the next. The motion captured her attention. Her mesmerizing eyes focused back on his face. He released his breath, exhaling a slow sigh as he watched a smile spread across her lips.
He inhaled deeply, taking in her scent. It made his heart hasten when he imagined them pressed to his, allowing him to taste their sweetness.
She stepped in, closing the distance between them. Her eyes descended from his, lingering on his shoulders. He watched in silent awe as her arm stretched toward him. When gentle fingers touched his arm, a line of fire coursed through every nerve, wrapping him in a cloud of desire. He fought against the groan creeping up from his lungs as her fingertips stroked his skin.
Her eyes wandered further down his body, causing his muscles to flinch.
In the passing breaths, his eyes fell to her tiny waist and well-curved hips.
Every single inch—a masterpiece.
He could no longer withhold his desire to touch perfection. Reaching out to her, he hesitated for a heartbeat, but pushed his fears aside. His hand caressed her neck, sweeping slowly up skin as soft as rose petals. Then he cupped her cheek. She closed her eyes, her breath releasing a gentle sigh.
Her subtle reactions affected his soul. He knew women, but not like this. They’d never found the secret chamber that held his heart. Had never come close to touching it. But this beautiful angel in front of him—she knew. She’d not only found his heart, she’d brought it to life, made it race like a river rushing through a canyon. He wanted her more than a rose wanted sunlight. Needed her more than the air he breathed.
A smile played at the corner of her lips. She leaned her cheek against the warmth of his hand, her breath tickling his palm. “Can you feel it?”
Her voice was like a whisper from heaven. He reveled in it. Wanted to bottle it up and keep the sweet sound with him wherever he went.
“Yes,” he breathed out.
She opened her eyes and ran her hands up his arms as he enveloped her in an embrace. Her fingers continued until they met at the back of his neck, interlacing at the nape. The look in her eyes tugged his heartstrings. His hands met at the small of her back, where they stopped and gathered her dress.
Say it. Tell me what your heart wants. I need to hear you say it.
Her lips parted, the words playing there as she stared into his eyes. He braced himself, waiting for those words he wanted to hear. His heart no longer raced. It pounded so fiercely, he thought it would beat out of his chest.
But she didn’t speak.
Let me know those lips.
She leaned closer.
His beautiful angel stood on her toes, her lips brushing his in a soft, sweeping motion.
To his dismay, the ecstasy that enveloped them ended. Their sweet moment stolen like a priceless jewel. The heat of her body, of their passion, tore from his soul as she pulled away.
His disappointment consumed him.
The tears forming in her eyes glistened as a sunray filtered through the dangling branches. Her bottom lip quivered.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice cracking between words as he brushed a tear from her cheek. He feared that he already knew the answer, yet was still desperate for her to prove him wrong.
“You have to wake up, my sweet,” she said, her voice urgent, desperate.
“I’m not asleep. How can I wake up if I’m not sleeping?” He reached for her, wanting to pull her against him, to bask in the warmth of her touch.
She took a step back, tears sliding down her face, lips turning down in a frown. “You must.”
“No,” he begged. “Don’t go. Stay here with me.” Moisture stung his eyes as he pleaded with her to remain.
His voice betrayed him when nothing more than a whisper passed over his lips. “Stay.”
He reached out to her. This time, when he touched her skin, or what should have been her skin, the warmth was gone. There was nothing.
His heart squeezed. He tried again, reaching for her, but his fingers caressed nothing but air. His eyes widened.
Her image weakened. She reached her hand toward his face, as though to stroke it. He couldn’t feel the warmth, just a gentle breeze blowing through his hair.
Though her silhouette faded, her voice carried once more to his ears. “Wake up. Please, wake up…”
His heart grew strained with disappointment as the scenery slowly blurred and vanished. He kicked his legs, trying to ground himself as he tumbled into an abyss of darkness. He searched for something to catch him, to stop his descent into black. Nothing was there.
Suddenly, his body jerked into a sitting position as he gasped. His eyes burned. Bright light reflected off the walls surrounding him.
He gazed around the room with desperate eyes.
Where is she?
His heart pounded fiercely as he searched the room.
She has to be here.
He wanted to scream her name, wanted to beg her to return, but couldn’t. He didn’t know her name.
The room spun, or at least he thought it did. Maybe it was his mind. Squeezing his eyes shut, he grabbed his head, holding it with both hands as he tried focusing again. A deep inhale brought the sweet scent of sandalwood to his nose.
Where the hell…
He opened his eyes, again, taking in beige-colored walls, an oak chest of drawers, clothes strewn across the floor. When his eyes settled on a pair of black, snakeskin boots, his heart panged.
Of course. I’m here. But that means—
He was home, in his bedroom, alone.
Falling back into the bed, realization burned his stomach. Another dream…it was just another dream.
There was no golden-eyed angel.
The only thing that remained from the dream was the wicked headache. As much as he wanted to cover his head and never leave the bed, the aspirin in the bathroom called to him.
As he stood, his foot crunched a can that lay on the carpet. His eyes passed over a shimmering blue and white beer can. An empty liquor bottle lay on its side, just two feet away.
No wonder my head is pounding. A hangover. I have a damn hangover.
He laughed, thinking about why he began drinking in the first place. To forget her.
What a joke. Not all the liquor in the world could erase her image from his mind.
Staring aimlessly, his heart grew weary, knowing he would never truly feel skin as soft as satin, never look into eyes as rich as marmalade. His soul grew restless.
She would never be his salvation. Only his tormentor.
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