Just a few more chapters for this first page series of posts. I think I’ll do this for my book Finding Alana too! More information on my books can be found here.
I bask in the warm sun and cool breeze. It’s still pretty early, so I’m at the beach on my own. Clea had to work for a little while this morning. She took off after our workout, and I came out here. I’ve been doing this pretty much every day, with and without Clea. We talk most of the time we’re together. When I’m alone, I read. Cade texts me every day. Many times a day. He seems to miss me terribly. Most texts are about us and how I’m doing, and then others are about his grandparents. Irma is in a panic. She believes the time for her husband’s death is close.
These days when my mind drifts, I think of that night before I left. He held me all night. Even when I was sweating from the body heat, I stayed as still as possible. Sleeping with him was peaceful as promised. I didn’t dream of Ryan again. I didn’t really dream at all.
The next morning I explained more about who Clea was and where I would be. I didn’t look at Cade while I was talking. I was too afraid of seeing anger, hurt or frustration. I didn’t know how he would take it that I would still want to hang out with friends and family that tied me to Ryan. When I finished my rambling explanation of guilt, Cade said, “Go. You need this.”
He’d wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me into a hug which we held for much longer than necessary. Neither of us was willing to let go. Resting my face against his chest, I let the beat of his heart pound it’s way into my memory. I would need his warmth, and to have that engrained in my head while I was away. After a few moments, I pulled back to look into his eyes and see if he had any doubts about letting me go. He could tell I was having anxiety about leaving.
“Hey, I’ll be here when you’re ready. You’re beyond stressed with all that’s going on, although, you fight to hide it. I see right through you. And, for the record, you have nothing to feel guilty about. They don’t have to leave your life just because your husband died.” He smiles at me and the warm feeling in my heart spread to other parts of my body. I groan because it’s still too soon for us to become anything else.
“You’re doing it again,” I observed. “What?” he looks puzzled.
“That dangerous smile. It’s like your thing. You know you can get whatever you want with that smile, don’t you?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t gotten everything I want with it,” he smirked.
“And what would that be, sir?” “You.”
I have no idea how to answer that. His statement stunned me silent for a few minutes. He took advantage of my silence and swooped in for a kiss. He kissed me stupid and then said, “Hey, I know you aren’t ready for much more right now. I’m just letting you know that when you are ready, I’m ready, too. Ok?”
“Ok.” I sighed, “Thank you for understanding. You’ll text and call me, right?”
The next morning I left for Daytona Beach.