A NEW Inspirational fantasy Stand-Alone from Author Billie Dale
Check out this Witchy Exclusive Excerpt!
“Oh, my God, Ten. I went on the most amazing date. When he kissed me goodnight it escalated and became a good morning kiss with a whole lot of naked time in-between. There was an explosive electricity between us that had me seeing fireworks. The way his body moved with mine, I swear my body melted right into his. The fates have sent me Mr. Perfect,” she says her eyes sparkling, full of hope and joy.
Rolling my eyes, “The fates, the stars, Mr. Perfect? Seriously, Erika? You’re divorced and over forty,” I state rolling my eyes at her absurd beliefs.
“You still believe in that foolish nonsense? Didn’t your last ugly divorce, or the three before, convince you that love does not exist? Didn’t you read my last book, ‘Love is a Belief for the Foolish’?” Sighing, I grab her hand, “Love is simply a state of mind, it doesn’t involve the actual beating heart in your chest. It’s merely a stimulating activation of the striatum, the part of the brain involved with trained behaviors. The part where the joy of food, sex, and every other rewarding activity are given merit. It’s the same part that creates drug addictions. It’s the equivalent of giving a dog a treat for practicing good behavior. Don’t you see? Love is the same as an addiction to crack or learning to play fetch,” I inform her putting my cold psychologist mask firmly in place.
“No, I didn’t read your book; your words are always over my head and to be honest their kind of depressing,” she replies, shaking her head. “What happened to you? Don’t you miss the heat, the magic, knowing the one is out there waiting for you to find him?” continuing with a gleam in her eyes, “You know, when the stars align and the sparks explode, you get flutters in your stomach that tell you this man is your destiny. The first kiss that melts your body then evolves into a relationship that morphs into years of kisses goodnight and cuddles under blankets. The excitement flooding your veins. I know you don’t believe anymore. I know the decision you made all those years ago turned you into the cold person you are now, but spending your life refuting loves existence for everyone else is sad,” she finishes, her voice losing its jubilee; sadness replacing the twinkle in her eyes.
Shrugging my shoulders, I stand, leaning to kiss her cheek then bending to grab my purse, I lie, “I have made peace with my decision.” Rubbing my hand down my black pencil skirt and straightening my cream silk blouse, I place my Prada purse on my shoulder, “I have to go. I still have some packing to do and I need to finish a few clinical trial studies before I head to the airport.” I refuse to relive the pain of my past in a public place.
“I forgot you’re returning to Indiana today. The scene of the crime. Plus, you’re avoiding again. When will you be back?”
“Roughly twelve weeks. I’m only filling in for one term, while Dr. Riggs is on maternity leave.” Leveling my gaze at her, “I’m not avoiding anything. I’m happy you found someone. I’m just prepared for when it crashes, and it will. I’m afraid I won’t be here to put you back together.”
“If I wasn’t your longest friend, I would throw my coffee at you and stomp out. Don’t transfer your animosity toward love on to me. I love you, Tensanne. I understand your resistance but I don’t have to agree with it. I know you; therefore, I will forgive you dooming my relationship before it begins,” she says with a grim smile but her eyes sparkle with mischief. “Do you think you will see him? Better yet, find yourself an undergrad to play with; start something taboo that will get your blood pumping?”
“Why on earth would you ask that? You know I don’t care if I see him; nor do I care where he is.” Blue eyes flash in my memory, I shake my head to dispel the disrupting thought. “Holy baby Jesus, Erika. I’m not hooking up with an undergrad. I must go. I’ll text you when I land.”
When I’m walking to the door of the small coffee shop we have been sitting in, she shouts, “Well, at least get laid, would you? Stimulate that stupid part of the brain and stop being such a bitch.”
Heat claims my face when all eyes turn my way, I throw a backward wave to her, ignoring her final comment. She’s right. I am a bitch. But, in my life, being a bitch is the only good thing that keeps me warm at night.
A familiar sadness closes in on me while I drive, reaching my driveway I frown to my empty house. A beautiful home, once full of children and laughter, now an empty shell that provides shelter and a place to rest my head at night. A two-story, Brady Bunch style home, covered with periwinkle blue siding, a huge bay window brings in glorious rays of light during the day and a wonderful view of the stars at night. The picturesque American Dream to someone on the outside looking in. Looks can be, and usually are, deceiving. I spent many of my nights sitting at this window, staring at the stars, knowing what I had done all those years ago but still wondering how I could love my children so much but never let the ice melt enough to love my husband. I tried. I wanted to make it work, despite knowing the truth of my past decisions. No matter how hard we tried or how many counseling sessions we attended, he could never garner my love. My coldness sent him right into the arms of another woman. The one true love in life I still believe in is the love for my children.
Sighing, I pull my tired body from the car and head inside to my office. Scattered on the large oak desk are the stacks of papers from my current clinical trials. Hanging my purse on the back of my chair, I sigh in relief when I kick my heels off. Moaning as the cool air hits my wiggling toes. The relief feels positively orgasmic, bringing a dread of the hours I will be standing in class with these torture devices attached to my feet. Just because they bear the name Jimmy Choo and cost a mint, doesn’t mean they are any more comfortable on the feet than any other high-heeled shoes. I miss the days of wearing Chucks everywhere I went.
I have packing to do, tons of it, but for the moment, I plop down in my office chair heaving out a huge cleansing breath. I look at my desk at the pictures of my four grown children, placing a hand over the ache in my heart, I gaze into the backyard.
Out the large window is the wooden swing set my granddaughter finds hours of amusement playing on; I smile thinking of her giggles as she swings. Mountainous hills rise off in the distance, glowing green in the sunshine, their peaks touching the clear blue of the sky that matches his eyes. Allowing my mind to open Pandora’s Box to the memories kept locked away, the ones that tried to surface in the café. I bring his handsome face to the forefront of my brain.
Memories of a time when I did believe flash before my eyes. A time full of magic. A time where crushes lived, friendships formed and love was in the air. A time before I surrounded myself in ice and ruined any chance I had at finding real love. Remember what was at the bottom of Pandora’s box? Hope.