Excerpt from (Faithless) Guardian
The warmth of her friend’s presence heralded his arrival, even before he touched her. A familiar hand upped her shoulder, then stroked down her bicep. Dover took a step away from the ledge, her back colliding with Embry’s heavy body. Both of her friend’s arms came around her, right hand clasping left wrist at her waist. Dover closed her eyes, listening to the scream of the wind in her ears, feeling the steady rise and fall of her friend’s chest. Here, she could find her center, reboot the buzzing parts of her mind and heart. With Embry, there would always be peace, and trust, and understanding.
Even with the wind whistling around them, Dover heard his voice as he whispered into her ear.
“Doesn’t matter if you’re dead, alive, or in between, does it? The heart will always try to love.”
Not in the least bit surprised that Embry found the heart of her problem without her saying a word, Dover relaxed further against him.
“It does,” the Guardian replied, tilting her head back to look into those stark blue eyes. “And it always ends badly.”
Embry’s face clouded into a frown. He set his hands on the familiar swells of her hips, turning her on the edge of the beam they occupied until she faced him.
“Now, that’s not entirely true, is it, babes?” His hand moved to tip up her chin, his freckled nose brushing hers. “Didn’t end all that badly with me, huh?”
Reminded, quite suddenly given the resurgence of her libido in the last hours, of the time when she and Embry shared more than magic and Jameson, when they were two halves of a solid whole, inseparable, Dover sighed. Her eyes remained locked onto his, thrust back into those moments when she would have elected to remain on Earth at the end of her Guardianship, tears stung the backs of her eyes.
“No.” Dover whispered, the syllable lost amongst the wind. Pain had leeched into the eyes of her old friend, as though he were also reminded of those months, that year, they spent as lovers. “Perhaps we shouldn’t have let it end.”
The pain swam more vividly in his eyes, a shine of tears, Embry’s thumb sweeping over the swell of her cheek. “Did we have a choice, sweetheart? You deserve paradise, not a third life on this tightrope between Heaven and Hell.”
Dover, her mind still playing back memories banished long ago, exhaled sharply. “But I wanted to stay.”
Embry shook his head slowly. “I couldn’t be the reason you did, Dove. I couldn’t do that to you.”
They continued to stare into one another’s eyes, alone in this high place, so close to Heaven Dover wondered if God were listening. All those years ago, when they fell so deeply in love, they had these conversations. For months, they went round and round until they knew they must put a pin in their affair or risk losing a treasured friendship.
Still, Dover grieved for months, taking comfort only in the fact that she could still call Embry the closest of her friends.
“You’re reliving it.” Embry said, his voice steady. “Only because something happened that tears your heart up. We’ve been over a long time.”
“Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
“Yes.” Embry released a light, somewhat watery chuckle. “But its not really about us at the moment, my dear. Tell me what’s happened with the angel.”
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