Excerpt from The Storm:
I walk to the surf, heaving for breath, weak from running against the rain, fighting the storm, the sadness, my loss – your death. I walk into the surf and keep walking. It is surprisingly warm and enveloping. I suddenly feel comforted, my heartbreak no longer a penetrating pain. I know you are with me and I seek out your embrace. I cry again, scream at the thunderous surf, and then I am gone. I can’t breathe and I am falling, rolling, tumbling in a hazy grey darkness that is wet, ferocious, demanding. Suddenly my dizzy comfort turns to fear and I struggle against the pounding, relentless waves. What have I done? I am a good swimmer and an athlete, but can I beat this? Instinct overcomes me. My heart pounds. I start to kick wildly. Moving my arms toward the surface, the current catches me again, tumbling me over and over. My lungs burn. I lose my bearing—which way is up, down? I start to get a sickening feeling of death, my own impending death, and, just as I start to give in, I feel the hand of God grab my hair and hood in a fierce grip and yank me to the surface. I feel the sky darken and the surf diminish. Everything tastes salty, gritty, and then my body heaves, relaxed, and my world goes black.
I awake to pounding on my chest; I am being rattled and something is covering my mouth and nose. I cough, retch, and then vomit the last vestiges of the ocean from my body. My mouth is filled with grit, sand, and the salty taste of taffy. I open my eyes and see God reaching down toward me. He leans over me and the salty ocean water drips from his face to mine. He is big, strong, and gasping; he is surrounded in a glowing aura which intensifies his white hair and white beard. I am frightened. I must be dead. But that cannot be! How foolish I am. He sits me up, tenderly and gently helps me to my feet, all the while holding me securely with large strong hands and then he speaks to me.
“Are you alright, miss? You scared me near to death when I saw you walk into the surf. Why in the world….Where do you live?”
I am alive to my senses.
“Wha. . . ?” My knees weaken and I fall further into his arms. Quickly, he catches my descent and carries me to a bench where he sits me down, moving the errant curls of hair from my cheeks, and speaks to me again.
“Where are you staying? Shall I call the police?”
I can feel my heart pounding against his chest.
“No, please, I’m . . . I’ll be fine. My key, my pocket; it’s in my pocket. Please…”
I can’t remember my hotel or where I am or why. As he unzips my pocket and removes my hotel key, he pulls my hood up over my head to shelter my face from the pelting rain. Collecting me under his arm, my body firmly in his grip, we walk slowly back to the hotel. The traffic is still sparse, no taxis to be seen. It seems to take forever. The storm is so much worse, the surf so high, sucking the wind into the watery folds as it retreats to the ocean. At once, I am so scared that I begin to tremble and yet, I feel protected.
As we walk into the hotel lobby, the bell captain approaches us and asks if I need the hotel doctor, whereupon my guardian says, “No, that won’t be necessary, thank you.” We take the elevator to my floor and I am finally in the sanctity of my room, as lonely as it is. My savior, my hero sits me in the desk chair while he goes to the bathroom and starts the shower. He returns. He is saying something to me that I can’t understand, but he starts to take my shoes off. Then he leans me forward, removes my windbreaker and sports bra, and helps me stand while he pulls relentlessly at my wet spandex knee-highs. He kicks off his own running shoes and removes his blazer. He carries me to the shower but I feel as if I’m watching the scene unfold from outside my own body. I am unafraid of this stranger.
The water is hot and piercing, but he is gentle, loving, and tender. He bathes me and washes my hair, lifting the removable nozzle to rinse the sand, grit, and seaweed from my hair and lithe body. My skin is a deep pink from the intense extreme of the cold grasp of the ocean and the heated comfort of the hot shower. His hands are everywhere, on every curve, gently caressing my skin with his soapy fingertips. He deftly, tenderly, washes my breasts, my taunt stomach and pussy. He controls himself, but I can’t let him stop. I look up at him, and notice he is watching himself bathe me. He seems to caress my buttocks as he cleans the sand from between my rounded cheeks. Unembarrassed, he rinses my body thoroughly, running his fingers though my shoulder-length brown hair. I feel safe, warmed, yet surprisingly aroused, weakened by my ordeal.
For the first time, it seems, he looks down at me. He takes me in as I look up at him, transfixed by his control. I am naked in my sorrow and my pain; he, fully clothed except for his windbreaker and shoes, smiles, touching my heart. I did not notice his erection in the shower, he is a complete gentleman. My breasts, the curve of my belly to my thigh, my face against his chest glisten in the shower, as I trust him to help me.
Secret Cravings, Oysters & Chocolate, Decadent Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Yellow Silk Dreams