Valentines Day – True Honor

Happy Valentines Day – Enjoy this moment from Chris and Claire's story – True Honor



Back in the car.  Back on the freeway.

"I'm sorry, Chris.  You're right.  It was none of my business."

He didn't even blink—very focused on the road ahead. Instead of being irritated at his silence, her heart went out to him.  She resisted the urge to reach across and touch him.

"You don't have to do this alone, Chris.  Your friends think the world of you and only want to help you.  I know I'm just your attorney, but I'd like to think I'm your friend as well."

She let it go at that.

When they got back to the motel, he again opened her door and helped her out.  Then he saw her safely to her room, all without comment.

At the door, she turned to face him.

"Thank you for dinner, Chris.  I enjoyed being with you."  And then she did the unthinkable.  She stood on tip-toe and placed a kiss on his cheek. 

He froze.

And she froze.

Right there, staring at each other.  Frozen on the edge of crumbling, of coming apart, of coming together.

And then he stepped back, and put on the polite smile before turning and walking away.

She'd had plenty of kisses in her life, from the innocent ones when walked home by a boy who carried her books to the hot and steamy ones that left you panting and your insides reaching for more.  But never had she had one that held more promise.  She really liked this man.  She could picture them being the best of friends for the rest of their lives, no matter how much distance lay between them.

~ * ~

VetteGabe didn't have to try not to think as he drove home.  He did need to work to focus, though.  His eyes crossed more than once and he gritted his teeth to concentrate on the road ahead.

Once home, he fell into bed, expecting to be dead to the world until his alarm sounded at five.  That didn't happen.  Instead, he tossed and turned, even got up once and puked.  His hands shook.

In one corner of his brain, he clicked through every imaginable disease, taking inventory of how he felt.  Eventually, he gave up, deciding that having your life crash around you might just have physical manifestations.

The only sweet spot in the night, which he spent up and down and only sleeping in small bits, was the kiss.  Every defense he'd thrown up at her disapproval of his life choices, and managed to keep up through dinner and the miserable trip home, had been weakened by her words but had been completely undone by the kiss. 

His stomach lurched with unshed tears. 

He couldn't remember ever being so scared.





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Valentines Day – from True Courage

Join me in celebrating Valentines Day with an excerpt from Rick and Lily's story – a moment from True Courage         



            Crutches sucked.

            What sucked even more was having to rely on others.

            And having to be chauffeured from the hospital was just plain embarrassing, especially when Rick wanted to make a stop on the way.

            But he’d thought of nothing else for two weeks and, by God, lieutenant driver or no lieutenant driver, he was stopping by Lily’s house. Her address was in the phone book.

            When they turned the corner, Rick nearly chickened out and aborted the approach. First, because her front door was preceded by at least ten steps, and he hadn’t mastered stairs yet. Second, because he could list at least ten reasons why he shouldn’t be stopping. None of those reasons, though, were as important as what he had to say.

            Besides, she was sitting out front on those same stairs and had seen them pull up. God, she was beautiful.

            He bullied the fear back into place and painfully got out of the car. She didn’t get up to help him—thank God—just watched as he approached.

            Luckily, he didn’t have to climb the stairs. He just had to plop down beside her.

            “Hi,” he said between gulps of air.


            Silence loomed large, fueling his fear.

            “I owe you dinner.”

            Well, that came out well.

            She chuckled uncomfortably. “You don’t owe me anything. It’s good to see you up, though.”

            “I wish it felt good. I could lie down right here and sleep for another week.”

            This time, she laughed in earnest.

            “It’ll take a while.”

            “So they tell me. I start rehab tomorrow.”

            “So they tell me.”  

            At his odd look, she continued.

            “You don’t remember me telling you that I work at Rehab Specialists?”

            He shook his head. So much of that conversation still lay in pieces, like a fresh jigsaw puzzle for which you’d only found the border.

            “I remember that you saved my life, Lily.”

            “You saved your own life, Colonel.”

            “I also remember that you agreed to call me Rick.”

            She smiled.

            “Thanks for staying with me at the hospital. I’m sorry Barbara ran you off.”

            She blushed furiously. “I needed to leave anyway.”

            “But you never came back. I thought you were a figment of my imagination until I asked.”

            “Colonel. . .”

            “Rick.”            Whatever objection she had intended to make, she hesitated. Rick pushed his advantage.

            “How does the book end?”

            “Excuse me?”

            “Do Lizzy and Jane get Darcy and what’s-his-name?”

            Her quick glance told him that she was surprised he remembered what he’d heard as he slept.


            “Maybe you can read me the rest.”

            Okay. Lame. But his brain was slow, muffled as if filled with packing peanuts. Percocet—another reason he couldn’t drive himself.

            Her hesitation gave him his answer.

            “Okay, well.” He pushed awkwardly to his feet, hopping on his good leg—which was only painful, not excruciating—until he had command of his crutches. “Thank you for staying with me, both on the mountain and later. I’d still love to take you to dinner, if you’ll allow me the indulgence.”

            That sounded bitter.

            She rose to stand, her skirt falling gently to her calves—very sexy calves as a matter of fact—and smiled.

            “As soon as you’re walking with a cane, instead of those crutches, I’ll go to dinner with you.”

            On the way home, he picked apart her promise and realized that she’d meant it not as a slight, but as a challenge.

            Next time he saw her—and hell, that could be as soon as tomorrow because he knew both where she lived and where she worked—he planned on kissing her.





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