Hello folks, "Alone" is part of Silver Publishing's 25 Days of Christmas Anthology, to be released December 17th! As a matter of fact, I Hope you enjoy!
After experiencing a traumatic childhood, Darcelle Campbell carries scars that never healed into her adult life. Her guardian angel is placed on earth to prevent her from suffering a tragic event on Christmas Eve.
However, Jack can only do so much. It is Darcelle who must change for the better to ensure the dark event never occurs. In addition to this, she must open her heart to Harley, or lose everything.
Will she tear down the walls she's worked so hard to construct over the years, and allow herself to experience love from a man who strives to stay by her side no matter what, or will she forfeit it all, and succumb to the tragic event foretold by Jack?
Darcelle Campbell slipped out of Harley’s grasp as she struggled to free herself from the impeding emotions bombarding her. Once again, he was getting too close for comfort. Their on again, off again relationship was based strictly upon her terms, since she was nineteen years old. Now, in their thirties, she knew he sought more from her, possibly even marriage.
Sighing, she sat up in bed, clutching the comforter close to her naked body, and observed the blond man sleeping. They’d known one another since she was fourteen. Back then, he’d just moved to Maryland from West Virginia, looking for construction work. Her stepfather, Jackson Wagner had taken the young man under his wing, teaching him all there was to know about the construction business.
Sunlight slipped through the Venetian blinds and kissed the curly golden mass framing his strong masculine features. He was so handsome, and all a woman could ever want in a man. Other qualities included his kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, and consideration. Why couldn’t she be the same?
Darcelle tweaked her black razor cut shoulder length hair and turned to look in the mirror on the door of her closet, beside the bed. She frowned as she studied her reflection. To him, she was a goddess, but in her own eyes, she was plain, at best. She knew he adored her flawless mocha skin and chocolate brown eyes, and other exotic features. Her oval shaped face and high cheek bones were a gift from her great-grandmother, who was half Blackfoot Indian and African American. She continued staring at her reflection while tracing the outline of her full pouty lips, as Harley usually did when he gazed lovingly in her chocolate depths.
He stirred, and soon, green eyes fluttered open, and a smile formed on his face.
“Good morning, beautiful,” he said softly, reaching up to caress her chin with a strong hand. “What a beautiful sight to wake up to,” he murmured as he propped himself up with an elbow. “Wish this could happen every day.”
“Good morning Harley,” she said with a smile. Already, she knew where this conversation was going. She bent down, allowing her lips to brush his, almost giving into the strong pull of love, and basking in the fluttering of her heart. Instantly, she pulled back. This was a mistake, and an emotion she couldn’t allow. She tried leaving the bed, but he yanked her back quickly, forcing her to gaze into liquid green eyes.
“Don’t do this to me again, woman.” Harley breathed, as he cupped her face between work roughened hands. His eyes pleaded with her. “I don’t want to be away from you, Darcelle.” His thumb stroked her bottom lip, leaving her breathless. “Christmas will be here soon, let’s go shopping, or something. I thought since we both have the day off, we could—“
She interrupted. “Harley, it’s time to get up, and there’s so much I have to do.”
He frowned, forcing the vein between his eyebrows to dance. “Um—I thought we would share this day, remember? Don’t do this to me--to us.” He released her from his grasp, exhaling as he ran a hand through his hair and looked at the clock on the nightstand. “You know, it’s only eight o clock.” She bit her lip, trying to think of an excuse as he stroked her smooth mocha colored skin. “Well, I’ve got some paperwork I need to take care of and—“
He pulled her against his hard body and kissed her cheek. “Don’t make me leave.” His hand brushed against her nipple, forcing a whimper from her. “You know, it would be nice if you’d let me in here.” He gently tapped on her forehead. “I’m tired of you shutting me out Darcelle.”
“You’re taking things way too fast. I’m not ready to move in with you. I’m still just really enjoying being in my own place, you know?”
“My God, woman! We’re both in our thirties, and have been dating on and off for years,” he exclaimed, swiping his hair from his face. “I don’t get you sometimes. Whenever we get close, something clicks in your head, and you back off.” He shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head in frustration. “Do you even love me?” Jaw set tight, he searched her eyes for an answer.
“I care for you, you know that.” That was the most she could give him. He’d have to take it or leave it. The hurt look on his face confirmed the fact that his patience was wearing thin. She couldn’t blame him.
“You care for me? Sorry, I’m not buying it.” He reached for her, but she pushed his hand away.
“Look, I think you should leave, okay,” she said as she left the bed and grabbed her robe from the floor. Quickly, she slipped it on.
“Please, just talk to me. Let me in. What goes on in that head of yours?” She looked away from his mesmerizing gaze.
“I’m just so busy with my business, and I—“
In a fit of anger, Harley jumped out of bed and began dressing. “Fine, you can have your business, you can spend the day--alone,” he said, slipping his boxers on, then his jeans. “I’m getting sick of this shit.” He paused before slipping his black sweater over his head. “When you’re ready for a relationship, you know where to find me!” There was silence as he sat on the edge of the bed to slip his socks and boots on. He stood and stared at her for a few moments, as though waiting for an answer that would never come. “I’ll talk to you soon, I guess,” he snapped before snatching his keys from the black lacquer nightstand.
“Go after him,” a tiny voice in the back of her mind commanded. She continued staring at the spot where he stood, and listened as he stormed down the stairs, and out the door. She jumped when he slammed it, and she continued to stare off into space. Tears welled in her eyes when she heard the diesel engine of his truck start.
“You’re going to lose him,” the voice came again. This time, she looked around. Was she going crazy, or was it her imagination? Shrugging it off, she sighed and sat down on the bed. She’d lied. There was no paperwork. She’d concocted the lie to get him to leave her alone. Truth of the matter was, Christmas was coming, and this was the most painful time of the year for her.