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“Still,” he reminded me.
I didn’t care that his mouth and breath were like ice as he bent down to kiss me again. He parted my lips with his. Cautiously at first. Then, as I blatantly ignored his demand to remain motionless and my hands traced their way up his back, he moved more urgently, pinning me firmly between the door and his marble physique. And as if suddenly remembering to show restraint, he retreated in to a light suck and tug of my upper lip before breaking away. The room spun into disorientation, his kiss and touch making it impossible to think or breathe or want anything more than to do that again.

His whisper was like silk against my ear.  “I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to do that.” And then said something at the end that sounded like again. Because that wasn’t possible, I dismissed it as my imagination.

He kissed then pressed his forehead to mine as we stood, me trying hopelessly to gain control over my faculties. I slid my hands to his chest. My curious, wandering fingers detailed the steely cool sinew under his black cotton shirt. The soft material clung to his well-formed body. And over his heart, where a beat could never be felt, a mangled knot embossed the hard surface. He sucked in a sharp breath and clasped his hand over his chest, trapping mine in place. Then, with a gust of air he was gone. Alex tore himself away and vanished, leaving me teetering in his absence.

I was startled by his reaction and couldn’t conjure any recollection of scars when I saw him over the summer. He was pristine and unblemished.  Alex shirtless was not something easily forgotten.

A second or two later, he reappeared in the corner of the room furthest from me, with fear and a hint of remorse riddling his expression. Had I hurt him? Of course not, I thought. What ever I did to elicit such a reaction, I was relieved that he hadn’t just disappeared completely.

“I’m sorry,” I said, unsure as to what for.

“You don’t listen to directions very well, do you?” he asked, only half joking.

I slowly walked towards him wanting to laugh, but more than that, I wanted him to stay.
“Please don’t go,” I said. “Stay.”
It sounded like I was begging. He must think I’m pathetic. Or worse, desperate.
A mischievous smile snuck across my face. “I promise I’ll be good.” And held up two fingers in Scouts honor.
I crawled under the covers and patted the very end of the bed. An invitation for him to sit.
“Besides,” I yawned. “I have tons of questions, and you promised answers.”


That night, Alex was waiting for me in my dad’s room when I finished getting ready for bed. He was leaned forward in the corner chair, chin propped up on his interlaced fingers; pensive, exquisite, and something else. It was when he looked up from his prayer like posture that I recognized the other thing. Seductive, and unknowingly so. I caught myself grinning before snapping out of my trance. I glanced over my shoulder and then quickly closed the door, paranoid even though David had been sound asleep for a couple of hours.
Attempting to sound exasperated. “What if I was David?” I scolded in a whisper.

He raised his brows and offered a wry smile. “Then doing what I’m about to would be a little awkward,” he said, lithely rising to his feet.

“Doing?”

“Shhh.”

I froze, then stumbled back against the door as he trained his narrowed gaze on me. There was a look in his eyes that I had never seen in him before; feral and hungry. I wondered if I should be afraid. The charge in my blood warmed the pit of my belly as he slowly stepped towards me, the pulse in my neck hammering harder the closer he got.

No, I thought, not afraid.

Standing inches from me, he watched with amused gratification the effect his proximity had on my flesh. He slowly, and ever-so-softly traced his cool, slender fingers from my trembling hands, up arms and over my shoulders, to the sides of my neck, leaving a trail of desire burning in the wake of his touch. His eyes met mine and then fell, watching my lips as they parted. My chest rose and fell in uncontrollable intervals, the heat now frantically spreading through the rest of my body.

Alex cradled my face in his hands, whispering, “Stay very still.”

As if I were going somewhere. Unless my stupid, wobbly knees gave.

Alex licked and pulled in his lower lip, then slowly released it. His eyes searched my face as if asking permission to proceed. Without so much as a hint of resistance from me, he tilted his head, and like a feather, barely touched his lips to mine. He pulled his face away, his cool breath tingling my lips as his departed from mine. I couldn’t will my eyes to open, instead, I let his gravity pull me closer.


After a sigh and a pause. “Some bullshit training gig at Lejeune,” he said, his brows knitted tightly.
I wanted to jump up and down and squeal I was so excited. I didn’t though, knowing that being sent to a training command was as far down on David’s list of desired jobs as recruiting was. He often compared training to glorified babysitting. I was happy, because to me, training represented very few opportunities for real danger.
I contorted my lip, trying to fake mutually bummed.
“Sorry,” I said.
David tossed the envelope onto the coffee table and plopped down on the couch.
“Yeah,” he grumbled.
I took a seat next to him. David leaned back into the deep cushions and threw his arm around my shoulders. As he raised his legs to prop his feet up on the coffee table he stopped short. He appeared briefly startled, sitting up and dropping his feet. His boots hit the wood floor with a solid thud.
“It’s clean,” he said, finally noticing the lack of Chinese take-out boxes and empty whiskey glasses.
“Yup,” I replied nonchalantly, pretending the task was nothing out of the ordinary.
He looked at me and stood. “You did this?”
“Yup.”
“By yourself?” he asked in disbelief.
I rolled my eyes. “Duh.”
As slight as it was, it was the first smile that dared to cross David’s lips since he was deployed. The house was in dire need of the attention, but I could tell by his appreciative expression that it meant more to him than just a task needing completion.
David sat again, sighing. “It looks great, kid.” he said, nudging me with his shoulder. “Thanks.”
“Yup.” I smiled back.
I contemplated telling him, while he was feeling so grateful, that I dumped all of his really expensive whiskey too. I flinched at the thought. No, I said to myself. Why ruin a perfectly good moment?


I wanted the old David back. I needed to know that he was going to be okay when I’m gone.

The next morning I woke with a clarity that I hadn’t felt in months. It was like I had been lost in a fog that was now lifting and revealing a world that I had forgotten existed. With this clarity, came an unexpected surge of energy. David was gone by the time I stirred, and amid the stacks of dirty dishes and empty pizza boxes, he left a note explaining that he would be back around lunch time. Did we have a lunch time? I wondered. And did he leave one of these notes for me every day and this was the first time I’d been coherent enough to notice it? I turned a slow circle, taking in the disgust and filth that had piled up since we’d been back. It looked like a wrecking crew had demolished the whole house, and I decided that a clean-up was past due.

I started in the kitchen, filling garbage bags with weeks worth of trash, and then washed, dried and put the dishes in the white, painted cabinets. Over the next four hours, I dusted, swept, vacuumed and mopped floors; scrubbed the bathrooms until they sparkled; and did the laundry that spilled from the hampers, running on the treadmill between loads. When the house was restored to an acceptable state of cleanliness, I pulled open all of the drapes, letting the sunshine absorb the despair that filled this space with claustrophobic darkness. And then, I did the unthinkable–I found and poured all of David’s whiskey down the kitchen sink. This, I knew would be a fight later, but a necessary evil. My dad would have called it tough love.

I admired my handiwork before taking a shower, and then napped on the couch until David got home.

I wasn’t sure how to read his mood when he walked in the front door waving a large manila envelope.
“Got my orders,” he said flatly.
He got his hair cut too. And was in uniform for the first time since the funeral.
For his sake, I tried to sound upbeat. “Where too?” But I was nervous as ever. I didn’t expect that he would be sent back to combat right away, but still worried that he would be too far away to visit regularly.


Alex’s departures had become a devastating and infuriating occurrence, though I wasn’t sure which emotion was more dominant at the time. He always seemed to bail at the most inopportune moments, leaving me with a head full of questions and talking to myself like a crazy person. But at least on this occasion he left me with enough time to jump back in bed and pretend to be asleep before David walked in. I wasn’t in the mood to explain to him why I was talking to myself again. I would never be in the mood to explain that.

The hallway light bled from underneath my bedroom door where I saw the shadow of David’s feet cut through the soft illumination. He stood there for a few seconds and then disappeared back down the hall. He was checking up on me less each week. I couldn’t decide if it was because he worried about me less, or because he was sinking deeper into his bottle of whiskey flavored misery.

I couldn’t get back to sleep right away. My mind wrestled and rebelled against me each time I attempted to quiet it. I stared up at the dark ceiling, twisting my dad’s ring around my thumb. I often worried how long it would be before I would start to forget what he looked like. But I guess I held on to his memory so tightly, that even now, it was still crystal clear. For that, I was grateful.

It was David’s face instead that was slipping away.

What If?

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m always curious to know what my readers think as they travel through Kat’s world. So I pose a few questions.

What would you be willing to do or sacrifice for the love of your life?

And if that love was the Grim Reaper?

If you learned that he let someone you love die to save someone else you loved?

If he lied to you about your past?

Thanks,

Zoe


Hey everyone,

For those of you who have been patiently awaiting my next entries for Manifesting Kat, I apologize.  I have had a bit of a problem with an individual who also has also enjoyed my work.  So much so that this no talent A$$ clown copied it and posted it on another website as their own work.  Very Frustrating!! Lucky for me, I have a copyright on all of my works and all of my edits handy.  As the situation is being resolved, I am holding off for a few more days to continue with my regular postings.  Again, I do apologize to those who have had to wait this out, and appreciate you patience.  I appreciate you all very much and hope that to this point you have enjoyed Kat’s story.  Very soon, I will also begin posting bits and pieces of character profiles as the story unfolds further.  I can’t wait to continue and have enjoyed all of the feedback from my loyal readers.  The vast majority of you are the reason why I enjoy writing so much.  I appreciate your enthusiasm and follows.

Thank You all so very much,

 ~Zoe~

Book Cover 3

Posted: September 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Book Cover 3…. What do you think?

Book Cover 2nd Draft

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

…Just as we began to pull away, a hand print melted through the window fog.  It melted away the haze, until the place where Alex’s ghost had touched, became transparent.  I slipped my fingers in his perfect outline, absorbing the heat that lingered…

Here it is.  Book cover 2.  You know what to do.


I couldn’t remember the last time I saw David so angry…I don’t think I have seen him that angry.  He’s a hard one to rattle.  I’ve tried.

Two excruciatingly long hours passed until the lawyer came for me.  His moon-shaped face reminded me of a childhood toy; though I couldn’t place which one it was.

His voice had an irritating nasal drawl, “Miss Katherine Wheeler?” he asked, as if he had already forgotten handing me this letter.

“Yes,” I answered.

“We’re ready for you.”

I nodded and followed him back to the conference room.  David’s weary, apologetic expression sent my heart plunging.  New lines were etched into his crumpled forehead as he sat slumped forward in the chair, and for the first time in his twenty-five years, he looked utterly defeated.  A chill ran through me, raising the hair on my arms and neck.  I reached for the closest chair before the dizziness collapsed me.

What was previously an organized file folder of papers was now a huge cluster sheeting the table.  I looked around the room carefully gauging each face in search of some clue as to what bomb was dropped while I was gone, but every set of eyes refused contact.  I remained silent; losing patience, gaining apprehension, waiting for someone to break the silence.  Finally, the lawyer cleared his throat in preparation to speak.

“On April eleventh, of this year,” he started, searching through his stack of papers as he spoke, “Your father came to our office to file his final will and testament.”  He was speaking slower now, dragging out what felt like a prison sentence.  He picked up a pair of reading glasses, then continued.  I glanced at David who was still slumped forward with his elbows on the table, hands tightly gripping the sides of his head.

“To get to the point Miss Wheeler,” he sighed, “Your father…”

David jumped up, causing the wheeled chair to ram the wall behind him.