Welcome to Friday Fiction. Today guest author Pamela Thibodeaux provides an extract from her book, Winter Madness.
Her merry hazel eyes danced with humor, but she simply arched an eyebrow at him without comment and rose from her chair. She held a hand toward him. “Come on, I know what we’re going to do today.”
He couldn’t resist the lure of her joy, and grinned as he placed his hand in hers. “What are we going to do?”
“I’m going to show you the beauty and joy of life, if only for this one day.”
Hope flared in his heart that she may be the one person who could do what he considered the impossible. After all, he’d never really gotten over her. Nor did he forget how she’d touched his heart so many years ago in a way no other had since.
They paused at the door to fasten their jackets and slip on caps. She took his hand again and led him across the way and two blocks down to a park on the other side of the street. The tiny wooden bridge they traversed crossed over a creek and swayed under their feet. Sienna stopped midway to their destination. “Listen,” she urged.
He cocked his head. “What?”
“What do you hear?”
He turned in the direction she looked, stood still, and tried to hear what she heard. A smile tugged at his lips when he turned to her. Her eyes were alight with joy.
“You hear it too, don’t you?”
“Tell me what you hear, Sienna.”
“Children laughing, the sounds of joy, of love, two things that make this world go around are love and joy. A child’s laughter encapsulates both.”
His heart melted another degree. He slipped his arm around her waist, took his hand in hers, and walked with her to a bench on the edge of the frozen pond where children ice skated in a flurry of color and movement. Never in his life had he felt as complete as he did in that moment.
“Do you skate?”
She nodded. “I love to skate. Olivia loved to also. Jace had two left feet when it came to skating and dancing.”
“Well I don’t.” He pulled her up with him. “Let’s go.”
They changed into rented skates and danced across the ice. Hours later, weak from laughter, giddy with excitement, they shared soup and salad at a nearby restaurant. “What’s next on your agenda for showing me the beauty and joy of life?” he asked her.
She shivered. “Well, after we thaw out a bit, we’ll walk back to where our cars are parked, fetch mine and, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.”
“I must warn you, I don’t like surprises.”
“I love surprises,” she countered. “Surprises are what make life interesting.”
As much as she had known in her heart that the person she’d chatted with online was the same boy she fell in love with in high school—and somewhere deep inside still loved—she never dreamed they would actually spend a whole day together. But, just as she had known twenty years ago, she still felt from the very depths of her soul they were meant to be together. Now, she hoped the afternoon would melt into evening and linger. Where could they go, what could they do that would surpass the last few hours spent skating with children? A thought wormed its way into her mind, image formed, idea gelled.
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