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A perfect storm changes her path...

I bang my head against the steering wheel, not believing my luck. It really is the perfect storm. Pitch-black night. Pouring rain. Dead car. No cell service. Lost.

This sequence of events is just par for the course for me. An unfulfilling career, a string of bad relationships, the latest break-up the worst of them all, and an overwhelming feeling that I don't belong in this world. I am a romantic at heart, yet I have felt unsatisfied with each attempt at love. There has always been something missing. I feel I have just been moving through time, achieving nothing. Moving forward, yet getting nowhere. So, I got in my car and started driving. No destination in mind, I just picked a path and drove, needing a change of scenery, I guess. And look at what happened!

Tears start to flow and I give myself a pep talk. You are fine. Everything will be fine. Just think

Okay. What is the safest thing here? Should I just stay in the car and hope if someone stops, they are not a serial killer? Or should I start walking and hopefully find a house or business with someone inside to help? Oh my, I just don't know! 

I count to ten, taking some deep breaths, trying to listen to my instincts. Then, I open my car door and start walking the dark road, looking for help. I feel a strong push to do this. And my feet pick the direction. It doesn't take long for the pouring rain to soak my hooded coat. The wind changes direction, so now, the rain continually slaps me in the face. I pick up my pace, feeling an even more urgent need to get somewhere

Anxiety creeps in as I get farther and farther from the car. My head questions my decision to leave its safety, but a stronger force keeps me on my forward path. Occasionally, I see headlights in the darkness, but each time they draw closer, my body jumps behind a tree to hide. My instincts tell me each is not my savior tonight.

The chilled raindrops are pounding my body harder now and I am soaked to the bone. Thunder and lightning have joined in, further hampering my forward movement. With each roaring boom, I stop walking, standing frozen in my spot, as if the lightning can't find me as long as I am still. All sense of reason has abandoned me. The trees seem to come to life, prickly branches taking swipes at me as I pass. 

My feet are growing numb now from the cold. I am a petite stature, and although my legs can move quite quickly, I, unfortunately, don’t cover much ground. Then, I spy it – a large house in the distance. I will my feet to move even faster, racing towards what my instincts tell me is my salvation from this dreadful night. Upon reaching it, I abruptly stop, my way blocked by a large iron gate. I use all my remaining strength to drag the heavy gate open, hearing it screech as if not opened in a very long time.

As the rain slams me harder than ever, I start running again, praying I have finally found a sanctuary from the storm. As I run, I look up, spying a dark, shadowy figure in the dimly lit window. Losing focus on the uneven ground, I trip, landing face-down on the rocky path. Before I can attempt to get up, a man appears out of nowhere, lifting me into his arms. He instantly moves us towards the house in a very quick fashion. I am not as jostled as if he were running. I can’t make out his face except for the bright amber eyes with flecks of fire that look down upon me. I lay my head against his shoulder and see the sky moving all too quickly as he carries me. When I fell, I was still quite a distance from the house, but somehow within mere moments, we are upon the doorstep.

After opening the door, he carries me down a long hallway and into a great room. I first spy a roaring fire inside a stone fireplace. I felt its warmth upon entry to the room. Setting me down on a large bearskin rug, he frees me of my sopping, wet clothes. I don’t know why, but I feel no shyness in front of him. Getting a good look at him now, I feel comforted. He has ebony, straight hair that looks like it would feel like silk to the touch. A strong jaw and narrow nose define his face. Curious, his lips are rather darkly colored. He is handsome to me – more than that actually, although I can’t put words to my attraction. He gazes intently into my discovering eyes as he dries me with a towel. He has a towering presence – even kneeling, I can tell he is a tall man.

He takes his leave for just a moment before returning with a beautiful silk ivory gown that he slips over my head. It fits my petite frame perfectly. He then wraps a fuzzy blanket around my body. I extend my hands and feet towards the fire, basking in its warmth. He kneels behind me, hand-drying my long hair with a towel. When the water is sufficiently blotted, he begins brushing my hair. Oh my goodness, it feels like heaven. The bristles massage my scalp as he gingerly drags the brush from root to tip.

Snuggling within my warm blanket, my head questions why I don’t feel afraid. I am in a strange house with an unknown man, who has just seen me naked. But, my heart quiets my head, assuring me I am cared for and safe with him.

He sets the brush down and leaves me again for the briefest of moments. Upon returning, he sets a cup of something on the table beside a fireside chair. Lifting me from the floor, he sits down in the chair, settling me in his lap. His hands slide underneath my blanket, caressing up and down my exposed arms. My skin warms all the more from his touch. He lifts the mug and presses it to my lips. I look up into his glowing eyes and sip. Mmmm. I feel the soothing liquid sliding down my throat and into my tummy. His lips curve upward into a smile as I moan in pleasure with each sip.

I realize we have yet to speak to one another.

“Thank you,” I whisper.

“I have been waiting for you,” he oddly replies.

With each drink, my eyelids grow heavier and heavier. I nestle closer against his large frame, settling my head against his broad chest. One deep sigh and my eyes close…


(To be continued…)


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