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Someday Soon by Debbie Macomber - Romance>Contemporary
Cain had chosen his lifestyle. He thrived on the challenge. No drug, he told himself, could produce the physical or emotional high of a successfully completed mission. No drug and no woman.
Then why was he standing on a cold San Francisco pier like a lovelorn teenager, hoping for a glimpse of Linette Collins?
And then he saw her. For a moment it felt as if someone had hit him against the back of his head. He went stock-still.
She stood in line at a fish and chips place. The wind whipped her hair about her face and she lifted a finger to wrap a thick strand of dark hair behind her ear.
The smart thing to do was to turn around, and walk away as fast as his feet would carry him. He'd gotten what he wanted. One last look at her. His curiosity should be satisfied.
But even as his mind formulated the thought, Cain knew that just seeing Linette again wasn't enough.
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Her first mistake was agreeing to attend this Christmas party. Her second was downing a glass of champagne and then, for courage, another.
Her third error in judgment was remembering Michael.
The only reason Linette Collins had agreed to come was that it was easier to give in to Nancy and Rob than argue.
It was well past time for her to socialize again, they claimed. Long past time for her to grieve. Only no one had told her how she was supposed to grow another heart. No one had told her all the time she'd been granted to mourn her husband was two short years.
Her heart had been rubbed raw in the time it had taken leukemia to claim her young husband's life. Since Michael's death the days had blended together, one twenty-four-hour period dragging into the next until the weeks and months had blurred together in a thick fog of disenchantment.
Linette had gotten on with her life, the way everyone said she should. She went to work every day. She ate. Slept. She managed to do all that was required of her and nothing more, simply because she hadn't the energy. Or the inclination.
Then, out of the blue, when she was least expecting it, she'd found peace. A shaky sort of acceptance that teetered, then, gradually, with time, righted itself.
This serenity happened as if by magic. She woke one morning and realized the pain she'd constantly carried with her didn't seem quite as heavy. The doubts, the fears, the never-ending litany of questions, faded. Unsure of how it had happened, Linette had graciously accepted this small slice of peace, this unexpected reprieve, and clung to it tenaciously
Each day the feeling had grown stronger, and for the first time in months she felt whole. Almost whole, she amended.
But when she'd stepped into this Christmas party she hadn't been prepared for the festivities to hit her quite this way. The fun, the singing, the laughter, reminded her forcefully that it had been almost two years to the day since Michael's death.
"I'm so pleased you came," Nancy said as she squeezed past Linette. Her sister-in-law smelled of cinnamon and bayberry and looked incredibly lovely in her sleeveless winter green velvet gown. Linette's own white wool dress didn't fit as well as it should. She'd done what she could to disguise how loose it was with a narrow gold belt.
"I'm pleased I came, too," Linette bed, but it was only a small white one and unfortunately necessary. She sipped champagne and forced herself to smile.
"Did you sample the hors d'oeuvres?" Nancy asked. "You must! I spent hours and hours assembling those little devils. Try the teriyaki chicken bits first. They're wonderful." She pressed her fingertips to her lips and kissed them noisily.
"I'll give them a taste," Linette promised.
Without warning, Nancy's arms shot out and hugged Linette long and hard. When she drew back, Linette noticed tears shimmering in her sister-in-law's eyes. Nancy's lower lip quivered as she struggled to hold in the emotion. "I miss him so much," she said, choking out the words. "I still think about him. It doesn't seem like it's been two years.
"I know." Instead it felt as if several lifetimes had passed.
Linette squeezed Nancy's hand. It often happened like this, her comforting others. How ironic.
"Oh, damn. I didn't mean for that to happen,- Nancy murmured, pressing her index fingers beneath each eye while she blinked furiously in an effort to keep the tears from spilling down her cheeks.
"It's only natural you should miss Michael," Linette offered, briefly wrapping her arm around Nancy's waist.
"It just hit me all at once that he was gone. I'm sorry, Linette, the last thing you need is for me to remind you of Michael, especially tonight.
Someday SoonBy: Debbie Macomber