A paranormal romance, Heartsongs, follows two lovers who have never met physically, but who share adventures and romance in time and space in their world of dreams. Will they recognize each other, when they finally do meet? More
EXCERPTS - (Laura) ... The moon had reached its apex, bleaching the sand below it the palest shade of silver. White-capped waves rushed to shore, curling over it, tempting the waterlogged grains of sand to follow them back into the sea. Jace stood a few inches shy of the waves, his gaze trained on the horizon where the water joined with the sky and the stars. He waited. He knew she would appear soon, on the edge of the sea, her form opalescent, cloaked in mist, surreal, an illusion or a vision, whichever he chose to believe. Even as he thought about her, a hazy distortion formed, the size of a thumbprint, growing larger and clearer. She floated toward the shore, toward him. The alarm clock buzzed. Laura opened her eyes. Sunlight filtered through the blinds, gliding across the room, warming it. Laura stretched under the comforter and yawned sleepily. (Stephen) ... In a black and white tuxedo he stood on the top of a precipice that dropped sharply to the rocks below. Riled foamy ocean waves rolled over the rocks and crashed against the base of the cliff. Stephen’s arms closed about his lover. Her simple pale blue dress was cool to his touch. Above him the sky was overcast. A storm was brewing. In the distance an eighteenth century ship with tall masts and billowing sails waited for his return to hoist anchor. Pandora raised her dark eyes and gazed hopelessly into his own. “I will die for you!” she cried. “I will end your torment. The Flying Dutchman will cease his wanderings. Heaven will grant us entry. I give my life for yours.”
“No!” Stephen cried as he tried to hold her, but she moved quickly over the edge. “No!” he screamed, reaching to catch her. “Pandora . . .!” She hurtled to the rocks below, silently. He gazed up at the dark clouds, past them to heaven. “No, not this way. Give her back her life. Wipe away my existence from her memory. I will not free myself of the curse by her death.” He closed his eyes and stepped over the edge. He was not afraid, for he had died centuries ago. He remembered for the millionth time his death, one justly deserved, at the hands of his own men, the sailors he drove mercilessly in fair weather and ill, to out-sail other traders. His ship was known as the fastest on the trade route, his wares the most exotic. He was said to be the richest merchant of his era, and the cruelest. And so he was cursed to wander the seas until he had learned to love. The curse would last until he could be loved in such measure that his beloved would be willing to give her life for him. Cursed until he could experience the pain of loss, the same pain he had caused many a wife awaiting her sailor who would never return because of him. He opened his eyes and he was back on the ship. Already the anchor was rising, the rusting chains grating and scratching against the wooden hull. He nodded to the invisible crew, the souls of men condemned for similar transgressions, condemned to wander the seas for all eternity. And then he saw her. She waited on the deck above his quarters, her hair dark and long, wind tossed behind her. He ran up the steps. “No, Pandora. They can’t condemn you as well. Yours was a selfless act.” She did not answer immediately, but turned and pointed. In the distance a light shown, so bright that it obliterated the sea and the clouds. The light radiated and then prism and enveloped the ship, dissipating the chill, warm and welcoming. Music, soft yet triumphant and pleasing, accompanied by an angelic voice, filled the light. Pandora slid her arm about Stephen’s waist and smiled at him. “You are free, my love.” The alarm clock buzzed and Stephen stirred, waking reluctantly, the feel of Pandora in his arms lingering so that he had to look to remind himself he had been dreaming again.
(This story appeared in the anthology novel, Heart Bouquets that comprised 3 novellas and 3 short stories written and copyrighted by the same author, Paula Freda.)
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