Copyright © 2011 by Ellen Wolf
Cover and internal design © 2011 by Ellen Wolf
The characters and events described in this work are entirely fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or deceased, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
The church was packed, the ancient roman building nearly bursting with people.
Claire’s eyes skimmed over the colorful crowd, taking in the fancy hats, elegant dresses and perfectly tailored suits. Not that she could see them properly. Her obstinate tears blurred her vision.
Yet it felt almost soothing to forget why she was here, the cold strength of the stone pillar she was leaning against adding to the surreal numb feeling she had not been able to shake since Paul’s letter. The paper was still in her pocket. Two miserable pages were covered with neat cursive writing, and now smudged with her tears into a mess that reflected the state of her life for the last few weeks.
Instinctively her hand went to reach for it, almost hoping not to find it. Maybe, just maybe, it was nothing but a nightmare, the kind of bad dream everyone has at some point in time. She would wake up to her sun-filled bedroom with Paul kissing away her tears. He would laugh at her, tease her a little, calling her silly for believing the nightmare to be even remotely true. His brilliantly blue eyes were full of sunshine and warmth. Pressing her cheek against the cold stone, Claire could almost see them together; her soft, full lips curved into an involuntarily smile as she remembered the way he would smile at her, his boyish charm making her heart flutter with a thousand butterflies.