I'll Be With You Excerpt
Someone pounded on the escape pod waking Lesley. She looked up through the window and her heart stopped, then pounded again at seeing Dage after three years. She was so shocked to see him standing there in the flesh that she could only stare up at him with wide green eyes. She figured that she must still be dreaming, because he couldn’t possibly be standing right outside her pod. Her mouth closed tightly as her eyes closed for a moment then opened.
“Dage,” she whispered as her eyes widened at the sight of him before her. He’d been her last thought just before falling asleep. She looked around her. Going into Reimche’s atmosphere she must have been tossed around in the escape pod, since her safety harness was ripped in places, which puzzled her for a brief moment. Then she undid the red and white-striped harness. When she had first opened her eyes, she thought that her mind was playing tricks on her, now she knew that was not the case. He was actually in front her. She had a sudden urge to reach out and touch his solid, hard flesh.
Dage smiled down at her as he reached over and released the door from the outside. He held a hand out to her. Lesley took his offered hand in hers and he gently pulled her out. His hand felt real and warm in hers. She blinked her eyes up at him, confused at this sudden turn of events.
“I knew we’d see each other again, but not like this,” he said softly as he reached out with his hand and touched her forehead. He noticed a lump was forming at her temple and it was bleeding.
“Oww,” Lesley said as she pulled away from his touch and placed her own hand on her forehead while staring up at him with wide green eyes. The spot was tender and swollen. And bloodied, she noticed on her fingers as she pulled them away from her forehead. She stared down at the blood on her fingertips then looked up at Dage.
Is he for real, or am I hallucinating? she asked herself as her heart began to beat. After all the time that had passed between them, she still wanted him with her entire being.
Dage offered her a dark-blue bandana; she took it then placed the cloth on her forehead for a moment until the bleeding stopped.
“What happened?” Dage pulled her into his arms, holding her tightly against him. He tried to block out his body’s response of her and it wasn’t working. Not when he could feel the lush curves next to his, her softness against his hardness.
His heat filled her, as it did once before when they were on Earth. “I was attacked by space pirates,” Lesley said. Her voice seemed dried and hoarse as she glanced down at the hard packed dirt. She couldn’t look him in the eyes at the moment, not with her heart racing inside of her chest.
~ * ~
Dage eased away from her and walked over where he had dropped his pack on the ground when he’d noticed the escape pod and had rushed over to help whomever was in there. His heart nearly pounded out of his chest when he saw that it was Lesley, the one female who held his heart. At least she did once, until she had broken it into a million pieces.
“Why did they attack you?” Dage spoke in a hard voice, as he held out a plastic bottle of water to her. His eyes were hard and lethal as he looked down at her.
She took the water and drank about half of the bottle before she answered him. “I don’t know why they attacked my ship.” Lesley drank the other half of the water and gave the bottle back to him. “How far away are we from civilization?” she asked as she scanned the horizon. She didn’t want him to see the expression of tenderness on her face. She still has strong feelings for the man, no matter how much time had passed between them.
Even after the terrible ordeal when she went to see her family, Lesley had wanted to search for him, needed his comforting arms around her. She had forced herself to get on with her life. The Alliance wouldn’t allow them to be together, so it was best to let him go.
“A few miles,” Dage answered as he took his fill of gazing at her with a puzzled expression. She seemed to be giving him a cold shoulder. Why? After all that we shared on Earth? he wondered to himself. “I’m sorry,” Dage said all of a sudden. He wasn’t sure why he had spoken those words to her. They just fell from his lips and he was startled that he had spoken them in the first place.
Lesley turned to him with a surprised look on her face. “For what?” she asked as she reached up and tugged a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear. Her hand slowly caressed down the side of her neck as she stared up at him. She wanted to know why he was apologizing to her.
“For everything,” Dage shrugged his shoulder as he bent down and placed the water bottle in his pack and slung his pack over his shoulder. He didn’t want to see the sensual picture she made. Not the way that his libido was out of control from seeing after three years. He couldn’t seem to shake the feeling away, the way his body grew hard and throbbed with life whenever he came close to her.
“We should get started, it’s going to get dark soon.” He looked up at the sky and at the noonday sun as it sat high in the sky. “I only have two bottles of water left. And you already drank one. It is a long walk back to town.” He pulled the black pack onto his shoulders and shifted the weight to even it out, then began to walk west in the direction of the town he had just come from.
Dage was already a few feet ahead of her when Lesley started to follow him in slow hesitating steps. Her eyes were on his back as she walked, then she tilted her head to the side considering his broad back. Why is he treating me like this? Lesley asked herself as she followed him. Giving his back a hard look as she slowly made her way behind him. Is it because of the way that I left him three years ago? Guess he should be mad at the way that I left him. I was scared.
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