Once, Christabelle Jayne defied death. Learning to live and love again is going to be so much harder.
After being abducted and vanishing without a trace, she was presumed dead. But Christie isn’t the kind of girl that goes down without a fight. When she crawls out of the forest almost two years later, bruised and bleeding, she is confronted by a world that seems to have moved on and left her behind.
Dean Hawking returned to Warfields after a terrible tragedy on the job shook his faith in humanity. The cop’s transfer home wasn’t the cure-all he hoped for until the best thing about it, the girl he loved since high school, Christie Jayne, turns up alive.
Their worlds are thrust together again for the first time in years. Though still reeling from her ordeal, in Dean she finds a fathomless love that reminds her there are still beautiful things in the world. In Christie, he sees his chance at redemption…
Then Dean uncovers some startling information about Christie’s case, revealing that she might be in imminent danger, and their second chance at love will be put to the test when the full story of her escape is revealed. Can there be any coming back from what she’s had to do?
The German Shepherd wagged his tail at the mention of his name, and Christie looked down at him with whatever fondness she could muster, given her energy levels. She brought her eyes back up to me and seemed to be searching for the right way to decline, but then gave up and shrugged.
“OK. Why not? Mom? Dad?” she called out and waited for the response. “I’m going out, I’ll be back in…” she turned back to me.
“Couple hours, tops,” I said.
“A couple hours,” she finished.
Her mother stepped into the hallway. “Really?”
“Yes, really. I’ll be with Dean and back for dinner. Police escort. OK?”
“Well… yes, of course. OK.” Mrs. Jayne took the news with mild shock.
Christie picked out her shoes from a pile near the front door and lifted a light coat off a hook before stepping outside as she shrugged it on. I was a couple of steps ahead of her and offered her my hand when I noticed how wet the steps were.
“Careful, it’s a bit slippery here.”
I couldn’t help but smile when she took the help I offered. How often had I hoped to have her hand in mine, to walk through the kingdom of Warfields with its princess at my side? An embarrassingly large number of times was the answer.
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I'm in my thirties and living in New Zealand. About 2 years ago I lost somebody very close to me. I was lucky in a way, I was given enough time to make a promise. My promise was that I would never forget our young and innocent love, and it's a promise I intend to keep.
My writing is a way to help me keep that promise. I've always enjoyed writing but was forced into being 'prudent' and giving myself over to soul-crushing office work for the sake of a steady salary. Recent events forced me to re-evaluate my priorities and I decided to take a chance. I like to put little pieces of 'us' into my writing, from funny conversations we had, to apocalyptic arguments, to that special feeling you get when you hop into bed fully aware that your feet are freezing but your partner doesn't kick you away.
Even though these things are set in fictional worlds and attached to fictional characters, in a way it feels like I'm doing something that will make our love live forever. If somebody reads one of my stories and likes a joke or sheds a tear, then our love has lived on, and I thank any readers I might have for that.
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