As Promised this week's Sunday Snip is the second half of my short story, First Love Last Love.
Rachel shook her head. ‘It’s all water under the bridge now. There’s no going back, no point in rehashing old memories best left buried.’
‘Are they, Rach? Are they best left? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked out of the window and saw you down here.’
‘How were you so sure it was me?’
A smile curved his mouth. ‘I’d know you anywhere. I looked for you for years.’
‘And I followed your career. You’re quite the celebrity.’
He made a rude sound. ‘Celebrity! That’s a joke. I’m a burned out journo who’s had enough of wars, human suffering and power hungry warmongers destroying this world. I’m giving it up soon.’
‘But what will you do?’
‘I’m going to write a book.’ When she gave a sound of surprise, he said, ‘Yes, at last.’
‘So, it’s taken 10 years to fulfill your dreams then?’
‘What about you? What do you do?’
‘I have my own PR business. I’ll handle your publicity if you like when the book’s ready.’
For the first time Jon looked genuinely amused. ‘I have to write it first. Where do you live?’
‘In Brighton. I have a house not far from the beach.’ She glanced up the hill. ‘If you don’t stay there, where do you live?’
His features tightened. ‘I have no real home. I’ll buy one when this assignment’s over. Perhaps a place near you. Have you a husband? Lover? Boyfriend?’
If anyone else had asked something so personal she’d have baulked at answering, but with him she had no hesitation. ‘There’s no one.’
‘I don’t believe it.’ He sounded surprised. ‘Why hasn’t anyone snapped you up?’
‘You didn’t. Why should you think anyone else would?’
‘Because you’re beautiful, talented and have gorgeous legs.’ No other man could send her pulses racing and her body aflame as he could with just one look. Rachel laughed to ease the tension filling her. He grinned and all the sadness that had been apparent was dispelled.
‘Rach, could I see you? I mean, as in date you?’ He sounded hesitant, boyishly tentative. Just as he had 10 years ago when he’d asked her to walk along this beach with him. It had been the first of many walks along the beach and on the island across the stretch of water.
It had been the last thing she’d expected to hear. ‘Haven’t you got anyone? A girlfriend, a woman waiting for you?’
‘No, there have been a couple of casual partners over the years, but a man who’s always going off to record some war or other is no candidate for a serious relationship. Besides, no one matched up to my first love.’ Taking her hands he pressed a kiss on each. ‘So much has been missing from my life. So much love and tenderness. So much honesty and warmth.’
She shook her hands free and when he made to take them again, she reached up to cup his strong jaw in shaking hands.
‘Do you still have the tin boat?’ she asked, loving the way his eyes darkened at her touch.
‘Sure. I thought I might take it over to the island this afternoon, capture lost moments. Times that were so precious they’ve helped me over the sense of hopelessness that's plagued me for years.’
‘May I come with you?’
He clasped her hands. ‘I wouldn’t let you get out of it. We’ll look at the spot where we made love for the first time. And found heaven. Perhaps we’ll make love again one day just as we did then.’
‘Oh, we will, will we?’ She smiled.
‘Oh yes.’ He grinned and linked his fingers in hers and pulled her with him, up the hill.
Rachel felt more alive than she had in years. Glancing at her linen skirt and silk blouse, she said, ‘I haven’t got my sailing clothes with me.’
Jon grinned again. ‘The island will be deserted at this time of the week. You won’t need any clothes there.’
She gave his arm a playful punch. ‘I’m not prancing about naked, so get that idea out of your head.’ She knew that her stomach wasn’t as flat as it had been and there was more of her thighs than before. Doubts assailed her at the thought of stripping before him.
He pushed open the large gates and Rachel took a look around the garden. It hadn’t changed much, but some of the shrubs had gone. The swing seat still sat quietly on the porch and she recalled the night she and Jon had shared a kiss there. She half expected his father to appear and glare at her for daring to enter his domain and touch his son.
It took a matter of moments to hitch the small runabout to the four-wheel drive, and another five minutes to tow it to the boat ramp. They pushed it into the water, and Jon jumped aboard, helping her in after she hitched her skirt high. He watched her as he steered across the small channel. The wind whipped her hair about her face and she knew he saw the fears and uncertainties on her face.
‘It’ll be fine,’ he said quietly. Rachel wasn’t so sure. Would it be possible to regain the closeness, the passion of the past?
But no sooner had they beached the boat, walked up the tiny beach and found their spot beneath the cliffs than everything fell into place. He was right. Everything was fine. More than fine. It was perfect. They kissed and the years of separation fell away.
When Jon removed her blouse, Rachel made a small protestation. ‘You’re beautiful,’ he said, his eyes showing his appreciation. ‘So much better than the skinny kid I made love to back then. We all change, Rach.’ He looked down at himself and grimaced. ‘Look at me. A beer belly from spending too many nights in bars, drowning out sights and smells of decay.’
‘You are magnificent. As strong and straight as when we first touched each other.’ She placed a hand on his chest and reveled in his shuddering sigh.
‘Love me, Rachel.’
The wind whistled through the rocks above them as they came together, two lost souls who had found each other again. Somewhere Rachel had read there was no going back. But whoever wrote that had been so wrong. Now the years fell away and they recaptured the rapture, the splendor of first love. First love which was also last love. A love for eternity.
Please take a moment to visit these blogs for more Sunday Snips & Stuff:
http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)
http://connievines.blogspot.com.au/ Connie Vines
http://yesterrdayrevisitedhere.blogspot.com/ Juliet Waldron
|For information on all my other books visit my web page|