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He glanced at his watch and then pulled Kitt to her feet. "Come on, love, this is our waltz." At her questioning look, he just smiled and led her into the ballroom.

Wordlessly, they turned and glided around the room to the strains of a slow waltz. Kitt felt a nostalgic enchantment gradually enclosing them and dimming the reality of other people and the room around them. She was floating in a golden haze, aware only of the lean, strong body pressed to hers, warm hands holding her, and the tantalizing brush of their moving legs. He lifted his cheek from her hair, and she tilted her head slightly to look at him. It was all there in his face—love, caring, cherishing—and the power of it stopped her breath. She didn't realize that the same expression lit her face with a rare beauty. His arms tightened convulsively, and he pressed his face against hers with a wordless murmur. The gold-tipped lashes fluttered down, and she moved in a dream, confidently surrendering all control to him.

It was several minutes before she felt the breeze on her bare shoulders and the rougher floor under her feet. Opening her eyes, she caught glimpses of the moon-washed beach and realized that O'Mara was slowly waltzing her the length of the veranda. He brought them to a halt at the top of the steps and took a step back from her, letting his hands come to rest on her hips. The smile he gave her was full of devilment.

"It's a beautiful night and that's a lovely walking beach. Could I interest you in going for a moonlight stroll?"

"Weeellll," she teased, "it looks rather deserted. Will I be safe with you, sir?"

"Not for a minute. Do you really want to be?"

"No!" She laughed and pulled him down the steps and along the short path to the beach. She stopped at the edge of the sand to take off her shoes. Turning to him, she found that he had already removed his tie and undone half his shirt buttons. She watched, bemused, while he shrugged out of his jacket, took her shoes and stuffed them into the pockets, and swung the jacket over his shoulder. When he held out his hand, she slid hers into it and turned to walk across the beach with him.

They reached the hard-packed sand near the water, and she paused, tugging him to a stop a step ahead of her. Slowly, dreamily, with a remembering look on her face, she scanned the glittering water with its tempting silver path and then the bright beach stretching before them into the darkness. Her head bent as she looked down at her dress and then lifted again as her eyes traveled up his long, sinewy body to meet his waiting gaze.

"It's the same," she said wonderingly. "It's all the same."

"Almost." He waited, watching her.

She frowned. "We're older and married?"

"That, too." The devilish smile was back, and she could see silver glints in the darkening blue eyes.

"O'Mara?" It was a question, but her growing smile said that she already suspected the answer.

"We, my lovely Kitt, have some unfinished business with a sand dune."

Laughing, they began to run hand-in-hand down the long beach.

About the Author

Lee Damon is Massachusetts born and bred. She has lived in Waltham, Braintree, and Concord, and she currently makes her home in Acton. She is a descendant of an old Concord family, whose first settlers arrived in 1680.

An only child in her New England Yankee family, Lee was encouraged to become a teacher or a nurse. Instead, she studied writing, got married, acquired some secretarial skills, and promptly got a job where she wouldn't need them. She has worked as a technical editor/writer for several electronics and aerospace firms until fairly recently, when a small inheritance allowed her to start her own graphic arts company.

Having gained considerable experience in advertising and nonfiction writing, she finally turned to another longtime dream: writing fiction. In her own words, she's always been "independent, stubborn, creative, and imaginative." And now, with a nineteen-year-old son in tow, she's off and running with yet another brand-new career!

BOOK: Damon, Lee
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