Authors: Dani Marie
Cover Design by Blue Moose Design Services
Copyright @ 2012 by DaniMarie All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
This book is dedicated to my
She has been my biggest supporter, encouraged me when I was ready to give up and reads every word with enthusiasm and love.
Thank you... I love you morthr than above the sky!
By Dani Marie
Her mind was reeling, she was still worried about how
things had gone this week. She’d have to move, that was the only answer. Then she’d have to be even more careful her secret didn’t get out. She
down, bone tired and emotionally drained. Sleep didn’t come right away but once it did, the dream slid into her subconscious.
“Passion and pearls, Darl’n, that’s what I’ll give you. Passion and Pearls.”
His voice was oh so sexy, with a slow deep draw. Not really an accent just a strong steady way of whispering into her mind. Her body trembled even in sleep.
“Time to come find me,” his husky whisper told her as he dissipated from her dream.
She woke with a start, her heart beating fast and her body tingling with a need she hadn‘t felt in a very long time. Guess things were going to get interesting she thought as she wandered to the kitchen to get some much needed coffee. All she knew was that it was time to move on and start over. This time though she was excited about meeting
man with the sexy voice.
‘Yep, this could be interesting,’ Aqua said to herself.
Aqua was such a strange color, not really green and not really
lue. Aqua often wondered why her parents would name her
They seemed like such normal parents although maybe her idea of normal wasn’t as accurate as she’d like to believe. How does one convince themselves, not to mention a whole town, that you’re normal with a name like Aqua? To make matters worse, having bright red, long curly hair just put the icing on the cake as far as Aqua was concerned. She was going to give it her best shot though because it was too late now to back out, she had signed the lease on the space for her new store. Colville Office Supply and Photography was now her new business. What a nice normal name for a business in a nice normal place owned by a nice normal woman. Aqua smiled at just how odd it seemed in itself to be trying to seem normal.
Aqua had to remember it was pronounced call-ville because three people had already politely corrected her about that. One person even told her it was
as in call girl. These folk had quite a sense of humor and that was another reason Aqua had decided this was the right place to start over. She was just glad to be starting over and this time she’d be more careful that her secret wouldn’t come out like it had in the small town she grew up in. It
a bad little place, but the people were pretty old fashioned at best and once her family‘s “secret” got out and became the fodder for the grape vine, folks started treating them differently.
As a child she was lonely
, other children’s
not to play with her. As an adult,
woman scold her child for talking to her
was heart breaking
. Aqua swiped at a single tear and reminded herself that she was starting over and she’d make sure this time it was different, she’d be different. As she walked around the empty space, she took pride in knowing this was hers. She was confident she could make this a really wonderful office supply store and do some photography on the side, which was her most cherished hobby. She knew this was exactly what she was destined to be doing. She had already set up an account with distributors and was ready to place the first orders as soon as the renovations were completed and the shelving was done.
The building was a bit run down but that wouldn’t matter once she put some TLC into it. New windows, new flooring, redoing the walls, ceilings and lighting were going to make all the difference in the world to this old building. Besides, it was perfect for what she wanted since it had a small apartment upstairs that was to be her new home. She’d been in the building a few times now and felt comfortable in it. Aqua did a little twirl and laughed out loud. She’s done it, she had started over and she could tell that things were going to be wonderful here.
Colville was a beautiful town
in Washington State
with around 5000 mostly friendly folks living normal and seemingly relatively happy lives. Everyone seemed friendly
when Aqua had been
here before to scope the place out. The police officers even waved to her, a complete stranger. The woman at the grocery store had invited her
, a perfect stranger,
town picnic. That’s what she needed, just a little bit of acceptance from the people around her. It’s a bit soon for the picnic she thought to herself, even though she was curious about what the town picnic would be like. She really just wanted to spend a few hours deep cleaning the apartment so that by one when the moving van got here she’d be ready to have her mother’s antique furniture brought up. She loved living amongst the old items, they gave her such a sense of belonging in a way no fancy new furniture could. Her mother had passed away when she was just 19, so at 25 keeping her Mom’s items close to her made her being gone not seem quite so permanent. She could pretend she could walk in one day and see Mom sitting on the settee. Then again on occasion that had happened. Nevertheless, that was another story altogether.
Aqua had on cut off shorts and a t-shirt that read “Why lie, the truth is usually stranger than fiction anyway.” She was down on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor when she heard the banging on the door below. She looked at her watch and groaned; an hour early didn’t help her schedule but oh well what could she do? She dropped the brush into the soapy water splashing and ran down the stairway to open the door. The movers were there and ready to start. She propped open the door and mentioned that she wasn’t quite done with the kitchen so if they could do that room last that would be just dandy. They grinned, indicated that wasn’t a problem, and headed back to the truck. Aqua ran back upstairs and with a great flourish finished up the kitchen. It didn’t take much to clean a small space at least, she thought. Then she headed into the other rooms to direct the movers and generally be less help than she thought she was. But it didn’t take long to get the boxes and old heavy furniture into the apartment. She looked around in dismay once the
left, wondering what she was going to do. There was hardly any room to walk through the place. Obviously she had miss judged the space a bit. But she really had trimmed her belongings down to her bare minimum so she had a problem. She looked around and groaned, now what?
The only thing she could think of was that she would have to incorporate two of the three offices upstairs. She could make due with just one and use the additional space to make her living quarters larger. Well, she’d just have to adapt until she could get that done along with the myriad of other projects she had going on. She just couldn’t quite shake the feeling that everything was ok now and that she could relax. She’d never really had that feeling before and wasn’t sure she could trust it. Maybe she just wanted it too much.
Aqua got her cell phone and called Darrell the contractor and he agreed to meet her first thing in the morning to go over her new ideas for the upper floor. Darrell was a grumpy old man but was fair
did quality work, anyway that’s what the realtor had said, and Aqua knew when she met him that he’d do a good job for her. She had decided that she really wanted a much larger living room and needed more space in the kitchen, so she drew out ideas on paper for hours. She finally came up with a plan that seemed wonderful, open and even
a window looking out onto the store floor. This would be one way glass and would at least give her a feeling of open space.
Her colors were all on the purple side, she just couldn’t help herself. It was
color, the dark tones were her
favorites and she was using them as the accents so as not to make the area seem too small. She even threw in a very neutral kitchen with light yellows that seemed to go well with the purples of the rest of the apartment. She decided it was time to call it a day and headed downstairs to double check that all the doors were locked and secure for the night. Again, she felt that sense of pride as she walked down and into the open area that would
be the store. She could picture the shelving and walls full of wonderful items. She could even see the display of furniture that she’d have. She smiled to herself and chuckled because she’d seen that space so many times before that now it was like an old friend to her. Darrell of course had offered some other ideas on the space planning but Aqua had balked without explaining why. That was her secret and he’d just have to believe that she knew what she was doing.
To some it would have seemed a bit eerie to be there in the dark, in a big empty building but there was only a feeling of great things to come for Aqua. She knew she was safe and knew this was home. As she walked to the back of the building she turned on the flashlight as it got darker the farther from the windows she got. She was right at the back making sure the dead bolt was locked on the back door when there was a rattle at the front of the store. Aqua stiffened her fingers still on the lock of the back door. She couldn’t help it, her heart started racing. She couldn’t think what to do, her intuition told her everything was ok but her heart wanted her to run. She listened harder and then she heard it for sure, footsteps. That was it, she unlocked the door flung it open and began running. She wasn’t sure where to but just out. Then she heard the back door slam open again and she ran harder. Aqua wasn’t overly athletic but was quick when she needed to be. She kept thinking to herself, just keep running you’re not in danger. She knew she’d know it if she was but now it was time for self-preservation.
As scared as she was
things were racing through her mind like how did someone else have a key or did they jimmy the lock. The locks were fairly new according to the realtor. Then her heart raced again because all of a sudden she could feel the breath of someone behind her and so she veered to the right into the park before realizing
mistake. Lights, why didn’t she run to the lights then it hit her or should she say, he hit her. She knew it was a man just by the strength he had as he grabbed her and they landed on the ground. It occurred to her that considering what happened she wasn’t hurt but he had let out an oomph when they landed. She felt tight arms around her and realized she was on top of someone who had no intentions of letting go.