Authors: Emily Bold
Also by Emily Bold
The Curse Series
Touch of Eternity
Breath of Yesterday
The Midnight Series
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Text copyright © 2014 Emily Bold
Translation copyright © 2014 Katja Bell
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Previously published as
Klang der Gezeiten
by Amazon Publishing in Munich. Translated from German by Katja Bell.
Published by AmazonCrossing, Seattle
Amazon, the Amazon logo, and AmazonCrossing are trademarks of
, Inc., or its affiliates.
Cover design by bürosüd
Library of Congress Control Number: 2014945158
OMORROW . . .
(Mellos Cove, Maine)
ears were stinging my eyes, and waves of pain shook my body. It hurt more than words could say. Grief overwhelmed my thoughts and emotions, held my heart, my soul, and my entire body in its grip—holding me down so mercilessly I thought I would suffocate.
I was shivering. The hardwood floor I crouched on was freezing cold, and the open fireplace with its soot-smeared hearth only seemed to mock me. That damn thing! Daniel was the only one who had ever managed to conquer that monstrosity and wrestle some warmth and comfort out of it.
But Daniel was dead.
Which was why there would never again be warmth in my life, even if I eventually managed to light a fire.
I wrapped my arms around my knees, no easy task given my baby bump. My throat was sore and tight, and my sobs soon turned into a river of burning tears that streamed down my cheeks unhindered.
The baby inside me stirred as if it were trying to comfort me. I curled my hand over my belly. The soft kick of this tiny human being, gentle as the flap of a butterfly’s wings, felt soothing yet brought me no solace.
Daniel had been convinced that every time he placed his hand on my belly, the baby went still just to taunt him. The memory hurt more than my cold feet and more than the hunger I had felt for days because I couldn’t get any food down.
All I had managed to force into my knotted stomach today was a piece of stale bread. And it was late afternoon already, which I easily discerned from the waning daylight.
I glanced up at the lamp that had never been turned on. The light switch existed in a different universe. Besides, there was nothing worth looking at anyway. The house had not changed, except it no longer felt like our dream house. Every room seemed to exude pain, and every window seemed to let in only darkness, ever since Danie
l . . .
The windows were still covered with plastic to protect them from splatters, and the can of wine-red paint was still sitting in one corner—in the exact spot where Daniel had put it down.
“Red, Piper?” he had said again and again, shaking his head. “With all these choices, it really has to be red?”
And I had replied enthusiastically, “Not the entire room, of course! Just one wall. It’ll look great!”
look great, but a red wall—” He raised his eyebrows quizzically but smiled when he took me in his arms.
“Trust me,” I breathed into his ear and enjoyed feeling his hands run down my tense back.
“But if it looks like a brothel in here when we’re done, I want to see you running around naked all the time.”
I snuggled even closer to him, giggling, and enjoyed his warm, manly embrace. “You’re insane! Imagine what the neighbors would say.”
“What neighbors? The house next door is up for sale, and we can always get a guard dog if we have to.”
His hands wandered under my shirt, but I playfully pulled free and folded my arms over my chest.
“No fair! If you think this is going to change my mind, I—”
Daniel laughed and took my face in his hands. He wasn’t easily rebuffed, I knew that much.
“Change your mind? As if I had a chance. But if I’m going to be blinded by a bright-red wall, then the least I can expect is a kiss, don’t you think?”
He placed his lips on mine, and his tongue teased me until I gave in and tenderly returned his kiss.
I blinked away the painful memory. The can was still full of paint, and the wall was still bare. The bright-red wall hadn’t killed him—
Me! It was my own goddamn fault! At least that was how it felt.
My stomach cramped up and I could taste the bitter bile in my mouth. When the dry heaves took hold of me, I was glad I’d had so little to eat.
I couldn’t go on like this. I was done, finished. I could not forget what had happened or get my life back in line. I was twenty-eight years old, pregnant, and alone! All my hopes and dreams, my future plans, and my happiness had died the day Daniel died. How could I go on living if there was no future waiting for me?
The baby kicked gently, as if to say, “
a reason not to give up.”
That pulled me from my stupor. With heavy arms, I tied my lank hair into a bun on top of my head so it wouldn’t fall constantly into my eyes.
My stomach calmed down and I thought again about how little I had eaten. I had to get up, goddammit, pull on my coat, and drive home to get some food into me. And take a shower! I’d been stewing in my own sweat for days. Catching up on sleep was probably not a bad idea either. But driving home meant returning to an empty apartment, Daniel’s attic apartment in his parents’ house.
I couldn’t bring myself to do it. He was so tangible there, so ever-present, that I expected to run into him at any moment.
“Hey, babe, I’m back.”
How I longed to hear him say that just one more time. How I wished to feel the happiness I had felt every time he’d said those words. I wanted nothing more than for him to come through those doors and enchant me with the boyish charm he’d never lost, the charm that had hooked me when we were teenagers.
Tired, I leaned my head against the wall and closed my eyes. If only I could turn back tim
e . . .