Excerpts from the Book

Miles Apart

He studied in reverent fascination every object within that had held communion with her: the rose-colored curtains, the elegant marble-topped vanity, the glass-framed pressed flowers hanging on the wall, and the simple chest of drawers with a lace overlay. The trunks Dixon had packed lay opened on the floor, bulging with all the delicate finery of a lady’s wardrobe.

His eyes narrowed with interest as his gaze rested upon the garment that lay at the top of the pile. It was the elegant gown she had worn at the dinner party those many months ago. He stepped forward and crouched down to examine it. Touching the silk fabric gingerly, he recalled how stunningly beautiful she had appeared that evening. Amazement washed over him once more at the realization that she had accepted him. He had not thought such a lady of refinement could ever be his.

It remained a wonder to him that he had somehow won her regard. Of old, she had always spoken to him with harsh disdain, never more so than when he had first told her of his love.

Crouched there, in the middle of her room, he become aware of the faint fragrance of jasmine. He closed his eyes to better concentrate on the scent, which instantly brought to mind the tremulous moment when he had nearly brushed against her as he had secured the door behind her on that fateful morning. She had seemed so fragile and beautiful. He had yearned to feel the smooth skin of her face; to draw her to him and claim her as his own in some presumptuous way.

He brushed his fingers reverently along the folded silk for a lingering moment before slowly straightening himself to stand.

 

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