Chanel Bissett believed in one fundamental truth—the power of love. She’s adored and loved Zachary Marlowe long before she knew what life meant. And they’ve built a bond so strong that it is beyond untouchable.
Or so Chanel thought…
Rhys Colburn has always been privileged, wealthy and demanding. He was ready to spend the rest of his life with Maggie Cohn so that, together, they could conquer the world.
Rhys couldn’t have been more wrong…
Consistently appearing at the wrong place and wrong time, Chanel and Rhys’ lives begin to clash. Every breath, every word, and every moment is as if the heavens have shifted the earth so that their paths would cross. Whether faith or destiny, they are pushed to emotional boundaries neither can sustain.
Yet, still, hope remains…
Over time, they become stripped of their once known selves. All that’s left are shattered pieces of a once upon a time. And after three years with shadows of memories behind, chance pulls them together again.
Finally, love just might emerge. And this time, destiny might be kinder.
Will either take a chance with a stranger, or will the past resurface to shatter the possibility?
Certain moments will forever be frozen in time-the universe shifting to accommodate the earth, the sum of all fears, the pulsating heartbeats of star-crossed lovers, the moment you question the purpose of living and the instant you no longer deny the truth.
This is mine-painful, satisfying and messed up.
"Go to hell!" I shouted up into the pouring rain as it plopped down into my eyes and my nose, suffocating me as it rushed into my mouth.
I was wearing super short khakis and an aqua tank plastered to firm, palm-sized breasts and shapely thighs. My feet were bare, and my toes swarmed with sand from the bottom of the ocean. Each second found me sinking into the gooey glob. It was a heavy type of comfort, overtaken by heaviness from up top to down below, squeezing off my air.
Precisely the point, right?
Everything, every minute figment, crowded my very existence. Drops of rain crushed me. The roar of waves ripped apart my eardrums. The on and off flash of lightning crept near enough to make me fear death. For a split second, I worried about dying, but then I realized this time, fear was meant to be my finale.
"Chanel...baby..." trailed over the waves, but I knew within my heart of hearts that even if I were to dip below the water, I would be able to recognize the depth of his distinct sound over mother nature's anger.
"Don't do this." Rhys' pleas blended with the roar of the waves and crashing of the showers from above. Though somewhat distant, he gripped my senses. He stood several feet away in sinking sand, surrounded by warm water. His words only scratched the surface of my world. Although I could avoid looking into his hypnotic gaze on this dark and tumultuous night, my mind was etched with how perfect he could be. With lips resembling the outline of Tom Hardy's sun-kissed perfection, and icy gray orbs like an iceberg in the Alaskan sea, I was forever under this terrible spell of his.
I was performing this awesome balancing act between our past, present and future-a curse, a threat and destiny. The waters of the Atlantic swished around my shoulders. I caught a quick glimpse of his fight to reach me. A sloppy, yet fierce rhythm assaulted my chest. I dipped slowly, steadily. Water rushed between my lips and still my throat felt dry. My insides burned with fire though my mind was weary.
I was out in the ocean, the beginning and ending of everything in my world. I no longer felt sorry for myself, but was instead willing to accept what I'd endured. All that was left was for me to finally let go of the memories, of the pain, of the happiness, and of this life.
"Chanel!" He was directly above me now.
My forehead brushed against a pair of drenched slacks. I opened my eyes to see Rhys towering over me. With the exception of the midnight sky and vicious showers pouring down upon us, he appeared to be the light. He wanted to be my knight in shining armor, my white knight.
Damn deceptive thoughts; he couldn't ever be the good in any circumstance.
No, Rhys couldn't be the light, nor could I let him rescue me.
He was no good for me. In fact, he was the devil; a creature set on mounting the white horse to conquer my world...if I let him.
"Let me go-" I mumbled, only to take in a mouthful of water. I dipped beneath the applauding waves without holding my breath. A gush of moisture flood my nostrils. It burned, stinging like hell. I let it. This needed to be my punishment for falling for an asshole. Who the hell gave their heart and soul to a deceiver, a gutless bastard...a killer?
He grasped hold of my waist. Every inch of my abdomen, like when he'd taken my body for his own, screamed to be touched. I warned my nipples to relax, between my legs to remain calm. They didn't listen. I yearned his hard touch, the sweaty feel of our bodies colliding and the succulent taste of his tongue penetrating my mouth. I was overflowing with thoughts of ecstasy riding my mind like he'd ridden my body earlier.
The veins in his rippled arms captured me. My heart raced so much, I was bound to die of a heart attack instead of this damn water. And Rhys didn't release. In fact, he pulled on me like I belonged to him.
Dear God, I can't take this emotional turmoil. Make it stop, please!
Little by little, the ocean released control over me. All that remained was the never ending sting of rain and Rhys' command over my body. The fight was gone from me. He drew me closer into his arms, and my feet dangled over one set as the other braced beneath my back. Muffled cries escaped my lips.
"Go away," I begged into his drenched T-shirt, connecting with the warmth radiating from his abdomen. As a last second attempt, I hammered at his chest with tight fists, though he didn't budge. He rocked me from one side to the next while nature's lullaby eased my soul.
When we reached the shore, Rhys dropped to his knees. He maneuvered my body to match his in a quick, sloppy motion. My insides burned with hatred...love...uncertainty...lust.
"Chanel, I can't walk away. I won't let you leave me. I-I think I lo-"
"Nooo!" I cried out. The words, though my own, weren't registering with my actions. I wanted to be free of what was, what is and what is to be.
"You're mine, in this life and the next." His hands palmed the sides of my face. "You can't escape me." He forced my lips to his. We fed on the rain as well as every morsel the other had to offer. I tipped my waist up to meet a solid bulge that was set to bring me to my knees.
"No Rhys, no." As much as I wanted to mean the words, his touch collapsed all opposition. This love was so powerful that it burned, so bitter that it filled my every inadequacy.
Why can't he just let me go?
If I was to stay in this god-forsaken life, I wouldn't ever be able to permanently break his hold. And that would satisfy his sick need to have me. Nothing else would make him happier. But he didn't deserve me. Doesn't deserve to be happy. And for my time of weakness, neither did I.
Knowing all that was and all that is, how could we expect to live or love? No amount of sacrifice was capable of washing away the damage. No level of sorry could reverse that which was irreversible. No act of forgiveness could erase the knowledge of what had occurred. And no passage of time could overshadow this fire burning in my soul.
Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.
Janice enjoys Zumba, Kickboxing, and most exercise classes. When she’s not pushing her physical limits, Janice spends time working on her craft, as well as lending a hand to other aspiring writers.