The Virgin: Redemption

The Virgin: Redemption by J. Dallas Read Free Book Online

Book: The Virgin: Redemption by J. Dallas Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. Dallas
though, and the ache in my skull only made it worse.
    What do you want to do ? That small voice inside my head murmured to me and I closed my eyes.
    What did I want?
    Slowly, I rolled to an upright position and stared outside, gazing out over the rolling waters. They called to me. The ocean always had. Even the beaches of Florida had beckoned to me, but nothing like it did here.
    Home .
    What I wanted?
    That was easy.
    It was this.
    This place.
    On the rare occasion I had happier dreams, it was of this. On the rare occasion I let myself think about what-if ? I imagined myself here. Building something here, making something that mattered. All I’d ever wanted.
    I wanted this. I wanted home .
    And…
    An ache settled in my throat.
    Drake.
    Still.
    Always.
    It was what you wanted .
    This beautiful place, like he’d reached inside me and captured my dreams, brought them to life; he’d done it because I’d wanted it. He’d come back here, hoping to find me. That meant something, didn’t it?
    Was it foolishness to hope we still had a chance?
    Just the thought of it was enough to make my heart race. Enough to make my palms go damp while the yearning swamped me. Every time I’d woken up alone over the years, some part of me had wished for…something. No. Not something. That empty void inside me had a name and only he could fill it.
    They say youthful infatuations are fleeting, that they never last.
    But mine turned into an obsession…a love that haunted me even now.
    A chance.
    Sliding off the bed, I moved to stand in front of the mirror, studying my reflection. It hadn’t been all that long ago that I had stood in Philly, staring at my reflection critically, wondering if he’d see the girl I’d been under the layers of sophistication I’d developed over the years.
    I’d been fooling myself to think that he wouldn’t see that girl.
    She was still there. Under a thick layer of bitterness, anger and hurt, she was still there. I could see her clearer now. I could even feel her. Maybe it was because something had pierced that layer of bitterness.
    I could see her—see me . Nothing had ever been more clear in that moment, standing in the dark, wearing Drake’s button-up shirt and a pair of his boxers that bagged around my waist. Scowling, I looked down at myself, realizing I’d been wearing the same clothes since I’d arrived here—how long had it been? Thirty six hours, maybe?
    It seemed about right.
    I needed to think. I needed to clear my head. And I really, really needed a shower.
     
     
    I spent a good twenty minutes under the hot, pounding spray. I came to one conclusion.
    It was time. Time to start over. Time to reach for a second chance. Here, back where everything had started. Here, with Drake.
    Although the water was hot, goosebumps raced across my flesh while my belly clenched. There was a tight, hot knot there and I groaned, leaning back against the tiles. They were heated by the water and their warmth seeped into me, turning my already loose muscles into putty. My breath hitched in my chest and my heartbeat raced.
    I wanted to start over.
    I wanted a chance with Drake.
    Was I going to go do this?
    I didn’t know.
    The thought of it terrified me.
    The thought of not doing it terrified me more.
    It was that thought that pushed me to turn off the water, to reach for one of the towels, hanging on a heated rod. I wrapped it around my body and then grabbed another, drying the water from my hair. My hands were shaking the entire time though. As I dried my hair, as I wrapped the towel around my head, as I finished toweling off and as I slicked some of the lotion I found on the counter over my skin.
    Even as I brushed my teeth, I could see how my hands shook. When I finished, I reached for the towel and let my wet hair spill down around my face, using my hand to finger comb through the loose curls, wincing as I felt the lump that had ended up putting me in this predicament.
    Once I’d finished, I lowered my hands

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