Touched by a Phoenix

Touched by a Phoenix by Sophia Byron Read Free Book Online

Book: Touched by a Phoenix by Sophia Byron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sophia Byron
Tags: Suspense, Romance, Military, romantic suspense, Mystery & Suspense
She began to shiver. “Alexandria, are you cold?” he asked as he turned her to face him.
    “I’m fine.” She backed away quickly, all too quickly.
    “Nonsense,” he nearly strangled on the rest of his words, seeing that sheer panic had engulfed her delicate features. Her eyes changed to a dark brown, reminding him of a scared little fawn. He racked his brain—he hadn’t done anything that would have caused that kind of fear. What was wrong with her?
    “Alexandria, talk to me.” He reached for her but she drew away so quickly that it startled him. Something was definitely wrong. He couldn’t have offended her. He hadn’t done anything….
    “The rain is letting up.” She turned and walked away. His words had broken the magical spell. Her stomach turned, shock and shame setting in. She had reacted to his touch in ways she didn’t understand.
    A heavy silence hung in the air, like the haze of smoke after a battle as they walked through the mist.
    As the elevator reached Brad’s floor, Alexis spoke up, “Thank you for a lovely evening.”
    “You’re welcome, Alexandria,” Brad responded tenderly.

    Alexis peeled her wet clothes off and stepped into the hot shower. The water mixed with tears as they streamed down her face. The memories of the dreadful night caused convulsions to rack her body. She began to scrub furiously at her skin until it burned. Her mind screamed— noooo! It was starting all over again; she felt his hands on her body, felt him slam into her. She heard her own cries, begging him to stop. She had no idea how long she had been in the shower, but her skin felt as though someone had poured gasoline on it. She had been trying to wash away the shame for ten years; the results were always the same. Numbness consumed her as she collapsed on the bed. Sleep would not come easily tonight, if at all, and if it did, the nightmares would begin again.
    She woke drenched in sweat; her sweet dream had turned into a nightmare. Love turned to hatred; she was alone. She climbed out of bed and changed into dry PJs. The clock showed 3:48 AM. The open wounds equated to the depths of hell unleashing the demons haunting her dreams, sleep meant torture. She made a pot of coffee and opened the balcony doors. The rain had cleared, leaving behind a beautiful sky filled with stars. The moon shimmered softly across the smooth water. The boardwalk was now masked in shadows as she sank down in the chair.
    A soft breeze blew, brushing gently across her neck. She shivered. His warm breath had caressed her neck like that earlier this evening. For the first time in a longtime, she had felt safe. Brad was the type of man she had dreamed she would marry someday—strong, confident, and loving. Have children with, build a life with, and grow old with, but that was before—before he had stolen her life.
    Two separate worlds came crashing together, her hopes and dreams versus her fear. No longer was Alexis able to hide her pain; the tears begin to fall, one at a time until they became a river of many. Tears for the loss of her parents, tears for the loss of her virginity, and tears for the love she feared she would never have.
    She desperately tried to push the past back into its dark recesses, the hiding place she had built, but a new and deeper longing had been awakened. She searched the heavens. “Mom, I miss you so much. I wish you were here…I need you.”
    The alarm clock sounded. Alexis extracted herself from the chair and headed to the shower, dazed and tired. Slowly she pulled herself together when she realized she was supposed to meet Brad downstairs for breakfast.
    Brad stood and pulled her chair out for her as she approached the table. Instantly, he noticed her distant gaze and puffy eyes.
    “Alexandria, is everything all right?”
    “Yes, I’m fine,” she replied in a hushed tone.
    “Alexandria, you are not fine. It doesn’t appear that you slept at all.”
    “Brad, I will be fine.”
    Concerned that

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