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.”EpilogueApril 10thRiley set a single rose on Harmony’s headstone.“I got a letter from Bella today,” she confessed before settling onto the bench beside the grave.She’d started visiting with Harmony shortly after marrying Tristan.He’d loved this woman, and for Riley, it said more about who Harmony had been than any amount of town rumors.Riley felt oddly connected to the woman who’d held her husband’s heart first.The visits brought her peace.Glancing behind her, Riley ensured Tristan was still digging around in the backseat of his truck before continuing.“I haven’t worked up the nerve to open it yet, but fear is like that.It drives memories far into the depths of your soul until it sets down roots.” Riley brushed her fingers over her purse, thinking about the unopened envelope inside.It had been eight months since Graham boarded his private jet, headed back to California.It had been eight months since it landed at John Wayne airport, empty of passengers.Speculation ran high.The pilot and co-pilot had been questioned at great length.Both men swore he’d been aboard when they’d taken off, and indeed several witnesses collaborated their story by stating they’d seen him board the plane.Sometime during the six-hour flight, he’d simply vanished.Several theories had been tossed around, but nothing concrete had ever been settled upon.With Graham’s money, he could easily disappear, and the looming divorce made most people think he’d taken what he could and started over somewhere.Others thought he was dead.Riley was more than a little aware the answer might be in her bag.She wasn’t sure she wanted to know.What if its contents took her back to that place in her head? The wind picked up.What if one tiny peek inside this envelope sent her home to cover her windows? She shivered.“I hope wherever you are, you’re warm,” Riley said absently, unsure if the words were meant for Harmony or Graham, or if she referred to Heaven or Hell.“What are you and Harmony discussing today?”Riley flashed Tristan a quick smile as he settled in next to her and wrapped his arms around her.“Oh, you know, this and that.Girl stuff.”“Girl stuff,” he repeated, sounding intrigued.“Yep.She told me I’m getting fat.I called her a bitch.”Tristan’s shoulder shook against her cheek as he held in his laughter.She could feel his smile surrounding her.His palm brushed over her rounding stomach.It was something he did a thousand times a day—silently sending love to their unborn child.“You look beautiful,” Tristan said against her temple.A lump formed in Riley’s throat.“Thank you.” Even she didn’t know who she was truly thanking—Tristan for his compliment, Harmony for loving him, or God for having a plan for her after all.She couldn’t stop the words from forming, and neither could she keep from adding, “But you know, you kind of have to say that since you made me this way.”Tristan sighed.“You couldn’t just take it, could you?”Riley couldn’t stop smiling.“Oh, I can take it.” She dropped her voice, making sure Tristan didn’t miss the seductive note.“I can take it all, kickass preacherman.”A load groan rent the air at her taunt.“For fuck’s sake.I’m never going to shake that name.”Riley’s stomach shook with suppressed laughter.“Ha! You said fuck.” She was so going to hell.Riley had known it from the moment she’d met this man who was sexy enough he’d make even the devil pause.If she was going, so was Tristan.“Welcome to the dark side, baby.Don’t worry.I have all the cookies you could ever want.”“Mmm.I do love to eat.”Oh yeah.They were doomed.It was going to be the ride of a lifetime.The end for now…ABOUT THE AUTHORCharity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora's Cave Publishing, Indie Publishing House LLC, and Punk & Sissy Publications.Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards*2014 Golden Ankh Nominee*2013 Readers' Favorite Award Winner*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]