Maddy has lost her memory, the more she finds out about herself, the more she loathes herself.
Her husband Nevis, handsome and wealthy, lets her know in no uncertain terms that he hates her ; she cannot blame him, yet she cannot stem the feelings she has for him. How could she have been so despicable to this man when all she longs for is to be in his arms? Confused by who and what she is, sometimes she thinks it would be better if she never remembered the past.
Published by Whiskey Creek Press
E book ISBN 978-1-59374-688-9
Paperback ISBN 978-1-59374-687-2
Excerpt – Eden’s Child
They made the stable just as the huge raindrops began to thrash down. She unsaddled Kelly while Joseph saw to Silver and then tenderly caressed the horse. She realised it was the first time she’d felt like doling out affection. It felt good too.
The rain was thundering on the tin roof, the noise so loud she didn’t hear anyone else come in; it was only when Joseph said. “Boss,” that her heart gave a little leap. Ever so slowly she turned around.
Instinct betrayed her. It told her she’d never seen this man before for had she done so, loss of memory or no, she would never have dared to forget him!
He was wearing a leather greatcoat. The rain dripped from it and from the brim of his Akubra hat. He removed the hat and shook it but didn’t take his gaze from Maddy. He was holding the reins of a horse which, as if copying him, shook its head to flip off the raindrops.
His eyes—more silver than grey—trapped her in a cold stare. She was the rabbit and he the stoat. There was almost an Asiatic cast to his eyes—emphasised by high cheekbones. The skin of his face was weathered and taut—his nose at sometime had been broken and there was a slight dent in the centre. He was big and his bulk blocked out the meagre light.
At last he spoke: “Maddy.” He nodded his head. A lock of black hair fell over his forehead; he brushed it back with a casual hand. It was very thick hair with just enough kinks in it to give it a mind of its own.
“Nevis,” she said shyly, not needing to question who he was. There was that air about him that showed he belonged. He’s well-named. A man of rock.
Joseph mumbled something and left, squeezing himself around Nevis.
“What are you doing?” Nevis asked. He had a faint slow drawl to his accent.
“I persuaded Joseph to let me ride.”
“You?” He laughed softly “So that’s what you were doing in Europe, learning to ride.”
“I thought it might come in handy,” Maddy retaliated. She realized she didn’t want any kind of confrontation just now and so she shrugged.
“Obviously I can ride, but I don’t know how I know.”
“Me neither,” Nevis said. Then as if remembering the horse nudging against his arm, he said. “I’ll see you in the house. I have to see to Bess.”
“Would you like me to get you something—tea, coffee, some lunch?”
“I’m sure Suzy will have everything fixed up. I’ll see you in the sitting room.”
He was dismissing her. She was an errant school-girl and he would see her later! She bit back a retort, stepping around him and the horse with all the dignity she could command.
By the time she reached the house she was saturated. Quickly she mounted the stairs and went to her room where she showered and changed into soft cotton trousers and a white blouse. Catching sight of the bed she felt a shiver of anticipation. Nevis didn’t sleep here, that she knew, but if he came to her that night, as he had every right too she supposed, how would she feel? Feeling her legs buckle she sank onto a nearby chair.
Instinct didn’t tell her whether sex was something she found easy, or whether it was something she enjoyed, physically. She swallowed, and then admitted that physically, at least, he didn’t make her flesh crawl as had Colin Franklyn. In different circumstances she would not be adverse to him touching her.
She pressed a hand against her chest, feeling the steady thud of her heart—and why should that thought make her blush like a teenager? She could feel the heat streaking across her cheeks; he was her husband. They must have shared so many intimate moments. They’d been together five years, no need for her to behave like a simpering virgin. If only she knew though, could remember, something of their time together. How it felt.
She was startled by a door somewhere nearby slamming shut. She listened. There was the sound of water. Tiptoeing across the floor, she pressed her ear to the wall. Doors opened and slammed shut; there was the sound of a drawer being yanked open. He was in the next room. A short couple of steps along the veranda and he’d be here—in my room.
The long windows were closed now but she knew from her exploration of the previous night that they didn’t lock and neither did the door to her bedroom! He had open access to her room and to her bed whenever he wanted. The very thought made her tremble, but she was uncertain as to whether she trembled in fear or in anticipation.
Later she realized how ridiculous her fantasies were. Whatever things Nevis Ballantyne would be doing, visiting her bedroom wasn’t one of them!
She was in the sitting room when he came in, his dark hair sleekly swept back from his shower. Tall and controlled and still the iceman. Here was her husband; he’d sent someone else to bring her back. He’d not been there to greet her on her return—and on seeing her, hadn’t even bothered to ask how she was, hadn’t hugged or kissed her or even touched her!
“So,” he drew out the word. “What’s the game, Maddy?”