Excerpt from Winter Dreams

     
     Those eloquent eyes met his gaze just then, filled with the lingering traces of her terror. Sandy grabbed her and pulled her into his arms. Striving to chase the picture of what-could-have-been from his mind, he buried his face on her neck, desperately whispering her name. She wrapped herself around him, clinging tightly, and he caught the sound of a muffled sob.
     Lifting his head, he cupped her face and gazed into tear-misted eyes, which reminded him of leaves after a brief spring shower. His stomach hollowed, and he would have done anything he could to take the fear from her face.
     "Laura, are you going to be all right? My God, you kept your head so well I almost can't believe you're crying now."
     "I'm not crying," Laura denied even while a shiny tear slithered down one stark-white cheek. "I... oh, Sandy. That moose was so huge. And I could feel the ground shaking under my feet while it charged."
     His thumb flicked the tear away from where it landed, at the corner of her mouth. "It's over," he whispered, barely managing to get the words past his clogged throat when her tongue tip appeared for a brief instant in the spot where his thumb had just been. He could imagine the salty taste she captured from the tear, and it took everything in him not to cover her mouth with his own and share that taste.
     Her arms remained around his neck, and a shudder ran through her. There wasn't even a breath of space between them, yet somehow she snuggled closer.
     "I'm all right," she murmured. "I know I am. Yet my legs feel like unset jelly."
     "It's the aftereffect of your fear."
     She gave a half-strangled giggle. "Too bad I'm not Tracie. You could kiss it and make it go awa—"
     His lips cut off her words and his mouth swallowed her gasp of astonishment. For a negligible moment, she stiffened in his embrace, then answered the kiss as she had in the dreams he had no control over during the night. With no restraint. With no further hesitation. With all the ardor and fervor he had come to associate with Laura Goodman—a woman who embraced life with the same intensity as she returned his kiss.
     For a long time nothing else mattered to Sandy beyond the confines the two of them occupied. He held her and kissed her, satisfying the yearning he had felt ever since the first day he laid eyes on her in Grand Marais. Most definitely ever since the dream that had stirred his long-dormant libido that night in the hotel.
     Then Buck moaned and the sound penetrated his mind. He couldn't let Buck wake and see him kissing Laura. But he couldn't break free, either. Just one more second. One more second to last the rest of eternity, while she was married to another man.
 
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