A hand trailed up my back as Alex held me. Goose bumps formed in the wake of his touch as I lay on his chest in the darkened hotel room. My fingers traced the military tattoo on his chest I couldn't see but knew was there. The two knives intercepting each other with the inscription I will not accept defeat were over his heart.
“I miss this. Being together tonight feels like when we first started dating. I’m sorry I called you Gabe earlier. I know how you hate that. Old habits.”
My husband’s full name was Gabriel Alexander Thompson. All of his friends called him Gabriel when we first met while I was in college. He was on leave from the military. It had been a chance meeting in a random town as I crossed a street. Fate happened, bringing two people who were meant for each other together. Though I'd tried to take things slow, something between us clicked, and I fell madly in love with him before I realized it. Honestly, it was insane how fast we fell in love. Maybe too fast. But I don’t believe I could have stopped it if I tried.
On our first date, I called him Gabe, and it stuck. At least until he asked me to call him Alex shortly after returning from his last military mission. All of his friends who died overseas called him Gabriel, and it was hard for him to hear a shortened version. I got needing to distance yourself completely from painful reminders. I hadn’t been to Italy since Dad died for that very reason.
The muscles in Alex’s body tightened and then released while he dragged his right hand through his dark hair. Even in the dark, I felt his emerald eyes watching me. His voice was strained when he finally spoke. “Sweetheart, we’re going to find our way back to each other. We’ll get back to the place when we were Gabe and Willow, not Alex and Willow. I’m working through it. I promise you, I’ll never upset you again like I did this afternoon when I found you.”
I kissed his chest and then sighed. “I’m not going to Nonno to try and get him to release my trust. It’s not what Dad would have wanted. We have plenty to live on. I don’t want to fight, but that point I’m not budging on.”
Fingers paused on my back before continuing. I braced myself for the anger to return. “It’s your decision. I’ll respect that.” A small victory—a step in the right direction.
After kissing him again, I laid my ear against his chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. “We might want to think about couple’s therapy. When you came back after leaving the military, something has been missing. It might help us get a new start. I want to make this work.”
“That’s what I want too—a fresh start. For us.”
I smiled at his words. “Thank you for coming back to me.”
“I promised I always would.”
The memory was beautiful. Magical. Through the night, Alex woke me up twice to make love to me. Love. It was the key to everything. For now, I would focus on the memories of last night in order to hold on to hope to save my marriage until I saw him again. I read his words again. I love you, Willow. I never stopped.
I needed to get home.
Title: White Lies
Series: Twisted Fate Series, #1
Author: Kristin Mayer
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Nothing is as it seems. Our love. Our life. Our future.
Were the lies to protect me? Or was it something else?
There has to be a reason behind all of this. Finding out he doesn't love me would devastate me beyond belief.
They say white lies are harmless, but I don’t believe it. There has to be more to our story.
Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager. Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again. With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a couple of months.
At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had the makings of a novel.
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very blessed and thankful.