From contemporary to historical to sci fi/fantasy romance, this is a collection of stories by an eclectic group of award-winning writers from across the globe. Each story reflects the allure of amore in our lives as the elegance of their voice pulls you into the story, envelops you with its characters and offers the reader a chance to escape into their world, if not for just a little while.
Daniel heard the roar of an engine and the showering of gravel. He opened the inside door and peered through the screen. A moving truck towing a small car sped up his driveway and slid to a stop, narrowly missing the corner of the front porch. The door opened and the driver emerged, grasping the door for support. Daniel stepped outside and saw the driver was a rather large woman.
The woman slowly worked her way around the front of the truck. “Can you help me?”
A thin sheen of ice glistened on the steps. He carefully descended and reached for her. “Here. I’ve got you. What’s wrong?”
Her blue eyes were wild with panic. “I think I’m in labor.”
That’s when Daniel realized she wasn’t just a large woman, but a very pregnant one. “Come on. Let’s get you inside.” He slipped an arm around her and guided her up the steps and into his house.
She hesitated inside the door. “I’m soaked. I’ll get your floor all... Oh, no.”
Daniel gave in to a brief moment of panic. “Okay. Okay. Um... You need to sit down. Or lie down. Here.” He led her to the sofa. “Oh, wait. There’s a bedroom down the hall. That would be better.” Turning her carefully, he steered his unwelcome guest down the hallway, removed her coat and eased her onto the bed. “I’m going to call for an ambulance, if they can get here. What’s your name?”
“Cassie Mitchell. Oh, God. It’s too soon. I’m not due for another three weeks.”
“I’m Daniel Bascomb. How close have the pains been coming?”
“I don’t know. My back was killing me, then the cramping started. It’s not exactly pain and not that close together yet.”
“Okay. I’ll be right back.” Daniel retrieved the phone from the living room and pressed 9-1-1.
The calm female voice on the other end reassured. “What is your emergency?”
“This is Daniel Bascomb on Cold Spring Road. I have a woman here in labor and need an ambulance.”
“Hey, Daniel. It’s Latrice Givins. How far apart are her pains?”
Daniel dragged his fingers through his hair—a habit when he felt anxious. “Not sure yet. She just drove into my yard. She says it’s more like cramps and not that close together yet.”
“I’ll dispatch the ambulance, but you do know the roads have become a sheet of ice in the last half hour. Stay on the line with me.”
Daniel paced down the hall and peered into the bedroom. Cassie lay shivering beneath the quilt he’d placed over her. When she looked at him, he smiled. “I’ve got the ambulance on its way.” I hope.
A muffled conversation through the receiver held Daniel’s attention before Latrice once again spoke. “Daniel, the EMTs are out on a call. Five car pile-up on the interstate. I can patch you through to one of the docs at the hospital.”
“Do that, please.” He waited, pacing beside the bed.
“Is everything okay?” Cassie asked.
“Yes. Well, not exactly. The ambulance isn’t available and the roads are now a sheet of ice.”
She let out a breath. “Good thing you’re a doctor.”
“A d-doctor? I’m... uh... a veterinarian.”