After surviving the wrath of a wicked she-vampire bent on revenge, Will and Cara Brennan have a new task – finding Will’s brother that Sallie Hawkins made a vampire centuries ago. Both bear the scars of their battle but they’re glad to be alive and together.
Cara wants to find the only family Will has in this world and so they set out on a search for Seamus that takes them from Memphis to the rough bars of Oklahoma, Las Vegas casinos, to Hollywood Boulevard and to New Orleans. Along the way, their love deepens and the sensual connection they share heightens.
Whether or not they find Seamus isn’t the only issue – they have no way of knowing whether he has gone wicked or if he’s an average vamp like them. The journey defines their love as the story begun in Love Tattoo, advanced in Love Scars, and continues in Love Knots.
“It’s part of the surprise,” he said. “Come, mo ghra.”
We walked away from the highway, leaving the parking area far behind us, and onto the beach. Above us, the February sky sparkled with ten thousand stars, each one radiant and bright. A full-bellied moon rose in the east, promising to bathe us in its rich, silvery light if we remained here long enough. The wind that wafted ashore rippled across the water and ruffled my hair, cooler than Will’s fingers. Anyone else, meaning someone human, would probably have shivered but it felt refreshing to me, clear and clean and good.
My bare toes squished in the damp sand and I liked the feel of it, not icy but still cold. We went right down to the edge of the water where the waves sluiced up onto the beach, gentle for now. I stood, staring at the infinite ocean as it swept out to the farthest horizon, as far west as I could see, spread out north to south as well. The night sky stretched above me, just as endless and vast. I felt so small and yet not insignificant at all but empowered. If I needed a visual to define eternal, to paint a picture of what an everlasting love that I shared with Will, then there could be none better than this moment. I stared; eyes open wide and made a mental image, a brain snapshot to last forever, something to keep and remember always.
I wanted to sweep all of it into my arms, to embrace the ceaseless space, the immeasurable beauty, and the ageless wonder of the sea, the sky by night. I have no idea how long I stood there as the waves washed up around my feet, silent and yet filled with more emotion than I could ever select words to express but Will stood beside me, just as quiet, my hand clasped in his. We were part of this and we remained one. When I turned to him, eyes brimming with joyful tears, heart overflowing with love, he faced me and with his own eyes shimmering with moisture, he spoke words now familiar to me because he used them before.
Now, however, the beautiful poetry resonated with even more meaning for us both,
“And yet I wish but for the thing I have, my bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have for both are infinite.”
The immensity of his love overwhelmed me, the power more enormous than anything, greater than any man made wonder. The scope of it stretched beneath the timeless stars, the wonder of it expanded through whatever heart I possessed, and brimmed over to flood my soul. What I had with Will Brennan, I thought, was worth all I gave up to claim it and whatever I might face at the end of time; I could because of this love.
The truth of that sang in my soul, a greater, stronger song that any I ever attempted to sing before. I wished I knew as much poetry as he did, Shakespeare or otherwise, but instead, the words that came into my mouth came, as usual, from a song. Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman did a song that I loved back in the late 1970’s, vintage but with lyrics I loved so I sang some of them to Will now,
“Our love is alive and so it begins, foolishly laying our hearts on the table, stumbling in, our love is a flame, burning within.”
He opened his arms to me, as broad and open as the vast panorama of water, wind, and sky spread out around us and I walked into them. I came home into his embrace and all the emotion, strong and potent, welled up in me and exploded so that I wept in his arms. I sobbed not with sadness but with immeasurable joy, rich feelings too volatile to contain. He wept, too, for I felt the rain of his tears, the tremors of his body against mine. After we spent our emotions, poured them into one another, we sat down on the sand, wrapped together and listened to the wondrous night music of God.
After a long time, secure in our contented silence, he kissed me, soothing and so sweet that I almost wept again. Will brushed the remaining tears from my face with a gentle finger.
“I take it you liked my surprise,” he said, voice soft beneath the pounding thunder of the waves.
“Oh, yeah,” My voice, hoarse from tears, came out in a croak but I didn’t care and knew he would not either. “What’s in the basket?”
“Oh, this and that,” Will told me with such careful nonchalance that I knew the contents would be amazing. “Some wines, some cheeses, and such.”
The such included smoked salmon, gourmet crackers, olives imported from France, chocolate covered cherries, brie, and much more along with two lovely wine glasses. So we sat on the beach as the moon climbed high into the sky, bathing us with amazing silver light, drinking fine vintage wine as we snacked. Every moment tasted as savory as the gourmet finger food and contentment made me purr within like a satisfied cat. I dreamed of some intimate romantic moments when I suggested our getaway but this exceeded any expectation I might have imagined; this felt like perfection.
Moonlight glittered across my rings and I held out my hand, admiring them for their beauty but what mattered most to me was not the diamonds but the meaning. Will can be a romantic man and we shared many sweet moments but this night stood out, a once in a lifetime magic interlude that neither one of us could ever forget. There would be many more beautiful spaces in our existence but this one would remain unique to us both.