Date Published: 3-7-17
Publisher: self/ Carolina Blue Publishing
Dr. Elizabeth Abbott Fitzgerald has spent the last ten years of her life running; from tragedy, from family, from love.
But now her mother’s failing health calls her home to Windsor Falls, North Carolina; to the place where her past awaits.
Sam Bishop can’t believe his eyes when the love of his life returns after ten long years. All he wants is to clear his conscience and get back the family he lost when Connor, his best friend and Elizabeth’s husband died tragically.
Could it really be true that time heals all wounds?
Screwing up her courage, Elizabeth exited the bathroom and walked into the kitchen in search of something to do. What she found was Sam.
"Oh, I didn't know you were in here." She shoved her hands in her pockets and thought about backing out of the room. Although she had been trying to speak with him all week, suddenly that didn’t seem like such a great idea. His face was devoid of any expression.
"No problem. I was just taking a break from the crowd. Can I get you anything?" Sam stood, seemingly nonchalantly, with a hip propped against the counter and his tanned, muscular arms folded across his chest. She noticed that the same lock of errant hair fell across his forehead. She clenched her hands in her pockets to avoid stepping forward and brushing it back into place.
Elizabeth started to say no but changed her mind. Her pulse beat wildly through her veins. Taking a deep breath and steeling herself, she took the plunge. "Yes, I do want something, Sam. I wanted to tell you that I'm staying. I took a full-time position in the ED and gave notice in California. That's what I've been trying to tell you all week." When he didn’t say anything, or show any reaction, she hurried on. "I also want to know what's going on between us. Why haven’t you returned my calls? Why are you avoiding me?" Elizabeth stopped then to take a breath, her cheeks flushed with emotion.
"I hope you’re not staying here because of me. Because of what happened between us." Sam stayed where he was, seemingly unaffected by what she had said. "We had a little fun, but that’s all it was. I'd rather not make more out of it than it is, Elizabeth."
A chill swept over Elizabeth. She stood as still as a statue, as if she had been frozen by his words. She heard what Sam had said, and yet she couldn’t understand them. He didn’t even look like her Sam; his face a cold mask. How could those nights spent locked in each other's arms not mean anything to him? She couldn’t think of a single thing to say to him. She continued to stare as the color drained from her face.
The knuckles of her hand were white where she gripped the center island for support. Tears pooled in her eyes, yet she refused to shed them. With her heart shattering in her chest, Elizabeth turned and left the room. Her back was straight. She didn’t make a sound. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Kimberley O’Malley is a recent transplant to Charlotte, North Carolina from the frozen North. She is learning to say y’all but draws the line at sweet tea. Sarcasm is an art form in her world. When not writing, she is a full-time nurse and part-time soccer Mom, but not necessarily in that order. She shares her life with an amazing husband of more than twenty years, two teenagers, and one very sweet Shetland Sheepdog, Molly.
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