Genre(s): Adult, Dark Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication: Fall 2014
I had a choice, and I chose wrong.
I thought I lost everything. But when the smoke finally cleared, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.
Father Sullivan was a force – a living and breathing force, a forbidden desire I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to resist. But I wasn’t the only one who wanted him, and by all accounts neither of us should have him.
I had decisions to make, secrets to uncover. Both would tear my heart, my life, and what was left of my family apart.
I wasn’t going to take any chances this time around. If I’d learned one thing during my life, it’s that death is the only certainty. It’s a matter of when, not if.
For every action, there is a reaction. For every choice, a consequence. If I hadn’t chosen to live again, I would have never known what life could be like …
With the Father
“It looks like Princess Aurora found her soul mate. Who am I to stand in between them?”
“Do you believe that?” he asked, his voice solemn.
“In soul mates.” He cocked his head to the side and looked genuinely interested in my answer.
Of course, I believed in ‘the one.’ I also believed that I’d already lost him. “I believe that there’s one special person that is the perfect fit, and that it’s no coincidence when we find them. You?”
“Certainly, some are better suited for each other than others,” he said, nodding to the dogs sitting side-by-side at our feet. “But I don’t believe in ‘the one.’” He leaned against the trunk of my car and eyed me as if he thought I was made of glass and his words would shatter me. He was right to wonder.
Jonathan had been my soul mate. We’d been very young when we’d met – just nineteen. Yet, I’d known immediately that he was it for me, that he was the one. In fact, I’d called my mother the next day and told her that I’d met the guy I was going to marry. There had never been anyone else and he’d felt the same way. If that wasn’t the definition of soul mates, I didn’t know what was.
Father Paul seemed to sense my feelings on the subject but barged ahead anyway. “Have you ever wondered where it comes from … the idea of there being just ‘one’ perfect counterpart for every person?”
“Walt Disney?” I asked, pointing at Princess Aurora.
He shook his head. “Actually, it originated from the Greek philosophy of Plato who believed that man and woman are made of one body and separated by the gods, forced to spend their lives searching for each other so that they can be complete.” He was silent for a moment before continuing, “Obviously that goes against what I believe.”
“Each of us is a complete person all on our own. You are complete person on your own, Grace. That was true six months ago, and it’s true today. You may not feel like it, but even without him, you are complete.”
I scuffed the toe of my shoe in the dirt while I considered his words, noticing that he’d purposefully framed his argument without mentioning God.
Father Paul was walking a fine line with me and he knew it. He was being very careful not to say something that he knew would push me away; yet, he’d still managed to get his message across.
He flipped his ball cap around so that it sat backwards on his head. The act had the dual effect of revealing his face – and the utter sincerity etched across it – and returning the Greek mythology-spewing priest beside me to a mere mortal man again.
I crumbled just a bit. His mouth turned down as he squinted into the sun. “Of course, I’ve never been in love like you have.”
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.
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