In the summer of 1990, Rachel Weber spent a week down on the Florida coast, soaking up the sun's rays while she waited for her life to begin. It was there that she met Dean Sherman, a handsome, muscular soldier with crystal blue eyes. The two spent a week together full of champagne kisses that only ended when Operation Desert Storm forced Dean to choose between his duty and his love. He chose duty. Twenty years later, Rachel figured it was just summer love, but she never forgot those eyes. As personal assistant to powerful billionaire Jack Saunders, she never expected Dean to walk into her office after being hired as Jack's personal bodyguard. Even though she had spent the last two decades trying to forget Dean, she found herself falling for him once again. When fate forced both Rachel and Dean to choose yet again between love and duty, Rachel had to decide between the man she had always loved and the family that had become her life. She knew she couldn't have both, but she knew she wouldn't be happy with just one. Would she choose love, or be forever haunted by the memory of those Champagne Kisses?View More
Emma smiles at me. She fixes my veil one last time, making sure it is still on straight, then smooths the hair curling gently around my shoulders. She says something about weddings, and I smile automatically. My mind isn't on her. It's on the person waiting for me at the end of the stone pathway. Dean is waiting for me. She fusses with Jack's tie, making sure that it, too, is on straight. He gives her a warm smile and shoos her out of the house. I can hear her heels clicking on the steps as she hurries to the garden to tell them we're ready to begin. I feel like I'm going to float away I'm so happy. I wonder how it is possible for any one person to brim with so much joy to the point of overflowing, yet here I am, barely able to contain myself. Dean is waiting for me. Jack takes my hand, placing it in the crook of his arm as we start to walk out the main doors. I remember my flowers at the last moment and I pull myself free to grab them. I grasp them tightly as I give my hand back t
Present Day The afternoon sun transformed the world into a kaleidoscope of orange and red as it filtered through the autumn leaves. Dean sat in the garden on a wrought iron bench, his eyes closed as he looked toward the sun. He reminded me of a cat, sitting there soaking up the last rays of warmth before winter. I stood for a moment under the rustling leaves, just admiring him. He was so handsome. His dark hair ruffled in the fall breeze, the wind mussing it like a lover's caress. His jaw was strong and smooth, his back tall and straight. Even after all this time, he still made my heart pound in my chest like a nervous school girl's. He was everything I could ever ask for; everything I could ever want. The leaves crackled under my feet as I followed the stone pathway to the bench. Dean opened one eye just enough for a sliver of blue to peek out, but then he closed it. His face remained impassive. I smiled at him, even though he couldn't see it. I felt like I might vibrate out of my
Present Day The Saunders clan sat quietly in the parlor. Emma and Jack were on an old-fashioned love seat, Emma's head resting on Jack's shoulder. Robbie stood beside them, staring out the window, his hands behind his back. Several employees and close staff huddled in a group by the corner, solemn and quiet like a silent flock of black birds. I stood next to Bianca, who sat stiffly in a blue wing-backed chair. Her hair was perfect, her makeup unsmudged, but I knew inside she was screaming with loss. A lawyer fumbled with long sheets of paper at the head of the room, preparing to read the will. Daniel had only been dead for less than a day, but it was per his wishes that the will be read now. I swallowed my tears down. Now that I was here, Daniel's death was real again. For a few blessed moments with Dean, my heart forgot to hurt. Now it just ached as though it were making up for the missed time. Bianca's brown eyes stared blankly at the room. I knew she didn't see the people there,
Present Day The rest of the day was a blur. All I felt was pain, the gray shadows of memory taunting me with Daniel's life. He had been my friend, my father, and my employer. Despite months of preparation, it had come too soon. His absence left a hole in my heart that could never be filled. The doctor entered the room, checking Daniel's limp wrist for a pulse. Bianca clung to him, her eyes shut as she willed him to still be alive. The doctor carefully worked around her, performing the necessary checks before quietly leaving the room. He put his hand on Jack's shoulder as he left, murmuring the words, "I'm sorry," he said, and Jack nodded, but I don't think he actually heard him. His eyes were glued to the bedroom, tears silently running down his face. Upon the doctor's apology, Robbie stood. He stared at those of us in the doorway for a moment before taking off down the stairs. I heard the front door slam, but I let him go. A minute later, I could hear the roar of an engine as he d
Present Day I pulled my hair up into a bun as Dean parked the car in front of the Saunders' mansion. Even from here I could tell something was wrong. The feeling of a string about to be cut vibrated out of the house. Dark shadows cast up onto the porch, the autumn morning sun still cold. I shivered and pulled a sweater up around my shoulders. I stepped out of the car, making sure my shirt hung straight. I always carried a change of clothes in my car. In my line of work, you never knew when you would be stuck at the office overnight. Or sleeping at your boyfriend's place for the first time. Emma hurried out to greet us. She ran barefoot across the wet grass, the hem on her pants growing darker with every step. She hugged her arms around her, keeping herself warm as well as from falling apart. Tear stains already streaked her face. She didn't even bat an eyelash at the fact that we had arrived together, instead grabbing my hand and hurrying me toward the house. "What happened, Emma?
Present Day I woke up the next morning to find that Dean was already out of bed. The room seemed empty without him. I glanced at the painting on the nightstand, the woman still defiant against the storm after all these years. It made me smile that he had kept it. The floor was cold to my bare feet as I stumbled into the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet seat was a clean pair of sweats and a plain gray t-shirt. I slid the comfortable clothing on, rolling the waist band to keep the pants up. The shirt smelled like Dean, and I breathed it in, enjoying the scent. I giggled as I realized there was no way he was going to get this t-shirt back. Well, maybe, when it lost that wonderful smell and needed refreshing. The rest of the apartment was quiet, but I found a pot of coffee ready with a note in Dean's messy handwriting. Good morning Beautiful, I didn't want to wake you, but I'm getting breakfast. Creamer's in the fridge. I love you. I folded the note and stuck it in my pocket. Even t
Present Day I had intended to go to a rustic Italian restaurant just a few miles from the Saunders' mansion. I had intended to walk in, sit down, eat lasagna and tiramisu, have a glass of wine, and then head back and take a long hot shower. That was what I had intended. Instead, I was standing in front of Dean's apartment building. I could see a light coming from his corner unit, the yellow window shining cheerfully into the dark night. The wind blew across the yard, rattling the remaining leaves on the trees and making the fallen ones skitter across the sidewalk. The moon hung low, orange and full against the night sky. I was about to go back to my car, to drive to that little restaurant and actually do what I was supposed to do, but the memory of that kiss pulled at me. Now that we had kissed, even just once, I wanted more. Before I even knew what I was doing, my hand was knocking at his door. I looked down at the brave appendage in shock, wondering what the hell I was thinking.
Present Day Robbie passed me as I walked down the hallway toward Daniel's room. His eyes were still rimmed with red, and his lips were pursed together as he walked the ornate carpet, his mind lost in thought. I don't think he even saw me as he paced back and forth down the long hallway. I wasn't sure he had even been in to see his father since we had brought him home, but at least he was in the house. I knocked softly before entering the large room that had become Daniel's infirmary. A large hospital bed took up the center of the room, an oxygen tank and an IV pole tucked carefully beside them. Bianca sat in a large easy chair in the corner, her feet tucked up under her as she typed on her laptop. I could hear soft classical music, playing softly in the background. Knowing Daniel, it was probably Mozart. Daniel sat propped up in the bed, pillows and blankets tucked tightly around him. His pale face was so gaunt that his eyes seemed to sink into his paper thin skin. I remembered the
Welcome to Goodnovel world of fiction. If you like this novel, or you are an idealist hoping to explore a perfect world, and also want to become an original novel author online to increase income, you can join our family to read or create various types of books, such as romance novel, epic reading, werewolf novel, fantasy novel, history novel and so on. If you are a reader, high quality novels can be selected here. If you are an author, you can obtain more inspiration from others to create more brilliant works, what's more, your works on our platform will catch more attention and win more adimiration from readers.