“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway ~ A Farewell To Arms
They share an epic love but one moment changes everything. A life together that seemed certain is shattered. One learns you never love the same way twice; the other learns what it means to come home. You only think you know how this love story goes, but do you really know how an epic love can end?
“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald She is living color, and I’ve been in a black-and-white world for far too long without her. Powerful stuff. It surrounds me. I’ve felt it since I first arrived. The forcefield of her. The magnetism of her. The power she wields over me. I’m alive again because of her, like a dying plant that finally gets some water. I’ve got it bad for this girl. Reality dawns. The light comes through the darkness and shines on me. She’s my water.
The truth is I breathe with him. He is my air. Raison d’etre.
As Lincoln Presley would say, "do as you must, Princess."
Chapter 2 - Tally
“She’s got the story,” I say to Linc hours later as we lie next to each other taking up only half of the king-sized bed because our bodies remain intertwined at an all but intimate level. The money shot photograph session took twice as long as the interview. After another three hours, we finally told Candy we had to go. I had to pick up Cara from preschool and Linc had a late practice.
We left Candy and her photographer while they were still packing up their gear. By this time, the reporter had given up on asking us any more questions. She had the money shot. She had the story. We weren’t going to like it. The unsettled feeling nagged at me, but Linc didn’t seem to care. “She’s got the story.” Apparently, my fears need repeating.
“So?” He asks with a laugh. “Come here.” He pulls me closer and trails his hands down between my legs knowing full well this is my ultimate weakness for him. I cannot not respond. His touch right there gets me to do just about anything for him. I moan. He laughs again as he starts to make his move.
We put Cara to bed fifteen minutes ago and left the bedroom door slightly ajar so we can hear her but closed enough so she doesn’t hear us. Usually, we wait the agreed-upon half-hour before commencing with doing the deed as I still like to call it, but she was extra tired because I let her stay up late to watch Entangled. I’m not sure she understands the story line completely. I’m not sure I do either but she loves Rapunzel’s long hair. We watched it together while we waited for Linc’s return from practice. Cara played with my hair for most of the movie and kept running her little fingers through it over and over, while I filled out endless wedding invitations, imploring the ninety-five percent of strangers I do not know to come witness our nuptials in the middle of October.
“The article won’t run for weeks. Don’t worry about it. By the time it does, the season will probably be over. We’ll be married. Settled. Nobody is going to care about how we met or what happened in Moscow. They’ll be staring at your photograph, the Dirty Dancing one, and be thinking how did that guy get so lucky and get a girl like her? All those Sports Illustrated fans wishing they were me and holding you up in the air just like Baby.”
“Even the girls?”
He laughs. “Even the girls. When are you going to start believing we’re the two luckiest people in the world?” I turn into him then and stroke his face and search his eyes for solace and truth but I don’t answer. “When are you going to let go and let this happen and believe in it? In me? In us?” Linc asks again.
I trace his lips and kiss him. Lightly. Just a trace.
In the next, he smothers my face with kisses of his own and eventually pulls me up beneath him. “Come on, Tally. Let it go. Let it all go. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Don’t put a time clock on this. Don’t walk down the aisle toward me, less than a month from now, still not believing that this isn’t real or this won’t last because it will. I’m here. You’re here. So. Believe it. In me. In us. Now.” He pulls away from me and studies my face. Guilt arrives right on time. I wince along with it.“What is it? What aren’t you telling me? Because with that face? It is definitely something.”
“Dr. Eldon scheduled an ultrasound. I just…she’s optimistic and I just hope that we can find a way to have another child. I want to give you a son because you’ve given so much to me. And I want you to be happy. With me.”
“I am happy with you. I love you because you’re my life. You’re my water. Don’t forget that. I couldn’t survive without you.” He plays with a strand of my hair and lets it slip through his fingers. “And I’m your air.” He sighs a little. “I love you just as you are whether we have more kids or not. That’s why we’re going to make it. But you have to stop believing that something bad is going to happen. You have to believe in us as much as I do. We’re going to have this great life together. We already do. I love you. You love me. And believe me; love is enough. Our love is enough.”
I hold my breath and gaze at him for a long while. The commitment and compassion I see in the depths of his eyes begins to steady me. All the doubt, and even the guilt, begin to fade away. Like a protective shield, his love encircles me from all around.
Then when he pulls me into his arm and looks at me as if I’m the only one that counts, just before he kisses me, it is reassuring in the only way that matters.
Lincoln Presley, baseball star, is one of a kind.
And, he’s mine.
It’s a miracle really.
What an unbelievable stroke of luck at having him in my life and loving me back. I kiss him and let go of all my deep-rooted fears: falling, failing, even losing. I actually feel them disappear as if a strange wind has come by and blown them away.
I take in air—his air—that allows me to live and breathe.
“Okay,” I eventually say.
Then, I grab his hand and lightly kiss the inside of his wrist, and then trail my lips along his broad chest. He leans back against the pillows with a knowing look pulling me along with him, but cedes all control to me. I start to smile, but then another errant thought crashes in on me and threatens to undo all of these joyous declarations.
International bestselling author of the New Adult Novel, This Much Is True and the most recently released second novel in the Truth In Lies series of The Truth About Air & Water.
Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. She is not sorry. Owen writes about trust, love, and fate and how relationships are often tested by all of these things in one way or another. Love, loss, and starting over.
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Tally Landon is just trying to survive the death of her twin sister, graduate from high school, and escape her tragic story by pursuing her ballet career in New York. She doesn't count on Lincoln Presley, Stanford's baseball wonder, to affect her at all. Adding him to a long list of one-night stands is the plan. Lying to him about her age and name is her standard method of operandi. She doesn't count on being found out, on seeing him again, or falling in love.
Lincoln Presley's life is all mapped out for him. There is only baseball. With Major League Baseball circling their favorite prospect with a lucrative offer, he cannot afford to mess up. And, he doesn't; until he meets up with the girl he saved in that burning wreckage on the 101 on Valentine's Day months before. By the time he learns her real name and of all the lies she's told, he's in far too deep to ever really let her go.
Fate has a different set of plans, but when fame and lies tear them apart, one truth remains.
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