This week I have a friend and fellow SCP writer, Jackie M Smith on my blog to promote her book ‘A Soldiers Vow’ *Sigh* I Just adore this cover… So pretty.
Winnie Douglas always loved taking pictures of her family and her hometown. One day, while reading a war magazine, pictures of the soldiers whose strength and courage touched her. With her family’s blessing, she journeys to Paris where a French magazine hires her to take pictures of the war. Henry Whitfield answers the call of duty and travels halfway across the world to fight in the war. Far away from his family and Canadian hometown, he feels the loneliness. On the battlefield, he meets an angel. Afraid she is just a dream, he befriends Winnie. War brought them together. Will it tear them apart?
Taking his arm, she felt his strength, but he covered her hand with gentleness. New sensations rushed throughout her body. She gazed into his eyes and saw the kindness and honesty. Yet she guarded her heart. She couldn’t give it to someone she hardly knew. But the more time she spent with him, the more she felt as though they’d known each other all her life.
They had so much in common, from books to food and dreams of having a family one day. He even made her laugh the whole time they walked. Indeed, she felt comfortable with him. The feeling unsettled her a bit as they walked close. Again she found herself comparing him with James. Yet with Henry, she found herself smiling and giggling all the time.
As they shared her umbrella, shielding them against the cool raindrops, he talked of the battles he’d fought and the friends he’d lost on the front since the war started. She saw the sadness in his eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she said, touching his arm. “I can only imagine how it is on the battlefield.” She didn’t say another word; the horror he lived and saw every day broke her heart.
He gave her a reassuring smile, but she felt his pain and sadness.
The rain stopped. Winnie felt the cold against her cheeks. Yet inside, warmth filled her. She felt the heat of his body radiate and warm her. She enjoyed having Henry with her now. She crooked her arm around his and held on a little more.
For the first time in her life, she didn’t ask any questions or worry about tomorrow.
They reached the park near theEiffelTowerand sat on a bench while he told her about the men in his company and spoke of their bravery. “We call ourselvesBell’s Bulldogs.” He chuckled. “These men are the finest soldiers in the whole battalion. No. The whole infantry.” He spoke about his fellow soldiers with such pride and brotherly love. His friends. She saw in his sparkling eyes how much he cared for his fellow soldiers. He also talked of his hometown ofCalgary. “Albertais a beautiful province. Mountains and lakes, and nice people.”
She pictured theRockieswith the snow-covered peaks. “Sounds like Heaven.”
“Close enough,” he said, taking her hand in his. He didn’t say another word, but she understood how peace and quiet could be precious to him. She gave his strong lean fingers a light squeeze, hoping he knew how much she cared for him.
As they reached the front door of her apartment just after midnight, he took her hand and brought her fingers against his lips once more. His eyes met hers, and he held her hands between his. Bringing her closer, he warmed her against the chill.
Her breath caught in her throat. She stared at his full lips and wondered what would happen if his tempting mouth kissed her. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, calming her racing heart.
He bent his head and leaned it against hers. “Thank you for spending time with me tonight.” His low voice stirred a new wave of warmth through her.
She bit her lower lip and held her breath in anticipation. With the tip of his thumb, he caressed her lips. Their eyes locked while his warm hand gently cupped her cheek. In a brisk yet gentle gesture, his lips took hers. She trembled under his touch, her hands on his chest, unmoving. His mouth tasted hers as his arms lowered around her, holding her tight against him. She found herself kissing him with such fervor her head spun with desire. Her arms surrounded his neck as she tilted her head, deepening his kiss. A low moan left her mouth as his lips traced her chin and jaw.
“Winnie,” his hot breath whispered against her ear. He held her for a long moment.
She leaned her head against his chest, feeling the warmth of his body through his thick jacket as raindrops fell around them. She closed her eyes and prayed for Henry’s safety and the chance to see him again soon. “Please be careful,” she whispered. “And if you can, please write me.”
“I promise,” he said, holding her even closer. “Take care,” he whispered against her ear before taking her lips hostage once more.
She watched him walk away, breathless and wanting more of his kisses. She believed he’d keep his promise. She removed her glove and touched her swollen and hot lips. And she smiled. Twirling under the rain, she giggled, feeling happy and alive.