David Shaw threw another log on the fire and stared into the flames, his features bathed in flickering light and shadow.
I wish I had something other than a fire to keep me warm tonight.
He rose from the rustic stone hearth and switched on the sound system. The opening notes of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker burst from the speakers and filled the air of the cozy cabin, fitting perfectly with the dancing snowflakes outside. Smiling wistfully, he watched them fall before returning to the dining room, where his meal waited. He sat and ate, enjoying the food that he always loved to prepare when he visited the cabin: angel hair pasta with a creamy herb sauce, lean beef, and salad. The last time he cooked that meal, he'd had someone to share it with.
David reached for his glass of red wine. It had been over two years since the divorce was final, and it was his first weekend at the country retreat since his marriage ended. As he sipped, his thoughts journeyed to a place that he had sworn never to visit again. He remembered his ex-wife's face and her laughter echoing through the rooms as he chased her to the bed. She had smelled like exotic flowers as she gave him sweet kisses and whispered lies.
She had told him she loved him, and he had believed her.
But then, back in the city, he returned from work early one day to find her and another man rolling around in their bed. When David confronted her and the stranger, the woman he adored instantly became a malicious, spiteful bitch who had no remorse for what she'd done or the pain she had caused.
Their divorce was brutal. When it was over, David felt like the walking wounded. The acidic anger that had burned in his gut eventually faded, but the loneliness remained. Tired of being alone, he felt it was time to move forward. Although he had dated a bit after splitting with Laura, none of the relationships had lasted for long. The women he had known were nice enough, but there had been no real attraction on his end. There were no sparks.
Shaking his head to drive away the unwanted thoughts, he looked down at his remaining food. The memories had stolen his appetite. David rose, took his wine, and returned to the living room. The soothing music continued as he settled into his easy chair facing the fireplace, and he closed his eyes and let the strains of the violins carry him away.* * * *
Her skin felt perfect on his. She rode his erection; her movements like silk. Soft, feminine moans of pleasure reached his ears. The long cascade of dark hair obscured her face, teasing him. More than anything, David wanted to pull it away so he could finally see her. He had to know who she was, the seductive angel who filled his nights and left him aching for more when he woke up in the morning.
She was the woman he reached across the bed for each morning, only to find an empty space.
A hoarse plea escaped his lips. "Please..."
The mystery woman leaned forward then, delicately tracing his lips with the tip of her tongue as she ground against him harder. He grit his teeth at the exquisite feel of her and arched his hips to meet her halfway, surrendering to her tender assault on his senses. He wanted her--all of her. He wanted to see her, know her.
"Who are you?"
She stiffened in his arms, and David almost regretted his words. He had to know. He repeated the question, bringing his hands to her narrow waist. The woman silently withdrew from his embrace, and he mourned the loss of her warmth. She walked away, and he watched her go until she vanished into the mist. His chest swelling with feelings of longing, he wished he could join her.