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The Forever Kind

The Forever Kind by Sarah Black
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John Morgan was desperately ill when he walked into Rachel’s office at the University Health Clinic. He didn’t recognize her, didn’t know who she was, but he knew he needed her the way a drowning sailor needs a life raft.

Rachel let herself care for him, let his heat and passion begin to melt the ice that surrounded her heart. She knew it was a mistake, but his beauty and his fierce need overwhelmed her caution. Just for a moment, she let herself believe the past could stay in the past.

But secrets don’t stay hidden. The enmity from the past was stronger than ever, more deadly that ever, and John and Rachel were sitting in the eye of the storm.

Awe-Struck Publishing; February 2006
103 pages; ISBN 9781587495427
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Title: The Forever Kind
Author: Sarah Black
Dread and desire were at war in her heart, and some creeping sense of inevitability, like she was always meant to walk into his little house, like this was the final act in a play begun ten years before. She wanted to comfort him, to ease the panic that must be crawling along his bones, but there was too much history between them. And he knew nothing about any of it. She closed her eyes. This is why we have professional ethics, she reminded herself. Patients should be able to get good care without wading through years of old baggage. She needed to just put all of that aside, concentrate on the here and now. His back was so strong, the muscles moving under ivory skin as he reached to paint the top edges of the canvas. His long, wheat-gold hair spilled down between his shoulder blades almost to his waist. He was golden and luminous, maybe as young and fine and beautiful as he would ever be in his life. She felt an ache in her throat, wanted to reach out and smell and taste and feel every tender bit of him. Something in the lines of his back, in the bleak tragic sorrow on his face reminded her of her own lost youth, her innocence snatched away from her so quickly by one greedy, vindictive hand. He was vulnerable now. She could hurt this man, would have to be careful that somewhere inside her she wasn’t trying to even the score. He turned and smiled at her, and she could feel desire dancing along her skin, tickling her fingers, splashing down like cool, clear water. She could almost cup her hands underneath and drink him, drink her fill. She stomped down hard on that image. She was a professional. He was hers now, her patient, hers to protect and comfort and care for. She wouldn’t let anyone hurt him, herself included. When she awoke, it was dark outside. She had a pillow under her head and a soft yellow blanket covering her legs. He sprawled on the other end of the couch and pulled her feet into his lap. She could smell coffee from the kitchen. He stroked her foot and took a sip of his coffee. “Orchiectomy,” he said, eyes moving over the big canvas. “That medical lingo for Cut It Off?” She felt her heart sinking “Yes, John, it is.” He nodded. “That’s what I thought. Did he send you to tell me when to be at the hospital?” “Yes. And to check on you, make sure you were okay.” He looked over at her. “I panicked. I got this idea that I should head for Mexico, like if I could get across the border, I’d be safe. I must have been thinking about a John Wayne movie. I guess a tumor isn’t quite the same as a bunch of Texas Rangers closing in.” She watched his face as he studied her feet in their thick white socks. He pulled the socks off and started stroking her calf, a hand inside her sweats. “You have pretty feet. Maybe I can paint them some day. I’ve been trying to come up with an excuse to introduce myself to you, ask you out for a couple of months now. Lucky this tumor thing came up, really.” “You could have just gotten the flu,” she suggested. “A tumor seems a little excessive for dating purposes.” “Yeah, well, I never have done things the easy way. You’re going to stay with me, Rachel? You’re going to stay with me tonight.” His voice was rough. “I need you to stay.” Rachel struggled to sit up. “John, don’t misunderstand…” He lay down on the couch suddenly, on top of her, a hand on either side of her head. “Please,” he said, his mouth against her mouth. His body pressed her down against the cushions. There was desperation in his eyes. “Please, please, Rachel, don’t leave me alone tonight, please.” He was already hard, his body pressing impatiently against her thigh. His beautiful mouth moved against hers, his tongue rich and sweet like the coffee he’d been drinking. He stroked the hair back from her face, kissed her eyelids, the corners of her mouth, her chin, then worked his way down her neck. He pressed his lips against the pulse in her throat. Her heart was fluttering like the wings of a trapped bird. She put her arms around him, feeling the muscles of his back move under the gentle touch of her hands. Yearning swamped her suddenly, yearning for a heart to beat next to hers, for warm skin to touch hers, for a man’s hands to move across her body with passion and desire. It had been so long. “Rachel, have you ever loved a stranger?” His mouth moved over her collarbone, tasting her skin, tracing the delicate hollows. His golden hair was against her face, smelling like the mountains, like freedom and cedar and sage. “I need you. You’re a healer, Rachel. Heal me.”
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