Author: Amy Harmon
Release Date: November 27, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.
Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.
It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.
And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.
And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all...a love story.
Georgia stopped abruptly and inhaled deeply, her breath shuddering and skipping like her throat was too tight to draw it in all at once. She broke eye contact, turning her head as if my seeming acceptance of her truths rattled her a bit.
“So please don’t lie to me, Moses. That’s all I ask. Don’t lie to me. And I won’t lie to you.”
Do you want me to go? You said you wouldn’t lie to me. Do you want me to go?”
“Yes.” No hesitation.
I felt the word reverberate in my chest and was surprised at the pain that echoed behind it. Yes. Yes. Yes – the word taunted.
“Yes. I want you to go. And no. I don’t want you to go,” she amended in rush of frustrated, pent-up breath. She stood up abruptly, threw her hands in the air and then folded them across her chest defensively. “If I’m telling the truth, then both are true,” she added softly.
I stood too, bracing myself against the impulse to bolt, to run and paint, like I always did.
“I don’t know what the truth is this time, Moses. I don’t know.”
“You know the truth. You just don’t like it.” I never thought I’d see Georgia Shepherd afraid of anything. But I was afraid too. More afraid than I’d ever been in my whole life.
“What about you, Moses? Do you want to leave?” Georgia threw my words back at me. I didn’t answer. I just studied her trembling lips and troubled eyes and reached out a hand for the heavy braid that fell over her right shoulder. It was warm and thick against my palm and my fingers wrapped around it tightly, needing to cling to something. I was so glad she hadn’t cut the braid. She had changed. But her hair had not.
My left hand was wrapped in her braid and my right hand snaked around her waist and urged her up against me. And I felt it, the same old charge that had been there from the beginning. That same pull that had wreaked havoc on her life…her life even more than mine. It was there, and I knew she felt it too.
Her nostrils flared and her breath halted. Her back was taut against my fingers and I splayed them wide, trying to touch as much of her as I could without moving my hand. Her eyes were fixed on mine, fierce and unblinking. But she didn’t resist.
And then I bent my head and caught her mouth before she could speak, before I could think, before she could run, before I could see. I didn’t want to see. I wanted to feel. And hear. And taste.
But her mouth filled my mind with color. Just like it always had. Pink. Her kiss was pink. Soft, sunset pink, streaked with gold. The rosy blush swirled behind my eyes and I pressed my lips more firmly against hers, releasing her hair and her body to hold her face in my hands to keep the colors in place, to keep them from fading. And then her lips parted beneath mine and the colors became leaping currents of red and gold, pulsing against my eyes as if the soft sweep of her tongue left fire in its wake.
But her mouth filled my mind with color. Just like it always had. Pink. Her kiss was pink. Soft, sunset pink, streaked with gold. The rosy blush swirled behind my eyes and I pressed my lips more firmly against hers, releasing her hair and her body to hold her face in my hands to keep the colors in place, to keep them from fading. And then her lips parted beneath mine and the colors became leaping currents of red and gold, pulsing against my eyes as if the soft sweep of her tongue left fire in its wake. The color popped like a needle to a balloon as Georgia suddenly wrenched herself away, almost violently. And without a word she turned and fled, along with the colors, leaving me panting and drenched in black.