stood, watching her, feeling every ounce of her pain, her anguish. He was
probably the only one who understood what it was like to lose the person you
loved, the person who was everything in the world to you.
only he could just touch her, reach out to her, make her feel happy again. But
that was just selfish on his part, wasn’t it? It wouldn’t be fair to Melody.
Anybody could see that even three years later, she was still struggling. Hadn’t
he always told her that if something happened to him, he would want her to fall
in love again? It saddened him to think that if she continued down this cold
and lonely path, she would be alone forever.
had wanted it all, a home filled with children, a loving marriage. Thinking
back to how happy they had once been, it broke his heart to see her this way,
and it was always saddest to see her like this around the holidays, which were
mind was whirling with ideas, if only…He wished that he could talk to her
just one more time, but alas, that was against the rules. If only there was
some way, if only he could help her see the light. The corners of Jack’s mouth
crept up as his mind took hold of an impossible thought. Would he be able to
pull this off? If he did, could he ever be the same again? …
electricity was undeniable. It was something that he should have considered,
knowing how powerful their attraction and love had been in life. The look on
Melody’s face was shock, confusion and curiosity all rolled into one. He would
have to remember not to touch her again, it was simply too much of a risk to
take. He knew that if his cover was revealed, the rules stated that he could
never make contact with her again.
was…did you feel?” Poor Melody peered at him with those gorgeous light brown
eyes of hers. There was something different about her eyes now; once they had
been filled with spark and mischief, but now they were sadder, as if the light
had somehow gone out. The same eyes that had looked at him with varying degrees
of emotions for all those precious years they had shared together. The same
eyes that held him spellbound right now. Jack didn’t know what to expect; he
had no way of knowing how hard it would be to not reach out and touch this
woman who was his wife, the love of his life. She evoked so much emotion in him
that he had to turn his head before she saw the tears that sprang from his
eyes. He had known this would be hard, but Melody took his breath away. Melody
was always beautiful, but now she also appeared slightly sad and fragile.
Looking down at her so many times before, he knew of her sadness, of course,
but standing right here beside her, Jack could practically feel her strong
emotions within his own heart.
he had gone to great lengths to disguise his true identity, Jack would have to
do better than this. There was no way that she could recognize him by his
appearance. He was once tall,
six foot three inches tall, maintaining a trim physique with messy light brown
hair. He now stood barely five foot seven with wavy dark hair and a stocky
build. The only thing about his appearance that Jack wasn’t able to change was
his eyes. Nobody could change their eyes, because it was a fact that eyes were
the windows to the soul.
stood before him, her mouth gaping open as if she were caught in a spell. Think
of something, quick, he told himself.
I heard great things about your store. You see, I’m new to this area and I was
just walking around and I figured I’d come check out your store.”
appeared as if she had composed herself slightly. Clearing her throat, she
finally spoke. “Where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking.”
really should have been more prepared, how could he have forgotten how inquisitive
I’m from down south, Florida.”
I have a friend from the Orlando area.” He should have also remembered her old
college roommate from Orlando. Was Miami far enough away to field off further
What brings you all the way up north to the New York area?”
she should have been a lawyer instead of owning a business. “My job. I work in
the city now and live here in the suburbs.”
do you do for work?”
quickly on his feet, Jack steered away from his real occupation in life,
working for an insurance company.
work for a pharmaceutical company. I’m in sales.” That ought to do it. He was
reminded of a time when Melody had quizzed him nonstop when they had first met,
he had felt like he
interviewing for a job. They had laughed many times together over that memory.
Well, who is it that recommended you to my store?” Her eyes peered cautiously
through her striking auburn hair. The long hair that was always slightly out of
place, always in her eyes. Wishing that he could reach out and touch her
beautiful hair just once more, he reeled himself back in.
some guy at a diner recently. He raved about the selection of books and the
coffee. Hmm, if I recall, he also said that you have the best cheesecake in
town.” That should do it. Melody loved to bake and could go on and on about her
that she did, thank goodness for the distraction of a good cheesecake. When
Melody had stopped gushing about how she prepared her cheesecake, she caught
herself and chuckled.
must think I’m something, rambling on like this. I’m sorry, I just realized
that I didn’t catch your name.”
name, my name. Something unusual perhaps, but fitting for a friend. “Oliver.” Where did that
Well, Oliver, I don’t usually do this because we are closed, but would you like
to try some of the cheesecake? We happen to have some left over.”
could tell that he had gotten on Melody’s good side. She wasn’t a particularly outgoing
person. As a matter of fact, she was usually pretty shy, but he was delighted
to see that he had made an impression on her. Or perhaps it was just good
business sense. Either way, Oliver had succeeded in completing the first step
of his mission: meeting Melody.
couldn’t recall the last time that she had felt so comfortable with a total
stranger. It wasn’t like she was even physically attracted to him, Oliver
wasn’t her type at all. He was
complete opposite of Jack in every way. Well, in every way except for those
captivating blue eyes. It was uncanny how much Oliver’s eyes reminded Melody of
Jack’s eyes. It wasn’t just the color or the shape, but it was the intensity of
his gaze. That was probably why Melody had felt so comfortable with him from
know that you’re going to think this is forward, but would you mind showing me
around town sometime?”
sucked in a breath and inwardly panicked.
girlfriend is coming up in a few weeks and I wanted to show her around a bit.”
shoulders visibly dropped as she let out a sigh. “Sure, yes, Oliver, I think
that would be fine.”
finished slices of chocolate cheesecake and decaf coffees later, Melody
realized this was the best evening she’d had in, well, just about three years.