Music of Souls~~Eternity's Opus (A Sample) (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 3)


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Jackson carried Elisabeth's suitcase out while she said goodbye to Connor and Sarah.

He stood leaning against the car waiting for her. She wrapped her arms around his waist, and he offered to drive her to the airport one last time, but she refused again. "It's silly for you to drive two hours to spend one in the car with me."

"I'd drive a hundred hours to spend one minute with you, anywhere." He pulled her closer and kissed her temple. "I wish there was another way."

"I know. I'll be back soon and we won't have to deal with this for another year." The Wolf Moon Festival had always been the highlight of her year - until now.

Jackson pulled her hands from him and held them to his lips. "I miss you already." He tipped her left hand down, frowning. "Where's your ring?"

"Um… Mother told the pack about our relationship, but not our engagement. We decided to take things slowly."

"What about your father and brother? Do they know?"

"No."

"Great." His focus trailed off to the snow-laden landscape. "I'm not sure how I feel about that… no, I do know how I feel - pretty rotten."

Elisabeth winced, cursing herself for not waiting to remove her ring. "I'm sorry. This has nothing to do with my love for you, you know that." The bleakness she found when their eyes met cut through her. "I am going to tell them everything. I promise."

He averted his gaze again. "Can you promise you'll come back to me?"

"What? Of course! How could you think otherwise?"

"Family can have a strong pull. You may have a different outlook after spending time with people you belong with."

"I belong with you." She held his face. "I can't bear to leave with you doubting that."

"Then don't."

"I need to deal with this. You know that."

"Right." He pushed off the car and kissed her cheek. "Be careful."

Elisabeth grabbed his arm. "Wait." She kissed him passionately until his body relaxed and began to respond. Brushing his ear with her lips, she whispered, "Hang on to that thought 'til I return."

Jackson steadied himself on the car. "You don't play fair."

She chuckled, opened the door and slid behind the wheel. "Never."

"I love you, Legs."

"Love you more."

*****

Elisabeth's knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel and her jaw ached from clenching her teeth. The worry about the pack's reaction diminished in comparison to the guilt she felt for upsetting Jackson. Her resolve strengthened with each mile and she vowed to never again bring that expression of despondency to his face.

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