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Nina can’t control love in her ordered universe. It has eluded her until a mysterious fortuneteller, Helena, reveals she’s already met her soul mate. Three times in fact and has only four times remaining before he passes from her life forever. A magic crystal ball allows her to see what he looked like several years ago, but no address. Helena warns her if she forces the meeting it won’t happen.
Tony’s life has hit a major rough spot with Sheila kicking him out of his house when he discovers her in bed with another man. If that wasn’t bad enough, she spreads rumors that she’s afraid of him because he’s abusive. What did he do to deserve this? All he ever wanted was to love one woman until he died. At this rate, he’s destined to die alone. It will take magic to meet his soul mate.
She held her shoes in her hand, as she gingerly stepped into the rowboat. The unsteady boat caused her to catch her breath more than a few times as she eased into a seating position on the bench seat. All right, she’d got into the boat without tipping it over. Pleased with her accomplishment, she rested back on her arms and looked at the rope securing the boat to the dock. Obviously, she’d need to lose the rope from the hook. Too bad, she hadn’t considered unhooking the rope as she scampered onto the boat. Doing it now would mean more swaying and the possibility of ending up in the lake, not something she wanted.
Staying in her position, she considered how much she wanted the boat to move as opposed to how much she didn’t want to wear lake water. A glance up at the dock showed a man walking toward her, just like her dream. She’d have to warn him to untie the boat first. Her breath caught in her throat. The urge to close her eyes tempted her. She wanted it to be Tony, but if it wasn’t she’d just look foolish sitting in a rowboat with her eyes closed. Where was the fog from her dream?
Logically, she knew fog would have burned off by afternoon. Part of her urged her to leave now, go, before she could be disappointed, or worse yet, screw things up. The man drew close enough for her to take in the details of his white shirt and light colored pants, the same as in her dream. Propelling herself out of the boat now would end up with her going head first into the water. In her effort to flee, she’d have to run past him.
Even though she vowed not to, she closed her eyes for just a second to gather her courage. Calmness settled over her, and she could hear Nonna’s voice. “Live your life, Nina. Live with passion. Don’t turn away from the good things. Have faith in me. This is a very good thing coming toward you.”
A laugh bubbled up out of her at the words. They were so Nonna Caprice. Her eyelids flickered open, and he stood above her, gazing down at her with a playful grin. He squatted on one leg, placing one foot in the boat. It didn’t rock as much with him or maybe he knew how to get into a boat. Shifting his weight, he eased the second foot in. Once in the boat, he flexed his knees lowering his center of balance and picked the knot free. She would have to remember to do that.
The rope dropped backed into the boat allowing the boat to drift a bit. Up until then, he said nothing. He sat on the bench seat facing her and put his hands on the oars. His legs spread wide took up the maximum amount of space. Nina accommodated him by placing her legs into the open V. It seemed right as opposed to being intimidating.
“I figured this might be my best bet to talk to you since you always disappear on me.” The oars dipped into the water propelling the boat into a glide across the water.
“It has merit. I’m glad you waited until you were in the boat to untie it.” She ran her fingers through her hair grooming it, making sure no tangles had developed during her search, not like untying it first as in her dream.
He angled his body toward hers, stopping the oars for a moment, but keeping his hands on them. “You dreamed about the boat too?”
His gaze held hers, sincere, mesmerizing. How did she miss those glorious eyes on her way out of the grocery store? Oh yeah, it was a reaction due to too much ginger. “I did, but there was a fog.”
“Yes, the fog.” He nodded and put his back into the rowing, moving the boat away from any neighboring crafts. He reached the middle of the lake and stopping. “I have really tried to meet you, but all my efforts failed miserably.”
“Hard to imagine you were trying to meet me.” She touched his calf with her bare foot. This pleased her more than words could describe. This meeting was no random card trick of a fortuneteller.
The oars rested in the locks, allowing the boat to drift a little with the current. Tony touched his neck. “Um, me climbing in the boat and taking off didn’t scare you, did it? You didn’t think ‘here comes this crazy guy I don’t know’?”
Using the side of her foot, she tapped his leg to get him to stop. “Please, no more. I knew you were supposed to get into the boat, just like I knew I had nothing to fear from you.”
“Really?” His posture straightened as his right hand came up to touch his neck. “How is that?”
Fantastic. How could she explain this without sounding nutty? Biting her bottom lip, she wondered what she could say without mentioning soul mate or the fortuneteller or the seven chances. The desire to count their meetings almost overwhelmed her senses to stay in the moment. Perhaps that’s why his soft kiss on her lips surprised her.
On the Border
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At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.
Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.