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Sweat ran down Tamia’s skin in rivulets as the hot Australian summer beat down her back. She groaned as her chest ached with the need to take in air. Tamia had pushed herself too hard, run for too long. It was just another weekday morning. Another start to an already endless day.
Still, she ran with all her might, trying to outrun the visions that plagued her as she slept, but the act was useless. The litany of visions thundered through her mind with every step she took.
She couldn’t outrun the dreams…the visions that shook her to her core every night.
She couldn’t outrun him.
Tamia had been visiting him every night for years now. In two weeks she would turn twenty-nine. It would mark the eleventh year that she’d been dreaming of him, going to him as she slept.
The dreams were never the same. Yet, they were all similar. One thing connected every image…the golden man with bright greens eyes who promised to love her for eternity.
She jerked to a stop at the sight of the Now Open sign on the jewellery store’s brightly painted banner. She’d been running down the same city street for more than six months, and she’d never once noticed that there was a store being renovated.
“Damn, I’m getting worse,” Tamia muttered to herself as she wiped one arm across her forehead. Lately she had become more and more oblivious to the world around her. She spent way too much time daydreaming, waiting for the moment when she would fall asleep and return to her lover’s arms.
Someone moved beside her, drawing her attention. Tamia squinted at the blinding summer sun as she tried to move out the man’s way. Waves of heat swam across her vision splintered by the bright rays of the morning sun. She turned away, trying to avoid the bright lighting. It was then that she noticed the opals in the store’s front window.
She loved opals, had fallen in love with the gemstone at first sight when she was little more than six. But she had yet to find that perfect jewel that called out to her. Maybe today is the day, she thought as she glanced back at the display where several eye-catching stones sat. She sniffed herself once to make sure she was decent and grabbed the door handle.
Tamia made great money selling her paintings of a man so beautiful he made the senses cry out, but she knew the moment she walked in, the shop was out of her price range.
The décor was tasteful. The merchandise was purposely placed, but there wasn’t nearly enough to justify the size of the boutique. Still, she strode a little deeper into the store, telling herself the air conditioning was reason enough not to turn and march out. Even though it was barely nine in the morning, the temperature was sharply rising, reminding her all too well of the muggy Miami summers she’d trekked across the globe to avoid.<block quote=""> </block>