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Embracing The Moonlight
By Wayne Jordan
Kimani PressCopyright © 2006 Wayne Jordan
All right reserved.
Mason Sinclair tried with all his willpower not to stare at the two firm breasts right before his eyes. He groaned, the discomfort a bit too much to handle as he felt the familiar stirring that took place whenever Nurse Debby came near.
He hated having no control over his reaction to her. He didn't want to feel anything. "So how's my favorite patient doing?" Nurse Debby's voice whispered, its huskiness slipping between the sheets to taunt his nether regions.
Mason wished she'd go away. He didn't want to feel alive. He didn't deserve to be the one living. "I'll be back in a few minutes. I need to get clean sheets for your bed." She smiled before slipping quietly from the room.
His partner's face flashed before his eyes. Sam had been like a brother to him. They had been partners for more than ten years and there was nothing they didn't know about each other. But then, just a few months ago, it had all ended. A single bullet and Sam was gone. His own career flushed down the toilet.
Somehow, something had gone wrong. He knew it wasn't his fault. Yet, the guilt gnawed at his gut until he ached for the oblivion that came with the pain medication the doctor had prescribed.
He'd wanted to be the one to tell Sam's wife, Clair, and comfort her and the kids. Instead, Clair had beenthe one to do the comforting. Her husband had passed away and still she'd been at the hospital while he'd undergone surgery. She'd been the one to try to pull him out of the depression when he'd first realized he'd never be totally whole again. Yes, he'd been told he would walk again, but not with the grace and agility that was needed for his line of work.
In a sense, the news was a relief to him. He'd become disillusioned with the job for the past few years, but never expected that his way out would be a bum leg that didn't function as well as it should.
His days as an agent were over. He didn't want to be responsible for the life of another man, woman or child again. He was going to get one of those safe jobs—a teacher or maybe an accountant.
He'd never hold a gun in his hands again. The door swung open and Nurse Debby swayed inside, her ample hips moving seductively. When she reached his bed, she smiled. Again, his body responded.
"Okay, it's time for your bath," she said gently. He felt laughter bubbling inside. Nurse Debby was in for a big surprise. There was no way he could bring the situation under control before she slipped the sheet from around him.
He closed his eyes, willing himself to think of pain and sadness.
He felt the soft touch of her hand....
Ten minutes later, all fresh and clean, he waved goodbye as she left the room. She had been as always the perfect example of professionalism, but his warped imagination continued to weave a wild scenario of unbridled passion. He wiggled his toes, relieved to feel the movement. It never ceased to amaze him every time he did it. It was his reassurance that he was not dreaming. For days after he'd been shot, his leg had refused to function. Then one night, he'd awoken to excruciating pain as the muscles in his leg had clenched in spasm after spasm.
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He'd cried with relief.
Now, two months later, he was making progress. He could walk with the help of a cane. He was no longer fit for the Bureau, but he didn't care. He had no intention of returning to a job that placed friends and lovers, husbands and wives in danger.
He had made that decision long before he was told he'd walk again. His job had ceased to give him any enjoyment. Sam had felt the same way. They'd both planned to leave.
For Sam, however, it was too late.
After the surgery, Mason had thanked God for giving him his life back. There was no way he was going to endanger it again now that he'd been given a second chance.
His feelings confused him. There were times he wished he had been the one to die. It wasn't as though he embraced death, but it pained him deeply to think of Sam's children having to grow up without their father.
He hated hospitals, but most of all he hated the looks of pity everyone wore when they thought he wasn't looking. Nurse Debby, however, was different. She was an interesting diversion from his ennui. She was the kind of woman whom most men found attractive. Long hair, nice ample bosom, but what stimulated him most was the fact that she'd refused to let him give up and had challenged him each time she'd entered his room.
She'd nagged and prodded, but she made him want to live again and fight to walk. Though she'd not been able to convince him to return to the Bureau, she'd pulled him out of the sulking he'd seemed too willing to embrace when he'd first been told he may never walk again.
Mason wished his father were still alive. It was moments like these when he wanted his father. Sure, he was forty years old, but his heart ached for the man who'd been there for him for as long as he could remember. When his father had passed away just when he'd entered the Bureau, he'd been devastated, but he knew his father would be proud of him. He had been unable to imagine life without the man who'd been there for him.
The pain had lessened over the years, but memories of the times they'd spent together were still vivid.
At least there was something to look forward to today. His mother was coming. A visit from his mother had become one of the highlights of his life. She had been in England or Europe when he'd been shot. He hadn't wanted to take her away from her latest young lover, and he knew there would be one. His mother was never without her latest boy toy.
His mother had also been devastated by his father's death. She had, however, chosen to bury her sorrow in working with her charity organization and roaming the planet. While Mason didn't approve of his mother's lifestyle, he reasoned that she did so only to ease the pain of losing his dad.
Mason was looking forward to the visit. He needed someone to talk to and, despite everything, he loved his mother.
She'd make everything all right.
Lianne Thomas entered her office, its vibrancy welcoming her with open arms. Though the room bloomed with shades of yellow and green, hints of earthy-brown prevented it from being too feminine. Instead, the combination of colors created a soothing coolness that never failed to calm her.
She moved to her desk, refusing to acknowledge the stacked in-box brimming with envelopes of various sizes. For a while she sat in silence, dis-oriented and unsure of what to do next. The six weeks of leave had left her rusty, but the time off had been necessary. Her last case had been a difficult one, but Lianne had the satisfaction of knowing that she'd finally brought a criminal—who had haunted her for years—to justice. The nature of the man's crimes had left her emotionally drained.
Lianne was glad to be back at work and determined to make a dent in several of the files covering her desk. Her time in England with her parents had revived her and, despite their years of estrangement, they'd finally made steps in healing the strained relationship that existed between them. While enjoying the lush English summer, she'd found the time to curl up with the latest release from her favorite romance author, relax and forget the cares of the world that too often threatened to consume her life.
That was one of the reasons she'd decorated the office as she had. Outside, the real world with its evilness and violence made her feel dirty. Inside, her office provided the calm she needed.
It was her paradise, her refuge.
Lianne sat quietly for a moment, glancing at the empty desk across from her. Her partner, Brent, was due back tomorrow. Returning to work a day early had been a good idea. She wanted to be re-acclimatized before he returned. Lianne prided herself on always being prepared, and even though they had been partners for several years, she'd only allowed him in to a very small part of her life.
Well, time to get to work. She flicked her ancient computer on, watching patiently as it scrolled through its labored routine. When the desktop of cluttered icons finally appeared, she logged on to the internal network and immediately saw a message from Stan. The message was simple. "Come to my office."
She groaned. Maybe, she shouldn't have come into the office a day early. Somehow Stan had seen her enter the building.
Minutes later, Lianne walked briskly along the corridor leading to Stan Devonish's office, responding to greetings of "Welcome back" with her usual friendly smile.
When she reached Stan's office, she knocked gently on the door.
"Come in," came the gruff response. Lianne smiled, accustomed to his seemingly grumpy disposition. She had learned long ago that under his coarse exterior, Stan was a sweetheart.
When she entered the room, her gaze automatically moved to the two strange men who occupied two of the three chairs before Stan's desk.
"Welcome back, Thomas. Take a seat. Hope you had a restful holiday?"
She lowered herself to the empty chair. "Yes, I did, sir. But I'm glad to be back. Next time I'm going somewhere warmer."
"Well, you'll be happy about your next assignment." He turned to the two men. "Let me introduce you to Special Agent Aiden Smart and Brian Monroe."
Excerpted from Embracing The Moonlight by Wayne Jordan Copyright © 2006 by Wayne Jordan. Excerpted by permission.
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