MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL, I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 1 of Promises
By LaVerne Thompson
CHAPTER 1 (Excerpt)
The lone man paused at the top of the grand staircase. His stillness so complete, anyone watching him would have thought him a sculpture clothed in black. If they happened to look at his eyes, they would find him very much alive. Gray eyes the color of storm clouds narrowed as they scanned the crowd below. Searching for someone. His only thoughts: there were too many people around and they were in his way.
He was a man on a mission.
Slowly, motion returned to his body, and he shifted forward one tux-covered pant leg, starting down the steps to the ballroom floor. His eyes continued scanning the elegantly clad people milling about.
When he reached the last step, a man with eyes the same color as his own stepped in front of him, momentarily blocking his view. The tension radiating from him instantly lessened at the sight of this man.
“David.” His father, Tom Hoggins hugged him. “Hello son, it’s good to have you home at last. When did you get in?”
“It’s good to be home, Dad,” David responded. “I got in about an hour ago. I had just enough time to get to the house and change.”
“David!” a feminine voice shrieked, before her pale slender arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him down to her level so she could press a kiss against his shaved cheek.
“Hello Mother,” David said with a smile in his voice as he returned her hug. His tension lessened even more. “I told you I’d make it in time. You look beautiful.”
Blue eyes looked into gray and smiled. “Yes you did, honey, and thank you. You look very handsome, too,” Mary Hoggins said, wiping her lipstick imprint off her son’s cheek. She moved her hand to hold his elbow and affectionately patted his chest with the other; afraid he might disappear if she let him go. “Oh it’s so wonderful to finally have you home. It’s perfect. How are you feeling?”
“I’m fine, Mom. Just a little tired. I’ve been flying nonstop for the last fourteen hours to get here.”
His mother grinned. She had correctly guessed at his rush to get here, and it wasn’t to see his parents.
It had been many years since David had been in the States and six months since he’d last seen his parents. He’d been injured on his last mission and his parents had been granted clearance to spend a week with him after his surgery.
“Where are the Richardsons?” David asked. They were the reason for this fundraiser his parents were hosting. The Richardsons and Hoggins had been friends for years. Sally Richardson, was of West Indian descent and running for the Senate seat from Virginia, and her husband, whose roots traced back to the founders of Virginia, was her campaign manager. The ultimate Washington power couple and David liked them both, even if he hadn’t seen them in years. They, however, were not the real reason he traveled through hell to make it home tonight. Like a lodestone, their daughter drew him back.
He’d spent twelve long and lonely years without her. She was what had kept him going—the memory of her. He was here now and he wasn’t going anywhere, at least not until he knew how she felt about him. Until he did, his mind held him in a grip of anticipation, excitement, and also a little bit of fear. He wasn’t sure if any of it was real, but he wasn’t going to wait much longer to find out. He was betting his entire future that it was all very real.
Soon he’d know. They weren’t kids any more. They were adults now, with adult feelings. Nothing to hold them back, not age, distance or time.
She must have sensed him staring at her because suddenly she turned around and stared back at him. Even across the crowded room, he could feel her drawing him toward her; pulling him in until only the two of them existed in the universe. Just the way it had always been between them. There was no reason for fear.
Nothing had changed. He knew the truth now. He loved her still.
Except everything had changed. He was now free to show her.