by Meg Hennessy
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
“I am here…” She inhaled, regrouping her thoughts. “Donato, I am sorry that I took your son from you in the way that I did.”
She waited, hoping he wouldn’t ask for an explanation, for at the moment, she didn’t have one. But instead he looked away from her, and that brought a slight chill to her heart. Had he become so hardened toward her that he would not, or could not, accept her apology?
“I apologize for the kiss,” he responded. Was that a reciprocal response? Did he accept her apology if she accepted his?
“But…” he continued before she had time to respond, “I will remind you, tomorrow will be here soon. Get some sleep.”
“I know.” Defeated in her attempt, she tried to explain, anyway. “There was so much I do not remember, but seeing my brother that day when he arrived, I felt…I had to go home.”
“But your home was not America.”
“No, but my family…” Her attempt to mend a wrong failed. He continued to watch her as if waiting for more, but more she could not offer, not now, not until she remembered. “I cannot say more, or explain, for I do not remember much of that night when I was taken.”
“That was nearly four years ago. Perhaps you should not try to rekindle the past.”
“I wish that to be true, but my mind nags me to remember. My apology was for the sake of civility. We will be together for a time. I know I hurt you, Donato, so terribly. I am deeply sorry.” Wrapping the mantilla around her throat, she headed for the door but halted when he softly spoke her name. She kept her back to him.
“I know how hard it was to say this apology to me. Gracias. Does that mean you regret having left this life here?”
Keeping her back to him, Colette closed her eyes, striving to keep herself calm, unbroken. If she collapsed her facade, even for a second, and allowed her feelings free
rein over her actions, she would turn around and put her arms around his neck and kiss him like he’d never been kissed. But that was not possible, for she was who she was and nothing would change that reality.
“No, Donato, I left to return to my own life.”
“And you are happy, with this life that is yours?”
Her body physically swayed from his question as if hit broadside. The burn dived down into her belly as the words fell away, leaving only a raw passion for life bubbling to the surface without permission. Her apology was necessary, for she had hurt him tremendously. Having Enio taken from her, she now understood the great pain she must have caused Donato, but she could not dismiss his life filled with vengeance any more than she could deny her chosen life.
She turned to face him, needing to take the focus of the conversation off her.
“You will get Enio back?”
“Si.” He allowed her to change the subject.
“Will you then take him from me, as you told my brother?”
“No, I did not.” He shook his head. “I meant…my son will always be with me.”
Colette caught the meaning, even if he didn’t say it. He just let the statement float around them. He didn’t invite her to return to him, nor did he say she couldn’t. It was simply a fact: he’d never allow Enio to be taken from him again. If she wanted Enio, she’d have to be with Donato.
“Why did you not come sooner?”
He looked surprised by her question. “Were you disappointed?”
“I…” She couldn’t admit that buried deep inside her heart there had been a desire to see him from the moment she left. She swallowed hard and pulled in a labored breath. “I was puzzled.”
About Meg Hennessy
Meg Hennessy read her first historical romance when Rosemary Rodgers', Sweet Savage Love, swept the college campuses. She won't admit how many years ago that was, but was forever hooked on the genre of happy-ever-afters. Meg grew up immersed in the culture of her father's old Southern family and writes with a Southern flavor. It was her sense of wonderment when visiting her grandmother's home as a child that now bubbles upward into her writing of today, creating steamy nights of intrigue and romance.
She had been writing for years, but seriously pursued publication in 2009. Seeking authenticity for her first novel, she researched hundreds of books, visited numerous battlefields, and toured antebellum homes. When it came to putting pen to paper, Meg found her story-telling voice, as her heroine simply stepped into Shadows of a Southern Moon, winning the 2010 EPIC Award for best Historical Romance and launching her writing career.
Meg lives amid the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Wisconsin. Besides writing and spoiling her much-loved horse, she enjoys backyard birding, nature walks, and admits to being a gardening addict. Having spun stories for years, she enjoys seeing her dream come true as her characters spring to life and step within the beautifully bound pages of a romance novel.