'Bout to start working on Untouched. Promise. Just wanted to post a quick excerpt.
After they spend the day in the park, Gwen takes off, wanting to clear her head and get a clear perspective on their complicated relationship. She ends up visiting her grave- the perfect place to contemplate life and death after the fact. But James is afraid she might not come back, and he'll never get the chance to tell her how he really feels. So of course he tracks her down...
My eyes were closed when I felt the pull of his soul, he was in the graveyard. Of course he'd found me- it was something he'd spent most of life practicing. I didn't look up as he walked toward my grave, instead I reached for the gloves laying on the grass next to me and slid my hands back into them. He stopped at the foot of my grave, and I lifted my eyes to look at him.
He was wearing the same clothes he had worn yesterday, the same clothes he had slept in. He held a large bouquet of white lilies with one hand. Without a breeze his tangled hair fell flat against his cheeks, surrounding his face. His eyes were dark and somber, but he didn't look at me.
“I almost found you.” He kept his eyes locked on my tombstone. He wasn't speaking to me, his words were directed at my grave. I didn't dare to breathe.
“Your mom saw me in the hospital lobby the morning you died. I thought I'd finally found you, I brought you flowers. White lilies.” He leaned forward and laid the bouquet across the fresh dirt. “They were always your favorite. I didn't know you were already dead, and I didn't know that lilies were associated with death. They made your mother cry.
“And I felt so guilty. Not just for that, but because I had failed you. I was too late, I didn't get to you in time. I guess I did want to be a hero, I wanted to save you. I was convinced that you were waiting for me, and if only I could find you, I could help you. It kept me going. Hope kept me searching for you, for all these years.”
I barely noticed the tears that blurred my vision, dripping down my cheeks and falling to the grass. He turned his gaze toward me, and his expression softened.
“Without you... I feel purposeless. I'm not good at anything. I don't have any skills or talents or aspirations. But you made me a better person. At best I'm average, mediocre, but you made me amazing. And I thought if I could save you, my life would be worth something. Without you I'm nothing.”
“I'm no good for you,” I choked out between sobs.
He took a step forward and crouched down in front of me, moving his face closer to mine. “You're the only good thing about me.” He retracted his hand into the sleeve of his jacket and used the material to carefully wipe the tears from my cheeks.
“Gwen, loving you is the only thing I'm good at.”