Excerpt from If You Believe- Mya O’Malley
He stood, watching her, feeling every ounce of her pain, her
anguish. He was probably the only one who understood what it
was like to lose the person you loved, the person who was
everything in the world to you.
If only he could just touch her, reach out to her, make her feel
happy again. But that was just selfish on his part, wasn’t it? It
wouldn’t be fair to Melody. Anybody could see that even three
years later, she was still struggling. Hadn’t he always told her that
if something happened to him, he would want her to fall in love
again? It saddened him to think that if she continued down this
cold and lonely path, she would be alone forever.
Melody had wanted it all, a home filled with children, a loving
marriage. Thinking back to how happy they had once been, it
broke his heart to see her this way, and it was always saddest to see
her like this around the holidays, which were quickly approaching.
Jack’s mind was whirling with ideas, if only...He wished that he
could talk to her just one more time, but alas, that was against the
rules. If only there was some way, if only he could help her see the
light. The corners of Jack’s mouth crept up as his mind took hold
of an impossible thought. Would he be able to pull this off? If he
did, could he ever be the same again? …
The electricity was undeniable. It was something that he should
have considered, knowing how powerful their attraction and love
had been in life. The look on Melody’s face was shock, confusion
and curiosity all rolled into one. He would have to remember not to
touch her again, it was simply too much of a risk to take. He knew
that if his cover was revealed, the rules stated that he could never
make contact with her again.
“What was...did you feel?” Poor Melody peered at him with those
gorgeous light brown eyes of hers. There was something different
about her eyes now; once they had been filled with spark and
mischief, but now they were sadder, as if the light had somehow
gone out. The same eyes that had looked at him with varying
degrees of emotions for all those precious years they had shared
together. The same eyes that held him spellbound right now. Jack
didn’t know what to expect; he had no way of knowing how hard it
would be to not reach out and touch this woman who was his wife,
the love of his life. She evoked so much emotion in him that he
had to turn his head before she saw the tears that sprang from his
eyes. He had known this would be hard, but Melody took his
breath away. Melody was always beautiful, but now she also
appeared slightly sad and fragile. Looking down at her so many
times before, he knew of her sadness, of course, but standing right
here beside her, Jack could practically feel her strong emotions
within his own heart.
Since he had gone to great lengths to disguise his true identity,
Jack would have to do better than this. There was no way that she
could recognize him by his appearance. He was once tall,
standing six foot three inches tall, maintaining a trim physique
with messy light brown hair. He now stood barely five foot seven
with wavy dark hair and a stocky build. The only thing about his
appearance that Jack wasn’t able to change was his eyes. Nobody
could change their eyes, because it was a fact that eyes were the
windows to the soul.
Melody stood before him, her mouth gaping open as if she were
caught in a spell. Think of something, quick, he told himself.
“Melody. I heard great things about your store. You see, I’m new
to this area and I was just walking around and I figured I’d come
check out your store.”
Melody appeared as if she had composed herself slightly. Clearing
her throat, she finally spoke. “Where are you from, if you don’t
mind me asking.”
He really should have been more prepared, how could he have
forgotten how inquisitive Melody was?
“Um, I’m from down south, Florida.”
“Whereabouts? I have a friend from the Orlando area.” He should
have also remembered her old college roommate from Orlando.
Was Miami far enough away to field off further questions?
“Miami? What brings you all the way up north to the New York
Wow, she should have been a lawyer instead of owning a business.
“My job. I work in the city now and live here in the suburbs.”
“What do you do for work?”
Thinking quickly on his feet, Jack steered away from his real
occupation in life, working for an insurance company.
“I work for a pharmaceutical company. I’m in sales.” That ought to
do it. He was reminded of a time when Melody had quizzed him
nonstop when they had first met, he had felt like he
was interviewing for a job. They had laughed many times together
over that memory.
“Oh. Well, who is it that recommended you to my store?” Her eyes
peered cautiously through her striking auburn hair. The long hair
that was always slightly out of place, always in her eyes. Wishing
that he could reach out and touch her beautiful hair just once more,
he reeled himself back in.
“Just some guy at a diner recently. He raved about the selection of
books and the coffee. Hmm, if I recall, he also said that you have
the best cheesecake in town.” That should do it. Melody loved to
bake and could go on and on about her desserts.
And that she did, thank goodness for the distraction of a good
cheesecake. When Melody had stopped gushing about how she
prepared her cheesecake, she caught herself and chuckled.
“You must think I’m something, rambling on like this. I’m sorry, I
just realized that I didn’t catch your name.”
My name, my name. Something unusual perhaps, but fitting for a
friend. “Oliver.” Where did that come from?
“Oliver. Well, Oliver, I don’t usually do this because we are
closed, but would you like to try some of the cheesecake? We
happen to have some left over.”
“Oliver” could tell that he had gotten on Melody’s good side. She
wasn’t a particularly outgoing person. As a matter of fact, she was
usually pretty shy, but he was delighted to see that he had made an
impression on her. Or perhaps it was just good business sense.
Either way, Oliver had succeeded in completing the first step of his
mission: meeting Melody.
Melody couldn’t recall the last time that she had felt so
comfortable with a total stranger. It wasn’t like she was even
physically attracted to him, Oliver wasn’t her type at all. He was
the complete opposite of Jack in every way. Well, in every way
except for those captivating blue eyes. It was uncanny how much
Oliver’s eyes reminded Melody of Jack’s eyes. It wasn’t just the
color or the shape, but it was the intensity of his gaze. That was
probably why Melody had felt so comfortable with him from the
“I know that you’re going to think this is forward, but would you
mind showing me around town sometime?”
Melody sucked in a breath and inwardly panicked.
“My girlfriend is coming up in a few weeks and I wanted to show
her around a bit.” He finished.
Melody’s shoulders visibly dropped as she let out a sigh. “Sure,
yes, Oliver, I think that would be fine.”
Two finished slices of chocolate cheesecake and decaf coffees
later, Melody realized this was the best evening she’d had in, well,
just about three years.
Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students. Mya currently has two new releases: At First Sight, a contemporary romance about dating in the modern world, published by Astraea Press, and Where There is Love, a contemporary romance in which a woman struggles with past obstacles, ultimately faced with whether or not she will open her heart to love. Where There is Love is published with Solstice Publishing. Mya is excited to say that Astraea Press will be releasing her contemporary holiday paranormal romance titled If You Believe on November 25, 2014. Due to be released late January is The Calm After the Storm, published by TouchPoint Press. This novel is a contemporary romance taking place in the setting of Hurricane Sandy. The story revolves around the idea of a utility worker from Georgia falling in love with a woman in New York. Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her sixth novel.
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