Elise Beaudoin needs closure.
Ten years ago she fell in love with the wrong man --Gage Dillinger, her stepbrother -- and in order to move on, she needs to say goodbye. Gage and Elise agreed to stay away from each other for the sake of their family but time and distance hasn't dulled their feelings for one another. Elise goes to Gage to spend one last night together in order to finally put the past to rest so she can marry another man without reservation.
But is one night really enough?
Seeing Elise again awakens the pain of losing the one woman Gage had ever loved. Elise thinks she needs closure but Gage is going to prove to her that he's the only man for her. *** *This story is intended for mature readers only. The following short story of approx. 8,500 word is a work of fiction and was originally titled, ONE NIGHT TO SAY GOODBYE. It has been modified from its original version. *** Here's an excerpt!
Tears tingled behind her eyes. Everything he said was true. His father, her mother, their blended siblings...the fallout of their love affair would shatter their family if discovered. But she knew there was no way in hell she could let Scott completely into her heart when Gage was so firmly planted there. "I can't marry him without this," she said, tears falling from her eyes. "I can't. Believe me when I say that I love him but when I close my eyes at night, you are there. You're in my dreams, my nightmares, my waking moments. I can't seem to escape the memories or the desire that haunts me." All mocking fled from his expression and he seemed as stripped bare and vulnerable as she. In that moment, they were equally miserable, wanting the one person who was off-limits for so many reasons. "I can't have you. So I will build a life with this man and have his children but tonight, I need you. I need you to help me say goodbye to the past so I can move on with my future." "What you're asking...it won't help. It will only make things worse," he said hoarsely. "It will awaken a beast that's been fitfully sleeping since the day I left California. I've built a life here...away from you...and it has taken every shred of self-control to keep from dragging you back to Colorado with me, damn the consequences! And now you show up, begging me to fuck you so you can forget me?" Shameful, hot tears coursed down her cheeks. The truth was certainly uglier when verbalized than when hidden behind private justifications but she held his gaze without flinching. "Yes," she admitted, not bothering to wipe away her tears. Let him see how much she hurt inside to ask. Let him know nothing she said or did came without cost. "I'm only here until tomorrow. My flight leaves at 10 a.m. We have twelve hours to get each other out of our systems. Then, I'm going to board that plane, sore and bruised in every way, and I'm going to forget anything ever happened between us, now or in the past. You will do the same. I will marry Scott and you will find someone you can love without restrictions. Someday, we might even be able to face one another as we should...as brother and sister." "You're living in a dreamland," he said bitterly. "There is no one for me but you." She closed her eyes. "There has to be. There will be. But not as long as you have me in your heart." "This is --" "The only way," she cut in, more sure than ever before. She advanced, resolve emboldening her step. Her nerves were suddenly calm, but excitement fluttered in her belly. She held his stare, murmuring with promise. "Time is wasting, my brother. And I need you. Now." ***