An Excerpt from: Shadows of the Past

Copyright © 2012 Carmen Stefanescu

All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.

Andrew pulled her to his chest. “Do you regret you’ve come with me?”

Passion smothered Genevieve’s doubt and guilt. “Never,” she answered, aware of her body’s response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.

The moonlight bathed his face in silver light. Andrew lowered her wimple, and his fingers threaded into her curls. She swayed, enveloped by the dizzy sensation of drowning in the tumultuous ocean of his gaze. The tenderness of his touch raised in her the wish they had lived in another time and been simple, ordinary people. She longed to feel the warmth of his lips on hers. How much she’d have liked to live the rest of her life beside him and bear his children. A dream not likely to ever come true for her. Why not let the feeling lurking in the pit of her stomach take over and consume her whole being?

Aware of the track of her thoughts, she shifted uneasily, a hot flush warmed her cheeks. Drawing in a deep breath in spite of herself, calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, “Never.”

With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.

“Oh, God. Please forgive me,” Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.

* * * *

Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? Why Megan’s voice? She leaned forward a little to get a better view. A thin mist rose slowly from the abyss.

Aunt Megan’s face turned up from it.

Affable. Smiling.

The same as Anne had always known her.

“Come, Anne. I knew you’d look for me. I waited and missed you, dear child. Come.”

Anne took another small step on the uneven, gritty ground and reached her hands to embrace her beloved aunt. The possibility of the ground giving way under her weight never occurred to her. She stopped and glanced down the abyss, experiencing the most malevolent sensation. The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable.

Long arms of fog swirled about her legs. They came alive, real and menacing. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Sharp, poisonous teeth sank into her flesh. Icy perspiration formed on her forehead.

Megan’s face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, “Yes, come... I’m waiting... I’ve been waiting for you for such a long time...”

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