Series: The Dragon Knights #2
Author: Gabbie S. Duran
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: March 21, 2016
|| Alyssa lives her days hiding from the nightmares of her childhood, fearful of only one thing: being found. She no longer feels pain, for her soul has been numbed by the cruelties she endured.
Chris is empty on the inside, even though he portrays a facade of happiness to the outside world. He attempts to fill the void with women, sex, and music. In his lonely existence, nothing really matters . . . until he meets Alyssa.
When two dark souls collide, can the colors repair their broken souls, or will they surrender to the darkness of their broken pasts?
Copyright © 2016 Gabbie S. Duran
It’s finally her birthday and when I go off in search of her, I find her crossed legged in the center of her bed, intensely concentrating on the creation she is drawing on her sketchpad sitting in her lap.
Her hair is mused as if she’s been running her hand through it. It’s a result of her not being able to tie it back into a ponytail because she’s limited to only using one arm. She wears the simple white shirt I’d given her to sleep in, even though I know she has proper sleeping attire now. I’d made sure to have Maggie order some and they had arrived earlier this week.
She lets out a frustrated sigh, ripping the paper from the sketchpad and crumpling it up to toss it near the end of the bed.
“Why did you do that?” I finally speak, making my presence known.
Startled, she snaps up to shyly look at me.
“Haven’t I told you before it’s not nice to sneak up on me?” she teases.
“Maybe, but I prefer watching you before letting you know I’m around,” I admit, not knowing exactly where the admission has come from. It was more of a thought I’ve harbored in my mind.
She chuckles. “Stalker.”
She sits up straight and lets out an exasperated breath. “I can’t seem to get the detailing just right,” she says, tossing the sketchpad in front of her.
I can’t help but add to her frustration when I relay, “You’re trying too hard, but I got something that may help you out a little.”
Interest piqued, her eyes narrow down into a slit. “Didn’t I also tell you not to buy anything?”
Unable to resist, I mock, “Yes, you did, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop.” I deliver the sentence with a childish whine and a scrunch of my nose.
She rolls her eyes and laughs. It’s the first time I’ve seen her fully smile since the wedding. Seeing it again gives me the desire to keep it there by telling her, “I’ve got something I want to show you.” I tilt my head in the direction of the hallway.
She climbs off the bed and I wait until she’s reached my side before I guide her down the hall towards my room. Nearly reaching it, she digs her heels into the floor. I can already predict what she is thinking. “It’s not in my room, I swear,” I laugh out to her. “But it is the room right next to it,” I admit.
The faint sound of a snicker is heard before she allows me to lead her. Within a few more steps, we have reached the designated door and I open it for her to take in the room. An audible gasp is heard, large blue eyes grow wide, and a full smile appears on her lips when she peers at me.
“Why?” she asks, still unbelieving of what she sees before her.
Barely able to speak from the pride welling up inside of me, I confess, “I wanted to get you something special for your birthday.”
Her brows furrow with confusion. “But my birthday isn’t until tomorrow.”
“It’s technically after midnight, Colors. Happy birthday.”
She lights up once more before stepping into the room. I follow, allowing her to take it in on her own. Her first destination is the canvases set up on their easels, ready to be painted. She glides her hand across the table full of a variety of brushes, paints, and wooden art pallets for her to use.
Her fingers graze against the tubes when she rasps, “I haven’t been able to paint since the day of my accident.” She confirms my suspicions as to why her hands were paint smeared in the hospital. “I really miss it,” she croaks out, making my heart grow heavy from seeing how emotional she has become. Knowing she’ll be returning to a hobby she so dearly loves assures me I’ve made the right decision in giving her the room and supplies.
She moves towards the small studio table facing the window, an item I was not expecting to purchase but was recommended by the clerk since I had mentioned she loved to draw. I bought it without hesitation. To its side is a case holding an array of wax crayons, pencils, and chalk.
Nervously rubbing at the back of my neck, I say, “I hope I didn’t forget something.”
She whirls around to face me. “You’ve bought way more than I’ve ever had in my life. It’s way too much.”
“The clerk said these were the basics for an artist.”
She peers around the room with dismay then our eyes meet and this time, hers are glassy. She’s desperately trying to blink away the tears but she loses the battle. They begin to cascade down her cheeks. She rushes to close the distance between us, practically throwing herself at me. I catch her, her one functioning arm wrapping around my neck as she whispers into my ear, “Thank you.”
It’s moments like these I wish to always give her.