When Cooper discovered the reason why she went ... that she was lighting one for HIM ... it touched his heart and gave him the courage to stop denying how he felt. <3
Flagstaff is about 2 hours away from where I live and I love driving there with my hubby to go to the bookstores. You know me ... I had to go take some photos so VOILA! I thought you all might like to see them. As a side note: these photos have me ITCHING to travel to Europe to see all the incredible architecture there. My parents are currently in England and they're been posting beautiful photos of their trip. But back to Caylee and Cooper ... LOL
Insert from Caylee:
I loved coming to the gorgeous, old, stone building, with gothic style architecture, the tall spire with a cross a beacon of hope to those in need. I’d been drawn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for more than just my need to worship. There was something about the history of the church that had stood for over a hundred years that intrigued me. I couldn’t help but wonder who had come before me and what worries they had laid at the altar in faith.
And see those stairs I'm sitting on ....
Insert from Cooper:
Tugging her into my body, I wrapped my arms around her, not giving her a chance to back away. I had her caged in my embrace, our faces unbelievably close.
“What are you doing, Cooper?” she tentatively asked, peering up at me though her long, dark eyelashes.
“I don’t know,” I breathed, lying. She knew exactly what was on my mind. “All I know is this could be the biggest mistake we’ve ever made.” I finally admitted.
There was no fear in her eyes, no uncertainty. “But don’t you want to see what happens?” she whispered, as if speaking louder would break the spell between us.
“Yes. No. I don’t know. I can’t, Caylee.” Feeling the moment pass and a reluctant return of my senses, I willed myself to let her go. And again, I couldn’t find the strength to do it.
She was so close, the subtle breeze dancing her enticing scent around me. She smelled of all things forbidden, and for the craziest moment, I could’ve sworn I caught something else.
Caylee Sawyer was the epitome of everything I could ever hope and wish for. The light scent of vanilla smelled like home, and it terrified the hell out of me.
Not moving a muscle, I wanted to kiss her. I needed to. I was tired of fighting against my escalating desire. If I was going to go to Hell, I might as well go happily. I wanted this.
There was nothing fragile or uncertain in her voice. “Cooper?”
“Yeah?” My eyes never left hers, the heat from her gaze leaving a trail over my skin as I traced the pad of my thumb lightly over her cheek.
“Stop thinking and just kiss me.”
Who was I to argue?
Tightening my grip around her waist, I felt her melt into me, felt her submit to something that was still in the process of happening. I didn’t want to rush it, even as I fought everything inside me not to capture her mouth, devouring her. She wasn’t like the woman I usually spent time with, trying in vain to lose myself in nothingness, just going through the motions of having sex. It had all been meaningless, a means to an end.
But not with her. With Caylee, it meant something.
No matter how hard I denied it, it would always mean everything.
I leaned in slowly, still cupping her face with my hand, a slight tremble giving away my sudden nervousness. Fuck, if this kept up, I’d let her see that this meant more than I was ready to reveal.
It was just a kiss, right?
And still, I continued to lie to myself.
“Cooper,” she murmured, and that was my undoing. I couldn’t argue with her and myself at the same time. Sometimes you had to throw all the self-inflicted rules out the window and give in.
I was done fighting it.
I refused to feel guilty over doing something I’d only dreamed of.
I kissed her. And in that second, I caught a glimpse of something—surrender.
As our lips touched, brushing softly over each other’s in anticipation, I lost all patience for slowness. I needed her with a ferocity that surprised even me. Tracing my tongue over her bottom lip, she didn’t resist, instead opening her mouth so I could deepen our kiss.
And by all that was holy, she groaned into my mouth, mirroring the same sensation flooding my mind. There were no words to describe the perfection of the moment, of just how sweet she tasted. Even my imagination wasn’t that good, and the intensity of her response wiped every other kiss from my memory.
There was no one other than her. Even my guilt lost its power. Like a spark to a pile of kindling, I knew we would be combustible. I knew that the attraction between us was only the beginning of something even more encompassing—something completely volatile and fiery. I couldn’t be the only one who felt it.
Standing there on the steps of the church, everything melted away except for us.
She turned me inside out, stripped me down, and then rebuilt me.
Le SWOOOON! I seriously LOVE Cooper and Caylee's story! If you haven't had a chance to read Bittersweet Melody, click on the links below! AND ... it's the perfect time for it because in TWO MORE DAYS the sequel, Bittersweet Symphony, releases!
#1 in the Damaged Souls series
#marine #secondchances #ptsd #music