Green. The color of hope.
ANNA MARI is living for today, not daring to hope for tomorrow. She’s a pawn in her grandfather’s game, and time is her enemy. Her freedom is the prize.
DAVIS COOPER is licking his wounds of betrayal when he’s assigned to babysit his boss’s sister. The pretty little thing who’s most definitely off-limits.
Though they struggle to set boundaries, the root of their friendship grows into something more. But none of that matters – Anna’s fate is sealed and neither hope nor love can save her.
Eventually, I select a large canvas, so large, I can’t get it on the easel and settle for the floor. I strip my jeans, long sleeved shirt and slip my shoes off, donning the sizeable green smock hanging on the wall. And I paint. Losing track of time or space. Fully immersed in the colors, my vision, my emotion.
“Here you are,” Coop says from the doorway, and I twist on all fours in his direction.
He’s leaning on the door jamb with his arms relaxed at his sides, and his feet crossed like he has been standing there a while.
“How long have you been here?”
I’ve been painting for hours, my fingers tingle, my feet are numb, and my lower back aches from crouching and contorting myself into strange, awkward positions. I was oblivious to the cries of my body while working.
“A bit.” He pushes off the wall, nearing to help me to my feet.
I roll my neck and shake out my limbs before tilting my head to look at him. He smiles, his white teeth and twinkling eyes pop as he tucks a few strands behind my ear.
“You’ve got some paint on your face.” His finger slides down my check and then the side of my nose. “It looks good on you.”
Heat travels from the center of my chest outward, and I can’t help but smile, “I’m glad you think so.”
Gone is my anger or bruised ego from his departure last night. I don’t really know what I was expecting or wanting, and I’m glad to see him. I’m also happy to see that he’s more himself.
“What am I going to do with you? You have to stop disappearing on me.”
“And what? Make your job easier, not a chance.” I tease, treading lightly, all too aware of the kind of trouble my wondering off could cause.
S.M. West writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotica and whatever her heart desires. She spends most of her time juggling a day job, being a mom, wife, and writing. She’s a self-professed junkie of many things, including a voracious fan of music, a born wanderer, a wine aficionado and chocolate connoisseur.