Chapter 1

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Prologue

Run. Run faster, deeper, further into that delicate glow of white mist.

The Douglas-firs vanish underneath a blanket of white fog as Oregon's enchanting forest encapsulate and imprison all her senses; trapping her amidst the thick of the fog, amidst the damp morning mist.

The Douglas-firs vanish underneath a blanket of white fog as Oregon's enchanting forest encapsulate and imprison all her senses; trapping her amidst the thick of the fog, amidst the damp morning mist

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She circles round and round, breathless, frantically searching for the silhouette of a white ghost. There is nothing here in this meadow except a white canvas of clear smoke.

A soft glow suddenly forms in front of her.

The mist unfurls, whirl, and recoil in slow, elegant motions of soft swirls. The aura of his glow illuminates the dense fog, creating a burst of bright energy. She shields her eyes but like so many times before; she's awestruck and mystified.

He is taking physical form - a supernatural, magical, unbelievable sight only she can behold.

He begins to take shape, take a physical human with tangible fingers and toes, hot breath, cold sweat, rough skin, deep wrinkles, wet tears, and a ghastly dried scab on his left temple; an eternal reminder of a fatal blow. He stands before her, a tall man with toned muscles and a set of brown eyes rests underneath the ridge of his brow. His chocolate chin length hair sweeps across his beautiful face.

He is the epitome of perfection.

Clutching her hands to her chest, she sinks to her knees in the wet soil. She opens her mouth to speak, but no words escape. Her gaze shifts up as he walks toward her, and like so many times before, her hesitations, reservations, and doubts vanish.

He kneels down in front of her and wipes her tears, tears she hadn't even noticed. He cups her face with his cold hands, and she presses her cheek against his palm. My God, he feels so alive, so real, so solid.

"I know why you came here." His voice is deep and husky to match his mystery. "My answer is still no."

- End Prologue

Chapter 1

"Ma'am, is your entire party here?"

"yes, a table for two please."

The blonde-haired woman nodded, and Jocelyn followed her to a table beside an expansive window that overlooked a spacious pavilion with bystanders all bundled in rain boots and rain coats. They skittered underneath canopies of umbrellas. Jocelyn frowned in distaste. She didn't need another reminder of the terrible, rain-drenched weather. She pointed to the table in the far corner. "Can I take that table instead?" It was nowhere near a window.

The hostess narrowed her blue eyes. "Are you sure? You've got the ambiance over here!" She spoke like she was singing to an upbeat tune. "Bright lights, crystal glass chandelier, right in front of the grand piano and---"

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