Bridge of Hope
by Lisa J Hobman
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Release Date: August 21, 2014
Digital ISBN 10:163112062X ISBN 13:978-1-63112-062-6
Print ISBN-10:1631120638 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-063-3
Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html
Love is like a snowflake; beautiful but fleeting in its presence…
I’ve been in love. But I’ve also been lied to, betrayed by those closest to me and I’ve suffered loss. Sadly it’s those last three things that stick with me the most. The only real constants in my life are music, Angus my dog and Rhiannon; my guitar.
But things changed when she walked into my place of work. All blue eyes, curves and a warmth that could melt even my hardened heart. I was taken over by feelings that I didn’t expect so soon. Guilt plagued me and I took my anger out on her.
But I fell fast and hard and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she too became the victim of heartbreak I was the only one who understood her pain but I was the last person she wanted help from.
Would I ever convince her that we could be friends? And would I ever accept that she couldn’t love me back?
About Lisa J Hobman
Lisa is a happily married Mum of one with two crazy dogs. She especially enjoys being creative; has worked as a singer and now runs her own little craft business where she makes hanging signs and decorations for the home. Lisa and her family recently relocated from Yorkshire, England to their beloved Scotland; a place of happy holidays and memories for them.
Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centered on poetry and song lyrics. The story in her debut novel has been building in her mind for a long while but until the relocation, she never had the time to put it down in black and white; working full time as a High School Science Learning Mentor and studying swallowed up any spare time she had. Making the move north of the border has given Lisa the opportunity to spread her wings and fulfill her dream. Writing is now a deep passion and she has enjoyed every minute of working towards being published. Novels two and three are works in progress so watch this space!
How to contact Lisa J Hobman:
Excerpt of Bridge of Hope:
It had been the same damned nightmare again.
I’d been experiencing what the doctor called night terrors ever since receiving the news that Mairi had been declared dead. The love of my fucking life… dead. There were no words to describe the physical pain knotting my insides every time I realised it was true and not just a cruel dream.
There had been no body to bury. But apparently that’s not uncommon when people are lost up the side of a mountain like K2. People can lie undiscovered for years up there, so I’m told.
The stupid thing was that I wasn’t even there when it happened, but for some bizarre reason my psyche had built up its own series of events and insisted on torturing me with the movie of Mairi’s death every time I closed my eyes.
What I wouldn’t give for a peaceful night’s sleep.
I’d taken on extra work whenever I wasn’t on the water. The boat was only a seasonal thing anyway. And although tourists loved the area surrounding the bridge over the Atlantic, taking a trip out on Little Blue on choppy water wasn’t for fainthearted, unseasoned sailors. So I’d taken on work as a handyman. I was fixing taps, sealing sinks, unblocking drains. Oddly, all the jobs seemed to be water related. Maybe that was because I had a combination of water and single malt running through ma veins. Who knows?
Keeping busy was my intention. Being occupied was the only thing stopping me from slipping into a deep depression, and I knew all too well how easy it would’ve been just to let go and fall into the abyss like Mairi did in my nightmares.
I’d met her when I was out walking. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever falling in love for real. I’d had a shot at it before—Alice was her name, but the less said about her right now the better. But life likes to throw in curveballs every so often. And so there I was up by the Buckle, taking in the scenery and fresh air, when this fiery-haired girl tripped over her laces and into my arms. She had the most stunning smile I’d ever seen. And her eyes… Let’s just say when she gazed up at me she melted my heart. We chatted for ages and it was just… so natural.
I was never going to be the same again.
Our relationship progressed quickly and was very physical. I was a fair few years older than her but I had no trouble keeping up, if you know what I mean. I loved every inch of her body with a passion I’d never experienced before. It was raw and real. I’d sit watching her as she studied maps and reference books about climbing. Every so often she’d glance up and catch me staring and she’d just smile, climb into my lap, and kiss me.
After Alice and I split—I won’t bore you with the details just yet, let’s just say that she was a nasty piece of work who messed with my head and broke my heart, more than once—I swore off love and all it entailed. I didn’t need a woman in my life. Or so I thought. But when I lost Mairi, it was like someone had ripped out ma heart and stamped on it whilst I watched. The pain was excruciating.
Physical, gut-twisting pain.
I felt sure they’d gotten it wrong. She went to K2 with experienced climbers. She was an experienced mountaineer too. It’d been her dream for so long. I wasn’t about to stand in her way, and the thought that she may not come back never even entered my head.
Not being able to say goodbye was the worst thing. The small memorial service we held was devoid of emotion. It was as if her friends and family were in some kind of denial.
I think I was too.
Thinking back to the morning she left for the trip broke my heart, but I couldn’t stop myself.
Her long, titian curls fanned out on the pillow beside me and she smiled as she slept. She was exposed to me from the waist up and I lay there on my side, willing her to awaken. I wasn’t going to see her for months and I wanted to get my fill whilst I still could. I gently stroked her chin, down between her creamy bare breasts to her navel. It was cruel but I wanted her to open her eyes. Instead she whacked my hand away and muttered expletives. I burst out laughing, trying my best to do it quietly but failing miserably.
She picked up one of the spare pillows and hit me on the head with it, making me chuckle again. “Gregory McBradden, you’re a total shit. I was having a really sexy dream,” she whined, eyes still closed.
I leaned in. With my mouth next to her ear, I whispered, “Open your eyes and let’s make your dream come true, love.” That got her every time. Goose bumps pricked her skin and she moaned. Her eyes sprang open and she pounced on me, pushing me onto my back and straddling my waist.
God, she was so beautiful.
I gazed up at her. Her pert breasts begging for my touch. I was already hard, but seeing her like this did something to my insides and brought out the animalistic side of me. I gripped her hips as I inhaled a deep breath, trying my best to calm the furnace raging beneath my skin. As she bent to take my mouth in a deep, sensual kiss, her hair cascaded to my chest. Our tongues slipped and slid together in an erotic dance, and every nerve in my body sprang to life just for her. Every fibre of my being was drawn to her; needed her.
I swept the hair back from her face and fixed my eyes on hers.
“Do you know how much I love you, Mairi? Do you know how much I’m going to miss you when you’re gone? It doesn’t matter how far apart we are. You’re still in here,” I said, touching my head. “And in here.” I touched my chest over my heart. She stared silently at me for a moment and then closed her eyes. A tear slipped down her cheek and I caught it with my thumb. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
She inhaled deeply. “Nothing. I’m just… really nervous about the whole trip. K2 has been my dream for so long, but now… I’m terrified. What if I’m not fit enough? What if I can’t do it, Greg?”
I slid my calloused hands up her smooth, taut thighs where they gripped me, to the dip between her hip and waist as my eyes followed the journey of my fingers. I swallowed hard at the feel of her muscles tightening under my caress, and my breath caught in my throat as I replied, “Come on, love, you are fit enough and strong enough. You’ve been working towards this for so long, how could you not be? You’re bound to be nervous. But you’re fulfilling a dream, and there’s not many folk can say they’ve done that. You’ll be fine. Absolutely fine. But I might not be.” I stuck out my bottom lip, trying to lighten the mood. “My heart might break into a million pieces when I’m left here by mysel’. What will I do?”
She bent and kissed my nose. And then with a sexy smile, she smoothed her hands down my chest and it was my turn to shiver.
“You’ll have to dream of me naked on top of you like this, and that’ll cheer you up.” She rolled her hips, making me bite my lip.
I inhaled deeply. “Aye, I suppose it will. But having you back here again so I can do this again…” In one sweep of my arms I had her beneath me, my body between her silky thighs. I sank into her, pleasure radiating from where we were joined. “… is what I’ll be looking forward to.”
A breathy moan escaped through her full lips. She closed her eyes as she welcomed me in and slipped her arms around my neck. I kissed her everywhere I could reach, taking each nipple into my mouth slowly and nibbling on the little buds as they tightened. Gasping, she fixed her eyes on mine as I moved deep within her.
Overwhelming emotions ripped through me as I made love to her. My Mairi. I took in every sensation and every look; my heart aching at the thought of being apart from her for so long. As she pulsed around me and her orgasm took her soaring off into the stratosphere, I kept my gaze locked on hers, hoping I was conveying everything through my eyes that I couldn’t put into words, and I followed soon after.
Afterwards, we lay there in each other’s arms for what felt like hours. I was unwilling to let her go, telling myself I’d hold her for a few minutes more. When she eventually withdrew from my embrace, I lay back and fought the fears niggling deep within me.
What if she meets someone who’s more her age? What if she meets someone who loves climbing the way she does? What if she doesn’t miss me as much as I miss her? What if she loves it so much out there that she decides to stay? What if? What if? What fucking if?
A couple of hours later we set off to the airport, and for the first part of the journey we both sat in silent contemplation. There were so many things I wanted to say, but the words never came and I cursed myself for being so fucking useless at expressing myself.
Luckily, she knew what I was like. I’d spent the day before looking for songs to express how I felt and I’d made a CD. The silence in the car was deafening and so I reached over and hit play. I made eye contact with her for a few moments as the opening chords to “I Will Remember You” by Ryan Cabrera filled the small space between us. Turning my eyes back to the road, I saw her in my peripheral vision, wiping her eyes as her lip trembled.
At the airport I pulled her into my arms and held her against my chest. I knew she must have felt the rapid pounding of my heart as we stood inside the terminal. Tears threatened. My eyes were desperate to give them up, but I tried so hard not to make the situation more difficult than it already was. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I pulled away and gazed into her emerald eyes one last time.
My voice wavered as I told her, “I’m not going to say goodbye because I hate that word and we’ll be back together before you know it anyway. So I’m going to say have a great time and stay safe. And know that I’ll be thinking of you every moment whilst you’re gone.”
Pulling me toward her, she kissed me with a ferocity that took my breath away. I fisted my hands in her hair and returned the kiss with equal passion. When I eventually pulled away, I cupped her face in my hands and stroked the apples of her cheeks with my thumbs. “It’s just a few months, love. Go and show ’em what you’re made of, eh?”
She nodded and gripped my hands where they lay on her skin. Relentless tears spilled from her eyes as she let go and turned to walk away. All my fears bubbled to the surface once again and I couldn’t hold back. “I love you, Mairi. And one day I want to marry you!” I shouted.
As soon as the words left my mouth I clamped it shut.
We’d never discussed marriage before. But I have a tendency to say what’s on my mind without thinking about the consequences, and this was one of those times. I was filled with dread. Had I just given her a ticket to Get-Out-Ville? Again, fuck! My heart hammered like it was trying to do a fucking runner and my mouth went dry.
The people around us stopped and stared.
Mairi halted in her tracks and I froze. She turned to face me, her mouth open in what I can only describe as utter, mind-frying shock. I swallowed hard, my mind racing to find something to say to take the words back. But a beautiful smile appeared on her face. She ran toward me and flung her arms around my neck, her legs around my waist. Everyone around us applauded as I hugged her into my body before letting her go and setting her down again. With one last heart-melting smile she stroked my cheek, turned, and walked away.