Authors: Sid Love
She took off behind him.
“Ronan!” she called out. The brunet frantically turned around and looked at her. “Wait up!” He did as he was told. When she caught up with him, she was so out of breath she could hardly utter a word. So she held her finger up, asking him to give her a minute. “Phew! I should do that more often.”
“Look, I wasn’t stalking Brad, I swear. I simply wanted to make sure he was okay,” Ronan babbled out nervously.
“I know, I know.” Leslie gave her head a shake. “I am not angry, seriously.”
“You aren’t?” His eyes widened in surprise.
She smiled. “No, I am rather happy that you came,” she told him sincerely. “I was kinda worried about you when you left without saying anything last night.”
Ronan averted his eyes. “I couldn’t,” he whispered. “I just couldn’t stay to watch him forget me. So I left.” Leslie watched him shrug.
She touched his bicep soothingly. “Ronan, I know you are hurting right now. But we really didn’t have any choice. Isn’t it worth it just to see Brad alive right now?”
“Believe me, it is. Back there in the coffee shop, I saw his smiling face, and I realized it was all I needed,” Ronan said. “I am glad he has such a good friend in you, Leslie.”
“Well, I try.” Leslie blushed and noticed he hadn’t buttoned up a couple of upper buttons on his shirt. “You are wearing that pendant! Isn’t that Ian’s?”
Ronan looked down at it and held it between his fingers. “No, this one belongs to me. Ian has one too because every dhampir in our clan has it. Why?”
Leslie looked at him, amused, suddenly becoming aware that Ian had told her a white lie to hide Ronan’s identity. She made a mental note to talk to him about it later. “Nothing, just… when Brad told me about his mystery guy—you, I mean—who he met on Valentine’s Day, he somehow remembered this pendant on you.”
“Oh!” He stared down at it once again. He was probably seeing the pendant in a completely new light right now.
“Brad decided it was something that could lead him to you. You won’t believe it, but he was actually planning to drop by your nightclub just so that he could ask around to see if anyone had seen the man who wore that kind of pendant.” She giggled when she remembered how excited Brad was about possibly finding out who his mystery guy was.
That brought a smile to Ronan’s face. “That does sound like something he would do.”
“Don’t you get it?” Leslie shook her head in disbelief. “It was just a pendant, Ronan, and still he was holding on to the hope of finding you. Last night, when you tried to make him remember the real memories in his mind, he proved it to you how much those memories mean to him—how much
mean to him.”
“What are you saying?” Ronan asked, although she was ready to bet he could sense what she actually was implying.
“What I am saying, Ronan, is that you have to hold on to hope too, just like Brad did. You need to hope for a better ending for you two. This can’t be it. You can’t be strangers to each other after all you have been through.” Leslie took hold of his hand to make him look her in the eyes as she pleaded. “You owe at least that much to Brad. He is the one who doesn’t remember jack, but you do. You know that everything that was keeping you two apart is gone. Volund is dead, Ronan. You need to start living your life the way you normally would, without any fears.”
Ronan stared at her, maybe a bit suspiciously. “Why are you saying this now? I thought you hated me.”
Leslie rolled her eyes. “I
you at first because I thought you were surrounded by danger all the time, with vampires and all, and frankly, Brad doesn’t need that.”
“It shouldn’t change anything. I know my father is dead, but I am still a dhampir. I will still be hunting vampires, and if I get together with Brad, he will be too.”
“Maybe so, but last night also made me realize that you will do whatever you can in your power to protect him and keep him safe.” Leslie palmed his shoulder and gave it a gentle shake before saying, “I trust you with his life.”
“Thank you.” Ronan’s handsome face bared the cutest smile she’d ever seen.
“Go on,” Leslie gestured toward the coffee shop with her head. “Brad was gushing about the hot guy in the suit behind us. I’m sure he will be delighted to talk to him.”
She watched as redness spread over his pale skin, and he said, “But I don’t know what to say to him.”
The sheepish way he said it made her laugh. “I’m sure you’ll figure something out once you get there,” she said encouragingly. “From what I know, you always manage to work your charm with hot blond guys.” Leslie winked at him and tugged on his arm. “Go, talk to him. I’ll be right behind you.” She gave his tall build a gentle push.
Ronan chortled as he walked, looking behind at her. “Do I look okay?” he asked, turning around. Leslie gave him two thumbs up and giggled to herself.
She waited until Ronan had walked into the coffee shop, then made her way back with measured steps.
Leslie had hardly gotten any sleep the previous night, mainly because she had so many thoughts running through her mind. Not to mention, she had seen two people getting killed in front of her. So sleep didn’t come to her easily at all.
That was the reason she had wanted to have her memory wiped out.
But the reason she thought against it was because of the two boys sitting in the coffee shop right then. She stayed out, watching the two of them through the shop’s glass window. Both of them had these happy smiles on their faces, and it gave her a fluttery feeling in her heart. She was reminded of that moment when she had seen Pat for the first time. And it was heavenly.
If she’d had no memories of the past two days, she wouldn’t have come to know of a guy who loved her best friend more than anyone ever could. And Ronan would have disappeared into oblivion by then.
She realized that those two were meant to be together; Ronan was the perfect guy for Brad.
She watched through the window as Brad looked at Ronan’s pink lips with hunger, and she knew what was coming. She smiled pleasantly when Ronan leaned in to place a soft kiss on Brad’s lips. She suddenly wished she had her phone to capture the sweet moment with her camera.
Leslie had no doubt, at that moment, that she had made the right call.
grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back in time, he has always had an ambitious mind. In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author someday.
Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen's romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.
You can find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sid.love.16?ref=tn_tnmn
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or simply e-mail him at [email protected]
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Holding on to Hope
© 2014 Sid Love.
© 2014 Paul Richmond.
Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-62798-612-0
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