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Authors: J.M. Miller

Tags: #Contemporary

The Line That Binds (38 page)

BOOK: The Line That Binds
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He let out a breathy laugh. “The green shirt,” he said, pulling me in between his legs and wrapping his arms around my waist. His hand swept my hair to the side so he could press his lips to the base of my neck. “But, do you remember your wish that day?”

I leaned back against his chest and rested my hands on his knees, contemplating. “I didn’t hear any voices that day. But I got a headache and a nosebleed when I came back inside. That’s when I found out Dad had gotten the job.” I pulled in a quick breath. “That’s what I wished for. Dad to get a job.”

He brushed his lips along the back of my neck and inhaled my hair. His quiet breath drifted over my skin as my mind whirled.

I reached under my legs for the journal and flipped through its pages. “His family will have what they want once, and then they will serve others until their final thought fades,” I read from the journal again. “She didn’t get to keep him. She only had him once, which means at one time, not forever. So we get to make one wish. And because she was a servant, the curse makes us grant other people’s wishes, like serving them. ‘Until our final thought fades.’ So this is for life? I will hear other people’s voices for the rest of my life because one of my ancestors chose the wrong woman?” A single tear ran from my eye, as lonely as I suddenly felt. As lonely as Dahlia probably felt. I breathed deeply and Ben pulled me tighter into him.

“I’m not sure what it all means, LJ, but, if I could change it all, I would.”

I nodded to acknowledge his words, still deep in thought.
There has to be something else.
I turned inside his folded body and slid my legs over his thighs to face him. “The mortar in the well left outlines for three stones.”

“Yes,” Ben said, staring into my eyes intently.

“Do you think that means there’s more to this? And if so, what?”

“I’m not sure,” he whispered, looking down and grabbing my hands.

“Maybe there’s a way to end it all,” I muttered as I looked down at Ben’s hands, caressing mine so thoughtfully. “I wonder if Janine ever found them … or if she had to hear the voices until she died.” That thought scared me because if Janine hadn’t found anything else, the chances of me finding something were infinitely worse. A sob escaped my lips.

Ben’s hands left mine and reached up to my face to cradle my jaw. “Hey,” he said, running his thumbs under my eyes as a few more fearful tears tumbled out. “I don’t think there’s a way for me to make this easier for you, but I’m going to try. I’ll help you, LJ. I’m here.”

“Thank you,” I whispered, knowing his words were true.

“I’ll search this whole house a hundred times over. I’ll dig. I’ll
clean
!” he said with a large, infectious smile.

I smiled in return and sniffled. “Is that so?”

“Hmm.” His dark eyes wandered to the ceiling for a moment before delving back into my eyes, and possibly my soul. His dimples deepened as his smile grew wider. “I’m willing to as some of the cleaning involves bubbles.” I laughed lightly. His gaze became more intense and serious again. “I will be here.”

And I knew he would.

 

 

 

 

Look for
The Line That Breaks
, sequel to
The Line That Binds
, March 2014.

 

 

 

Writing a book is a crazy journey. I love it, but it’s difficult and emotional. The highs and lows are so extreme I’m surprised I haven’t been institutionalized. There are several amazing people who’ve seen those extremes firsthand and decided, for some crazy reason, to stick around. Some have been in my life for a long time, others I’ve only recently met within the book-loving community. I’m going to try my best to remember everyone. And I’ll also try to keep this short so everyone can move on to devour their next read!

I need to start with my beautiful family. Will, thanks for sticking your face in my popcorn once upon a time. My story is only with you. Zoe, you are the reason I discovered my dream. When you’re old enough to read this, I hope it makes you smile. Just one will make the effort worthwhile. Mom, Aunt M, and Uncle J, your love and support means the world. No matter how far away, I can always count on you. Thank you for that and so much more.

Tonya Carey and Cari Schroder ─ I want to thank you both for so much, but there isn’t enough room to fit all the awesomeness that is our friendship. I’ll sum up with a few key words. Sisters. Rite Aid. Pedro. Cornfields. Siiip. Maryland. “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I’m honored to be a part of your lives and thankful for all of your encouragement and feedback. I’ll always value your opinions and trust you, even if you get me drunk and make me ride a bull. Start planning for my next visit; I need more material.

To Kya Hazzard ─ Time and distance will never change real friendships. Even though our ears burn after our three-hour covos, I love them! Thanks a million for your honesty in this life, and your guidance in our previous life of lion hugs and kisses.

I’m so lucky to have found a few crit partners whom I adore. Kim, Sam, and Jessica ─ You guys were so helpful with TLTB from early on. Thank you for your sound suggestions and hilarious margin comments. They really helped push me through. I wish you all the best of luck with your projects. Never give up!

To Amanda Clark ─ Thanks for the early Beta read and your endless humor on Facebook. I really appreciate your input, and I’m so grateful you gave me and my other book a chance when others passed. We will get that drink someday.

Thanks to Katie Mac for hooking me up with a group of awesome Beta girls. Christina, Diane, Amy, and Alicia ─ I loved your comments and suggestions and I am happy we connected. I hope you’re in for the sequel!

To Regina Wamba from Mae I Design and Photography ─ Wow! I mean, really! I am absolutely amazed by your work. Thanks for making such a stunning cover. I’m looking forward to the next project!

To Angela McLaurin from Fictional Formats ─ This seems weird since you get to see all of this first. Your designs are fantastic and I’m very excited to see the final product. Thanks so much for working with me.

To Kristina Circelli ─ Thanks for editing my goofy mistakes. A writer should learn something with every edit. I believe you taught me more than one.

To Ena from Enticing Journey Book Promotions ─ Thanks for hosting the cover reveal and blog tour. You took the time to clue me in and I really appreciate that. I’m in awe by the amount of work you do. You are amazing!

To all the bloggers who plan to spotlight, promo, or review for TLTB ─ Thank you so much for sharing. You are so valuable to the indie community and I respect each of you for the time you give, your hard work, and your love of books.

A huge thanks goes to everyone in the WFD group. I admire each of you for having the guts to chase down your dreams and the strength to rip out your own heart and share it with the world. Being a part of a group of authors who help and support one another is a beautiful thing. Whether it’s sharing technical advice or gut-busting pics and posts, it helps to make this career feel a little less lonely. I’ve learned so much from all of you and I’m honored to call you all friends. Cheers!

And to all of you readers ─ Thanks so much! I hope you enjoyed the first part of LJ and Ben’s story. The sequel, The Line That Breaks, will be out soon!

 

 

 

J.M. Miller first discovered her love of writing in high school, where she penned poetry for extra credit in English class and even braved the anxiety of open-mic night at a local coffee shop. Life soon followed, with a couple of careers, marriage, and a baby. The urge to write again came sometime after the birth of her daughter, this time calling for more than a few lines in a messy composition notebook.

She’s a military spouse, and a veteran herself, who finds inspiration in the people she’s met and the places she’s lived and traveled. Whether writing or reading, she enjoys the time she spends lost inside her own mind. She currently lives in Florida with her husband, daughter, a rescued pitbull, and a German stray cat.

 

Visit J.M. Miller online at

 

jmmillerwrites.wordpress.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/j.m.miller.author

 

twitter @ jmmiller_author

BOOK: The Line That Binds
6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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