Today’s snippet theme is Endings. Below is a scene from a book I co-authored Aliyah Burke. Enjoy.
An snippet from Wicked Burn…
“Why are you telling me this now?” Yasmine swung her head toward him and stood, her chair crashing behind her.
“No matter what happens, I wanted you to know.” Sedeo smiled regretfully.
“Thanks so much, Mister Parker, for sharing with me. It makes me feel so much better.” She didn’t even try to keep the sarcasm from her voice.
She crossed her arms across her breasts, holding herself. The sadness on his face made her throat ache.
“I never meant to hurt you, Yasmine,” he stated quietly.
“I know, Sedeo. I know,” she replied, now suddenly fatigued beyond reason.
She knew he hadn’t meant to rip her apart one word at a time. She wanted to rail at him and destroy him in return, but she couldn’t. Despite it all, she knew he was a fair and good man. The look of uncertainty and sorrow on his face hit her like a punch to the gut.
How is it possible he is the one hurting me, and I want to comfort him? She quashed the feeling and smiled gently.
“It’s all right, Sedeo. Take She–” She cleared her throat, then continued. “Take Shelby and go home.”
He studied her. Yasmine kept her face blank and steady.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to deal with your job, Yasmine. I can’t promise I’ll come back, but I do love you.” Sedeo smiled softly.
A shaft of pain cut off her breath. She nodded abruptly. Sedeo sighed and started to reach for her. He stopped before he touched her, then turned and left the room. Yasmine stumbled back against the table. She heard his murmur to Shelby, but wasn’t sure what he said. The sound of running feet made her straighten and put on a smile. Shelby ran into the room and straight for her. She bent and caught her, lifting her up.
“Yas, we’re going home. But I’ll see ya soon, okay?” Shelby said.
Yasmine swallowed the lump in her throat, then spoke. “Bye, Miss Shelby.”
She hugged the little girl she wasn’t sure she would ever see again tight. A sensation of being watched filled her. She glanced beyond Shelby’s shoulder at Sedeo. He was solemn.
“Come on, sweetie. I’ll walk you to the door.” She walked across the room with her.
Sedeo stepped back out of the way. She continued down the hall and to the front door. Silently, Sedeo opened the door and took Shelby from her. Yasmine fought with herself not to hold onto her. She let her go. Sedeo’s hand brushed hers, and she stiffened, jerking away. Sedeo caught her hand with his. Yasmine looked up at him. His whiskey gaze glittered with tears. He opened his mouth to speak.
“Don’t,” she said.
He squeezed her hand and let her go. He raised Shelby higher, turned, and left. Yasmine closed the door behind him. Gripping the knob, she rested her forehead against the door.
“I love you, too,” she whispered to the empty room.
She raised her head, then pounded her fist against the door. A harsh sound came from her. She dropped to her knees, and tears burned her eyes. Turning, she slid down the door, then pulled her legs up and curled her arms around them, resting her cheek against her upraised knees. The wetness of her tears drenched her skin. A brush of fur startled her. She looked up. Rufus whined and licked her. Yasmine let out a ragged sound. Pulling him close, she lay down and curled around him as the tears flowed. Rufus nuzzled her and kept guard as she mourned.
Copyright © 2009 Aliyah Burke and McKenna Jeffries
All Rights Reserved, Liquid Silver Books.
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