Romance Novel with faith base storyline
| The Flames in His Eyes/Darlene Pharris|
The sun was just peaking over the horizon as Susie Sanderson guided her SUV onto I-10 heading east. She was trying to get as far from Los Angeles as was possible. The car was loaded with fragile remnants of her life while
a nationwide moving and storage company transported filled with the remainder of Susie's household items, would deliver to her apartment in Houston in three days. The tears had flowed down her face constantly for the last week. Would they ever stop flowing? Would the hollow spot in her chest ever be filled?
Susie could not erase the image of Derek Davison and Christy Anderson in a loving embrace. The tenderness of his touch and the love that filled both their eyes was all too evident. Derek had never touched her like that. She had never seen that look of love in his eyes when he looked into hers. The agony of witnessing the betrayal of her fiancé' and her best friend would be etched in her heart forever. She was so glad there were many miles of desert between Los Angeles and Houston. She could let her thoughts engulf her. Her eyes were so swollen and the tracks of her tears would forever be etched in her beautiful face. She was sure of that fact.
"Father, please ease my troubled heart. Bring me peace that passes understanding. I was so sure Derek was the one you had for me to spend the rest of my life with. Where did I miss you? How did I miss you? Help me, Father. Give me a future to move toward, help me to leave the past in the past."
With the windows down, the coolness of the dawning fall morning tingled as it hit her ivory skin. Her raven black hair was blowing across her shoulders. She was immersed in the thoughts that were swirling through her foggy mind. She cried out for a moment of welcomed release.
Suddenly, she was jarred back to reality by the sound of gravel striking her car. All she saw was the red sports car as it sped past her at a high rate of speed. How arrogant he was! How smug! He acted as if he had the right to drive however he pleased, with no regard for others! Her temper flared. Boy, if she could, she'd give him a piece of her mind. Boy, oh boy, would she tell him a thing or two. The flaring of her temper shook her from the memories that kept flooding her mind, for that she should be grateful.
Lost in the thoughts of the arrogant man speeding past her, showering her car with gravel were still churning around inside her when, "It's him! That's the sports car!" She pulled into the roadside cafe determined to let him have it with both barrels. She stormed into the cafe, both hands on her hips. She approached the table where he was seated; he looked just as smug and arrogant as he had acted. Before she could get one sentence out, he smiled.
His dark features so masculine and his smile only accented the flame in his eyes as they caressed hers. What a strange feeling. She was tingling. She knew it was obvious she had been crying. She began to regret this stop. What must he think? He stood with a bow, "What could such a lovely creature be so disturbed about? Please, sit and have a cup of coffee. Please sit, tell me all about it."
Just like that he had disarmed her. Now she was embarrassed. Slowly, she retreated back to the safety of her car without saying a word. All she wanted now was space between her, that disarming smile and the flames in his eyes. She had enough to deal with; she certainly didn't need another man messing with her mind. And that strangle feeling when she looked at him. WOW! She really had to stay away from that package of trouble.
She tried to put her thoughts on her future in Houston. She had sold her partnership in one Los Angeles' largest advertising agencies to the other partners. She had secured a new partnership in Houston which would be final after a ninety-trial to allow all parties to be sure to the agreement. Her life would be so busy it would erase the devastation of seeing the betrayal of the two people in her life she thought she could always trust. She certainly didn't need another man capturing her secret thoughts.
It was mid afternoon when Susie stopped in Phoenix for a rest and a light meal. She wasn't sure she would ever want a full meal again. Her insides were shaking like Jell-O, and didn't know if it would ever stop.
She settled for a summer salad. It had lettuce, but it consisted mostly of fruit. It was cool and soothing and she managed to eat a sizable portion. She realized her insides weren't shaking quite as much. Maybe one day, things would be better. It certainly gave her a ray of hope.
She decided she would drive on until she reached Tucumcari, New Mexico. She would take a room for the night and try to rest. She hadn't really slept since that horrible day. To put icing on the cake, there was the legend of Tucumcari Mountain. An Indian maiden had loved two men and she could not choose between the two. The two young braves went up on the mountain to fight for the maiden's hand. Alas, they both were killed. It is said that you can still hear the anguish as she cried for her lost loves on a quiet night. As least, Susie felt she was in good company. She knew the fair maiden understood her pain.
She was able to get some much needed sleep. She had not cried but once, and then only for a short time. She had decided he was not worthy of her tears, after all, he had thrown her love away. Hadn't he?
The strangest images filed her thoughts. That arrogant man with the fiery eyes crept into her dreams. The masculine jaw on his rugged face radiated with the flames in his eyes. The broad, muscular shoulders which tapered into a tight abdomen, accented a six pack outlined by his crisped ironed shirt. She could even smell the masculine cologne. Brother! Why would she dream about HIM! That was ridiculous, she would never see him again, so why did he infiltrate her dreams? Even in her sleep, her body tingled like she had never experienced before. "Father, what is going on? Am I just grasping at a flicker hope for her life? I truly do not know what this man has to do with her or her future. Help me, Father."
She repacked her overnight bag and left the key with the attendant. Deciding to have the light breakfast offered by the motel, she slipped into the dining area. As she sipped her coffee and nibbled on the sweet roll, her heart skipped a beat. Oh, no. It couldn't be. It was HIM! She recognized the sound of his voice and the scent of his cologne as he talked to the attendant as he returned his room key. She couldn't face him again! So she slipped out a side door as he entered through the lobby.
Little did she know, he had caught a quick glimpse of her as she fled. He secretly smiled to himself. "What a beguiling creature", he thought as one eyebrow arched slightly.
Soon, she was back on I-10 heading east. With a little luck she would make El Paso before nightfall. She seemed to have lost control of her thoughts. That MAN kept slipping in. She remembered that tingling in her body as she looked into his eyes. There were literally flames in his eyes, but why should that mean anything to her? She would never see him again of that she was certain. After all, what were the chances he was heading to Houston, and if he was, Houston was a big city. She tried to find comfort in that thought, but it made her feel strangely sad. Where did that come from? Had she lost her mind? "Father, take control of my thoughts. Clear my mind of these silly ideas. Thank You."
Susie turned her thoughts to the trip ahead. It was early spring and the desert was in full bloom. She had not realized how colorful the desert was. Though the blooms only lasted a few days, the desert was blanketed with blooms of all colors. One could lose themselves in the peaceful feeling of crossing through such a calming scene. She tried very hard to do just that, but strange thoughts continued to haunt her. She could not imagine why he filled her thoughts. She must have lost her mind. That was the only explanation. Again, she tried to capture her thoughts and to redirect them to anything but HIM.
She just drove east, trying to let her mind rest. She was numb from the onslaught of her thoughts and memories. So, she rolled down her windows and let the crisp, morning air caress her face. It was like a touch of heaven, and she sure needed that.
The drive into El Paso was a sweet embrace from her heavenly Father. He had soothed her spirit so much. Finally, she felt that she could face tomorrow and whatever life offered her in Houston. She took a room in El Paso and had a restful night's sleep. Only, strangely, that MAN kept slipping into her dreams. The fames in his eyes seemed to draw her into his embrace. She had to find a way to stop those confusing thoughts. After all, he was not a part of her life and never would be. As she roused from her dreams, she found that her body was tingling. But why was she tingling, after all it was just a dream, wasn’t it? She was beginning to wander if he had stolen her mind.
It was a ten hour drive to Dallas/Ft Worth where she would stay the night and then drive the last five hours into Houston, the next morning. Maybe the moving company would arrive with her furniture soon and she could begin to settle into her new life. A new beginning in a new world as she left Los Angeles behind and all the pain it held for her.
She had arranged for an apartment rental through an agency in Houston. Her new life would be in The Woodlands. If she understood correctly, that was just north of the Houston metropolis. If she remembered correctly, there were great malls, parks and jogging paths. She loved to begin her morning with a jog. It prepared her mind and body for the stressful world of advertising. She hoped she would like her new partners as much as she had liked her partners in Los Angeles. She was scheduled to begin the new position on Monday that gave her four days to explore.