WIP Wednesday

This is a section from a manuscript I wrote years ago. Maybe I’ll get back to it someday.

*****

The air was crisp, almost good enough to take a bite out of. My favorite kind of fall day. Tree roots and wet leaves covered the path ahead of me. I maneuvered my feet around them, legs burning, lungs heaving, arms pumping. I knew the way like the back of my hand. Could navigate through the low laying clouds ,creating a white wall of whispering tendrils, blindfolded. Being alone left too much time for me to think and nothing else. Running the forgotten trails of the forest helped pass the time. Part of me searched for Margaret. Hoping  to stumble upon her and convince her to finally end my misery. For almost eighteen months I had done so and not once did she ever turn up.

The morning fog slowly lifted, clearing and revealing the narrow trail I ran, the bare trees suddenly stretching along the sides in a yawn. It would be back again. The fog had a mind of its own in Haven Cove, it came and went as it pleased, unable to settle on a mood for the day. I kept an even pace, focusing on my breathing. In and out, I told myself while my heart galloped, waiting for me to finally grow tired. The cliffs weren’t too far now. The roar of the ocean breached the wall of dispersing fog, but beneath that another sound caught my ears. The snap of a twig, the soft muttering of a curse. I almost tripped on a root but caught myself against the trunk, hands scraping against the bark. I made myself breathe calmer and searched for the source.

The outline of another body, about twenty feet away, caused my heart to lodge in my throat. It was too tall to be Margaret. Not that I expected her to ever show up when I actually wanted her to. No, she would make me wait. Until I lost all hope. I knew who it is though, even with the thin cloud of white surrounding him. Cooper stepped forward, his face flushed and the sweat slicking his hair. The sight of him nearly caused me to collapse.

Our eyes met and instead of the usual indifference or suspicion he started sending my way after the curse, there’s confusion, desperation, familiarity.

Not again.

I took a few shuddering breaths as he approached me, hoping the tears wouldn’t break free. Forcing myself to stand still, all I could do was wait for him to cross the distance between us.

This was the worst part of the curse. The remembering. It happened every couple of months with Cooper. No one else. Just him. It was another way for Margaret to make my life a living hell. I would finally get used to the loneliness, the hatred the rest of the town sent my way, then suddenly Cooper remembered. Everything. Remembered us. And for a brief moment I allowed myself to believe that it was over. That Margaret was done torturing me.

My heart sped up and it had nothing to do with the running. I craned my head back and looked up at his face, the deep green of his eyes, the way his hair fell over them.

“Hi, short stuff. I’ve missed you.” His thumb trailed the side of my face and I held so very still and closed my eyes, relishing the feel of his skin against mine. I didn’t dare take a breath and ruin it, make him forget before he could fully remember. It was painful, it hurt, it felt like a knife to the gut, but it was better than the empty glances that filled every other day. The memory of it was what kept me going most days.

I fluttered my eyes open. Cooper stared down at me.

“I see you, Bailey Eve. I see you,” he whispered.

I nearly choked on the grief fighting to shoot out of my chest, my skin, my limbs. Waiting to pull me under its heavy waves. The memory fought to the surface. The one that cemented us as Bailey and Cooper, you couldn’t have one without the other. The memory of the day I fell in love with him.

“You always did, didn’t you Coop?”

His hand lingered on my cheek. “Can I kiss you until forever?”

I nodded.

******

I really do love this story! I forgot how much until I read over this scene. Hope you all enjoyed this short excerpt. Still chugging away on some other projects right now. We’ll see if I ever finish anything ever again. Editing has taken a lot out of me these last few months. But I think I’m getting back into the groove. And feel free to join in and share your own WIP Wednesday posts! And definitely tag me!