full moon dappled the shadows beneath the massive oak with patches of
light. Thea caught Luke’s hand. He spun her to face him. Their gazes locked. His dark eyes mirrored her eagerness to be
together, to make love. Thea wanted to
laugh at the joy flooding her spirits.
lips found hers. He pulled her into a
tight embrace. She felt the hardness of
his erection and opened her mouth to his questing tongue. His touch, his taste, the aroma of his skin
made her desire blossom. There wasn’t
time for what they craved. With a sigh
she broke the kiss.
slid his hands to her waist. She
sighed. “I want to be like this with you
kissed the corner of her mouth. “I’d
rather be skin to skin.”
groaned. “I’d better head back. My turn to set the tables for tomorrow.”
I’ve beds to turn down.”
me at the reflecting pool in an hour.”
tugged her closer. Their mouths met in a
searing kiss. “You’re driving me crazy.”
nodded. “An hour will seem like
released her and dashed toward the kitchen entrance of the sprawling inn.
leaned against the tree. What a
wonderful summer. Until now she’d never
thought she would find love. Luke was
wonderful and he was hers. For longer
than the summer, she prayed.
glanced at her watch. The luminous dial
showed she had a few minutes before she needed to be at her duties. The moon gleamed like a golden coin. She had time to test the legend of the
reflecting pool. The words the hostess
had said to each group of arriving guests flowed into Thea’s thoughts.
Should a man or a woman come to the pool on
a night when the moon is full, the face of their true love will be
revealed. Should they reject the vision,
a life of lonely sadness will follow.
There is a second chance to find this love. If the seeker returns to the pool when the
moon is full and blue, true love will be recovered.
ran to the garden. She paused beneath
the trellis entrance and listened for voices.
When she heard none, a wave of relief made her smile. She stepped into the boxwood maze and quickly
made her way along the gravel path to the pool.
She knelt and stared at the water.
Dancing beams of moonlight coalesced.
Thea stared at the unfolding pattern.
When Luke’s face appeared, her laughter pierced the silent night.
the promise close, she hurried to the Lodge.
Wait until she saw Luke and told him.
Happiness threatened to erupt.
Thea, grind, nerd and all those other names her peers called her, had
found her true love. Thea who had never
had a date until this summer had found her perfect mate.
was the best-looking of the Lodge’s summer employees. Tall, dark-haired Luke was hers. They had so many common interests. When they weren’t making love, they talked
and seldom disagreed.
thought of the way the other female employees and some of the younger guests
had flirted with him. Thea laughed. From the moment their eyes met, they had been
hurried back to the inn. She arrived on
the second floor and began her evening routine.
She opened the first of her assigned rooms, folded down the covers and
placed a chocolate on each pillow. She
entered the bathroom to make sure there was a good supply of fluffy towels.
walked to the door. Her friend leaned
against the wall. “You finished
“Just. You’re running late and I know why.” Sue giggled.
“Saw you and Luke sneak off.”
ten minutes. No big deal.”
cocked her head. “I wanted to catch you
before you two disappeared to make-out.”
knowing look in Sue’s eyes caused Thea to stiffen. They had been friends since grade
school. Thea had often wondered why the
friendship had continued through high school and into college. Sue was pretty and popular. Her attention was flattering and brought Thea
into the center of events. Thea still
helped Sue with her studies. She’d even
written papers for her friend. Sometimes
Thea wondered if being on the fringes of the in-crowd was worth the
effort. If she dropped Sue, where would
another friend be found? Thea smiled.
There was Luke.
closed the door and walked to her next room.
“Luke and I do more than make-out.
We talk about serious matters.”
you do.” Sue grinned. “Just wanted to let you know there’s a party
in the guest lounge to celebrate Luke’s birthday.”
never mentioned one to me.”
smile turned sly. “For good reason. Guess he didn’t want you to know today he
turns seventeen. Surprised me when I
learned. He looks and acts our age.”
swallowed. Luke was only seventeen. She’d be twenty-two in November. “But he’s a junior in college. He’s pre-med.”
he’s a genius. Double major, too.” Sue stepped back. “You two are quite the topic in the staff
lounge. Some of the girls call you a
cradle-snatcher. I told them if you’d
known his age you would have cut him cold.”
felt her face flame. How could she have
made such a fool of herself? Luke was
seventeen. She could be in real trouble. Everyone knew and laughed at her. “Look, we’re just friends. We talk about medicine and surgery.”
arched a brow. “With a few anatomy lessons
thrown in. Don’t blame you one bit. I wouldn’t mind a night or two exploring his
body. He is one gorgeous hunk. See you.”
waited until Sue vanished down the rear stairs.
She quickly finished her rooms and fled to the staff sleeping quarters. Tears stung her eyes. Why hadn’t he told her before she’d become
the staff’s joke of the summer?
splashed water on her face. Luke would
be at the reflecting pool. She intended
to let him know how she felt about his deception.