Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Restoration of Abby Walker

Here is a blurb and except of my latest Wings ePress release, The Restoration of Abby Walker.

Blurb: Abby Walker Mulgrew is counting on two things to breathe life back into her marriage: the cruise she and her husband, Wil, are taking for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and the nearly see-through negligee she has purchased for the trip. But the shocking suprise she receives turns her life inside out and sends her into a tailspin.


Abby awakened as sunlight streamed through the break in the curtains and into her eyes. She sat up, blinking to adjust her vision. Wil continued to snore, his face turned away from her. Propping herself against her pillows, she squinted at the clock—seven-fifteen. She rested her hand lightly on his chest, watching it rise and fall with every breath, feeling the heat of his body through his pajama top. She lifted her hand and stroked his thick, silky hair. She had always loved the look of him in the morning, when he first wakened, his hair tousled, the sleepy look of his heavy-lidded eyes.

Wil stirred and shifted. “What time is it?”

“Good morning to you, too,” Abby said, her fingertips massaging his scalp. “It’s a little past seven. I’m sorry if I woke you.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek, then playfully nipped his ear. “We don’t have to be anywhere.”
He looked up at her, his eyes soft from sleep. She ignored the pain lurking just behind them as she bent to kiss him. Her tongue probed his, and her hand slid under the waistband of his pajama bottoms. To her delight, he responded to her touch. Maybe I didn’t need that negligee after all.

Wil reached for her exploring fingers. “Wait. Wait a minute.” He got up and headed for the bathroom. He returned to the bed, removed his pajamas, and lowered himself beside her.

The sex was mechanical and over before it started—at least before Abby started. Wil rolled away from her, breathing heavily.

Abby stared at the ceiling. What the hell was that? When she turned her head to look at him, a tear rolled into the fine, graying hair at his temple. “Wil? Honey, what’s going on?” She placed a hand tentatively on his shoulder, her voice quivering.

“I... I don’t know.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I don’t know.” His voice was tight.

Anger replaced her fear. “If you don’t know, who does?”

Unflinching, he didn’t turn to look at her and didn’t say a word.
She took a deep breath. “We just had sex in under four minutes, and now you’re crying. Something is wrong. Are you sick?”

“I’m sorry,” he said flatly, turning his head and looking at her through glazed eyes.

Now she saw the pain on his face. Her first instinct was to pull him to her, hold him, and ask him to tell her what hurt so deeply. Instead, she sat up, pulling the sheet under her armpits. “Sorry for what?”

Wil turned his gaze back to the ceiling as he spoke. “I’ve tried, Abby. I’ve really tried. I don’t know what happened. Everything just... changed. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. You have to know that, but...” His voice trailed off.

Tried? The last thing...? A shiver shook her, as if an ice cube had been rolled down her spine. A lump formed in her throat, suppressing the scream that pushed its way up from her center. She waited for him to finish, hoping he wouldn’t.

Wil exhaled as if he’d been holding his breath for a very long time. “I can’t do this anymore.”

# # #

Linda Rettstatt

The Restoration of Abby Walker

Now available at Wings ePress

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