GRANTING HER WISH Excerpt (Timeless Keepsakes Anthology)

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“You okay?”

She stared at the gloved hand before her. “What…what happened?” The pavement dug into her hands and knees. Why am I on the ground?

The hand moved closer and she tried to focus. Once the dark leather glove stopped wavering in her vision, she worked her gaze up a khaki green arm, past what she thought must be an insignia of rank, across a wide chest, and all the way to his head.

The soldier’s face swam before her eyes for a second before settling enough to get a good look. A fair complexion, bright green eyes, and a gently turned-down mouth were topped by closely cropped dark blond hair. But something was odd about his uniform. She couldn’t place it.

“Do I know you?” she asked, her voice pitched higher and faster than normal.

He shook his head. “No, ma’am. I was walking by when you came flying straight into my path. Wish I’d seen you sooner. I could have caught you.”

“Ma’am?”

He grinned. “Would you prefer Miss?”

“I’m certainly not a ma’am. I’m only…” She frowned. Why can’t I remember how old I am? She swallowed the bitter taste of bile and forced herself to breathe.

A featherlight touch swept across her brow, brushing her hair back from her forehead. “Looks like you took a bit of a bump to the head.”

Her arms trembled as she pushed herself back. With one shaking hand, she prodded a knot on her forehead and winced. With her other hand, she clasped the open palm he held out to her. His gloves were cool to the touch. Where were her gloves? The wind shoved her jacket wide open.

She stumbled to her feet, grateful for the steady, strong presence of the man beside her. A car horn beeped. The tone grated on her nerves. It sounded wrong. A classic car passing by slammed on its brakes, tires squealing, almost ramming into another old-fashioned car in front of it.

Her thoughts whirled. She flexed her legs trying to ease the ache in her knees. Why had she been on the ground? Nothing made sense.

“I’m Leland Russell.” He squeezed her hand lightly before letting go. “Call me Lee.”

She pulled her coat closed, fumbling with the zipper. The darn thing refused to come together until he brushed her hands aside and quickly zipped her up.

“Thanks.”

“And you are?” He raised an eyebrow and peered at her face.

“I’m—” She cut herself off to rack her brain. “I—I don’t know.” Panic squeezed her heart. “Why don’t I know my name?” Her head ached. A sharp pain stabbed at her behind the eyes. She rubbed them until she saw spots. What’s wrong with me? “What’s going on?”

 

 

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