Okay, here’s teaser #2 of Sweet Fall!
Only 8 days to go until Sweet Fall releases… WHAT???
So without further ado, I present Sweet Fall:
The truck rocked as Austin jumped up with me and he ran his hand through his hair, almost in nerves, as he stood beside me, staring at the view that had me so entranced.
“Austin… the moon. Why’s it so big?” I whispered in awe.
The orange-hued moon seemed impossibly large, so impossibly close. So close that I could almost touch it; it’s hazy reflection spanning the entire width of the river before us as it sat happily on the horizon. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s a Supermoon. The moon’s at its closest orbit to the Earth tonight. It’s size and closeness is an illusion to us here on Earth.”
“When the moon’s that low on the horizon, it appears huge to us, but it’s no bigger than what we see every other night.” Austin pointed to moon before us and I couldn’t help but blink up at him surprise.
“Is this why we’ve come so far outta town. So we could see it in this setting?”
Austin fidgeted in embarrassment and nodded his head in one curt movement. “Supermoons don’t happen often and to really appreciate it, you need to get away from city and all the light pollution.” He then gestured to the stars above. A sky so full of diamonds that it didn’t seem like there was any room for the plain ol’ dark night sky. Every part was packed full of stars. I’d never seen anything like it.
“Austin… It’s beautiful. I… I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s like a dream.”
Feeling his intense stare on me, I immediately looked down, blushing. Austin cleared his throat and took a seat on the blanket, opening his large bag of barbeque.
I joined him on the blanket and wrapped my arms around my legs. Taking a huge steak, Austin leaned back against the side of the truck and met my eyes. I couldn’t help but smile.
“What?” Austin asked warily.
“I would never have thought you would be into all this.” I gestured to the sky. “Astronomy. Supermoons, stars.”
Austin seemed embarrassed and shrugged. Nothing more said in response.
“You sure you don’t want any of this?” Austin held out the large bag of food and I shook my head. Austin tossed the bag to the side, sucked the juices of his fingers and tipped his head up to enjoy the view. I did the same.
“How’s your momma?”
Austin’s breathing hitched for a moment, but then replied, “Still in hospital. But I saw her today and she’s feeling a little better.”
“I’m sorry that she’s so sick, Austin. Sometimes life’s just not fair.”
Austin dipped his head to look my way and asked, “Yeah? And how do you know life ain’t fair, Pix?”
Every muscle tensed at his question. I tried to relax, but I could tell by Austin’s inquisitive expression that he’d caught onto my apprehension. “I just do, Austin. What you see on the surface isn’t always the reality.”
There was an awkward pregnant pause, then Austin said, “You’re preaching to the converted, Pix.”
Austin waved his hand and sprawled out on his back. “Get down here. The view’s better.”
Licking my lips in nerves, I slowly slid onto my back and gazed at the night sky.
Austin pointed his fingers at a pattern of stars. “The Big Dipper.”
I followed his index finger as he mapped out the constellation.
“Wow,” I whispered, the moment feeling surreal.
“Ursa Minor.” Austin continued and I followed his demonstration with rapt attention. “Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Draco…” And he went on, guiding me like Virgil through the complex ocean of stars. It didn’t take me long to stop following his hand pointing up at the sky, and to study the carefree, joyous expression on his usually hard and emotionless face.
He was beautiful… and there was so much more to him than I ever imagined.
Taking a deep breath, Austin lowered his hand, his fingers brushing over mine. A contented sigh slipped through his full lips and I felt weightless as he began making patterns on the back of my hand with his fingertip. He was entranced as he looked down and watched the motion of his caress.
“Why do you love the stars so much?” I whispered, trying to calm the frantic shivers shooting down my arm.
“Niente puo’ essere paragonato alla bellezza delle stelle.” The Italian from his lips was as smooth as velvet.
“What does that mean?”
“Nothing compares to the beauty of stars.”
There we go, folks!
More in a few days!!!