Today’s Sneak Peek is Identity by Christine Mazurk, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).
What It’s About:
Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.
Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest
Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.
In “Identity” by Christine Mazurk, a young woman embarks on a complete life-change after losing more than 100 pounds, and through a twist of fate finds herself training for a marathon under the guidance of a super sexy coach. But when she starts falling for the hunky trainer, can she trust her new-found confidence to take her to the finish line?
“I found it on a beach on Munnatawket Island.” The girl’s dark green eyes sparked, or glistened with unshed tears. Mike couldn’t tell which. “Since it’s engraved, I thought it might be valuable.”
He huffed out a breath, staring at the luggage tag—a gift he bought for his dad last Father’s Day. “It is valuable, in more ways than you know.”
She stared at him, an odd expression on her face. She started to say something, then stopped, and instead rested her right hand on his arm. Warmth seeped through his skin, and the freshness of his loss re-surfaced.
Two weeks; two long weeks ago.
His throat tightened as hot tears rose, and he coughed to cover his emotion. He shifted, unsure how much to share with this girl, a stranger who brought him a gift, one that punched him in the gut and sliced open his heart.
“Do you want to talk?” she whispered, her gaze drinking him in. “When I touched it, I felt a wave of sadness. Now, I feel that from you.”
Oh shit, not here, not in front of the staff.
“Come back to the office,” he said, his voice unsteady.
She followed him, and he counted the click of her heels as a distraction to tamp down his pain. Long limbs in tight jeans. In the office, she stared up at the wall of medals, and he couldn’t help but notice the tight curve of her butt. Even in her high heels, the top of her head barely reached his shoulders. He stepped away to put some space between them.
“They’re my dad’s. He was an Ironman.” He fingered one of the awards.
“Was?” She had a beautiful face and thick dark hair that shimmered in the light.
“Sit, please.” When she did, he sat down next to her. “I’m about to spill my guts, and I don’t even know your name.”
“Bryce Evans,” she said as a soft blush washed over her cheeks, causing her eyes to appear an even darker green. “I should have introduced myself, but I was taken by your emotion.”
“That apparent, is it?”
“It’s the way you handled the tag.” She shrugged and seemed embarrassed.
“He was returning from Ironman St. George in Utah when his private plane went down in the Sound.” This time, he didn’t bother stopping the tears. He let them flow. Something about this girl opened the floodgates, and his words tumbled without faltering.
“St. George was his fifteenth race. When he called me, after the finish, he sounded excited but exhausted. He said it was one of the toughest courses he’d ever done, so it wasn’t his fastest race. He described the aggressive climbs on the two loop course, and the scenic mountainous run, but he was just stoked to cross the finish line to add one more medal to the wall.”
“I’m so sorry,” she said as she took his hand. He watched as tears spilled over her long lashes, and his heart clenched. “You must have been close.”
“We were. The ironic thing is I left my career as a regional sales rep to strengthen our bond. I became his partner less than six months ago, and now, he’s gone.” A sob escaped. “I’ll never see him again.”
Bryce surprised him, when she dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She hugged tight and cried with him.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, a voice whispered, Don’t let go. And Mike wondered what he should hold onto, the memories of his dad, or this girl who just popped into his life?
Like what you’ve read? Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).