Green Grass [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Gemini Judson
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
eBook Description: Adrian "Ace" Culpepper is down on her luck. Actually she's been down on her luck most of her life. Her mother died giving birth to her younger sister Holly, eleven years ago. Her card-playing father left her nothing but a garage on a small plot of land. She's a self-taught chemist, distilling her essential oils and making very little money. She's looking for a lifeline. Kevin Shepherd is a graduate student, studying the air quality on a mountain in coastal Maine. He nurses a broken heart from a love affair long gone. When he stumbles and falls one rainy afternoon, an angel rescues him and brings him home to her garage. He enters Adrian's world and says goodbye to his heart. Side by side, with their hearts ablaze, they battle to right old wrongs and heal old wounds. Kevin was looking for fresh air. He found Adrian.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2010
2 Reader Ratings:
4 Cups! "At some time in your life you may have run across a person who is a totally free spirit, and in my opinion Adrian embodies that type of personality. She has so little in material possessions, but is totally blessed with a wealth of courage, strength, and caring. Her eccentricities are adorably strange, and amazingly sexy, a combination which makes her relationship with Kevin oh so very, very hot. They just completely sparkle with life and love in a way that pulls you right into their story and them right into your heart."
Lototy Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
"Rain, rain, go away. Little Kevin wants to play." Kevin Shepherd leaped over a puddle and paused to regain his balance. He forgot his iPod again and had to rely on his own singing to entertain his hike down Jackdog Mountain.
As much as he loved his research, the weekly trek to his air quality monitoring station grew tiresome. Especially when the weather sucked like it did on this day. His raincoat smelled musty and it was his own fault. The last time he wore it, he'd balled it up and stuffed it in his backpack, soaking wet. Today the rain dribbled down his neck and squished in his boots. All he wanted was a hot shower. He'd felt lousy when he left his apartment, and this weather didn't help.
The October colors flooded his senses, despite the muting effect of the rain. He passed through a stand of maples and paused to fill his lungs. The oaks and aspens harmonized to produce a color palette he could almost taste. He drew another deep breath to capture some of their energy.
The New England colors peaked early this year and with this lingering rain and wind, they wouldn't last long. Hurricane warnings were posted far south of the Maine coastline, but any East Coast storm would dump a load his way too. He'd spent an extra amount of time at his data collection tower to reinforce the cables and check the battery pack. There might be some interesting blips if he could keep the sniffers operating during the storm.
He headed down the trail and looked for the shortcut that would take about twenty minutes off his hike. Sometimes he took it, other times he didn't. The steep descent had fewer switchbacks--not a straight shot down, but damn near it. Today he figured he'd slide most of the way down in the mud. He just wanted to get out of the miserable rain. A shiver of icy wind assaulted him and he felt a cold trickle between his shoulder blades. Ah, the life of a graduate student.
When Kevin came to the stream crossing, the usual easy flow roared with vigor and gave it a new face. Normally he would skip across on the rocks. Today he would need an alternate route or risk washing away in a torrent. He stooped to look at the beautiful sight and daydreamed of another place and time, another beautiful rushing river. Jessy Tanner--now Jessy Manzey, was never far from his thoughts these days. The last time he spoke to her, he'd laid it on the line. He didn't expect anything from her, but she needed to know how he felt. Maybe she could help him move on.
"I know you're Conrad's girl and I know you two are meant to be together. I just can't get you out of my head. I love you, Jessy. I really do. What do I do with that?"
"Kevin, what you and I shared together, no one but the two of us could ever understand. It's special. And Conrad knows that and has come to accept it. But he's the light of my life. He's the very reason I take my next breath."
This wasn't a news flash. The depth of Con and Jessy's love was inspiring to Kevin. But it still needled him.
"I love you too, Kevin. But we have to love each other deeply, as friends. You know a part of me that only two other men on the planet know. I like to think it's an exclusive club, and you're a lifelong member."
"Some club. I can't even get in the door anymore. Did you change the secret handshake?"
"I think Con resents that you were ever a member. I have to always keep that in mind."
"Can you say you don't think about me? About how good we felt together? God, you were so amazing in my arms."
"It would be dangerous for me to think about that. You know how important loyalty is to Con."
"I know. I shouldn't have asked. You're too good a woman to be sniffing around me."
"Wait until you meet that girl, Kev--she'll light up your life. Out of nowhere, she'll hit you like a ton of bricks. Wait and see."
Kevin stood and felt dizzy from the rush. "She hasn't come yet, Jess. I'm losing hope."
It's not like he hadn't been with a lot of women since Jessy. It had been four years, after all. They just left him empty and longing for--something. The first year of graduate school had been grueling and now he was up to his neck in thesis research. He felt grateful he currently had little time for women anyway.
He walked along the bank to search for a place to cross the rushing water. The muscles in his legs felt like tissue paper and his backpack weighed more than the contents would suggest. He felt a tug of apprehension when he looked upstream and saw a wall of rocks. I don't remember that.
When he stepped out farther to see around the bend, his boot slipped on the slick surface. He landed with back-jolting thud on a boulder and plunged into an icy pool. Frigid water clutched his limbs and a searing pain shot through his ankle. The wet rocks provided little traction as he struggled to get a purchase and climb out of the water. Finally he sat on the bank, wet to his waist and eased his hiking boot off his already swollen foot.
"Fuck." He tried to stand and winced in pain. "Double fuck."
The wind ripped through his soaked clothes and the rain couldn't decide if it would rather be snow. "I'm gonna be in deep shit if I don't get going."
He hobbled along on his excruciating ankle with the muddy boot under his arm. There was no way it would slide back on. Stupid stupid stupid. Pretty basic Boy Scout know-how. You don't take the boot off. The trail weaved in and out of focus beneath his feet while the trees swirled and laughed above his head. Between his throbbing ankle and his dizzy head, he made slow progress.
In the distance the canopy of trees lightened and he bushwhacked with an erratic path toward the openness. The woods were gnarled and angry, deliberately impeding his efforts as twigs grabbed his jacket and jabbed his skin. Finally he looked down and saw a road far below. How the hell am I gonna get down there?
The answer came to him suddenly as the ground beneath him softened and gave way. He fell onto his butt and slid and tumbled and rolled, branches scratching him all the way down. At the bottom he lay in a heap in a puddle of water. He rolled over and looked up at a mean, gray sky. A quick survey of limbs--nothing broken. Just that damn ankle. He stood, wobbled and fell back into the puddle with a splash.
A weak light illuminated the mist around him. Kevin swiped at his eyes. A vehicle was coming. He stood and fell and stood and fell again, vaguely noticing the forest tipping sideways around him. When he arrived in the middle of the road he stood tall and waved his hands in the air. The lights approached slowly--no, just one headlight. At the last second he prayed they would see him in the gray fog. And the world went dark.