Friday, January 13, 2017
The Dark Heart ~ Part 29
She gave him a playful shove and Jackson caught her hand. “Emberlyn, why did you run from me after our kiss?”
She wrapped her fingers around his and held up their hands. “This is why. I can’t be in a relationship …,” She shook her and lowered their hands. “… not can’t, I won’t let myself be in a relationship.”
“Because of your ex-fiancée?” asked Jackson.
Emberlyn inhaled quickly.
“Tucker told me,” explained Jackson. “Well, Tucker told me the gossip version of the story.”
“I didn’t kill my ex,” stated Emberlyn.
“I never thought you did,” said Jackson. “You know not all men are like him. I would never hurt you like that.”
“He said that too,” said Emberlyn softly. “About a month before the wedding I was having cold feet. I found a text on his phone from my assistant making travel plans for some romantic getaway. I confronted him about it and he said he had my assistant make the plans for us because she knew my schedule. I fell for it. Every excuse and rational explanation he had, I fell for.” She looked at Jackson. “But I always knew the truth. I can tell when someone is lying to me. I just didn’t want to believe it, because I loved him and he broke my heart. I’ve never felt so pathetic and weak as I did after he left me and I lost my baby. So I did the only thing I could and mended my broken heart with the resolve to never fall in love again.”
Jackson gently brushed her cheek. “You said you can tell when someone is lying to you, so tell me, am I lying when I say I’m in love with you.”
“Oh Jackson,” Emberlyn sighed as she leaned her cheek into his palm, “I can’t do this … you have a good heart and I’ll only get scared and break it the way my ex broke mine. I won’t do that to you.”
“Then why are you here?” asked Jackson softly. “Why search me out if you don’t love me too?”
Jackson leaned over and brushed his lips over Emberlyn’s and was relieved when she didn’t back away. Breaking their kiss he looked into her violet eyes, so full of sadness.
“Give me a chance, Emberlyn,” he pleaded.
A tear slipped from her eye. “I want to Jackson, I really do, but my heart is dark and not even you can fix that.”
She leaned in, giving him a gentle kiss on his cheek. “I’m sorry.”
Jackson felt as if his heart stopped beating as he watched the woman he loved walk out of his life.
Jackson blinked hard as he tried to close the cash register out at The Shack. He hadn’t slept at all after Emberlyn had left him sitting in the sand and was dead tired. Even though he spent the night tossing and turning, trying to figure out how to make Emberlyn change her mind, he knew he had to honor her wishes and let her go.
She was right, if she wasn’t ready to move on from her broken heart, then even his love couldn’t fix that. Emberlyn had to be the one to decide she was ready.
The door jingled and Jackson silently cursed himself for not locking the door before starting on the register. How many times had he told his employees to lock the door first, so some thief didn’t seize on the opportunity of an open register and unlocked door.
“Sorry we’re closed,” he said as he looked up, hoping it wasn’t trouble walking through the door. Jackson dropped the twenties he had been counting, “Genna?”
Genna stood in the doorway, her hair was ratted and mangled as if she had been pulling at it all night and the bags under her eyes gave testament to the fact that she hadn’t slept the night before either. Her cloths were rumpled and Jackson noticed cuts on her upper right thigh. He sucked in a breath as Genna brushed a large chef’s knife over her thigh, causing her pants to rip a little more.