Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.
For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.
Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.
Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away.
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A soft sound of regret that he’d given his heart away so easily escaped Dale and then the sudden slowing of the train grabbed his attention. Thrown a little forward by the rapid decrease in speed, Dale huddled back in his seat. No one sat beside him and the magazine he’d placed on the adjacent seat flew off forcefully as the train ground to a halt.
People stood and gaped out of the windows. Dale peered out at the white expanse sparkling in the morning sun, unaware until then that the train had even traveled into snow-covered country. The hum of concerned questions filled the carriage as people looked around and talked in hushed voices. There’d been no collision, no terrible sound of an accident and Dale, in the fog of his misery, waited quietly for some indication of what was going on.
An announcement floated from the practically invisible speaker at the front of the carriage. A pretty sound chimed and a soothing voice stated the obvious before giving information.
“Translines Rail has made an unscheduled stop. We apologize for the inconvenience. There is no need for alarm. We will shortly be mobile again when a passenger has boarded. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your journey.”
Dale bent to pick up the magazine that had fallen to the floor of the carriage. He hadn’t even placed a fingertip on the glossy cover when a hand extending from the cuff of a black jacket sleeve took hold of the magazine, and lifted it.
Dale swiftly looked sideways to see who the hand belonged to, and came face-to-face with a gorgeous man. Something about the man made Dale’s heart lurch, which scared him, and because of the scare his heartbeat increased. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, trying to calm this sudden flare of nerves. He gave up on retrieving his reading material and sat up in the plush velveteen train seat waiting for what would happen next.
“Your journal. Is the seat free?” The man’s gentle voice soothed him only a little as he held Dale’s magazine out, and gave an indicative nod toward the vacant seat beside Dale.
“Thank you, and yes the seat is free.” Captured by his outright beauty, Dale tried not to stare at the man. He dropped his gaze to the colorful shot on the cover, and accepted the magazine, holding it on his lap.
The man sat.
Dale struggled not to look at the passenger beside him, whose cologne now filled up his senses with a delicate, fresh, scent, a fragrance capturing the cool breeze crossing the ocean on a summer night, somehow full of promise. The suit the man wore was visibly expensive. Dale knew quality when he saw it even if it was only on a quick look. As a photographer for major fashion magazines, he’d gathered a knowledge and appreciation for clothes.
Dale stared ahead and wondered if this man was the passenger the train had stopped for. He edged a little away from the central armrest dividing the seats—their size was generous and the man wasn’t even close, but Dale could feel his presence as if gripped by a magnetic force. Finally, unable to help it, Dale chanced a sideways glance.
Copyright E.D.Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing
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