Enchanted Heart

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Authors: Felicia Mason
didn’t want to be.
    There’d been no intercourse tonight. They’d shared nothing but harsh words and hateful accusations culminating in threats from both sides.
    Much like a cancer out of remission and wreaking havoc on unsuspecting cells, losing the stores still gnawed at Cole. There was nothing she could do to ease that pain in him.
    With her arms wrapped around her legs Sonja listened to the silence. She hadn’t realized until tonight just how much Cole needed to feel a part of something. She’d deliberately taunted him, hoping to spur him into a realization that maybe his focus was too intent on things that didn’t matter as much—Brazil being an example—as their relationship.
    Instead, she’d nailed him on the one thing that mattered most to him. Her mind raced with all the nasty things she’d said. Her words had been cruel, but she didn’t regret saying them. They had always been honest with each other, painfully so.
    And apparently, he, too, had spent some time wondering if their marriage was worth saving.
    Cole, murmuring something unintelligible, turned and reached for her. Sonja looked at him then slipped into his arms. Habit, she supposed. Or maybe she was just feeling sorry for both of them.
    His hand settled over her breast. Even in sleep he kneaded her pliant flesh. Maybe he dreamed of how it used to be between them. Her nipple puckered at the attention, but Sonja didn’t encourage him. After a moment, he didn’t stir, but his hand remained cupped around her.
    For a long time she lay there waiting for the old fire to return, and wondering if it could ever be rekindled.
    Lance had almost a forty-minute drive to get home. Not for the first time he thought about buying a place on the Norfolk and Virginia Beach side of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Living in this part of southeastern Virginia offered the flexibility of hanging out in the region’s fifteen independent localities. But more often than not, Lance found himself in Norfolk or at the Beach. As he sped across the bridge-tunnel that connected Norfolk with Hampton and Newport News he thought how much easier it would be if all the communities just merged into one, called the place Hampton Roads since everyone did anyway and got over the parochial in-fighting that snarled so many of the cooperative regional efforts.
    Lance’s relatives would have been surprised to discover that he gave any thought to regional concerns. The truth of it was he rarely did—except when he was on the road. Distance driving gave him a certain kind of peace that allowed his thoughts to roam beyond the usual confines. As his Jaguar ate up the road, Lance briefly took in the lights of Norfolk Naval Station to the far left, but enjoyed on his right the view and sound of the water that led to the Chesapeake Bay. Though he couldn’t hear it over the car’s engine, he knew the water lapped against the pilings and he again thought about moving to the Beach. His apartment in Newport News overlooked the James River, but that wasn’t quite the same as having the ocean as a backyard.
    Ahead, about a mile out, he saw the flashing blue lights of a state trooper and decelerated. This day had already put a dent in his wallet without adding a speeding ticket to the mix. He tried to leave those to Mallory and Cole who snapped up speeding infractions the way discount shoppers hit the blue light specials at K-mart.
    By the time he pulled into his parking spot in the garage of his building it was quite late and Lance was actually starting to wind down. He’d had a long day, and an even longer one awaited him tomorrow. He waved at the doorman and the security guard then made his way to the penthouse apartment he’d bought three years ago.
    He’d barely stepped in the door before stripping off his tie. With a remote that stayed on a table in the foyer he powered up the sound system. Easy jazz, the

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