Please enjoy this special scene between Jasper and Callie from FAR FROM BROKEN and I'll see you in the new year!
Callie finds Jasper in the salon early one afternoon. “What are you doing?”
He steps aside, revealing a neat little metal square on the floor, about the size of a large gift box. “A present? From who?”
“It came express. I think it might be from the general.” He frowns. “Which means it might not be entirely safe to open.”
She chuckles. “There’s only one way to find out, I suppose.” Stepping closer, she kneels down in front of it. It’s plain. Just an ugly gray metal box. “How does it open? It looks seamless.”
Reaching out, she picks it up. It’s heavy, but Jasper kneels with her and together they tip it over. “There,” he says, pointing. “A button.”
Looking into one another’s eyes, they share a spark of childlike excitement. Callie smiles. “Who gets to push it?”
“Shall we shoot for it?”
She’s been practicing with his Tesla gun, but knows she’s still no match for Jasper. Shaking her head, she holds out her gloved hand. “Arm wrestle?”
He breaks out into laughter, knowing there’s no contest in that. Her mechanical hand has the strength of ten men. “Why don’t we just push the button together then?”
He reaches out, but Callie stops him by leaning in for a kiss.
It starts sweet and soft, but soon becomes hot and deep, and he’s lost himself in her.
She breaks away suddenly, leaving him breathless and reaching out to pull her close again, but then he catches the glimmer of mischief in her eye, and the grin that curls her swollen lips. “Don’t you dare—”
But she’s already pushed the button, laughing joyfully. He shakes his head, but inside he’s pleased. Every day she grants him a smile is a gift, but when she actually laughs aloud he thanks God for miracles.
The box starts to rumble, and they both turn their attention to it. It shakes across the floor. Standing, he pulls Callie up and they step a few feet back. The box is unfolding itself. As it opens, they see that inside is a kaleidoscope of greens and reds, silver and gold.
“Goodness,” she says. “It’s so beautiful!”
“But what is it?” He peers closer. The box is no longer a box. As it continues to shift, he’s still not quite able to pinpoint what it is.
She grabs his arm, and looks up at him with stars of wonder in her eyes. He’s completely captivated. “A tree! Jasper, it’s a tree. Complete with Christmas decorations. Look!”
And then he recognizes it too. The box has indeed transformed into a kind of tree. Made of metal tubes shooting every which way, it’s both the oddest looking and most unique Christmas tree he’s ever seen. On its limbs there are small rings, and each ring holds a pretty little ornament. Some are gold, some silver, and some red.
Once it’s fully formed, the room falls silent. They stand together. He takes her hand, and she leans into him. “It’s lovely,” she whispers.
He agrees. “Whoever put this together is a genius. I wonder if—” He reaches out to touch it, and as soon as he makes contact, the whole tree lights up. Light shoots out the ends of each of the metal tubes until it is completely enveloped in a golden glow.
He turns to his wife. The woman who held his heart and warmed his soul. “Merry Christmas, my darling.”
She looks up at him with a teasing grin. “It’s no sprig of mistletoe, but I still think you should kiss me.”
He smiles. “I think after this, the response should be more than just a kiss, don’t you?”
© JK Coi 2011
FAR FROM BROKEN now available from Carina Press
Colonel Jasper Carlisle was defined by his work until he met his wife. When the prima ballerina swept into his life with her affection, bright laughter and graceful movements, he knew that she was the reason for his existence, and that their love would be forever.
But their world is shattered when Callie is kidnapped and brutally tortured by the foes Jasper has been hunting. Mechanical parts have replaced her legs, her hand, her eye...and possibly her heart. Though she survived, her anger at Jasper consumes her, while Jasper's guilt drives him from the woman he loves. He longs for the chance to show her their love can withstand anything...including her new clockwork parts.
As the holiday season approaches, Jasper realizes he must fight not just for his wife's love and forgiveness...but also her life, as his enemy once again attempts to tear them apart.