Forever Spring

Forever Spring by Joan Hohl

Book: Forever Spring by Joan Hohl Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joan Hohl
but he felt positive that it would have come anyway before too long. Paul was even positive he knew why she would have withdrawn.
    To a man of Paul’s intelligence and experience, reading Karen’s character was not at all difficult. Although certainly not without its complexities, Karen’s personality was as clear as the cloudless fall sky spread out before him. She was genuinely a good, moral person. She very obviously believed in right and wrong and lived her life accordingly. She worked hard and stood firm on matters of principle, and since that damned call, her principles were giving her hell about sleeping with a man she barely knew. Paul accepted her decision—at least he was trying to.
    Heaven knew it wasn’t easy. But the fact that he’d found Karen after years of believing he’d lost the ability to cherish a woman like her made acceptance more difficult. What they had shared, the sheer beauty of that sharing, had left a mark, a greedy hunger in every cell in Paul’s body. And he believed Karen was special—how else could he explain her seemingly effortless power to arouse him, to awaken the sensuality in him? Oh, yes, Karen was definitely special to him. She was the kind of woman a man wanted by his side—in good times, in bad times, in his home, in his bed.
    Merely thinking the word “bed” tightened every muscle in Paul’s body. Karen. He needed her. But therein lay the cause of his dilemma. Because he had needed her too soon and had given in to that need too soon, he had shaken her, forced her to question herself as a person. He was now paying for his hasty actions and, he felt sure, would continue to pay.
    The piper has presented his bill.
    Paul grimaced as the thought crept into his mind. Instinctively he knew he would be facing a long, cold winter. He also knew that he would survive; he had already survived more than six years of endless winter. This autumn had been a reprieve, a tantalizing breath of spring, a zephyr of renewal on the barren plain of his frozen soul.
    Eyes shut, Paul endured a violent shiver. He didn’t want to go back to being dead in spirit. He had been captivated by the heady waltz of life. Opening his eyes, he turned to look at the closed bedroom door.
    The piper has presented his bill.
    As he took his first stride toward the door, a grim smile tilted the corners of Paul’s lips. He would pay the bill without complaint. But nothing—not heaven, not hell and not Karen Mitchell—would stop him that night. Paul’s jaw firmed as he pulled the door open.
    He would pay the bill—but he would have one last dance.

    Chapter Six
    i aul didn’t knock. Grasping the doorknob, he turned it and pushed the door open. He didn’t wait for an invitation to enter the room, either. His expression determined, he walked into the room.
    “Paul?” Karen’s startled whisper was nearly drowned by the sound of the door banging against the wall. Her body stiffened visibly; her eyes widened with apprehension and, Paul thought, hopefully, a tiny spark of suppressed excitement. “What—what do you want?”
    Talk about obvious questions! Paul might have laughed, and he was tempted to smile, but he couldn’t manage either expression. Hell, he realized with a jolt of shock, he could barely breathe!
    The slant to his raised eyebrow was rakish; the slant on his lips was pure enticement. Paul had no way of knowing the toe-curling effect his appearance had on his quarry. Moving slowly, he crossed the room to where she stood, framed by the window at her back.
    He was barefoot, and the pads of his feet made soundless contact with the soft carpet. Stalking! The word flashed into his mind and shivered the length of his spine. He suddenly felt slightly light-headed, and his pace nearly faltered. Stalking. It was a heady thought, conjuring up images of strong, silent predators closing in on the desired prey.
    Paul savored the feeling, liking it, relishing the vision of himself as the hunter—he, Vanzant,

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