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Author's Message

The Marriage Bed

They say that a rose is a rose is a rose, and I'm not one to argue. But then, a rose is an object of beauty and they're all lovely to one degree or another. Now, beds are a different story altogether. A bed can be anything from a mattress on the floor to a gilt four-poster. And while a rose may make you smile, a bed can make you imagine!

Not that I knew that when my husband and I were in a small antique shop in Cayucos, California. A gorgeous tiger oak bed was going to have to be shipped 3,000 miles, but I wasn't going home without it. Well, it was our 25th wedding anniversary, we rationalized, and we had saved so much on the trip staying at my sister's instead of a hotel, using frequent flyer miles and not going to Australia... (OK, so we'd never planned to go to Australia...but we might have!) We reached for our Visa card...

It wasn't until that first night after it arrived that the stories started drifting in and out of my consciousness. How could I help but wonder whose bed I was sleeping in? If they'd been happy? How many nights one of them had clung to the edge of the bed in anger, in hurt? And then Olivia Williamson came to me, clear as a photograph, her hand pressed to her mouth, stifling her sobs. What would make her cry in that big beautiful bed of mine? It didn't take long for Spencer Williamson to appear, so near his edge of the bed that he was in danger of falling off. He reached out tentatively toward Olivia and then pulled back. Was that a tear glistening off his cheek in the moonlight?

A tear escaped from the comer of his eye, trickling silently down his temple to the pillow. He made no effort to wipe it, but swore silently it would be the last he ever shed. Beside him, Olivia released a shuddering breath. If only there had been another way, he'd have taken it. But the farm was too much for one person to handle. And Olivia was so willing, so eager. Despite all his misgivings, he'd finally married again.

But married though he might be, this time he was going to protect himself. He could make sure that he never lost another child because he would see to it that he never had another child. And he would never lose another woman he loved, because, quite simply, he would never love another woman. Not even sweet, innocent Olivia... And that would keep him safe.

I look forward to hearing from my readers. For an autographed bookplate and bookmark, write to me c/o MLGW, 190 Willis Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501. And be sure to check out my web page at: http://www.comet.net/writers/Steph/Steph.htm


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