Read Across Eternity Online

Authors: Aris Whittier

Across Eternity

Prologue
 

Logan Richards tightly gripped the steering wheel as he slammed on the brake
and came to a jolting halt in the middle of the busy street. Chest tight,
breath abated, his heart leapt while he frantically tried to organize his
thoughts as he watched the woman move down the crowded sidewalk. Craning his
head, Logan followed her closely as she moved in between
people—disappearing and reappearing—it would be devastating if he
lost track of her amongst the crowd.

Where was she going? Logan thought frantically. His pulse raced wildly as he
momentarily lost sight of her. And then, after a few seconds, he released his
breath in a ragged sigh of relief as he watched her walk into
The Pavilion
.
"It’s her," he whispered to himself. "It’s really
her."

He had waited for this moment his entire life.

Chapter One
 

Logan Richards sat quietly in the five-star restaurant, enjoying the elegant
outdoor terrace. The weather was perfect, just as it always was in the beautiful
coastal city of Dana Point, California. He looked over his shoulder and stared
wistfully into the waning darkness as the cool wind pushed its way across the
sea. If he had arrived only an hour earlier, he would have been able to see the
sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean, all the way out to Catalina Island. The
harbor would have still been humming with sailors, anglers, paddle boarders and
tourists. As dusk settled, almost everyone had moved on to other things.

The table, where he sat, was the same as the dozen or more that surrounded
him. Crisp, snow-white tablecloths cascaded to the floor, dancing in the salty
breeze. If he chose to eat, which he doubted, dinner would be served on fine,
gold-rimmed white china. The tableware would be heavy silver and the stemware
delicate crystal.

Small copper lights shaped as lanterns dangled overhead. The flicker of
candlelight, centered on every table, lit the terrace with a warm glow,
creating an intimate ambiance. The large stone fireplace, directly across from
him, would add to the cozy atmosphere during the cool winter months.

As Logan sipped the glass of iced lemon water, his eyes moved across the
room and fell upon a lovely young server. She was wearing black slacks and a
perfectly pressed long-sleeved white button-down shirt—just like the
other servers. Her hair was chin-length, jet-black, and the cut was rather
sassy. Tiny wisps randomly shooting out in different directions gave her not
only a mischievous appearance, but also a very sexy one. When she moved about,
gold hoop earrings caught the light. Her figure was slender but flared into
perfect curves at her hips. Her frame was of medium build, and he put her at
five-feet seven.

Logan leaned back in his chair, relaxing, as he enjoyed the soothing music drifting
from speakers that were hidden in the purple flowering vine growing around the
veranda. Their sweet aroma clung to the cool evening air. Casually, his eyes
followed the enchanting woman before him.

Logan’s gaze moved with her, never leaving her, as she worked the
floor. She moved with ease and confidence, and she did her job well, he noted.
She was cleverly efficient as she bounced between four different tables with a
total of eighteen patrons. She never missed a beat as she went down the lengthy
list of wines, the specials of the day, and the ordering and serving of the
food.

Others at the restaurant told him that her trademark with the customers was
her smile, and he could see why. It was wide and inviting, and she was generous
with it. It didn’t hurt, either, that her lips were full and perfectly
shaped.

Logan, however, found her natural allure more appealing than her renowned
grin. She drew you in with so much more. Her vibrant blue eyes, with unusually
dark rims and thick lashes, reflected kindness and deep emotion. Her incredible
laugh, which caused her eyes to crease at the corners, instantly brought you
pleasure. Her warm, casual disposition made you feel appreciated and accepted.
She was magnetic in the most earnest way. It wasn’t one thing that was
the root of her incredible allure, he decided, but a mix of many. He eagerly
waited for the moment when he’d personally get to experience it all.

Merely watching
her
took him back to the earlier
childhood times when he had initially begun to see her. He was about three when
he saw her for the very first time. He was playing in the sandbox in his
backyard, his parents working in the garden nearby, when she had appeared right
beside him. Even though it was the first time he’d seen her, he remembered
feeling like he’d been waiting for her for a long time. He was so happy,
when she appeared, that he offered her his favorite dump truck.

Logan shifted in his chair as he stared out into the dark ocean and
remembered their first encounter: Dressed in faded denim overalls, she scooted
through the sand to sit next to him. "Thank you," she said as she
looked up at him through long blonde curls, her green eyes staring deeply into
his. He knew she was special the moment he saw her and it wasn’t just
because his mom and dad couldn’t see her—it was because she was
his.

He saw her like this for years, her blonde hair and green eyes. She grew as
he grew, and over the years, they played and talked, everyday, for hours.
However, things changed when he was around ten-years-old—a day he would
never forget. He was sitting in a large oak tree, reading a book, when she
appeared on the limb next to him. He was happy to see her. He was always happy
to see her.

"Where have you been," he asked curiously. He’d come to
the tree, looking for her—waiting for her— because it had been
hours since he’d last seen her. They were never apart for that long.

"Around," she said, with a teasing smile. "What are you
reading?"

He flipped the book over so she could see the title. "
The Little
Prince
, by Antoine de Saint-
Exupéry
,"
he said.

"I wish I had time to stay and hear about it—"

"What do you mean you
wish
you had time to stay?" She
always had time to be with him. They were together more often than not. And
besides he always told her about the stories he read. They shared everything.

"We’re not going to be able to meet like this anymore,"
she said, with a forlorn expression. Her eyes were averted as she sadly stared
at the ground.

He knew this day would come. He had felt it. Besides, for the last few
months, she hadn’t come around as much, so he knew something was
happening—changes were being made. But he knew he wasn’t going to
lose his best friend forever. He could never really lose her. They could only
be separated for a little while. "You’re coming here aren’t
you? You’re going to be born," he said with excitement. It’s
what he’d been waiting for.

She nodded.

"Why do you look sad?" he asked as he moved next to her.

"Because I don’t want to leave you."

"You’re not really leaving because you’re coming
here," he pointed out logically. "We’ll be together on this
side—both of us, at the same time. It’ll be great."

"It’s not that easy."

"What do you mean?" he asked curiously.

She shook her head as she pushed a long lock a hair from her eyes.
"Logan you know that you’re special, right?"

"I know that
we’re
special."

"You’re special," she said. "You see me and remember
me, but that’s not how it usually works."

"What do you mean, that’s not how it usually works? I remember
you every time—all the time. You are all I remember."

"You see me right now because you’re special," she
explained. "You remember me because you’re special. But we’re
not supposed to remember each other, and we’re definitely not supposed to
remember when we go back." She looked at him as her eyes filled with
tears. "I won’t be special like you. I won’t remember any of
this when I’m born." She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
"I won’t remember you because no one remembers when they go
back."

Logan sat very quietly, waiting for her to continue.

"We won’t be together because I won’t know who you are and
you won’t know who I am."

"I will find you," he said confidently.

She shook her head.

"Yes, I will."

"How will you know it’s me?"

"I’ll know." Even at his young age, he knew that souls
never really changed, only the physical body did. "Trust me, I’ll
know you the second I see you."

His statement caused her to smile slightly. "And if I don’t
remember it’s you?"

"I’ll help you remember."

"You promise?"

"I promise." He was quiet for a moment, and then he said,
"I’m going to miss you."

"I’ll miss you too."

"I’m going to spend every day of my life looking for you,"
he vowed.

She smiled, and then looked over her shoulder, glancing about as if she
didn’t want her next words to be overheard by some unseen entity.
"I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I want you to know because
I think it will bring you comfort."

"What is it?"

"You’ll dream of me. They keep talking about dreams. For some
reason, they are going to help you."

Confusion moved over Logan’s face. "You know it’s hard for
me to sleep."

She nodded. "I know."

"And when I do, I never dream," He shook his head. "I
can’t remember ever dreaming of you."

"I don’t understand, either, but I’ve overheard people
talking on this side and that’s what they’ve said. My time is
coming soon, so I have to go," she said quickly. "Remember your
promise."

She was gone.

Logan blinked twice and realized his gaze had moved from the dark ocean back
to the beautiful waitress. To him, she looked younger than her twenty-seven
years. Perhaps it was the sweet innocence radiating from her that produced her
youthful look. Or maybe it was what he felt inside as he watched her that made
her appear so full of life. She bewitched him, and yet they had never even
exchanged a single word. As far as he knew, the young waitress didn’t
have a clue he even existed. He found that very ironic, considering he’d
always known she was somewhere out there.

He smiled to himself as he watched her serve an order of food. She pointed
several times at the menu, nodded at a question, and then gently laughed at the
customers comment. In this lifetime, she was a blue-eyed, black-haired beauty.
He’d always wondered what she would look like in this life. Now he knew.

Logan sucked in a deep breath because soon she would be finished, and when
she turned, she would be staring directly at him. The first look between them
would tell him all he needed to know.

To say that he’d looked forward to this moment was an understatement.
He had anticipated it his entire life. He ran his hands across the tablecloth,
the movement unsteady and very uncharacteristic. There wasn’t time to
consider the sudden nervous tension because when she turned, everything stopped
and became calm again. His eyes sought hers, and when they locked on the
piercing blue, he immediately knew she felt what he felt—a connection so
strong that it couldn’t be denied.

There was no doubt in his mind that the impact of their connection affected
her, because for a very brief moment she paused, and merely stared. It was a
knowing stare, and during the short lull, her smile slowly faded and her
expression turned acute. She became fixated on him in the mere seconds their
eyes met.

Logan watched his raven-haired waitress quickly excuse herself from the
group of people—a lovely smile, a friendly bow. Her sway was swift, but
casual, as she guided herself through the maze of tables and people. As she
drew closer, he knew that she was the one. There could be no other. The energy
building between them could not be wrong. When the time was right, he would be
completely honest with her. And she would understand. He knew she would.

En route to him, a gentleman put his hand out to stop her. Logan liked the
fact that she held his stare for several seconds before she gave the patron her
undivided attention. He smiled at her—the understanding smile of a man
who didn’t mind the interruption—and then slowly nodded. He was in
no hurry.

Actually, he wouldn’t mind dragging this out. It was sweet torture.
He’d watched her before, but at those times, she’d never seen
him—he hadn’t wanted her to. But now that she was looking at him,
intrigued by him, he felt in utter awe of her. Even more so than the first time
he’d seen her. Logan had never been so taken by anyone, and prolonging it
now would only add to it. Still gazing in her direction, a hidden smile moved
his lips as she turned, established eye contact and then started toward him.

"Welcome to
The
Pavilion
. How
are you this evening?" she asked, as she stopped near his table.

Logan sucked on a piece of ice as he listened to her voice for the first
time. It was as captivating as she was. That lovely voice had lulled him,
seduced him, and given him hope. It was amazing to hear it for real, in person.
He set his water down and smiled gently. "I’m well." He found
her eyes. "And you?"

"I’m well, as well." Her grin widened to a full smile.
"Thank you for asking."

He heard the tone in her voice change slightly. "You thank me like not
many people ask you how you’re doing."

"Not many do," she said seriously. "And those that ask are
never sincere." She looked away shyly, and then said, "There was
sincerity when you asked."

He watched her as she regarded him, her eyes narrow, a serious expression
etched into the delicate features of her face. This was the closest he’d
ever been to her. He knew, of course, that close proximity to her would only
magnify the pull he felt toward her, but he never imagined it would be this strong.
The distance between them was nearly intolerable. He
needed
her close to
him.

What he
needed
was to touch her, but it was much too soon for that.
He resisted leaning in closer.

"Do I know you?" she asked curiously.

Logan wanted to say
of course you know me
, but he knew that
wasn’t what she meant. So he shook his head as he tried to censor all the
emotions he was experiencing. "I don’t believe we’ve
met."

"I feel like we have." Her voice was a soft whisper as she
stared intently at him.

He enjoyed the way her eyes roamed over him as he spoke. Having her stare at
him so keenly was nothing new, for she had looked at him that way many times
before. First when he was a child, and then when he was older, in his dreams.
But none of those times compared to now. He watched her closely as her gaze
moved across his face, taking in each feature, as if it would tell her
something about him. Her stare was astonishingly intense, and consequently, he
felt like she was touching him, not just looking at him. The contact, even
though it wasn’t physical, was glorious. It seemed almost impossible to
imagine what it would feel like to hold her.

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