Authors: Allison Hobbs
Eleven Months Later
other’s Day. Searching for the warmth of Ammon, Dayna stretched out her arm. His side of the bed was empty. “Ammon,” she whispered sleepily. No answer.
Forcing herself to become alert, she sat up, rubbed her eyes and glanced at the bedside clock. Seven-thirty. “Ammon,” she called out louder, unable to keep the sound of alarm from creeping into her voice.
She called his name again. This time there was an agitated lilt to her tone. Still no answer. Where could he be this early on a Sunday morning? It wasn’t that Dayna felt she had to keep tabs on Ammon; she just needed to know he was okay.
Life with Ammon was a wonderful dream, periodically disrupted by her own fear. That fear now pulled her thoughts back to the day Reed was sentenced to a twenty-year prison term.
The memory of his chilling last threats caused her to shudder. As Reed was being led away in handcuffs, he looked at Dayna and shouted: “It’s not over, Dayna; you’re still my wife. You must be crazy if you think I’m gonna let you run off into the sunset and cheat on me with that sandal-wearing artist. They haven’t made prison bars strong enough to keep me away from you. Trust me; it’s just a matter of time before I get out of here and reclaim you. Your adulterous boyfriend better watch his back,” he threatened. “They got me on these bullshit charges, so if they take me down again…it’s going to be for murder.” Reed laughed and the sound of his sinister laughter still echoed in Dayna’s mind.
Dayna had thought Reed to be a sociopath. He was. But he was also diagnosed as a sexual sadist. She was deeply worried and constantly plagued by the inescapable fear that Reed would find a way to break out of prison and kidnap her and murder Ammon.
To this day, she was still legally married to Reed. He refused to sign the divorce papers, and unfortunately, she would have to remain married to Reed for at least another year.
The elegant dream home she’d shared with Reed, now considered the House of Horrors, was still on the market, unsold. It appeared no one, and certainly not she, wanted to live in a house that had been the site of such a heinous crime.
A note propped against the door of the microwave filled her with instant relief:
I didn’t forget brunch. I’m hard at work at the studio trying
to finish an important project. I’ll be home around ten. Love, Ammon
She breathed a sigh of relief and kissed the note. Oh, how she loved that man.
Ammon, now a successful and financially independent artist, used his former apartment as his studio. Together, he and Dayna lived in a cozy little one-story house that had a hovering weeping willow tree and was encircled by a picket fence.
With her fear of Reed pushed to the recesses of her mind, feeling cheerful now, Dayna filled the teapot with water. Humming softly, she drifted to the cabinet and reached for a bag of dried herbs and began blending together ingredients to brew her favorite tea.
“Hey baby; I’m home,” Ammon yelled.
“I’m in the bedroom,” Dayna caroled, as she gave herself a final look in the mirror. She checked the time. “Ammon, hurry up; you have to get dressed. Our reservation is for eleven o’clock and you know what a stickler my mother is about being on time.”
Wearing a paint-spattered T-shirt, Ammon came into the bedroom and flopped down on the bed. Specks of paint dotted his hands and fingers. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry to shower and change.
Dayna gave him a sidelong look, which she hoped would encourage him to get moving. He didn’t budge.
“She found the perfect match in her new boyfriend,” Dayna continued, deciding to ignore Ammon’s resistance to getting dressed. “He’s worse than my mother when it comes to punctuality. They’re probably both standing in her doorway right now—arms folded, tapping their feet,” Dayna said with a chuckle. Ammon smiled, but didn’t seem to find the comment funny. It certainly didn’t encourage him to start getting ready for brunch.
“Ammon,” Dayna admonished. “Get up. Any second, the phone’s going to ring and I’m letting you explain why we still haven’t left.”
“Okay. Let me rest a few minutes; I’ve been working since four o’ clock this morning.”
“Four o’clock! What were you working on at that hour of the morning? I can’t believe I slept so peacefully without you lying next to me. How come you never mentioned having to work on a special project?”
“Must have slipped my mind,” he said casually.
Dayna swatted his leg. “Come on, Ammon; start getting dressed.” She used a whiny voice to get him moving along.
“All right.” He rose lazily. “Oh, I just remembered something,” he said, sounding suddenly enthused.
“It’s in the living room.” He grasped her hand. “There’s something I want to show you.”
Dayna followed an energetic Ammon. With lumbering movements, however, she could barely keep up his pace.
In the living room was a covered canvas, which she found odd since Ammon hardly ever brought commissioned work home. She usually visited his studio to see his work. With her curious face tilted and resting on her palm, Dayna waited anxiously for Ammon to show her the finished painting.
He removed the cover and Dayna gasped, closed her eyes, and placed both hands on her stomach. Finding it difficult to breathe she began to pant. Ammon rushed to her side. “What’s wrong, baby? Are you all right? Do you want to sit down?”
Speechless, she shook her head and whimpered, “Thank you,” as she pointed to the painting.
The painting reminded Dayna of Ammon’s mural “Family” but with a different twist. In this painting, the man kissed the woman’s neck; his arms were wrapped around her. The woman’s eyes were downcast as she looked lovingly at her man’s hands, which rested upon her swollen belly.
Ammon walked behind Dayna and embraced her from behind. Rubbing her pregnant stomach, he whispered in her ear, “Happy Mother’s Day, baby. Do you like your present?”
“I love it,” she said, weeping. “It’s you and me.”
“And our unborn child,” Ammon added, rocking her while standing.
“What’s the title of the painting?”
Ammon smiled. He gave Dayna a kiss and said, “It’s called ‘Sacred Love.’”
Never had she known such happiness, never had she felt so honored and respected—never had she felt so complete. Every day with Ammon was a joyous celebration. The experience of their oneness was truly sacred love.
Allison Hobbs was raised in suburban Philadelphia. After high school she worked for several years in the music industry as a singer, songwriter, and studio background vocalist. She eventually attended Temple University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She is the national bestselling author of
Pandora’s Box, Insatiable, Double Dippin’, The Enchantress
and the upcoming
A Bona Fide Gold Digger
. Hobbs currently resides in Philadelphia. Visit her at www.allisonhobbs.com and www.myspace.com/allisonhobbs or email her at [email protected]