Stanley Fisher, the Steamboat pilot of the Ticonderoga, was drafted and fought in World War I. The experiences he lived though on the battlefield left him wounded -- but not in a way that the naked eye could see. Yet, when he meets Abigail, he yearns for a love like his best friend and Captain of the Ti, Philip found in Ellie. However, with his recurring nightmares from war, what does he have to offer to this special woman?
Abigail's dark hair hung to her shoulders, framing her fair face in shiny curls and her green eyes sparkled when he asked if he could take her bag. A slight blush colored her high cheekbones. He was in trouble – deep trouble. She was every bit as beautiful in person as she was in the photograph Ellie had given him earlier today when she asked him to pick up her friend at the train station. Like a magnet, the picture had held him captive. And now that he saw her in person... he gulped. Not only was she, as his fellow bell bottoms would say, a doll, but even though she was very quiet, the longer they talked he noticed how her beautiful eyes seemed to hold a sort of tempered peace or perhaps it was contentment, which he found completely unattainable.
Never before had he been so enamored, nor had he ever had as much reason to keep far away from that allure. He needed to stay strong. The serenity in her eyes would vanish if she knew the sorrow buried within his heart and how it affected him. Granted, his war wounds didn't leave any scars on the outside, but they were too numerous to count on the inside.
Lord, help me overcome the past.
He took a deep breath and stepped back, widening the space between them. If he could just turn off his thoughts and stop dwelling on his recurring nightmares, he'd be great.
He was sure that's all it would take…time to put his experiences behind him. Meanwhile, he had God, work, friends, and most importantly, the determination to make it through – somehow, someway -- without being a total killjoy and dragging a beautiful woman into the mess of his life.
Abigail finished the letter, tucked it into her handbag, and gazed trustingly into his eyes. "Will you please take me to the steamboat now?"
Stanley nodded and offered her his elbow. "I'd love to." To fill the time and keep his mind off her tiny hand warming not only his arm, but also a place in his heart, he asked, "Have you been on board the Ti before?"
Abigail nodded. "A time or two. My family and I once resided here in Vermont."
"Ah, so that's where you know Ellie from."
"Yes. We've been best friends since grade school."
Desert Breeze Publishing:
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JoAnn Carter writes stories that will encourage your faith through inspirational fiction novels and novellas. She resides in Vermont with her wonderful husband and four children.
JoAnn is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events, and church retreats.
For more information about JoAnn and her stories, please visit her webpage @ http://home.comcast.net/~jo.glenncarter/site/