Terra ~ one last wish, p.1
Terra ~ One Last Wish, p.1Amelia Grace
A Beautiful Heart Quadrilogy
~ One Last Wish ~
~ One Last Wish ~
Book One of 'A Beautiful Heart Quadrilogy'
Published by Lilly Pilly Publishing 2017
Original draft written 2013
Text Copyright © 2017 Amelia Grace
1st Edition as Terra ~ One Last Wish
Cover Design by Lilly Pilly Publishing
Images by 123 rf
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
Upper Young Adult 16+
New Adult Reading Material
ISBN: 978-0-6480382-9-0 (eBook)
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means
(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.
~ One Last Wish ~
Books by Amelia Grace
1. earth; land.
Love knows no reason,
It has a sole intention of bringing people together
to a time called forever.
1. any of the wild or cultivated, usually prickly-stemmed, pinnate-leaved, showy-flowered shrubs of the genus Rosa.
~ pure, eternal love, unchanging loyalty that endures beyond all else ~
~ friendship, platonic love ~
~ fascination ~
~ love & affection, romantic & abiding love, true love, i love you, desire, courage & passion ~
~ the impossible, or the unattainable ~
~ enchantment, love at first sight ~
~ loss and mortality ~
~ young love ~
I felt it the moment I touched the black wrought iron gate. Like someone had arrived unannounced and vacuumed the entire colour palette from the Earth.
Shock set in, then. And the finality of it all.
You can’t go back.
You can’t change it.
It is finished.
I stifled a sob that hung deep in my chest. Don’t open the gate... I stilled, but pushed Katie’s Gate open anyway. I stepped onto the garden path, my chest tightening. I wanted this house to vanish. I hated everything about it and wished it had never existed!
I snapped my head up at the sound of beating wings.
A black bird flew at me, it’s squawk deliberate and deafening—the black crow of war, and death. I hunched over in self-defence then felt the rippling wave of air from its ugly wing close to my face. A shiver travelled down my spine and I froze. I wanted to leave—but I couldn’t. Gran would have wanted me to be brave, even though I knew about the secret.
I sighed, straightened, and pulled my shoulders back before I walked along the barren pathway towards the house. I lifted the key to the front door lock and pushed it into the shaft. The click of the pins vibrated through me and I felt a shift in my energy.
Somehow, something had changed.
Could a conscious choice change my destiny, or was this my fate?
The door gave a rusty squeak when I slowly pushed it open. I had now exposed the interior of the house like a pathologist performing an autopsy. The aged smell hit me like an unexpected wall of water. It took my breath away and I had the uncontrollable urge to vomit. I swallowed hard and forced the contents of my stomach back down to where it belonged. I took a slow breath to calm myself and walked forward into the hall.
Death was there … waiting for me; thick, stale, suffocating. Panic grabbed me by the throat and I gasped for air as I felt the squeeze of panic’s grip. I had to escape. I fled from the house back through the front door to the dead garden...
My father had told me that Gran had given me a gift, I recalled. He pushed a set of keys into my hand. I was numb from the unexpected death of Gran, and the words had flowed over me in slow motion like I was a separate entity to myself. The house—he had called the house a gift, while he gently laid his hand on my shoulder like he was consoling me.
But he didn’t know about the secret...
I clenched my fists in anger before I turned and re-entered the house like a bull at a gate.
It was just a house, I lied. I shook my head and let out a heavy sigh.
Gran was dead. And she had left the house to me, with a clause:
“To Cate and your descendants only.
Never to be sold to, or inhabited by other people.”
I had been dealt a card of bondage. Perhaps I should lock and seal the house and leave it to become the unoccupied, neglected, mysterious house in the street. You know—that house in the street people talked about, made up far-fetched stories about, and mumbled warnings of a curse if you entered.
I lowered my head.
She was dead.
My beloved Gran was dead...
I entered every room and opened every door and every window. I needed to resuscitate the house from its dormancy. Every door that is ... except for the drawing room. That is where the secret was, unspoken—the secret I felt every moment I was here.
Gran knew about it too. But she never talked about it. I had caught her staring at the floor rug under the coffee table in the drawing room many times with a lost look on her face, painted over with a look of pain and suffering. The secret was in that room, hovering, taunting—
‘MISS. WE HAVE COME TO COLLECT!’
I jumped at sound of the harsh voice. I made my way to the front door and opened it to the sight of a savage looking man. His dark eyes softened the moment he saw me.
‘Come in. Take everything … everything … except from that room.’ I pointed to the drawing room hidden behind the old
Unfamiliar men entered Gran’s house then, and removed all of her belongings; except from the drawing room. I looked at their blank faces. They didn’t know Gran from diddly-squat, and they didn’t care!
I watched as, one by one, my memories were opened with Gran’s furniture and then left, out through the front door. My black rose heart of sorrow was heavy…
‘Goodbye, Miss, and thank-you,’ the man with the harsh voice called as he left.
In silence I nodded at him while his words vibrated through me.
Death. They had forgotten to take death with them…
I made my way to the empty sitting room and lowered myself to the floor boards. I couldn’t shake the feeling I had betrayed Gran by emptying the house of her belongings? But that was what she had requested, wasn’t it?
I lied on my back and rested my hands over my pounding heart.
I needed him. Ben. I needed him here with me. Tears burned the back of my eyes. He was away. Again. It was like having a part-time boyfriend. I never knew when he would return.
My tear dropped onto the wooden floor. I closed my eyes and returned to the Masquerade Ball, New Year’s Eve—the very first awakening of my lavender rose heart: love at first sight.
I was dressed, as every other woman was dressed: in a sophisticated, feminine, beautiful strapless ball gown. The colours varied, but mine was white with gold detailing. A white mask covered two thirds of my face, decorated in gold scrolls with pink glitter swirls, trimmed with white braid with silver highlights. On top was a soft pink flower made from organza and soft pink feathers.
I took a deep breath, reliving the fragrance in the ballroom … it was exquisite: bergamot, green of violet, star anise, and fresh rose, sandalwood, cedar wood, musk and a touch of vanilla.
Every man wore a black evening tail suit with a black velvet masquerade mask. And they looked nothing short of mysterious, refined, dashing.
I twirled around. An air of excitement and intrigue ran through the room like an electrical charge, emphasized by the illumination of the ballroom from the fairy lights, everywhere—just like in a fairytale. By the end of the evening, every woman must have danced with every man. Those were the rules...
The moment my fingers touched those of the mysterious masked dance partner in the final waltz, a jolt of energy ran through my cells, warming every part of me.
No other man had ignited me like that. Ever.
I looked up into his eyes and my breath hitched at the cerulean colour. I was captured, my soul tied to his while time stood still. My heart opened like a lavender rose bud to the morning light, infusing my life force with a fruity fragrance. He was my sun.
He looked down. His lips curled into a small smile and my knees weakened.
When the music stopped he locked his eyes with mine, bowed and kissed my hand with a gentleness that left an eternal impact, leaving a tingling fire in its wake. He lowered his head and gave me a coy smile before he left the dance floor. I took a sharp breath and watched him return to his designated seating at the opposite end of the room to mine.
I was floating. Dizzy. With a clouded head and an impossible smile plastered across my lips I returned to my seat, intoxicated by some sort of endorphin.
At 11.30pm masks were removed and guests were free to mingle. Those were the rules...
I stood, and frantically looked around the entire room for him. But when I found him he was with a stunning woman. My lavender rose heart closed and wilted. I should have known he would be attached. I had foolishly let my hopes soar.
I went to the bar and ordered a “Sea Breeze”, then headed out to the spacious balcony for some fresh air to savour my drink while I wallowed in self-pity.
I sighed. I took a sip of my alcoholic comforter. It trickled down my throat and left a warmth in by belly. I had to leave soon. I had made a pact with my family to leave at the stroke of midnight: “Meet at the Grand Entrance to the Ball, and—don’t forget your shoes!” they had said on parting.
I gazed with longing at the couples who had gathered out on the balcony; whispering, smiling, indulging in each other; their conversations deeply private, meant for nobody but them.
My lavender rose heart changed to a moonflower; dreaming of love, infusing my life force with jasmine, red roses and lilies together with spices of cinnamon, clove and mysterious anise.
I closed my eyes and shook my head to try and rid my headspace of that foolish forever fantasy that there was a soul mate somewhere for me. He would come, wouldn’t he?
I turned and walked over to the Tuscan style planter loaded with roses. I caressed a pink petal between my thumb and index finger, then leaned over to smell the fragrance; notes of honey and almond blossom. ‘Mmmm—beautiful,’ I whispered. I closed my eyes and welcomed the rose perfume that had permeated the air.
‘Mmmm—enchanting,’ a deep voice commented.
I looked up. It was him. My last dance. My sun. No other man had those capturing cerulean coloured eyes. They were almost too beautiful! He was trying to throw sunrays at my wilted lavender rose heart. My lavender rose heart captured them and bloomed and shimmered before my logical mind of reality kicked in.
‘Guys don’t smell roses!’ I remarked.
‘Since when ... now?’ I said with sarcasm. I was familiar with pick-up lines.
‘Since I would help my Grandy in her flower shop. I started helping her when I was thirteen. I developed a great appreciation of the different fragrances, colours and shapes of flowers. I loved the conversations with the customers. Especially the older men. You could see their wives were their whole life. They loved them with their entire being ... I heard many love stories—always from the men.’
I was floating, mesmerised. My lavender rose heart tried to open in all its glory to soak in every precious sun ray he offered, but I found the escape route from his flowing intoxicating words and grounded myself. ‘Nice,’ I said, ‘if it is true, of course!’
‘It is. Ask Grandy yourself. She is here at the Ball!’ He looked at me, his pupils almost the same size of his irises, drinking me in.
‘Wait! You haven’t told me your name—’ I stumbled after I caught my breath. His solar rays were blinding me.
‘Ben, I’m C—’
‘Cate, I know.’
I looked into his eyes and my head spun. ‘I have to go. I’m meeting my family at midnight at the Grand Entrance. Besides, you should go back to your girlfriend. I’m sure she is missing you.’
‘Cate—I don’t have a girlfriend.’ His tongue caressed the “t” in my name.
I lowered my head and smiled as my lavender rose heart almost touched the sun, hoping he would not see my reaction. His words sent an intoxicating melody into my ears and through to my lavender rose heart, like a summer rain quenching the parched Earth.
‘Shall I walk you to the Grand Entrance then, Cinderella?’ he said, teasing me with an added English accent.
I smiled, lowered my head and curtsied.
The warmth of his body radiated to mine while we dawdled to meet my family. He smelled like jasmine, musk, oak moss and sandalwood: full of masculinity. My body sang and I gripped onto every millisecond I could spend with him.
Maybe I should give him my shoe?
Smiling faces greeted me at the Grand Entrance. It was time to go.
I turned to the man who threw sunrays at my heart. ‘It was nice meeting you, Ben.’ My cheeks warmed and I took a deep breath. I wanted to touch him. I wanted to feel that tingle that had travelled through my body again.
He looked down and smiled.
My lavender heart skipped a beat.
‘It was … nice … meeting you, too,’ he said.
I didn’t want to say goodbye. Parting from him was almost painful. It shouldn’t be that way after m
As the distance between us lengthened I felt like my breath had left me for a moment in time. I turned towards him and tried to burn the image of him into my mind. He looked like a prince in his black evening tail suit. His hands were fisted, and then he stretched them out and fisted them again.
I tilted my head on the side, well aware that meeting him would most probably be filed away in my memory bank for what it was; a delightful fleeting moment at a Fairytale Masquerade Ball in my walk on this Earth.
I hoped the disappointment of tomorrow would never come.
The sound of the apartment door bell woke me early the next morning.
I forced my eyes open and groaned, then clambered out of bed and answered the door wishing I could return to my safe haven of dreams and wishes, even if they never would come true.
A delivery boy stood before me. He held a large bouquet of pink roses. They infused the air with hints of honey and almond blossom. I raised my eyebrows before I frowned. ‘Thank-you,’ I said, and relieved him of the mass of flowers. I gave him a tip and took the roses inside my apartment. There was a small card attached, nestled amongst the colour burst of pink and green. The message was handwritten in a beautiful flowing script.
Meet me for breakfast, 8.30.
I’ll be waiting for you downstairs
at the breakfast bar.
Benjamin x x x
My lavender rose heart skipped a beat and changed to hues of red and yellow, joy and excitement, infusing my life force with a fragrance of fruity lemon and a hint of strawberry. Is Benjamin the Ben I met last night? He never called himself Benjamin; he definitely introduced himself as Ben.
It was 7.45am.
In a panic, I rushed around to get ready to meet him. I tried on ten different outfits before I settled on the conservative clothes. I wanted to show him my beautiful heart and mind, not my body.
At 8.25am I took the lift to the mezzanine floor above the breakfast bar. I stopped near the balustrade and gazed over the breakfast room. From there I could see everyone and everything. This would give me a chance to eyeball Benjamin, or Ben, without him knowing.
There were a few families gathered there and many single men dressed in business attire. There were large groups of girls chatting, laughing and animatedly talking with their hands. And there were several guys who sat alone, casually dressed. Most of them didn’t fit the description of how I recalled the boyish good looks of Ben, with his dark brown hair with a cow’s lick on the right side of his head.
But then I saw him; dressed in stylish dark mid-night blue trousers with polished shoes and a white cotton shirt rolled up to his mid-forearm. His legs were crossed and he was reading a book, looking way too relaxed and comfortable.
On the table before him was an artistically wrapped bouquet of pink roses; a perfect match for the ones delivered to my apartment, except smaller. I drew in a calming breath to settle my now erratic lavender rose heart beaming at its sun. My knees weakened and I was filled with an anxiety I had never felt before.
He looked up as I took my first step onto the staircase. His cerulean eyes followed me, step by step. He ran a finger over his bottom lip. Maybe he was unsure if it was me? After all, I wore my wavy blonde hair down, vastly different to the hair artistry of the Masquerade Ball the night before.
As I neared the final steps he stood and walked towards me. He was tallish, about 6’2. He held a coy smile on his glorious face and held my eyes in his. ‘Good morning, Cate,’ he said with perfect articulation, and proffered his hand.
The instant our fingers touched a pleasurable jolt of electricity sparked between us. His lips parted and he took a sharp breath while his eyes widened. He looked away from me and frowned. Was he annoyed?
My lavender rose heart sighed and wilted, and the fragrance vanished.
He seated me at the table then took his time to walk around to his chair. I hoped he was not regretting his decision to meet me. Perhaps he was not the one I had been waiting for after all?
A petal dropped from my wilted lavender rose heart.
I watched him closely as he moved. His shoulders were broad, his chiselled facial features were accentuated by his gorgeous dark hair with manicured side burns. His lips were full and beautifully shaped as he held a lopsided smile that magnified his attractiveness.
My breath was taken away. I moved my eyes away from him to compose myself and remember to breathe again. Then I looked back at him.
He sat opposite me and looked at the table for a moment in time before he finally looked up at me. Again, I found myself wondering if he was full of regret. Maybe I should thank him for the heavenly roses and excuse myself from the table?
Another petal fell from my wilted lavender rose heart.
‘I hope you don’t mind meeting me this early,’ he said in a low voice, and frowned, again.
It was almost like he was apologizing to me. Maybe I should make it easy for him and leave? ‘It was a lovely surprise, Ben, thank-you,’ I said, trying not to fall over my words. He made me nervous. Men didn’t do that to me. I was always in control of the conversation when I was with a man. I looked away from him and twirled my hair around my finger to take my mind off my awkwardness. I stopped immediately when I realised I probably looked anxious, and … immature.
‘I was surprised to see you at the Ball last night. I thought when we finished university I would never see you again,’ he said.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked, confused by his talk about university.
He looked down at the table and tilted his head slightly to the left with a crooked smile. ‘I first saw you at the University Beach Games … but I was too … too … nervous to talk to you,’ he said, frowning and stumbling over his words.
I took a sharp breath. How could he be too nervous to speak to me? It is the other way around.
I smiled at him. ‘That was a mad, awesome, crazy day … how did I not see you there?’ I felt more confident. Life returned to my lavender rose heart.
‘You were totally absorbed in your beach volleyball game,’ he said with the same crooked smile on his face, and looked down at the table, again.
There was silence then, and it felt uncomfortable.
‘So what do you do now, Ben?’ I asked, to keep the conversation moving.
He took a deep breath then looked into my eyes with intensity. ‘I work for Earth Sphere. An International Organisation involved in Earth conservation, overlooking the health of the Earth.’ He stopped talking then. His eyes entered mine and it felt like he was reading my inner thoughts.
I blinked, looked at the table and held my breath. ‘That sounds like an enormous task, and like fighting a losing battle with the ways of industry,’ I said, and finally lifted my eyes back to his.
He nodded. ‘We have meticulous plans for prevention and rehabilitation, regeneration. It is something I am passionate about. I work in intelligence.’ He lowered his head and looked up deeply into my eyes.
I held my breath to calm the feeling of becoming intoxicated by him. The fruity fragrance of my lavender rose heart was addictive, and very persuasive.
‘And what do you do with your days, Cate?’ he asked, caressing the “t” in my name with seduction. Warmth spread throughout me, and my lavender rose heart reached once again for its sun.
‘I am the Founder and CEO of an interior decorating business,’ I replied, watching as he brought his hands in front of his lips, distracting me.
‘It sounds … creative,’ he commented, as we were served breakfast. ‘I ordered breakfast for you … I hope you don’t mind.’
I looked at the food that had been presented. It was very generous. ‘Thanks. I’m ravenous,’ I said, and looked up at him.
His cerulean eyes twinkled and he nodded at me with a half smile.
I think my prince had—
‘MISS BOSWELL! Your furniture is here!”
A rough unshaven man with kind eyes stood before me. I gave him the floor plans of the old house showing where each item of furniture should go.
Then, in a daze, I watched each piece of furniture enter Gran’s house, wrapped in the strong hands of strangers to find its resting place. And one by one, the strangers left after the last piece of furniture was placed into position.
I closed the front door. The transformation of the interior of Gran’s house was complete like a change of season; winter to spring; dormancy to life.
But the secret was still here … waiting.
A rhythmic tap sounded on the door behind me; most probably my family checking up on me.
Hi … come in ... everything is wonderful … come in and see … the house is beautiful … I feel g-r-e-a-t! I mouthed my answers to their predictable questions so I could give them the impression I was coping well. I brushed my fingers through my hair, took a deep breath and reached for the door knob, then counted to ten before I opened it, keeping my eyes on the floor.
When I looked up Ben stood there. He gave me a crooked smile. My lavender rose heart awakened and became red with love and intoxication, permeating my life force with a scent of damask with crushed violet leaves and a hint of lemon.
He touched my arm and his lips lingered on mine with the lightness of a feather before he stepped back and looked at me. ‘Hi,’ he whispered, and smiled shyly at me before he presented a beautiful bouquet of light pink roses to me; Gran’s favourite. ‘I love you,’ he added, as the floral notes of green apple and honey from the bouquet of roses suffused the air.
I smiled back at him, closed my eyes and inhaled the exquisite fragrance of the roses. ‘I know. Thank-you,’ I whispered, and looked up into his captivating cerulean eyes.
His eyes pierced mine and whispered to my red rose heart. It filled with deep love and affection and infused my life force full of hints of honey and almond blossom that glistened in the raindrops to grow tall to him, my sun.
He moved his head closer to mine and kissed me gently above my left eye. My red rose heart deepened with the throbbing heat of love. How could he be so perfect?
I grabbed his hand and pulled him into Gran’s house. He followed me around on the guided tour and commented on various aspects. Then he slowed and pulled me back into his arms. His eyes were full of concern. ‘I can feel your unease.’ He tightened his arms around me and rested his lips against my forehead.
I wanted to melt into him, where I felt safe, protected.
‘It will get easier with time…’ he tried to reassure me.
I wasn’t so sure.
He moved away from me, captured my hand in his and tugged me over to the fireplace in the sitting room. He lit the fire and turned to me, his cerulean eyes searching the depth of my brown eyes. ‘To us, Cate,’ he whispered, then locked his eyes with mine in a powerful intensity.
My lavender rose heart turned into a red rose full of desire and passion, and infused my life force with an intoxicating spicy aroma.
He reached for my hand and guided me to him. Our bodies touched and time slowed down … until Ben’s transponder sounded. He closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. When he opened them he ran his finger along my bottom lip before he pulled the transponder from his pocket and looked at it.
He shook his head in disappointment. ‘I have to go,’ he whispered, before he closed his eyes. ‘I wish I could stay. I need to be with you, just us…’
I placed my hand over his heart and looked up at him.
‘Me, too,’ I whispered back, feeling each of my red rose heart petals drop to the ground. I needed him here with me. He was my life-line. He was my sun. He would protect me from the secret.
He lowered his head and kissed me, lingering, spreading a delicious warmth throughout my body. Then he stepped back from me, turned and left.
I stood alone in Gran’s house, my heart a dried white rose of sorrow.
I was alone with the secret.
Terra ~ One Last Wish by Amelia Grace / Romance & Love have rating 3.9 out of 5 / Based on31 votes