They say life often imitates art… In this case, the art imitates life. In different context, and with some slight modifications of the actual wording (Tamia’s explanation, mostly… had to modify it to fit the storyline of the book), the dialogue in this scene is drawn directly from my own life, much as the man involved is based on the real-life man with whom I had the conversation in question. The real life conversation happened on a cold, snowy night just three months before my world turned upside-down in a very bad way).
“Midnight Confession” — Excerpt from TERMINAL HUNTER (Underground, Book 3):
“Why is it so hard for you to admit when you’re hurt?”
Silence answered him. At first, he thought she’d ignored him, but then a huge sigh lunged through her. She turned in his arms, and the haggard misery of her face stopped the breath in his lungs as pain seared through him. God, he hated to see her hurting like this. He wished he knew how to exorcise it from her. But how did you erase the past?
“After David, I promised myself I’d never let another man see me cry,” she admitted in a small, shaky voice. “He used my tears, my pain, to make me his slave. Crying was humiliation, and humiliation was punishment for not doing things David’s way.” Her mahogany eyes grew hard and cold. “The day David died, I made myself a lot of promises. The most important one was that I’d never give anyone the power to humiliate me, ever again.”
Rick’s eyes closed, and he cursed David Farenes to the deepest bowels of Hell. The bastard more than deserved the worst torture Hell could dish out. He’d wounded Tamia physically, mentally and emotionally, and Rick kept running up against the walls Tamia built because of Farenes. Because of that bastard, Rick already nearly lost Tamia more than once. He wasn’t about to risk her retreating again.
“I don’t want power over you, sweetheart, and I sure as hell don’t want to humiliate you.” He brushed soft kisses over her damp cheeks. “I just want to help and comfort you. I don’t want you to feel you’re alone.”
His fingers skimmed over the silver hololocket around her neck, and he watched another shudder lunge through her. He knew it was a wall breaking loose. His gaze moved back to her face, and he saw her eyes fill with tears. Then, in a small, heartbroken voice, she whispered, “Hold me.”
Without a word, he pulled her into his arms. He held her while she buried her face in his neck and sobbed out all her pain and fear, and his heart cracked. He rocked her gently, until her sobs subsided and she slipped into sleep. Staring down at her sleeping face, he made her a silent promise. From here on out, everything he did would be to protect her. No one was ever going to hurt this woman’s heart again, if he had anything to say about it.