Sometimes to take a step in the right direction you have to run away.
Sarah Collier’s life has always been scripted for her, according to the expectations of her domineering, socially-connected Connecticut family. Everything always went as planned…until the unthinkable happened moments before walking down the aisle. On a whim, she does the first thing that comes to mind—she takes off on her honeymoon, alone. However, Sarah has never acted on spontaneity, so the impromptu trip may not be what Sarah thinks it will.
The quaint and rustic harbor village of North Berwick on Scotland’s East Lothian coast is typically devoid of tourists in the winter. So when an auburn-haired stranger who wanders into his pub on a cold, Sunday evening, Bretton Keith, self-assured and flirtatious pub owner that he is, sees the opportunity for another brief and fun fling to break up the monotony of a village winter.
As Bretton comes to know the sad and beautiful Sarah, he finds it increasingly difficult to uphold his credo of never becoming attached. Can he forget the mistakes of the past and learn to trust another with his heart? All the while, Sarah is experiencing a new-found freedom to dare think of her life in a different way, to truly consider what it is that she wants and what it is that will make her happy. Will Sarah be brave enough to risk it on a man who was so hurt by another that he swore off ever falling in love again, or will the demands of her family prove too big an obstacle to overcome?
He started to move away, but she realized she didn’t want him to. Not thinking about anything else, only a way to keep him close, she reached out, and grabbing his jacket with both hands, she rose up on her feet and kissed him. She could tell he was caught off guard at the very first, but then he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her to him.
He took control, and Sarah parted her lips. He took advantage of that to deepen the kiss, and though her back was cold in the night air, warmth was spreading from her chest to her legs where he was holding her against him. Eyes closed, only conscious of the sensation of where they touched, she felt as if they were part of the beautiful green lights swirling in the atmosphere. She reached up with one hand and skimmed it over his neck and into the thick waves of his hair.
The kiss seemed to go on forever. Bret thrilled at the feeling of her body against his, despite
the heavy winter coats. Her lips were soft, and she tasted of the whiskey they'd been drinking. It was a heady combination. When her mouth parted more beneath his, he couldn’t resist letting his tongue explore the whiskeyed sweetness of hers. His neck warmed from the caress of her hand even though he had been trying to brace against the cold wind. He could feel her hand woven in his hair and heard the soft moan at the back of her throat.
She slowly broke the kiss and slid her hand from his hair, letting it trail down his neck and his chest. She kept it there on his chest for a moment with her head bowed, and he heard her soft sigh. Then, to his amazement, she turned and ran.
He stood there and watched as she ran down the wall of the marina, across Harbor Terrace, and lost her as she ran in the darkness down Victoria Road toward the hotel. He knew it was better this way. She didn’t strike him as the type to be satisfied with just a few nights. Yes, he instinctively knew this, but there was a nagging at him. A tugging that told his instincts that there was something about this girl that he should try harder to hold on to. He didn’t fight the notion because he knew deep down it was true, and the bitter cold of the midnight air hit him in full force as he stood alone on the point, all of her beautiful warmth running away from him.