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Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.
Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?
Page Count: 296
Word Count: 70560
He had better not laugh at me. “You’re stopping in Athens?”
“Yup.” He took the change of conversation in stride. “I’m working for the Baltimore News-Register, doing a piece on the Greek revolutionary movement.” He indicated his ponytail and earrings. “Hence the hippie look.”
She warmed to him.
Several beers later, they wobbled out to the lobby holding hands. Sydney had learned enough to know this Elian was a complex person and really, really cute. When they reached her room, he backed her against the door. She could feel his penis throbbing through his jeans and took a minute to revel in the desire the friction kindled before pushing him away. He set his arms on either side of her and regarded her with serious eyes. “You still don’t remember me, do you?”
She shook her head. She didn’t really want to recognize him. Placing him in some other context could only be deflating. She liked him now, a tall, thin, russet-haired man with a pulsing member and inviting mouth, currently blowing a tidal wave of pheromones in her direction.
He continued to stand there, making none of the moves she wished he’d make. Finally, she took a step toward him and held out her lips. Leaning in, he took them with his. The link pulled the rest of their bodies together. Arms went around waist and neck, bellies ground against each other, thighs intertwined. Sydney fell into a long, dark, winding tunnel that squeezed her, taking her breath away. She no longer felt corporeal, but more like a soft piece of quivering tissue, the bones dissolving, reduced finally to a pool of liquid heat.
He broke away, panting. “Now do you remember me?”
Her arms empty, she tried blinking to drag herself back to the present. Elian swam into view. His cerulean eyes shot signals, signals that she couldn’t decipher. What does he want of me? Why can’t we live for the moment? Just be in the here and now? For an instant she thought of lying, but somehow she knew he would see through it, that it would only push him farther away. “I’m sorry.”
He lifted his hands, then dropped them in frustration. He gazed at her, pleading. She couldn’t help him. Bits of him seemed familiar—as though those features belonged to someone else she’d known a long time ago. Other bits, like his deep, gruff voice and his air of insolence, were strange and new. A fleeting sense of abandonment passed through her. Whoever he reminded her of had left her once before. She didn’t want that loneliness again. She turned from him and put the key in the door. He caught her arm. “We’ll meet again, Sydney.”
She tried to match the hope in his voice. “Perhaps we will.” She ran inside and threw herself on the bed. After a good cry and a call for room service, she paced the room, trying to get a grip on her emotions. Something deep in Elian’s eyes drew her. She didn’t recognize his face, but she felt a nexus, a bond with him. An affinity shared, but long ago. She understood him, knew him. A face rose before her, but all jumbled as though she looked at it through a kaleidoscope. Eyes, chin, nose, cheeks, all split up into triangles and rhomboids, making the face as inscrutable as a Picasso painting. She gave up.
Halfway through the chicken cordon bleu, she stopped, fork stalled two inches from her mouth. Why does he care whether I recognize him? What is this rapport I sense? Is there some deep, dark secret I should know? Oh my God, is he my long-lost brother?
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