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Struggling with guilt over her sister's death and the stress of her medical residency, Maya Radelis runs away to Scotland. A robin seems to lead her to an antique shop, where she finds a century-old engagement ring. But what is the ring’s history? She follows the slim paper trail, wondering if it is only coincidence that her dreams reveal the story of a Swiss woman physician who wore the ring during World War I.
In Paris she meets fellow New Yorker David Fischer, a lawyer with family in Switzerland as well as America. He helps Maya follow the memories stored in the ring as they lead her around Europe. The attraction between David and Maya grows, and when they discover a connection between the ring and David’s family, they learn, bit by bit, more about the ring’s earlier owner. Will Maya’s own life have the same tragedy of lost love?
Page Count: 384
Word Count: 94850
With my mind depleted of all rational thought and my feet begging for some relief, I looked around for a place to sit and realized I was standing in front of the dusty display window of a small antique shop.
I would like to say that I noticed the ring in the display right away, but I know now that it had recognized me first. After all, the ring’s features were not displayed in any special way that would catch the attention of shoppers. In fact, it was turned slightly around, as if somewhat shy. An old yellowed price tag half-covered it, suggesting it had been ignored by all but the rare Scottish sunlight for years. But I was unable to take my eyes away, somehow held by its power.
The wooden door of the Royal Mile Antique Collection creaked as I opened it, my arms straining with effort. The shop smelled of the familiar aroma of most places in Edinburgh—mold and whisky. The dark interior revealed several open-shelved cabinets displaying mismatched teacups, whisky glasses, and various jewelry items. A small ray of light from the door in the back was making dust dance over the displays, and I moved toward it with hope.
“Hello?” I called out.
A gawky teenager emerged from the door. “Um, were you needing somethin’? We’re getting ready to close.”
“Can I please see that ring over there in the window?” I pointed.
The teen fumbled with the display case and sighed. “It’s locked, miss. I don’t know if we’ve even got the key. Those items are just a decoration for the shop.”
“I’d really appreciate it if you’d look,” I said and attempted a smile, my patience wearing thin.
He shrugged his shoulders and disappeared back behind the small door, leaving it creaking and groaning as it closed slowly behind him.
I paced in irritation, rubbing my injured hip and wondering whether this store didn’t get many customers or just didn’t care whether they made any sales at all. Lousy customer service, for sure. I walked to the display containing the ring, examining it closely. My reflection stared back at me—a tired and flushed face with a now-fading tan, frizzy brown curls escaping a loose ponytail, and a brand-new tartan lamb’s wool scarf befitting a tourist.
The door opened, but, instead of the teen’s face, a head full of silver hair appeared, leaning low to avoid the doorframe. The head belonged to a handsome and ridiculously tall man. He resembled a college professor, with his pleated brown wool pants and the collar of his white shirt folded neatly over the neck of his sweater. Large glasses and a well-groomed cropped silver beard completed his rather academic appearance.
“Good day. My grandson is telling me ye’re interested in one of my rings?” He gave me an appraising look and offered his hand. “Name’s Ian Fergusson. Which one is it, then?”
“It’s the silver one with the white stone in the middle,” I said.
“Why does this one catch your eye, may I ask?” He raised his brows, but his eyes were kind.
“I’m not sure, actually. It’s just—calling to me.”
He nodded his head a few times. “Aye, that’s the best way to find your pieces. Let them speak to you and tell their story. This ring must’ve found the right owner, then.”
My heart beat faster as he opened the display, carefully removed the ring, and handed it to me.
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