He looked like he always did, with long, blond hair and a coppery beard. A plain navy T-shirt showed his muscled arms and the tattoo she had designed. A Phoenix-rising out of the ashes.
They had done that together a couple years back. Given up the coke, the partying, the late nights and rancid mornings, and settled in. Now he was thirty feet below her, hands outstretched, staring up at her with those blueberry eyes. How she loved his eyes.
How she hated this misty compassion he wore like a halo.
What had happened to the heat, the passion? It had been twenty-three days since they’d made love. When she called him on it last night, he said it didn’t seem right anymore. How anything so completely natural could be twisted into something dirty and shameful was beyond her.
Then again, her own mother had made a business of pointing out the spiritual dust bunnies under every soul. So Destiny got it–all too well–and had moved far away from it. She had shed the trappings of religiosity like a snakeskin.
“It’s a cult,” she said. “Just admit it, Luke. You’ve been seduced.”
Luke laughed. “We sit in folding chairs and sing with guitars and a keyboard. We pray easy, just like you and I are talking here. No frills, no pressure. Come along this morning and see.”
“No way.” Destiny leaned over the railing so she could look square at him. “I did my stint in the house of corrections.”
“Dez, it’s not like that.”
“Two services on Sunday, Wednesday prayer meeting, my mother signing me up for every youth activity she could find. Church softball, church quilting, church theatre, church basket weaving. It was all the same story–Jesus loves us and look how happy we are so don’t you want to be just like us? Join us and all your problems will be solved because Jesus works in all things.” Her voice escalated to the edge of shrieking.
So what. She didn’t care who heard her. Maybe if she was loud enough, it would penetrate Luke’s sanctity-soaked brain.
She grabbed his precious flannel shirts and dumped them.
Cord slacks, obligatory navy blazer, his one tie. Up and over.
Black leather jacket, brown leather vest, even leather pants–he was not a vain man except for the leather. Gone, gone, gone.
Excerpted from To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.