Dain has lived a total of ninety-nine different lifetimes and in every single one, he has loved the same girl.
Their past is marred by ill-fated romance and almost encounters.
Evil forces have conspired to keep the two of them a part and it seems to have succeeded ...
Tara is gone, and in her place stands Bonnie, the complete opposite of Tara.
Is Dain's shot at love over or has he lived all these lives because he has loved the wrong girl all along?
A hundred chances at love ... and it comes down to only one
We sat across from each other at a small, round, wooden table in the crowded restaurant where
Tara had insisted on eating. It seemed swanky with its beige table clothes and polished silverware,
and we’d had to drive a few miles to reach it. The occupants of the tables around us were largely
wealthy looking Latinos and people of Afro-Caribbean decent. The restaurant felt more crowded
than it actually was because the tables had been pressed together to form a clearing where a few
couples danced. Tara tapped her fingers against the table rhythmically to the beat of a heavily
Caribbean infused song. An awkward silence spread between us. I thought she was crazy, and she
was obviously aware of the fact. That caused a bit of discomfort, I guess. The idea that she found
my suspicion amusing made me even more convinced that she was an insane asylum escapee.
"You are being unusually quiet," I said, leaning across the table and placing my hand on top of
hers, effectively stopping the tapping.
She looked at me with a challenge in her eyes. "How would you know," she paused
I rolled my eyes. "Oh, please. Don't start with that reincarnation crap."
Her eyes narrowed. She looked dangerous. "Crap? Really? You can call what we shared crap?
That’s just insensitive."
"Tara, I don't remember. This all sounds far-fetched to me." I softened my voice as I tried to calm
her. If she was dangerous, I didn’t want to upset her before I got the hell away from her.
She nodded. "Fine. Why am I here with you? Why did you even ask me to come if this is all crap
I shrugged. Why had I asked her? The truth was that I wanted to be around her. Crazy or not, I
needed to get to know her. I couldn’t explain it, so instead, I lied. “I was hungry and thought you
might be too.”
“Huh. Well, let’s order and eat so I can get the hell out of here.” Her voice dripped with
“Tara, can’t we just get to know each other?”
She shot daggers at me with her eyes. “I already know you.”
I dug around his bag for the pants then started for the trash.
“You can’t throw them out!” The frantic voice on the brink of insanity froze me in my tracks.
“Why not?” I tried to keep my tone soothing, not wanting to push him over the edge.
No answer. I inched toward the trash. I barely had anytime from when I heard him move to when
I felt him, to respond. The wall pressed against me. My hands with the pants and shirt holding me
from totally being face planted against the wallpaper. Dain pressed against my back. My breath
came out in fast, deep puffs. The fear that I probably should have felt did not come.
“Dain, please relax. You have to let me get rid of them. I can’t let you keep thinking about this
more than I have to.”
“That’s all I have left of my mother.” His voice was raw, broken that it nearly shattered my heart
along with my soul.
“I’m sorry, but you have more left of her than that. Let me go okay?”
I felt him still. “God! I am sorry. Are you—” He stepped back as I interrupted.
“I’m fine.” I turned to face him. He had only taken a step back maybe just half of one. Enough
that I could turn away from the floral printed wall and face him.
“I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I am really—”
“Stop. Don’t you dare apologize to me! I did this. Don’t you see? I watch you falling apart,
knowing full well that I am the reason. You can blame anyone you want more than me, but know
that nobody can hate me more than I hate myself for the part I played.”
His eyes bore into mine. Intense and never wavering. “I blame myself more than I blame anyone.
I tried to put this on you, Marco and Bonnie, but all I was doing was trying not to blame the one
person whose fault it really is. My own. She was protecting me from a situation I caused. My
mother died because of me. I’d rather her betray me a hundred times than save me once and die
My heart shattered there in my chest, the shards piercing everything it could and the pain was
millions of silvery splinters of ice. Dain, poor Dain. I dropped the clothes and pulled him to me
once again in an embrace.
“This is not your fault. Your mom was an amazing woman. She made the choice. She did what
any mother of worth would have done. Don’t ever blame yourself for someone else’s actions.
Ever. Don’t question or take fault in her heroic choice; a choice she made for the love of her son.
Don’t you dare tarnish her memory or her legacy. That legacy is what is left of her. It is what she
left for you not bloody clothing.”
I held him tighter, burying my hand into his hair at his neck and pulled his head to me. “It is an
honor to love you. Your mother knew that. Even I realized it the first time I saw you.”
There was a strong pull for me to kiss him, to draw him the rest of the way to me and press our
lips together. To fall into him as our tongues met. I am not sure where the pull was coming from.
The feeling was all too familiar. Too familiar.
Fear seized my body. No. No no no. Not again. Oh God don’t let this happen. Don’t let me do this.
Not this time, please.
“Akila, what the hell is going on?” Dain’s voice shook with uncertainty.
“I-I’m not sure. I am not hundred percent certain but if you don’t move, I think I might kiss you.
No actually, I am sure I’m going to kiss you. So please move.”
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