A mushroom cloud rose over the village of Hanbury high into the sky. And with a guttural sound, mounds of earth were lifted up, then hurled back down into the ground.
Meanwhile, from the meadow came the sound of bleating, followed by gunshots. A bullet grazed my ear.
“Hey,” I screamed, into the mist. “Stop it! What on earth are you doing? You nearly killed me!”
“Didn’t mean to,” said an RAF regiment, now coming into sight, gun in hand. “I was aiming at the sheep, they’re running wild with terror!”
He climbed over some mound—a dead cow—and came nearer to see if I was alright. Then he gave me a pat on the back, which started me coughing again.
“What happened in the mine,” I asked. “It was so sudden! Was it a German attack?”
“Who knows,” he said. “Either that, or something else.”
“Such as what?”
“Such as someone careless or improperly trained.”
I raised an eyebrow—not that it could be noticed, with all the soot on my face—and he went on to say, “Yes, someone who tried, perhaps, to remove an exploder pocket without the right tool. It can be something as simple as that, you know, causing a spark to set off a reaction.”
With that he went off, pointing his gun into the dust.
Then—just over the plaintive bleating of the sheep and the chaotic blasts rocking the mine—came a different sound. I listened to it in disbelief. It was the most wonderful sound in the entire world: a hum, the low, familiar hum of my Harley.
There it was, a silhouette of the beast, with Natasha astride on top of it, hair unfurling in the wind.
I wanted to tell her how I admired her courage, the risk she took, riding it all by herself, without my guidance, to get here. I wanted to tell her she should have stayed away. But by now I knew that for me, she would dare take any chance, come what may.
“Oh Lenny,” she said. “You look... I have no words for it.”
Overcome with sudden joy I staggered towards her.
“Come on,” she said. “Let’s go.”
In confusion I asked, “Where to?”
And Natasha said, “Anywhere, my love. Anywhere but here.”
★ Love romantic suspense? Treat yourself to a thrill ★
The complete series:
"The writing of this intense story of love and heartbreak is what makes it a classic. You'll go through the wringer with this one, but you'll never forget it."
~J.A. Schneider, author