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READ A SNIPPET from this special romance novel
Outside the moon was shining on Mercury, and the cat was back to sit at his feet and stare as Mercury slowly moved his head to look up at Stella’s bedroom window.
He could feel her kiss on his lips and he felt the slightest pain where his stone heart was. She loved him. Justin had said so, and Justin always knew, just as Mercury did when it was his turn to be human.
Stella tossed and turned until with a start she woke up and lay staring at the sky about to lighten with the dawn. She jumped from her bed, and ran to look out at Mercury who stood there by the fishpond. With her heart thumping Stella threw on her jeans, a sweater, and shoes, and then ran quietly downstairs and out to the garden.
She approached Mercury as if he was her sanctuary. On reaching the statue, she put her hands up to hold his face and kissed his cool lips. When she left her lips against his, Mercury thought his heart might melt, literally, and yet he remained stone. His head inclined to hers as a slight wind ruffled her hair against his face, and he felt a tendril of his own hair tangle with hers. The moment was so special Mercury was able to put the merest pressure on her mouth with his lips, but Stella felt it and her eyes flew open.
She looked at his eyes. Was the kindness back in them? Had she felt the kiss? She didn’t know what to think and then she thought she must be losing her mind. All the same she placed a hand on Mercury’s chest where his heart would be, and she whispered, “Are you falling in love with me Mercury?”
If he could have answered, it would have been with a question of his own.
That morning Stella received a surprise phone call; it was from Justin.
“Justin,” Stella exclaimed when she found it was him. “I sent you a thank you note but I must say it over. Thank you so much for giving Mercury to me. I love him.”
Justin smiled and said, “I knew you would.”
Stella deciding in a wave of guilt for kissing Mercury that to say she loved the statue might sound odd added, “He looks so great in my garden by my fishpond.”
Justin smiled again before he asked, “I was thinking maybe you would like to have coffee with me one day, when you have time.” He made it sound casual so as not to spook her.
Stella remembered Justin’s long chestnut hair and hard body beneath his denim shirt. She considered how kind he had been. She was delighted with the invitation.
“I would love to Justin, were you thinking of today?”
Justin’s eyes sparkled as he looked at Christopher passing him with a carton of potted Rhapis excels and Christopher grinned because he knew who Justin was calling.
“That would be lovely Stella,” he said adding “there is a very nice coffee bar on the high street by the Book Bazaar do you know it?”
Stella did know it and they arranged to meet at two o’clock, which was when the coffee bar would not be quite so busy with lunchtime trade.