A woman's perfect life unravels after meeting him.

Chelsea thought her life was perfect until a chance encounter outside her workplace threatened everything she held dear. Doubt and suspicion consume her as she chooses between a forbidden romance and her supposed everlasting love.

Meanwhile, Nikki, Brandon's wife, is determined to protect her interests and seeks solace in Weldon's arms.

Characters in this contemporary drama face the consequences of their actions in a web of deceit, revenge, and redemption.

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Excerpt from Mansion Hill © Copyright 2024 Bruce K. Grant

Chelsea lifted her head to meet Brandon's gaze, seeing her own conflict reflected in his eyes. His hand gently came up to caress her cheek, wiping away the last remnants of her tears. She leaned into his touch, her eyelids fluttering closed as a soft sigh escaped her lips.

When she opened her eyes again, Brandon was staring at her with an intensity that made her heart skip a beat. His eyes darkened, flickering down to her mouth, and she knew what he wanted even before he moved.

Their kiss was slow and deep, filled with unspoken promises they knew could never be kept. Chelsea's hands curled into his shirt, pulling him closer as she gave herself over to the kiss. The familiar ache blossomed within her, an emptiness only Brandon could fill. She knew it was wrong but couldn't bring herself to care, not when being with him felt so right.

Brandon's hand slid into her hair, angling her head to deepen the kiss. A soft moan rose in Chelsea's throat, vibrating against his lips. She shifted closer, her body molding to his until there was no space left between them. The rest of the world faded away, narrowing down to just the two of them and this moment they had created.

When they finally broke apart, Chelsea rested her forehead against Brandon's, struggling to catch her breath. Her lips still tingled from his kiss, the taste of him lingering even now. She kept her eyes closed, afraid of what she might see in his face and the emotions it might stir within her.

Chelsea opened her eyes to find Brandon gazing at her with a mix of longing and regret. His hands still rested on her waist, the warmth of them seeping through her clothes. She could see the conflict in his eyes, torn between wanting more and knowing they had already gone too far. It was a turmoil she understood all too well, her own emotions warring inside her chest until she didn't know which way was up anymore.

“We can't do this,” Brandon said softly, though his grip on her waist tightened. It was as if his body and mind were at odds, unable to agree on the path forward.

Chelsea swallowed against the lump in her throat, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall. She knew he was right, that this was a mistake they would both come to regret, and yet she couldn't bring herself to pull away. Letting go of him now would be like losing a vital organ, an emptiness she didn't know if she could survive.

“I know,” she whispered, her voice trembling. She lifted a hand to trace the line of his jaw, memorizing the shape of his face and the warmth of his skin. It was a goodbye she wasn't ready to give, but the only one that made sense. No matter how deeply her soul recognized his, they were never meant to be. Some paths should not be walked, no matter how tempting they may seem.

Brandon leaned into her touch, his eyes drifting shut. She could see the tension ease from his expression, a bittersweet peace settling over his features. He knew as well as she did that this was the end, a final stolen moment to cling to before they returned to the lives they had built apart.

Chelsea closed her eyes again as a tear slipped free, trailing down her cheek to land on their joined hands. The warmth of it seeped into her skin, a memory she would carry inside her long after they had parted ways. A reminder of what might have been in another life, one without the ties that bound them to others. One where they were free to choose the path their hearts led them down, toward a love that was as doomed as it was destined.

They had crossed a line there was no coming back from. Chelsea knew nothing would ever be the same again, and the thought filled her with both anticipation and dread. She wasn't ready to face the consequences of her actions, but there was no stopping what had already begun. Her fate was sealed the moment she first looked into Brandon's eyes. A connection formed that even heartbreak couldn't sever. And now they were hurtling toward something that would destroy them both, unable to stop the fall that had already started.

 

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