Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
He sensed her intentions and silenced her declarations of love with a kiss. “Don’t,” he whispered and shook his head. His lips brushed hers in a tender caress with each back-and-forth movement of his head.
“I love you!” She choked out the words when he buried her face into his shoulder.
She’d said it, and Todd’s heart ached with bittersweet pain. Knowing the grief they would cause, he hadn’t wanted to hear those words. He held her and stroked her hair, but never returned the declaration with one of his own.
His orders were to report to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington two days hence, and Todd did not want to encourage her with the fact that he loved her too—more than he’d ever thought possible. Chances were he might not see her again, at least for the next four years. Then there was the war… Knowing Shaunna, if he told her he loved her, she would spend the next four years waiting and even longer grieving if he went to war and didn‘t survive. She was too young for that.
So he didn’t tell her how he felt. He just held her. When her shoulders started to shake, he rocked her in his arms.
“Don’t cry. Oh, baby, you promised,” he groaned and fought back tears of his own.
“I’m sorry, but- but…I don’t want you to go!” she wailed. Shudders wracked her slender body.
“I have to go, sweetie…” He crushed her to him and buried his lips against her soft mouth to hush her ragged sobs.
Shaunna whimpered as he pulled her against him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pressed her body against his. With supreme effort, Todd moved her out of his arms, careful to be gentle.
“Shaunna, we have to stop this,” he urged, his voice thick.
“Why?” He could tell she had no idea of the precariousness of the situation.
He stroked her hair off her face. “Because if we don’t…” His words lingered and he wondered if she understood what might happen between them. Not likely. He kissed her again, but kept a tight rein on his emotions. “Because it’s time for me to get you home.”
She shook her head. “Please, not yet.”
Todd took a full moment to consider what might transpire if he honored her request. “Yes, now.” He pulled her close for one more kiss.
“Will you write to me?” She pleaded, and choked back a sob.
“I’ll try,” he said with a shrug. He didn’t want to appear uncaring or callous. God only knew how much this situation tore at his heart. But he didn’t want to tie her down either.
His heart clenched like a tight fist when hurt clouded her eyes. “I don’t know what they have in store for me,” he explained.
She nodded and bit back another sob. “I’ll never forget you.”
He smiled and caressed her face. No doubt he’d never forget her either. But four years is a long time when you’re sixteen. “Maybe not, but you will get on with your life. Be happy, Shaun, and promise you’ll take care.”
With a soft sigh, she nodded and moved away so he could start the car.
Todd didn’t take his arm from around her when he drove her home, grateful for each moment he had her by his side. He walked with her to the door and pulled her into his arms. With one last tender touch, he kissed her then turned away. His heart broke into a million pieces at her soft cries, but he did not look back. Instead he utilized every ounce of strength he possessed and walked out of her life.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU