The Acorn Tattoo
A Novella by Alyse Miller
Sometimes Neverland isn’t the place you go to stay young; it’s the place you leave to grow up.
Claire Baker is an orphan who has always been afraid to open her heart – that is, until she meets Jake Holland, the Boy with the Acorn Tattoo, who sweeps her off her feet with his ocean-timbered voice and sheepish Lost Boy grin. Consumed by their budding romance everything seems to be perfect for Claire, completely perfect —
– Except for Davie, Claire’s childhood friend who’s always held a corner of her heart – the dark, somber-eyed boy who has grown into a handsome, enigmatic man – and who has hooked himself so deeply inside of her she cannot escape him. When Davie professes his love in an unexpected burst of loosened passion, Claire finds herself torn between the two men: the one that’s stolen her heart and the one who’s held it all along.
Now, Claire must navigate through the purities and passions of love and accept the consequences of finally letting her heart take the lead.
Lost in Neverland, how does a girl choose between the Pan and the pirate?
A stir of movement in her peripheral vision made Claire look to the door of the bathroom. Standing in the doorway, looking frayed and feverish, was Davie, dark curls in unruly tangles, his scarf and tie missing. He stared at her like a silent, crazed beast.
For the space of a few heartbeats, they stared at each other, an ocean of unsaid words filling the void between them. Claire stayed as still as she could, hoping that Davie couldn’t see her soul beating wildly against the bared flesh of her chest. A dozen jumbled thoughts raced across her mind. Part of her wanted to cover herself, to cower beneath the filmy water, but another part of her was relieved to be exposed before him—and still another part was curious at how he would react. Looking at Davie, motionless and silent, she wondered if he felt the same surge of strange, compelling emotions. After everything he’d said, everything that had happened, Claire waited on him, letting him choose how this moment would unfold.
When the silence grew dense and threatened to break Davie charged purposely through the open doorway of the bathroom, propelled by some invisible force. He thrust his arms straight into the bath water, lifting Claire out of the tub like a sunken treasure. A waterfall rushed out beneath her and she flung her arms around his neck as her wet, naked body pressed against the cool fabric of his snow-dampened suit. She made small, half-protesting sounds of surprise as he thrust the other arm under her hair at the base of her neck, twisting his fingers in her curls as he stared into her eyes, the desperate man on the sidewalk driven now by desire with nothing left to lose.
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About the Author:
Alyse Miller is a young women’s fiction writer with a penchant for romantic and speculative twists. She lives in New York and can often be found writing in dimly lit coffee shops while drinking chai tea.