This is but a sample of this story. The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future. From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.Her back was turned to him, so she couldn't see him when he came in. She couldn't see that he was bleeding in half a dozen places, bruised and battered, grass stains on his clothes. The sounds of his panting were enough to turn her attention toward him.
She gasped when she saw the state of him, but didn't have time to ask what was wrong, he began for her, "Do you love me?"
"Really... No matter what happened?"
She pulled a bit of shrubbery from his hair and gently put her hand on his face, trying to reassure him. "Of course I love you. Nothing could ever change that."
"I hope so," he said as he collapsed into a chair, almost in tears.
"What's wrong?" Her voice quivered with concern.
"What if I told you something..." He could barely continue. "Something about me. And it would change everything. Would you still love me?"
"Will you please just tell me what happened?"
"I'm serious. Will things change?"
"How can I know that if you won't tell me what the problem is?"
"It's not so easy, and I'm not all that sure..." He stopped, trying to catch his breath. "It's all so much of a shock, I don't even know what..."
With a quiet, loving tone, she shushed him, trying her hardest to calm him. He was shaking beneath her touch.
"Just tell me what the matter is," she whispered delicately in his ear, "and I promise that it'll all be okay."
He looked up at her, took a breath, and--
The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future. From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.