Home > My Image of You

My Image of You
Author: Melanie Moreland




My fingers yanked impatiently at the silk of the tie I was attempting to get in place. I cursed through gritted teeth as I looked at the skewed knot, and once again tore it off. Taking a deep breath in, trying to calm myself, I started over. A memory stirred of the last time I wore one of these godforsaken things.

Her small hands held the length of silk, her touch confident as she twisted and tugged, smiling while she patted the perfect Windsor knot in place. Standing on her tiptoes, she stretched up to smooth my shirt collar, and I ducked down to help her reach. Her warm fingers slid along the collar as she pulled and adjusted, her voice low and teasing. “Considering the magic your hands can create with so many other things, you would think you could figure out a tie, Adam.”

Growling, I lifted her off the floor easily, holding her to my chest. “I’ll show you magic later, my girl. My big wand and all.”

Her giggle made me happy, her kiss was filled with warmth, her touch love personified. She was mine.

I shook my head to clear it as I looked in the mirror, my face angry now as I yanked the knot too tight. I didn’t have her touch anymore.

He did.

Grabbing my rarely used suit jacket, I thrust my arms into the sleeves, then added my press credentials and phone to the right-hand pocket. I frowned when my fingers brushed something in the bottom of the pocket and I pulled the item out, stopping when I saw the piece of pink paper. She always wrote me notes on pink paper.

Thank you for doing this. I love you. —Your Nightingale


Her writing. Her words. Her love.

Lifting the paper to my nose, I could still smell the faint scent of her on it. Light, airy, floral. She always smelled so good to me. Like home.

I looked at the words again and swallowed the painful lump. I had worn this jacket to have dinner with her parents, Sarah and Ronald—a dinner neither they, nor I, wanted to be at, but I did it for her. Back when she was mine.


She wasn’t mine anymore.

Tossing the note onto the table, I picked up my camera, although I didn’t plan on using it tonight. It was the prop to get me in. The only way I could think to come face-to-face with the past that haunted me. To get answers to the questions that echoed in my head daily. To stop the ache that burned in my chest every waking moment. Maybe once I did, I could move on.

I ignored the voice in my head telling me moving on was something that would never happen.

But I was going to fucking try.



Part 1

Our Beginning



Chapter 1


I swung myself up onto the ledge, cursing Sean silently as I shifted and balanced. Tonight, of all nights, was when he had his boats out, and he wanted this picture. He rarely asked me for anything outside of work, so I couldn’t refuse him. It had rained earlier and now all the surfaces in the city were covered with a thin layer of ice after the temperature dropped suddenly—an unexpected thing in March. The angle was wrong from the ground, however, and I needed this extra height to give me the right depth for the shot.

I lifted my shoulder to distribute the weight of the rucksack. I should’ve shucked it off before getting on the ledge, but my assistant, Tommy, had been a no-show. The roof was covered in half-frozen puddles, the gravel and sand accumulating with leftover snow in small piles. I didn’t want the bag to get wet or stolen—the contents were far too valuable. I wasn’t the only one out on this night enjoying the view. Several people were milling around on the large rooftop, although I was sure I would be the only one climbing the ledge. At least it was a cold, clear night—perfect for what Sean wanted—with no wind to hamper me. The cold I could handle. The wind was just a bitch.

Another few inches—that was all I needed for the perfect shot. My foot carefully slid along the ice as I balanced myself and the camera, the view coming into perfect focus, the water smooth and reflective. The shutter clicked as I got shot after shot of the illuminated boats anchored in the harbor. I only needed a couple more, then I was done. A sudden shout and a hand on my leg caused me to start, my foot to slip, the bag on my shoulder to shift, and me to lurch sideways. I heard another shout, felt the sharp tug on my coat that threw me backward, followed by a nasty pain in my head…

…and then the world went black.

My eyes flew open, my entire body in panic mode. The space around me was dim, unfamiliar, and unfocused.

Where the hell was I?

Someone was bending over me; the weight of their body on my chest felt peculiar and not welcome. My head ached and throbbed, and there was something wet and cold in my eyes. My arms felt heavy, as if they were restricted when I pushed on the weight, which only seemed to increase, and I started struggling in earnest, cursing and striking out blindly.

“Get off him!” A voice broke through my panic. “You’re frightening him!”

“He needs to be restrained! He’s been fighting us the whole way here!”

“He needs to be looked after and his head is bleeding again! Back off, Hank. Now!”

Gentle hands touched my face as I turned my head, trying desperately to focus and figure out where I was. A voice, close to my ear, low and caring spoke. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re safe. Please stop thrashing, you’re making the bleeding worse.”

Blood? I was bleeding? Is that what was in my eyes?

I shuddered, and a wave of nausea washed over me.

God, I couldn’t stand the sight of blood—especially my own. It was one of the few things I couldn’t handle.

Somehow, the quiet timbre of her voice helped to calm me down and I drew in a deep breath, pulling in the needed oxygen.

“Good. That’s good,” the voice soothed. “More deep breaths, Adam. Good.”

I turned my head toward the sound of the voice. “Where am I?” I rasped.

“You’re at Toronto General. You fell. Do you remember?”

I frowned, searching my brain, and then it all came back.

The shot.

The ice.

The hand grabbing me and the shout.


That little fucker had startled me.

I tried to sit up, struggling against the sheet and whatever machines they had hooked up to me. “My camera. Where’s my stuff?”

Hands on my chest eased me back. “Stay still, or I’ll call Hank back. Let me flush your eyes and finish cleaning your wound. The butterfly bandages they put on it didn’t hold.”

“My camera?” I insisted.

“You should be more worried about your head than your camera.” She chided me.

“My camera is worth more,” I quipped.

I heard a sigh, then felt the weight of my camera in my searching hands. “Your stuff is fine—somehow your camera hit your bag, not the rooftop. Your equipment and clothes are right here. Now will you settle down?” There was a pause and her voice became more teasing. “Or I’ll get Hank back. Your choice.”

My fingers ran over the metal and plastic, checking for cracks, grateful it seemed to be fine. “I’ll behave,” I grumbled. “No need to get the fucker back.”

“Language,” she admonished.

Cold hit my forehead with a stinging sensation, and I jerked.

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