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Blue sky and sunshine framed by the white wood molding and pale lace curtains provide the backdrop to a scene so much in contrast as to seem surreal. The bright red splashes of blood and the cooling body of a once vibrant soul bear witness to depredations beyond the ken of most. But there are those whose job it is to piece together the concatenation of deadly events to bring the perpetrators of this, and many other, heinous crimes to justice.
Pushing all other thoughts aside I go about collecting evidence and documenting the scene. I stare down into a beautiful face framed by a beam of sunlight and feel as if I should genuflect. I close my eyes and try not to see the similarities to the sleeping blonde beauty I'd left behind this morning. This scene is taking a bit of a toll on me, more so than most, because I know once I wrap this up I can get on with my life. My life. I actually have one these days, have something to look forward to other than the next mystery to be solved. This case was over before it started, eyewitness testimony and evidence collected told the story, and so I am home packing for a long-awaited vacation.
That's right, folks, Sara Sidle is taking a voluntary vacation. Not only that, but I am actually looking forward to it. Traveling to the other side of the country to spend a full seven days in Florida. Fernandina Beach to be exact, on Amelia Island for the Fiesta de Santa Maria. Seven days at the Florida House Inn, a Victorian-style bed and breakfast. Seven days with no cell phone, no pager, no outside disturbances. Seven days to discover, and rediscover, the one who holds my heart.
As I place the last item in my carry-on I hear the sound of a key in the door and I smile. I smile because I know, in just a few short moments, everything that has gone before will be relegated to a distant memory. I hear footsteps and then the slight squeak of my bedroom door. I pretend not to notice as I continue to pack my already packed bag. Just as I was about to turn around I feel arms encircle me and soft lips press a kiss against my neck. My Sofia, my life she's given it back to me.
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