Authors: Sabrina Sims McAfee
Tags: #romance, #contemporary romance, #african american romance, #romance adult contemporary, #romance africanamerican contemporary, #multicultural contemporary romance, #romance alpha male, #romance and millionaire
The Brides of Hilton Head
Copyright © 2014 by McAfee
Publications & Entertainment
Cover Design by Niina
Interior Book Designing
Editor: Curtis Baker,
Sabrina Sims McAfee can be
contacted via her website:
To my dedicated readers: Once again,
thanks for your support. Because of you, I’m able to fulfill my
writing passion. From the bottom of my heart, I can never thank my
For my son, Anthony.
I’m so proud of you and the man you’re
Every time I look at you, my heart
Thank you for being a wonderful
Love you more,
THE FULL MOON GLOWED BRIGHT in the
dark sky, casting a downward circular light over the brown brick
mansion at the Spauldings’ estate. Crickets chirped outdoors on the
many acreages of emerald grass. Bullfrogs burped, hopping about the
slender grass near the wide marsh. Other than the sounds of small
animals, a quiet stillness eased throughout the small town of
Hilton Head Island this calm, late evening.
Rays from the moon perched around
sparkling stars spilled through the sheer curtains to the inside of
Salina Spaulding’s master bedroom suite. As Salina lay deathly ill
on her back with her eyes closed in her mahogany, four poster bed,
draped with ivory sheer scarves, her bedroom door opened with a
resounding creak. With death closing in on her, she peeled open her
droopy eyes as the rusty hinges of the door assailed her
Struggling to inhale her next breath
through the thin, clear oxygen tubes inside her nose, Salina looked
across the pitch dark bedroom toward the entrance to find the tall
silhouette of the man she’d been waiting for there.
Thank God you came. You’re
going to help me. Dear God, please forgive me for what I’m about to
do. I’m. So. Tired.
Wearing an ivory, silk nightgown,
Salina struggled to bring her aching arms from by her sides to rest
them in her lap beneath the cotton comforter. With a portable
ventilator positioned beside her king-sized bed, she inhaled oxygen
through the tiny tubes inside her nose.
Please,” she whispered,
then swallowed. Pain rippled inside her dry, crackly throat. “Come
in.” She struggled to convey the two words.
He’s here. He’s really going to do it.
Slithers of moonlight
shined on the man as he stalked toward Salina, looking like a tall,
dark shadow. Reaching her bedside, he paused and stood over her for
what seemed like long minutes
change…your…mind. You have to help me.
Standing over her bed, glowering down
at her, he pulled the beaded string of the lamp positioned on the
nightstand, and the gloomy room vaguely brightened. A weary
expression settled on the gentleman’s stubbly round face. Remorse
dulled his eyes.
Oh, Salina.” He shook his
head. “My dear, sweet Salina.” A sharp breath expelled from his
Honing in on her face, his head
tilted. His dark gaze wandered over the ivory silk comforter down
to the foot of the bed, then back up to her face. Watching him
watch her, Salina’s heart grappled inside her aching
Shaking his head profusely, his
shoulders sagged. He swiped his bearded face, placed a black
medical bag on the wooden nightstand, then sat on the mattress next
Are you sure you want to
do this, Salina?” His deep baritone voice flowed over the cold
Salina’s bones pulsed as she sucked
cold air into the sacs of her fluid-filled lungs. She nodded. When
she inhaled a deep breath, even her lungs hurt.
I’m positive. I can’t do
this anymore. Tired.”
Her lids lowered, then reopened.
Thinking about her situation, she turned her head and stared at the
Stricken with amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, Salina had lost a great proportion of her ability to
initiate and control voluntary movements of her bodily functions.
Once a very active and vibrant person who loved to indulge in
outdoor activities and exercising, the disease had now turned for
the worse, leaving her with aspiration pneumonia and severe weight
loss, not to mention her extraocular muscles were affecting her eye
movements and the doctors now felt she needed a
This is no way to live. I’m
alive, but not living. I’m dying.
mind shifted to her husband.
I hate to do this, but it’s time. It’s my time to go home and be
with the Lord.
Dying a slow death, Salina’s entire
body pained against the white, soft cotton sheets. As her trusted,
dedicated friend sat beside her on her bed, she blinked at the
tears teetering on her eyelashes. With a soft pillow propped
beneath her head, Salina turned her head to capture his sullen
gaze. A single tear streamed from her right eye down over her
cheek. Using the pad of his thumb, he wiped the water from her
The muscles in his hairy jaws
clenched. “Don’t cry, Salina. I’m sorry, I can’t do this,” he said
in a shaky voice, shaking his head. He tore his gaze away from hers
to stare at the wall over his shoulder.
Salina slid her hand across the linen
toward him and circled her fingers around his wrist, and he
returned his sullen gaze back to her face. In a whispering tone,
she reminded him, “You promised. Please. I. Hurt. Bad. I want,” she
squeezed her eyelids together, “to die.” Her misty eyes slowly
Her husband, Richmond, would
undoubtedly hate her if he ever found out that she’d taken her own
life. That with assistance, she’d committed suicide. Her little
girl, Isabelle, would hate her, too. But tired of living in severe
pain…she had to do what was best for her.
Not wanting to be a burden on
Richmond, her death would be a blessing for him, she rationalized.
She loved her husband more than anything in the world, and it was
unbearable for her to watch him as he watched her die. Thank God
she’d convinced him to attend his first cousin’s wedding in
Virginia so she could partake in this insanely hideous
Oh, Isabelle, I’m going to
miss you, my sweet, precious angel,
depressed because she wouldn’t
live to see her daughter grow up and graduate from high school. She
wouldn’t get to see her walk down the aisle and get married, nor
would she be there when she’d had her first baby. A tear trickled
down her right cheek.
God, forgive me for
letting you talk me into this,” his shaky voice descended down over
Tears streamed down her friend’s face
onto his dress shirt. Cupping her hand, he hefted it to his mouth
and placed a tender kiss on her knuckles. His lips trembled.
Salina’s chest tightened. She swallowed.
God will forgive us
The man Salina loved so dearly reached
into his medical bag and pulled out a syringe and a tiny, clear
bottle. He stuck the tip of the needle into the bottle and filled
the syringe with the poison.
Giving his head a hard shake, he
lifted her arm from her side, inhaled harshly, and pricked her skin
with the pointed tip of the needle. The cold poison coursed through
Thank you,” she cried.
Discontent hardened the lines of his face as he gently lowered her
arm to her side. “The letter. Don’t forget the letter,” she