Sentimental Journey

At Lover's Leap, Jessica gravitated unconsciously toward the Eagles' Nest, a man-made aperture that jutted out from the rock face of the mountain. The view was spectacular from the observation point. The air was crystal clear except for a thin band of haze on the distant Great Smokey Mountains. The vivid green of the land contrasted with the sharp blue of the sky, a combination of colors only nature could make.

At the foot of the mountain was Chattanooga. Close to that was the Civil War battlefield of Chickamauga where the South had won its last major victory. But it was the far beyond, the distant horizons, that stunned the imagination. Here was a view of seven states. Directly south was the rolling landscape of Georgia and Alabama. Working north came South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and finally Tennessee and Kentucky.

So wrapped up was she in the sprawling vistas, Jessica wasn't aware of how close she was to the edge until she accidentally looked down. A cold chill ran through her bones, freezing her heartbeat for a terrifying second.

An arm circled her shoulders and turned her away from the edge. Her heart started beating again and she darted a grateful look at Brodie. His smile was gentle but fleeting. Once they were away from the edge and back on the trail through the park, he took his arm from her shoulders, but made no attempt to hold her hand.

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