Breathe with Me:Brie's Submission #12

By: Red Phoenix

Dedication





MrRed, thank you for binding me

Heart, body and soul.

I LOVE the call of the jute!



Tono, my muse, thank you for your guidance through this life.

To the many fans of the gentle Kinbaku Master,

Thank you for your enthusiastic support!

“Breathe with me”

is our shared mantra and joy.





Description




When life gets too rough, breathe with me…

Tono Nosaka, the Kinbaku rope master, has known heartache and loss—never defeat. He is determined to claim his soulmate.

Miss Autumn is courageous and talented, but she hides a personal secret that binds her heart. Just when the walls start to come down, Tono has a dream about Brie so shocking he would make any sacrifice to ensure it never comes true.

Love that strong has extraordinary power.





Patience





Tono Nosaka was deeply interested in how the week in Italy would play out after Brie’s wedding. Not only did he want to get to know Autumn better while they explored the country together, but he desired to pursue her romantically with Italy as their backdrop.

Her reluctance to be seen in public outside the safety of her friends had almost cost them the trip overseas. It had taken everything in Autumn not to decline when Sir Davis asked her to be a part of Brie’s wedding line. If it hadn’t been for Lea’s presence as the maid of honor, as well as Autumn’s own longing to be part of Brie’s special day, she would have turned down Sir Davis’s request.

Tono had thought it was a real breakthrough when she’d made that commitment, but he’d noticed how nervous she’d been standing in the wedding line with her facial scars fully exposed. Once the reception was under way, she’d started to gravitate toward the shadows, touching her face subconsciously from time to time.

He walked up to Autumn with a glass of wine and stood beside her as she sipped it. “Would you like to dance?”

She shook her head vigorously. “Oh no, you’re never getting me out on the dance floor.”

“Why not?” he asked with a smirk.

“I may be able to skate with some grace, but I’m hopeless as a dancer with this prosthetic.” She banged her hand against it dismissively.

“I’m certain the grace you display on the ice will not be lost in my arms.”

She shook her head and grinned. “So not going to happen.”

Tono decided not to push her. That she hadn’t covered her face as soon as the ceremony ended had truly impressed him. She seemed to be slowly growing in confidence, and every step forward was a small triumph that needed to be appreciated.

Autumn watched the couples on the dance floor for a moment and said in a wistful voice, “You know why dogs don’t make good dancers? Because they have two left feet.” She smiled at him, her eyes sparkling with amusement.

He smiled, but responded by saying, “You look breathtaking tonight.”

Autumn chortled. “Stop!”

“It’s not polite to turn away a sincere compliment,” Tono chided her lightly.

She stared at him for a moment. “I’m sorry, Ren. I just…” Shrugging, she said, “I can’t compare to the beauty of Italian women.”

He leaned in closer to gaze into her eyes. “You do, and you surpass them.”

Autumn laughed as she took a sip of her wine.

Tono noticed Sir Davis motioning to him. He excused himself from her and made his way over.

Sir Davis pulled him aside. “Ren, I know this is a lot to ask, but I’ve grown tired of the festivities and would prefer to start early celebrations with my wife.”

Tono nodded in understanding.

“I’ve already talked to Brad and he agreed, but I wanted to ask if you mind giving up your dance with Brie?”

“Not at all, Sir Davis. It has been a long day, and I am sure you would like time alone with her.”

Sir Davis put his hand on Tono’s shoulder. “You are a good friend, Ren Nosaka.”

“As are you.”

The groom pointed across the courtyard. “I’ll need you to tell her to go to that entrance. Warn her that the steps are steep. I don’t need my new bride breaking a leg on the way down.”

Tono chuckled. “Yes, that would take pleasure and pain to a whole new level.”

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