The war has come to an end, but there are still battles left to be fought, especially for Major Hans Dietrich, who awakens in the hospital with no memories of who he once was, or the life and love he had found with an American woman before the war.
This comes as a shock to Sgt. Sam Troy, who was once Dietrich's nemesis, and the brother of the woman who bore Dietrich's child. When Dietrich learns of his relationship with Helen Troy, he exacts a promise from Troy: Not to tell his former lover that he is still alive. Troy agrees, but going home and seeing his sister still mourning for Dietrich tests his resolve.
When Jack Moffitt shows up, telling Troy that Dietrich has disappeared, all bets are off and the hunt begins.
Troy caught the words towards the end of the passage Helen had been reading as she set the open journal down on the coffee table.
"Try not to spill anything on that or I'll strangle you."
"No more coffee, I promise. Are you lonely?"
She smiled wistfully. "Sometimes, I guess. But that was in 1943 and I'd just given birth. Perhaps I wasn't thinking totally straight at the time."
"I mean now. How do you feel now?"
"Better since you came home."
"But, you still miss him, don't you."
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't. Some nights I wake up having dreamed he was still alive and searching for me. The dreams are so real I can feel his flesh, warm and alive, hear his voice, seducing my ears. It's like when we first parted and I still felt his presence. I hadn't for a long time, not since I left North Africa, but, recently the feelings have been so strong it's hard to believe he's dead."
Troy crossed to the sofa where his sister sat and put his arm around her shoulders. "I wish I could help, sis."
"It's okay, there's nothing anyone can do. It'll pass. Just be there for me when the going gets tough."
"I will, I promise," assured Troy, closing his eyes against the pain on the face of his beloved sister, and silently cursing Hans Dietrich for making him promise not to tell her he was alive.
250 pages. $10 for PDF version with color cover.