June 28, 2010
Return Engagement by Elaine Cantrell
Elizabeth Lane has heard the call of the four most seductive words in the entire English language: what might have been. Would you risk everything you hold dear to find out what might have been? That’s the choice which Elizabeth has to make.
Elizabeth is lucky, for she has it all, money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé. Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.
In this excerpt Richard and Elizabeth have reunited on the beach and spent the evening together after a ten year separation.
They rode the Ferris wheel and the tilt-a-whirl two times each. Then they went through the haunted mansion which gave Elizabeth a great chance to scream and cling to his side. She hid her face against his shoulder, savoring the male scent of him. When they left the haunted mansion, they found a place that sold cotton candy and funnel cakes. They bought a huge amount of both and devoured the sugary treats as if they’d never had anything so tasty. I shouldn’t flirt so brazenly with him, Elizabeth thought but who cares? Her obvious joy caused some bystanders to smile as they remembered their own courtships.
She paused when they passed a shooting arcade. “Richard, you’re FBI, so I guess you’re supposed to be a good shot. Win me a stuffed animal.”
Richard groaned. “Those guns are probably all sighted wrong so you can’t win. Couldn’t I just buy you one instead?”
“No, that won’t do at all. Never mind. It’s okay if you don’t think you can do it,” she replied with no hint of a smile whatsoever. Would he try to win a prize for her or not?
Richard stepped up to the counter and inspected the row of guns provided by the arcade. “Okay, I know a challenge when I hear it. I’ll win you an animal if I have to stay here all night.”
The attendant, a wizened gnome of a man with a sour expression on his face, wandered over to them. “Win a prize for the lady, mister? Dollar a shot.”
“Yeah, I’ll give it a try.”
He selected the gun he wanted and shot, but he missed. “Just as I expected, the sights are off, and it pulls to the left.” He adjusted for the bad sights, aimed, and squeezed the trigger. This time he hit the target dead center.
“Hooray,” cheered Elizabeth. “I want that big white cat over there. How many does he have to hit to get it?”
“Ten in a row,” the man sourly replied.
A few minutes later Richard and Elizabeth walked away carrying the big cat with them.
Elizabeth tucked her arm through his. “This is so exciting! Nobody ever won anything for me before. You are such a good shot. I bet you’re one of the FBI’s best marksmen.” Is he blushing? thought Elizabeth. I bet it’s been a long time since a woman made him blush.
She couldn’t resist the urge to tease him. She came to a halt and looked intently into his face. “Why, Richard, are you blushing?”
The color in Richard’s face deepened. “I don’t think so. It’s just the lights.”
“Oh, yes you are! You always used to blush when I teased you. Did I embarrass you?”
Richard ducked his head, a little gesture that probably sent her blood pressure sky high. “All right, my face does feel a little warm” he admitted, “but no, you didn’t embarrass me. It’s… well it’s kind of nice to have you flirt with me and brag on me. I’m surprised how bad I wanted to show off and win that damn cat for you.”
“You are so sweet,” she declared, giving him a warm smile.
“I don’t believe it! Is that what I get for winning the cat? Sweet? I don’t want to be sweet.” Ignoring the crowds of people all around them, he jerked her close which made her breath leave her in a little woof. “I want to be your lover. I want you to say I’m sexy and that you want me. I can’t believe you think I’m sweet.”
Elizabeth willingly threw both discretion and Alex to the wind. What did discretion or Alex matter at a time like this? “Oh, that’s what you want, is it? I’m glad you made your intentions clear, Mr. Lovinggood.” She took a small step toward him and obligingly tilted her face upward.
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