This Wicked Wednesday’s treat is an excerpt from my upcoming December release – SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD. But first — the winner of the Fear of Flying Blog Contest is Ellen! I’ll be contacting her about her box of books! Also, look for a special guest blog and contest with books and other goodies from Lisa Jackson. Lisa will be dropping by on August 26th to blog.
Now back to SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD.
This story was a wonderful change of pace for me. There’s suspense and action, but also a truly heart-warming tale about two people separated by time and misunderstandings. Macy Ward, the heroine, is the mother to troublesome teenager TJ Ward. TJ’s a good kid, but he’s still not handling the loss of his father from cancer six years earlier. The hero, Fisher Yates, is a decorated Army Captain who is at a cross roads at his life. He has the choice of going back for another tour of duty in the Middle East or teaching at West Point. He’s not really considering the latter since he doesn’t picture himself as a family man . . . until Fate brings him back together with Macy Ward. Fisher can definitely imagine a family with Macy, but what he doesn’t expect to find out is that he already has one — TJ is his son. Together Macy and Fisher must not only work out their differences and rediscover love, but also deal with a threat to TJ and their family. SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD will be out in December 2008 from Silhouette Romantic Suspense.
Today’s Wicked Wednesday excerpt is from a flashback scene to the fateful night when Fisher and Macy first get together! Hope you enjoy it. (P.S. – You may be wondering why a picture of a cowboy. Well, even though Fisher is a soldier, the story is set in Texas so he does his fair share of wearing a Stetson!)
He wanted to lick the plate of the last remnant’s of Miss Sue’s famous apple cobbler, but his dad had raised him to be a gentleman so he held back.
Macy must have seen the hunger that remained in his gaze since she offered up the last few of the pie on her plate. “You can finish mine.”
His mouth watered at the site of those extra few bites, but he shook his head. “I couldn’t take the last of your dessert.”
“Go ahead. I need to watch my figure anyway,” she said, moving aside her plate and pushing hers before him.
Fisher dug into the cobbler, but after he swallowed a bite, he said, “Seems to me you’re worrying for nothing, Mace.”
Truth be told, she had a wonderful figure. Trim and strong, but with womanly curves in all the right places. As he thought about that, he shifted in his seat as his jeans tightened painfully. He had imagined those curves next to him once too often since that fateful kiss.
“Something wrong, Fisher?” she asked, innocently unaware of the affect she had on him.
“Not at all,” he lied, quickly finished the cobbler and paid the tab.
With his hand on the small of her back, he walked her out to the sidewalk where they stood there for a moment, enjoying the early summer night. Dusk was just settling in, bringing with it the cooler night air and the soft intimate glow of the street lights along Main Street as they snapped to life.
“Thank you for dinner,” Macy said, glad for not only the fine food, but his company. He had always been a distant fourth Musketeer to their little group and tonight she had been able to enjoy his presence without the interference the others usually created.
As he turned to look at her, she noticed the gleam in his green eyes. The kind of gleam that kicked her heart up into a hurried little beat. She might have been going out with Tim for as long as she could remember, but she could still recognize when a man found her attractive. And considering her break up with Tim, it was a welcome balm that someone as attractive as Fisher appeared to be interested.
He smiled, his teeth white against his tanned skin and his dark five o’clock shadow. He was the kind of man who needed to shave more than twice a day. He was a man, she reminded herself, trying to ignore the pull of her attraction to him. Nothing like Jericho and Tim even though Fisher was only two years older. There had always been a maturity and intensity about him that had set him apart from the others even when he had been younger.
“It’s early still,” he said, the tones of his voice a soft murmur in the coming quiet of the night.
“It is,” she said.
He leaned toward her and a lock of nearly jet black hair fell forward onto his forehead as he said, “Too early to call it a night, don’t you think?”
She met his gaze, glittering brightly with interest, the color like new spring grass. Kicking up that erratic beat of her heart and making her want to reach up and brush away that wild errant lock of hair.
“Did you have something in mind?” she asked in a breathless voice she didn’t recognize.
“How about a drive? I’ll even put the top down on the CJ.”
She imagined driving through the night, Fisher beside her. The scents of the early summer wildflowers whipping around them as they sped along in the open Jeep through the Texas countryside.
“I think that sounds really nice.”
They drove through the open meadows and fields surrounding Esperanza, the scented wind wrapping them in its embrace while bright moonlight lit the road before them until Fisher took a dirt road to one of the few nearby hills. He parked the CJ so it faced the lights of town and the wide starlit Texas sky.
She imagined she could see the lights of San Antonio, well to the south of their hometown. She and Tim had planned on going to college together there until Tim had said he was reconsidering that decision. She gazed at the lights of Esperanza and noticed the cars parked around Bill’s house where Jericho and Tim would be with the rest of the baseball team. Where she might have been a few weeks earlier if things hadn’t changed recently.
“Penny for your thoughts,” he said and pushed back some strands of wind-blown hair from her face. The pads of his fingers brushed the sensitive skin of her cheek, sending a shiver rocketing through her body.
“Do you ever wonder if some things happen for a reason?” she asked.
“Meaning?” He arched one dark brow in question.
“Tim and me. His breaking it off.” She shrugged and turned in her seat to face him. “If it hadn’t been for that –”
“Being the nice girl that you are, you wouldn’t be here tonight.” He once again brushed the tips of his fingers across her cheek, then trailed them down to cup her jaw.
“Is that what you think I am? A nice girl?” she shot back, slightly perturbed which was ridiculous. She was a nice girl unlike many of the women with whom Fisher had been seen around town.
“Don’t get so riled, Mace. There’s nothing wrong with being a nice girl.”
The words shot out of her mouth before she could censor them. “And boys like you don’t think about doing things with nice girls.”
“Boys like me?” he asked with another pointed arch of his brow and a wry smile on his lips.
Macy fidgeted with her hands, plucking at the seat belt she still wore. “You know, love ’em and leave ’em types like you.”
He chuckled and shook his head, but he never broke the contact of his hand against her chin. Instead, he inched his thumb up to brush softly across her lips.
“Let’s get something straight, Mace. First of all, I’m not a boy, I’m a man. A man whose daddy would tan his hide for the thoughts he’s having right now about the nice girl who happens to be sitting next to him.”
The warmth on the pad of his thumb spread itself across her lips and with his words, shot through the rest of her body. “Thoughts? What kinds of thoughts?”
He chuckled again, only there was something darker and dangerously sexy there this time. “You always were the daring type.”
“He who dares, wins,” she reminded him.
The smile on his face broadened and he leaned toward her until the warmth of his breath replaced that of his thumb against her lips. “Then I guess I should dare,” he said and brought his lips to hers.
The shock of his hard mouth against hers was quickly replaced by a sense of . . . rightness which surprised her considering that this was Jericho’s brother. That up until a few weeks ago, she had thought she was about to embark on a life with another man.
Another man who had rejected her. Who had never made her feel the way Fisher was now making her feel.
The tip of his tongue tasted her lips, gently asked for entrance at the seam of her mouth. She opened her lips and accepted the thrust of his tongue. Joined it with hers until they were both breathing heavily and had to break apart for air.
Fisher turned away from her and clenched his hands on his thighs, struggling for control. This was Macy, he reminded himself, rubbing his hands across the soft denim of his jeans. Jericho’s best friend and Tim’s intended, he reminded himself as he held back from reaching for her again.
Only she wasn’t Tim’s anymore, the voice inside his head challenged and then urged, “And now she can be yours.”
He faced her and seeing the desire in her eyes, he asked, “Are you sure about this?”
She nodded quickly and he didn’t second guess her decision. Reaching into the back seat of the CJ, he grabbed a blanket he kept there and stepped out of the car. Swinging around the front, he met her by the passenger side door and slipped his hand into hers. Twined his fingers with hers as he lead her a few feet away from the Jeep to a soft spot of grass on the overlook.
He released her only long enough to spread out the blanket and then he urged her down.
For long moments they lay side-by-side on their backs, staring up at the late May moon. Listening to the rustle of the light breeze along the taller grasses and the profusion of wildflowers which perfumed the air.
Fisher rolled onto his side and ran the back of his index finger along the high straight ridge of her cheek. He had known her all his life and all his life he had thought she was the prettiest woman he had ever seen.
Much like before, an embarrassed flush worked across her cheeks as she avoided his gaze. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Now why do you think I’m such a hound dog?”
“Because I’ve seen you around town with all those dangerous women,” she answered and the blush along her cheeks deepened.
“Jealous?” he asked, but then immediately confessed, “Because every time I saw you with Tim, I was jealous.”
A little jolt of excitement rattled her body before Macy turned onto her side and cradled his cheek. His five o’clock shadow tickled the palm of her hand. As she met his gaze, made a silvery green by the light of the moon, she detected no deception there, just honesty.
“Why didn’t you — ”
“You were Tim’s girl and Jericho’s best friend. I wasn’t going to be responsible for breaking up the Three Musketeers,” he said and shrugged.
“And now?” she asked, mimicking his earlier move by bringing her thumb to trace the warm fullness of his lips which broadened into a sexy dimpled smile with her caress.
“He who dares, wins,” he said and brought his lips to hers.
Copyright 2008 Caridad Pineiro Scordato www.caridad.com