Can a woman ever forget her first love?
Can a man ever forget his?
Excerpt copyright 2012 by Fran Lee
He ached to pull her into his arms and comfort her, but he figured that might result in a snapping right hook to his jaw. But even that would have been preferable to watching her sitting there, shaking like a leaf in a high wind, close to tears. He hunkered down so that they were on eye level. God, but he wanted to do exactly what Aunt Molly had demanded of him. He just didn’t quite know how to do it.
“Look…I don’t want you to have to worry about all this. I’ll take care of the rest of Frank’s debts and his funeral. If you want to stay on here, the place is still yours.” He swallowed hard. “I’m damn sorry you didn’t know the whole story before.”
Oh God. How humiliating. Does he think I want his pity? She shook her head and stared into his dark eyes with a little strangled sob and then she bolted. She had no idea where to run. She just wanted to get away from him and the reality of this hopeless situation.
Get me the hell out of here!
He rose to his feet and reached for her arm but she dodged him, slamming out the front door and breaking into a stumbling run as blinding tears made it hard to see the old pickup she ran toward.
He shouted, but she ignored him, running to the truck and tugging on the door handle. Damn! Of all the times to start locking the stupid thing! She ran her hands over her empty pockets. The keys most likely were in the dust back by the feedlots where that damn gelding had dumped her.
Hearing his boots crunching on the gravel drive, she whirled and fled toward the barn, intending to lock the door behind her and tell him to just go away and let her decide what to do next. She felt stupid enough for panicking! But before she even got to the gate of the corral, strong arms caught her and she went totally ballistic, kicking his shins and shoving at his confining arms as he tugged her into his embrace.
“Let me go, damn you! I hate you! I hate you!” Shit, Jack—you’re such a liar! She knew at that moment she wanted nothing more than to turn in his arms and let him protect her. But that damn Irish pride of hers refused to cooperate. So instead, she turned in his arms and pounded at his chest and ribs as he drew her into the solid shelter of his body and cradled her against him with amazing gentleness, considering how she was smacking and punching him.
Damn him! Couldn’t he just let me stew and steam and cry?
She tried to head-butt him, but he wrapped one arm around her waist and caught the back of her head, pressing her cheek into his shirt as she struggled and bawled like a baby.
The storm had been building for a while and now she let it out. Loss, pain and fear for the future had all ganged up on her and now they exploded out of her.
Hold me, Lance. God, don’t let go of me now.
When it had blown itself out, she burrowed her wet face into the curve of his shoulder and drenched the front of his shirt, sobbing uncontrollably as her arms slid tightly around his body.
God, but it feels good to be in his arms
It felt wonderful to be pressed to his warm, solid body. His soft murmurs were unintelligible to her as she let out all the pain and fear of her entire life, her back against the corral gate and her body plastered to his as he held her and rocked her in a way that was oddly soothing. His big hands smoothed over her back and brushed her shoulders as she wept.
When she had no tears left, she simply surrendered her weight to him and clung with all her strength, inhaling the hot, delicious masculine scent that had always left her more than just a bit shaky. Her face was probably streaked with dust and tears, undoubtedly making her look like a mud pie. She just held him tight, afraid that if she let go, he would push her away and go back to being the Lance who had made her feel about three years old when she’d told him that she loved him, all those lonely years ago.
She didn’t want him to see her face. Didn’t want him to get a good look at her rumpled, dirty shirt and jeans. Didn’t want him to let go.
Uncertainly Yours is a story about two people who parted under tense circumstances, and who find themselves thrown together under even more intense circumstances. If, as the Sioux believe, Life is one big circle, perhaps this is their chance to redeem the past...
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