Monday, May 17, 2010
Elaine Cantrell and Grandfather's Legacy
I'd like to thank the fine authors who've shared excerpts with us these past few weeks. All of your books sound wonderful, and I promise I'll be reading some of them over the summer. I thought I'd finish the excerpt series with an excerpt from my own Grandfather's Legacy. If you'd like to get a copy of Grandfather's Legacy email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aleisha Kincaid has a terrible choice to make. Thanks to her miserable, controlling grandfather she must marry by Christmas Eve or lose the entire legacy which he bequeathed to her, and the legacy isn't a small one. She needs the money too. Without substantial capital her new business venture is doomed.
That's where Bart Ridgeway comes in. Bart agrees to marry her for a share of the money, but the money isn't his real motivation. he's been in love with Aleisha for years, and he won't miss this chance to make her fall in love with him.
Together they find happiness, but a terrible secret from Bart's past emerges to threaten the life they've made together. Can any marriage survive such a shocking blow?
Bart got up and reached around Aleisha to open the cabinet for her, but she never got that
glass. His eyes found and locked with hers, and one hand came to rest gently on her shoulder.
Aleisha gasped, but Bart soothed and gentled her much as he would a frightened child.
“Shhh, it’s okay. Everything’s okay, baby. Be still. I won’t hurt you.”
Aleisha started to tremble. She took one step backward and pressed against the cabinet
with no place to go. “Aleisha, it’s okay,” Bart soothed. “Shhh, be still, it’s okay.”
Gently, he pulled her against him. “Honey, put your arms around me and hold me,” he
Aleisha started to speak, but Bart cut her off. “Be quiet, sweetheart. It’s okay. Don’t
worry. Nothing’s going to happen to you. Hold me, Aleisha. I’ll feel good in your arms. Hold me. Shhh. It’s okay. Hold me.”
Aleisha’s arms crept around his waist, and Bart had to remind himself to breathe as her
hands stroked his back. He allowed her to touch him for a minute before his mouth sought and found hers. Bart’s heart pounded, and the blood roared in his ears as Aleisha responded to his warm, gentle kiss.
By the time he raised his mouth from hers Aleisha trembled so violently that Bart snuggled
her even tighter against him and settled her head on his shoulder. He ran his hand through her hair and whispered, “Your hair feels like silk on my arm.”
Aleisha raised her head from his shoulder, and Bart kissed her again, a deep, intense kiss
that left her clinging to him much as a drowning man would cling to a rope.
“Honey, let’s go to bed,” Bart urged. “We both want each other, and we’re getting married
in just a few days.”
If he had thrown cold water over Aleisha her reaction wouldn’t have been any greater.
With a sob she shoved against Bart’s chest with all her strength. “Get away from me,” she cried. “Don’t you dare touch me again!”
“What’s wrong? What did I do?”
“I’m not sleeping with you, Bart. I made that mistake once before, and I’m not a fool. I’ll never put myself in that position again.”
“You want me, Aleisha.”
“So what?” inquired Aleisha cuttingly. “I’m not going to do anything about it. Not
tonight, and not ever. Just leave me alone.”
Bart took a step toward her, and Aleisha held up her hand to ward him off. “Don’t come
one step closer to me, Bart. I mean it.”
Aleisha had heard enough. History was repeating itself tonight. The only difference was
that she had a longer walk home this time.
She ran from the kitchen and slammed the bedroom door behind her. Feverishly, she
jerked on her clothes. She hated to ruin her high heels, but she absolutely would not stay in this house with Bart Ridgeway. The man had the morals of an unprincipled savage!
Bart was still in the kitchen when Aleisha tore by and grabbed her coat from the chair in
the living room. “Where do you think you’re going?” he sharply demanded.
Aleisha didn’t bother answering. He didn’t deserve an answer, not after what he’d tried to
do. She thrust her arms into her coat and gingerly made her way onto the porch which wore a solid coat of ice. Actually, it was sleeting right now. The little pellets of ice stung her cheeks and froze her toes.
She finally made it down the steps and started the long walk home. Surely she could walk
ten miles or so, and she should be home by morning. She made it to the edge of Bart’s yard before she fell down. The bruising, heavy fall rattled her teeth and made her see stars. Never mind. She preferred falling down to spending the night with Bart.
This time she reached the highway before she fell down. Resolutely she picked herself up
and continued. It was so cold! Her wet pants legs clung to her like a sheet of ice, and her feet had gone so numb she couldn’t even feel her toes.
She fell down again when Bart unexpectedly grabbed her from behind. “Let go of me,”
Aleisha shouted. “I’m going home.”
Bart gave her arm a little shake. “No, you are not,” he coldly informed her. “Stop acting
like a child and come back to the house before you get frostbite. Don’t you know that you could lose some fingers and toes tonight? You could even freeze to death if you fell down and hurt yourself too bad to go on.”
“Shut up,” Aleisha screamed. “I hate you, Bart! Now let go of me.”
“Stop screaming,” Bart quietly retorted. “I don’t want the neighbors to be bothered.”
Aleisha jerked her arm, but Bart had a tight grip on her, and he refused to let go. “I told you to come back to the house. If you won’t do it willingly I’ll make you. You decide.”