What do you do when you run into an old flame at the most awkward place?

August 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all having a wonderful weekend, and I hope that you are enjoying my new book, Lake of Lies.

Samantha was in for quite a shock when she went home to meet her new boyfriend’s parents.  Now, she has to deal with the fall-out. 

Excerpt 2

This was turning into a nightmare.  She felt trapped.  She began to think of plausible excuses to return to the city, but she couldn’t find any.  Not one reason that would stick.  Besides, she couldn’t bring herself to lie to Derek.  She was stuck in this situation for better or worse.  Unfortunately, she felt that there was no better, only worse. 

            As she listened to Derek talk her his mother, she tried to regain her composure.  Seeing Nick again made her feel like all of the puzzle pieces of her life were strewn across the floor.  In one minute, her life made sense.  In the next, everything had come unglued.    

            An elderly man appeared at the door.  “Dad, how’ve you been?” Derek asked standing up to greet him. 

            “I’ve been good.  How about you, son?” his father replied hugging him. 

            “Great, I was just telling mom about a new account that I landed.”

            “Now son, you know that I don’t like to talk business at home.” 

            Derek looked away, but not before she saw the disappointment in his eyes.  Derek had taken over the family business for his father.  The business, Daniels Investments, was doing better now than it ever had under his father.  Still, despite the success of the firm, Samantha sometimes wondered if it truly made Derek happy.    

            “Samantha, this is my father, Thomas Daniels,” Derek introduced.

            Thomas reached around Derek to offer his hand.  She accepted it with a warm smile.  He was a tall, lean man.  The silver tint to his hair glinted in the light from the window.  His glasses were perched on the tip of his nose, as he assessed Samantha.       

            “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Daniels,” Samantha replied. 

            “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Samantha.  We’ve heard so much about you.  Derek said that you work for an insurance company?  How do you like it?” 

            “I like it a lot.  I’ve worked for this company for about a year, now.  Things are going really well,” she responded. 

            “She knows Nick,” Derek chimed in.  “He sold a computer system to one of the companies she used to work for.”

            “Oh really, where was that?” Thomas asked curiously. 

            Samantha struggled to keep her cool as she answered.  Atlanta.  I moved to Florida about a year ago.” 

            “Why did you move?”  he asked. 

            Because your other son broke my heart, she wanted to say but didn’t.  “It was time for a change,” she hedged.

            “Really?  Why is that?” he prodded. 

            Samantha glanced around the room, as if seeking an escape.  Despite the fact that these questions were meant to be harmless, they felt like daggers.  Daggers she didn’t have any defense against. 

            Luckily, Derek’s mother saved her, by saying, “Would you stop the inquisition, Thomas?”  Turning to Samantha, she put a comforting hand on her shoulder.  “Samantha, you look exhausted.  Why don’t you two go up and get settled?  Dinner will be ready in about an hour.” 

            Derek guided her down the hall to the staircase.  He took her hand to lead her up the staircase.  As they reached the top, he turned to her with a concerned look on his face.  Mom‘s right.  You do look a little under the weather.  What’s wrong?” he inquired.  His thumb came up to trace the line of her jaw. 

            “I’m fine, really,” she assured evenly.  “I’m just tired.” 

            He leaned in closer to kiss the top of her nose before leading her down the hall.  He stopped before a door.  “That’s my room,” he said noticing her view.  He went to stand before a door to the right of his own, his hand on the doorknob.             

            “Derek, I put Samantha’s bags down the hall across from Christina’s room,” Nick explained causing Samantha to jump. 

            Derek’s head snapped around, his irritation clear.  Nick cocked his head to the side walking over to stand in front of them.  “Unless of course, you two want to share a room,” he suggested icily. 

            Samantha suddenly felt like she was in a bull’s pen with nowhere to escape to.  “Who’s Christina?” she asked in an attempt to break the tension. 

            Nick looked at her, his eyes narrowing.  “Derek didn’t tell you about Christina?  I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, since he didn’t mention me,” he reminded, glaring at Derek.  “Christina’s mother was a friend of the family.  She died from cancer when Christina was about 16.  Mom and dad took her in.  Christina is like a sister to us.” 

            Samantha could’ve sworn that she caught a gleam of challenge in Nick’s eyes as he stared at Derek.  Derek glared back, taking Samantha by the hand.  “I’ll show Samantha to her room.”   

            Nick watched them walk down the hall.  Maybe this was the way it should be?  There was no doubt in his mind that Derek was looking for someone to settle down with; and, the last time he saw Samantha, that was exactly what she wanted.  Maybe it was meant to end up like this?  Still, he knew that a life of seeing Samantha with his brother would be no life at all.  Maybe it wasn’t serious?  She hadn’t said that they were sleeping together.  But then again, she hadn’t denied it either.  The thought of Samantha with his brother made him sick.  It wasn’t fair. 

            After all those months of searching for her and his brother is the one that finds her.  Life always seemed to have a funny way of punching him in the gut when he least expected it.  The worst thing was that he still wanted her.  Three years had done nothing to quiet the urge to have her.  It wasn’t as if he had been celebate in that time.  He had dated other women after the break up.  But none of them had even come close to her.  And now, it was too late.  Realizing he was staring after them like a fool, he turned and went downstairs.

            Derek led Samantha into a room to the left of the staircase.  She stepped inside looking around in awe.  The walls were covered with pale pink wallpaper with little blue flowers.  A huge oak canopy bed stood proudly in the center of the room, a pink bedspread covering it.  Matching pink fabric covered the frame of the canopy.  An oak dresser stood to the right of the bed. 

            “Well, this is it,” Derek said splaying his arms wide. 

            “It’s beautiful, Derek,” she exclaimed with a grin. 

            He looked back at the room before turning to face her.  His head tilted to the side, as he opened his arms.  She obligingly walked into them.  They stayed like that for a while, each needing the comfort the other provided.  “It really helps having you here, Samantha.  I’m glad you came.” 

            She wondered if he would still be glad if he knew about her past.  Feeling his arms around her, she vowed that she wouldn’t let what happened with Nick ruin her relationship with Derek.  She couldn’t.  He was everything she was looking for.  Somehow, she had to try to avoid Nick.  If she could just avoid him this week, she could wait to tell Derek the truth when they got back.  Maybe then she would be able to explain things.  She drew back to look at him.  He smiled down at her.  Somehow, his smile made her façade seem all the more heartless. 

            “Well, I better let you get settled before dinner,” he said heading toward the door.  “Have a good rest.” 

            She closed the door behind him leaning back against it for a minute.  How had she gotten herself into this mess?  She shook her head walking over to the bed to unpack her suitcase.   After everything was settled, she sat down.  Her life had been turned upside down in the last hour, and she was still searching for something to hold on to.  But what bothered her most was the fact that Derek seemed to put up a wall where she was concerned.

            Why didn’t he tell her about Nick? 

            He had never even mentioned Christina. 

            Now that she thought of it, neither had Nick.  It seemed that the two of them weren’t ready to discuss the relationship they had or lack thereof.

            Still, what puzzled her most was Christina.  Who was she?  And why did shadows cloud  Derek’s eyes when he heard her name?  As she lay back on the bed, she tried block out the thoughts of Nick but it seemed like he would haunt her even in dreams.  Her dreams were scattered.  Some were of Christina.  Some were of Nick.  The dreams of Nick were intense.  His strong hand caressing her cheek, moving to her neck, the side of her breast.  His lips touching her forehead, her eyes, and her mouth.  In the dream, she kissed him back savoring the feel of his tongue as it plundered her mouth.  Her arms came up to grasp his shoulders with an urgency she didn’t quite understand.  She felt his weight settle on top of her.  His hands moved down to touch the side of her thigh.  She felt her leg settle around his waist.  His manhood stirred against her core causing a gasp to escape her lips. 

            Slowly, her eyes fluttered open.  Her gaze came into focus on the ceiling.  Suddenly, everything was clear.  This wasn’t a dream.  This was real.  Reality hit her.  His tongue stroked the length of her neck making her dizzy.  She had to stop this, before it went too far.  She pushed frantically at his shoulders.  He pulled away his eyes meeting hers.  Samantha sat up against the headboard clutching the bedspread tightly around her.  He looked over his shoulder from his vantage point on the end of the bed.  For a moment, they just stared at each other.  Each one in shock from what had just happened. 

            Nick saw the wary look in her eyes and knew that he had put it there.  God, he hadn’t meant to do that.  Derek had been out at the stables, and he had seen it as the perfect opportunity to find out what the hell was going on.  But it hadn’t worked out like that.  He had come in with the best of intentions.  He just wanted some answers, but she had looked so beautiful lying there that he had felt compelled to come closer.  Then, she had murmured his name.  When he moved closer, she reached out to him.  All rational thought fled the instant he felt her touch.  Her response hit as hard as a sucker punch to the gut. 

            Now, looking into her eyes, he felt like an ass.  How could he have been so stupid?  She was looking at him like he was a rapist?  And, surprisingly, he felt like one.  He glanced over her one last time before getting up and walking to the door.  He heard his name leave her lips as he stepped into the hallway but he didn’t stop.  He shut the door leaning back against it.  His head fell back.  This weekend was going to be hell.  He got hard just looking at her. 

            How could he pretend that the past didn’t matter?         

            Samantha’s fingertips came up to feel the warmth left by his kiss.  She could still feel the imprint of his lips where they pressed against hers.  How could she stay with things like this?  The feeling of his body against hers had been delicious and tempting.  Too tempting.  How could her body still react to him like this after all this time? 

            One weekend. 

            That’s all she had to make it through. 

            Then, she and Derek could go back to a normal life.  Even as she thought the words, a part of her knew it wouldn’t be that easy.   

            At dinner, she barely touched her food.  Luckily, Derek didn’t seem to notice as he chatted animatedly to his mother about work.  Samantha glanced up to see Margaret’s gaze flickering back and forth between her and Nick.  She looked over at Nick to find that he was staring at her.  Her gaze fell back to her plate as she tried to conceal her unease.  All she could do was pray that the meal would end soon.

            While the others had coffee, Samantha went to bed claiming a headache.  She locked herself in the bathroom to settle into a bubble bath.  Even though, she didn’t want to think about him, her thoughts seemed to stray to Nick.  Memories crept into her mind unbidden.  Their first date.  The first time they made love.  The moments played over and over in her head until she wanted to cry out in frustration.  Their affair had been like a fire out of control.  Things were almost perfect, or so she had thought.  She had actually believed that they were meant for each other.  Even at the end, she thought he would come back.  A part of her actually thought he would give in to her ultimatum.  She had convinced herself that all he needed was a push. 

            But that push had cost her everything.   

            Guilt clouded everything as she thought of Derek.  Derek was kind and loving.  He was everything she wanted in a man.  She stood up feeling the water drops slide down her body.  Once she was wrapped in a towel, she let her hair down from the tight bun that rested on the top of her head.  She dried herself and then slid into her terrycloth robe.  As she opened the door and stepped into the hallways, the steam escaped..  She padded across the hallway on bare feet to her bedroom.  Once inside, she breathed a sigh of relief. 

            After the events of today, she was happy to have a few moments to herself.  Somehow, she had to make it through this week.  The party for Derek’s mother would be in a couple of days.  Then, she and Derek would go home, and Nick would disappear from her life, again.  As appealing as that idea should’ve sounded, it didn’t.  Still, she had to stop second-guessing herself.  She was happy with Derek; and, someday, they would make a wonderful life together.  They were good together. 

            Nick may have brought passion to her life, she couldn’t deny that, but he didn’t want the same things she did.  He didn’t want to get married.  Maybe he never would.  Samantha slipped a nightgown over her head, and crawled into bed.  As she stared at the ceiling, she told herself that this was the way things should be.

            So, why wasn’t she happy?

 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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A new book…A new post!

August 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

So, I decided to shelf Shame for now.  I’m just not sure there is a market for that book right now. 

Anyway, I decided to begin posting Lake of Lies.  It is the second book I wrote, and I still love it 🙂

I hope you do too!

                                                                        

                                                                           Lake of Lies

by Shauna Hart

Chapter 1

 

“Derek, is something wrong?  You seem upset?” 

            Samantha Chastain stared at the man who had become such a fixture in her life after such a short time.  They had only been dating for a couple of months, but she felt like she had known him forever.  Coming with him to meet his family was a big step.  A step she wasn’t sure she was ready for.  Still, when he had asked, she couldn’t deny him. 

            Derek let out a long sigh, his eyes remaining fixed on the road.  “My mom called me last night.  My brother is coming, too.” 

            Samantha was filled with questions.  In all the times he had talked about his parents, he had never mentioned a brother.  “I didn’t know that you had a brother,” she managed.  

            “Sometimes, I wish I didn’t.  We don’t really get along.  I almost thought about canceling the trip, but I couldn’t.  My mom is so excited that she will finally get to meet you,” he responded with a reassuring grin.       

            What could possibly turn brothers against each other?  The question began to plague her as they drove through the long, winding country road.  Was it simple sibling rivalry?  Or was it worse?  Had a woman come between them?  The look on his face told her in no uncertain terms that the subject was closed.  They spent the rest of the drive in silence. 

            Despite the tension in the car, she couldn’t deny that it was beautiful out here.  It was hard to believe that such beauty lay just forty-five minutes away from the city.  Rolling green pastures cluttered with grazing cows filled both sides of the street.  Birds flew overhead.  Derek pulled up to a white fence that bordered several acres.  The gate read, “The Weeping Willows.”  Derek punched a number into the keypad, and the gate slowly opened.  Oak trees lined the driveway on both sides creating a canopy.  They followed the road uphill to a large plantation style house with white pillars.  It looked like something out of a Margaret Mitchell book.  Was this really where Derek had grown up?   

            He pulled the car around the circular driveway to the front of the house.  She opened the door stepping out her, mouth hanging open as she stared up at the massive house.  When he told her they were going to the ranch, she definitley hadn’t expected this.  This was not a ranch!  This was a mansion. 

            He came around from the back of the car with the bags under his arms.  “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” he joked. 

            “Let’s do it” she replied, following him up the steps. 

            Derek opened the door without hesitation.  An elderly woman appeared from the hall, her gray hair pulled in a tight bun.  She engulfed Derek in a big hug making him chuckle.  “What took you so long, boy?” she exclaimed excitedly. 

            “Hey, I haven’t been gone that long.” 

            “Six months is way too long to be away from your family.  I taught you better than that,” she replied, patting him on the shoulder.  She turned to Samantha, giving her an appraising look.  “Well, are you going to introduce me to your young lady, or not?” 

            Derek turned to Samantha, holding his hand out.  “Samantha, this is Gladys.  She’s been with my family ever since I can remember.  Gladys, this is Samantha Chastain.” 

            She extended her hand to the other woman, who shook it heartily.  Before she knew what was happening, she too was being pulled into a bear hug.  “Aren’t you a sight?” she admired taking a step back to peruse her.   “Oh Derek, she’s beautiful.” 

            Crimson stain flooded her cheeks.  However, she accepted the compliment with a gracious, “Thank you.” 

            Derek suddenly turned serious.  “Is everyone here yet?” 

            Gladys turned to him with a knowing look.  “Yes, he’s here.”  He tensed at the news.  She offered him a reassuring smile.  “Now, look here.  I want you two boys to get along.  It’s your momma’s birthday, and I don’t want you ruining it for her, you hear?”            

            Derek offered her a mischievious grin, as he put an arm around her shoulder.  “Me?  Cause trouble?  Never.” 

            She disappeared down the hall to what looked like the kitchen.  He turned to face Samantha, sliding an arm around her shoulders.  “Well, you said you wanted to meet them.” 

            Something caught her eye at the top of the spiral staircase in front of them.  Her head turned in time to see a figure standing silently, watching them.  The figure, slowly, began to descend down the staircase into the light.  Her breath caught in her throat as the face came into view. 

            It couldn’t be. 

            It just simply couldn’t be. 

            She gritted her teeth as recognition invaded her mind.  Many times she had ruffled that short dark brown hair with her fingers.  His green eyes seemed to pierce right through her soul as they returned her gaze.  She had lost herself in those eyes.  They were eyes that had seen too much of her.  More than she ever wanted to remember.  His lips were full and tempting.  They were lips a woman didn’t forget.  She had loved to run her tongue along them until he moaned.  Broad shoulders that she had clung to in the throes of passion stiffened as he came closer.  For months after they parted, he had haunted her as potently as any ghost could.  She had no voice.  He, too, seemed taken aback. 

            Nick couldn’t believe that she was here.   When she left him, she had disappeared.  And his paltry attempts to find her could be classified as nothing short of a failure.  After she left him, he couldn’t get her out of his head.  And he had tried.  Hard.  The way she held him to her just after she climaxed, as if she thought he might leave.  Her mouth whispering, “I love you,” against his ear.  His mind inevitably turned back to the moment when his perfect world had come undone.    

           

            “Don’t make me do this, Samantha.  You know how I feel about you,” he pleaded softly.  The ultimatum she had given was not a surprise.  Women, these days, wanted more.  As independent as they might appear, they wanted to know that there was a future with the man they loved.     She moved slightly, as if she wanted to reach out to him, but stopped herself.  He knew that she was weighing her options.  She had drawn a line in the sand, and she felt she had to stick to it.  Still, he couldn’t help but wish that she wouldn’t.  That somehow everything would go back to the way it was.

            “I can’t go on forever knowing that you’ll never make a real commitment to me.  I want to know that you will be the first thing I see every morning, and the last before I go to sleep,” she admitted, lowering her lashes. 

            He could tell that she was holding her breath awaiting his response.  The decision he made today would change both of their lives forever.  He looked over at her, unable to believe that she could remain so composed.  How could she ask him for a future that he couldn’t predict?  He was only 27, and she was 24.  How could he tell her that he would be there for the rest of his life?  He had decided a long time ago, that he wouldn’t get married until he was ready.  Divorce was not an option for him.  It was one promise that he wasn’t willing to break.  And, right now,  he wasn’t ready for forever to start.   

            There was still so much he wanted out of life.  He had just started his company, and it was struggling.  Building it up would demand a lot of his time.  Time he wouldn’t have if he started a family now.  How could he start a marriage with things so unclear?  She was the first woman that he had fallen in love with, but the rest of his life?  What if things changed them?  What if she changed?  With so many questions and not enough answers, he knew he couldn’t make the decision she wanted.  He also knew that she would not settle for anything less. 

            He would always remember the way she looked right now, sitting in the middle of the bed wearing a red negligee, her strawberry blonde curls tumbling down her back.  The lingerie had been his surprise.  He had slowly taken it off of her just an hour ago.  They had been lying in bed completed sated, her head resting gently on his shoulder when she dropped her little bombshell.  She wanted a commitment…now, or they had to go their separate ways.  He had fallen into the trap like a lamb to the slaughter.  When he had been staring at the ceiling dumbfounded by her request, she had slowly pulled the negligee back on. 

            Now, as she sat on her knees staring at him, waiting, he marveled at how beautiful she was.  They had been together for a year, and he never got tired of being with her.  She always excited him, but would she excite him for the rest of his life?  How could he promise that to anyone right now?  God knew, he didn’t want to lose her, but he couldn’t lie to himself. 

            He just wasn’t ready. 

            “I can’t, Sam.  I wish I could.  I love you. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone.  But I’m just not ready for forever.  I mean, I’m only 27.  You’re only 24.  How can you be ready?” he reasoned. 

            Her eyes met his.  “I’m ready, Nick.  I knew it on our first date.  This is right.  I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone.  I was 19 when my parents were killed in that car wreck.  That car wreck didn’t just kill my parents, Nick.  It killed every dream I ever had of a family.  With you, that dream doesn’t seem so far away anymore.  It feels like it’s staring right at me.  I want us to be a family.  I want us to start building a future together.  But I can’t wait around forever wondering if you feel the same way.” 

            This was the day he dreaded.  He had known that she would eventually say these things to him.  He just hadn’t expected them to come so soon.  But now here she was wanting his greatest fear to be realized.  It was either her or his freedom.  And he felt like he couldn’t go on without either.  Why was she making him do this?  He wanted to take her in his arms, and tell her everything would be all right.  But he couldn’t. 

            “I can’t, Sam.  I just can’t.  I don’t want to lose you.  I’m just not ready.  I’m sorry,” he whispered, pleading with his eyes for her to understand. 

            She looked down at her hands which were folded together neatly in her lap.  A single tear slid down her cheek, as she said, “I’m sorry, too.”  

 

            They both jerked slightly as if they had shared a replay of the memory.  Derek was the first one to break the silence.  “Hello, Nick.  How are you?” 

            Nick’s gaze jerked to his brother.  He hadn’t even been aware of him, until he spoke.  Everything seemed to come into perspective now.  Derek’s arm around her shoulder.  His mother saying that Derek was bringing a girlfriend.  No!  It couldn’t be.  It just couldn’t be.  Samantha and his brother?  Had the world gone suddenly crazy?  He felt sick to his stomach at the thought.  

            Finally, he realized that his silence was gaining inquiring looks from Derek.  “I’m okay.  How about you?” he replied trying to sound calm, while inside he was fuming. 

            “I can’t complain.  This is my girlfriend, Samantha Chastain.  Samantha, this is Nick, my brother.”          

            Samantha stood completely still, uncertain of what to do.  Luckily, Nick broke the silence that hung between them.  “Samantha and I have already met,” he illuminated with a glint of steel in his eyes. 

            Those words seemed to hang in the air, like a storm waiting to begin.  Finally, Derek asked the inevitable question.  “Oh!  Where did you two meet?” 

            Samantha felt like she couldn’t breathe.  She couldn’t believe that this was happening to her.  It was like a bad dream that she couldn’t wake up from.  She, suddenly, wished someone would pinch her…Hard.  She looked at Nick hoping that he would be civil. 

            “I sold a system to the company Samantha works for.” 

            At least, that much was the truth.  His company, Simtask, customized computer systems for Insurance companies.  The company where Samantha worked as a claims adjuster had purchased one of the systems from him.  What he left out was that he had caught a glimpse of her after the meeting and pursued her relentlessly.  After two weeks of flowers and flirty dinner invitations, she had given in.  But he wouldn’t elaborate on that.  Not yet, anyway.  First, he had to find out what was going on between them. 

            “That’s great!  I’ll let you two catch up then.  I’m going to go find Dad,” Derek explained 

            Once he was gone, the room went deathly still.  Unable to stand the silence, she asked, “So, how’s the business going?”  As the words left her mouth, she realized how stupid they were going to sound.  But unfortunately it was the best she could do.    

            “What are you doing here?”  Nick demanded.              

            “I’m with your brother,” was all she could manage. 

            “You’re dating him?” he asked, his eyes wide. 

            “Yes,” she replied evenly. 

            “You’ve got to be kidding!” he exclaimed as much to himself as to her.  “For how long?”                         “About three months,” she responded avoiding his eyes. 

            “Are you sleeping with him?” he bit out coming down the last two steps to stand in front of her.  Even though, his height of 5’11” was only a few inches taller than her 5’7″, it was imposing. 

            Her head jerked up at his remark.  “That is none of your business, Nick,” she reminded.            

            He moved in so close to her, so close that if he leaned in just a bit, they would be touching.  “I think I have a right to know.  I mean, if you’re sleeping with my brother, did you compare us?  I’m interested.  Which one of us was better?  Did you make that little mewling sound you make just before you come?”

            Samantha’s hand came up to slap him, but he caught it.  “You have no right.  What I do is no business of yours.  You made that decision a long time ago.” 

            “I’m just curious.  I haven’t seen you in three years, and you show up at my parents’ house on my brother’s arm.  I think that I’m entitled to a few questions,” Nick replied angrily.  The feel of her against him was becoming dangerous, and he had to fight the urge to plant kisses along her neck. 

            “I didn’t know that you were brothers, Nick.  I swear.  I never would’ve come here, if I knew.  I mean, there are a lot of people with the last name Daniels in the world.  Besides, Derek didn’t even tell me that he had a brother until we were on the way here.  He never even mentioned your name.  How was I supposed to know?” Samantha reasoned. 

            With a harsh sigh, he released her.  He turned away unable to look at her.  Damn her for coming here!  With his brother!  And damn him even more for still wanting her. 

            Derek appeared around the corner.  His arm was casually slung around an older woman.  “So, this is the beautiful girl I’ve been hearing so much about,” she exclaimed reaching out to shake Samantha’s hand.   “Well, Derek’s told me all about you.  I’m so glad that you could come this weekend.  I’m Derek’s mother, Margaret.” 

            “I wouldn’t have missed it.  Thank you for having me,” she replied, trying to ignore Nick’s stare. 

            He had half turned to watch them over his shoulder.  When he had pictured Samantha meeting his mother, it had been very different than the situation that was playing out.  His mother turned to look at him, her eyebrows arched.  She always could read him too well.  Usually it was something he joked about, but today it was no laughing matter. 

            To stop his mother’s quizzical gaze, he asked, “Mother, why don’t I take Derek and Samantha’s bags upstairs, while you three chat?” 

            She eyed him suspiciously for a moment, but seemed to relent. “Thank you, Nick.  That would be wonderful.” 

            Derek led Margaret through the hall toward the kitchen leaving Samantha to follow them.  Before she could take the first step, Nick grabbed her arm. He spun her around to face him.         

            “Later,” was the only word he uttered. 

Stay Tuned for More of Lake of Lies…

 

 

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