Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine Vacation--Chapter Three--Missy Tippens




Valentine Vacation--Chapter Three
By Missy Tippens

Amelia stood at the end of the boardwalk waiting for her “date.” Her boldness had morphed into anxiety. She’d never been so nervous in her entire life. Not even on her wedding day. Would her children be proud that she was meeting a man—a stranger—to walk on the beach? Or would they think she’d really lost it this time?

She smoothed a hand over her skirt. Tugged at her sweater. Finger combed her wind-tossed hair. Maybe she should—

“Amelia.” His voice carried on the wind, strong and sure. It helped calm her raging nerves as he approached.

“Hi, Colin.” The strength of her own voice surprised her.

He held out his hand. “Shall we?”

The gesture held promise of more than a mere invitation for a walk, and for a moment, she hesitated. Was she ready for this? “You know, I can’t help but wonder if God’s giving me an opportunity to move on with a new phase of my life.”

His blue eyes sparkled in the sun with humor…and warmth. “I think so. God definitely led me here.” His hand remained suspended, waiting for her to take it. He nodded, indicating she should grab on. But then she noticed his wedding ring. And thought of hers, still securely in place on her left ring finger.

Gnawing on the inside of her cheek, she could almost hear her children’s voices, fussing at her, nudging . So she took the leap—took his hand and let him lead her into the powdery white sand.

As they walked, they talked. About life back home, about their families. By the time they reached the pier a mile or so down the beach and turned around to head back to the hotel, she felt as if they’d been friends for ages.

When they reached the boardwalk, and neither of them seemed inclined to end the date, he said, “How about sitting for a while? Then maybe join me for dinner?”

Something flashed in the sand, drawing her attention away. “What’s that?”

He gave her a crooked smile. “You know, you can just tell me no, if you don’t care to join me.”

“I’m serious.” She stepped off the path and carefully picked her way between the sea oats. “It looks almost like a…no, it couldn’t be.”

He came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders, stopping her. “Careful. There are also briers. Show me where it is.”

His warm hands on her shoulders, his sturdy chest behind her, and his fresh, spicy scent all drew her, making her lean into him. It had been so long since she’d craved a man’s strength like she craved his now. She couldn’t even answer him.

“Do you still see it?” His breath ticked the hair on the back of her neck.

Forcing some starch back into her spine, she leaned forward, away from him. “Right there. A ring.”

He dodged the plants and reached down to pick it up. “Well, whaday know? It is a ring.”

She gazed into his hand. “It’s a diamond solitaire. And a valuable one at that.”

“Yeah, you better appreciate it. I went to a lot of trouble to plan this surprise engagement.”

Her eyes snapped to his face. When he laughed, she let her breath out on a rush of air. “Oh, good. For a second there, I was afraid you were crazy.”

Still chuckling at her reaction, he took her right hand, placed the ring on her ring finger, for safekeeping, he said. Then he helped her out of the dunes. “Come on. Let’s have dinner together and figure out how we’re going to locate the owner of this ring.”

Her heart thrilled at the idea of dinner together. And at the fact he was honest, wanting to do the right thing. The extremely large diamond on her finger flashed in the sun, winking at her. “I can’t think of any way I’d rather spend my evening.”

15 comments:

  1. Don't you just feel for the person who lost that ring? I hope they find whoever lost it!

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  3. Oh my, can you hear me sigh?
    I Love second chance novels and there's not to many to enjoy.
    I ordered "A Family for Faith" from Missy and I'm so dying t have it - some days to go for me yet.
    I never read Missy but if this one is a sign I have a new writer best friend ;).
    Happy Valentine Everyone!

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  4. Hi Missy:

    I’ve discovered I like ‘real time’ online reads. I used to wait until the end and then read them all at once but now I like waiting. Of course, I’ve been snowbound in our house for four days and it is snowing right now. Two more snow storms coming in the next eight days and we can’t even get the car out of the garage.

    I like all the mileage you got out of the ring! First the hero helps her retrieve it, then he pretends to ask her to marry him*, then he puts it on her finger (foreshadowing anyone?) and then he suggests a dinner (I gave my wife her engagement ring at a fancy dinner in KC with a view of the ballpark out the window) and finally he shows he is honest by saying they should look for the real owner.

    And your same voice comes through loud and clear just as it does in your books. This was a mini writing clinic!

    How many installments are in this story? Will you go until Valentine’s Day?

    Vince

    *In a recent Castle episode someone shows Castle an engagement ring he plans to give his girlfriend and Castle instantly takes the ring box away from the cop and opening the box hands it to the heroine,Kate Beckett, and says “Will you marry me?” just so he can gage her expression. It was so cute. He is a writer and we know just what he was doing. Loved it!

    P.S. I would have had them find a baby in a reed basket under the pier and given the next author heart palpitations. You were much kinder! : )

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  5. Teresa, thank you!! I'm thrilled you ordered it and hope you enjoy it. I think maybe A Family for Faith is my favorite story so far. :)

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  6. Oh, Vince, you're so funny!! I got a nice loud laugh out of the baby in the basket. Now why didn't I think of that?? :)

    The story goes almost until Valentine's Day. We end it on the 10th.

    Also, I just now remembered that episode of Castle! Hadn't thought of it when I wrote my story, but I'm sure it was probably somewhere there in the background. :) I adore the show!! And {swoon} they finally kissed!!! Although, it's a shame it wasn't for real. And, oh, the looks of surprise on their faces! Maybe someday... ;)

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  7. This has been an interesting story.Look forward to owning it.
    tarenn98[at]yahoo[dot]com
    NC

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  8. April, thanks for stopping by. This story is only an online story, though, so be sure to come back and read more! :)

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  9. You gals are really great. This story is as good as the other online stories you have done.

    The is so typically Missy!azy

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  10. You gals are really great. This story is as good as the other online stories you have done.

    The is so typically Missy!azy

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  11. The ring is a great development. Can't wait to see how this ends--Oh, that's right, I'm the finale writer. GRIN

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  12. Beemama, I'm glad you're enjoying it!
    Yep, Lyn, you'll have to be figuring out what to do with it! ;)

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