"Ya'll can stop this right now," a strong male voice came from behind Nancy. "This is just a joke on Nancy and it's in poor taste too."
Who was it? She turned but before she could take off her blindfold. Two hands, large strong ones pressed the blindfold over her eyes. The man behind her was somehow familiar.
"I'm going to ask you a few simple questions, Nancy, and I want you to think them over. Okay?"
"What have I got to lose?" Nancy replied flippantly. She was tired of this endless charade. "Ask me your questions and then I'm going to have a few for you."
"Who always made sure he hit you with the dodge ball in grade school gym?"
Dodge ball--she still hated the mention of that stupid game.
"Who sent you a homemade Valentine in 7th grade that said you looked like a giraffe?"
Her memory groped for the answer.
"Who spilled red punch on your yellow dress at the first school dance?"
The answer came but she refused to believe it. And then she recalled the humiliation of the moment returned.
"That's enough!" She jerked off the blindfold and spun around to see--
Mike, Brad's twin.
"You!" And then remembering all the events Mike had just aired, Nancy fisted her hands.
"Darlin', don't forget Brad and I are fraternal not identical twins." The man had the nerve to grin at her. "I think it's time you--"
"I'm leaving--" She turned toward the door.
"Don't you want to know what's going on?" Mike asked.
That stopped her. She whirled on him. "Start talking!"
"Tonya and Brad broke up," Mike said, no longer looking as if this were all a joke. "And she got it into her head that you were responsible. So she decided to try to embarrass you with this Valentine Dream Come True Contest stunt."
Mike turned to the people who gathered to watch the festivities. "This contest was fixed."
Mrs. Carroll with the B & B tried to object.
But Mike went on relentlessly. "She paid for the contest. She paid these three men to come to embarrass you publicly--"
The three men--Jason, Paul and Jean Pierre--all objected loudly.
Again Mike went on relentlessly. "I'm sure they were all told it was to be kind of a fun reunion type event like THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
"Yes, " the three agreed almost in unison. "We would never hurt Nancy."
"I'm confused," Nancy said, crossing her arms and glaring at Mike. "Why would this hurt or embarrass me?"
"Because," Mike emphasized the word, "all three are married and are here with their wives. I think Tonya wanted to put you in an awkward spot, in public, in your own town and on film. I think this is supposed to end up on YouTube."
Her mouth dropping open, Nancy put one hand to each side of her head. Her brain felt scrambled.
"Honest," Jason spoke up, "I thought it was all a part of a reality show special for Valentine's Day. We were told the secret admirer stuff was just part of the fun."
The other two agreed and Nancy watched three young women join their husbands. "We went along for the free trip and gifts," one of the wives said. "We didn't know anything about all this other stuff."
Nancy glared at everyone in general and then she turned to Garth. "Okay, what do you have to do with all this?"
Looking sheepish, Garth with Shana close beside him ambled forward. "Tonya hired me." He pointed to Mike. "I was supposed to find you, Mike, and bribe you to leave town. But she didn't tell me anything more than that."
Garth turned to Nancy. "I didn't know it was a nasty trick. And besides I'm just starting as a PI. I knew Tonya's older brother at college. I would have told you if I'd suspected any of this."
Shana claimed his arm and nodded vigorously in support.
Nancy let her hands fall. "Is Tonya out of her mind?"
"Yes," Mike replied. "Absolutely. I came to try and stop this mean-spirited prank, but I couldn't get Mrs. Carroll to believe me."
The lady in question spread her palms in appeal. "I thought everything was legit and he was just trying to make trouble."
Nancy turned to Mike. "You really aren't identical to your brother." Then she punched his arm, not once but three times. HARD. "That's for all those sweet memories of you tormenting me."
"Hey, I was a kid," Mike exclaimed. Then a slow, sexy smile curved his mouth. "But not anymore."
Lyn Cote here--I'll let you take it from there, ladies. But remember true love conquers all--even former beauty queens with a bad case of sour grapes. :-)
So did you enjoy our Valentine serial? Let us know!
BTW, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
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