Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Sweethearts of Truffle Manor. Chapter 8 by Christine Johnson

Adette’s heart sank at the grim news.
“Grandma,” she gasped, forgetting for one moment the altogether too handsome man standing behind her, not to mention the ring he’d just placed on her finger.
Was she too late? All the excuses over the months and years felt as flimsy as tissue paper. Why hadn’t she visited more often? Work and auditions didn’t mean anything compared to family. But it wasn’t just that. She’d let the scandal over the chocolate vat drowning keep her away. Her bravado in front of Devon was just an act, as was her disinterest in the house. She did love it. She’d always loved it. She’d just told Grandma not to talk about giving her the house because she couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.

“We need to hurry.” Carmella Sweet motioned toward her Kia, which was waiting near the door.
Adette couldn’t imagine Devon folding himself into that little car. Speaking of Devon, why did Grandma insist he be there for her final moments? Shouldn’t that be reserved for family?
She swayed at the thought, then jerked back to counterbalance, and bumped into a very solid chest. A far too pleasant sensation shimmied down her spine. This was ridiculous. Simply because he’d placed Grandma’s wedding ring on her finger? She tugged on it, but it wouldn’t slip over the knuckle.
“We’ll take my truck,” the rumbling male voice behind her commanded.
He slipped an arm around her waist, and she shivered at his touch. This was wrong, wrong, wrong. Her grandmother hovered near death. She should not be thinking about the muscular man now helping her down the last few stairs. She should be mad at him, not impressed by his thoughtful concern for her twisted ankle. She needed to stand on her own.
“Ouch!” Pain shot from her ankle to her brain with sizzling speed.
Without a word of warning, he scooped her up and carried her across the foyer, out the front door and down the steps.
“Put me down!” The protest was half-hearted. She was rather enjoying his strong arms and oh so masculine scent. Like fresh-sawn wood. 

“Not until we get to the truck.”

He deposited her in the passenger seat and closed the door after ensuring she was secure. Then he hopped in the driver’s side. Devon was clearly a man who took charge. Though she appreciated that, his scowl and fierce concentration made her wonder. Just who was this man, and why had Grandma asked for him? 


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