Old Mountain Home<br/>

Author: Jan Abney
Publisher: Janet Abney
Published: 2011-09-30
ISBN(s) 978-1466390904
Pages: 228 pages
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Romance & Friendship Read Excerpt >

After one of the best meals either of them could remember, both agreed the wait imposed on them in the first place, was well worth it. They promised sometime in the near future, they would return for another, to try some of the different foods on the menu.

As they were getting up from their table, Deirdra bumped into a large, muscular frame. As she spun around quickly, facing him to extend her apology, she found herself looking into the face of a man who had no right to be as good looking as he was. The words she was prepared to say left her as her cheeks flushed so hot she knew her face could light a dark room.

"I'm terribly sorry." The masculine voice fit his strong, handsome face. The hands that had instinctively reached for her arms steadying her were warm and sure of themselves.

"I'm sorry." Deirdra couldn't believe the strong hold she was in. It wasn't just the powerful hands she found on her arms. It was as if he was supporting her all over. Her green eyes were raised, looking into the velvet smooth brown ones which searched for something in hers.

A full minute passed before he let her go, hesitantly. His lips parted slightly, remaining so just a few seconds before he muttered an apology again. "You will forgive me?" His warm smile showed a dimple that gave him a boyish look, contradicting the rest of his facial characteristics.

Blushing deeper, Deirdra excused herself, sidestepping so this dream-of-a-man could go on his way. Instead, she found that he had also stepped in the same direction. A small laugh escaped her, as she remarked, "Looks like we're of one mind."

"It would seem so." His voice was low, almost a whisper. "Do you live here?"

"Yes and no." Her eyelids closed slightly to conceal what her eyes might tell him. She didn't understand her heart pounding as if she had run a marathon.

"How's that?" He cupped her chin with one hand, asking her to look up at him so he could see her beautiful eyes, then rested his warm hand on her shoulder as if he were accustomed to doing so. "You do and don't? At the same time?"

"Well, no. She has a cabin at the lake." Susana answered for her friend, feeling like she was an extra piece of furniture with no place for it. She wanted to remind Deirdra she was there.

"Oh. You're in town for today then?" His question was directed at Deirdra, as if Susana hadn't said anything.

"We came in to do some shopping. We'll be going back this evening, after dinner." Was Susana bidding for an invitation, Deirdra wondered.

"I'm glad to hear that. Maybe I could interest you in dining with us? If there isn't someone else?" Hesitation was in each word of his last question. His dark wavy hair was an accent to his brown eyes, which were still on Deirdra's face. He received no negative response, and added, "I'm meeting my brother at L'Etat at seven. I'm sure he wouldn't mind the beautiful company I've found for him." This he spoke directly to Susana now, still holding Deirdra's shoulder in a most comfortable way.

"I don't know..." Deirdra began, but Susana interrupted what she was about to say, accepting the request. "But we don't even know them." Deirdra's protest was whispered as if he wouldn't hear her.

"Forgive me, again. I'm Craig Parker. My brother and I are here on business. Real estate, actually. We're looking at the land we've purchased around the lake, and it looks very promising." He spoke in a double meaning.

"Sounds interesting. Maybe we'll see you up there?" Susana walked around the table, half pulling at Deirdra's arm. "We really need to go. We've a lot to do."

"Then we'll see you again, for dinner?" His voice intrigued the girl he hesitated in letting go of again. "Where will you be, so we can pick you up?"

"Oh! We won't be anywhere in particular, just shopping. We could meet you there." Susana was doing all the talking, and she wondered if Deirdra had lost her ability to speak.

"About seven, then?" Craig Parker picked up Deirdra's hand, raising it to his lips. The kiss sent shivers down her spine. How gentle for such a large man, were her thoughts.

"Seven will be fine. Right Dee?" When no answer came, she repeated her question, again using the nickname only she was allowed.

The soft blush on her cheeks told her friend she wasn't listening the first time, but got the message she was giving the second time around. "Oh... Yes. That would be fine." Quickly she retrieved her hand, and turned to leave with her friend.

The afternoon was filled with more window shopping than buying. Susana couldn't stop talking about how nice looking Craig was, especially in the blue western shirt that hugged his muscled chest and arms.

"Craig Parker." Susana said dreamily. Turning to her best friend, she spoke louder, as it didn't seem she was being listened to, again. "Not a bad name. I wonder about his brother, what he's like."

"What's a bad name?" Deirdra snapped out of her thoughts and gave her friend a stern look, only hearing some of what she'd said. Realizing what her friend had said, she lightened up a little. "Will you quit talking about him? It's boring." She was sorry she had said those words, but didn't apologize. What were the feelings she had going through her whole body since he touched her?

"I'm sorry." Susana's eyes flashed at Deirdra. "I thought he made a big impression on you, the way you just stood there looking at him. It was like he had captured every bit of you, including your soul." Her expression told Deirdra to lighten up a little.

"Well, he hasn't. It was the shock of bumping into him, that's all. Look!" Her mood swung brighter as she directed the other's gaze to the clothes in the shop window in front of them. Even though she had convinced her friend that the man she had bumped into had not meant anything to her, Deirdra couldn't get his face out of her mind. He had captured something, though she couldn't find anything missing in the inventory she took of herself, including her soul.

Her mind wandered to his tanned face with those velvet-brown eyes and the dimple he showed with that beautiful smile, and the dark wavy hair. She had given notice to the muscled arms, the soft touch of his hands on her shoulders, and that wonderful feeling of the kiss he left on the back of her hand.

"I said..." Susana's voice was raised in agitation "What do you think? Should we go in and try that one

"I'm sorry. I must have been a million miles away, again. I think it would look marvelous on you." Deirdra's voice was indeed dreamy.

"Not for me, silly. You saw it first! What has gotten into you? Is isn't Mr. Dreamboat, is it?" Her smile was teasing.

"Suz, why don't we go back to the cabin. I'm really very tired. We could come back another time, couldn't we?" Not wanting to show any more of the feelings that had come over her, Deirdra turned and was walking away from the store window and Susana. Apprehension about the dinner invitation had began to turn to fright. They still didn't know the one, and had yet to meet the other.

"Not on your life!" Susana caught up with the fast pace Deirdra had set. "What's wrong? Getting cold feet? You've already met your date. I'm the one who should worry. What if his brother is the opposite of him? He could be short, wear thick glasses, be overweight, the whole works. I should be the one getting cold feet." Her smile said she was hoping this description wasn't anything near the real thing."I've never liked the thought of a blind date."

"We don't know them. We should go back, they'll get the message when we don't show. I'm worried about the message they'll get if we do. We don't know them." The repeated words held an urgency. "Please, Susana."

Susana persuaded her friend that they should stay just to check things out. If she still felt they shouldn't stay once they met them both, then she would find an artificial headache and they would leave.

Curiosity had Susana, as bad as whatever had hold on Deirdra, but Deirdra didn't like the feeling. Or did she?

Old Mountain Home   by   Jan Abney   |   See Bio >

Last week, Deirdra's world fell apart. A few days after her fiance demanded his ring back, her
father had a fatal heart attack, leaving her all alone in the world, except for her best friend, Susana.

With all the family friends calling and coming by with their condolences, Deirdra had to get away. Calling Susana, they make plans to go stay at Deirdra's cabin at the lake for two weeks. At lunch in the small city down the mountain, Deirdra accidentally bumps into her dream. After a few minutes of awed silence, apologies were made; Craig Parker, posses the question of having dinner. His brother would be happy for the date Craig had found him.

Later, as the girls were about to leave after a game of miniature golf, Craig showed up. Their
dinner date wasn't for a couple of hours, but since he had chanced to find them before, he thought it would be a good idea for them to meet his brother...an almost exact twin.

Keith, Deirdra's former fiance, decides he want her back...

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