Is This January Book Excerpt:
One glance of her eyes toward his chest made him quickly begin to button his shirt. “Sorry ma’am,” he said in a hurried voice.
“Who are you?” she asked. “What do you mean coming back here like this?” she snapped. She cleared the door and stepped out onto the back porch.
“My name is Steve,” he smiled, tipping his hat. “Steve York.” He reached forward, but she pretended not to notice his pleasantries. His eyes were tired, and he was wet with sweat.
“Well ma’am, my truck broke down in front of that farm.” He gave a fleeting nod behind him. Smiling, he took a step back, not wanting to intimidate her in any way. He stood there swatting at the swarm of gnats he had disturbed. “You are the only hope I have of getting help before dark. Don’t think it would take long to fix it. Just need to get someone down here with a jump or something, then I’ll be on my way.”
He took off his hat and wiped his brow with his forearm. Looking back up at her, he asked, “So if I could just use your phone,” he continued, “why, I’d be grateful.”
There he stood; exceptionally good looking in an unusual sort of way, his dark, wet hair was pressed tight to his forehead. There was a light scar just over his left brow. His look was rugged. He stared at her through steel blue-gray eyes.
“Sorry I interrupted you Ma’am,” he said, concerned over the upset he sensed building up within her.
“No need to call me Ma’am,” she fumed, taking in a long deep breath. “I don’t have a phone,” she said, glancing at her truck. “Anyway, if you got cables, you can use that truck to jump yours. That’s the best I can do for ya.” She cut her eyes with a hard look, making sure not toshow any interest whatsoever in the handsome intruder. She turned quickly to go back inside.
“Well, you see, Ma’am...” he called after her.
Stopping dead in her tracks, she turned back toward him, “Just call me Jan.”
“I don’t have any cables Jan,” he said, looking away. Then, in a burst of excitement, he looked back as though he had the problem solved. “Would it be possible to get a ride from you?”
Along with her hesitation and seeing her expression deepen, he quickly added, “I’d pay you for your time and gas, of course.” He watched her closely. He could tell she was uncomfortable.
He was right, because all she wanted was for him to disappear as fast as he had appeared. She didn’t want to have to deal with any of this.
Without a doubt, taking him any place was out of the question, as she didn’t even know him. In addition, she did not want to have to divulge any more personal information. She didn’t want or need his concern.
Nonetheless, she knew if she were ever going to get rid of him, she would have to let him take her truck. On the other hand, if she were to do that, she would have to explain the “bad brakes.” She was beginning to burn with embarrassment.
“Umm...” She hummed. “Well, it’s my brakes. They’re shot,” she replied. “First on my list, just haven’t had the time.”
“How bad are they?” He asked.
“Real bad. They’re even starting to make a grinding noise,” she said with certainty, hoping to discourage him.
He smiled to himself. If the grinding had just started, he knew the brakes would be good enough to make it to town several times over again. “Well, tell you what...” he said, in deep concentration. He hoped that what he was about to ask wouldn’t be misconstrued. He figured for as pretty as she was there probably wasn’t a shortage of guys trying to make a play for her.
“Then let me do the driving. I can handle the breaks. I’ll get them, and whatever else, fixed before we get back. How’s that?” He seemed sure of himself. It was obvious he wasn’t the kind of guy to take no for an answer, easy. He was practically begging at this point. “They’ll be good as new,” he assured her.
She was hardly able to breathe; there was something about the way he had of looking at her. She could feel a chill moving deep within. He seemed to have an unsettling effect over her.
“Just take the darn truck,” she burst out. “Do whatever you need to do and then bring it back.”
He fell into a larger than life grin. His perfectly straight, white teeth and strong jaw line showed off his incredible good looks. He lunged forward as though he’d had an incredible urge to grab her up. He had not expected her to let him take her truck. “Thank you Ma’am. I, uhh, mean Jan.”
“You just take it easy,” she snapped as he started the truck up and began backing out.
How interesting, he thought, she standing there so young and fresh with her hands placed firmly on her hips. She, holding all the power, and he, at her mercy. He lingered a moment longer than necessary to not only thank her again, but to steal one more glance of the take-charge posture from one so petite.
About the author:
As a young resident of the Edgewater Home for Girls after her grandmother passed away, Afton Lambert discovered a love for storytelling, while whispering bedtime stories to the other children. Later, marriage and children gave her a family of her own. During her husband Paul's illness, she again turned to storytelling as a safe haven, staying up into the late hours of the night crafting the stories that provided an escape for both of them. This is her first novel.