Texas Stranger, страница 1
Copyright © 2015 Janet Muncy
All rights reserved.
ISBN 13: 9781512304411
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015908565
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
North Charleston, South Carolina
I Dedicate this book :
To my daughter Tonya, who always encourage me beyond words. And to my son Bill, who said he couldn’t believe it took me so long. To Cheryl and Donnie, my dear friends who would not let me procrastinate any longer. But mostly my late husband Rick, who was my Knight in Shinning Armor. Who without him, I would have never written this book in the first place. I love you all more than words can say.
“Get off me, you big moose.” She shouted under his pressure.” Let me up you overgrown bully, or I’ll scream rape.”
“Oh no you won’t.” He stated, covering her mouth with his own. January tried to fight him, her hands beating wildly against his hard body as he pinned her firmly down. Her struggles became useless, and she was unable to budge the powerful man holding her captive. The feel of his warm body on top of her gave the strange feeling of protectiveness. Moments later January found herself returning his kisses with a feverish need that matched his. He rolled over, holding her against him, tasting, and exploring her tender lips. He wasn’t even sure what got into him. He had never done anything like that before. He had never pushed his way on a woman. There was just something about this woman, he couldn’t seem to get enough.
January Manson sat staring out the window of the large aircraft. The sky had taken on an orange tint as the sun descended into the horizon. The plane shuddered as it made its way down to land.
“Welcome to Indianapolis,” the flight attendant said over the speaker. “Please remain seated until the plane has come to a complete stop. We hope you have a nice stay and thank you for flying with us.”
Several people ignored the flight attendant’s warning as they scrambled to get their belongings from the overhead compartments. January waited patiently as most of the passengers filed out before she moved from her seat. A tall, broad shouldered man seemed to come from nowhere causing her to run into him.
“Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” January apologized, looking up into the most amazing green eyes. But then realizing with embarrassment, that unless she had her eyes closed, it would have been impossible to miss him. Although surely not overweight, his chest seemed larger than any she’d seen at the health club back in Texas.
“Maybe I should gain more weight.” He stated, with a low throaty voice.
“I...I hardly think that would be necessary.” January stuttered, realizing she was holding up the traffic flow of people behind him. “Please excuse me,” she said, as she eased in front of him. She could sense his eyes watching her, as her slender, well shaped legs carried her off the plane. Hurrying through the gate, she nearly passed her father and mother.
“Hey! Slow down girl,” Kent Manson said, smiling. “Where are you going to a fire or something?” January laughed as she wrapped her arms around his neck standing on tip-toes to reach his smiling face.
“I’ve missed you daddy.” January said, kissing him on the cheek. She then reached down to kiss her mother, bending slightly to hug her mother’s small frame. Her parents helped her retrieve her luggage and started for the car.
“January, you’re too skinny,” Laura Manson stated. “When are you going to gain more weight? I think you should move back home and let us take care of you, you’re not eating right.”
“Oh, mom, I eat right, I just work it all off before it turns to fat.” January laughed.
“Well, I think you should sell that health club and get into something less demanding. You probably don’t weigh over a hundred pounds.”
“Mom, I weigh just what I’m supposed to for my body frame, besides, I love the club and I love Texas. Tell me how are the boys?” January asked, trying to change the subject.
“Your brothers are doing just fine, although they worry about you. Maybe you should at least write them or call them more often.” Laura said, looking over the rim of her glasses. “Anyway....” she continued.
But January only half listened as her mother went into full detail of the new house her oldest brother had bought when she caught the eye of the tall dark stranger as he was being escorted into a big gray limousine. He smiled at her just before he bent his tall frame to disappear inside the car. January wondered if he was still watching her from behind the tinted windows.
January sighed and settled back into the car seat. She had other things to think about and the stranger wasn’t one of them. Being the owner of a health club wasn’t the easiest thing she had ever tried to do.
There were bills to be paid and advertising that took almost all the profit the club brought in. January knew with all the health clubs going up in the Texas area she had to do something fast to stay in business.
Writing her latest book and getting it put on the top seller list was an accident. A publisher friend of her’s Peggy Price, asked her to write something of an exercise program for her to use when she was reading manuscripts in the evening. January did, and Peggy liked it so much she asked if she could publish it. January was a little taken back by the suggestion but gave her permission. Never in a million years did she think it could be a top seller. Which was the reason she was in Indianapolis, Indiana, to promote her book. Although the bonus was getting to visit her family. But she was also eager to get back home to Texas where she belonged and take care of her growing business.
After the family greetings were over, January excused herself and went to freshen up. Applying fresh make up and combing her hair, January’s mind wandered back to the airport and the stranger. She had a distant feeling he wasn’t from Indianapolis, but more like Texas. By the way he carried himself and the snake-skinned boots he wore. Not to mention his tight blue jeans, and the western cut shirt, also gave that impression. She wondered what the name of the cologne he had on was called. January smiled, shaking her head, never before had she noticed any man making such an impression on her in such a short period.
When she returned to the family, the meal was being prepared. Lisa, her new sister-in-law was putting a fork in the corn. January hugged her shoulders and stuck her fingers into the mashed potatoes. She was just about to put her fingers into her mouth when her mother entered the kitchen. “Get out of there!” she snapped. “It’s ready to put on the table. See, Lisa, she’s just like you, can’t keep her fingers out of the food. For the life of me, I can’t understand why you both are so skinny.”
She borrowed her mothers car for the next few days while she was in Bloomington. The car desperately needed repair. The noise it made gave the impression it was on its last run. January was to meet the manager of the book store at ten-thirty, and it was nine-fifteen. Just enough time to chec
After taking her bags in and checking her make-up, she headed for the College Mall Shopping Center. The parking lot was cluttered with debris from the apparent construction going on inside the large mall area. January had to drive around and go in through the side door. As she entered the mall, her heels echoed on the polished floor. It looked larger than she remembered. They had added a few new shops and a new wing. The managers name was Harvey Jones. A plain man. Dark rimmed glasses, tall and lanky. He greeted her with a smile and introduced her to one of the sales ladies, Sally Sterner. Sally was a small overweight lady with a big smile that looked out of proportion on her small face. January found them both friendly and helpful.
The day went well. Lots of pictures, lots of people she had known when she lived there stopped by to say hello and buy her new book. Agreeing to a quiet dinner with some old friends. January again smiled at the new people standing in line.
Pausing at the entrance of the restaurant and looking around the room, she spotted her friends. Marilyn Porter waved her over, and Bob Walters and Albert McMillan stood to greet her.
Bob ordered a bottle of her favorite champagne. It had been a long time since she had spent time with them, relaxing and reminiscing about the fun they use to have going to college together. January found that none of them had changed much. They were all full of excitement.... and none of them had found that certain someone to marry.
After dinner they all agreed to go to the local dance club. Although she was tired, she couldn’t resist. They were getting ready to leave when Marilyn grabbed her arm.
“Look at that!” she said, without moving her lips.
“What?” January turned to look in the direction she indicated. January held her breath as the man from the plane strolled toward her. Snake skinned boots carried his tall frame in a powerful confidence most men longed for. Stopping in front of her he smiled, showing those beautiful white teeth.
“So we meet again?” His deep voice questioned as his eyes traveled the length of her, taking in the exquisite way her off the shoulder dress fit.
January could hardly breath, let alone answer. Yet she took offense at the way his eyes seemed to undress her. “I...I don’t remember ever being introduced to you.” She stated trying not to let this man effect her emotions and turning quickly she strolled away.
“So you know him?” Marilyn questioned, following close behind her.
“Well, you must have met him somewhere, he wouldn’t just come right up to you.” Marilyn persisted.
“I bumped into him on the plane.” January answered, trying to forget the strange feeling that seemed to take over her when he was present.
“I can’t believe you didn’t even get his name for crying out loud, you’re not going with anyone and he apparently wants to get to know you.”
“Marilyn, maybe I don’t want to get to know him. I’ll be leaving in a couple of days anyway, so even if I got to know him, what good would it do?”
“Well, he looks like a Texan to me, and anyway that’s probably where he lives. He’s so good looking, just a chance to get someone like that to pay attention to you is something, he’s so good looking.” She repeated.
The evening was enjoyable although January couldn’t seem to get the stranger out of her mind. After a few drinks and dances her friends brought her back to the Inn. As she started up the walk that led to her room. Bob yelled out the window of the car. “I’ll stop in to see you tomorrow.” January turned and waved. She was turning around again when she bumped into someone.
“Don’t tell me I know, you’re sorry you didn’t see me, right? You know we really should stop meeting like this, someone is bound to get the impression we know each other.” He teased with a devilish gleam in his eyes.
“Mr.... Whoever you are,” she stuttered. “Do you always have a habit of sneaking up behind someone or is it just me in particular?”
His beautiful green eyes had taken on a piercing look, and the tightening of his jaw portrayed that she had said the wrong thing. This man was no one’s fool and wasn’t about to be degraded by a female or anyone for that matter.
“Miss.....Whoever you are, if you’d face the direction you’re walking there would be no need to accuse anyone of sneaking up behind you, good night.”
Leaving her standing there with her mouth open, he strolled off. January could still faintly smell the cologne he wore, her senses responding to the fragrance. “The nerve of that man, just who does he think he is anyway?”
Whether it was from the drinks she had the night before, or the fact she couldn’t sleep for the thoughts of the stranger that disturbed her dreams. January woke up with a headache. Her car didn’t want to start, and she arrived at the book store late. There were people lined up waiting for her when she arrived. She wasn’t sure two days of this was going to be good. With photo’s taken daily and lunches and dinners she was ready to go home and just relax. But the Mayors’ wife stopped by the autograph table.
“January darling! How good to see you again. You haven’t forgotten our little dinner party tonight have you?” But without waiting for January to answer she continued. “Everyone will want to hear all about your book and what you’ve been up to in the past couple of years.”
“Of course,” January tried to remember getting the invitation.
“We’ll see you around seven or so, and semi formal of course.”
“Of course, “January repeated.
January didn’t remember getting the dinner invitation but, she wasn’t about to turn down a seven course dinner. Besides, it could be tucked away in her suit case or somewhere.
Sally and January headed to lunch and continued toward the construction area. There had been a tunnel built for the public to walk through since they were doing construction over head.
As the two girls neared the exit of the tunnel, January glanced up at the new window being installed. As she moved back to get a better look she bumped into someone. Turning quickly and apologizing, she froze. Again she had backed into the stranger.
“I’m beginning to think you actually walk in that direction,” he frowned down at her.
“And I’m beginning to think you are actually following me.” She smarted back, putting her hands firmly on her slender hips, staring up at him. But without a single word, he turned and continued through the man made tunnel.
“Oh....You egotistical...patooterroot!” January cursed under her breath at his retreating figure. She could feel her face burn as she hurried toward the entrance of the restaurant. Suddenly she heard Sally laughing almost uncontrollably.
“What is an egotistical patooteroot?” Sally forced from her mouth. January now considering what she had said, started laughing just as hysterically. First to gain control, January ordered herself a cup of coffee and a salad. Sally still faltering, ordered the same.
“So you know our investor?” Sally asked, under her giggles.
It took a second before January realized Sally was talking about the stranger.
“I don’t know him actually, I’ve only had the misfortune of running into him on a couple of different occasions. Do you know him?”
“No, not personally but he owns the construction company that is working on this building.” Sally explained. “He has quite a name in this town and everybody likes him...everyone that is except you. He’s very good looking, in a rugged sort of way, isn’t he?”
“What does everyone in this town call him?” January ignored her question.
“I’m not sure what his real name is, but everyone around here calls him Rich. We
January had to admit, he was handsome in a rugged sort of way. His tan, weathered face only heightened the emerald color of his eyes. His dark hair was dignified by a hint of gray. January pondered his powerful height and the way he carried himself. Unable to concentrate on eating, she moved the plate of salad away and took a sip of her hot coffee.
The rest of the day passed by quickly. January caught herself looking toward the construction area often, only to be reminded of the reason she was there, and that was to sign autographs for those into physical fitness which seemed like the entire town of Bloomington. By the end of the day she was drained of all energy and only wanted a relaxing evening watching television. But unfortunately she had promised to go to the Mayors for dinner.
The rain was coming down in a fury as January opened the door of the motel room to leave for the party.
“Oh, terrific!” she scolded herself looking around the room for something to throw over her head. She then noticed a large, blue, plastic laundry bag the motel supplied for their visitors. She opened it and couldn’t help discovering the large bold, black letters across the entire length. ‘Joe’s Laundry.’
“Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to do.” January stated with disgust, throwing the bag over her head. She looked at herself in the mirror one last time and headed for the door. Safely inside the car she shivered slightly and proceeded to start the engine. It groaned until finally it belched to life.
“That’s the way baby,” she cooed it along. “Just get me there and back and we’ll all be happy.”
January could see the house as it loomed among the tall trees just inside the city limits. It had been quite a while since she’d been there, but she remembered how elegant it looked from the road. As she pulled the noisy car into the long winding driveway, several cars were parked near the house making it impossible for her to park close. The rain hadn’t let up if anything it had gotten worse. She sat trying to decide how she would get inside the house without getting drenched to the bone. She couldn’t possibly put the plastic bag over her head again. Not only would it look ridiculous, but it held little protection under the howling rain outside.