July 19, 2008

Holly and the Millionaire


Holly gnawed the inside of her lower lip. I’m not going to cry again. I’ll dehydrate if I do. She had to keep her wits about her in case the Kirwans came after them. Even with all their power and money, surely they couldn’t drag Lilly and her off the plane? If only it would hurry up and take off and get her away from England with all its trauma, betrayal and bittersweet memories.
She stifled a sob, letting Lilly pull at her hair—anything to stop the baby from grizzling, at least until they got into the air. If the man sitting next to her complained—and he looked savage enough to do so—they might be put off the plane. It was stupid, illogical. She had paid for her ticket just like him, but her defenses had taken such a battering over the last few weeks, she couldn’t think straight.
Lilly, suddenly tiring of pulling Holly’s hair, leaned across and grabbed the strap of the man’s laptop carry bag. He tried to snatch it back.
“I’m sorry.” Holly pried the baby fingers open. Don’t cry, darling, don’t cry, not now, she pleaded inwardly.
The seatbelt sign suddenly lit up. They were getting ready to take off. She clipped on her seatbelt, watching as the man did the same. He had long, tanned fingers with well-kept nails. His dark trousers were tailor made and his shoes handcrafted by the look of them. The cream high-necked sweater he wore was of the finest wool. This man’s appearance screamed wealth and power. So why did he travel economy class?
They were moving, the roar of the engines a musical serenade in her ears. She and Lilly were safe. She exhaled a breath without even realizing she had been holding it. Lilly started squirming again. For some reason, she seemed attracted to the man’s laptop. She wanted it, and for an eleven month old, she was determined.
“No, darling, you can’t have that.” She pulled the chubby hand away. “It isn’t ours.”
The man looked at her with slate-gray eyes that were cold and bleak as a wintry English sky. His slightly wavy black hair showed flecks of silver at the sides. He compressed his mouth, but his lower lip jutted ever so slightly—full, sensuous and extremely kissable. Why did she care what shape his lips were? He looked vaguely familiar, but in her troubled frame of mind, she couldn’t remember where she might have seen him before.
A shudder shook all the way through her. She shouldn’t be admiring men, didn’t want to be admiring men, not with Robbie barely cold in his grave.
Her stomach plummeted and her eardrums vibrated. She closed her eyes, clutching Lilly tightly around the waist. Don’t think about it, she urged herself. Large passenger planes rarely crashed. Only military transport planes were shot down from the sky. Only laughing young soldiers died.
She couldn’t stop a moan of distress from escaping. She wanted to stop it, but couldn’t.
“Hey, it’s all right.” The man touched her arm. “We’re off the ground now.”
“What?” She fought against the terror, burying her face against Lilly’s warm back, inhaling her sweet baby scent. It comforted her. They were safe, on their way home now, out of reach of Robbie’s parents.
It didn’t have to be this way. She had been prepared to share Lilly with them. She was their only grandchild, the only one they would ever have now. They wanted Lilly, but they didn’t want her. Pure and simple.
The story of my life, Holly thought bitterly. No one wanted her except Robbie. She sniffed the tears back.
“Are you all right?” the man asked gruffly. “Do you want me to call the flight attendant?”

10 comments:

Penelope West said...

Margaret:
This book has been tickling at my mind for quite some time. I'm just going to have to give up and get it. I don't usually read contemporaries, but this one calls to me.
Have an absolutely wonderful day!
Penny (the Yank)

Crystal said...

Wow! Holly and the Millionaire sounds wonderful! I've been reading more Wild Rose Press recently and really enjoy them. I love seeing all these books coming out with Iraq soldiers. It really makes it feel real and contemporary.

kimmyl said...

WOW this sounds like another great read. I'm definately watching my pile of tbb bought books growing.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

We'll be giving away "Holly and the Millionaire" for today's prize, so maybe one of you will be lucky enough to win it!

It does sound intriguing. I'm going to have get it and read as well.

~Anna Kathryn

Cheri2628 said...

Both of these books sound really good. I especially like the premise of Holly and the Millionaire. Will you be giving away a print book or e-book?

Estella said...

This sounds like a wonderful story!

CrystalGB said...

Great excerpt. Sounds good. Love the cover.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

The prize of "Holly and the Millionaire" will be an e-book.

~A.K.

Drea said...

Another great excerpt! My pocket book is the only one not liking Christmas in July! LOL

blessedheart said...

Loved the excerpt!

Rhonda :-)