Michael Cartwright is a killer in the fast paced world of high finance and the youngest executive at Marks International. He is determined not to toil his life away hauling freight to put money into a rich man’s pockets as his father has done. He is going to be a wealthy man in his own right, and he will do anything to get there. When his boss sends him to Appalachia to shut down coal mines and put thousands of miners out of work, he poses as a fellow miner who is down on his luck and in need of a job, and quickly wins the trust of the locals. Falling for a miner’s daughter is out of the question and the last thing on the mind of this ‘hit and quit it’ guy to whom wealth and greed mean much more than love.
The tiny town had a few establishments that appeared to be open, and Michael was determined to find a bar. Maybe he would get lucky with one of the local girls. An Appalachian liaison might be just what he needed. He parked the rental car across the street, hoping that no one noticed him getting out of it. He opened the door to the bar and waited to be questioned. There were twenty or so men of various ages but all with one thing in common. Every one of the men wore some item that clearly indicated they were a part of the Monteley Mines…a cap, their name stitched beneath the logo on their shirt, and as he sat down at the bar he noticed a wall clock courtesy of Monteley Mines.
“Haven’t seen you around here.”
“I’m…uh…here to see about a job in the mines.” What a liar he was. He asked for a beer and lowered his head.
“Where abouts are you from?”
Thinking fast, he said a quick, “Different places, wherever I can find work.”
The bartender turned his attention to another patron and Michael swiveled around on the bar stool. A woman sat down next to him and ordered a beer. She was pretty and just what he needed tonight.
“Hi, I’m Jenny.”
Jenny turned and started to walk away, but Michael pulled her back with an arm around her waist. He slowly raised his hands and gently touched her smooth young face. He wanted to kiss her slightly parted lips, but he feared rejection from the sweet innocent woman. He knew that he had to kiss her or he would regret it. He held her tightly and ran his tongue along her parted lips. He pressed his lips to hers and kissed her the way that Jenny had been dying to be kissed. It was her first kiss with someone as mature and worldly as Michael. She kissed him, her mouth opening in a passionate response, and she imagined him being her first lover. Then she stopped and pulled back. What had she done? She didn’t want this beautiful stranger to think she was easy.
Michael continued to hold her as she tried to pull away. “Jenny?”
“I can’t, I’m sorry.” She started to walk away, but Michael held her arm. “What are you afraid of?” A backward glance from her showed hurt in the young woman’s eyes. “I’m a coal miner’s daughter. I’m nothing special.”