Excerpt #3: The Meeting
The Stranger stretched out his hand, and it took me a second to realize I should shake it. While placing my hand into his, I moved my eyes upward to his face. Time seemed to stop as I took in a good view of him. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Whoever said that must have met Julian. His eyes were deep, soulful as if he could read your every thought. He looked at me with an intensity I’d never felt before. As cliché as it sounds, I went weak in the knees, accompanied by a tingly sensation moving up my arm and down my back. I couldn’t help but shiver.
“Lucinda Kelley?” he asked me.
Oh my gosh! His voice…That accent.
It was a warm baritone as alluring as his eyes which now took on a playful manner.I could still feel the effects of his voice deep down inside to the very core of me. I closed my eyes in a flutter.
“Is that the same Lucinda Kelley who writes for Waiting for Love?” His mouth quirked to the side as if holding back his humor.
My throat locked up and I couldn’t answer. My heart! There was something definitely wrong with my heart. The erratic beat couldn’t be healthy. A second later Liz spoke in my place. “Yes, she is. Have you seen the show? She’s very talented, my big sister.”
Julian never turned his gaze from my face, even as Liz spoke. “I thought I recognized the name.”
There could be no denying that he knew exactly who I was. I just wanted to disappear and find myself back at my home in my warm, comforting bed to realize that this whole episode had been some unbelievable dream. I could feel color creeping into my cheeks as if they were on fire.
Derek took this moment to lean over to my ear. “I’ve got to get going.” As I listened, I watched the smile melt from Julian’s mouth. I nodded over to Derek, and he took this as his first and only time to place a kiss on my cheek. He’d never done that before, and now he had to do it in front of Julian. Oh horrors!
As luck would have it, Maria came up at that moment and led Julian off to meet some of the other couples who had just arrived. I remained stapled to my spot. What was I going to do? Then it came to me. The break I needed to make my great escape had arrived—like Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz. I might even need one of those homemade rafts tonight, Clint.
You can find this title in e-book format at www.bygracepublishing.com and in Kindle format at Amazon.com. In a couple weeks it will also be available in trade paperback on Amazon.