Book Two in the Romantic Suspense series is on it's way. The first book Love or Deception is .99 2/23-2/25 on Amazon,iTunes, BN, and Smashwords.
Instead of preparing meals together and snuggling on the couch watching television, Lucian worked. She worked too, as a school office manager. It allowed her plenty of time to get home to fix Lucian an excellent supper he seldom ate because he usually ate at work or even dined with clients. His actions hurt her, but she pretended they didn’t. After all, Lucian never had a wife before. How would he know what he was supposed to do? Maybe it was her. Could she be doing something wrong?
They were going for a ride today, which showed that being a compliant wife paid off. Following her church teachings of being a submissive wife was not only the right thing to do but was its own reward.
Lucian backed the car out of the garage slowly, driving a few miles before pulling over long enough to lower the convertible top. She glanced at his hands because she’s always admired his long fingers and maicured nails he kept meticulously clean. Her deceased father had run an airline, but he often worked on the planes himself, which left him with stained, rough skin.
Today Lucian’s immaculate hands were glove encased. “Honey, why are you wearing those gloves, especially on a warm day like this?”
He fixed his warm chocolate eyes on her and smiled. “Can’t risk a blister. I’ve got a big case this week. A lawyer with a blister on his hand draws attention at the wrong time. I can’t have some nearsighted juror trying to decide if it’s a wart, a blemish, or a blister while ignoring my opening argument.”
“You’re right,” she readily agreed.
Lucian was an excellent criminal defense lawyer. How could a jury convict when he turned those eyes on them and launched an argument that demolished his opponent’s case. She’d met him through her old boyfriend, who was also a lawyer. There was a time she thought she could be a lawyer, too. The thought made her grimace. That was back when she was an independent woman, thinking she could do anything. Thank goodness, she found Lucian and the church to help her put things in their proper place. Although, sometimes, she wondered what would have happened if she’d finished her degree and passed the bar.
The morning sun rose in the sky like a play backdrop. The blue skies above her, the sheer walls of rock on one side, and the ocean tossing far below made for excellent scenery, a setting for a perfect day. Lucian mentioned they might stop for lunch at a little bistro up the road featured on The Food Channel. The life she wanted was coming together, the one she dreamed of while she persevered to be the ideal wife. She never raised her voice and never argued with her man. He stopped the car at a lookout point, a sharp jog of a cliff that jutted out over the roaring water attached only on its side to the mountain wall. Lucian left the car to stand at the safety railing, gazing out to sea. A mini mall sat across the road with the majority of its storefronts empty
“Sweetheart, you got to see this. Only on the West Coast can you feast your eyes on this type of savage beauty.”
A feeling of trepidation suddenly grabbed her, stalling her exit from the convertible. Why should she be afraid of Lucian, especially when he was so sweet to her? His masculine silhouette highlighted by the morning sun emphasized his wide shoulders and powerful physique, not exactly typical for an attorney. Her husband trained for the triathlons that were so popular in their area with the same passion he displayed in court. She noticed his gloved hand clutching the railing. Was he afraid of being up so high? If so, he’d never mention it.
Forcing her feet forward, she preferred not to be so close to the edge. Did Lucian know she had a fear of heights? Ironic when her family’s money came from flying. Did she ever mention it? Maybe, it was hard to remember. Theirs was a short courtship brought about by the betrayal of her former boyfriend, James. Jumping in bed with Lucian, when he told her about James’ cheating ways, hadn’t been her intention, but still it happened. Hard to believe she was ever that girl. Once she joined his church and started participating in the Ladies’ Bible study, he found her acceptable as wife material. His exact words involved something about acknowledging his spiritual headship. She didn’t question the meaning, only nodded, overwhelmed to have the love of the handsome up and coming lawyer.
Finally, at the railing beside her husband, she wrapped her fingers around the cold metal for assurance and support. The sun glistened on the waves, making them iridescent, changing color with each ripple. It was beautiful. She smiled up at her husband, wanting to share the moment, only to see herself reflected back in his sunglasses. Was he as happy as she was? His unsmiling lips didn’t indicate any joy. Still, how could he not be when everything was so perfect?
“Honey, are you happy right now?”
He wrapped one arm around her and squeezed her shoulders, turning her into his embrace, forcing her to let go of the rail. “I’m going to be much happier in a few seconds.” He grinned, allowing his face to come closer to hers.
Their differing heights sometimes made a simple kiss a challenge. Pressing up on her toes, she did her best to meet him halfway. Her eyelids fluttered shut, as his face loomed large in front of hers, making a kiss so much more romantic.
No lips landed on hers. Instead, Lucian scooped her up in his arms, cradling her high against his chest. Her eyes opened at his unexpected action. While romantic, it made no sense. There was no grassy picnic area to carry her to, just rugged, rocky outcroppings with gravel dusting the ground. “What are you doing?”
She hadn’t meant to ask, but the words popped out. One of the primary rules for being a good wife was to never question your husband. She couldn’t see his eyes, but his biceps bunched as he lifted her higher. “Getting rid of a boring mouse of a wife.”
Her mind took a painstakingly long time to work through the words. They were so wrong. What could it possibly mean? What this some type of role-play game? He had wanted her to dress up like a schoolgirl while he pretended to be the teacher, but she’d hesitated, wondering if it was a church-approved activity. Her realization that he meant what he said came too late as she plunged downward to the angry waves.
Her hands reached for the twisted shrubs growing out of the rocky cliff. The first one grazed her hand with its sharp needles. The second one jutted out more. Closer, she could get this one. For a brief heartbeat, there was a break in her fall as something caught on the tree, then broke. The sun glinted on something metallic as her body wind-milled through the air rather like a rag doll.