Deadly Precious by Larion Wills Genre: Romantic Suspense
Drew Dray had one purpose in life, destroy his father and the inheritance his wheedling, gutless brother thought would be his. Only one thing interfered with his goal, nearly crippling pain from a bad hip. To ease the pain, he agreed to an injection, had a drastic reaction to the drug, and his plans changed. He awoke in a hospital, manacled to the bed. The last thing he remembered was knowing he needed help.
He was told while hallucinating from the drug, he’d walked into a stranger’s house, attacked the woman there, and raped her, and unbelievably, the woman, Letitia Winters, wasn’t going to press charges. To his mind, any woman who could dismiss such an attack, regardless of the circumstances, had to be simple-minded. What did he care? Pay her off and be rid of her, but the woman and circumstances kept driving him back.
When he discovered his actions resulted in her pregnancy, and her husband divorcing her for refusing to abort his baby, Drew proposed and bullied her into a marriage of convenience, to give the child his name his only reason. After being branded a bastard by the man he meant to destroy, he swore no child of his would suffer the label. Even after her raving ex-husband warns that she isn’t normal, that she’s a witch who makes bad things happen to get even with people, he goes back. He didn’t believe it or credit it to the house burning down or his plane crashing.
Was she the naïve, submissive mouse she seemed? A witch casting spells to keep him going back? Was her aim revenge or was she just a greedy, dangerous woman who found out he had millions? Would he survive to destroy his father or discover how deadly sweet, bland Letitia could be?
He found his way back to the tiny café, hoping for a decent meal. He got a lot more.
Booths lined one wall, tables sat in front of the windows, and a counter ran along the back. Only two of three booths were filled. At the first one, the old biddies from before were avidly tearing someone apart. Drew took the empty booth in the back corner and read the menu, trying to curb his impatience and ignore the women.
“Why else would she be riding in this kind of weather if not to lose it?”
“She rides all the time, Hazel,” a younger woman stated.
With a snort, Hazel continued. “Not with the snow threatening to come down. I tell you, she’s trying to lose it, and why wouldn’t she? Who would want the child of a rapist?”
“She could have done that legally.”
“Why didn’t she? Poor Eddie begged and pleaded for her to get an abortion. No wonder he got that quickie divorce.”
Drew ground his teeth with the desire to choke Hazel.
“Abortion is murder,” another, older woman, said in a harsh whisper.
“So is deliberately causing a miscarriage.”
“Doctors say it’s all right to ride,” another said. “They told my Emmy to keep on, as long as it didn’t cause her discomfort.”
“Nonsense, a woman wasn’t made to be astride a horse while she’s carrying. Mark my words, she’ll lose it if she doesn’t stop this nonsense. I can’t say I blame her. I know I wouldn’t want a bastard beget by a rapist.”
Drew shot to his feet. The women glanced up as he stomped out of the café, slamming the door behind him. His temper hadn’t cooled in the slightest before Letitia finally returned home, on foot, looking like a beggar in a ragged coat, worn jeans, and scuffed, wet boots. Her look of surprise at seeing him pacing her porch was replaced with dread as he bore down on her.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded. “Why did you leave it up to a bunch of evil mouthed bitches in a café to let me know?”
“Know what?” she asked in a tired voice.
He nearly shouted, “Are you pregnant?”
“Is it mine?”
“God damn you, that’s no reason to murder it!”
“Murder?” She took a step back, her hand resting on her stomach. “What are you talking about?”
“It seems to be common knowledge that you’re deliberately trying to kill a rapist’s baby. Why the hell didn’t you just abort it when poor Eddie begged you to?”
She stood up straight, all five-foot-seven inches of her. “I think you better leave.”
“You’re not going to murder that baby. I’ll find some way to stop you.”
He grabbed her by the hand and dragged her behind him. She was so stunned they reached the car before she struggled to free herself.
“What are you doing?”
“Get in.” He flung the car door open and pushed her in.
She bounced back out. He solved the problem of keeping her in by crawling over the seat and dragging her in after him. He held her in with one arm, started the car, and let the door shut with the momentum of the car moving forward.
“You shouldn’t do this,” she stated in her usual passive tone.
“I’m going to marry you.”
She twisted to face him, mouth hanging open.
“I don’t like the word bastard, and I won’t be responsible for one.”
“That’s no reason to get married.”
Glancing sideways at her, he said, “It’s enough for me.”
“Let’s talk this over reasonably. You don’t want a wife, and I don’t want a husband under those circumstances.”
“I’m not asking you to be my wife. As soon as the baby is born, we’ll get a divorce.”
“But…” She broke off, chewing at her lip. “Don’t you think we ought to discuss this?”
“Mr. Dray, I don’t want to marry you.”
“I’m not too happy about it myself, Mrs. Winters, but it’s the only answer.”
“In today’s society, it isn’t—”
Drew cut her off. “I’m not having a kid of mine living a lie! He’ll have my name!
Still in the same placid tone, despite his shouting, she told him, “A marriage of five months is going to be more difficult than—”
“I didn’t say you had to get a divorce the instant it’s born. You can wait as long as you want. I don’t give a damn. That kid is mine, and it’ll have my name.”
Letitia sighed heavily. “That’s all you care about?”
“Other than it having your name so it won’t be a bastard, that’s all you care about?”
“I said that’s all,” he said firmly. “I meant it.”
She chewed on her lip and leaned back in the corner to watch him. She stayed that way until they reached Portland and a motel near the airport. While he checked them into two rooms, she wandered off. He found her, visiting with another woman and barely gave her time to hand yarn and crochet hook back to the woman before he pulled her away. At least, he thought to himself, she was being sensible about the marriage, though he was beginning to doubt the sanity of his rash decision.
Larion Wills, a multi-genre author, also writes under the name of Larriane Wills. From the present, to the past in historical westerns, to far in the future with science fiction, she holds up to her tag given to her by one of her publishers of ‘two names, one author, thousands of stories’, although not all of them are in print, yet. Born in Oklahoma but raised in Arizona she feels a native to the state and has settled in the high desert country. In a quiet, rural area with a family who tolerates her writer’s single-mindedness, she presents us with a collection of unique contemporary romances, many laced with paranormal settings, all with strong characterizations and suspenseful plots, capable of dragging you into a story in a genre you thought you didn’t care for. Under her other pen of Larriane she writes science fiction and fantasy. At her website, http://www.larriane.com , you can keep abreast of releases under both pen names, keep up with new releases through various publishers.
A day in a writer’s life, or is it just me?
I got up this morning and went straight to the computer, what I do just about every day. This morning, however, I’m determined I’m going to get some of those things done that I haven’t for too long. I’ll explain why later. I’m having company for Thanksgiving so on top of the normal requirements to keeping a house, I need to start organizing for that.
After reading my email, first off is a shower. Stepping over the clothes sorted for laundry reminds me there’s a load in the washer. After the shower I get to the laundry room, to re-start the load in the washer. After they sit a night (or two) they stink, and this is the third wash for this load. I grab up the timer to take to the living room with me, knowing if I don’t, I’ll forget to go in and change the wet clothes to the dryer which was already what happened to the load in the washer, twice.
I’ve planned ahead and prepared, taking the timer with me, right? I got to tell you it doesn’t do much good when I go off to the other room to get something and forget to drag that timer along. The other problem was the room I went to holds the computer. Egad, I had new mail.
Once finished reading and answering, I head for the kitchen. That’s close enough to the laundry room to remind me to put the load in the dryer and a fresh one in the washer. So proud of myself. I even got some groceries put away that had been sitting on the cabinet for a few days. (maybe longer) Oops, there’s the phone, guaranteed to distract me.
What was I doing? Oh yeah, cleaning off the cabinet and table for Thanksgiving. One of the items from the table needed to be carried to the room. You guessed it. I was back at the computer.
This time I’m really proud of myself. I remembered to go to the washroom to empty the dryer, and transfer the load in the washer, and put a fresh load in the washer. Oh, no, I can’t believe I forgot to turn the dryer on. That’s going to set me back another hour.
Might as well eat something since my stomach has been complaining for some time now. Not too surprising, I find something in the micro I put in the day before for lunch and forgot. Another oops. As I take my fresh soup out, hubby walks in. He’s hungry, too. Fortunately, there’s a can of soup left. I haven’t been to the store for at least two weeks, which tells you how long those things have been on the cabinet. The cupboards and refrigerator are pretty bare except for the things I’ve been picking up ahead of time for Thanksgiving.
You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that I haven’t been doing any writing. That happened the days before when I forgot what I put in the micro to eat, the clothes in the washer, and putting the groceries away. When I’m obsessing over a story, it’s to the computer as soon as I roll out of bed. The story is the first thing I think of when I wake and the last thing as I go to sleep. Everything in between waits. In this, I’ve discovered, I am not unique. For many writers the story obsesses, everything else goes to the side. On days like today, we play catch up with our family, our home, and other obligations. I’m cool, getting things done as long as another story doesn’t pop into my head.