Becky has returned to her childhood home in Sugardale Georgia. She is alone in her greenhouse when an uninvited stranger who has been following her appears.
Rebecca’s Return (working title) (sequel to Breaking TWIG)
(scene edited for length)
I recognized the stranger standing in the green house doorway from Kyle’s description. About five-ten, 170 pounds, and wearing a cream-colored straw cowboy hat.
He tipped his hat. “Good afternoon.”
I said nothing, just stared at him and waited for my racing pulse to slow.
“Sorry if I startled you, ma’am.”
“And I’m sorry for you too.” I didn’t know where those words came from, but they tumbled out of me as if I planned them.
He hiked a brow. “You’re sorry for me?”
“I’m sorry you can’t read. The community college in Kirbyville offers free English classes to adults who want to learn. You should sign up for them.”
A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I reckon that new No Trespassing sign in your yard was intended for me.”
“Do you drive a jade-green sedan with a white vinyl roof?”
“I do sometimes.”
“Then yes, the sign was meant for you.” My hands fisted at my side.
He pulled a business card out of the pocket of his brown western style sport coat. “Let me introduce myself and tell you why I’m here.” He held out his card.
I crossed my arms. “Don’t care what your name is, and I know why you’re here. You can tell Marsha Ackerman, Daddy Ackerman, and . . . and . . . .”
“Ackerman and Wilcox?” he asked.
“Tell all those vultures in Atlanta that Starview Mountain will never be sold to developers. I don’t want or need their money.” I sucked in a deep breath, blew it out. “I gave my word to someone that Starview Mountain would always remain as pristine as it is now. I keep my word.”
He slid the card back into his pocket, took two steps toward me. “Ackerman and Wilcox are known to be formidable enemies. They usually get whatever they’re after.”
“Not this time.” I relaxed my arms, widened my stance.
The intruder stood between me and the doorway, so flight wasn’t a possibility. I slid my left hand over the garden shears lying on the countertop. I would not let this stranger intimidate me on my own property. “Give Marsha and her father my message and don’t come back.”
“I just need a few minutes of your time, ma’am.”
“You need to fast-walk yourself off my property before I call Sheriff Hays and have you arrested for trespassing.”
“I know Nathan Hays very well,” he said.
“So, you’ve been arrested for trespassing before?”
The stranger grinned. “Actually, I’m looking for a woman.”
“You’ve come to the wrong place. Try the Come to Momma bar in Kirbyville. You might get lucky.”
He laughed, pushed his hat back on his head, revealing more of his comely face. “Did anyone ever tell you that you have a keen sense of humor?”
“Nope . . . never.” I pointed at the door behind him. “I’m not kidding, fellow. You’d better get off my property now or else—”
“Or else what, Mrs. Dumont?”
He knew my name. My grip on the shears tightened.
Thanks for stopping by and stay safe,