This is an excerpt for a follow up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller, She Belongs to Me. Though there aren’t really any spoilers, you can bypass this sample and read more about the first book here.
If you missed the first excerpts and want to read the full first chapter, click here.
“I’m serious.” She dipped below his lowered head so that she could see his face. “You promised not to ever do this again. How can you doubt for a second how much I love you? If you’re such a great detective, look into my eyes and see that I’m telling the truth.” He peered up then. “I love you. I will always love you. I’m just a little depressed, but I don’t know why.” She paused, and then emphasized each word. “But-it’s-not-you. Please comprehend that and help me figure out what’s wrong.”
His eyes widened at her appeal. He’d always wanted to take care of her, and she’d just made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. “Okay…just one question, and please be honest.” He stared into her eyes now, his own personal lie detector. She hated when he did this. But wanting to settle his ridiculous fears, she conceded by looking him squarely in the eyes. “I know you love me. I don’t doubt you love me. But, are you still in love with me?” he asked bluntly.
Instantly her eyes wanted to withdraw at his absurd question, but she held focus. “Jordan, I love everything about you. I love the way you know something about everything, the way you watch TV and laugh all by yourself. I even love that ridiculous noise you make when you’re brushing your teeth. I love that you’re a great father…that your favorite day of the week to make love is Sunday, and I love that I can’t even be sad without you noticing. Yes, I am still in love with you, you absurd, insecure man.”
“I’m sorry, but that does make me feel better. Now. Why are you depressed?”
The word depressed obviously hadn’t thrilled him. She hadn’t meant to use that word. She’d been denying it to herself even. She curled up into his arms, her head against his chest. “You’re going to laugh.”
“I doubt that,” he mumbled, still serious.
“I feel old, as if this is it. The best I am ever going to look, the best I am ever going to feel. And you, you look incredible. I always see women checking you out, even at church.”
He released a short, forced laugh as he tilted her head up. “Are you crazy? Guys are constantly checking you out. You don’t see it because you don’t give them the time of day—thank you for that by the way. But, darling, you look fantastic. And you know I can’t keep my hands off you. Is this because you’re turning forty?”
“I knew you were going to laugh.”
He brushed her hair away from her face. “Well, I don’t understand why that would make you depressed? You know how much I’m attracted to you, isn’t that all that matters?”
“Yes,” she admitted, sighing. She knew she couldn’t explain it. Her head dropped as she felt her eyes start to mist. Her stomach felt like an empty pit, as if a gaping hole kept stretching deeper and wider that she didn’t know how to fill, as though something were missing. Her heart tightened in her chest, and a feeling of sorrow rushed through her for no reason whatsoever. It had never happened when Jordan held her; she was getting worse. What was wrong with her?
Jordan tilted her chin up. “Is there more?”
“No.” She sighed again, pushing back the feelings.
“That doesn’t sound very convincing.”
She nuzzled against his bare chest again. “Can we talk about something else or nothing at all?” Nothing at all would be good. Tomorrow she’d figure everything out.
“Are you okay with this thing with Johanna? Have you checked it out?”
She couldn’t believe he’d let the subject drop, but felt relieved. “It has good reviews and bad, like most businesses. But from the moment I told him we wouldn’t pay a dime, he didn’t squabble. He’s so assured of her getting contracted, he’s willing to take a chance.”
Jordan’s eyes narrowed. “Contracted doing what?”
“They do everything…modeling, acting, singing.”
“And do you want this? You’d have to accompany her everywhere.”
She felt her lips curl up at the prospect. She did want this. “Yeah, I think it’d be fun.”
“A chance to offer her the opportunities you never had?” he hedged.
This is what happens when you expose your heart and soul. “I’m not interested in living vicariously through my daughter, if that’s what you’re insinuating. But yes, it would be nice for her to have choices I never had.”
Jordan’s expression turned again. His features saddened as if she’d thrust a knife into his heart. He couldn’t hide his emotions any more than she could.
She pressed her hand against his cheek. “Jordan, I’m talking about before we met. Of course, as much as I hated my life before you, if I hadn’t made every stupid decision, if every bad thing hadn’t happened, I would never have met you. And you, my love, are the absolute best choice in my life.” She pressed her lips to his, hoping to end this discussion.
Somewhat mollified, he pulled her down until they were horizontal. Conversation over, she guessed.
He nibbled his way to her ear. “Prove it.”
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