Starting Over

Starting Over

Charmaine Gordon

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One early morning run, he sees tears spill down Emily's tanned face. She stumbles and falls, crumpling into a heap in the sand. . .and doesn't get up. A lone runner reaches Emily's side. Her watcher slams his binoculars onto the railing as he throws his coffee cup against the steel and Plexiglas windscreen...

 

 
PUBLISHED BY: Vanilla Heart Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-935407-79-9
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010
WORD COUNT: 60000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 3 3 3
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Romantic Suspense
KEYWORDS: romantic suspense. romance, Florida, fiction, drama, Charmaine Gordon, Vanilla Heart Publishing
 

EBOOKS BY Vanilla Heart Publishing

EBOOKS BY Charmaine Gordon

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Charmaine Gordon/2010

Chapter 1

She ran as fast as she could on the hard packed sand this early morning in February, still cold in St. Augustine, Florida. Cold and beautiful with the tide out and no one around. Almost always surefooted, not as steady since Larry died eight months before, Emily Kendrick stumbled and caught her balance. There was a sense of someone watching her, close to her, yet she ran into no one on the deserted beach. It was almost an everyday occurrence. Tears spilled down her face just as the hurdles set for the track team came up. Easy leap over the first one, the second knocked over by a careless foot. Emily fell and didn’t get up.

A lone runner sprinted through the waves and hurried to aid the fallen woman.

Binoculars slammed against the railing of the widow’s walk where two eyes had been watching the long-legged runner for months. From his well hidden perch high up on the mansion over-looking the Atlantic Ocean, under investigation the infamous Clifford Lansdale said, “She’s mine.” Fragments of the expensive binoculars lay at his feet.


“Are you all right?” the runner said.

Emily laughed and cried. “Oh sure. I never stumble like this and the kids will be coming down for practice soon. I’ve got to be on top of my game to train them.” She stood up, checked all her parts to make sure nothing was damaged and brushed off sand. “Thanks for stopping by. I’m Emily Kendrick.” She noticed the runner checking out all her parts too and shook her head. Guys. They just can’t help it.

“Patrick Corwin. What kids?”

“I coach the women’s track team at the college. We’re at the beach most days before the crowd.” She opened a thermos and offered tea. Patrick begged off.

“I run early before office hours. Have to get up to Jacksonville before morning rush.” He fished a business card from his running shorts. “Call me. I’d enjoy getting to know you better, Emily.”

Patrick left before she had a chance to say no. How could she ever go out with another man? Larry was the best husband in the world, her high school sweetie. Emily didn’t know how she was going to spend the rest of her life without him. Their children were grown up and married. They loved her but had their own lives to lead. “Go out, Mom,” Tommy said. “Have some fun. Dad wouldn’t want you to be alone.” Her daughter wasn’t eager for her to date. “Play Bridge, learn how to use the computer we bought you. I’ll have a baby for you to play with.” Emily hated card games, computers were scary, babies sounded wonderful but is that how life would be?

From sounds of a bus coming over the nearby dune, Emily knew the team had arrived. Time to work and work was the answer for now. After a grueling two hour work-out, the sweating pony-tail crowd waved goodbye to the coach and headed back to school. Emily pedaled her way up the beach to the lovely old house with the wrap-around porch purchased thirty years before when beach front property was affordable.

The mail and paper were dumped on a table purchased years before to accommodate a family of four, now too big for one person. She poured hot decaf coffee over one packet of sweetener and sighed as she sat down on the old captain’s chair. The rubber band slipped down easily and Emily sorted the mail, bills in one stack, discount coupons for cleaning, movies, and food in another. Ready to fling the pizza delivery flyer in the garbage, she reconsidered with a shrug of her shoulders and placed it in the second pile. A catalog for men’s clothes went flying, followed by one with seductive lingerie for sale. Emily retrieved it just in case she lived long enough to change her mind about dating.

She slowly made her way to the big mirror in the hall and looked at the gray roots, the few wrinkles, and shook her head. Emily Kendrick, femme fatale. A woman with grown children and no husband. At her age. Fifty something. Too scary.

The glass is half full. Got it? Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Time to take charge of your life. Yes, you’re a coach and phys ed teacher but it’s time to buckle down and learn a new skill like the dreaded computer. Everyone uses one. Why not me? Take a course and learn.

A quick call to the college and she learned that a beginner course in computers was starting in a few weeks. Before she could change her mind, Emily signed up, credit card information over the phone. Sashaying over to the dusty laptop computer box, she cleaned it off and said, “Hey pal, you and I are going to get acquainted.”

Unaware that the stalker had taken up his position in his hiding place, Emily made plans for the afternoon. Clifford Lansdale knew Emily Kendrick’s schedule.
 

 
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