Excerpt: Return Engagement
She turned into the front parking lot which was empty of cars and saw a faded and dusty closed sign in the office window. Wonder how many years the place had been closed? Okay, she’d try around back.
She drove around to the back side of the motel where she found a late model silver Buick and a black Jaguar parked side by side. Richard must have a Jaguar, too, thought Elizabeth. She wondered who owned the Buick and decided it probably belonged to someone helping him with her surprise.
She parked beside the two cars and looked around. Richard hadn’t mentioned a room number, but all of the doors were closed except room 205 which stood partially open. That must be the one. She hurried across the parking lot and stepped inside Room 205. It smelled musty and seemed dark to her, but the sun shone brightly today. She paused a moment to give her eyes time to adjust.
The room was bigger than she’d expected. Actually, it was a suite, not a single room at all. At one time it had probably looked very lovely, but now it just looked old and battered.
Water-stained wallpaper peeled from one corner while the carpet underfoot was littered with some type of black, loamy substance, maybe dirt, maybe mildew. She didn’t see anyone, so she called, “Richard? Where are you?”
No one answered, but she saw an interior door hanging from one hinge near the back of the room and decided to check it out. She took three steps into the quiet darkness before she finally realized something was wrong. Things didn’t feel right in this room. Every nerve in her body screamed danger, and she seemed to have ice water instead of blood in her veins. She was getting out of here!
With a gasp she turned to run, but she had waited too late. A small man stood between her and the front door. He held an ugly, black gun that pointed straight at her. “Miss Lane, how very good of you to come,” he began, his voice cultured, precise, and quiet. “This gathering would not be complete without your presence.”
“Who are you? Where’s Richard?” Elizabeth shrilly demanded.
“All of your questions will be answered in time, Miss Lane.” He didn’t take the gun off Elizabeth as he backed toward the outer door and shut it. “Please walk in front of me to the next room. There’s someone there who’s waiting for you.”
Elizabeth Lane has it all, but an actress isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time Elizabeth’s fighting back, a decision that leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. At present she teaches high school social studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and playing with her grandchildren.