Friday, July 8, 2011

Is There No Fixing This? - Romantic Friday Writers, Forgiven

The Romantic Friday Writers are posting their answer to Challenge No. 9 - Forgiven

I opted to enter a scene I'm working on for Bayou Blue, the third book in the Shades of Hope series.  In it, Jake has just had an argument with Riley, an auburn-haired spitfire that everyone in town calls 'Red'. She did something that jeopardized the investigation into a tragedy everyone believes her brother caused.

Verona is Jake's best friend since childhood. They grew up on Bayou La Fourde together and she pulls no punches even if he is the parish's sheriff.

Bayou Blue
Coming August 2012
Sheriff Jake Ayers wants his parish to heal from the tragic bombing that left his town in mourning, but with Riley Drake back in town, that’s not going to happen. Jake cares for the beautiful, determined reporter, but Riley is causing no end of trouble. Most of the people want her dead. Emotions run deep in the bayou, and Jake’s are no exception. Keeping a level head and an indifferent heart is going to be as difficult as keeping Riley alive.

Jake stood at his desk, stretched, and grabbed the sheriff’s star from the desk top.

“You weren’t a stupid boy, Jake,” Verona’s voice called from the front counter. “How is it that you’re being such a stupid man?”

“Evening, V,” Jake said back. “Come as part of the goodwill committee again?”

Waving the question away, she lifted a section of the counter, clicking her gum as she walked over. “Where’s Red?”

Ignoring her question, Jake leaned back on his desk, half sitting, and crossed his arms over his chest. “You’re not supposed to be back here.”

“She’s just as stubborn as you are, you know. Someone’s got to bend for you two to have any sort of chance.”

Comment?” Jake tried to shrug off her words. “How do you mean?”

“You know what I mean, Jake.” She sauntered back toward the desk, her head cocked to the side looking at him with a worried smile like she used to do when they were kids. “You planning on hiding out here all night? There’s a party outside in case you hadn’t heard.”

“Oh, I’ve heard,” Jake nodded to the cells down the hall. “I’ve got a few revelers here for company already. And I’m not hiding. I’m on duty.”

Verona stopped in front of Toughie’s desk, scooted onto it, and sat facing Jake. “You hiding from her?”

Jake stared at her for a beat and then shrugged. “I have no—”

“Oh, please, Jake. I saw you with her, remember?” She pointed to his face. “I’ve seen that look on you before.”

“Don’t do this, V.”

“You going to deny there’s something there?”

“No.” He answered simply. No point in lying to her. “Doesn’t matter what I want though. It’s a bad idea. Her brother blew up the town, Verona. Besides, she and I fight whenever we get within ten feet of each other.”

“Maybe you should get closer,” she drawled.

Jake grabbed his hat from the rack pointedly ignoring the comment.
“I told her to leave town.”

“Like that’s never happened before.”

Jake turned to face her unable to hide the sorrow swirling in his gut and her smile faltered. He plopped the hat on his head, stared out at Verona from under it, and shrugged.
“I don’t know. I told her I was freezing her out of her brother’s investigation. That I couldn’t trust her, so yeah, I think she’ll probably leave.”

“Is there no chance of fixing this?” Verona asked quietly. “You think she’ll just…leave again?”

“I’m not sure if I can charm her into forgiving me for this one.”

She nodded at him, her eyes boring into his. “Is there some reason you’re refusing to see that this woman is the one good thing to come out of all of this? That she just might be what you need?”

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You can also find links to all the other awesome excerpts there.