Fiction Friday

I'm not actually linked to Romance Round Table this week, but feel free to stop over there for more great excerpts!

A bit from Morgan Lawrence's story.
He's a loner.
Scarred by the unthinkable.
Samantha, returned home to start a new life.
Strong by necessity.
Can she love the man who broke her heart so many years ago?
Will his hatred for her father stand between the first love he ever had?


Samantha's smile was soft and warm on her freckled face. Her brown hair, with hints of blonde, mahogany and gray, was conveniently cut very short. It highlighted her long neck and high cheekbones. She was stunning but rarely saw what others did when she looked in her mirror.
None of that mattered now as she felt the heat of embarassment rise on that very same neck.

She always waited until very late to go to the store with her WIC coupons. Although, she was more than grateful for the extra help the state program lent, she hated swallowing her pride in front of her peers. Okay, so it was usually only Sandy at the cash register who ultimately would, by any means necessary, avoid making eye contact with her. Sam wanted to stand up on her soapbox and yell for all to hear that, yes, she was on welfare. She was using any help she could get to keep her baby healthy and safe. She felt her embarassment recede only to be replaced by indignation.

She would do it again, too, if it meant security for Olivia.

This is temporary, she thought to herself. Jeez.

Samantha had a job, a place to live, a healthy beautiful daughter and, most importantly, a credit card balance that was slowly diminishing. In another five months she would be eligible for benefits at work and would be completely debt free. That is, if nothing went wrong. Sam closed her eyes in a silent prayer for just that. A break please.

When she opened her eyes, Olivia, who was standing next to the shopping cart, was studying intensely the person in line behind them. It made Samantha smile to see her daughter's usually serious face bloom into a smile. With her strawberry blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail Olivia actually looked carefree.

Too many changes, too quickly had taken its toll on Olivia. She had become a subdued little girl who struggled to make new freinds. But Sam couldn't help her own smile that overrode those worries. Seeing Olivia smile like that was more than precious. It was God given.
Without being obvious, Samantha took her receipt and glanced at the person behind her with a grateful smile. She didn't catch how the man's face went from goofy to grownup in that fraction of a second. Olivia giggled.

Morgan watched as the woman's smile faltered. He smiled back in encouragement. "You have a beautiful daughter, ma'am." He saw her hesitation and wondered what he had done to cause her to be so trepidatious.


With a quick smile Samantha pulled on Olivia's arm and dragged her out of the store.
Morgan watched and grinned when the little girl twisted in her mother's grip to glance back at him. He chuckled softly as she screwed up her face to stick her tongue out and cross her eyes. Ahh, love at first sight.


Dannie McGarry rolled over and draped her arm across her husband's sleeping body. Her hand found his curled up close to his chest and she entwined their fingers. Her cheek rested on his smooth bare shoulder. She loved when he slept without a shirt on. As the sun stretched across the foot of the bed, she disengaged her hand from his and ran her fingers across his abdomen. At her touch he turned onto his back and pulled her into the crook of his arm.

He slept lightly knowing that she would eventually speak to him. It was a habit that at first had driven him crazy. Still did occasionally...

"Samantha Anderson is back in town."


"Her daughter is five. They're living with her father."

"Hmm." He lifted one eyelid.

"What the heck is she doing over there? Doesn't she remember being a kid in that house? How could she possibly want to relive that time?"

Jim rolled into her and rested his head on his arm when she spoke again.

"I'm worried about Morgan... "

"He's a big boy now."

"I know that! I just... I can't stand what seeing her again might do to him. He's been so off lately. Have you noticed how moody he's been?

"When he came to the house the other day, it was the first time in over two weeks. Two weeks, Jim! That's not like him."

"I think, honey, that you're going to have to let Morgan figure things out for himself." He silenced her protest with a kiss. "Here's an idea. Why don't you give Sam a call? Find out how she's doing? No matter what her reason is for moving back in with her Dad, she could probably use a friend."

"Do you think he is still violent with her?" Her question tugged a spot in his heart.

"I don't know, Dannie. He's worn out now and doesn't look well."

As was her routine, she changed topics without warning. "I heard from Kevin last night."


"He wouldn't say where he was."


"Right." She shrugged. "He couldn't say where he was located. He sounds well, though. I just wish the Navy would let him tell us what he was doing. He must be overseas." Jim listened to her speculate on her brother Kevin's career as a Navy Seal.

"Do you think he stills carries a torch for her?"

"Huh? Kevin? Who... he hasn't carried a torch for anyone. He's still playing the field as far as I know. Not that he has all that much time to do even that."

"Not Kevin!" She slapped at his arm. "Morgan. I was talking about his thing for Samantha Anderson when he were in high school."

"Oh." Jim wrapped his arms around Dannie. "You lost me there. I think I fell back asleep." He pulled her to himself. "That's enough talk, woman."

Dannie laughed as Jim rolled her under him. "What makes you go a mile a minute one morning and slow as molasses the next?" She was unpredictable and he loved that about her.

She shrugged her shoulders with a smile. "Will you talk to him and make sure he's okay?"

"If I agree to do this will you stop talking?" He nuzzled her neck, a particularly soft, sensitive spot just behind her ear.

"Mmm. I think I could be persuaded."

She rubbed her lips over his and turned his caress into a long, slow, easy kiss.

"I'll do it than."


"You wore those pants yesterday, Olivia."

"But, I don't have anything else in my drawers!" Olivia hated mornings. She hated arguing with her mom. Why couldn't mom just let her wear whatever she wanted to wear?

Exasperated Samantha turned toward her own bedroom. "They don't even match."

"But... "

"Look. You want to wear them today? Fine. But I'm sick of seeing the same clothing on you everyday. You need to wear all the clothes that I buy for you not just the one shirt and pants that are your favorite."

"Fine." Olivia stomped down the stairs dejectedly.

"Don't stomp you feet and pout, Olivia."

Without revealing herself, Olivia put on an over-enthusiastic grin. "Okay mom," her voice sang as she rolled her eyes.

"And don't roll your eyes, either."

Not quite THE END.