Saturday, November 28, 2020

Excerpt | Run to You by Jayne Townsley


Clarinda was the proper choice for a wife because she was a virgin, which Bonnie volunteered
during one of their times together. During Clarinda’s yearly exam, Bonnie had discovered that
Clarinda was not on the pill or any form of birth control because Miss Sanders was saving herself
for marriage. Laughing in their cheap motel room, Bonnie had made fun of Clarinda’s viewpoint.
Bonnie found it oddly outdated, considering the evidence pointed to the rest of the Crew being
freer about this issue. 

Not so free that any of them have ever given me the time of day, Stuart thought bitterly. Stuart knew he was handsome, and he now had a healthy bank account from white-collar crimes like blackmail and insider trading. Not like when Stuart was a child, and there was never enough food in the house, or they were without heat because no had paid the bill. He had left poverty behind.

And his manners, at least in public, were impeccable.  Even with all his positive traits, though, the entire Crew avoided Stuart as if a skunk has sprayed him. Like he still carried the stench of a child whose mother did not have money to buy laundry soap to clean his clothes.

“Well, Jim, I think I will be going. I want you to know that I appreciate what you are creating there. I thank you kindly for continuing to work on it, especially at this time,” Stuart said.

“Ah, no worries, Stuart. It gives me something to do. Helps me keep my focus on going forward,” Jim replied. “You’ll have it in time for your housewarming party for sure.”

Stuart left the workshop, not even noticing the beautiful summer day. Instead, he focused on the woman in the kitchen working on a laptop. He could see Clarinda clearly through the window. 

Realizing that his efforts to keep her home had failed, Stuart continued to his truck, formulating a new plan. After climbing in, Stuart opened the glove box to remove a ring box. He opened it, staring at the beautifully cut engagement ring, unwilling to give up his planned proposal during the housewarming. Speaking out loud, he told Siri to call his private investigator.

“Turner Investigations,” said a gruff voice answering Stuart’s call.

“John, it’s Stuart Woods,” he replied. “I have a job for you. Are you busy for the last two weeks of July? I need you to take a trip.”

“Give me the brief who, what, where, and why,” John said.

“Who: Clarinda Lorrayne Sanders. What: my future wife. Where: I am not sure yet. It will most likely be a beach locale. Why: because I will not tolerate my future bride going off for a two-week party with her whore best friends,” seethed Stuart. “I am expecting your very high level of discretion in this.”

John quickly replied, “Of course. She will never know I’m around. I’ll begin by trying to get an idea where she’s going from my sources.” John hung up.

Stuart did not mind that the PI hung up as he did not need to know about these sources. Nor did he want to know. 

His interests boiled down to one burning desire: a virgin bride.

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