LESSON LEARNED by Peri Elizabeth Scott @evernightpub @allysonyoung45

 

Lesson Learned

by Peri Elizabeth Scott

Blurb:

Adrian Matsakis is a successful businessman with terrible luck in personal relationships. His ex-wife wrecked him, and when he tried again with Jessie Brandt, she too betrayed him.

He is shocked and outraged to learn he has a son with her and is determined to take custody. He’s never forgotten Jessie but can’t forgive her, especially now.

Forewarned of Adrian’s intent, Jessie preempts him by inviting him to co-parent, and he reins himself in. He can’t resist reminding her of her perfidy, however, just as she continues to maintain her innocence.

They struggle against the chemistry—and more—sparking between them, and when Adrian double checks the facts around Jessie’s supposed betrayal, he’s staggered to learn the evidence was planted.

He sets out to make amends, and Jessie must decide if she’ll allow him back into her heart, and give Adrian a place to finally call home.

Buy Links:

https://www.evernightpublishing.com/lesson-learned-by-peri-elizabeth-scott/

https://www.bookstrand.com/book/lesson-learned-mf

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/lesson-learned-14

https://tinyurl.com/y5auljt3

Excerpt:

 

We believe you know Jessie Brandt. Please see the attached picture. Come for dinner tonight. Mikhail

Adrian Matsakis shoved back from his desk with such strength the back of the chair hit the wall, and the resulting shudder made his teeth clack together. The distance from his computer monitor didn’t make it less true. The attachment he’d clicked on nearly filled the screen with a picture of a sturdy, little toddler, laughing up at a woman who crouched beside him, holding an enormous balloon.

It was like looking into a mirror of his youth, pictures of him as a child festooning most available surfaces, compliments of his doting mother. She’d been unable to have other children, and thus lavished every maternal ounce of her being upon him. His father created a balance, or Mama might have driven him crazy.

Maybe he was crazy, seeing something in that image that was wishful thinking. It couldn’t be. Rolling back to his desk, he clicked to reread the email from Mikhail. Nothing changed.

After opening up the image again, he soaked in the two faces featured there, noting how little Jessie had changed over the three years since he’d last seen her, the golden-blonde hair and laughing brown eyes, clear, ivory skin, long, slender hands, and a lithe body with all the requisite curves.

His son—for he had no doubt the child was his—was still exhibiting baby roundness, but his arms and legs were long like Adrian’s, and the riot of black curls that would be the bane of his existence unless fads changed, and maybe even then, waved wildly about the boy’s head. Olive skin set off the tiny white teeth visible in the wide smile. He thought his son’s eyes were gray like his own, but perhaps they were a velvety brown like Jessie’s.

Adrian finally allowed the cacophony of emotions churning in his gut to be labeled. He was furious, firstly. Furious to learn he had a child after all this time, and curious about the boy. Elated too. He wouldn’t deny it. He had badly wanted a child, children, and learning that his ex wife Sharon terminated not one, but two of his babies still sent shards of agony throughout his being.

But he now had a child, and it must be love, if not intense affection flooding his system as he stared at the little boy. He purposely narrowed his gaze, keeping it directly on the toddler, because he didn’t want his confused emotions toward Jessie to spill over, even within his own head, onto his son.

His son. Why hadn’t she told him? Contacted him as was his right? Especially when she knew how much he wanted children? Because I threw her out. He shook the vaguely remorseful thought away.

He’d thrown her out for good reason. She’d been lucky he hadn’t pressed charges, although she’d challenged him to do so even as she accepted his edict and marched away down the hall, her spine erect and her head held high.

Out of sight, out of mind. He’d made certain she left with nothing. Except she left with something. And if she’d really wanted my money, then why hadn’t she used the child? He decided to ignore that inconvenient niggle as well.

He shot an email to Mikhail, accepting the dinner invitation when what he really wanted to do was phone the man and demand an explanation. But he hadn’t climbed to where he was in his business by flying off the handle. He’d attend the dinner tonight armed with all possible information and pool it with what his friend knew. And plan.

He closed down his computer after carefully saving and printing several copies of the toddler and then obtained the number of an experienced investigative agency. He’d head out and pick up some wine and flowers for the hostess—and begin the plan of retrieving his child. Anything this important would take great care and strategy.

 

Author Bio:

Allyson Young lives in cottage country in Manitoba, Canada with her husband and numerous pets. She worked in the human services all across Canada and has seen the best and worst of what people bring to the table. Allyson has written for years, mostly short stories and poetry, published in small newspapers and the like, although her work appeared in her high school yearbooks too! After reading an erotic romance, quite by accident, she decided to try her hand at penning erotica.
Allyson will write until whatever she has inside her is satisfied- when all the heroes man up and all the heroines get what they deserve. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

Blog: http://www.allysonyoung.com
Email: allysonyoung45@gmail.com
Twitter: @allysonyoung45

Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Allyson-Young/e/B00A9WPAYK
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Allyson%20Young%22?
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=Allyson%20Young&fcsearchfield=Author
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/allysonyoung1
http://baronetpress.com/our-books/
http://www.blushingbooks.com/

 

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS by Peri Elizabeth Scott

 

Nothing Else Matters

by Peri Elizabeth Scott

 

Blurb:
Claire and Liam had a good thing going until he walks out of her life. Being dumped without warning is devastating enough, discovering she isn’t pregnant leaves her without even a part of him.
Withdrawing from everyone, she moves to another city and immerses herself in work, the better to forget Liam. Not that it’s working. Claire is a one-woman man, to her despair.
Back stateside after an unexpectedly long deployment, security contractor Liam Cafferty has accepted the truth: walking out on Claire makes him a coward. Thinking it for the best, given his dangerous profession, doesn’t cut it. She should have been given the choice.
With the biggest heart of any woman he’s known, he’s hopeful she might take him back and makes it his new mission to convince her.
Claire must decide what matters: her pride or taking another chance on Liam—and love.

 

Buy Links:
Evernight: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/
Bookstrand: https://www.bookstrand.com/nothing-else-matters-mf
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QMPFB53
Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y33va2hf
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/nothing-else-matters-15

 

 

Excerpt:
The streets were full of people as she used her phone to arrange an Uber. Small groups with youthful faces, couples, and the occasional single individual moved along, their destinations unknown but likely the restaurants that crowded downtown, or maybe a club later on after dusk fell. The camaraderie left her cold, and with some desperation to escape, she scanned the curb for her lift.
Maybe she was indeed crazy, choosing to cut herself off from everyone, cutting ties with her old life, all to forget Liam. Because, newsflash, it wasn’t working. She was like one of those historical romance novel heroines who languished and withered into old age after losing a beau. Whatever empty spaces that opened up in her head, past all her attempts to fill them, Liam snuck in.
While she waited, she opened her messages, trying to shut out the people and noise around her that were reminders of a different life. There weren’t many on the phone. She had no one local to give the number to, outside of work, sad commentary. She was more like one half of those werewolf or vampire couples who wasted away without their mate.
Joanne’s number came up several times, and there was also a text. Hoping nothing was wrong, she opened it.
Haven’t been able to reach u b/phone and u haven’t responded to vms. Assuming u r busy but u should know Liam is looking for u. Call me!
Suddenly lax fingers nearly let the device slip to the pavement, and she tightened her grip. Rereading the text, she remembered to breathe and swayed on her feet.
“Claire?” His familiar voice, hard on the heels of Jo’s text, was surreal. Had she conjured him?
She resisted the urge to spin wildly and shriek at the top of her lungs. It couldn’t be. She wasn’t prepared. How was this happening?
His SUV was nose-in to the curb, the back end blocking traffic and already, impatient drivers were honking. But her attention was on the tall, broad-shouldered man rounding the hood.
“Claire.”
He hadn’t changed at all. Unless one considered the burnished skin and a leaner look. Her stare took in his appearance in minute detail, and something in her chest lurched his way, even as her feet tried to carry her in the other direction.
Hand shaking, she held it up as if to ward off an advancing horde and shook her head. “Go away!”

 

About the Author:

Peri Elizabeth Scott aka Allyson Young lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada where she and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.
She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.
A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2019 she has published eight series and several standalones, with others in the works.

https://www.perielizabethscott.com
https://www.facebook.com/sweetnspicyauthor/

ACTS OF CONTRITION: MAKING IT UP TO MAGGIE / BEGGING BRIANA by Peri Elizabeth Scott

Blurbs:

Making it up to Maggie

Harrison’s insecurities
catch up with him when finds another man, albeit alone, in his girlfriend’s
bed. Refusing to hear her explanation, he leaves her. His secretary then
meddles in his affairs, effectively driving Maggie away with a vengeance. Upon
discovering that woman’s perfidy, Harrison tries to remedy the situation, and
then finds out Maggie is pregnant! Determined to win her back, Harrison does
his best to provide and care for her from a distance while trying to insinuate
himself back into her life.
Hurt and bewildered, Maggie
couldn’t believe Harrison would stoop so low, but the evidence seems irrefutable.
And now she’s worried Harrison wants her only because she carries his child.
Harrison’s world again spins
out of control, and he wonders if he is the best man for Maggie and their child
after all…
It’s up to Maggie to teach
Harrison his real worth.

Begging Briana

Caleb Younger is certain he
will never actually love any woman, having been badly burned in the past
because of so-called love. He believes he’s fond of Briana Jeffries, has
intense sexual feelings for her, and wants her in his life, but doesn’t love
her.
Humiliated, when he says as
much while amongst their friends, Briana finally accepts she’s been fooling
herself—Caleb will never love her. She leaves him to get on with her life.
His life now empty, Caleb
faces the truth. He loves Briana more than anything, and resorts to everything
to get her back. But Briana’s friend doesn’t want Briana hurt again and
conspires to keep the two apart. A series of events and coincidences play out,
giving Caleb the opportunity to beg Briana to take him back.

Buy Links: 

https://www.books2read.com/u/3L0AG1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KXLBC9S

 
Excerpt: 
Making It Up to
Maggie
 
Harrison increased his grip on the steering wheel of his SUV to a stranglehold.
It was the only thing keeping him from jumping out and grabbing Maggie,
throwing her in the back seat, and
driving off with her. Sanity prevailed, but it was a close call. He marveled again at how a slip of a woman had
infiltrated his psyche and undermined his self-control, not to mention teaching
him so much on the subject of himself. Before he’d gone and royally screwed
things up.
She stood outside the doors of the office building with two of her
friends. Even at a distance, he saw her
energy and light while she conversed animatedly with Veronica and Joyce,
although he’d noticed shadows beneath her eyes and a certain gauntness
hollowing her cheeks whenever he’d been able to get closer to her.
Her blonde hair streamed around her shoulders in the gusty wind, and
her dress was pulled tightly against her long, slender frame, molding her high
breasts and the slight, swelling roundness of her belly. His baby was growing
there.
Harrison was missing out on every wondrous day of that burgeoning life
and the woman he desired and loved more than anything else in the world. Missing
out because of his stupid masculine pride and ego.
He closed his eyes against the pain in his heart and the clenching of
his gut. He didn’t know what else he might do to make amends for his atrocious behavior, to regain Maggie’s trust. Nothing. He had to accept that. He would
do his best to care for her, provide for her and his child, but from a
distance. He was his father’s son, after all, and she deserved better, as did
their child. He’d proven he had nothing to offer outside of the basics and the
superficial because blood would tell. As would nature over nurture.

Begging Briana

 
Tossing several items of clothing into her suitcase, Briana Jeffries
then found a plastic makeup bag to stick a few toiletries in. It had taken a
long time to accept the obvious but she’d finally accepted the fact Caleb
wasn’t going to miraculously profess his love for her. Tonight had been the
kicker.
She ignored the ache in her chest and concentrated on packing the
things she needed, not that there were a lot. No way was she going to think
about what was true. Except she couldn’t turn a blind eye. She loved Caleb and
he didn’t love her. There. She said it again and that made it true.
Swiping impatiently at the tears suddenly streaking her face, she
zipped the bag closed, taking a final look around the bedroom she shared with
the love of her life for nearly three years. Too bad she hadn’t been the love
of his. It was time to move on. Christina would be outside by now.
Hurrying down the stairs of the place she’d hoped would be her forever
home, she steadfastly ignored all the little things she’d done to make it so,
especially the plethora of pictures. The reflection of beautiful places and
events, smiling, happy faces, pictures of her and Caleb, mocked her despite her
best efforts not to look. Caleb must be blind not to see what they had between
them, captured for the world to see, but apparently,
it was her love that was blind. After
throwing open the front door she hauled her case outside, barely avoiding the
rebound of the heavy wooden panel as it slammed shut behind her, her keys now
locked within. Final. No going back.

About the author:

Peri Elizabeth Scott aka Allyson Young lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada where she and her
husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.
She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by
mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of
spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a
post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.
A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of November 2018 she has published seven series and several standalones, with others in the works. 

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING by Peri Elizabeth Scott @evernightpub

Blurb:

Simon has developed feelings for the girl who bedeviled him growing up, his best friend’s sister–not that Alys is a girl any longer. She’s a grown-up, beautiful, wonderful woman who makes him crazy. He obtains her brother’s permission to ask her out. And is rejected. 

Alys is innocent and plans to stay that way until she meets a man who holds the same moral code, regardless of her lengthy crush on Simon. Privy to his escapades and conquests, her jealousy has turned to distaste and she sets herself on a different path. She wants a man who has refrained from meaningless affairs, who has waited for the special woman. And that’s not Simon!

Simon does the research but Google assures him he can’t become re-virginized and thus Alys is beyond his reach–until one day when he takes her, as a friend, for lunch in his beloved truck. That day, love changes everything.

 

 

Buy Links:

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/love-changes-everything-5

http://www.bookstrand.com/love-changes-everything-mf

https://tinyurl.com/y8geuq6v   (Barnes & Noble)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07DDVFC9W

 

 

Excerpt:

“Sorry.” Alys’s response was short but succinct.

Simon waited, but she wasn’t forthcoming with any excuses. “You’re … you’re saying no?”

A quick blink, a sweep of thick, dark lashes before those impossibly golden eyes widened. “I guess I should have said no. But I am sorry.”

It was insane, but he wanted to continue the conversation, even figuring he’d regret it. “Why are you sorry?”

A faint tinge of pink colored her cheekbones and a couple of little white teeth worried a corner of her full bottom lip. “I get asked out a lot. And I know it can’t be easy to get turned down.”

Her reply should have reeked of feminine arrogance, yet it didn’t. If anything, it was considered and thoughtful, and despite the twinge of her rejection, he found himself admiring her for it. But wasn’t that Alys? Kind. Caring.

A hint of surprise followed, confusing him. It didn’t make a lot of sense when he dwelled on it—rarely was he turned down and when it happened, it didn’t bother him. This was different, and a twofer. Huh.

Telling himself it didn’t matter did not stop him from pursuing it like a juvenile trout after a cleverly crafted, manmade fly. “Is there a reason you won’t go out with me?”

Another blink, accompanied by her tucking a strand of silky red-gold hair behind her ear betrayed what he thought was a bit of nervousness, and he thought to back down. Aside from his intense need to have her, Alys brought out some weird emotions in him, ones he might catalog as protectiveness—even possessiveness—and that wasn’t him. Better he let those sleeping dogs lie. He was crazy about her but clearly, the sentiment wasn’t returned.

“Never mind. Forget I asked.” Even to his ears he sounded peevish and decided to add petulant to his rapidly increasing scope of emotions. Time to get gone. He was back to fleeing from her.

She said, “I don’t date men who’ve … been around.

 

 

About the Author:  

Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in Manitoba, Canada and pretends to work well with her husband in their seasonal business.

Writing for years, along with her alter ego and three coauthors, she has published over 53 novels, including dark erotica and contemporary romance in a variety of genres, and reads most anything she can lay her hands on. 

http://www.perielizabethscott.com

https://www.facebook.com/Peri-Elizabeth-Scott-author-468074056571357/

 

NOTHING IN MY HEART by Peri Elizabeth Scott @evernightpub

 

 
Blurb:
 
Feeling trapped into marriage, Beckett Kilmer doesn’t hide
his disdain for his young wife, although he certainly wants her physically.
Grace didn’t deliberately trap the man she loves, but
ignorance is no defense, neither in a court of law nor the law according to
Beckett.
When she loses their baby, he is kind and supportive but
remains distant. Grace despairs, also trapped—but by the skeins of love that
bind her.
Mysteriously finding herself capable of resisting him, she
plans to assert her independence when Beckett comes to his senses, recognizing
his reprehensible behavior. He strives to make amends and convince Grace to
reconsider.
Still determined to leave, she then finds out she is
pregnant again and Beckett redoubles his efforts to repair their relationship.
Can Grace find it within herself to forgive and trust him again?
Excerpt:
Beckett’s big form blanketed her far smaller one as he increased his thrusts, driving her toward that cliff of mindless insensibility her orgasms always conferred. He braced his weight on his forearms, head tucked into her throat, lips tight against the sensitive juncture of neck and shoulder.
He’d slipped into bed, naked and urgently erect, stripping off her nightgown with a muttered imprecation before bestowing a hard kiss that caused her to open to him, his mastery of her senses chasing away the last vestiges of sleep.
Her body instantly responded, the flush of arousal dampening her core, nipples tightening with desire as his big hands cupped and molded her breasts. There was no need for additional foreplay although he tested her readiness with a finger before settling between her thighs and entering her.
It was a vastly familiar, nightly routine, one she desperately anticipated—to her shame—and their coupling tonight should have culminated the same way. With a climax, the sensation giving her the connection she craved, however fleeting, because that was all Beckett would give her.

Buy Links:  

https://www.evernightpublishing.com/nothing-in-my-heart-by-peri-elizabeth-scott/
https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/nothing-in-my-heart
https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07D4KPLM8
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nothing-in-my-heart-peri-elizabeth-scott/1128717845?ean=2940155258322
http://www.bookstrand.com/nothing-in-my-heart-mf

 

About the Author:
Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in Manitoba, Canada. She closed her part-time
private practice as a social worker and child play therapist and now pretends
to work well with her husband in their seasonal business.
Writing for years, along with her alter ego and three coauthors, she has
published over 52 novels and reads most everything she can lay her hands on.

A FAR CRY FROM HOME by Peri Elizabeth Scott @evernightpub

Blurb:

Regan Ferguson knows little past running The Inn, her home
since her adoption. Again orphaned, she’s dealt another blow. Her father never
repaid a loan, the recipient being Maddox Ferguson, her newfound, sexy cousin.
 
Intrigued by the woman he never knew existed, Maddox is awed
by her tenacity and determination to continue with The Inn. He makes her a loan
to give her the opportunity to learn for herself how impossible the task,
rather than personally destroying any chance to explore the connection between
them. However, he quietly lines up potential buyers as a fallback plan.
 
Regan eventually has that epiphany, only to accidentally
determine Maddox’s plan. Feeling betrayed and confused, she secretly signs the
buyout and hits the road with her cat, Oscar.
 
Maddox follows, and without The Inn between them they find
their happily ever after—Regan learns that home is wherever her heart is.

Buy Links: 

Excerpt:

She stuck out her hand, and he fancied she saw it as an olive branch. The hostility she’d initially projected was gone, and he took the opportunity to encroach into her space. Clasping her small, work-roughened hand in his much larger one, a frisson of energy sparked between them and he felt her quiver.
 

Fascinated, he watched as she strove to regain her composure, while he allowed his desire to show. Staring into her eyes, the pale-blue of her irises consumed by the dilation of her pupils, he read her need. He tugged her to his chest, the clean smell of soap and water, and something uniquely Regan, wafting from her.

Her head tipped back and he dropped his mouth down on hers, the immediate connection hardening his flesh to the point of pain. She relaxed into his hold and he tasted her with desperate intent. His fingers wove through the silky mass of her hair, holding her steady, and she moaned deep in her throat. She pressed closer, her arms wreathing around his neck.

He somehow brought it to a close, over long before he wanted it to be, but his conscience pricked hard. He’d promised her the time and money to bring The Inn up to snuff, somehow unable to resist. And now he’d honor his commitment, intuiting the importance of this woman determining her own destiny. Not a fling, not like with his other women.

His libido jeered and prodded at him but knew to allow nature to take its course. Wherever this connection with Regan was going, he wouldn’t hurry nor derail it.

As they both caught their breath, he gently set her away from him, his hands on her lithe waist, until she steadied on her stool. “I normally don’t seal business deals with a kiss,” he said, aware his tone held a certain rasp. Clearing his throat, he continued, “It’s been a … momentous day.”

Her slender throat working in a swallow, she said, “I’ve never sealed a business deal before.”

He knew she wasn’t experienced and doubted she kissed every man she’d just met with fervor and without meaning anything by it. Aching for her, he clamped down on his physical need and did his best to appear suave and unruffled. “We have a deal, Regan. I’ll bring my things in and get settled while you get organized. You’ll need a material list, among other things.”

Visibly drawing her composure around her like flexible armor, she slipped from the stool and turned her back on him, clearing away the dishes on the island. “Sounds good. I’ll just tidy up and then sit down with pen and paper. Lists are good.”

Holding hard on to his own equanimity, he nodded and headed out for his car. Some fresh air would clear his head and cool him down.

About the Author:

 

Writing for years, along with her alter ego and three co-authors, she has published over 50 novels and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.

 

 

 

THE TATTERED BRIDE by Peri Elizabeth Scott

 
 
Childhood traumas lurk deep. Victoria Sparrow knows that. Especially when one’s father rejects one as not being worthy. Her romantic relationships founder, until Logan Doherty. He gives her reason to believe in goodness and true love, and she commits her heart and soul to him.
 
No longer prey to her damaged, young self, Victoria eagerly looks forward to their upcoming marriage—until she meets Logan at the altar. He informs her the wedding is off before their assembled friends and family, and will not tell her why.
 
Cast back into the nightmare of rejection, a devastated Victoria undertakes the momentous task of putting her life back together, her trust broken, her worst fears realized.
 
Meanwhile, Logan is working equally hard to deal with the secretive events that led to that cruel rejection, and then he plans to make it up to his tattered bride. If she will forgive him.
 
 

Excerpt:

 
The world narrowed to him and her, and a little slice of churning emotions she couldn’t decipher. “You’re calling off the wedding. Our wedding. Now.” Just in case she hadn’t heard him correctly. This had the makings of a horrible, sick joke…
Shoving a hand through his hair, he obviously struggled to meet her stare. His tawny eyes were turbulent. “I am. I … just decided. It’s—”
“What?” Victoria tumbled to it, falling into the abyss of her history. Deep down, she knew why. Too bad he’d only just decided. Now. At this inopportune time. All her issues and stupid insecurities washed over her from wherever they’d been banished to, banished by Logan’s resolute pursuit and sincere belief in her. He’d addressed her fears, made her whole—and now? Now her tender underbelly was exposed—without a shred of armor—for the deathblow. The sublime lovemaking of a mere few hours earlier faded in the face of it.
“I—” Real pain and misery now seemed to burn in his eyes, and despite her terrified anticipation, she wanted to soothe him. Through set lips, he continued, “I don’t have the words to tell you why Victoria. I’m sorry. But the wedding is off.”
Still, she waited, believing he would somehow embellish, give her an explanation that wouldn’t make this about her, but he stood there mutely, now staring someplace over her shoulder. She checked out the direction of that gaze—maybe there was an answer there, but she saw only a watercolor of a pastoral scene. Please.
She let her pride crumble and begged. “Logan. This doesn’t make any sense. We… Only this morning…”
He shook his head and straightened to his full height. “It’s off.”
Deep inside there was an utter certainty that it did indeed make sense. He’d figured her out. Seen to the core of her the way others had. In despair, she gave up the fight to believe in him and their love in response to his firm declaration. The Victoria of her childhood emerged, in blind response, lashing out to hide from the truth.
 “Was it the thrill of the chase? And then when you caught me, you became afraid you were settling? That there’s something better around the corner?”
She didn’t want to wait for a response. She had to leave. Now. What would get her past the sideways looks and the knowing stares? The church was full of family and friends—and others who had probably predicted this very moment…
“Victoria. You need to calm down. It’s not like that.”
“Calm. Down?” She was aware her voice was climbing as she talked over him, and the small room, the one where she and Logan would have been closeted to sign the papers finalizing their marriage, wasn’t soundproof. She modulated her tone the very best she could, humiliation and pain squeezing her very being. “What is it like, then, exactly?”
“I can’t say.”
“Tell me.”
He looked away. “I can’t.”
Dropping her beautiful bouquet of red roses, entwined with baby’s breath and white, embossed ribbon on the desk, the air currents disturbed the uncompleted marriage papers. They fluttered, mocking her. She stared up at the face of the man she loved. And faced the realization that she indeed still loved him. That part, at least, hadn’t changed despite the mortification of being dumped at the freaking altar. Love. She thought it was love. Too bad it wasn’t real.
“And I’m supposed to take that and be calm!”
“Yes, calm down.” His face was set in grim determination, his eyes hot. “We’ll … we’ll get through this.”
She narrowed her eyes and leaned into him. What couldn’t she be one of those classy women who took this kind of thing in stride and walked away without making a scene? Maybe she could be. Drawing on a reserve of strength she wasn’t aware she possessed, she said, “I’m calm. Dead calm. So shut up now. I never want to hear your voice again, let alone set eyes on you.”
Squaring her shoulders, she closed off his next attempt to speak. She avoided his outstretched hand and ignored the sudden abject despair written across his handsome features. Was he embarrassed? If he didn’t want a scene, why in hell had he chosen this public place to dump her? Flinging the door open to the main part of the church, she surveyed the people filling the pews. Those congregated there stilled into silence, with only an occasional murmur marring the quiet. Dozens of pairs of eyes looked in their direction. Victoria stepped forward. Classy. She could do this.
 
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About the Author:

Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in Manitoba, Canada. She recently closed her part-time private practice as a social worker and child play therapist. She and her husband have a seasonal business and pretend to work well together.

Writing for years, mostly short stories and poetry, she has published dark erotica under another pen name and reads everything she can lay her hands on.

Website: http://www.perielizabethscott.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perielizabeth.scott
Email: peribeth@hotmail.ca