Here’s the last of Rhett and Flo’s teasers before I move on with Aidan and Summer.
We’re at the showdown, and no. It’s not going to be nice or funny.
From Painted Love.
Florence came back with her suitcase, set it on the table.
“What are you doing? Are you leaving?”
Relentless, she didn’t say anything but shrugged in irritation. She fished out items from the black luggage–a small box, a bag with keys in. A little painting, the squared canvas of a childishly drawn heart.
Rhett’s heart slowed to the point of not hearing its beat anymore. “What are you doing, Florence?”
She tore a sheet from the kitchen paper roll, dried her face from tears. Calm, eerily calm and collected, she said, “you want to know more about me. Who I am,” she concluded with something very close to derision. “Well, this is who I am.”
“I don’t understand.”
“This little guy here,” she said picking up the box. “Is a kit to reproduce keys.” She put the kit down, took the sandwich bag between thumb and index finger, let it dangle down. “These are five copies of Aidan’s house key.” She dropped them on the table and pointed to the painting. “And that, it’s the forged copy of my Painted Love, currently owned by Aidan Murphy.”
She opened her arms wide, let them fall. “I am a thief.”
If Flo looked at the entire situation from a detached viewpoint, the way Rhett was staring, mouth slightly open, a deep frown over huge eyes, was something to laugh about. Too bad detachment was not in the cards today. Not only she’d condemned herself, but she’d also pried open the biggest wound of her soul with her bare hands, a wound never healed. And all she could do now was watching it bleed and waiting for the end.
“I must have misheard,” Rhett said, shaking his head lightly. “You’re what?”
“A thief.” She cleared her throat. “I’ve been one for the past ten years.”
Gingerly, he grabbed the back of a chair, pulled it close to him. “I think I need to sit down a moment,” he murmured and rubbed his forehead with unsteady fingertips.
Flo agreed with it and slid down on the floor, drew the legs to her chest and hugged them.
Now he knew and wasn’t it ironic? The one guy she’d fallen for, the one she’d swore to protect from the truth despite what she’d always professed, had gone and called her bluff. Funny, how it didn’t even hurt anymore. She might as well go and give the whole version, maybe he would snap out of the shock he had gone into.
By Viviana Mackade
Thou shalt not steal.
Oh, but Florence had, and would do so one last time.
Ten pieces her grandfather painted for her because he loved her.
Ten pieces her mother lost, along with anything else, for loving the wrong man.
She couldn’t get back everything he’d wasted away, but she’d be damned if she’d give up those paintings.
Easy and genuine, Rhett loves his life–his family, his market, his town. Until he meets a British woman with grey eyes and a cute little smile. The woman he’s been waiting for.
The thing is, to love her is easy, but can he trust her? When Rhett pushes to uncover her agenda, Flo knows she will lose something–the man she loves or what she’d been fighting for her entire life.
Which road will she choose?
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