THE TYCOON’S SON Harlequin Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT # 1: (first meeting after fifteen years)
Each time a truck passed Vicki’s door on the way up the hill it signaled that the moment she dreaded had moved that much closer. The construction phase of the remodeling had been completed a couple of days earlier. The landscapers had finished on schedule. Moving vans had been delivering both new items and things from a storage company for the past two days. There did not seem to be anything left…only the arrival of Wyatt Edwards.
The local gossip mill had pegged his arrival for the next day, which meant that she had less than twenty-four hours to prepare herself. She did not have any idea what she would say to Wyatt Edwards or what to expect from him. He had walked out on her fifteen years ago, left while she was away for the weekend so that he did not have to face her with his decision. She had been devastated. She could still hear Henry Edwards telling her that she had driven his son away with her constant demands for his attention, until he had not been able to take it any more.
She had not understood what Henry Edwards had meant at the time. In fact, she still did not understand. It was Wyatt who had been the aggressor, who had pursued her in spite of objections from both their families. She shook her head in an attempt to shove away the bad memories. It was ancient history and no longer relevant to her life. She had a son to take care of and he was more important to her than anything else.
Vicki went about her business for the rest of the day, making a valiant attempt to put the imminent arrival of Wyatt Edwards out of her mind.
Wyatt Edwards pulled his car to the side of the road and turned off the engine. Only five more miles to the Sea Cliff turnoff. It was the first time he had been back since his father’s death ten years ago when he had inherited controlling interest in his father’s worldwide industrial holdings. He still was not sure exactly what had prompted the decision, but it was too late to turn back now. He had already spent a great deal of money on making the old house livable and preparing an office wing. He planned to conduct most of his business from there, venturing into San Francisco to the corporate headquarters only a few days a month.
He looked out over the ocean, watching as the waves crashed against the rocks just offshore, then climbed out of his car and walked to the edge of the cliff. The small sandy cove below was the place where he and Vicki Dalton had made love for the first and only time. It had been an impetuous action following a beach party. The next day they both agreed that they had acted foolishly. It had been a very profound experience for him and had solidified in his mind just how much he loved her, even though he had never told her so.
Every minute of that night remained etched in his memory and the emotions associated with it had not diminished over the ensuing years. Even though it had been fifteen years since he had seen or talked to her, he had never been able to shake Vicki from his mind…or from his heart.
He clenched his jaw. Neither could he shake the pain of returning home from a last minute emergency business trip to South America to find she had moved away without leaving him so much as a note. Then, a month later, he had heard that she was married. It was a memory that still angered him as much as it had when he first heard about it—and also filled him with sorrow for what might have been.
He picked up a rock and threw it as far out as he could, watching as it fell to the ocean below. He turned his back on the ocean view, but he could not turn his back on his memories. Finally he climbed into his car and continued down the highway.
He pulled his car into a parking space next to the post office entrance at the back of the general store. He needed to make arrangements for a post office box. He entered the building and looked around. No one was there. He walked through the connecting door to the market that occupied the front of the building.
Shock hit him smack in the face. He stopped dead in his tracks. It could not be. Vicki Dalton was standing behind the counter by the front door. It took him a few seconds to collect his wits and recover his composure. He stared at her, noting the way she bit at her lower lip. It was a nervous little habit that had always manifested itself whenever she was upset or worried about something. As he watched her, he felt a soft warmth flicker to life. She looked every bit as beautiful as the image had had carried in his mind all these years.
He quickly ducked out of sight. He certainly had not planned on this. He had been prepared for the unpleasant and awkward necessity of dealing with Willis Dalton, but not for the reality of seeing Vicki again. It was not too late; there was still time. She had not seen him yet. He could turn around and drive back to San Francisco. He drew a steadying breath. He needed to gather his wits about him. Then a surge of anger brought him back to reality.
No, he would not turn and run. She had disappeared from his life fifteen years ago and he had never known why. He clenched his jaw in renewed determination. He could not leave until he had confronted her and demanded an explanation. He wanted her to know exactly how much pain she had caused him—how much pain he had been carrying all these years. He stepped back through the door into the market.
THE TYCOON’S SON, a Harlequin Desire by Shawna Delacorte, is an ebook reissue available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website at www.shawnadelacorte.com
Years melted away the moment Vicki Bingham gazed into piercing blue eyes and took in the very gorgeous—very grown-up—version of the boy she’d once loved. The rich boy who had deserted her after a magical night of exploring caresses and explosive kisses. The millionaire who was father to her teenage son…and hadn’t a clue.
Or did he?
Because Wyatt Edwards had taken an uncanny interest in young Richie, and an even more unsettling interest in Vicki herself, the moment he’d return to town. He seemed to want answers—and it was clear he wanted Vicki. But all that would surely change once this tycoon discovered the truth….