The Virgin and the Vengeful Groom

The Virgin and the Vengeful Groom by Dixie Browning

Book: The Virgin and the Vengeful Groom by Dixie Browning Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dixie Browning
cotton shirt, she reached past him to add another layer of banana peppers to her sandwich, took a big bite and groaned with pleasure. He’d noticed that about her, too. There was nothing delicate about her appetite. Which made him wonder whether or not…
    The hell it did.
    â€œActually, from the travel articles, I get a feeling she seldom told the truth when a lie would suffice.”
    Curt had read a few of the travel pieces, too. The Central American ones, in particular. Unless the region had changed one hell of a lot in the past hundred years or so—not out of the question, by any means—then damn right, she lied. And while he wouldn’t come right out and say so, he went so far as to ask, “Have you seen any boa constrictors or wildcats around here? According to the piece she did about Powers Point, they’re as common as green flies.”
    Lily nearly choked. Curt whacked her between the shoulder blades “You’re kidding. Real wildcats?”
    â€œRead it yourself.”
    â€œJeeze Louise,” she murmured reverently, and he had to grin at the lady wordsmith’s ability to express herself.
    There was only room for two ice trays in the antique refrigerator. Lily emptied one in her jar of iced tea, refilled it and carefully replaced it. The compressor came on with a whining protest. Thing should’ve been retired fifty years ago.
    Popping the cap on his beer, Curt added a new refrigerator to his mental shopping list. When he was ready to move on, any improvements would only jack up the resale value. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few creature comforts.
    But not until Lily left. He didn’t want to make her anymore comfortable than she already was. Still, he had to admit she handled roughing it pretty well. For a woman. If she didn’t like the setup, she kept it to herself, to the point where he actually went out of his way to provoke her at least once a day. He got a kick out of the cracks in her ladylike facade—the contrast between that polite little voice and the don’t-tread-on-me attitude she had raised to the level of a fine art. The more he came to know her, the more convinced he was that something about her didn’t add up. If there was one thing his years of training had taught him, it was that appearances could be—and usually were—deceiving.
    She had tried to get away with something that belonged to him, he reminded himself. That was just one of the things that bugged him. The fact that while he had a moral claim she had a legal claim only muddied the waters. And then there was this business with Bess. Whose relative was she, anyway?
    It wasn’t even as if he cared about the damn papers that much—at least he hadn’t started out caring. But the more he read, the more he was beginning to understand why he hadn’t been satisfied to stay in Oklahoma for the rest of his life and grow corn.
    Lily’s obsession was a little harder to figure. She claimed some kind of kinship with Bess, on account of they were both women and both writers. But then, unless he was mistaken, there had been any number of successful female writers through the ages. Why Bess in particular? Lily admitted that she’d never heard of the woman before, much less any of her novels.
    The Virgin and the Vengeful Groom by E. Powers?
    Give me a break.
    They were sitting out on the porch, sharing a slight breeze and the last of their sandwiches. Lily, idly pushingher rocking chair with one foot, was frowning down at one of the older diaries. “Hmm,” she murmured. Held the book up to the light and frowned at it some more.
    â€œFound something interesting?” There happened to be a speck of mustard at the corner of her mouth that he found a lot more interesting than the chart he’d been trying to decipher.
    â€œI’m not sure. Her handwriting was never great, but in these earlier diaries, it was truly execrable. I wonder what

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