Did you miss Chapter One?
Leo and Mona chatted happily as they climbed Magnolia Falls
Trail. Mona had thrown her hair back in a ponytail and wore
hiking boots, leggings that hugged her shapely form, and a
long-sleeved workout tunic. Leo’s heart pounded when he looked at
her. Even in athletic clothes and without a stitch of makeup, she was
At the top of the trail, should he take her behind the waterfall and
kiss her? People did that sort of thing in romantic movies. But this
was only their first date. He didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.
She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and gave him a
smile that made him dizzy. He took a step forward without thinking
and almost tumbled off the side of the trail. He caught himself on a
tree branch and glanced down at the ravine. He needed to pay better
attention. A fall like that wouldn’t kill him—it would be more of a
long, inevitable roll than a sheer drop—but it would sure hurt.
And mortally wound his pride, no doubt.
Once they got to the top, they snapped a few selfies and texted
them to Vicki, then set up their picnic on a long, flat rock near the
roar of the waterfall.
Leo opened up the backpack and pulled out a blanket that Mona
had packed. He laid it out, and they both plopped on top of it.
“I think I’m getting a blister,” Mona said, taking off her shoes.
“Let me take a look,” Leo said, grabbing for her foot.
She pulled back. “No way. My feet are sticky and gross.”
“I don’t care,” he said, chuckling. “I did a tour in Afghanistan. I’ve
seen sticky and gross feet before, believe me.”
After a moment’s hesitation, she let him look at her feet. He peeled
off her sweaty sock and examined the back of her heel.
“Yup, you’re working up a blister. Better air them out a little bit.”
Then he gave her a crooked grin. “I’d give you a foot massage, but
your feet are kinda stinky and gross.”
She kicked his legs with her bare feet. “Shut up, you big oaf. I’m
sure your feet are way stinkier and grosser.”
He kicked off his boots. “They’re supposed to be. I’m an oaf.”
He uncorked the bottle of wine and poured her a glass. Despite the
late-autumn chill, the sun was warm in the sky, and the wine tasted a
bit like heaven. He felt himself relax, starting from his shoulders.
Mona was nervously chatting about the progress on the shop—her
store had burned down a few months ago, and it was scheduled for its
grand opening the day after Thanksgiving—but he was so intoxicated
looking at her beautiful profile that he didn’t really hear a word.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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