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Sample Saturday: “Second Chance in the Vieux Carré”

Hi, everyone. Here’s another snippet from my current WIP. This is the first draft, so things may change by publication time. Enjoy!

“Hope, what’s wrong?”

“No one acts like Amos does. It’s like he’s playing to an audience when he takes care of Diana, helping her to bed and everything.”

“You think that’s fake?” Harmon was incredulous.

“Yeah, a little.”

“Chère, if you believe that, you really don’t understand the men in this family at all.” He moved to sit next to her on the bed. “Let me tell you a little story. You know I lost my wife to breast cancer several years ago, right?

‘Well, that young couillon brother of mine had hair almost to his waist, playing in a rock band. When Marie lost her hair because of chemotherapy, he not only went out and donated his hair to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients, he had them shave his head smooth as an egg. I can show you the picture some time. Marie begged me not to, or I would have done the same.

“Anyway, that wasn’t how I showed my support for her; there were more practical things to do. Love isn’t always about hearts and flowers, or who has the biggest diamond.”

Hope turned red. “I guess that was not the kindest thing to say about Diana’s new ring.”

“Maybe not. But that isn’t the point. The point is that sometimes love looks like helping someone put on their nightie and tucking them in. Or making sure there are bendy straws in water cups that are always full. Or even picking up someone’s sick tray and disposing of it.” Harmon’s eyes glistened with tears that he was struggling to hold back. “When Marie’s hair grew back, she was so happy. But by then she had cachexia. Some people call it cancer wasting. Anyway, she couldn’t lift a hair dryer. So I had my sister Annie, the hair dresser, teach me how to fix Marie’s hair for her.”

He turned to face Hope and tilted her chin up so that he was looking her square in the eyes. “So don’t ever think that Amos is putting on a show for you. He does those things because he loves Diana to distraction and wants to make her life a little easier, the same way I did for Marie. That’s what real love looks like, Hope. I’m sorry you never knew that before.”

Hope looked away from Harmon’s determined gaze. “Maybe for everyone else, but not for me.”

Honor among thieves
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