Hello. If you are looking for the A to Z Challenge, it’s either before or after this post!
Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales, a blog hop from selected authors who share with you a scene from their current wip based on a word prompt. This week’s word is PUSH, and I’m sharing from Wedding Bell Blues, a contemporary romance.
Here is this week’s scene. Enjoy.
“Excusez-moi, pardon,” the manager said, his accent heavy, as he pushed his way through the gawkers surrounding them. “Give them some room, please. Monsieur Davis, is Madame Summers ill? Did she fall?”
“No, I didn’t fall,” MJ answered softly between pants, embarrassment evident in her voice.
Paul could hear her barely suppressed panic. “Take it easy,” he whispered.
“I got dizzy, that’s all,” she continued. “I didn’t eat this morning, and with the excitement … my asthma … I’ll be fine, really I will.”
The staff moved everyone away from the bar, including Lindsay and her husband, in an effort to control the situation. Paul was grateful since it meant no one could overhear them.
“Where’s your asthma pump?” he asked.
“Front pouch of my backpack. Tell them to leave, please,” she pleaded. “I’ll be okay if they just all go back to doing what they were.”
Paul removed the blue inhaler from its hiding place and handed it to her. She shook it, took a puff, waited, and then took another. Within minutes, the rescue inhaler did its job, and her breathing slowed. He nodded, took the device, and returned it to its place.
“Feeling better?” he asked, handing her the glass of water Lucette had place on the bar in front of him.
MJ drained the glass, nodded, and handed him the empty tumbler.
“Thanks,” she murmured softly. “Can we get out of here?” Her eyes begged him to make it possible.
He nodded. “Sure thing.” He turned to the crowd pressing in closer to get a better look. “She’s okay. Her asthma had a little trouble adjusting to the climate,” he said, wondering again where her partner was. He smiled reassuringly at the curious onlookers, and they began to drift away, absorbed in one another once more.
“You and Madame Summers are acquainted?” the manager asked sotto voice, and Paul could read both concern and relief on his face.
“Yes, we are,” he answered.
“Parfait! Madame Summers can stay with you instead of sleeping in the lounge. I will take care of everything.”
“Why would she sleep in the lounge? That’s preposterous,” Paul said, noting the look of horror on her face. He’d be horrified too, if he had to sleep in a public lobby like that.
“Because she has no room and the ferry has gone. Her husband has not arrived. I am sure she can contact him to meet her in Saint Pierre.”
Paul turned and looked sharply at the woman seated in front of him, noted the tears edging her eyes, and smiled down at her. He’d have done anything for her fifteen years ago. Well, it looked as if Grandma was both right and wrong. He wouldn’t be alone tonight, but it sure as hell wouldn’t be the romantic evening he’d envisioned. The least he could do was let her sleep on his couch, although whether he’d get any sleep with her in his room was a toss-up.
“Not a problem. I’ve got lots of room. Can you have lunch for two sent to my bungalow? I think we’d better feed her before she gets dizzy again.”
“Tout de suite,” the manager answered and rushed away as if he were afraid Paul might change his mind.
Paul tossed five Euros on the bar for Lucette, picked up MJ’s backpack, and turned to her.
“Feel well enough to walk or should I carry you?”
The color she’d lost flooded her cheeks. “I can walk, thanks. Let’s get out of here, please?”
“Right this way.”
What was the resort’s rumor mill going to do with this? If they’d been speculating about him being there alone yesterday, they had more than enough to chew on now. Not that he cared. What he did was no one’s business but his own.
“I told you,” Lucette said and chuckled. “Grandmère is always right.”
MJ stood, reached for her backpack, but he shouldered it.
“I’ll carry it.”
“What was that about?” she asked, indicating Lucette with her head.
“Nothing important. I’ll tell you later.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Lindsay asked. She’d come back as soon as the manager had left. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but you don’t have to go with him if you don’t want to.”
The look she gave him would’ve killed a weaker man.
“Please, it’s really not what you think,” MJ said, turning to look up at him, her eyes conveying her apology. “Paul and I are old friends. He’ll take good care of me. Don’t worry. I’ll talk to you in a short while and explain everything. I promise.”
He had the distinct feeling Lindsay shouldn’t hold her breath for that explanation, but he was determined to hear it.
“Okay,” Lindsay answered, sounding no more convinced than he was. “If you need anything, call. We’re in bungalow thirty-six.”
“Don’t worry. Paul’s come to my rescue before. He’ll make everything right.”
“Are you ready?” he asked, not at all comfortable with the hero worship she’d just heaped at his feet.
She nodded. “As ready as I’ll ever be.” But she looked scared to death.
“I’m on your side, kid,” he said, hoping to make her relax, and determined to do whatever it took to fix this problem for her.
She nodded, and he led her across the lounge and back through the reception area. The few people still standing around the desk eyed them curiously.
Please drop by and visit all of this week’s Tuesday Tales.