After writing the contemporary Thunder on the Mountain Series, I became so enamoured of the ancestors who wrote the journals found in Thunder Struck that I decided to write their stories. This is an early scene from Jordan’s Gift when Edward and Jordan had only met a few times.
She’d put in a long day at the store and was exhausted. “I’ll head up to the house and get dinner ready,” she called to her aunt. “Try not to be too much longer.”
The jingle of the bells had her looking up, and she froze as she hung her apron behind the counter. “Jordan, can you take care of whoever it is, please?” Dorothy asked in a loud whisper. “I’m up to my elbows in flour.”
It took a minute for her to realize she’d been spoken to. “Of course,” she said, surprised how husky her voice sounded. “I’m in no hurry.” She was captured in his stare.
He’d taken off his hat and his long hair was a creamy, rich chocolate brown with waves that framed his face. His eyes were dark as obsidian, and she felt herself falling into his depths as his gaze held her. She didn’t mind how long they stood there; his compelling combination of features had her content to study his rugged chin, the elegant length of his nose, and lips that held a strange fascination for her, even though they hadn’t moved in the slightest since she’d been looking at them.
He didn’t seem to be in any more of a hurry than she was, and she wasn’t anxious to break the spell. The crazy things going on in her chest were intriguing, and she examined her reaction while she studied the extraordinary man before her. It took supreme concentration for her to finally ask, “Is there something in particular you’re looking for?”
He broke their gaze and looked at the shelf behind her. “Coffee,” he finally said in a voice she was sure could melt the butter in the churn.
You can do this, Jordan, she thought. One foot in front of the other, get the burlap, get the scoop, measure, weigh. You’ve done this half a dozen times today. You just have to move.
“How much would you like?” Was that her voice?
“All of it.”
“You want all the coffee?” she asked, trying to understand what he’d said.
“The what?” He seemed to come out of whatever fog he’d been in and said, “No, just a pound, thank you.” He turned away to examine the same pair of chaps he’d studied so closely the day before. What in the world was the matter with him?
“I have your coffee ready,” she said, standing at the cash register, not bothering to play coy, just appreciating what she saw.
He stepped forward and was proud of himself for being able to go through the motion of pulling out his money packet. He gave her the twenty cents, but when his hand touched hers, they both felt the shock of contact. Their eyes shot to each other. He pulled back like he’d been burned with a poker, picked up his coffee, and strode out the door without a word.
He felt all kinds of a fool as he rode out of town like the hounds of hell were attacking. He hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind all day. He’d been sure if he saw her again, he’d realize there wasn’t a need for her invading his thoughts like a conquering army. Instead, he’d seen her standing there, saw her arms raised and the material of her dress straining against her well-defined figure, saw the blue of her eyes lock with his, and he surrendered, knowing he’d never be the same.