It's Tuesday and today I have a pair of quests here to talk love and redemption. Please welcome Both Becca and Luke from Heather Long's 1NS "Once Her Man, Always Her Man"
Hello Becca and Luke. Welcome to Picked by Poison. I’m happy you could join me. I’ll try not to take long as I’m sure you have much catching up to do.
Becca and Luke: How did you both feel knowing this was set up for you both to be reunited again?
Luke: You want to answer that one?
Becca: I don’t know, I think if I’d known it was going to be Luke I wouldn’t have gone and then regretted it for the rest of my life and I think I’ve had enough regrets.
Luke: Yeah, me too. I owe Madame Eve, more than I’ll ever be able to repay. Sometimes an ambush is the best thing that can happen.
Luke: Were you actually thinking of “chickening out” and turning around knowing you were going to be face to face with her again?
Luke: Strategic retreat crossed my mind. More than once. But no, I couldn’t walk away, not with her right there.
Becca: Since you were kind of blind-sided and now knowing who you were going to see were you hesitant or reluctant to follow through and meet at the club?
Becca: That’s a hard question to answer. It was a favor for a long time business partner and I thought I was there to make arrangements for something completely different. But she knows me well, if she’d told me it was Luke, I would never have gone. Ten years ago, sure, I’d have been counting down the hours, but a girl has to have some pride and I think mine was too wounded to swallow by then.
Luke: Reactions? And what were your own to finding out what was going on?
Luke: I’m sorry. I will say it a thousand times and I’ll never stop kicking myself for being a thick-headed idiot. I always intended to reach out, eventually. But after the way I left, I just didn’t think it would be fair…
Becca: Don’t start that again. It’s done now and we’re together and that’s what matters. Not that I won’t bring it up when I think it will give me the advantage.
Luke: You absolutely have my permission to pound me over the head with it whenever you want.
They both laugh.
Becca: When you got the scent of his cologne and the vanilla musk what was going through your head?
Becca smiles and moistens her lips.: Fear. Hope. Desire. Fury. Not exactly in that order. But there was this moment, you know when your stomach sort of just drops out and you feel like you’re falling and you don’t know how far and you aren’t sure whether to laugh or to scream. That, about sums it up.
Luke: Seeing the green dress and the lovely hair you knew it was your same Becca, did you know how she would react to seeing you again, or was it kind of surprising?
Luke: I had no idea how she would react. I was an ass. If some jerk had done to her what I did, I’d have beaten the--ahem. I’d have taken him outside and torn a strip off his hide. But yeah, seeing how much hurt was in her eyes…I’d rather have faced a firing squad.
Becca: What was it that convinced you to go with Luke and leave the club?
Becca takes Luke’s hand and interlaces their fingers. : He’s Luke. He’s my Luke. It didn’t matter how angry I was, he was there -- finally, after all those years. I wanted him to say all the right things, I wanted it to be real.
Luke: When you pulled over and Becca wanted to leave when did you realize that it was now or never to get her back?
Luke: From the moment she tried to walk out of the club and in the truck. It was like those ten years lasted and eternity and never happened. I made a stupid mistake, I wasn’t going to do it twice.
Becca: Hearing what’s gone on with Luke and his losses from being in the war and knowing he still had the letters unopened, did it soften your resolve and help you see he wasn’t a completely different man then the teen you once knew?
Becca: He never opened my letters. I mean really, never? I wrote a hundred of them.
Luke: One hundred and twenty-one to be exact.
Becca: But he kept them. He didn’t throw them away. And Luke…Luke’s always been the guy the other guys could rely on. I have this feeling though we might have been in our sixties before he read those letters without that date.
Luke: I would have read them sooner.
Becca: Have you read them yet?
Luke: And moving on…
They both laugh.
Luke: Seeing that she was still keeping you close to her heart and was trying to support you through everything must have been partially freeing, knowing that she was there for you.
Luke: I thought I didn’t want her to do that. I thought it would be easier to let her go on with her life without that fear or that worry…but yeah, knowing she was there, that those letters were there, they got through me a lot.
Both: Being back together must be a happy thing. So, what did happen the next day and what are your plans moving forward?
Luke and Becca glance at each other, both grin.
Luke: She’s going to marry me.
Becca: I’ll marry you when you finish reading all the letters…
They both laugh and Luke leans in to give her a long kiss.
Becca: Or maybe the letters can wait…
LOL. I know what that line implies...Best of luck and love to both of you and thanks for taking the time to meet with me!
Fulfilling a favor and executing a business plan, Luke Dexter arrived at Dallas’ Sybarite Club for a one-night stand. He never imagined that in the darkened club with bluesy strains of jazz playing he’d come face to face with the woman he left behind a decade earlier.
Rebecca Rainier fell in love with Luke Dexter in high school and was crushed when he dumped her to join the Marines after 9/11. Now, waiting for a date her best friend and business partner set up, she’s unprepared when Luke walks in.
Can Luke and Rebecca bridge the pain of a decade long abandonment in one cold Texas night?
Luke Dexter handed his keys over to the red corseted valet driver, gaze skimming the generous globes peeking up from the open buttons of her white shirt. The Sybarite Club offered the Dallas area generous access to every pleasure. He slipped a card out of his leather wallet and displayed it to the doorman. The doorman, a tall, lanky figure dressed in topcoat and tails exuded a sense of elegance that the club's exclusive clientele enjoyed.
The doorman examined the card, scanned it with a small device in his palm. Luke admired the cageyness of the action. The pen scanner would be out of place with the old world atmosphere encouraged by the man's uniform. “Good evening, Mr. Dexter. Welcome to the Sybarite Club.”
Accepting his card back, he passed through the opening doublewide doors. The gothic style doors were dark cherry, aged like a fine wine and a decorated with wood cut carvings of a man and woman engaged in cunnilingus and fellatio. The joining was subtle, the each left crying out in pleasure when the door opened, only to be joined again when the doors closed.
Amused by the door carving, he smiled as he plunged into the velvet darkness of the club's jazz infused atmosphere. Every night featured a different style of music, but Fridays were reserved for jazz. Old world, cool smooth jazz with smoky voices, haunting guitars and lonely horns played to the soul. The doors barely closed behind him when his phone buzzed inside his breast pocket.
How did the woman know these things?
Pulling it out, he thumbed it on, a new message from Madame Evangeline of the 1Night Stand exclusive online dating service populating the screen. She's dressed in green silk and sitting at the bar. Life doesn't always offer a second chance…
Clicking the screen off, Luke walked down the four red-carpeted steps into the lounge proper. He'd only agreed to the dating service only to support the men in his unit putting themselves out there. The last thing he'd expected was the invitation to the Sybarite Club. His gaze roamed the room the room, coming to a halt as they fastened on a pair of to die for tan legs at the bar. The sweet length of them, one crossed over the other ended in black heels with crystals glittering around dainty feet.
A green skirt skimmed her knees. While he appreciated the legs, he studied the line of her back, curious about the rest of her. His gaze slid higher to the pile of unruly auburn hair fighting to escape a pair of matching crystal hair combs.
As though sensing his appraisal, the green cloaked mystery woman turned on the bar stool and his heart tripped.
About Heather Long
Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.