The Lady Always Wins
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Railway financier Simon Davenant has waited seven years for a second chance with Virginia Croswell, his childhood sweetheart and best friend. He's not about to let his impending financial ruin destroy the opportunity.
This time, he'll do anything he can to secure her hand in marriage--even if it means losing her heart for good.
The Lady Always Wins is a short story of 18,500 words (about 60 print pages). It was previously published in the anthology "Three Weddings and a Murder."
his body thrummed in an insistent counterpoint: Do this now. He closed the distance between them, but she touched him first—setting her hands on his face and pulling him down to her. If there was any more powerful aphrodisiac than the fact that she wanted him, it was her scent, that subtle indefinable sweetness that marked her out among all other women. He kissed her, hard. Her mouth opened to his with a practiced fluidity. Their kisses had stopped being just kisses; they were promises now,
for the occasion, the full yellow skirts of her day gown rippling behind her in the breeze. One of the white ribbons that ringed her fitted sleeve had come untied; it flapped merrily in the wind, in cheery counterpoint to the murmur of the crowd. Even from twenty feet away, she drew his eye. And it wasn’t just Simon who looked at her. The crowd was massed in the hundreds, and not a one of them was gawking at the steam engine that she was about to christen. They were all watching her. And no
Folly—the little property she had inherited from her aunt—from the railway station three miles distant. He’d diverted from his destination only long enough to leave his valise at the inn in town. The man who had assigned him his room was new to the area; he’d not even blinked in recognition when Simon gave his name. At that early hour, only the bakery had been open. He’d stopped for a bun, but old Mrs. Brandell hadn’t remembered him, either. There was no reason the little village should recall
haven’t gone to fat.” “I’ll have you know, I spend long days in the field—” He stopped before he could truly start his tirade, and shook his head ruefully. “Ah. You almost had me there.” “I’m going to have you again,” Ginny said, and took off running. She could scarcely breathe with the boning of her corset bound tightly around her. Her shoes kept sinking into the new spring ground. He passed her easily. By the time she came to the bench, he had positioned himself behind it, one hand leaning
realized that he was nervous about how she might respond. “No,” Ginny had said, her mouth dry. “No?” “You’re not going to kiss me tomorrow,” she’d managed to get out. He had taken one step toward her. “You’re going to kiss me right now,” she finished. “Oh, God,” he’d said. “Ginny. Ginny.” And he had leaned in and kissed her, the dark green leaves of the oak shielding them from the summer sun. After that, he’d made his way to Chester-on-Woolsey whenever he could, telling his parents he was