I bet you thought I'd forgotten didn't you? Nope. Here are the entries I received from my Fun and Games post on Thursday. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Thanks everyone for playing.
What was Scarlet to do? Supreme Court Justice Wallace Hornbuckle’s ruling had made it clear that her life at Tara had been a complete falsehood.
Standing by the window in her Manolo Blahnik shoes, she observed uniformed men escorting C.S. Lewis to an awaiting van. Margaret had warned her about the lynch mob. No one, she had said, was safe from the media’s brutal interrogation. And though she repeatedly denied her life might be gone with the wind as she watched Mr. Lewis disappear, it was suddenly clear Margaret was right. Lawyers were splitting hairs over fact vs. fiction and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Malfunction was an excuse to give another author a ticket to Polar Bear alley, where temperatures fell below zero degrees.
Dark shadows cast eerie shapes upon the empty courtyard and Scarlet turned back in disgust. Entering Margaret’s inner sanctum she grabbed a bottle of Scotch, poured herself a libation and swallowed quickly.
Whirling around, Scarlet stared at the large man filling the doorway. “Lurch!”
Scarlet gasped for breath. “Yes, yes, I did. Heavens, you gave my heart a jump start!”
“Sorry, madam. Luncheon is ready.”
“Tell Gomez I’ll be there shortly,” she offered.
Turning with a hand clutched to her chest, she regarded the bookcase. Hornbuckle’s elite had plundered it, erasing every adaptation of the imagination. His private war forced writers into hiding and characters like herself to huddle in secrecy and fear.
Lies gave the media power. Centuries of fiction had been erased, stolen from archives so that cuddle kids, a generational faction nurtured by Hornbuckle’s new order, would not be influenced.
Tears filled her eyes. Twain, Jakes, Tolstoy, Austen and Pasternak, El Libro Gestapo had taken them all.
“Are you coming, Tish?” Gomez entreated.
Scarlet wiped her eyes and nodded demurely. Poor Gomez hadn’t been the same since Morticia’s accident. Walking towards him, she took his hand and together they passed the stairs where Morticia met her death after catching her feet in her gown, a tragedy that had forced her designer to shoulder the blame.
In the dining room, Lurch held out Scarlet’s chair and Gomez took his seat. Thing produced a card and Gomez read it aloud. “Le Cordon Blue is to be our main course tonight.”
The code. Scarlet acknowledged the warning. El Libro Gestapo had been sited on grounds. Her time was up.
“To the bat cave, Scarlet! I shall confront these fools myself. A woman like you was meant to survive. I have already lost Morticia, I will not let them take you. Lurch will take you below and see to your safety.”
“Thank you, Gomez. Do be careful.”
“Careful, madam. Frankly, I don’t give a snarkistic damn about danger!”
Heading toward sanctuary with Lurch at her side, Scarlet shook her fist above her head and vowed. “As God is my witness, Gomez, I shall never forget all you have done for me.”
“Go, Scarlet. You must live on.”
“I don’t care if you went and got yourself appointed Supreme Court Justice,” Charlotte remarked acidly as she peeled her Manolo Blahnik off with one finger. “You can’t just waltz in here and expect to jump start a relationship with sweet talk and perfectly aged Scotch.”
Gordon grinned. “It was recommended in Le Cordon Blue, your favorite culinary magazine. I thought you liked the designer stuff.”
He held his arms out, indicating both himself and the bottle in his hand. Charlotte looked him up and down, taking in the worn work boots, the faded jeans and comfortable plaid flannel shirt over a white tee shirt tinged with dust.
Her bitterness ebbed and she laughed. “You’re not exactly the designer stuff, Gordon.”
“Come on, love, you don’t have to be so snarkastic.”
Charlotte groaned, still laughing. She should never have turned him on to that phrase. Darn that witty Miss Snark, anyway. What stellar advice would she give Charlotte in this situation? Turn down this hunk and you get dubbed Nitwit of the Day?
Her laughter faded with a sigh.
“Look,” she said. “I have to get ready for this luncheon. They’re presenting me with their special Narnia award for my contributions to the library’s children’s program, and I have to change. If you don’t leave now, in a minute you’ll be witnessing the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe malfunction.”
Gordon looked at his watch. “You don’t have to be at Cuddle Kids for another hour.”
He cocked one eyebrow rakishly and held up the bottle. “What say we blow the lid on this baby and throw ourselves a party?”
Crossing the room, he put one hand behind her back and drew her close, holding her gaze. “I could even help you with that wardrobe malfunction.”
Charlotte couldn’t stop the sigh that escaped her lips as his proximity flamed her body temperature up a degree. The sweet, pungent scent of his cologne made his soft flannel shirt the most comfortable thing she’d bumped up against in a long time. Why did he have to be so darn sexy? And why did she have to turn into a polar bear every time he entered her world?
They were all wrong for each other, complete opposites. She, the chic businesswoman on the fast track to success. He, the hardworking rancher with little to offer but his unassuming charm and honesty.
Come to think of it, Charlotte thought as his lips brushed hers, maybe that offer wasn’t so little, after all.
And congratulations to J.B. for being our winner! Your prize is on its way :-)