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Lorie Morrison plans on staying in her home town of La Mesa, New Mexico only long enough to sell her grandmother’s radio station. Alex Freeman, the man she left at the altar eight years ago wants her to stay, run the station and give their romance another try. She’s determined to go back to her high-powered career in Albuquerque.
Lorie finds out that lightning can strike twice!
Lorie Morrison’s heart leapt in her chest as she grabbed the door handle to her grandmother’s radio station. She paused to take a deep breath for courage and to settle the trembling in her knees and fingers. The station now belonged to her, passed down when her grandmother had died just over a month before. If only he wasn’t still working here.
She entered the tiny reception area and waited for the aging rodeo queen to look up from the tabloid magazine and notice her.
The fake wooden sign on the desk identified the woman as Fran. Whoever she was, she continued to ignore her new boss. Lorie cleared her throat.
Fran looked up at her, the frown lines deepening around the receptionist’s mouth.
“Is Alex Champion here?” Lorie asked, letting the irritation show in her voice. The ad agency in Albuquerque where she worked would never tolerate that kind of behavior. That’s small towns for you.
Fran punched the extension to the station manager’s office as if it was a bug that needed squashing. Lorie was amazed the woman could accomplish such a feat with two-inch-long acrylic nails painted the color of coagulated blood. She also noticed that the woman never asked her name.
“She’s here. Uh-huh.” Fran hung up the phone and with the same sour expression pointed down the hall with a crimson claw.
“Go ahead,” was all she said before returning to her magazine.
Knowing this was all the information she would get out of the woman, Lorie decided to find Alex’s office on her own.
It was just a few steps down a dim hall. The walls were covered with old dark wood paneling broken up here and there with a few plaques and pictures.
One of her high heels caught on a thread from a frayed spot in the carpet. Lorie glanced back at Fran as she recovered her balance. The woman still had her nose in the magazine, but now she was grinning. Lorie would deal with the receptionist later; she continued along the dingy carpet that might once have been beige. She tiptoed around a few more worn spots and wondered how long it’d been since the place had been remodeled.
Across from her grandmother’s old office was a window that allowed a view of the broadcast booth. It was pretty much the same as she remembered, except the walls could have used a new coat of paint and the equipment now seemed very old and out of date. The microphone hung from a metal adjustable arm and was held together in many places by duct tape. She nodded to the bearded man in the booth and continued a couple more steps to the manager’s office.
Her body refused to settle down when she stopped in front of the door with a rusty metal sign that read, ‘Station Manager’. She was bound to run into him sooner or later. It might as well be now.
No one responded when she tapped lightly on the door. She squared her shoulders and turned the knob.
“Tell him to call me as soon as you figure out where he is. Okay, thanks. Bye.”
She heard his voice before she could see him. Papers and files were piled high on the desk and the rest of the dim office was in similar disarray. The combination of the same dark paneling from the hallway, the single lamp on the desk, and a faint, musty odor added to the cave-like ambiance.
Alex ended his call and without looking up motioned her toward a chair that looked like it would crumble into sawdust if she sat on it. When was the last time her grandmother bought new furniture for this place?
She held out her hand instead of sitting down. “It’s good to see you again, Alex.” Her voice wavered, betraying her nervousness about meeting the man she’d once planned to marry.
He looked up, but didn’t shake her outstretched hand. A lock of dark brown hair fell over and nearly covered his deep blue eyes.
“Is it?” he said.
Kathy has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. After a short stint in the air force as a radio operator, she got her bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications and had a short stint as a news director for a few small town radio stations. She moved around the country quite a bit after that until she settled down in Colorado with Mike, her husband of over 20 years, and their two cats. She writes full time when she and her husband aren’t traipsing all over the world chasing total solar eclipses.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 252
Paper Weight (lb): 10.6
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