A 3rd Time to Die by George A Bernstein (Excerpt)

*****

Settled beside a scared oak slab, perched on slick, dark leather benches in a dim corner of the sparsely occupied pub, she found herself pouring out her heart about things she had never before discussed with a single soul. His compassionate understanding of her grief over her father’s illness and the illicit behavior of her husband were a strange catharsis. This was a connection she never felt with another person, especially a man.

Robert escorted her to her door, finally, as darkness began its approach, saying he had some ideas that might help in dealing with her husband, should things eventually come to an end in their marriage. She made an appointment to visit his offices the very next day.

*****

Almost a year to the day after she first met Robert Isaac, they rode his black lacquered surrey into the countryside for a picnic. Jonathan Denton had succumbed ten months past, leaving his fortune in trust to his only daughter.

William Quincy made many determined forays after a share of that wealth, but a phalanx of attorneys could not dent the ironclad instruments forged by Robert for his client. Denton had consigned Morgana’s care and fate to the hands of this capable young man. It was a duty he would have taken seriously… even if he hadn’t fallen hopelessly in love with her.

He had struggled to remain aloof and proper with his lovely client… until the beating. William, in a fit of rage, peaked by his family’s failing finances and his inability to touch his wife’s vast wealth, had taken a riding crop to her.

Robert summoned all his self-control to keep from thrashing the man. Instead, he charged Quincy with assault and battery, a rare challenge to a husband’s right to strike his wife. Eventually, charges were dropped with the court ordering William to keep his hands to himself.

It was the impetus Morgana needed to begin pursuing a divorce.

“I’ve found love with another man,” she had told Robert, a merry twinkle in her golden eyes.

“Who is the lucky fellow,” his throat suddenly constricted, he could barely draw breath.

“Oh, he’s a strong, handsome, gentle man of the utmost integrity. Completely unlike that lout I married.”

“If you’ll only give me his name,” his eyes cast down to hide his despair, “I’ll make inquiries to be sure he’s as upright as you fancy him. ‘Tis for your protection.” He was resigned to step aside. Anything for the happiness of this angel he had grown to treasure so deeply.

“Oh, you ninny.” She laughed, eyes alight, her face a picture permanently etched into the fabric of his brain.

“His name is Robert Isaac. ‘Tis you I love, my sweet fool.”

What? T’was he? How could this be? His wildest dreams fulfilled? Thunder hammered his breast as he took her hands, his eyebrow arched. Her smile dazzling his senses, she nodded, nestling in his arms, her face tilted, begging to be kissed.

They soon became lovers, enthralled by a familiarity and passion more profound than either ever expected. Now, months later, her divorce to Quincy soon to be finalized, they were about to celebrate. The picnic basket was filled with delicacies and two well-chilled bottles of wine… a fine meal, capped off with tender lovemaking under the shade of the great oaks that bordered this idyllic meadow.

3rdTime3D-2

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Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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