His Lucky Charm by Chelle Cordero: What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas… this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can’t afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn.
(copyright 2008, published by Vanilla Heart Publishing)
“Is your name really Caitlyn Smythe?” He wasn’t sure if he should believe her.
She smiled. “Actually it’s Caitlyn Price now.”
He remained quiet. “Brandon? What’s wrong? What did Amanda say?”
“Why are you worried what Amanda had to say?” He was beginning to sound as paranoid as he felt. “Do you have something to worry about?” How much of what she told him was true, if any of it was? He had begun to believe her, anything and everything she had told him, and it angered him that he now had reason to question her honesty.
“She barely knows me, what would she have to say?” Caitlyn was exasperated. “Brandon, what did Amanda say to you? What do you think I’m hiding?”
He wanted to trust the woman in front of him, he really did. He could understand why he liked her even if he had no memory of her. Her gentleness and supposed naivety had lured him into a feeling of safety. He said he had felt like he was under a spell during their lovemaking, maybe she was some kind of pro and he wasn’t thinking with the right brain. That other woman, Amanda, her voice was so familiar, how could he not trust her? He knew that he remembered Amanda. He didn’t know anything about Caitlyn before waking up this morning. And if he knew and trusted Amanda… then he couldn’t trust Caitlyn no matter what.
He paced in silence for a few minutes. Amanda had given him some information and he wasn’t sure what to do with it. Whether it was because Caitlyn was good in bed, he thought crudely, or because there was something more there, he decided to warn her. “Amanda is faxing some information to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. She expects that they’ll be here shortly to take you into custody.”
“Why?” She sounded totally dumbfounded.
“You’ve got a record. You’ve got a string of aliases…” He knelt in front of her. He was sure he had done the right thing to warn her. “Caitlyn, if you leave now, you’ll get away. I wasn’t supposed to warn you but I don’t want to see you arrested.”
“I haven’t done anything…” Her protest sounded genuine and it twisted his gut to think otherwise.
“Caitlyn, she has proof.” He thought for a moment and then stood to take his wallet out of his back pocket. “I don’t know how much money I have in here, but,” he pulled a wad of bills out and handed them to her. “You should be able to get somewhere with this. Go, go now while there is still time. I don’t know how far you can get but you have to get away from here.” He put the money into her hand.
She dropped the money on the floor. “I’m not going anywhere, I haven’t done anything illegal. Why would someone want to arrest me?”
He watched several bills float down to the carpet. “Damn it Caitlyn, I’m trying to help you!” Why didn’t she just take the damn money and get the hell out of there?
Her voice was a hoarse whisper. “What did she tell you I did?”
He frowned. It was hard for him to make the accusation. “You are an artist all right… a con artist. Caitlyn, she said you stole from me, and you stole from some other people. And they want to press charges. I’m not but they are.”
“You believe this?” She sounded so hurt, so wounded, and all he wanted to do was protect her.
He was consumed by guilt that he questioned her. “Come on, let’s get out of here…” He tried to take her arm and push her towards the door. She pulled herself out of his grasp.
“No!” The tears welled in her eyes. “I thought you loved me. You married me! How could you believe I would steal from you?”
He took her by both arms and shook her. “I don’t remember you!” Brandon stared in disbelief as he saw apparent fear in her eyes. He dropped his hands from her arms suddenly. “I’m sorry.” He took a few steps back and spoke in hushed tones. “I know that it felt right to have you in my arms this morning, it felt good to be so close to you, but I don’t know you. But Amanda’s voice, I remembered that, I know her voice… and her name. I know Amanda. I have to trust her.”
Chelle Cordero has come a long way since first joining the Vanilla Heart Publishing queue of authors nearly two years ago with her first novel, Bartlett’s Rule. Now with nine novels on the market, she has solidified her standing as a Romantic Suspense author (7 romantic suspense & 2 mysteries.) She also has short stories in the VHP anthology With Arms Wide Open, Mandimam’s Press anthology Forever Friends, the VHP anthology Nature’s Gifts, VHP anthology Passionate Hearts and Mandimam Press anthology Forever Travels.
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