Excerpt from Abby

Abby
A Second Chance Novel


Available in e-book and print at Amazon, and on request from local booksellers


“I know youz are here, Abigail McCord!” The familiar, female, Cajun-accented voice echoed through the front door into the silence of the cottage. “Mais, I knowz dat trick of hiding in da dark,” she continued. “I used it plenty times myself when Ida Breaux used to come over to try to sell her cheap vacuum cleaners.” She knocked on the door three times…hard. “Youz cain’t fool me. Youz know dat.”

Yes, she knew it very well because she knew the woman outside on her front porch well. Tante Izzy was the most persistent and tenacious person she knew. Well, Abby was feeling pretty persistent and tenacious herself.

Abby felt her way over to the bed in the inky blackness. She’d sit here in the dark, feel sorry for herself for another half an hour, hope that Tante Izzy would give up, then get her act together. Her unfamiliarity with the space had her bumping hard into the bedside table instead. She stumbled forward, stepping on the thin spikey heel of her favorite party shoes that she’d kicked off moments earlier. Stabbing pain knifed through her heel.

Good. Physical pain was preferable to this gaping ache she had inside her as her fate was being decided thousands of miles away.

She sat on the edge of the large, soft bed. She felt the cool, crisp duvet against the back of her bare legs as her face remained hot from the embarrassment that she’d resorted to hiding from the people she cared for. She leaned back, letting the feathered comforter form around her body. Elli had gone to a lot of trouble to make this one room cypress cottage feel homey. Soft white down pillows, fluffy bath towels and Abby’s favorite snacks in the pantry. Her dear friend wanted her to think of this cottage as her home away from home.

Home was her cozy bungalow in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by pink bougainvillea and rows of palm trees. The place she was separated from because she was the paparazzi’s juiciest story and most exciting hunt du jour. Only it wasn’t just for the day.

“It’s damp out here and my ar-the-ritis is makin’ my bones creak,” Tante Izzy shouted through the closed door. “Worse than dat, my pretty hairs dat Margie styled dis afternoon is gettin’ ruined. Abby, youz open dis door now or youz goin’ to owe me da cost of my wash, set, and style…plus da tip.”Abby smiled. Tante Izzy always made her smile even when she felt like the debris left after a flash flood. Oh, Elli had outsmarted her for sure by sending the octogenarian Cajun firecracker to bring her to the reception instead of coming herself. She knew Abby couldn’t ignore a visit from Tante Izzy and would have a hard time denying her anything. This woman, who hadn’t known her for very long, had become her champion along with Elli. She’d talk to Tante Izzy a few minutes, send her on her way, then remove the Dolce & Gabbana dress, her bra, and her bad attitude, and change into comfy sweats. She might even light a fire in the brick fireplace, turn on the high-tech television, and escape into an old eighties romantic comedy.

Abby listened a moment to make sure she didn’t hear anyone with Tante Izzy, then reached over the end table and switched on the lamp.

“I knew youz were in dere hidin’ in da dark,” Tante Izzy said.

“I’m coming,” she called out, taking a moment to raise the side zipper on the chiffon dress that she had started to take off when she got to the cottage. “You win, Tante Izzy,” Abby opened the door. “We can’t have the damp night air ruining your beautiful hair. I’m sorry for not answering the door. I can explain…” Abby’s voice trailed off.

Tante Izzy wasn’t alone.

Jackson Bienvenu was with her.

Although she didn’t really know him, she recognized him right away, standing tall, broad-shouldered and wearing the same black, well-tailored tuxedo he’d had on in church. He also wore a smile and black rain boots with bright green alligators painted on them. The boots he didn’t have on in church.

“Are youz goin’ to just stand dere wit youz pretty robin egg-blue eyes poppin’ out youz head or youz goin’ to let me and Jackson come in?” Tante Izzy pushed her way into the cottage.

Elli and Jewell had mentioned Jackson in front of her as they discussed wedding plans. He was the best man and Beau’s younger brother. Before that, she had sort-of met him. She hadn’t expected to find him on her front porch…smiling with his bright sea-green eyes filled with humor.

“Five minutes longer and I think Tante Izzy would’ve bought it,” he said, his voice deep, smooth and with a hint of a Cajun accent. “You should’ve held out.”


Available in e-book and print at Amazon, and on request from local booksellers