Stroke of Luck – Never before seen excerpt #2 by Jenna Byrnes
Steven padded to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Wearing nothing but boxers, eyes barely open, he carried the mug to the window and sipped from it while looking at the view. Paul’s condo was great, but was that where he’d like to live? He thought about it for a moment. If I could have my choice of living anywhere… He chuckled. Which now, apparently, I can. Where would I choose to live?
Chicago, of course. He wouldn’t mind a little distance but didn’t want to be too far from his family. His mother was alone, Tim and Cheryl were struggling. It didn’t seem like the best time to leave.
So, Chicago. It still left a lot of options. House, condo, apartment? He had no ideas. Never having many options hadn’t prepared him for the freedom he now experienced. He glanced around the empty condo, wondering if it could ever feel like home.
Paul had gone to the office hours ago while Steven had stayed in bed, dozing comfortably off and on. Neither of them had gotten much sleep. His muscles were sore in places he’d never known existed.
What a great feeling! Steven smiled—and jumped when the phone rang. He headed to Paul’s desk, but by the time he got there, the answering machine had picked up.
Paul’s voice sounded smooth and professional. “You have reached 555-1209. Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
The machine beeped, and the caller said, “Hi, Paul. This is Tony at Beeman Jaguar Sales. I found that XK convertible you were asking about, in black or silver. I could have either one here in two days when you decide. I’ll wait to hear from you. 555—”
Steven tuned out the rest of the call. Paul had been looking at Jaguar convertibles? He already drove a very nice Lincoln. Odd. He glanced down at a stack of papers on Paul’s desk and realised they were bills. He tried to walk away but couldn’t. Like a train wreck, he had to look.
He picked up the stack and leafed through them. Credit cards with balances totalling over thirty-thousand dollars. Steven gulped. A balance due on the Lincoln. Racquet Club dues, a charge account at a pricey men’s store downtown—those were only the top half of the stack. He dropped the papers back where he’d found them and carried his mug into to the kitchen.
Paul either made one hell of a salary or was living beyond his means. The credit card balances led Steven to believe the latter and caused a lump to form in his stomach. He couldn’t believe he’d found this out just as he’d started to get so attached to Paul. The timing of the whole relationship/lottery thing really did suck.
Copyright © Jenna Byrnes
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Name the book by Jenna Byrnes that Cecile recently reviewed and called an emotional, heart-wrenching story?