THE LETTER is the story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore apart two lovers for eleven years.
On the eve of their wedding, Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed— the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed—in bed with his cousin, Leo. Diana remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is that she was forced to marry Leo and then spent the next eleven years in hell.
When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, Michael and Diana must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses the one of their youth.
“You asked to see me?”
Michael turned from the window. His expression so solemn, Diana had the urge to flee.
“I did.” He stepped behind his desk and gestured to a chair in front. “Have a seat, please. There is something I must show you.”
Whatever he wanted to show her, she didn’t want to see. The step toward happiness she had taken yesterday fled and she resented it.
She sat and clasped her hands together. “What is it?”
“What it is…” His words trailed off. He picked up what looked like several pages of a letter, stared at it a moment, then lifted his eyes to hers. “Before I give it to you, I want to say—” He took a deep breath.
Her heart did a hard thump in her chest. What was written on that paper that disconcerted him so much? Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. She was on the verge of leaving when he began to speak.
“I want to say I’m sorry, but the words sound trivial because they won’t undo what I allowed my cousin to do to you.” He caught her gaze and held it.
“But, Diana, I am sorry, more than I can possibly say.” He held out his hand, the sheets fluttering.
My God, his hand was trembling. She recoiled from the pages wavering at her like the head of a snake. Whatever it was, it was evil. It would bite her and open old wounds.
She vigorously shook her head. “I don’t want it.”
She wanted to be happy, had promised herself she could be. She didn’t want to be a beaten down thing huddling against the wall with her arms protectively over her head. Putting her hands on the arms of her chair, she pushed up, prepared to leave.
“It is a letter from Leo.”
Diana fell back down on the chair. It was a snake all right. “I don’t understand. If he wrote to me, why do you have it?”
“It was written to me.” Michael placed it on the desk, close to her. “I’m not sure when, sometime after he learned he was dying, I assume. I’m sorry.” He sighed heavily. “I seem to be saying that a lot, don’t I? But I am. You need to read it. There are things in it you need to know.”
Whatever Leo wrote, it would be vile. She considered going to her room and getting a pair of gloves to put on before touching it. Lord, she was acting like a coward. Her resolve to be a new woman, a strong and happy one asserted itself. There was nothing her husband could say that she hadn’t already heard, lived through and survived. She picked up the letter and
began to read.
Oh, God, she had not heard this.
About the Author:
Sandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Most days, you can find her with her fingers on a keyboard, her mind in the world of her imagination. It's a land where romance and happy endings exist, a land where anything is possible.
When her husband can drag her away from her computer, she likes to travel with her very own hero in their RV, but she always brings her laptop. There are still stories to write, after all.
A few highlights of Sandra's life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. She's managed a private airport and held the position of General Manager of a Harley-Davidson dealership.
Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.
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