Here’s a short excerpt from my March 2013 release by Harlequin Romantic Suspense, A BILLIONAIRE’S REDEMPTION: VENGEANCE IN TEXAS. Enjoy!
“…we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
The preacher’s voice droned on, But Willa Merris’s heart hurt too much for her to hear the rest. Her father, Senator John Merris, was dead. Truly gone. And even though his murdered body had been discovered nearly two weeks ago, the finality of it had waited until this exact moment to slam into her like a ton of bricks.
Despair weighed on her until she could hardly breathe. What were she and her mother going to do? He had always been the center of their universe, the two of them pale moons orbiting his brilliant life.
A thud startled her. Her mother had just tossed a tightly balled clod of red Texas clay on top of the casket. The dirt in her own hand was cold and moist, squishing out of her clenched fist. Blinded by tears, Willa tossed her clod of dirt into the hole that contained her father’s mortal remains.
She shuddered as dozens of other mourners stepped forward to toss handfuls of dirt on her father’s grave. Some of them appeared genuinely sad, but the majority ranged from indifferent to covertly satisfied to bury the bastard. She had no illusions that her father had been a saint. Far from it. He’d been a mean man in a mean business—two mean businesses—a wildcat oil man carving a fortune out of the oil sands of West Texas, and a United States Senator, brawling in the halls of Congress.
A comforting arm slipped around her shoulders. She leaned into the embrace for a moment, but then caught a whiff of the aftershave and stiffened. No. Surely not. Horror flowed through her, that, and sheer, frozen terror. She glanced up at the sympathetic face of James Ward, the son of her father’s long time business partner..
“Get away from me this second,” she hissed. “Don’t touch me!”