I thought I'd share a sneak peek at the opening of my newest work - the couple in this story is mature, both of them over fifty, and about to discover that love and passion aren't only for the young. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the idea, and the opening scene, so please feel free to comment!
Tea and Temptation
Lorina Marsh hadn’t meant to awaken so early, but one glance out the window captivated her attention and held it. The first blush of dawn tinted the eastern sky, painting the horizon in hues of pink and golden warmth. Like a bride waking next to her husband for the first time, the day was being born, new yet familiar, filled with possibilities. She chose to no longer see anything less than what could be achieved. The days of drudgery were over, and she was determined to keep it that way! Smiling, she flung back the bed covers and headed for the bathroom. Ten minutes later she was on her way out the door.
It was just after 6 AM when she entered the fog-shrouded park and went straight for a picnic table. She put down her coffee and used the seat to balance herself as she warmed up with a few muscle loosening stretches. When she felt the pleasant pull of her muscles was enough, she picked up the cup and sipped at the steaming beverage she’d brought with her. She sat for a moment and looked around. Most mornings the park was full of people like her, those out to get in a quick run, or walk, before heading to a day trapped in an office. There were fewer people today, the chill and the thick, curling mist hanging in the air made it feel mildly oppressive.
She finished her coffee, dropped the paper cup into the nearest recycling bin, and began a slow jog into the park’s center. Lori was never much for jogging and exercise, this new regime was part of the changes she was making. She’d spent most of her life taking care of others, helping, supporting, and generally being Cinderella in many ways. After the death of her father a few months earlier, she’d been left a small home, an insurance policy, and a second chance at a life she’d always dreamed about.
She took a deep breath and started a slow, easy run, taking a route she’d been enjoying for the past couple of weeks. She never pushed herself too hard, aware that the extra pounds she carried would make her tire much too quickly. While she wasn’t overly large, she was certainly on the curvy side of the scale.
Startled at hearing her name, she stopped her jog and turned just as Jacob Carson reached her. He bent, hands on his knees, and caught his breath. When he straightened again, he smiled down at her.
“Do you run in the park every day?”
She laughed. “It’s a new activity,” she remarked, tone self-deprecating. “As you can tell, I’m sure.”
Jacob’s look glanced over her and his smile deepened. “You look amazing to me, Lori.”
She felt the telltale heat of embarrassment stain her cheeks and shrugged it off. “Thank you,” she replied, feeling awkward and self-conscious. She looked at the trail again. “I don’t want to keep you from your run if you’re in the middle of it. I don’t move very fast, especially compared to the other runners here.”
“I’ve already been around the park twice,” he said with a grin. “I’d be happy to keep you company, if you’d like?”
Uncertain, and unused to the attention he was showing her, Lori was flustered for a moment. It must have shown, because Jacob smiled. “Maybe I should just leave you to enjoy your run,” he decided, and started to jog away. He turned back, still in motion, and called out to her, “I’ll see you at the shop in about an hour.”
She stared after him, watching him disappear quickly as he picked up speed. She felt far too let down. The idea of a jog, even at her slow pace, had lost its appeal. Sighing, she walked to a nearby bench and sat. Jacob Carson was renovating her new business premises, and causing heart palpitations in her best friend, Jenny. Lori tried not to pay too much attention to the attractive renovator, men like him had never taken much notice of her.
Jake was over six feet tall, and his sandy brown hair was streaked with threads of silver that didn’t show up until he was under the glaring florescent lights in the shop, or out in the afternoon sunshine. He was athletic and active, clearly looked after himself, and always had. The only weights Lorina had ever lifted were the books she escaped into every chance she got. Jake could pass for a rugged model.
Annoyed at her mental wanderings, she changed her mind about the run and decided to take at least one turn around the park before heading home.