It was the bravest damn thing he’d ever seen. She was only a little bit of a thing, so delicate she might have been confused with a girl as she’d dashed in front of his stopped car. While others watched, himself included, she’d scrambled into that compact, heedless of the danger, to bring out the little boy, and if that wasn’t enough, she’d gone back toward certain death to save the kid’s parents, which she couldn’t, of course—Jess had known that the moment he saw the fuel ignite, but it hadn’t stopped her from trying. She’d fought him like a madwoman when he’d pulled her away, barely seconds before she’d have been engulfed in the same fiery ball that consumed the car, fought with such an amazing strength in such a tiny package, that he’d been awed by her. Until this event had played out before his disbelieving eyes, he’d shunned stories of heroism, and then he’d felt the frantic beat of her big, big heart against his chest, felt the helpless trembling of her despair as he held her in his arms, and never had anything touched him so strongly, so powerfully, so tenderly as that moment, as that woman.
Why had she taken the money?
He saw so much ugliness, so much greed, he’d wanted to believe unselfish goodness was possible, to believe the tears he saw on her face were genuine, in her anguish over others instead of her own pain, and he’d wanted to hold on to the emotions that filled his soul with such possessiveness as he’d cradled her close and tried to give her comfort. In that brief slice of time she’d reached inside him and torn out his heart . . . and then broke it by proving all his illusions false. Charlene Carter wasn’t a saint willing to throw down her life to save another’s. When she’d been quick to snap up the fee for her bravery, in his jaded eyes that made Miss Carter a mercenary, not a Samaritan, and Jess hated her for it . . . because he’d wanted to believe.
He doesn’t trust that she’s for real . . .
Jess McMasters exposes frauds for a living, and if it means using his charms as well as his tough skills as a journalist, no problem. What’s Charlene Carter trying to gain by refusing to be interviewed by the press? Is she angling for more money—or is she hiding secrets that prove she’s nobody’s hero?
Jess goes undercover to get close to her, but the closer he gets, the less he understands. Except this: the cost for his deception could be his own heart.
Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their Sunday posts.
Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.