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Authors: Amy Rose Bennett

Tags: #romance historical, #romance military, #romance 1950s, #romance second chance love, #romance and erotic story

Long Gone Girl

BOOK: Long Gone Girl
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Long Gone Girl

by Amy Rose Bennett

Long Gone Girl

Copyright © 2014 Amy Rose Bennett.
All Rights


Smashwords Edition



The author acknowledges the copyrighted or
trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks
mentioned in this work of fiction:
From Here to Eternity, Roman
Holiday, My Cousin Rachel, Moonlight Serenade


All rights reserved
. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other
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This book is a work of fiction
. Names,
characters, places, and incidents are either a product of fiction
or are used in a fictitious manner, including portrayal of
historical figures and situations. Any resemblance to actual
persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.



Dedicated with love to my very own ‘fly-boy’,


Ridgewood, New Jersey,
September 1953


“Virginia Rose O’Hara, don’t you even think about
leaving, young lady.”

Ginny blew out a frustrated sigh, trying to
harness her inner calm as she wrestled with the strong urge to slam
the front porch door in her mother’s perfectly made-up face. She’d
been through worse than this. An irate mother was something she
could definitely handle.

She was just irked that she had to. “It’s
Virginia Rose Williams, Mother, and I’m not seventeen anymore,” she
countered, using her best I’ll-brook-no-nonsense nurse’s voice. She
stepped back into the front hall and put her valise down on the
polished wooden floor. “I’m a twenty-six year old woman. And I
going to the Jersey Shore for the weekend.” She deserved
a break. No, she
a break.

Her mother had the good grace to look
slightly contrite. “I’m sorry about…Charlie. But it’s difficult
remembering that you were married…I mean it was all so sudden and
short-lived. Why, we never even met the fellow.”

Another reproach. Not an expression of
condolence at all. Even though her marriage to Charlie had been
brief—a mere two months—and he’d been killed over a year and a half
ago, Ginny dug her fingernails into her palms, willing herself not
to tear up. There’d been enough tears. “Well, there was a war going
on at the time, Mother. And Charlie and I…” She swallowed past the
hard lump in her throat and hardened her voice. “It’s not like
Charlie and I could have invited you over to Korea for the

Her mother frowned, her eyes narrowing.
“You’re not being fair, Virginia,” she accused, crossing her arms
over the perfectly tailored bodice of her Suzy Perette day dress.
“We would have if it had been at all possible. But you never even
gave us the chance. You’re always rushing into things” —she
gestured at Ginny’s valise— “or rushing off. You’ve only been home
a few months. What about your responsibilities here?”

Ginny almost gnashed her teeth in
frustration. That old chestnut. Would her family ever forgive her
for signing up to serve her country? “What, you mean baby-sitting
for my sisters’ children again while Kathleen and Moira go shopping
and do lunch with you in Manhattan? Or looking after Grandma
because you all couldn’t be bothered? I’ve been working double
shifts at the hospital, Mother. I need some time out.”

God, she so needed to get away.

Ginny dug into her purse to retrieve her
car-keys then picked up her valise again. “I’ll see you late
Monday. Give Grandma and my nieces and nephews a kiss for me.”

“I hope you’re not meeting up with some man,
Virginia,” called her mother after her, before the door

Ginny rolled her eyes as she marched down
the porch stairs toward the curb where her new, mint-green Ford
Anglia was parked.
You mean, don’t run off with someone

But that wasn’t likely to happen any time
soon as far as she was concerned. If ever.

Losing love hurt too much. But as for
running off…she was working on it.

She tucked her valise into the neat boot of
her car then slid behind the wheel, savoring the new car smell that
still lingered, even though the Anglia was already a month old. The
rich scent of leather mingled with the distinctive odors of
metallic things and oil. She suddenly fancied that this was how
freedom smelled. Freedom to go wherever she wanted. To be whomever
she wanted and leave behind the shy, always-does-as-she’s-told,
never-put-a-foot-wrong Virginia O’Hara that her family still wanted
her to be.

Well, that girl was long gone.

Smiling, she slipped on her sunglasses then
cranked over the motor.
Point Pleasant Beach, here I

The sound of another motor gunning—a deep
powerful rumble—caught her attention as she released the parking
brake and began to ease out the clutch. Glancing in her rear-view
mirror, she caught sight of an unfamiliar red Chevrolet Corvette,
swooping out of the driveway of number 7 Elmwood Place, the Kelly

Holy Mary, Mother of God
. Her breath
hitched and her heart froze.

The very epitome of her worst high school
memory from senior year—Jefferson ‘Jett’ Kelly Junior—was back in
town. Lord above, just thinking about the last time she’d seen him
still made her feel ill.

Before she could even suck in another
breath, he roared past her faster than a red-hot comet. Despite the
churning in her stomach, Ginny’s mouth twisted in a wry smile.
Apparently some things around Ridgewood had stayed the same, even
if she’d changed. Jett Kelly was still fast—in every sense of the
word she suspected—and from the brief flash she’d seen of him,
still blindingly good looking with his black hair and rugged Irish

But hadn’t he left home years ago like she
had? Dropped out of law school then had become a pilot or something
equally as fearless and adventurous? That was it—he’d served as a
fighter pilot with the air force in Korea. Her wily, match-making
grandmother had told her with a wink soon after Ginny had arrived
home. But in the three months since she’d been back, this was the
first time she’d seen Jett though. Hopefully he’d only been
visiting his parents so it was unlikely that she’d run into him.
Dear Lord, how she prayed that was true. How could a brief glimpse
of him make her feel like the naïve, insecure seventeen year old
she’d only just denied being?

She thunked her head forward onto the
steering wheel that she was still holding in a white-knuckled grip.
Get a grip, Ginny Williams
You’ve survived being widowed
and a war
. Surely she could survive an accidental encounter
with Jett Kelly—if that ever even happened.

With any luck, come Monday afternoon, she’d
be planning a move to New York anyway.

Then she could say farewell to Ridgewood for

Lifting her head and squaring her shoulders,
she eased her car out from the curb and motored down the street. It
was a beautiful, fine September day—not a cloud in the sky and nary
a breeze. And she had several days to herself to read and swim and
generally sloth about to her heart’s content. She was going to put
the past behind her and make the most of it.


“Ginny O’Hara? God, is that
really you?”

Ginny cracked open an eyelid and squinted up
at the dark shadow—enormous, dark, male shadow—looming over her.
What the hell?

Heart in her mouth, she pushed herself up to
a sitting position on her beach towel then tipped down her
sunglasses so she could peer over the top—only to be confronted
with her worst nightmare. Jett Kelly was at the Shore. And she was
wearing nothing but sunglasses, a bathing suit and now a bright red

Oh no, no, no
. How unlucky could she
be? Of all the places in the state of New Jersey that Jett Kelly
could have gone, why had he shown up exactly here? While she was
sun bathing. Vulnerable didn’t even begin to describe the way she
felt—she may as well have been sitting on the beach stark

BOOK: Long Gone Girl
11.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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