Satin Sheets and Strawberries

BOOK: Satin Sheets and Strawberries
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Reviews for Marcia Evanick ...

 

"Marcia Evanick is in splendid form here, delighting readers with her marvelous blend of love and laughter." —
Affaire de Coeur

"Book after book, Evanick demonstrates why she is tops when it comes to affectionate and gentle romantic tales." —
RT Book Reviews

"Ms. Evanick is without peer in her extraordinary ability to blend love and laughter into that special joy of the soul cherished so dearly by romance readers." —
RT Book Reviews

 

 

Satin Sheets
and Strawberries

 

By
Marcia Evanick

 

First published in paperback, 1990.
Electronic Edition Copyright 2011 Marcia L. Evanick
www.MarciaEvanick.com

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photography, recording or any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the author.

 

 

 

To Cathy S.
Friends are like panty hose.
It’s always nice to have ones that support. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Kelli SantaFe slid the last bobby pin in place and studied the effect of her costume in the full-length mirror. It was perfect. Not only was Ruth a genius with cookie dough, she sewed a mean fairy outfit. In fact it was her finest creation to date. When Ruth insisted on buying two dozen scarves in shades varying from pale pink to rose at a flea market, Kelli had had some doubts. Then when her friend had bought an exercise leotard in pale pink, Kelli started to panic.

Seeing her reflection in the mirror now, she knew Ruth’s instincts were right. The scarves were sewn together diagonally at the waist so the hemline of the outfit reminded her of teeth on a saw. The longest point did not quite reach her knees. A pair of pink tights and clear wings completed the outfit.

Kelli’s eyes strayed to the deep vee of the leotard and smiled ruefully. Well, not all fairies could be seductive, she supposed. Maybe she’d try for the wholesome look.

She braided her long golden hair with rose-colored ribbons and pinned it up on top of her head, then pulled open a shoe box full of makeup. She’d give Ruth and Henry the full effect.

She had just finished applying rose-colored lipstick when the doorbell rang, playing the first notes of "We’re Off to See the Wizard." The doorbell rang for a second time before she was halfway down the stairs. "Whoever it is, is impatient," she muttered. Ruth and Henry would have let themselves in. So maybe it was Josh.

By the time Kelli reached the door both the third string of notes as well as her good mood were fading. She angrily pulled open the door and snapped, "Yes?"

Outside the door, Logan Sinclair’s mouth fell open in astonishment. He knew this place was called Fairyland—he had passed the signs proclaiming: FAIRY LAND—ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. OWNER NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MISCHIEVOUS DEEDS DONE BY FAIRIES—but he didn’t expect a ravishing fairy to answer the door.

Hallucinations brought on by jet lag, he told himself. He was definitely having hallucinations.

Logan shook his head and stared at the fairy again. Maybe it was jet lag combined with the shocks he’d received in the past forty-eight hours. And he had had a series of shocks. When he’d arrived at his aunt and uncle’s, he’d discovered the house had burned down months earlier. The neighbors had assured him that Ruth and Henry were fine and living with their nephew Edwin. But from there things had turned from had to worse.

When he arrived at Edwin’s, he’d learned that his second cousin had abandoned his aunt and uncle at a tourist trap called "Fairyland." Even though Edwin had tried to reassure Logan, telling him the couple was gainfully employed, for the past hour he had envisioned dark dungeons and holes in the ground, with his aunt and uncle chained up and treated like animals .

Kelli saw the look of astonishment on the face of the man standing on her doorstep. He was gorgeous, a little frazzled looking, but wow! She’d buy whatever he was selling.The man was just shy of six feet with tousled light brown hair, streaked with blond highlights. He appeared to be in his mid-thirties, with broad shoulders and rugged good looks. Kelli decided that when she died she wanted to be reincarnated as a cotton plant to be made into a pair of jeans for this man. The worn denim that hugged his thighs had to be happy. She smiled invitingly at him.

"I’m Logan Sinclair," he said. "I’m looking for my aunt Ruth and uncle Henry."

With those words Mister Gorgeous turned into a toad. With instinct born of too many years fending for herself, Kelli batted innocent gray eyes. "Who?" she asked. Logan didn’t notice her hand slip up the door frame to flip on a hidden switch. Instantly sounds of a fierce growling dog filled the living room.

Kelli noticed Logan’s hesitant step backward and she closed the door, leaving only an inch of space. "Down, Killer. Go behave yourself. Bad doggie," she called over her shoulder. "I think you have the wrong house. I’ve got to go. Killer seems a little upset."

The door was about to close when Logan jammed his foot in. Kelli looked down at the offending Nike and saw a strong tanned hand grip her doorknob.

A silent battle raged between the handsome stranger and the fairy princess guarding her castle.

Logan was beginning to admire the strength of the willful fairy standing before him, when the barking halted abruptly and an ear-piercing train whistle rattled the cottage windows. He watched the fairy cover her ears and utter an obscenity.

She reached over quickly and pressed the stop button on the tape player next to the door. Okay, so plan A didn’t seem to be working. That left out-and-out war. She might be small, but she could hold her own.

With the strength of desperation, she tried to close the door. "They’re mine and you can’t have them," she shouted.

His original assumption had been correct. They must be locked in the basement. Logan caught the door and pushed against it, finally inside her house. "Do you go get them or do I look for myself?" he said calmly.

Kelli caught her bottom lip between her teeth. She knew physically she was no match for him. Now what?

The next moment Ruth entered the room and screamed "Logan!" and flew into his arms. Kelli watched as Logan closed his eyes in relief. She felt a twinge of guilt for her selfishness but quickly buried it. This was war.

As Ruth dabbed her eyes with her apron, Kelli made her move. She grabbed Logan’s hand and started to shake it. "It was really nice seeing you, Logan. As you can see your aunt is just fine. Why don’t you stop by again around Christmas. With the holidays and all, we just love company."

She had almost led Logan out the door when he realized her scheme. "Who in the hell are you?"

"Logan, don’t swear like that in front of Kelli," said his aunt.

He looked at the girl dressed in the strange costume. "You’re Kelli?" When she nodded, he asked, "Where’re your parents?"

Kelli narrowed her eyes in warning.

"Logan, where are your manners?" Aunt Ruth asked. "Kelli owns this place. She’s my boss."

"As of this minute you quit." He turned back to Kelli. "You should be ashamed of yourself, making people my aunt’s age work. My aunt and uncle should be enjoying their golden years. Not scrubbing your floors."

"Logan!"

"Aunt Ruth, go pack your bags this minute. We’re leaving. We’re going home."

Kelli looked at the two of them. She realized maybe she didn’t have to fight. She’d give Logan enough rope to hang himself. "Where’s home, Mr. Sinclair?"

"What?"

"Last I heard, you lived somewhere between a harem and a duchess’s boudoir."

Logan’s jaw fell open as he faced Kelli. "Who told you that rubbish? I’ve never been inside a harem."

"But obviously you have been in a duchess’s bedroom," Kelli said triumphantly.

Logan was clearly at a loss for words. He turned to his aunt. "What have you been telling this elf?"

"She’s not an elf, she’s a fairy, dear. I didn’t mean to tell her; it was that drink at the party."

"Drinking? Party? Just what in the hell is going on here, Aunt Ruth? I leave the country for one year and when I return I find you and Uncle Henry living in a fairy commune attending wild parties."

"It wasn’t a wild party," Kelli said indignantly.

"No, no, dear, it wasn’t a wild party. At least not until the police came. You should have seen Henry’s face when the officer tried to handcuff him."

"Oh, my Lord! That’s it. Aunt Ruth, go pack your bags, we’re leaving immediately. Where in the hell is Henry?"

Kelli started feeling a little sorry for Logan. The explanations did sound pretty terrible. "I sent Henry to rescue Mustardseed," she said. "She’s caught behind the waterfall."

Logan sighed. "I’m going to regret this, but who is Mustardseed?"

"She’s my cat; she thinks she’s a fairy," came the innocent reply.

"Great, just great." Logan ran his hands through his hair. He was losing patience. "You sent a seventy-two-year-old man out to rescue a cat-fairy from behind a waterfall?"

"Of course. He’s done it many times already. Henry knows all Mustardseed’s tricks by now."

Mad. They were all stark raving mad. "Look, Miss Kelli Fairy, this whole place is loony. I am taking my aunt and uncle out of here immediately. Then I’m going to catch about ten hours of sleep. When I wake up, I’m going to the police and have this place closed down."

Before Kelli could protest, Ruth spoke up. "No wonder you’re so cranky, Logan. You haven’t been getting your proper rest. You know how you always become a little difficult when you don’t get your nap."

"I don’t need a nap," snapped Logan. He was truly exasperated now.

"Of course not, dear, I’ll go make you a nice cup of hot cocoa. You always loved my hot cocoa before you took a nap. It will calm your nerves. Your latest assignment must have been a humdinger." With a click of her tongue, Ruth headed for the kitchen.

Logan stared at his aunt’s retreating back. "I don’t want hot cocoa," he said loudly. "I don’t need a nap. All I want is to go home!" He had traveled halfway around the world, with layovers in places that weren’t even on maps, to come home. To him home wasn’t a particular set of four walls, it was a feeling. Home was the feeling he shared with his aunt and uncle. A feeling he didn’t share with fairies.

For the first time Kelli stopped and really looked at Logan. Dark circles lay under his brown eyes. His skin was drawn tightly over his cheekbones and every line on his tanned face was pronounced. "Logan?" Kelli asked gently. "How many hours have you been up?"

He gave a start of surprise. She seemed to be asking a caring, reasonable question. "Why?" he asked evasively.

"Because I really think you’re too old to whine. It’s not a pretty sight. Besides, you’re not making much sense."

"I come home to find my aunt and uncle living with Peter Pan in Never-Never Land, my uncle possessing a police record, and you owning a cat that thinks it’s a fairy. All I’m waiting for is a crocodile that ticks and well be all set." He gave her a look of contempt then addressed the ceiling. "And she thinks I’m not making sense."

"You keep shouting for Ruth to go pack her bags, that you’re taking her home. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, this is their home." With a weary sigh Kelli sat down on the edge of the couch, leaning forward so she wouldn’t crush her wings. "The crack about the crocodile was low, really low."

Logan gave a small smile. "I’ll take back the crocodile crack if you take back the whining remark." When all he received was a raised eyebrow he conceded, "Okay, maybe I did whine." He tried to hide a yawn behind the back of his hand and took a good look at the room. At first glance it was a very normal-looking living room. Two faded blue chairs didn’t quite match the couch. A worn red rug lay in front of a wood-burning fireplace that seemed to be the cottage’s only source of heat. A narrow staircase led to the upper floor. Just off the living room, Logan could hear his aunt bustling around in the kitchen.

BOOK: Satin Sheets and Strawberries
6.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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