I’m such a hopeless romantic. I just love a ‘happily ever’ after ending. Sometimes, happily ever after isn’t exactly what you expect, though. Such is the case with my three-part contemporary erotic romance, Rannigan’s Redemption. It’s one epic story told in three novels. Here’s an excerpt from the finale, Ransoming Redemption.
Standing in the empty parlor three steps down from the entry, Maggie’s gaze traveled from the intricately designed hardwood floors to the crisp white crown molding, halting in amazement on the ornate stone federalist fireplace. Winnie was giving a running narrative though Maggie only half heard her. “Now you’ll notice lots of original details throughout this property.”
“When was this house built?” Michael asked.
“Got to be late 1800s,” Maggie murmured thoughtfully.
“1890 to be precise,” said Winnie sounding pleased. “You know your architecture. It’s believed that it was originally built to be the home of a gentleman’s mistress. He set her up in grand style.”
Maggie giggled. “Ooh, how scandalous! What an interesting history.” She walked the perimeter of the room. “Michael, do you see the wood inlay in the floor all around the edge?” she asked, stooping to lightly caress the design. “This is just exquisite.”
She turned to Michael suddenly. “You’re not seriously considering moving?”
He shook his head. “Nah, this would be an investment. I wanted your opinion on the place, though.” Crossing to a bay window that overlooked the sidewalk and street, he sank onto the seat and put his oxygen back in. “How about you look it over for me and see what you think.”
Winnie nodded. “If you go on back, you’ll see they’ve upgraded the kitchen while keeping the original style of the place intact.”
Maggie continued down the hallway past a formal dining room and into the kitchen. As Winnie had said, it was spacious and open, boasting high end stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops but nothing overpowered the original stone floor and fireplace. At the end of the room was a space for a breakfast table and beyond that, tall vintage French doors.
“Oh, Michael, there’s a yard back here,” she called, letting herself out into a small gravel courtyard dominated by a huge old oak tree and edged by landscaping beds. There are probably tulip and daffodil bulbs that pop up in the spring, Maggie mused. The brick walls of the garden were covered with ivy.
She returned to the parlor. “Michael, this is absolutely amazing.”
“You like it, then?” he asked, seeming pleased.
“It’s beautiful. Maybe you should think about moving,” she said.
“You haven’t seen the upstairs yet,” Winnie reminded her. “This house has four bedrooms and four and a half baths. The master suite takes up the entire second floor. Two bedrooms are on the third floor, and there’s a smaller attic bedroom at the top. Oh, and the basement is finished. It’s perfect for a home office or a gym.”
Maggie had just started up the stairs when Michael called from the window seat. “Hey, Mags? Do you have a couple of dollars?”
“A couple of dollars?”
“Yeah. I want to buy a newspaper.”
“Michael, I’ll buy you a paper on the way home.”
“There’s a little store on the corner,” he hooked his thumb toward the window, “I just forgot my wallet. Can you loan me some money?”
Maggie returned to the living room. “Oh, for fu-,” she glanced at Winnie, “I mean, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered as she dug though her purse. “Here’s five bucks. Honestly, I would be happy to get your paper when we’re finished here.”
Michael flashed his best grin. “Thanks, Mags. By the way, can you sign as a witness? I’ve decided to buy the house.”
Maggie frowned at the document in his hand. “We haven’t even looked at the rest of it yet.”
“I’ve seen the pictures. And judging by the way you like this floor, I’m thinking this is a good deal.”
She took the document from him, her brow furrowed in thought.
“Maggie, wait until you see the claw foot tubs in the bathrooms,” Winnie said. “And they’ve maintained the vintage tile on the floors and walls.” Maggie looked up from the contract.
“Just sign below me, Mags,” Michael said, pointing to the line. Distractedly, she took the pen from him and quickly signed her name as Winnie continued talking.
“And the master suite has its own original fireplace similar to the one down here. Let me show you.”
Taking one last look at Michael, Maggie dutifully followed the realtor up the stairs. Michael smiled smugly to himself.