In His Arms (Second Chances #2)
Julia and Edward (Ed) White have been estranged for a couple of years. Ed’s lack of support he gave her as an author, calling her romances, “Not real writing” was the leading cause of their separation. Now Julia has a new editor who wants multiple changes on a book that’s to be release in just a few months. On the plane to New York City for a meeting with her editor, who does she run into, Ed of all people.
Ed realizes that he was jealous of his wife’s success as a writer when he himself couldn’t find a publisher for his non-fiction books. Now he has a regular job and wants his wife back.
Can husband and wife rekindle their love, put their differences aside and salvage a marriage that was doomed two years ago?
Genres: Romance / Contemporary / Mainstream
Length: Free Short Story (3k words)
IN HIS ARMS
Julia White sat on the 747, listening to the elderly man go on endlessly about his ungrateful children. Well, anything to keep her mind off her own problems. When the man dozed off, she picked up her historical romance, and flipped to the page she’d been reading before the stranger interrupted her.
She’d left her home in New Mexico only an hour ago. Her agent said it was urgent that they meet in New York pronto to discuss her new novel. The book was due to hit the shelves in six short months. Not again, she’d thought when Lisa Wolf called her. The new editor at Zara Publishing drove her nuts with all the revision requests. Anything to keep the publishers happy, Lisa kept drumming into her head.
After years of teaching Creative Writing at Santa Rosa University, and writing ten books of her own, she’d finally broken into the business herself. What a road that had been. Even though Zara accepted her sixth book for publication, she dreaded what lay ahead. A month ago her previous editor had resigned for a job as senior editor at a different house. Now, she faced this obnoxious editor.
Julia should’ve known better than to make plans at a time like this. She could’ve been in paradise right now, lounging by the pool of her daughter, Yasmine’s new resort hotel, and playing with her grandchildren.
“You still reading that junk?”
Hearing a voice from behind, Julia turned to look over her right shoulder. “What? Oh it’s you.” She gazed up speculatively into a familiar face.
“Yes, it’s me, your not yet ex-husband,” he said in his normal smart-alecky tone.
“Well, how have you been, Ed?”
“Care if I sit here?” He motioned to the aisle seat beside her.
“It’s a free world.” She shrugged her shoulders. “It isn’t taken.”
Edward White sat beside her smiling. “You’re looking good, Jules.”
“Thanks. What do you want?”
He chuckled loudly. “Now, Julia, what could I possibly want?”
“If it’s money, forget it? I’m not lending you another cent.”
Ed looked hurt as he place his hand near his heart. “In fact, I’m glad I ran into you. I’m doing pretty good now. I planned to mail you a check, but since you’ll be in New York, I can pay you back in person. Have dinner with me tonight?”
“I don’t know. I’m rather busy. I’ve got this new editor, and she wants revision after revision. My hero is too dark or this scene isn’t right. Same old, same old with her. I don’t even know the woman’s name yet. So far, the only correspondence I’ve had has been through her secretary to my agent.”
“Oh? Must be infuriating working with someone like that. Well, if you find you have a moment to spare, call my secretary, Opal.”
“Opal, I think that’s the name of my editor’s secretary. The name sounds very familiar.”
“Well, it’s a common name.” She’d know him for a long time and his eyes said he was hiding something. Julia didn’t trust him, and she wasn’t ready to meet with him on an intimate level. Though a night out, free dinner and a friendly face in the big city didn’t sound bad.
“I tell you what, Ed. Let me check with Lisa, find out my schedule and I’ll give Opal that call.” The plane shook fiercely. “What was that?” She grabbed the arms of her seat.
Probably, just a little turbulence. “You still afraid of flying?”
“Hush. I don’t want to think about it. Tell me about you. How did you come into so much money? Did you sell your book? What was the title? Oh yeah. The Mating Habits of the Alligator.”
Another chuckle erupted from his throat. “No, no. I got a job sitting behind a desk, nine to five type thing. Nothing interesting, but it pays the bills, you know? I hear you’re doing well.”
“Not bad. Finally quit teaching.”
“That’s what I heard. How many books have you sold now?”
Ed seemed genuinely interested. Why now? After all those years of his belittling, putting her down for reading romance and even more when she decided to write it. He never supported her writing, telling her to write a real book.
“Six. This is my sixth published book.”
“That’s great. Julia, I want to apologize for being such a snob about your writing. I’ve enjoyed reading a few romances myself these last few years. I can’t begin to tell you how wrong I was about them.”
“It’s a little late for that now,” she said turning to her left away from him.
He touched her arm and she turned back around. “Is it? We’re not divorced yet.”
How’d he change the subject on her? She straightened her dress, ignoring his comment. Could he really think he could just waltz back into her life? Searching her mind, she found a different, neutral topic. “Kayla has really grown. Have you seen her lately?”
“Yes, yes. I stopped by Yasmine’s before flying back to New York from Texas. Kayla is some little lady, but feisty like her grandma.”