Be like the eagle in flight that soars above the troubles of the world.
Emma’s life changes the day Ruben Templeton walks in and asks her out on a date. Over dinner, Ruben’s undivided attention flatters her and she’s a little disappointed when his best friend, Jesse Kimball, joins them. Jesse is a senator’s son who just announced his candidacy for mayor.
Accustomed to a quiet life, insecure 27-year-old Emma is hesitant but excited when Jesse calls her the next day to invite her to his birthday party. But it doesn’t take long for him to sweep her off her feet and when Emma receives devastating news, Jesse asks her to marry him.
From the moment she agrees, their relationship starts to deteriorate.
Hurt and confused, Emma turns to Ruben for advice.
Ruben suggests the young couple to give each other space for several weeks. Weeks Emma can use to help him locate his younger brother Axel, who has gone missing.
Emma agrees, and soon finds herself on a road trip across the country.
Will Emma and Jesse’s temporary separation clear the distance between them, or will she find love in the arms of another man?
Targeted Age Group:: 15-105
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
All my stories come from an experience, a person I met, or an event that affected my life. All important enough to create a lingering impression and spark my imagination.
Eagles in Flight is no exception.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Eagles in Flight is inspired by a man I met years ago. A man with a private nature, a long unkempt beard and wild hair, who used to wander around our small town, always accompanied by his dog. He lived off the grid, without identification, cell phone, or car, and made a living by doing odd jobs for the locals around town. An unlikely man to form a friendship with until you look into his kind brown eyes and notice the friendliest smile. Then you understand why.
Over the years, he shared little about himself, his past, or his family. Until this day, I still don’t even know his last name. And his story is solely based on my imagination.
A TALL HANDSOME MAN, dressed elegantly in a gray silk suit, white shirt, silver tie, and black leather oxford shoes, made his way around the Heemstead University library. He seemed out of place among the college students, the ladies from the senior book club, and the locals who used the computers, or came in to read the daily newspaper.
Emma watched him from behind her desk. She’d recognized him immediately and felt safe partly hidden behind her computer screen and the stacks of returned books that needed to be scanned in. That was until his eyes roamed around in search of assistance. She pushed her reading glasses a bit farther up her nose and lowered her head. Her long brown hair fell halfway across her face. Sinking deeper into her chair, she wished Sue Stremler were close by. Surely someone as important as him would wish to speak to the head librarian.
Her chair squeaked its familiar protest. She held her breath, afraid he’d heard it.
To her relief, he picked up a newspaper from one of the tables. His mouth curved into a slow smile as he read the front page. He seemed pleased with whatever had caught his attention.
As if he could feel her stare on the back of his neck, he dropped the paper onto the table and headed straight in her direction. Pretending not to notice him, she shrank even deeper into her office chair.
“Miss, do you have information on the upcoming fund-raiser for the library?”
A pair of dark eyes looked down on her, and an involuntary gasp rose in her throat. Hoping she’d caught it in time, she forced her focus back to the keyboard of her computer, the letters blurry, the numbers jumping around.
“A friend of mine, Mr. Jesse Kimball, is invited to give a speech. I was in the neighborhood and offered to stop in for more information on his behalf.”
Emma told herself there was no reason to be nervous. She looked up and smiled. “I could print the flyer for you if you’d like.”
“Thank you,” he replied, giving no sign he recognized her.
Emma recalled the mobile home park in the town of Dunedam, where she grew up. She’d been heartbroken to move away at the age of 15 and leave her childhood friends behind. The kids from the park always hung out together. In the sandbox, on the playground, and later—as teenagers—under the gazebo, secretly smoking cigarettes and complaining about their parents and the teachers at school. Ruben had been one of them, and the coolest of them all.
She shook off her memories, the keyboard coming back into focus. With fast fingers, she clicked on the document to open it and print.
“Mr. Kimball is scheduled to speak next Tuesday at five, Ruben.” Horrified at saying his name out loud, she got up to grab it from the printer, keeping her eyes focused on everything around her but him.
Instead of taking the printout, he furrowed his brow and stared at her. “Do I know you?”
When their eyes met, he reached out and lifted her chin with his index finger, studying her face for an uncomfortably long time.
Shocked by his inappropriate behavior, she struggled to keep her professional composure. The flyer slipped from her trembling fingers, and it floated back and forth until it reached the shiny wood floor.
“Oops,” she muttered, picking it up.
Back behind the relative safety of her desk, she forced herself to return his stare, her cheeks flushed with warmth. Feeling like an awkward teenager, she straightened her spine.
“We used to live in the same trailer park, but I don’t blame you for not remembering. It was ages ago.” With a casual move of her hand, she tried to lighten the strained situation.
He continued to examine her face until a spark of recognition flashed in his eyes. “Now I remember. You’re Emma, the brown-haired girl with the old-fashioned clothes, pigtails and braces.”
Emma dropped her gaze at his hurtful remark. The inside of her cheek became the victim of her irritation as she chewed on it to process her feelings. If that were all he remembered about her, screw him. Instead of voicing her opinion, she stayed silent.
“You haven’t changed much at all,” he continued, fueling her anger even more.
She pushed the flyer into his hand and took off her reading glasses. “Is that all you need?”
Instead of leaving, he narrowed his eyes and studied her, his thumb and index finger rubbing his chin.
With each agonizing second that passed, her self-esteem dwindled more and more. If only she’d chosen a more flattering outfit this morning, instead of her usual cream-colored cardigan, blue pleated skirt and sensible brown flats.
“Thanks for stopping by. Please tell Mr. Kimball we look forward to welcoming him,” she said, using her most professional voice in the hope of moving him along.
Ruben ignored her dismissal. “You shouldn’t hide your best asset behind glasses, Emma,” he said, flashing a radiant smile. “You still have the most amazing blue eyes I’ve ever seen. How are you?”
As a teenager, Ruben Templeton had been popular and attractive, his rebellious bent making him even more alluring. His lanky, boyish manner was gone now, replaced with an easy confidence and an air of independence that only came with unbridled success. He overloaded her senses with his immediate presence, indisputable charisma, and devastating smile.
“I’m fine, thanks,” she replied, afraid of falling under his spell.
“You might be perfect, Emma,” he commented. “Please, would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner this evening?”
His invitation shocked her. And what did he mean by perfect? Too stunned to speak, she fiddled with her glasses.
He arched his brow. “How about seven o’clock at Joe’s Grill Bar? It’s one of my favorite restaurants, and their filet mignon is the best in town.”
Ruben looked striking, his thick hair dark and wavy, his eyes like midnight, his features sharp. But that didn’t mean she should go out with him.
“Running into you can’t be a coincidence. I would love to catch up with you.” His lips curved again into a charming smile, and her resistance started to crumble.
“For old time’s sake. It would mean a lot to me,” he continued, his eyes pleading
Instead of listening to her intuition, telling her not to set herself up for disappointment, and warning her to keep her distance, she nodded. “That sounds great.”
With a slight bow, he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it. “I look forward to it.” He released her hand with another million-dollar smile, turned on his heel, and walked away.
After he exited the library, Ruben Templeton pulled his cell phone and pressed a contact in his favorites. “Hey, it’s me,” he said, a calculating expression on his face.
“Hey, you. What’s up?” the voice on the other end of the line asked.
“You know what we talked about, right? I think I may have found the exact woman I have in mind for you. She’s about twenty-seven, painfully shy, average and modest looking, nice skin, no make-up, and dull brown hair. But she’s attractive in a studious, respectable, and bespectacled way. Basically, the image of our old school librarian. With a bit of work, she could be spruced up and precisely what we’re looking for.”
He listened for a few moments, his disgruntled frown deepening as he stepped into his Ferrari and merged into traffic. “I know you’re not crazy about the idea, but I thought I explained my reasons. And yes, I know a little about her background, but intend to find out more tonight. I’m taking her to dinner at Joe’s Grill Bar. I’ll keep you posted.”
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