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Two weeks out--BARBARY POINT, A love story.
Laugh, smile, cry! When Kelly English flies back to Wisconsin to close out her father's estate, She unexpectedly meets a fishing guide and falls in love. EXCERPT--

    Mitch cancelled his clients for Monday. He would later tell me he would have willingly cancelled his clients for the entire summer just to spend time together. He that much had fallen for me. And I for him.
      I called my office as soon as I thought Gwen would be in, adjusting for the two-hour time difference.
    “Kelly, where the hell have you been? That Seagram account executive's been buzzing all morning,” Gwen ripped off immediately.
    “I'm still in Oshkosh,” I said, picturing the company man with hair just a little too much in place, and a smile a little too phony. Last week I would have flown to Nepal, if that's what it took to nail down the liquor
conglomerate's ad business. Today, all that seemed to matter was getting out on the water with Mitch and Sam. What had changed?
    “Kelly?” Gwen's tone had softened considerably. “What's going on?”
    “Don't worry.”
    “Now I am worried,” Gwen said. “Seagram's not the only one's been calling.”
    “Thomas?”
    “Only say, five times.”
    “I'll call him,” I said.
    “Kelly?”
    “Yes.”
    “Take care of yourself.”
    “I will. See you soon,” I said, and disconnected. For a long moment, I stood in front of the bay window and looked out over the lake. The chop was less than yesterday, definitely no whitecaps, but the water's blue shade had been replaced by a gray undertone, reflecting the overcast of the sky. Mitch had listened to the weather before breakfast. The forecast called for a forty percent chance of rain, with intermittent local thundershowers. The Mako had a top we could put up so the rain would be no problem.
      I didn't relish calling Thomas, he would be angry, yet I knew it was the right, the only thing to do. Watching Mitch and Sam loading the boat, I supposed I should have felt at least a modicum of guilt about the last couple of days. I didn't, and this bothered me more than feeling any remorse at all.
    As time passed forward, I would come to justify these feeling as an acceptance of a decision I hadn't really made, but had been made for me by circumstances beyond my control. An emotion as strong and powerful as love had divided thrones and started wars. What chance did a young woman have? None. I would never, could never, tell Thomas this, though. At least, not today.
    “Hi, Thomas,” I said as soon as he answered.
    “Kelly.” No Kell-bee this time. “I tried calling you all afternoon yesterday. I've been worried sick. When's your flight?”
    “Oh, Thomas...”
    “Are you in some kind of trouble?”
    I'm in trouble all right. “No, hon. It's just taking me longer than I thought to close out Daddy's estate. How's the magazine? Gwen said Seagram's up in arms.”
    “To hell with Seagram's.” His exasperation was clearly evident. “I'm flying out there today. We'll—“
    “No, Thomas.”
    “What do you mean, no?”
    “I'm handling it. Thomas, you have to...” I caught myself wanting to say trust, but chose believe instead, “believe me. I'll be home... soon.”
    “When?”
    I was caught. I had to say something. “Thursday,” I said, calculating that would give me at least tomorrow and Wednesday for... what? I'd gone insane, that was it. Emotionally insane.
    “We'll talk when I get home,” I finished.
    When I hung up, I knew the engagement was on the ropes. I just couldn't come out and say it. Not yet. I gazed at the huge rock adorning my finger. How could events change so rapidly? Why can't I just pack up now and leave? Take the rental straight to Appleton, catch the next flight out, and get the hell on with my life. Just do it. Save yourself a ton of heartaches, girl.
    Mitch and Sam were walking off the dock. Mitch saw me in the window and gave a little salute. Ship's set for sailing, ma'am. I smiled and saluted back, my effort not near as crisp or sharp. Maybe because this is my life. The here and now.
    The ice chest was loaded with beer, sandwich meat, cheese sticks for snacking, a couple of apples, and candy bars. I brought along the bread and a bag of chips I'd found stashed in a cabinet above the dishwasher. We also took along the net, two fishing poles, and Gene's tackle box, just in case, Mitch said.
    I sat on a cushion seat in front of the console, facing the bow, as the Mako sped north along the shoreline. The air whisking my hair off my face was cool and moist, and left me feeling clean and pure, as if I'd just been baptized. Mitch stood behind the wheel, a Packer's cap turned backward on his head. He looks like a merchant marine, I thought, strong and handsome. I felt his finger tap the top of my head, and saw him pointing. Not thirty yards off the starboard side, a flock of at least a dozen ducks were streaking parallel to the boat in perfect linear formation.
    “Mallards?” I shouted.
    Mitch grinned. “See, you're a waterfowl expert now.”
    The mallards veered away after the Mako zipped past Roe Point for more open water. The hull bounced some, but not enough to make me or Sam, curled just behind the bow, uncomfortable.
    I pulled a light jacket I'd borrowed from my father's closet tighter across my front. I heard Mitch rev the engine and felt a surge in acceleration.
    Off my left shoulder I watched us pass the Pioneer Resort Marina, and then the mouth of the Fox River.
    Mitch named off landmarks—Bray's Point, Miller Bay, Doemel Point, Menomenee Park,—as we sped north.
    I saw boats fishing, sailboats, and several water skiers in wet suits.
    I heard Mitch say, “You want to ski?”
    “What's the water temperature?”
    “Sixty-two.”
    “I'll pass.”
    “Wanna pilot?”
    I waved. “I'm fine here. I just like watching the lake.”
    “You sound like your dad.”
    His words touched me somewhere deep in my chest, and I turned and leaned up on my knees and kissed Mitch. The choppiness of the water made my first attempt fall short, landing on his chin, but my next effort was right on the money. The kiss was brief, yet warmed me inside out.
    “You're beautiful,” he said.
    I didn't think I looked beautiful, with my hair all over the place, yet felt like a princess when Mitch told me.
 

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