Read For Richer for Poorer Online

Authors: Cassandra Black

For Richer for Poorer

BOOK: For Richer for Poorer
9.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

For Richer For Poorer

Published by

Stone Cottage Books, Riverdale, GA

Cassandra Black

http://www.StoneCottageBooks.com

Copyright © 2013 by Cassandra Black

Manufactured in the United States

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

NO PART OF THIS
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the publisher. Request for Publisher permission:  Address to [email protected].
STONE COTTAGE BOOKS
also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats and print. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books and some content available in electronic format may not be available in print.
TRADEMARKS
specifically referenced within as trademarks of Stone Cottage Books are trademarks of Stone Cottage Books and may not be used without written permission.  Stone Cottage Books is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book, unless specifically indicated.
FOR GENERAL INFORMATION
on this or our other products, please contact our Customer Care Department at [email protected].
LIMIT OF LIABILITY / DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
: The publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and disclaim all warranties, including without limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales or promotional material. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional personal should be sought. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising here from. The fact that an organization or website is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further information does not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the make. Further, readers should be aware that internet websites listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this work was written and when it is read.

 

Introduction

             
Hamilton Steele, a sexy real estate developer, was looking for love in Harper's Grove, a sleepy town on the outskirts of Atlanta. A downward spiral of the housing market, and a twist of fate, landed him back in the handyman occupation he thought he'd seen the last of -- and on the steps of Miranda Colbert's.

 

              Miranda's heart was closed to anything resembling love, especially after her last fiasco of a relationship.  The only thing on her mind was getting Colbert and Company back on its feet and getting the little bungalow falling down around her up to par -- until she opened the door to her new handyman. 

 

Excerpt:

 

              "Hi, ma'am," he said in a sexy voice with a slight Southern twang. "I'm Hamilton. Hamilton Steele."  She was a beautiful woman. A perfume he couldn't quite place teased his senses. Hamilton reached out to shake her hand. Dainty, soft. He knew if he squeezed too hard, he would hurt her. His eyes lingered on the small, delicate
features of her caramel-colored face. The fullness of her lips were irresistible, and the slender silver chain around her neck traveled down to a pert bosom that was void of a brassiere. Something about her, almost like a magnet, made him want to pull her into his arms and ravish her with his lips. 

 

             
Miranda's heart raced as she surveyed the creature in front of her. Jeans, white t-shirt, and construction boots were made for men like the one standing on her porch.  Sexiness oozed from him as he stood there devouring her with his eyes.

 

Chapter 1

 

 

              Hamilton Steele pulled his white Ford pickup truck down the long driveway that led to the little white bungalow. He stopped just even with the front porch's side entrance. The place was peaceful. He took in the depth and width of the land and pondered. The property stretched what had to be at least a few acres beyond the towering pines in the distance.   It was a solid piece of dirt. And it was so near Main Street and the coveted I-85 Exit, which was an easy commute straight into downtown Atlanta. 

 

              The land. That's what had prompted him to make an offer on the place years ago.  But the owner was firmly not interested, his scout had reported back. Hamilton's business was finally moving fast-forward in the right direction, not too long ago. Steele Development had moved from traditional subdivision planning to specializing in transforming smaller, older communities into modern hubs that appealed to high-income, young professionals.  Wide streets, large porches, and what some termed mini-mansions so close together you could reach out and touch them was his company's footprint. He was passionate about designing neighborhoods with swanky shopping districts and posh amenities close by so tax dollars could stay close to home.

 

              He remembered being disappointed when the owner of the little cottage in front of him refused to sell.  The property was perfect:  the right county, solid school system, and an easy commute into the city.  He knew he could have demolished the little house and broken up the lot to accommodate several new homes. 

 

              The market was down now, but he knew, it was just a matter of time before he was back on top. A property like this would be an ideal start.

 

              "Must be a recent move-in," he mumbled to himself. He didn't know the property had been re-occupied until today. He passed the place a few times a week and hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary. Whoever owned it kept the lawn maintained and the newspaper circulars out of the driveway.  But today, cardboard boxes were cut, stacked and bound at the curb, and footprints could be seen on the pollen-covered front porch.  He heard music streaming from an open window and a female's voice humming to a tune he recognized.

 

              Hamilton hopped out of the truck with his clipboard in hand and knocked on the front door. The owner wanted him to do a full walk-through and give an estimate of repairs.

 

              As he stood there, he surveyed the immediate exterior of the place.  The front porch and the medieval-style red door could use a good sweeping of lizard poop and spider webs, but otherwise, the porch was in fine condition.  There were a few cracks in the stone's mortar, but an easy fix.

 

              Miranda Colbert turned down her CD player and looked out the window. She didn't see anyone, so she turned the music back up.

 

              The next knock on the door was louder. She slid the screen up and leaned out the window, stretching to peek to the right of the house.  She saw a white Ford F3500 pickup truck with STEELE DEVELOPMENT in thick black lettering on the doorway parked in her driveway. A somewhat familiar hammer-house logo dangled at an angle between STEELE and DEVELOPMENT.  A smaller line below read "And Contracting Services."

 

              "
Darn
," she mumbled to herself. She'd plumb forgotten she'd scheduled a handyman to give the house an informal inspection. She had a long list of repairs, those she could actually see, and wanted an estimate of cost for all necessary work.  Necessary being the operative word, because her budget was miniscule.

 

              "Just a minute," Miranda hollered from the bedroom window. She tried to push the heavy moving box sitting at the edge of her closet door deeper inside with her foot.

 

"
Ah!
, she yelled, as she slipped backwards with a thud on backside.  Getting up, she grazed her forehead on the corner of the wooden sleigh bed.

 

              "Everything alright in there?" a deep voice asked from the porch. 

 

              "Not my day," Miranda said to herself as she grabbed her head and winced.

 

              "Everything's fine, I'm coming," she yelled and circled through the narrow hallway into the living room.

 

              Touching the growing knot, she stood on her toes and peeked out the tiny square window of the front door. 

 

              "Sorry," she said, opening the front door.  She took in the bronze man standing in front of her.
He was at least six feet tall, muscular, with a head full of wavy, shoulder-length, jet black hair that matched his dark, seductive eyes.

 

              "Hi, ma'am," he said in a sexy voice with a slight Southern twang. "I'm Hamilton. Hamilton Steele."

 

              She was a beautiful woman. A perfume he couldn't quite place teased his senses. Hamilton reached out to shake her hand. Dainty, soft. He knew if he squeezed too hard, he might hurt her. His eyes lingered on the small, delicate
features of her caramel-colored face. The fullness of her lips were irresistible, and the slender silver chain around her neck traveled down to a pert bosom that was void of a brassiere. Something about her, almost like a magnet, made him want to pull her into his arms and ravish her with his lips. 

 

             
Miranda's heart raced as she surveyed the creature in front of her. Jeans, white t-shirt, and construction boots were made for men like the one standing on her front porch.  Sexiness oozed from him as he stood there looking at her.

 

              "I'm Miranda--" she managed. 

 

              She felt hot, moist in a place she hadn't felt anything in quite some time. 

 

              "Miranda Colbert," she said, letting her hand linger in his for longer than a handshake should have taken. His grip was bold, powerful. She liked the pressure of his almost too-firm grip on hers. She watched his eyes travel down her neck to the braless nipples that were probably protruding through her tight pink t-shirt. Miranda was only a B cup, but she was always conscious of the size of her nipples, that grew hard and peaked when anything at all excited her.

 

              Bra! Oh, God, she'd forgotten to put on a bra. 

 

              "Won't you come in," she blushed, moving her hand from his and crossing her arms trying to cover her breasts. 

 

              "Sure," he smiled, aware she'd caught him gazing a little too far south. He didn't mean to be disrespectful, but how could he not stare.

 

              There was an awkward silence as he entered the living room.

 

              "Well, what can I do for you, today, Ms. Colbert?" he asked, searching her finger for a wedding ring.  Her body was shapely in her black, form-fitting workout shorts.

 

              "Why don't you have a seat, let me grab my, um, notes," she said, turning toward the hallway with her hands still in front of her. "Make yourself comfortable, I'll be right out." Miranda darted down the hall into her bedroom.

 

              "How embarrassing," she mumbled, slipping off her t-shirt and sliding into a white lace mesh bra from one of the open moving boxes that were taking over her bedroom.
"Jeez, Miranda."

 

              Coming out of the bedroom, she saw Hamilton touching the bare stone walls and gazing up at the ceilings.

 

              "I love the materials used in these old houses," Hamilton said, taking in the wide, dark wooden beams in the high ceilings. He knew the material could be salvaged and sold for a pretty penny to clients who wanted vintage woodwork in modern homes. "Nice wood work."

 

              "Well, this home is a piece of work," she said. "And you'll really see when you take a look around."

 

              "Well let's see what you have," he chuckled as he took the list from her and they sat on the couch to discuss the house.

 

              Miranda laid out everything that she thought needed to be done to the house, from central air and heat installation, to closing up the well house and putting the water and septic on county, rewiring, adding PVC pipes to replace the old copper ones, adding insulation to the attic and crawlspace, replacing the piece-meal gutters, fixing the leak in the ceiling, and adding a vapor barrier under the house. And all of that was before any "cosmetic" work could be started.

 

              They muddled around the home's interior for half an hour before Hamilton pulled down the little ladder that led to the attic space in the secondary bedroom.

 

              "Now this space will tell us a whole lot--" his eyes zoomed to her forehead.   "Are you okay?" he asked, concerned, looking at the rising lump on her forehead.

 

              "I'm fine," she said, reaching up to touch the knot. She had been trying to ignore the throbbing that was just starting to pipe up.  "I'm afraid I slipped and fell right into the corner of my bed while haggling with some moving boxes just as you pulled up."

 

              "Oh, that was the noise.  You should put some ice on that," he said, moving closer to examine.  She tensed up, but Hamilton stepped back quickly, realizing he'd zoomed in too close to her. It felt natural. He put his hands up. "I'm so sorry," he said in earnest. "I have a younger sister, and I grew up inspecting wounds as she tried to keep up with me in the backwoods near our house," he chuckled. 

 

              "No problem," she smiled, thinking how sweet he was. She didn't get a bad vibe from this man. Not at all.  "Thank you for your concern."

 

              "Why don't you go get that ice while I check things out up here?" he instructed as he climbed the ladder to the attic. He told
her to get the ice, more than he suggested it; and surprisingly, she liked that. 

 

              "Yes sir," she said smiling, heading for the kitchen. Miranda couldn't help thinking about the bulging arms and muscular thighs she'd seen as he scaled the little ladder. She wondered what was encased in front of those firm buttocks she'd gotten a glimpse of as he hoisted himself from the final rung into her attic.

 

              After a few minutes, she was back at the base of the ladder holding a plastic bag full of ice to her forehead.

 

              "All okay up there?" she yelled up into the almost shadowy space.

 

              "Nothing major," he said. "I feel a little moisture near the chimney. That could be the root of the brown ring on your ceiling in the living room."

 

              Miranda climbed the little stairs and peered up into the eerie attic.  Dark spaces wigged her out, but she needed to hear what he had to say.

 

              Hamilton startled her as he bounded on the joists and came near her with the large flash light. As he crouched down in front of her, angling the flashlight, he moved her hand with the bag of ice so he could examine her forehead. She smiled and let him.

 

              "Hurt?" he said.

 

              "A little," she said."  She could see the imprint that told her what was between those muscular thighs. If the bump on her head didn't kill her, the size of his manhood certainly might.

 

              Sweet death.
She smiled a secret smile to herself.

 

              Hamilton looked into her eyes.  She was a pretty woman. He wanted to taste her lips, soft, slow, to make her pain go away.

 

              "What's the prognosis?" she asked, almost out of breath with his closeness.

 

              "You'll live," he smiled. "Don't worry, you'll be fine," he said in a husky voice.

 

              "Why thank you very much, Dr. Steele," she heard herself flirt.

 

              He chuckled and reach out his hand. "I want you to know what's going on up here.  Come on up, take a look-see."

 

              Miranda peered into the darkness of the little room with the slanted ceilings.  She looked to the left and then to the right. "No, I'll take your word for it," she sang, getting ready to head back down the stairs.

 

              "Come on, Miss Colbert," he insisted.  "There's nothing up here to harm you.  He reached his wide hand down to her matter-of-factly, as he'd probably done to that little sister of his a million times.  "Hold on, I've got you," he ordered.

BOOK: For Richer for Poorer
9.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

To Be Someone by Louise Voss
Accidentally in Love by Davitt, Jane, Snow, Alexa
Valentine's Rising by E.E. Knight
Dance On My Grave by Aidan Chambers
Thursday's Child by Helen Forrester
On the Spot by Cindy Jefferies