Friday, April 2, 2010
Egg-cerpt for A New Leaf
Betsy McLaughlin's future seems bright. Her father is the richest man in Covington, and she's engaged to the son of a wealthy, socially prominent family. But then Kyle Alexander enters the picture. Kyle is newly paroled after serving time for armed robbery. He's free now, and he can't keep his eyes off his boss's beautiful daughter. Can prison really change a man for the better? Betsy's about to find out.
“Where would you like to go?” Kyle asked. The night air was balmy, and he took a big breath to free his lungs of the smoky air from the Cue.
“Have you had dinner?”
“I didn’t either. Let’s find some place to eat.”
“The Chicken Shack has the best fried chicken you ever ate.”
“Sounds good to me.”
The Chicken Shack was always crowded, but it wasn’t what you’d call an upscale establishment. Covington ’s working class frequented The Shack, and several people nodded to Kyle as he and Betsy followed the waitress to their table.
“Did you see anybody that you know?” Kyle asked wryly as he and Betsy sat down.
“No, but you did.”
“Yeah. The young guy with the blonde woman and the babies lives in my apartment complex, and the older woman works at Chef’s Pantry in the bakery. How’d you find out about a place like this?”
“One of Daddy’s suppliers was bragging on the chicken, so Daddy and I stopped in for lunch one day.”
The waitress took their order and there was a short, uneasy silence. Kyle cleared his throat and said, “I thought you were engaged to Todd Warner.”
“I am,” Betsy replied, ignoring an unexpected stab of guilt.
“Then what are you doing here with me? Did you have a fight, and this is your way of punishing him?”
“No, we didn’t have a fight. I… just thought it would be nice to get to know you better. You never finished your story that you were telling me at the picnic.”
“Why do you want to get to know me?” asked Kyle shortly. “Is the lure of forbidden fruit getting to you? Is the princess who lives in the castle amusing herself with her father’s peasants?”
Betsy was annoyed. “No, it’s nothing like that, and thank you very much for the compliment.”
“Don’t blame me for wondering what you’re doing here,” Kyle answered with a shrug. “We both know I’m not the kind of man you should be with. I’ve done time and our families run in different social circles.”
“Does that bother you? Are you threatened by the idea of a woman in my social class being interested in you?”
“Yep, I sure am.”
“Well, that makes no sense to me,” Betsy replied stiffly.
“Really? Think about it. You wouldn’t be the first girl to get interested in a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. I expect you want to have a little fling before you get tied down to Warner, and I guess my reputation made me an ideal candidate.”
“Is it?” Kyle paused as the waitress set their chicken on the table and refilled their glasses.
“You’ve never known anybody like me before, have you?” he continued. “Just the fact that I come from trash makes me seem exciting, but that wouldn’t last. One day you’d take a good long look at me and run back home to daddy.”
“You flatter yourself,” Betsy responded hotly. “Who said I would ever consider having a fling, as you put it, with you?”
Kyle reached across the table for her hand and gently kissed the inner side of her wrist. “That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”
Find Elaine Cantrell at
Thanks Elaine for the egg-cerpt,