Author From the Grassroots

Joyce Godwin Grubbs Author




Skyler Denton congratulated herself on the good fortune to have been born not only with great looks, but into a family.with money. Imagine. All her material advantages from daddy's family oil interests, and now momma's side had come through with an inheritance for Skyler. Her mother's eccentric brother, Skyler's Uncle Emil, had left Skyler her very own island. At least, her very own half of an island. And now she was on her way to lay claim to it.

Skyler slipped her seat belt on and tried to block out the monotonous tones of the airline stewardess. Having flown between boarding school and home most of her childhood, Skyler was sure she had probably logged more hours that the pilot flying the plane.

"Pardon me, Miss" interrupted a low ,musical, male voice, "but I couldn't help noticing that you seemed to be somewhat inattentive during the stewardess's lecture. Do I surmise from that, that you are a seasoned traveler".

In a practiced fashion learned over many years and many intrusive encounters, Skyler turned a frosty ice blue stare on the object of the inquiry.  In her most aloof voice, she countered.

"Surmise what you will. But consider that it could be acute boredom in direct response to the company seated near me."

With a haughty tilt of her head for good measure, she turned to face the window.

A now low and seductive voice penetrated her right ear so close that the warm breath of the speaker teased her ear lobe.

"And it could be that ignorance of the potential pleasures which await you so near-by, is the cause fo such boredom. Maybe a little intimate knowledge exchanged between us might enlighten the possibilities.'

Despite her expertise at handling would be Romeos, Skyler found herself responding to the seductive quality of his voice. Strengthening herself before her reply, she made a slow turn in her seat. Leaning back, she began a very insolent appraisal of her admirer. She took in his dark wavy hair which was styled longish, but very masculine. The deep blue eyes were set apart in perfect proportion to his strong patrician nose. She allowed her eyes to linger on his mouth which at the moment was smiling at her in an amused fashion. Her glance continued on, taking in the set of his strong jaw and then deliberately she swept her eyes across his broad shoulder. A  slow deliberate movement of her eyes took her to his trim waist and thighs. 

She fought the tightening response within her own self. Though he was seated now, she knew standing he would be an Adonis. Unbidden, her mind conjured an image of him in a  bikini swimsuit. Her thoughts undetected, she let her eyes ascend back up to meet his amused stare.

"A seven", she said without expression.

"Pardon me?" he returned. A slight frown flitted across his brow as he seemed to consider what her comment meant, and he truly seemed not to have understood.

"A seven. I rate you a seven."

Turning her back to him she pretended an interest in the view outside her window. She heard a strangled oath, but refused to turn and acknowledge it. This caused her to miss the dark red flush which stained his neck and face. Rage could not have caused it to be darker, and in fact, rage became a part of his reaction as he took in the full import of what she had meant.

Skyler had assumed an air of deep contemplation, and in doing so, again became absorbed in her legacy. Papallo Island. Uncle Emil remained a mystery man to her, having been seldom mentioned . The best description she could fit together was her mother's statement of "middle-age bachelor" and her father's muttered "lady's man if there ever was one." Dead at the age of thirty-eight, he had been considered a real catch in his day to hear her mother tell it. Then, suddenly he had become a recluse from the world and his family.

Of course, as far as Skyler knew, she and her mother were the only living relatives. Her Grandfather Hearn had died in a mountain climbing expedition with Grandmother Hearn following two years later of cancer. Skyler supposed her Uncle Emil knew his sister well enough to know that living on an island would hold no interest for her.

Skyler smiled at the thought of her mother. Momma was one of those endearing ladies who always had too many irons in the fire and was always late to something. Eugene, her second husband seemed content to have her when she was available. He also indulged her when she socially obligated him to boring dinners, bazaars and countess charity functions of all genre'.

Visiting them in Houston always left one in a total state of exhaustion, but the trip never failed to be intriguing. There were always several  invitations to long un-ending parties and week-ends with fellow jet-setters of the American version.

She thought of how Uncle Emil would be shocked at the company his niece and heir apparent kept, and her social calendar would probably have had his head spinning. Maybe if he had known her, he wouldn't have left his precious island to her. Those were her last thoughts as sleep overtook her shortly after the jet airliner left Hobby Field,Houston, behind. It must have been the voice that disturbed Skyler first. It seemed to come from far away.

"I think she'll prefer coffee when she awakens".

"Couild I get you a pillow, sir? Your arm must be awfully cramped the way your wife has lain on it these last two hours."

Slowly the sleepy mist was lifting and Skyler knew that these voices were somehow connected to her,. Straining to force herself to alertness, Skyler moved to straighten up only to find herself encumbered by a heavy weight around her shoulders and chest. Restraint brought her fully awake, and she quickly realized she had been asleep, laying against her seat companion who had put his arms around her.

The words of the stewardess penetrated her mind more clearly.

"Your arm must be cramped", and "laid on it two hours".

A tell tale red began at the base of her neck and crept upward as Skyler stammered, "I'm sorry. Really. Please excuse me".

Still attempting to right herself, Skyler felt the arms tighten as the stewardess said, "Ahh, she's awake. I'll bring your wife's coffee right away sir".

Looking quizzically at the stewardess, she was quickly brought to full alert when she heard him say, "Thank you, I always awaken her with hot coffee and a kiss".

She only caught a glimpse of his mocking face before his mouth covered hers with an expertise that was to his credit alone. It overcame her intent to retort that she wasn't his wife. That same expertise was sapping her strength and her will, out of her body The deepening of the kiss was so mutual that only the discreet, "ahem", of the returning stewardess caused them to part.

Shaken and shaking, Skyler tried to straighten her hair and clothes. She kept her attention strictly averted from him. She heard him speaking to the stewardess and noted his voice was not yet in control.

The stewardess gave him a knowing smile.

"If you'd told us you were newlyweds, we'd have given you seating with more privacy. The plane isn't that full."

Skyler felt her face flushing again and wondered if she'd ever be able to face the man seated next to her. Honestly, she was acting like an adolescent. It wasn't like she had never been kissed before. After all, she was twenty three and considered herself quite proficient in the art of kissing and arousal.

But this kiss. From tis man. She had never experienced anything so tantalizing or stimulating as this. She was aware for the first time in her life that she had met a man who stirred her body chemistry in a way that made her fear for her own control.

"Cream or sugar?"

The voice now seemed controlled and Skyler analyzed it for mocking cynicism or a smug attitude. She could only shake her head in a negative response. afraid to trust her own voice lest it not have the same calm and neutrality his conveyed,

As he handed her the coffee, she noticed his hands were very beautiful for a man. Definitely not a laborer, and from the jewelry on his wrist, definitely not poor. A quick glance noted no wedding ring and she wondered why the stewardess would think them married.The blush returned to her as she remembered how he had held her as she slept and then sealed the impression with that kiss.

"I am sorry if I offended you, " he was saying.

The suave, cultured voice came back to tantalize her ear lobe It's warmth sent tremors down her spine.

"Couldn't we start over? I really would like to be forgiven as I have forgiven."

Against her better judgment and feminine instincts, yet responding to this new sensation that still had her quivering inside, Skyler turned. His face reflected only sincerity, and a touch of something else. Apprehension? Concern? Surely not. But still reeling from the effects of their chemical reaction, she offered her hand.

"Skyler Denton".

"Ty McAndrews, of Houston" .

Taking her hand, their eyes met and held. It was as though some current passed from one to the other joining them together. An unspoken communication had occurred and seemed to admit for them their mutual attraction,. Their hands lowered but  momentarily remained loosely clasped.

"I really am sorry about the strong come on, but I guess it hit me that I wanted to meet you and get to know you before the flight was over. I guess I put myself in a pretty bad light with my "come hither approach".

A smile of relief and amusement at his admission broke across Skyler's face as she laughed and admitted to him in response.

"Well, it did reek of wolf. And I'm sure that Don Juan would have envied you that bold approach, but I'm not one to be picked up. In fact, the reverse. I prefer to select my own men.,"

One dark eyebrow arched upwards as Ty gave her an appreciative stare.

"Are you telling me you're one of those "women's libbers" and you do the asking? You can't be serious."

"Oh but I am" she replied blandly,

Now it was Ty who sat back and began to visually appraise his companion. He took in the full wavy mane of auburn brown hair, her flashing blue eyes, which at the moment appeared almost turquoise. The generous mouth whose lower lip suggested what he already knew to be true. It would offer a very kissable and sensuous experience. At that point Ty felt his guts tighten remembering the kiss.

He hurried on with his assessment noting her heart shaped face resting on a  slender ivory neck. It was as though the cords on her neck were directing his attention to her tantalizing clevage. His eyes surveyed buttons which were open enough to give him a generous view . The green silk shirt clung to her and pronounced the full roundness of her breasts.

Sensing the direction of his fixed stare, Skyler figited with her buttons causing him to drop his gaze to her petite waist and flat abdomen. The curve of her hips were accentuated by the tight fit of her western type pants.

Ty's face revealed nothing of his thoughts as his eyes traveled her body, but Skyler knew he would have been justified in remarking on her numerical rating to get even.When he did speak, it was in a doubtful tone.

"You  must be an enigma. To me you look all woman. Warm, rounded, generously proportioned. Definitely femine. Like a tigress eager for a mate. Yet, you tell me you're a cool calculating libber who chooses her lovers and heads up the relationship. It doesn't fit.".

Skyler's face was flaming from the unexpected criticism.

"I never said a word about lovers".

"You didn't have too. That went without saying. We weren't talking about someone to carry your books home from school or sit by you in Sunday School, were we?"

"A typical male response. To equate a relationship with sex."

"After the way you kissed me, you're going to tell me you don't indulge? Spare me the fairy tales, Ms. Denton".

"I'll spare you more than that, Mr. McAndrews. I'll spare you the necessity of continuing this conversation or any other."

Under any other circumstances, Skyler would have slapped that complacent look off of his arrogant face, but she already felt conspicuous knowing people around them had heard the stewardess refer to them as newlyweds. Withdrawing her hand, she contented herself with one withering look in his direction then silently turned her back to him for the remainder of the trip.