Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I’m back with another 1,000 words of Race Book 4! I’m hoping to have a name for this one BEFORE I’m ready to publish. LOL
Here is the master list of posts. I’ll update it weekly. I will also try to remember to link the posts at the end each week, so you all can start at post 1 and click the bottom to get to the next post, if you want.
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Liz stretched out on the motor home’s couch, surrounded by cushions and covered with a lightweight blanket. In her lap were her scanner and the two cell phones – hers and Will’s. The big-screen television was tuned to the pre-race show.
In the chairs around Liz sat her sister, Jane, and her aunt-in-law, Audra Fitzwilliam. The two women had come to keep Liz company, and to help keep her from doing too much.
“Are you done with that plate, Liz? Can I get you anything else?” Jane stood, lifting her own crumb-covered plate in her left hand.
“I am done.” Liz handed her plate to her sister with a smile. “Thanks.” She looked thoughtfully toward the kitchen area of the luxury camper. “You know, I think there’s a baggie of chocolate chip cookies in there somewhere, if Rhett hasn’t eaten them all.” She winked at the bodyguard leaning against the stove.
Rhett chuckled and moved to sit at the table and out of Jane’s way. “It’s been difficult, but I haven’t touched them.”
Jane smiled at the guard as she rinsed the plates and pulled the bag of cookies out of the cupboard. “Mrs. R’s cookies are hard to resist. You must have a will of iron.” She pulled two of the treats out of the bag and handed them to Rhett. “Here’s your reward for being so well-behaved.”
Rhett grinned as he accepted the cookies. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Jane grinned and walked back towards the others. She winked at her sister, who giggled and shook her head.
Audra smiled at the antics of the younger people, but turned their focus to something more serious. “Any word on the woman responsible for your injuries?”
Liz shifted in her seat. “The private investigator told Will this morning that he hasn’t found her yet. They have no idea what she’s driving or in what direction she fled. They’re pretty sure she’s still in the U.S., though. Her passport has not been used and if she bought a plane ticket, it wasn’t in her own name.”
“She can’t get on a plane without giving her name.” A crease appeared between Jane’s eyes.
“No, but if she has a fake ID, it’s possible. We don’t know if she has one or if she’s had time to get one, but honestly, I think she’s still here somewhere. Not in North Carolina, but here in the South and within driving distance.”
Jane shivered, her expression of concern not easing. “I know she’s Charles’ sister, but I’ll feel better when she’s been found.”
“Oh, I will, too, trust me.” Liz shifted again, uncomfortable both because of the topic and her slowly-healing bruises.
Audra frowned at Liz’s fidgeting. “I always said there was something wrong with that girl. She chased our Will all over the place. Charles argued with her on many occasions, right in front of everyone.” She shook her head. “Liz, do you need something for pain?”
Liz grimaced. “Maybe. I seem to have lost the controller for the heating pad.” She tried to shove her hand into the pile of pillows at her side, but they were jammed in too tightly. “I shut it off a while ago but I think it might be all I need for now.”
“Your husband was clear that you are to take the medicines the doctor gave you. When did you take the last dose?” Audra’s no-nonsense tone made Liz sigh.
“In the wee hours of the morning. Will got it off the counter for me when I used the bathroom.” Liz bit her tongue to keep herself from complaining about her husband’s long-distance hovering. Is that even possible, she thought, to hover from far away?
“Perhaps it might behoove you to take some now, so you can concentrate on your job instead of writhing in pain?” Audra cocked her brow and softened her tone, though she clearly still meant business.
Liz sighed. “It might, yes, and I did promise Will I’d take it when I needed it, but I still worry about the baby. I don’t know how much ether Caroline used on me. The doctor seems to think little Darcy is fine, but what if he’s wrong? Or what if the acetaminophen causes problems by itself, or triggers something begun by the starting fluid?” Tears welled up in her eyes. “This is so hard.”
Audra moved from her chair to perch on the side of the couch. She rubbed Liz’s arm as she spoke. “I’m sorry, Sweetie. I know how difficult this is for you.” She smiled at Jane as the other woman perched on the arm of the couch behind her sister and rubbed her shoulders. “I think if the doctor had any doubts about the health of your baby or the safety of the drug, he would not have given you permission to use it.” She paused. “It’s your decision. You’re a grown woman who has been given all the facts. I won’t force the pills on you, though I do urge you to trust your doctor.”
“It’s not like you to be led by your feelings, Lizzy.” Jane stroked her sister’s hair. “Is it fear guiding you, or do you truly think it would be dangerous.”
Liz wiped her eyes. “I am afraid, yes. You don’t know what it was like. I was so sick, and hungry and tired. I thought sure I’d never get out of there; that we’d die in that garage.” She cupped her hands over her belly.
Jane leaned down to wrap her arms around her sister as best she could. “But you didn’t. You were rescued and returned to your husband and family. You’re safe, and so is my niece or nephew.”
“Jane’s right. You are safe now. You have hired bodyguards and alarm systems, you have every driver, team, and fan of the sport watching this motor home, and you have Will and his family, and the Fitzwilliams, all watching out for you.” Audra squeezed Liz’s arm. “We all love you and intend to coddle you until you’re ready to tear your hair out, so you might as well get used to it.” She winked and smiled.
Liz’s laugh was weak and watery, but her heart lifted. “Thank you.” She took a deep breath. “I’ll do my best to let the fear go, but I might need reminders now and then.”
“Oh, trust me, you’ll get them.” Audra laughed when Liz rolled her eyes. “Will you take something now to help you feel better?”
“Yes, I will.” Liz smiled, squeezing the hands of the women at her sides.
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below. <3