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Courting Oklahoma

Courting Oklahoma by Marti Siddons
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A secret key, tiny love letters, and a trunk full of Victorian unmentionables -- the odd collection it takes to bring together two mismatched neighbors: entrepreneur Oklahoma Lansing and statistician Henry Cork. Put it all together and suddenly there's a lot more for neighbors to cross the street for than a cup of sugar.
Awe-Struck Publishing; September 1999
134 pages; ISBN 9781928670490
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Title: Courting Oklahoma
Author: Marti Siddons
Oklahoma was out in an instant, moving quietly and silently cursing that she hadn't put on her slippers or brought her cell phone. The ground chilled her feet and she could have called 911 if she'd really seen someone.

She held her breath and inched forward closer to the tree. Something was up there. Okay. She'd bluff. She picked up a flat rock no longer than a brick and held it to her ear. It was dark and whoever was up there wouldn't know she didn't have a cell phone pressed to her face.

"Okay, buddy," she said in her strongest voice, "I'd advise you to stay right where you are while I call our friends at 911."

She waited just an instant as if she were dialing and then spoke distinctly into the rock. "The address is 523 West Shawnee and a robber is in my tree. Good." She hung up the rock efficiently. "There's a squad car in the neighborhood. You're history, mister, so I'd advise you --"

It was the biggest Siamese cat she'd ever seen. That was sure. It was obvious as it came flying out of the tree, all fur and nails, and sailed past her that it meant to get her attention. How could she miss it? It was huge and darned if it didn't seem to be enjoying itself as it leaped past her grinning, yes, grinning, and prancing into the night.

But it wasn't nearly as big as what tackled her from behind and pinned her to the ground with amazing strength. She didn't know who it was or where it had come from. But she did know one thing. She didn't have a chance.

It took Henry only two seconds to realize he had tackled something soft that smelled just like Oklahoma. Lemony, feminine, fresh. He swallowed hard and caught his breath. It was Oklahoma. And boy could she kick. He wanted to let her up, but he knew exactly what she was aiming for and, well, he had always wanted children.

He hadn't meant to frighten her and he had never imagined that it was her flashlight that he had seen or that a cat the size of a mid-size truck would come flying out of the tree like a ghost. And smiling, at that. He'd swear that cat had been smiling.

No matter now. Oklahoma was fighting for her life and he had to stop her before she ended his.

"Oklahoma," he whispered frantically as he managed to turn her over catching her wrists and pinning her arms over her head. "Oklahoma, it's Henry. It's just me. Henry."

Was it his intoxicating masculine aroma or the sound of his gentle but insistent voice? Oklahoma couldn't be sure. But somehow something got through to her brain and registered that she was okay. She could stop kicking and struggling and trying to scream.

Gradually Henry could feel her body relax -- a little -- and he could definitely feel her breasts pushing against his chest as she tried to calm herself. Oh, great. He had just tackled this lovely woman. He was certain he had almost scared the life out of her. And now he was thinking how delicious she felt under him. God, Henry, what would your dad say? Your sisters? He cringed. His mother? But, oh, those muscles still working against his and her scent and her riot of curls, and her sweet breath whispering hotly in his ear -- lord, what she was saying!

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