Laura Marie Henion
author Laura Marie Henion
Antoinette, a school teacher/club manager is just trying to make ends meet and support her family. When her brother gets involved with the mob and turns up dead Antoinette and her mom must leave their old life behind them. But as they say, the past is bound to catch up sooner or later.
Antoinette Savanio tried her hardest not to become part of the "neighborhood". She worked hard at college, obtained her degree and became a respected teacher, leading a respectable life. But life doesn't always go so smoothly.
Her future was dictated to her when her father died suddenly in a car accident - she now was the only one who could support her family. When offered a lucrative job at a night club owned by a well-known Mafioso, she is reluctantly tossed into a world of modern day gangsters and organized crime. Her brother winds up dead, and she and her mother are living in fear. They survive an assault and attempted murder, but how much longer can they survive?
Then a stranger - a cowboy - comes to town. Out of loyalty to an old memory, he offers to bring Antoinette and her mother back to Texas, promising safety. But will her past hunt her down? Jack Coltry, Texas Ranger, desires Antoinette. He wants to help her. Can he gain her trust? Will he save her in time?
Sometimes a hard headed woman needs a hard headed man.
The bright sun was beating down hard on Antoinette and she searched for the creek along the north side of the property. She noticed the heavily wooded area with large live oak, sycamore and willow trees and headed towards the sanctity of the shade they provided.
As she approached the small wooded area she heard the flowing water from the creek and knew she had headed in the right direction.
She stopped the horse, jumped down onto the ground and held the reigns in her hand. The horse instinctively moved towards the water quenching her thirst. Antoinette did the same then sat down under one of the trees.
Texas was really nice and Westly’s place was growing on her day after day. She would have never imagined country life having such an effect on her.
She closed her eyes a moment as a slight breeze traveled through the trees. As quick as she felt it the breeze had disappeared. She laughed a little at the cowboys reaction to her riding Lilly. It was fun to play the little trick on them. She had been dealing with their Yankee, New Yorker comments for weeks now and had just about had enough. It was all in fun but she was glad she had the final laugh.
She absorbed her surroundings enjoying the peacefulness when suddenly Lilly became startled. The horse jumped up waving her front hoofs in the air as Antoinette moved towards her trying to calm her down. Something spooked her and Antoinette looked around for the culprit. In an instant Antoinette saw the snake, which was only a few feet in front of her. Lilly took off running and Antoinette froze where she stood. She didn’t know what to do and tried to remember what she had seen a couple of times on the T.V. show Animal Planet and the show Venom ER. This was not good and she knew that the snake was too close for her to make a run for it. More than likely it was a venomous snake and she wasn’t about to take a chance.
Antoinette was sweating and her heart was beating rapidly. Just then she heard a familiar voice.
“Don’t move New York, stay absolutely still.” Jack told her as he rode his horse slowly along side the bush. The snake held its position, head up and making a noise she would never forget. She looked towards Jack who slowly eased off his horse.
“Is it poisonous?” She asked with her voice shaking and Jack nodded his head yes as Antoinette stayed still only using her eyes to follow Jack.
“Are you scared?” He asked her and she shot him a dirty look.
“What the hell kind of question is that Jack? Can’t you tell by my face?” She yelled at him and he told her not to move.
“Any sudden movements and…” He didn’t finish his sentence as he expertly grabbed the snake like he was Jeff Corwin and brought it closer to Antoinette.
“Want to get a better look?” He teased her.
“No Jack I don’t. Get rid of it.” She yelled at him her fear now replaced by anger as Jack slowly and carefully released the snake near the creek.
Antoinette was furious as Jack approached her. She nearly caught him with the slap that would have definitely left a mark on its target.
He grabbed her hands to stop her.
“Whooa sweetheart is that any way to thank me?” He teased her as he held her hands to his chest. Antoinette tried to pull away but Jack was too strong.
“Let go Jack that was a mean thing to do.” She scolded him.
“Now we’re even.” He told her as he released her hands and picked up his Stetson off the ground. He slapped it against his tight fitting wrangler blue jeans releasing the dirt, then he strode towards his horse.
“Are you coming?” He asked her and she knew Lilly took off already.
“I suppose I have no choice.” She said as Jack straddled his horse and held a hand down to Antoinette. Instantly she was atop the saddle and holding on to Jack’s waist as he rode further ahead.
Antoinette tried to deny her attraction to Jack but everything about him aroused her curiosity. His body was solid and firm and his cologne alluring. Everything about him was large, his body, his height, his attitude and strength. He personified intimidation, it poured from his body even from his eyes. This did a number on Antoinette.
He took her to the end of Westly’s property and the beginning of his. She remembered Westly saying they were neighbors.
They looked around a little more then started to head back towards the ranch.
“If Lilly goes straight back to the ranch Westly might get concerned. Let’s head back New York.” He told her then without warning he raced the stallion all the way back as Antoinette held on tightly.
As they reached the horse stables Westly helped Antoinette down off the horse and asked if she was all right.
Antoinette told Westly and the others about the venomous snake.
“Oh my lord baby are you ok? What kind of snake was it Jack?” Tommy asked and Jack told them as he got down off his horse.
“That’s not a venomous snake.” Yelled Clayton and Antoinette swung around towards Jack again.
“What?” She yelled and Jack started laughing.
“Got you back New York.” He said and the others laughed as Antoinette gave Jack a gentle punch in the shoulder.
She headed towards the porch where her mom sat waiting for her return. Jack told the guys the whole story and they roared with laughter.