What is the kindest thing someone ever did for you?
What, you say, I can only choose one? And that’s how I felt when someone asked me this very question. I thought about all the things my husband does every day to make life easier, sweeter. Or the many things family members and friends have done when they didn’t have to.
But then I thought about the time, a while ago, when a complete stranger did something for me that I shall never forget.
Stranded at a WDC airport because of weather, a complete stranger let me stay with her at her condo. She took me home ( a lovely condo in Georgetown, BTW), let me sleep in her spare room, gave me everything I needed for the night (this was to be a day trip so I hadn't packed anything), fed me breakfast the next day and got me back to the airport (she was traveling on the same plane). Besides my profuse thanks, I sent her a large plant for her apartment, a basket of fruit and a bouquet of flowers. I didn't know what else to do to thank her for her generosity—and her trust.
She didn't know me (I didn't know her either but I was confident I was a good judge of people) and yet she opened her home to me. She took a chance and saved me from the nightmare of being alone and abandoned in an airport that was shut down for the night--totally shut down. (WDC airport closes at 10 pm for security reasons--and this was prior to 9/11).
Unfortunately, I lost track of her after a time. But I think of her often when I need a reminder of the goodness of ordinary people.
And at every opportunity, I try to live up to her standard.
So let's feel good today. Share a kindness someone did for you--doesn't have to be a stranger--and you'll be entered into a contest for a Wild Rose Press gift certificate (see below).
In my story, Re-ride at the Rodeo, which is part of the just released Return to Wayback anthology along with Payback in Wayback by Lynda Coker and Roped and Tied by Mallary Mitchell, Dusty Morgan does a similar act of kindness for a handsome cowboy she had a brief encounter with the weekend before.
Here’s the excerpt:
“As I said, I need a favor.” He shifted his gaze to stare directly at her as if willing her to grant it.
Looking at that smile, she had to admit she was inclined.
“I scored in the go-round today so I need a place to stay for tonight at least. Annagrace said you had the house to yourself. She thought you wouldn’t mind.”
Dusty’s jaw dropped. She wouldn’t mind? Alone with Clay? Annagrace had gone too far this time. How did she know he wasn’t a rapist or serial killer? All they knew was that he could ride saddle broncs.
As if reading her mind, he continued. “She had me checked out by Andy from the sheriff’s office. Took my license number and called it in. Andy gave me a clean bill. She said she’d tell you that when she phoned. Seeing as how you didn’t get the call, I can understand your reluctance.”
He shot her that sexy grin he’d used before—on her and probably on many others. Her oatmeal insides were becoming more like cream of wheat.
“Look Dusty, I know this is sudden. But I didn’t realize it was Heritage Days or whatever you guys call it. Apparently it pulls in a lot of out-of-towners. All the motels are full up. I didn’t think to make a reservation. Didn’t know I’d score so I’d have to stick around for tomorrow’s round.”
Dusty still couldn’t speak. What could she say? She didn’t want to turn him out with no place to go. She didn’t want him to stay here where the temptation would be way too much.
He draped an arm along the back of the sofa—a strong, solid mass of bulging muscles. The memory of that arm around her, pressing her close to his hard body, had her stomach doing somersaults like it was trying out for the circus.
“Look, I know you don’t know me very well. And I came on a little strong last week. But if it’s just friendship you want, that’s fine with me.”
Somehow she didn’t think it would be fine but, then again, she wasn’t his type.
“I promise I’ll be a perfect gentleman. I can sleep on the sofa, right here. If I can just use your shower—”
Shower? Naked? Her body went into overdrive as an image of his toned, tanned and nude body danced across her mind. She visualized every line, every muscle, and every hard plane. A moist warmth settled between her thighs.
“—to clean up that’s all I need. I even bought some ribs at the Dixie Pig and if you have a grill, I do a mean barbeque. I know it’s an inconvenience, so I’m willing to pay you what I would have paid The Corral.”
Dusty held up a hand. “No need to go that far. I get that you’re desperate. It will be Texas hospitality or nothing.” How could he think she’d charge him if she allowed him to stay? Her reluctance had nothing to do with inconvenience and he knew it.
“And I promise I’ll be a Texas gentleman. Whatever rules you want to impose, I’ll abide by.” He gave her a schoolboy look, the kind of look you’d give the teacher when she’d caught you doing mischief to convince her you were really an angel. But there was nothing angelic about Clay Tanner. He was all sex and sin in one delicious package.
Here’s the blurb for the Return to Wayback anthology:
Payback in Wayback: After spending twelve years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Corey Donovan is headed for Wayback, bent on getting a little payback. Tiffany Covington is both thrilled and afraid when she learns Corey has returned. She’s ready to repay old debts, the question is, will Corey accept her currency of exchange? Roped and Tied: Jericho Farrell left Wayback and Eden Sawyer for a shot at a better life, but now he’s back. Eden has forgiven him for leaving, but will he forgive her when he discovers he’s a father? Re-Ride at the Rodeo: Bronc rider Clay Tanner is looking for a good time. Dusty Morgan looks like she could use one, but she turns him down. Feeling like he’s been bucked off before the eight second buzzer, Clay’s betting he can score if she’ll give him a re-ride. But qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.
Available Now at Amazon.com and on May 15th at The Wild Rose Press Return to Wayback: Three hard-driving men, three different reasons to come back, and three special women who could give them a reason to stay.
So, what was the kindest thing someone (stranger, friend or family) has done for you?
Remember, leave a comment today, the 29th, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press (which I'll pick on Thursday, so stop back) and, for those who are participating in A Tisket A Tasket, I’m providing an e-copy of Re-ride at the Rodeo for the Grand Prize Basket.
Tomorrow go to http://annakathrynlanier.blogspot.com/ for the final blog in the A Tisket A Tasket Put Romance in Your Basket Contest.