The Truth About Lilly
by Christy McKee
Lilly Talbot never imagined she would be starting her life over again. Losing her good name for something she didn’t do has driven her to move into an old lake house she inherited in Vermont. Upon arrival, she is shocked. Half the roof is about to slide into Lake Champlain. Even more upsetting, the man who can fix it will only agree if she trades him room and board for his labor. What will the good people of Haley think of her sharing a house with the handsome bachelor?
A man with a past…
Connor “Mac” McQueen, once one of the infamous Whiz Kids of Wall Street, spent three years in prison for insider trading. Only one thing sustained him during his time inside, the thought of owning Point Cottage, a home he’d fallen in love with years ago. He plans to turn the house into a stunning showcase for his eco-friendly home construction business.
Secrets and lies…
Now someone’s trying to drive Lilly from her home. Is it someone from her past? Mac has secrets of his own-- that could ruin lives if revealed. But if Lilly and Mac are to have a future together they must first delve into the past for answers and accept some difficult truths about each other. Only then, will they know if true love is in their hearts.
The sheriff walked over to stand by Lilly's hospital bed. "Mrs. Talbot, I'm awfully sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. Haley is usually a peaceful town. How are you feeling?"
"Better." She made a valiant attempt at a smile.
"Do either of you have any idea who might have done this?" His gaze stopped at Mac, like if he stared at him hard enough, he'd cough up a name.
"I don't have a clue," Mac said to his friend. "Lilly has only been here for a week, and she doesn't really know anyone, at least not well enough to have riled them up to do this," he said, shaking his head in disgust.
Lucas stepped away from the bed and sat down on the visitor's chair. "Got to tell you, this is a first for me. We found two six pound cannonballs in your dining room. One of them was embedded in the wall.
"What?” Lilly kicked at her covers, trying to sit up. “Why would someone do that?”
“Maybe more important is how they did it,” Mac said, looking at Lucas. “Some of those old cannons weigh a ton. You think somebody stole a cannon then dragged it into the woods by Lilly’s house?”
“Not sure what I think. I can tell you my men searched the woods and found no trace of a cannon or drag marks. In the morning, we’ll canvas every museum in the area to see if one of their cannons is missing. There are several towns around here that have canons displayed in their parks. We’ll check them also and any known private collectors.”
Mac was ready for his friend to leave so he and Lilly could go home, but Lucas wasn’t finished with his questions.
He looked at Mac. "Has anything else happened lately? Any problems with vandals at one of your job sites?"
Mac swung around to look at Lilly and tried to give her a silent apology. "Yeah, there have been a few things."
"Like what?" The sheriff’s curt tone indicated he was not pleased with Mac's response.
"Couple of days ago,” Mac explained, “someone painted some nasty graffiti on Lilly's car."
"And you're just telling me this now?" Lucas pinned him with a look that showed he was more than a little pissed.
Lilly tried to sit up higher, but she couldn't push the button because of her bandaged hands. "Mac..."
"Let me." He shoved out of the wheelchair and leaned over her to press the button that raised her head. "I'm sorry, Lilly."
"It's all right, I'm not mad. The sheriff needs to know."
Yeah, well in another minute Lilly would have another reason to really be mad at him. "Last night when Lilly and I came home from the arts festival, her tires were slashed."
"What?" She sputtered, going from calm acceptance to furious in a heartbeat. "When were you going to tell me about that? You had no right to keep it from me."
"Shit," Lucas barked. "You two live in the same friggin’ house. Don't you talk to each other?" He fixed them both with a scowl.
Lilly glared at Mac. "Is that why you gunned the engine when we pulled into the driveway? You saw my tires were slashed and you were trying to keep it from me?"
Her eyes glittered with anger. At least all fired up, her color was back.
"Wait a minute." Her eyes narrowed. "I drove my car today and it was fine. The tires didn't look different or new."
"I had Tim Toomey come out last night after you went to bed. He and I put on new tires." Mac looked at the blinking blood pressure monitor and noticed Lilly's pulse rate was up in the normal range according to her monitor. "I smeared the tires with mud so you wouldn't see they were new."
"You lied to me, deliberately kept me in the dark." She hit the pillow with her right hand then winced in pain.
"I didn't want you to worry about it. Is that a crime? Until this, I thought it was just kids pulling a prank." Christ, she had enough to deal with without thinking someone was out to get her. "Now it's been taken care of. You don't need to worry about it."
"Let's see, Mac. Somebody wrote hateful things on my car three days ago. Last night they took a knife or a machete or something and destroyed my tires. Tonight, they tried to kill me with a couple of cannonballs. Gee, what's next? Is this person going to burn down my house with me in it? You don't think I have cause for concern?"
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christy McKee began her career in TV news and eventually found her way into advertising and finally fiction. She believes a good story should be about characters who win your heart, sometimes move you to tears and occasionally make you laugh. As a reader, Christy hopes you'll be swept into her characters' lives enjoy getting to know them, experience the challenges they endure and be with them when they come out on the other side.