Certain things annoy Ian Flynn to no end - kids, dogs, old women, and a woman with an agenda. Now he's landed smack in the middle of them all. And to make matters worse, Lucy Mitchell's agenda is to rid Butternut Creek of him. Not that it matters, she isn't going to get her way. But just as he is preparing to allow her to flex her powers of persuasion, a tragedy turns his world upside down.
Moonlight Bay Camp for Kids is Lucy's safe haven. Now, the camp is being threatened and she isn't about to stand still for it. But what can a small town girl do against big city money and a big city ego? Turns out, quite a bit.
Let the games begin!
Tess Morrison weaves her stories from her northern Wisconsin home surrounded by gardens and forest on an antique table she found in the back of her barn. When not writing she can be found in the garden or cooking in the kitchen, dancing to the classic rock channel, or wandering around her beautiful state.
Lucy has just discovered the truth for the arrogant Mr. Flynn's visit. And Ian has just learned that acquiring the camp may have a few bumps in the road.
Ian decided it was high time he expedite this conversation. To Lucy he said, “The paperwork is all but signed, sealed and delivered. My company, Northland Progression, will assume ownership at the end of your season. We won’t touch a thing until that time so you’ve got the rest of the summer to wrap things up and honor those who’ve paid for time here. I think that’s more than fair.”
“Somehow, I can’t see some big corporation running a summer camp for kids. Excuse me, but you don’t strike me as a kid-oriented type of guy, Mr. Flynn.” She nearly spat his name back at him.
“That’s because, Ms. Mitchell, we plan to level the camp and build condominiums here, lots of them, a golf course too, tennis courts perhaps.” Okay, that was a rather severe way of putting it, but he honestly didn’t feel the need to justify the company’s plans to her or anyone else. Although, the fire that lit her eyes was a bit of a red flag and the rosy color that spread across her face triggered his inner defenses.
“Condos?” She looked as though he’d somehow sucked the air from the room.
He shifted his weight and crossed his arms over his chest. “Yes, condos. It’ll mean quite a boon to this area as far as tourist dollars go.” The veins on her neck were popping quite nicely by now and the bronze fire that lit her eyes was nearly a spectacular shade of auburn. Of course neither compared to the nipples rising through her tank top.
“You mean to tell me you’re going to rip up this beautiful piece of lake property and cover it with condominiums?” She shook her head as though she didn’t believe him. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. This camp is important to the economy of this area as well. People from all over the Midwest bring their children here. Why we even have a boy from New Jersey and a girl from Kentucky this year. To bulldoze this down in the way of progress and tourist dollars is nothing but the wealthy trying to feather their pockets. You can’t do this. I’ve spent the past 15 years of my life here, first as a camper and then as a counselor. I’ve seen this camp grow and thrive in ways you could never understand. Henry Duncan’s death was a blow, but we can survive. I know we can.” She pointed a finger in his direction. “This cannot happen. The kids rely on having this camp as a refuge, a safe haven, every summer. We cannot give up so easily.”
With hands on his hips and deliberate impatience in his voice he said, “Don’t you mean you rely on this camp every summer? Maybe it’s time you get a life.”
The accusatory finger pointed his way again. “Why you pompous, self-serving jerk. How dare you insinuate anything about my life. You don’t know a thing about me and you don’t know a thing about what a place like this means to a child. I’ll fight you every step of the way and don’t think I won’t.” Flames of indignation shot from her eyes.
Ian didn’t for a moment doubt that he’d have a fight on his hands with Lucy Mitchell although, at this point, there was nothing to fight about. The deal was done for all intents and purposes. Of course, the final papers hadn’t been officially signed, but he didn’t expect any trouble whatsoever. The firm offered Mrs. Duncan a generous price for the property, one that would take care of her sufficiently in her retirement.
Mrs. Duncan stood at her desk once again and put her hands out as though she were afraid the two might lunge at one another. “Now, let’s not get so upset. Lucy, I know this is a shock to you and I had every intention of telling you this very week, but, well, you have stumbled into it and I know it’ll take some adjustment for you. I can’t do this anymore and this company is willing to take the burden from me.”
Lucy took a step toward him and pointed a finger at his chest. “This isn’t over Flynn, not by a long shot.” To Mrs. Duncan she said. “There’s got to be a way out of this mess and I promise I’ll find it.” With that she blew out of the room just as briskly as she had blown in with the screen door banging and her threats echoing off the log-clad walls. Ian angled his head to watch her storm along the path among the pine trees. Her feet were moving so fast that she was sending up tiny clouds of dust in her wake. Her ponytail danced in syncopation over the exposed back of her tank top as she stomped along and her cute little behind pumped nicely over those long, tanned legs.
Interesting woman, for someone with nothing better to do than swim with children all day. Obviously, she needed adult attention.
Once the dust settled, Mrs. Duncan returned to her chair. “Oh, my, I was afraid of that. Lucy, and God knows I love her, has quite the temper.”
A grin spread over Ian’s features. That was refreshing if anything. She’d called him pompous. Self-serving. Well, maybe, but Lucy Mitchell didn’t pose a threat to him or to Northland Progression in the least. Although, it was going to be interesting if she tried. This place might not be so boring after all.