An Excerpt From Gambling On Love

Book I of The McCade Legacy

© Nancy Fraser and Patti Shenberger

GamblingonLove_1600X2400           “Your honor, may I have five minutes to speak with Miss Beaumont alone?”

            “I will allow it if her father has no objections. However, in order to guarantee you will not try to escape this courtroom, I’ll ask Deputy Peters to handcuff you to the chair in my chambers.”

            Once they were alone in the confines of the judge’s private chambers, Jake asked, “What do you propose we do about this unfortunate turn of events?”

            “I know this certainly isn’t an ideal situation but surely marriage to me, even a marriage in name only, would be preferable to prison, or worse, hanging. It’s not like it would be real. I mean…you’d be free…”

            Jake raised his arm and rattled the shackles holding him to the sturdy chair. “Really? Free you say.”

            “Jake, I’m sorry. I didn’t know what else to do.”

            “You could have told them the truth. You could have told them I’d never touched you.”

            “I tried, I really tried. And, for what it’s worth, I think my father believes me. He’s only concerned for my reputation.”

            “And for the Beaumont name, no doubt,” Jake said. “The McCade name is as important to me as the Beaumont name is to your father. I surely don’t want people believing I’ve taken advantage of an underage girl.”

            “I can try again, if you’d like but if, and I mean if they believe me, it would only save you from hanging. However, they’ll still charge you with kidnapping and taking me across state lines and you’ll likely go to jail.”

            He chuckled, but the throaty sound was anything but mirthful. “Either way, I’m caught in some sort of prison.”

            Felicity felt her heart break just a little. “I’m truly sorry you see marriage to me as a prison, Jackson McCade. And, as uncomfortable as this is for you, believe me I had no intention of getting married when I left home. Once everything has died down, we can get out of this marriage, I can return to St. Francisville, and you can get on with your life.”

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