By Robyn Neeley, author of Emerald Springs Legacy: Ashley’s Allegiance (coming to Crimson Romance June 2, 2014)
Emerald Springs Legacy Prequel Part I
New Year’s Eve, Twenty Years Ago
“Happy New Year!” Richard Whitman raised his flute and toasted his glass in the air. His wife, Sheila, stood by his side, beaming at all their friends and family.
Joe Sanders stuffed a mini-quiche into his mouth and planted his elbows onto the high cocktail table. “What’s so happy about it?”
His wife, Rebecca, flushing an unhealthy shade reminiscent of a certain purple dinosaur, groaned and covered her eyes. “Joe, not now.”
“Why not now? I’m sick and tired of his games. We’re partners. Fifty/fifty.” He turned to Richard. “Come on. You told us you’d share this big plan of yours at the stroke of midnight. Let’s hear it.”
Richard’s eyes twinkled as he grabbed hold of Sheila, bringing her close by his side. “You’re drinking it.”
Joe eyed his flute. Had his business partner lost his ever freakin’ mind? They were rural farmers, making a pretty decent living running WhitSand Farm in Emeralds Springs, Washington.
Richard was always quick to push new technologies and greener operations down Joe’s throat, something Joe didn’t always agree with, preferring more traditional ways of farming.
Not once did he ever mention any interest in moving in a direction that involved selling alcohol. Why would they mix their business model up now and start producing champagne?
And who the hell did Richard think he was making this kind of decision without him?
Typical. Ever since their college days, Richard had to be the big man—making all the decisions. Well, this wasn’t some fraternity. His days of calling the shots were over. Joe owned just as much of WhitSand Farm as Richard did, yet always seemed to come up with the short stick. Well, not this time.
He picked up his flute and waved it in the air. “Over my dead body will you make this decision without me.”
Rebecca tugged on his arm. “I think it’s time to leave. I’ll go wake Colleen and Jacob.”
Richard grinned. “Just drink it.”
“Fine.” Joe tilted the drink back and immediately spat it out. What kind of champagne was this? Great, his business partner wanted to sell bubbly that didn’t even taste good. Brilliant.
Rebecca sipped her drink and glanced over at Sheila. “Is this?”
Sheila nodded. “Isn’t it wonderful? I’ll go help you with the kids.”
“Will someone please tell me what the hell is in this?” Joe demanded.
Richard grinned and slapped him on the back. “It’s tea, my dear friend, and it’s going to make us a mint.”
Check back next Monday for the next installment in the Emerald Springs Legacy Prequel!