Ever wonder about the stories behind the personal ads? Here is one of them.
The 'best before' date on Julia Reagan’s biological clock is rapidly approaching. In desperation, she responds to a personal column ad from a rancher wanting a partner to produce an heir.
Jordan McIntyre needs an heir. A liaison with someone local is not in the cards, hence he advertises for a woman to co-parent with him. When Julie, who has been researching artificial insemination, applies, he finds himself physically drawn to her. A normal male, he wants intimacy. He invites her to his ranch, his intention being to convince her their goals could be mutually achieved.
Resisting her attraction to
EXCERPT: "Hello, Dana? Can you come down? I really need to see you!" Julie Reagan hand trembled while holding the receiver. "I've done something so stupid I can't believe it."
"I'm on my way!"
Two minutes later, her heart beating ridiculously fast, Julie paced the hall in front of her apartment threshold.
Dana, dark ponytail bobbing, breezed down the stairs and stepped inside. "What this about being stupid? You're too methodical to do anything dumb."
Julie flipped back her coppery bangs and closed the door. Leaning against the foyer wall she folded her arms. "Dana, did you see yesterday personal column in the newspaper?"
When she nodded, Julie pointed to the edition spread wide on the kitchen chrome table.
"I always read that column after I scan the front page. Some of the letters are real dorky. Why do you ask?" Dana yanked out a chair and plopped down. "Well? C'mon; out with it."
"I want you to read an interesting letter that in today." Julie slid onto the chair opposite her friend.
"There usually are a few intriguing ones; that why I read them." Dana raised an eyebrow. "Just be glad we're not so desperate we have to advertise for a mate."
"Speak for yourself; you're engaged. No one rings my bell." Julie hesitated, then stared straight into Dana questioning eyes. "One letter was so compelling, I answered it."
"Tell me you're kidding." Dana sat up straight, her blue eyes widening with disbelief. "You're not kidding. Which one did you answer? No, let me guess." She hunched over the paper with keen interest, her finger
slowly guiding her through each block of letters.
Julie watched Dana concentration, then noticed her friend finger pause and slide back up the column, landing on the very ad Julie had answered.
"That one!" Dana eyes sparkled with certainty.
"You're right. How did you know?"
Dana tamped down her enthusiasm and looked thoughtful. "Because you've been talking about having a baby." She shifted her glance from the paper to Julie face. "Did you give the guy your real name when you
wrote to him?"
"No. I signed it LFC."
"Good. What does that stand for?"
"Longing for children, which is what I am. I didn't want to give my name."
"At least this guy doesn't beat around the bush. He lays out what he wants, and he not gross about it. You're direct by nature, too, Julie. That why you picked this letter." Triumph shone in Dana eyes. "He says
he wants children. You're shy. Could you go to bed with a guy you haven't known for a long time?"
"Dana, he doesn't say it has to be through intimacy. I can't imagine sleeping with a stranger; I'm interested in Artificial Insemination. Maybe he'd be willing to settle for being a sperm donor. He appears to
be straightforward, but there no way of telling what he has in mind unless I meet him."
The furious female slammed the door, giving it a swift kick. The vehicle lunged forward, spinning its tires.
The thought crossed his mind that perhaps she was a bag lady, one of those hapless creatures that roamed
Disgruntled and tired, yet curious about the outlandishly dressed patron, his parched throat called for a drink. Resigned to not meeting with his prospect, he ambled across the parking lot and walked inside.
His eyes skimmed the cheery, crowded dining area to see what had happened to his "bag lady." There she was--the only female present--slouched in a booth facing the door. She had carelessly flung the god-awful hat on the seat beside her. A mass of copper curls tumbled in complete disarray onto her shoulders. With her head hung low,
"Excuse me. LFC?" Hands clenched by his sides, he stared down at the woman scrunched almost into a ball. She peered over the top of her sunglasses and gasped. Her lips pursed into an inviting little "O" of
"Y-Yes," she croaked. She coughed to clear the scratchy sound and whispered, "Are you, Mr. McIntyre?"
"I'm Jordan McIntyre." He tossed his Stetson onto the empty bench and immediately squeezed in opposite her, trying to penetrate the reflection from her dark glasses. "And you're real name is...?"
"Er... Julia... R-Reagan."
He tilted his head toward her. "Do you suppose you could remove those?"
She hesitated, looking around the room first, then pushed the sunglasses to the top of her head. Stunned by the sea-green depth of her almond-shaped eyes, he couldn't speak for a moment. He couldn't even remember the initials he had just uttered. When he realized he'd lost himself in her gaze, he came to his senses and leaned back, running his forefinger around the neck of his blue pinstriped buttoned-up shirt. This is the woman who wouldn't enclose a photograph of herself? Unbelievable!
"This is a nicely decorated restaurant; have you been interviewing other applicants here?" she asked with an eye-to-eye stare.
"No. I met the others downtown. I figured you for an introvert because you didn't talk much on the phone. It seemed more suitable to pick someplace quiet, yet not isolated. Anyway, I needed a change myself."
Carol McPhee: Strong, smart, sensuous heroines, heroes to die for.