Second Chance Love

Free Second Chance Love by Shawn Inmon

Book: Second Chance Love by Shawn Inmon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shawn Inmon
you, I’ve never seen a slate like we’ve got tonight. Let’s get started!”
    The house lights came up, and a pretty young girl in a spangled dress sashayed onto center stage holding a poster over her head depicting a yacht. Thom boomed out the description: an opportunity to ride on the Jensen family’s yacht on the opening day of boating season, picnic lunch included. Bidding was spirited, finally topping out at $1400.
    Steve and Elizabeth sat quietly, watching the bids and laughing on the rare occasions Thom Goodson said something authentically funny.
    “Ohhhh, this one is something special,” Thom Goodson intoned. The young girl swayed a poster of an elegant bungalow back and forth overhead, beaming all around. “Look what we’ve got next! It’s a weekend for two from Mr. and Mrs. Mulberry, the owners of The Cottage Grove , the most exclusive bed and breakfast within 500 miles.” He adjusted his glasses to read the smaller print on the card. “It sits on fifty private acres with green rolling hills, a tranquil, stream-fed pond with swimming swans and… Oh, my. Really? Yes, it says it right here. Not only will you get to stay at The Cottage Grove,but it will be over Valentine’s Day weekend, and the Mulberry’s will not book any other guests that weekend. Luxury, privacy, romance, what more could you ask? The Mulberrys have put a value of $2,500 on this package, but surely we can do better than that? Yes? What do we have for an opening bid?”
    Steve raised his bid paddle and said “Five thousand dollars.”
    A small ripple of applause went through the crowd.
    “Fifty-one hundred,” a woman’s voice declared. Chelsea.
    All right, Chelsea. Let's see how well you play. Steve shrugged, smiled, and raised his paddle again. “Six thousand dollars.”
    Heads were beginning to wag as if they'd stumbled into a Wimbledon tennis match. They swung to look at Chelsea. “Sixty-one hundred,” she said.
    Steve scratched the side of his head. Elizabeth put her hand on his arm and said softly, “Oh, Steve, let her have it. That’s ridiculous.”
    Steve nodded, raised his paddle and said, “Seven thousand dollars,” winking at Elizabeth. She did not wink back.
    The crowd looked expectantly at Chelsea, who seemed to be considering. Elizabeth caught her glancing at Margaret Larson, who wore a smile of grandmotherly innocence. Chelsea stood up, raised her paddle again and said “Seventy-one hundred.”
    “Good,” Elizabeth whispered urgently. “Now let it go.”
    Steve raised his paddle again. “Twenty-five thousand dollars.”
    A small gasp ran through the crowd. Even for charity, and for all their wealth, it was not their custom to pay ten times what something was worth—God forbid. Steve locked his eyes onto Chelsea.
    “Excuse me, did I hear that bid correctly, Mr. Larson? Twenty-five thousand?” Thom Goodson asked.
    Steve nodded.
    “Wonderful! Our bid is twenty-five thousand. Does anyone want to go twenty-six?”
    Chelsea sat back down. She wasn't smiling any more.
    “Going once, twice... sold! Congratulations, Mr. Larson, that’s quite a prize.”
    Applause burst out, particularly from the representatives of the Inner City Literacy
    Group. Steve smiled, nodded and turned to Elizabeth, who shook her head at him a little sadly.
    “What’s wrong?”
    Her voice was very low and serious. “It’s a great cause, and I’m sure they can use the money, but do you always throw your money around like that? That’s not the Steve I remember.”
    Steve sobered. “No, I don’t. It is a good cause, and I felt like Chelsea was bidding just to stop me from being able to take you to The Cottage Grove.”
    Elizabeth’s eyebrows jumped up. “Oh, really? I don’t recall being asked.”
    “Well, I haven’t asked you yet, but I just won the bid thirty seconds ago. Will you come with me?”
    Elizabeth shook her head. “No, I won’t. I was afraid of this, and it's why I asked you not to keep bidding. It’s too

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