Offering from Time Invested - A World War II Romance:
The car surged forward, snapping her head back against the seat. The sporty vehicle roared unusually loud as they passed through the quiet residential area and moved out onto the main highway. Meagan inched closer to Ryan, her feet propped on the hump in the middle of the
floorboard. The engine’s vibration tickled the soles of her feet, even through her shoes. Her hair skittered in the breeze.
His calloused hand, resting on her knee, pushed the hem of her skirt a bit higher. Warmth spread along her thigh when he gave a gentle squeeze.
Her nerves tingled with apprehension, knowing she couldn’t turn back now. She shied away from the oncoming headlights and lookedat him. “Are we really going to Pinnacle?”
“No, I have a better idea.” He turned off the highway onto a narrow dirt road.
The area was foreign to her, but she focused on the darkness ahead. She trusted Ryan. “Is
there really something out here?” The rough ride added a tremor to her voice.
The rolling dust that followed them caught up and hung heavy in the air. Meagan covered
her nose. “Maybe you should put the top up.”
Ryan gunned the engine. “I can outrun any gritty cloud.”
A refreshing blast of coolness cleared the air as the roadster scaled a steep incline with
ease. He patted her leg and again a volley of shivers raced through her body. “We’re almost
The words were barely spoken when the bumpy road smoothed and moonlight glistened
on a silvery lake. The silhouette of a tall tree stood as a sentinel next to the water. The car slowed
then stopped beneath the billowing branches. Ryan leaned against the door and smiled. “So, what do you think?”
Bullfrogs croaked in the distance, and the reedy smell from the shoreline drifted in the
air. She clasped her palms beneath her chin. “Oh, it’s lovely. I never would have guessed it was
here. How did you find it?”
“O’Connor told me about it.” Ryan opened the door and reached for her hand. “C’mon.
Help me get the stuff out of the trunk.”
“Stuff?” She slid out and followed him.
He opened the deck lid, withdrew a blanket and handed it to her. “I packed a picnic for
“You did? How sweet.” She smiled. No man had ever gone through so much effort to
win her. “That couldn’t have been easy, living in a barracks. Where did you get the food?”
He flashed a cocky look and her heart flip-flopped. “I happen to know someone in the
mess hall, but don’t expect anything snazzy.” He withdrew a knap sack. “Sorry about the
container. I didn’t have a basket.”
“Oh, Ryan, it’s the thought that counts.” She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “This is so
neat. I think you’re…you’re the cat’s pajamas.”
He pulled her close for a quick peck on the lips, but she wanted much more of a kiss. She
didn’t act on her desire, and when he moved away to spread the blanket on the ground, the crisp
night air seemed colder. He placed the knap sack atop the military-issued wool and went back to
the Ford, opened the door and turned on the ignition. With a flick of a knob, music filled the air.
“Ah, ambiance. Shall we be seated?” He made a sweeping gesture.
Soft strains of the Mills Brothers drifted from the car. Meagan stared in at the contraption
on the dashboard. “I’ve never seen such a thing.”
“O’Connor comes from a rich family and can afford all these new gadgets. This is
something called a Motorola. Quite costly, I imagine.”
She remained standing and embraced herself, gazing at the moon. “I do so love music.
Don’t you?” She waltzed in a circle to the dreamy melody of Paper Doll.
“It’s the coolest.” He stood behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist and warmed
her neck with his breath. “Almost as cool as you,” he whispered.
He held her until the song ended, then crossed his ankles and dropped onto the blanket,
Indian style. “I hope you don’t mind fruit punch in place of wine. It’s the best I could do… oh,
and Dixie cups.”
She widened her eyes at his change of demeanor, but settled beside him, running her
fingers up and down his arm. “Wine, juice, milk…who cares? This is so romantic. Just look at
the moon reflecting on the lake.” What had come over her? And how could he be concerned
about their drinks?
Waxed paper crinkled as he pulled out a sandwich. “I’m glad you approve of the locale. I
took O’Connor’s word that this was something my girl would like.”
Her mouth gaped. “Your girl? Am I?” They shared a strong attraction, but he’d never
pinned her…even hinted at wanting to. The smell of bologna dampened the moment, and she
crinkled her nose at the bread he held.
He put the sandwich down and inched closer. “I’d like you to be my girl.” The
moonlight showed the sincerity in his eyes. “I wanted to ask you before now, but I didn’t have
the nerve. But, now I’m going off to war, I’d like to know I have someone waiting for me when I