Presented by SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS

SPONTANEOUS CHOICES SHORTS features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. In 2019, these serials will appear every second and fourth Thursday (and fifth Thursdays as they occur). This week continues a new serialized story, “A Second La Chance,” about a young woman who originally hoped to have the children of a wealthy spoiled man to get paid off to leave him, but ends up with more than she ever bargained for when deciding to take a chance to start a new life for herself. This is part 5 of 16. I turned in the direction of the male voice that spoke to me. He wore a dark, body-fitting business suit and shades. “Someone needed to do something before the whole truth came out, don’t you agree?” “There’s not much out there people don’t already know.” He took something out of his pocket and showed it to me, a photo I knew far too well and wondered where he’d gotten it. In the last year or so, I’d worked hard to become trim and lose not only the weight gained from my babies but a bit more. In this picture, taken while still in high school, I still wore my glasses – since traded for contacts – and a more frumpy frame. I looked up at the man holding the picture, and realized the LaChance family likely sent him. They’d moved so swiftly both to marry me off to Edmond and then pay me off later, it just dawned on me that perhaps they’d only now been fully researching my background. They couldn’t change that I gave birth to their grandchildren, but my past surfacing now might put my future situation in jeopardy. “We believe this to be you. Is that correct?” “Yes, that is a picture of me, ” I confirmed, not daring to say otherwise. He put the photo away. “We’ve pieced together that you were born Merikah Van der Meer and that you have quite an interesting past, or perhaps I should say your parents do. You always believe they were never home due to juggling multiple jobs. What if I told you that was a cover for their real work?” I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe this guy. “Prove it,” I dared him. I wasn’t letting the LaChance family blindly control me again.

He slowly moved down his shades just enough so I could see his big, blue eyes stare at me, such a gentle and sympathetic look for someone so imposing in his black attire. He quickly hid them.