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ruthnaomi

If you have never read the Biblical book of Ruth, pick up your Bible and read this 4-chapter romance found in the Old Testament.

Here is the first chapter of a modern retelling of the book of Ruth which I just finished (hooray!).

It’s called, “Rosana” and will be published in print and Kindle format soon.

Please pass the word to people you know who might enjoy a clean romance. Thank you!

Chapter 1

It was his curly hair.

Even a “high-and-tight” military haircut couldn’t disguise the soft wave in the quarter-inch of growth on his otherwise precisely-trimmed head.

The mischievous hair beckoned her kindred unruly spirit.

“That hair must get you in trouble,” she teased, flopping onto the folding camp chair next to his.

“Yes, ma’am, it does,” he grinned back, rubbing his head ruefully and looking her up and down. Pale, porcelain skin, long legs and arms, waist-length auburn curls. She tipped her nose smugly, recognizing his expression. Men were so easy.

“I bet your hair gets you in trouble, too,” he leered.

She laughed, swinging one leg easily over the arm of the chair. “It all gets me in trouble, babe! Am I taking someone’s seat?”

She knew his answer. She had watched the other military guy walk toward the concession stand before this one’s curly hair overcame her resolve to stay out of trouble tonight.

“Yeah, but stay. My brother’s gonna be fine sharing his seat. Look at all the grass he can sit on!”

They laughed, surveying the lawns surrounding the concert hall at the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts near Washington, DC. Cheap seats for great concerts, but BYOE. Bring Your Own Everything – beverages, benches, babes.

Until she arrived, they had everything but the last.

“Mami!” she heard the whistle of appreciation before she saw his brother, a beer in each hand. “Hello, hello! Oye, Marcelito, que tenemos aqui?”

The young man rose out of his camp chair and indicated the leggy redhead. “Carlos, meet…” his voice trailed off.

“Rosana,” she interrupted. “Hi.” Unhooking her knee from the arm of his chair, she twirled her hair to one side of her neck with practiced flip and flounced to her feet, looking over the new arrival. “You don’t have your brother’s hair.”

“How do you know we’re brothers? Here.” He handed one of the brimming cups to Marcelo.

“Oh, like the fact that you’re identical doesn’t give it away at all.”

“We could be cousins…”

She shrugged. “Whatever. So which one of you is older?”

“I am,” they replied in unison.

“Twins. Born at exactly the same time. Your poor mother.” Rosana scoffed.

The men grinned.

“Not twins. We’re a year apart, and I’m older,” Marcelo insisted.

“So’m I,” she countered flippantly. “I’m the only. Except for my little brother Jamesey. But he’s dead.”

The brothers shifted uneasily, smiles fading.

“I’m sorry.” Marcelo swirled his beer, looking into it’s depths. “We, uhhhh, lost our father a coupla years ago, too.” He and his brother gulped at their beers simultaneously.

“Do you do everything at the same time?” she snapped, ignoring the revelation.

“Kinda, I guess.” Marcelo shrugged, glancing at Carlos, who was already looking at him.

“My mom says we’re destined to live and die together.”

“Mothers always say things like they think they can see the future. Mine said I needed a Spanish name in case I have to get around in a Spanish-speaking country. So, like, why not name me Vroshenka in case I get lost in Moscow?”

Rosana rolled her eyes. Marcelo laughed.

“So, what are you then? French?” Carlos asked eagerly, tilting his head and squinting like an art connoisseur.

She stopped laughing. “No, I’m Hispanic, stupid,” she drawled, dripping sarcasm. “What do I look like? Red hair? Green eyes?” She turned to his brother.

“Is he an idiot? Or does he just have no clue about Irish people?”

“In the Domincan Republic, where we come from, red hair and green eyes only mean tourist,” Marcelo replied, eyeing Carlos’ tightening jaw.

She flopped back into the chair, swinging a smooth leg over the arm and shaking her tresses down in a gesture which accomplished just what she intended. Both men stared. “I must have some ancient Mayan mixed in with the Irish somewhere. Don’t you think?” Her voice was tinged with petulance.

“So, Rosana, where are you sitting?” asked Carlos, abruptly setting down his beer on the cooler, and straightening his well-muscled frame to face her.

“So, Carlos,” she mimicked, “Don’t you see me sitting in your chair trying to hit on your brother? Marlo? Marito?”

“Marcelo,” they corrected in unison.

She shrugged, twisted her hair into a long strand and tied it into an impromptu bun at the nape of her neck.

The brothers stood hypnotized by her graceful movements like mice under the spell of a rattlesnake.

“You’re here alone?” Marcelo asked, trying to keep his voice even.

“Noooo, sweetie,” she crooned, jumping up to run her fingers lightly over his spiky haircut, “but who wants to sit with Mumsie when yummy treats are available?”

She looked at their haircuts. “Are you both in the Army?”

“Marines,” they replied together.

“That is getting really annoying, boys.” She pursed her lips. “I’m an art student living off my wealthy mother. It’s really just a fairy tale. I go to concerts with her and the bald old men she does business with, and she pays for me to paint and live exorbitantly in Georgetown. My life. You actually work for a living. Fun, I guess. If you like to crawl around in the dirt.”

“Enlisted Marines spend a lot of time in the dirt, definitely, but we’re pretty good at cleaning up.” Marcelo held out his hands for inspection. Rosana took one and ran a shiny nail over the muscled digits. She smiled up at him.

A bell chimed politely.

Rosana dropped his hand, scowling. “Well, boys, duty calls. Loudly.”

“Are you around after the sh…” Marcelo began.

“Paper,” she demanded, holding up a palm to Carlos, who reluctantly opened his wallet and took out a receipt. Rosana snatched it and turned to his brother. “Pen.”

“Maybe I don’t have one.”

“Please,” she snorted, “a soldier without a pen?”

“Marine!” they corrected together, more firmly than before.

“Whatever,” she shrugged, and scrawling a few lines, handed paper and pen back to Marcelo. “Call me,” she whispered in his ear, then turned and sauntered away, hips swaying hypnotically.

When she reached the steps she turned to see them both staring. “Not you, Carlos,” she sneered, flicking a finger toward the older brother, “I want Marcelo.”

Neither man looked away until she disappeared into the crowd near the stage.

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