The antique ivory locket was the key!***
Exquisite and enchanting, it drew Aimee like a magnet. Though the locket cost every spare penny she had, it was money well spent--or so she thought! Catapulted by the locket to the year 1847, Aimee finds herself alone in St. Louis, Missouri, the jumping off site for the Oregon Trail. The much touted slogan "Go West Young Man" takes on new meaning. Seattle, her home in the present, was a distant dream, and unless she found a suitable male willing to wed, Aimee would be left behind when the emigrant train left for the Oregon Territory. Penniless and without recourse, Aimee's choices were few.
Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, was the perfect, if unwilling, choice. Undaunted by his initial rudeness, Aimee entices him to the alter with the promise of her diamond earrings as payment, thereby securing her passage on the wagon train, and embarking on a chain of events that would ultimately end in the far reaches of the great American West.
"Sure you don't want to take me up on my offer?" Jake's teasing was old.
"You wish!" She huffed and stalked out, forgetting to check the hallway first and banged into a boarder walking by. A lascivious leer devoured her, replacing the boarder's previously blank expression.
"Looking for customers?" He smacked his bulbous lips, reminiscent of an overeager suckerfish. "I just might be interested."
Her shoulders drooped in disgust. "You are soooo sickening." She glared at him. "How about you get out of my face before I ream you a new orifice?"
Startled, the man's mouth flew open as he gaped in surprise.
Jake stepped into the hallway and lowered his voice to sound ominous in the ensuing silence. "The lady was just returning to her room. I suggest you do the same."
The hapless man barely glanced at his threatening stance before he scurried down the hall. Jake's lips twitched. He couldn't blame him. He'd made the same offer more than once today. But, damn, if she wasn't a feisty piece of woman. At least she hadn't threatened to ream him a new orifice--whatever that was.
"Thanks...again! Seems like all I do is thank you for one reason or another." Aimee hesitated, appearing unsure. Her vulnerability stirred deeper feelings in him, making him uncomfortable. "I've had more creepy offers from more creepy men in one day than I've had in my entire lifetime!"
"If you keep running around in your underclothes, it's pretty much what you can expect."
He followed her across the hall. "Stay in there and don't answer the door, and if anyone bothers you--scream. I'll hear it."
She slipped into her room and pivoted, staring up at him. "Why are you helping me?"