**Author's Note: Sorry this new installment took so long everyone. I've been busy working on other projects, and I have a new novelette coming out on March 25. Been setting up the promos, Facebook party, and blog tours. So, I'm happy to be back in Julie and Peter's world again. It's spring right now as I'm writing this part of the book. I think it's getting me in the mood for what will be happening in later chapters. Besides, there is nothing better than a summer romance. When travel is involved, that's the best. So enjoy! Hope the winter hasn't been too tough on you. Glad that sping is almost here.-Marilyn

Chapter 11

Julie's POV

"You two arrived just in time. This building was going to be knocked down and used for a parking lot if someone didn't take an interest."

I looked over the entrance to the condemned entryway. I wasn't sure if it could be saved. It would be a shame. All this distance and we might not be able to do a thing. I nodded as the city official continued. The dust welled up as we walked through the entry to the side rooms.

She only stopped a moment to straighten her glasses. "The city just couldn't keep it up any more. You know, with the economic crash, things had to be cut from the budget. Maintaining the old site after the new one was built just wasn't saving the city any money."

I tried to hold back the cough as I looked over to Peter. His grim face told me the same story. This wasn't going to work for our needs. Real shame. It was a real glory of a building once, but now it was too dilapidated. We walked from the side room into what the woman was referring to as the research room.

My breath intact must have been a reaction to the dust. Broken benches lined around tables with empty shelves lining the walls. The woman pointed out the high vaulted ceilings just as we heard the fluttering of pigeons living in the eaves.

"The building has been closed for some time. It would need some renovation."

At this point, Peter started shaking his head. "Thank you Beatrice. But I think you're going to have to find another buyer. This building is beyond my needs. But I want to thank you for showing myself and assistant around today." He reached out to shake her hand, and we turned to leave.

"Well, there is another building the city might be willing to sell if you 'd be interested in bidding."

Slowly, Peter turned and I stopped. He walked back and answered. "Go on."

She hesitated before speaking. "There is an old railroad station and hotel on the outskirts of the downtown that was abandoned by a realtor. They were going to turn it into a mall, but their funding ran out. It had to be taken over by the city and written off as a loss. It might be a lot smaller than here, but it might work for a small motel if restored.

I smiled thinking of all of the railroad buffs that liked to follow the train systems. "Are the tracks still operational nearby?"

She turned to me. "Well, yes. But the train doesn't stop anymore. It's mostly freight these days instead of people."

"Is it far?" Peter looked like his disposition had improved. I saw the disappointment in his shoulders and eyes. He wanted this trip to be successful too. I could tell by his abrupt tone that he hoped this new building worked out.

We piled in the car and headed towards the tracks. We had to pass through the small downtown streets. The main street still retained the small town flavor lost in so many rebuilds and malls. We headed to the building near the end of Main Street, with a train depot still in small operation. Next store several warehouses were in a partial state of repair. Next to them was a nice, regal old-fashioned hotel. It attached to the train station looking like one building. I smiled.

I could see the potential. The train depot and attached warehouse/hotel would be better located than the old library. This was definitely the better option. I was surprised to hear Peter say, "I think this will do. In fact, tomorrow we'll stop by to sign the papers." I could hear the whistle of the train approaching the platform. Yes, this place had far more charm than the other.

I walked around to the front and could see the empty ticket booth, old train clock and water tower of the station still intact. In fact, if this was fixed up too, maybe passenger trains could run short distances for the railway buffs. Not a bad days work. I waved to the freight train as it passed slowly by. I was rewarded with a wave from the engineer. 

I returned from my inspection to see Peter shaking the city woman's hand. This was definitely a good sign. We were going to have to come back and work to get things settled. Good thing I liked this town. It had a nice small town atmosphere. It made life seem simple and good. I grabbed a post and swung around it. I was feeling lighter and relieved. If there were no deal, I would have felt awful bringing us out here.

The woman walked to her car. Peter turned and saw my spins. He smiled, shook his head, and walked towards me. "What are you doing?"

"Getting a feel for the place." I motioned down the platform. "I can almost feel the people standing here waiting for the train. This place has character." I looked him in the eye. "I think if the train station was fixed up and made operational for short passenger trips, tourists would flock here. It would bring them back for the nostalgia."

His smile broke my heart. It lit him up accenting the angles of his face and dark hair. I had to take a breath to steady myself. He answered, "You love saving a place, don't you?"

"Yes. It does justice to the people that used to live there to restore it. It's like saving their memory." I turned and started walking down the platform. "Besides, sometimes I like to pretend I'm with them, in the past, waiting for the train to arrive."

He followed me slowly, keeping an eye on my progress. "I love the fact you enjoy your work Julie."

Something about his tone stopped my progress. I looked at him, the smile wider. He neared me, and put his arms on my shoulders. "I love it when you are so intent on a project."

I couldn't breath. He was so near; I could smell his aftershave, musky and manly. "In fact, sometimes I can't take my eyes off of you when you're like this."

I was fully focused on his stare, his bending towards me. His lips met mine, and he kissed me. The pressure light and not forcefully, a gentle prodding of what I wanted from him. He pulled back to see my reaction. I could see the moment of realization when I relaxed and let him kiss me again. This time, I kissed back as if I'd never been kissed before. Damn. What was I getting myself into?

Peter's POV

Her kiss affirmed what I was feeling. We both wanted each other. Finally, I had an answer. I pulled her closer, taking her in as if she was oxygen. Holding her close felt so good. The holding back was over. And I wanted her to stay like this forever.

**So, more to come from this lovely complication. Things can never be easy in love. But it's spring. Who knows what can happen. But I promise to get right into my writing routine now so the follow-up will be next Friday. Until then, have a fabulous weekend and a wonderful week. Salut! -Marilyn

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