Excerpt from Chapter Eight – “THE TALK”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Eight – “THE TALK”:

The trip out of camp was uneventful, a two-mile walk followed
by a two-hour drive. There was no hand holding,
no love making. Each dreaded where they were going. This
was day seven. Each had, without question, found love, and
each wanted it to last forever—or at least longer. Lance was
convinced there would be a way out. He was more certain
than ever that this was not the end.

Vicki was just as sure that this was the end. Seven days
prior, she had been very much alone. She had planned and
charted each course, and the journey had been a huge success.
By all measures she was not as empty and lonely as she had
been. Through no fault of either, their lives together would
soon end.

By two o’clock, they were home. Vicki looked at Lance and
sighed. It was time. She had checked her messages; there were
none. The governor had not called.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven – “THE POND CAMP”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Seven – “THE POND CAMP”:

Dawn had already cracked when Vicki smelled the coffee.
Lance was cooking bacon and home fries. Soon, he
scrambled some eggs. The camp was cool and pleasant.

“Don’t worry about the fat content of this breakfast. We are
going to burn it off and then some,” Lance assured her.

Vicki didn’t answer, but fat content was the least of her
worries. She looked at the exhausted beagles, who had
crawled into the camp during the predawn darkness. “What
do we do with them?” she asked.

“They’ll walk in with us. They aren’t that dead.”

Excerpt from Chapter Six – “THE SOUP KITCHEN”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Six – “THE SOUP KITCHEN”:

Vicki awoke early. She was dressed and showered by 7:30.
Lance had prepared omelets and home fries from baby
potatoes in the garden. They had to be at the soup kitchen by
eight.

“Eat well now. We’ll be in food all morning, and we probably
will eat our own cooking for lunch,” instructed Lance.

“What will that be?” asked Vicki.

“Baked chicken, rice pilaf, string beans, cranberry sauce,
and hot rolls.”

“Sounds great. How many do you expect, Lance?”

“At least 150. Maybe more.”

Excerpt from Chapter Five – “THE RIDE AND THE JUMP”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Five – “THE RIDE AND THE JUMP”:

Lance was up at 5:00. Vicki awakened at 7:00. Room service
appeared with black coffee and Danish. Lance had
showered and was fully dressed, but Vicki still had a few cobwebs
from the champagne. They sipped coffee and nibbled
sweet rolls on Vicki’s deck overlooking a largely subdued
Atlantic. The storm had passed, and the sun was quickly meeting
the ocean fog. Vicki was still remembering the kiss in the
lagoon, the wine by the fire, the tango, and her Grand
Marnier. To her, it would be a hard act to follow. She was also
bothered by how seriously she was falling for Lance. Her life
did not allow for that.

Lance finished his second cup of coffee and looked at
Vicki. “On the way home, we’ll stop at Fun Park. They have a
great roller coaster. Then we have a skydive at Lancaster Airport
at 3:00. Have you ever skydived, Vicki?”

Excerpt from Chapter Four – “THE COAST”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Four – “THE COAST”:

They got off to a late start, but the weather was horrible.
Heavy rain fell, and a harsh wind blew from the east. It
was a two-hour drive and they used every moment to talk.
Vicki wanted to hold Lance’s hand, but she knew better. A
mistake now would ruin everything.

The inn was elegant. It had a beautiful dining room with
hardwood floors and a dance area. It was early afternoon, and
they had cheese and white wine at the bar. The place seemed
deserted.

They were shown to their rooms by a bellman. The two
rooms shared a mutual door. Lance’s room had a huge stone
fireplace with a love seat in front. Both rooms had a view of
the Atlantic, as it roared in disapproval of the bashing it was
taking from the wind. The tide was high, as was the surf, and
only about five feet of sand wound its way to a secluded cove.

Excerpt from Chapter Three – “THE AWKWARD DAY”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Three – “THE AWKWARD DAY”:

Vicki opened her eyes and saw that the sun was high. She
had not slept that well in months. It was nine in the
morning. She looked out the bedroom window and saw
Lance working in the garden. The cat was with him. The garden
was huge, and it lay between a beautiful house and a large
lake.

It was late June, but summer had not yet fully arrived. It
was still cool, and the night dew was giving way to the sun. It
was beautiful.

Vicki came downstairs. The three beagles paid no attention
to her. She poured herself a cup of coffee and inhaled it. Then
she poured a second and walked out onto the deck. “Good
morning, Lance,” she said loudly.

Excerpt from Chapter Two – “THE MEETING”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Two – “THE MEETING”:

Lance was nervous. He was sixty-seven years old and
hadn’t had a blind date since college. He remembered
well how poorly they had gone. The prom queen hadn’t
needed to be “fixed up.”

But this was different, or so Lance hoped. He didn’t know
how to dress. Suit? Jacket and tie? Too formal? He chose slacks
and a dress shirt. Button-down, or no? Lance didn’t have a
clue. He wasn’t about to call his kids. He chose a sweater. He
had even rented a car for the occasion. He wasn’t going to
drive over in a pickup truck. He checked his e-mail nervously.
An hour before the meeting, there was no rejection.

A no-show was always possible, and that would be better
than a grouchy date. Or so Lance imagined.

Excerpt from Chapter One – “THE INTRODUCTION”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter One – “THE INTRODUCTION”:

By the time Lance Bonner turned sixty-seven, he was
alone. His first wife, Sally, had left in a firestorm, paying
a fortune in legal fees to hunt him like a dog. His second,
Fern, had been a much kinder and nicer woman, but her wellbeing
had been shortened by a combination of rheumatoid
arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Lance had reluctantly placed
her in a facility a year prior. Most bothersome for Lance was
that even during Fern’s lucid moments, she was happy to be
where she was. Lance visited often, but Fern had tired of them.
His visits would interrupt canasta or Days of Our Lives, or—
heaven forbid—Bingo. Lance had fond memories of Fern. She,
like Lance, had loved the wilderness and had joined him frequently
at his camps in the western mountains. Those days
were gone.

Excerpt from “PROLOGUE”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from “PROLOGUE”:

Captain Lance Bonner was on his forty-fourth mission over
Korea. He was returning from a ground support raid among a
squad of three. All were Douglas A-1 Skyraiders. None had any
bombs left, but they had cannon fire. It was not proper to fly
home empty, as one never knew when ammunition would be
needed.

There was no known hostile fire and no enemy planes in
the area. All was as calm as it gets in war. Perhaps it was too
calm.

Captain Bonner’s Skyraider sounded many alarms, and
smoke trailed from its engine. The other two pilots alerted
Bonner that he had been hit. The engine quit altogether, and
Bonner knew restarting it was futile. He was able to fly it, but
only if he kept air speed by pointing the nose down. He was
several hundred miles behind enemy lines and at least one
hundred miles from the ocean. Landing a crippled aircraft
without an airstrip requires skill and luck. If the terrain is
unsuitable for landing, the pilot cannot go around. Once he
gets low, he takes the chute out of the equation, but he knows
a crash-landed aircraft does not leave telltale silk or a fireball
for the eyes of the enemy.