She held the vial over the sink, then over the glass. She knew that whatever decision she made, she would have to make it fast, and that there would be no second chance. She heard him turning on his saw, a sound that always irritated her. If he had to have a hobby, why did it have to be one that was so noisy? Why couldn't he just sit in a chair and quietly whittle away at little figurines with a pocket knife?
If only he could have been content with his desk job in New York City. If only she hadn't let him drag her out here into the middle of nowhere to live. How she missed the hustle and bustle of big city life. Life in the country was just so...quiet.
"Honey, I'm home!" Eager to share with her the news of his successful fishing trip, he had raced through the house and found her in the bedroom.
"Can't dinner wait?" she had asked, sliding her hand seductively under his shirt.
"I guess it can wait." He had removed his shirt, held her closely to himself and kissed her passionately. Something inside her had just melted when she had looked into his beautiful blue eyes, eyes that she knew adored her, trusted her.
And yet...didn't she want the money from the construction business? Didn't she want to run away to the city with Cort? He was a doctor, intelligent, sophisticated, the farthest thing in the world from a hick like Clint.
Later, in the kitchen, she was preparing the steak when he came up behind her and hugged and kissed her.
"I thought I would be cleaning fish right now."
"We're having steak. We had fish last night."
"Sure you don't need any help?"
How many men would offer to help prepare dinner? Would Cort? She knew the answer to that question.
Clint had built this house with his own hands, and what a lovely and spacious house it was, so much nicer than their apartment in New York had been. He had built it for her because he loved her. What had Cort ever done for her, other than keep her bed warm on occasion?
She realized that she just couldn't do it, that she just couldn't take the life of this man who loved and trusted her and wanted to take care of her. Not for the money, not for Cort, not for anything. True, they had their differences in priorities, but there had to be a better way to resolve them than this.
Her decision made, Joanna flung the vial of poison into the sink, just as Clint walked into the kitchen, startling her.
"Oops, did I scare you?" Before she had time to react, he tickled her playfully. "Did it again," he said with a grin. Then he picked up the glasses of wine and carried them to the table. Joanna followed, giddy with relief, feeling as if the weight of the world had just been lifted from her shoulders.