Time of Possession
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by Jane Bierce
Description: Steeler running back Mike Callahan has been in the game long enough to know that it isn't how much time--or love--you have that matters, but what you do with what you have. Now the time is up for his career, but he's ready to meet a new life head on. Sports reporter Magda Kovacs has been hiding her grief under a heavy work schedule and a ready wit. She has learned that advice is easier to give than to take. Her secret hero is more than just another assignment. They are thrown together in the Christmas gaiety of Pittsburgh, surrounded by the excitement of the season and the fund drive for Children's Hospital. It's a story to warm the coldest night the steel town ever saw.
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory, 1998
eBookwise Release Date: September 2004
18 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [226 KB]
Reading time: 145-204 min.
"In Time of Possession, Jane Bierce has written a moving romance about healing a shattered soul through time, acceptance and the special love of a truly heroic man. This book is a keeper!"--The Lover's Knot Magazine
"Time of Possession is a warm and tender romance about people we can't help but care deeply about. So, brew up a pot of your favorite tea, snuggle into those comfortable pajamas, have a video tape of your favorite football game playing softly in the background, then indulge yourself with Jane Bierce's Time of Possession. You will experience hours filled with emotional satisfaction--hours which you'll never regret!"--Knowbetter.com
"A romance that is truly that, Time of Possession is a warm and wonderful love story that is, very obviously, written from the author's heart--and a warm and generous heart it must be. This book is not steamy, probably should be classified as sweet, but the romance is definitely there, complete with sparks, wanting, dreaming, and fear. Magda and Mike are marvelous characters, conflicted, hurting, but somehow strong, courageous, willing to try and pull their lives back together, and to give each other the time and space they need to come to terms with their pasts, so that, if it is possible, they can have a life together. Ms. Bierce, I loved this book, appreciated it, and will recommend it to everyone who wants a memorable read. Highly Recommended!"--Under the Covers Book Reviews
MAGDA KOVACS pushed through the crush of people meeting the Pittsburgh Steelers' team flight from Houston, hoping to corner a player or coach who would give her a story. But all the readily recognizable players were involved with at least one reporter already.
It was difficult to tell who was more bleary-eyed, the newshounds who had been sprawling in the lounge of Greater Pittsburgh International, or the players, whose flight had been delayed by the storm coming from the west.
While the throng surged around her in the babble of shouted questions and evasive answers, Magda was about to hitch along on someone else's interview when she noticed two attractive flight attendants shepherding one last player who hobbled along the ramp.
Her breath caught in her throat as she recognized one of her long-time heroes, the veteran running back Mike Callahan.
Magda's mind flashed like an instant replay to the down in the fourth quarter when Callahan sacrificed his body to block a blitzing linebacker while the quarterback threw a touchdown pass to the wide receiver.
"Mr. Callahan!" Magda called to him, waving her pen and notebook. "Could I have a word with you?"
Mike Callahan straightened his formidable shoulders and glowered at her as though the last thing he wanted was to be interviewed.
One of the flight attendants handed him his flight bag. He thanked her with a fleeting smile supplanting the look of pain on his broad, handsome face, then watched the young women strut away purposefully before turning his attention to Magda.
"Wha'd'ya want?" he demanded touchily.
She could have read anything into that remark but went to the first question she could think of. "How badly is your knee hurt?" she asked, poising her pen over her pad.
"I won't know until I see the team orthopaedist tomorrow -- er -- today," he corrected, glancing at a clock. "How am I going to find a taxi at this hour?" he growled, noting his own slow progress compared to the rest of the team, coaches and hangers-on surging through the concourse.
"Was your knee X-rayed in Houston?" Magda asked.
Callahan's green eyes looked at her as though she was an idiot. "Of course, it was X-rayed," Callahan responded, moving along as quickly as he could, obviously hoping to get away from her.
"Your block proved to be a crucial factor in scoring the winning touchdown," she said, struggling to keep up with him, hampered by her heavy coat, uncomfortable boots, and the gadget bag which held her camera and tape-recorder. "Do you feel it was worth the sacrifice?"
"What kind of question is that?" Callahan demanded, glaring down at her. "You do what you have to do."
"How many times has your knee been injured over your career?" she asked, keeping in step with him more easily now. He was tiring. Perhaps the prospect of a long walk to the taxi stand encouraged him to pace himself.
"Twice, badly," he said, squinting toward the exit.
"Do you think it's hurt badly this time?" she pressed.
"I'll find out, won't I?" Callahan spouted, shifting his flight bag so it was away from her.
"You've played eight seasons with the Steelers," Magda dug deeper. "Might this injury make it your last?"
"No comment!" he exploded much too quickly.
"Eight years is twice as long as the average professional football player can expect to play," Magda went on. "What do you plan to do when you do hang up your cleats?"
"I haven't given it a lot of thought, sweetheart," he said glibly, "but if you'll give me your number, you'll be the first to know when I've made my decision."
"Magda Kovacs, of the Press," she volunteered, recognizing the remark for a put-off but taking the opportunity to state her hard-won credentials.
"The Press? Where's the guy -- Phil Thomas?"
"His wife had a baby Saturday, so the boss gave him a few days off," Magda said. "Let me see if I got this quote right. 'You do what you have to do.' I'll use your file photo."
"That's not much of a story," Callahan observed.
"You weren't much of an interview," she said coolly.
"Still --" he sighed as though he might have more respect for the news profession than he'd shown.
He had a reputation for being a hard guy to get to, but when a reporter did get an interview with him, it generally led to a good article.
"I overheard enough to flesh it out with a few other quotes," she told him, starting to put her notebook away.
Some travelers coming from the other direction brushed past them, and Callahan had to step aside. Automatically, she reached to steady him by grasping his arm. He looked down at her as though he almost resented the physical contact.
From the sharp intake of his breath and the grim expression on his face, Magda could see his knee was hurting him and knew when the freezing Pennsylvania wind hit him, he was going to be in even more pain.
Of the long line of taxis generally pulled up the sweeping curve at the front of the airport, only one remained, its yellow sides crusty with grime and salt, remnants of the weekend of slush.
Callahan groaned. The wind caught his reddish hair and he tried to smooth it with a hand bearing scraped knuckles.
"Where are you going?" Magda asked, shivering.
"I've got a condo in the Downtown Towers," he said.
"Come on, we'll share," she suggested smiling up at him sympathetically. "I'm going back to the office. In fact, the Press is paying."
The grim-faced driver leaned over the back of the seat to open the door for them, and Magda scrambled in quickly. "Downtown," she told him, unburdening herself of her gadget bag.
When Callahan tried to get into the car, his injured left knee didn't hold him and he fell against Magda unexpectedly, pressing her against the back of the seat and nearly cutting off her breath.
Copyright © 1998 by Jane Bierce