Sunday, February 27, 2011

I added a new feature!

At the bottom of each page posting, I have added a box you can check off on what you thought of the story.  I hope this will help those of you who were having trouble leaving comments because you do not have a google account.  Please feel free to be honest.  I need the feedback.


Chapter four, page two

Just then the bathroom door was thrust open with a large bang.  I spun around and pulled the shower curtain open enough to reveal my wet head and bare shoulders.

“Get out of here!”  I screamed as if I had no idea there would be men with guns standing in my hotel bathroom.

The pony-tail man stood aiming his gun at me.  He lowered it slightly as he took in what he probably assumed was a naked woman in a shower.  His eyebrows bobbed with his imagination.  “Someone wants to see you.”  He sputtered out in broken English.

The next voice that spoke did not come from our Pony-tail toting mobster.  It was a deeper voice; one that rang with elegance and sophistication.  “You are looking lovely as always, Cathie.” 

The pony-tail man stepped aside to allow Dean to enter the crowded bathroom.  Although in my mind I had seen Dean and I knew it was him, his appearance still caught me off guard.

He was a solid man with wide shoulders which seemed to be tightly packed inside a white silk shirt.  His dark eyes matched his almost black hair.  It was cut short but you could still see the tell tale signs of unruly curls.

“You have graced us with a visit again, Darling.”  His voice held many suggestive cues as he watched me with his penetrating eyes.

I felt naked.  I felt sick.  There must have been a sign as Quinn’s hand came and rested on my hip.  I was thankful he was there.

“I hadn’t included you on my itinerary.” 

Dean smiled a mischievous smirk.  “Well, we don’t always get what we want, now do we dear?”  Then he stepped closer.  “Unless you are me.  And what I want is your boyfriend.”  There was no joking in his voice or his eyes now.

I pretended to think for a second.  “Hmm, I’m afraid you will have to be more specific than that.”

“You know exactly who I am talking about.  The charming and devilishly handsome young man you entered the hotel lobby with tonight.  Besides, who else could I mean?  How many other men do you have stashed around here, my Dear?”

"Well, for starters I don’t have any men stashed around here.”  Oh, I hope that isn’t counted as a lie.  It is indirectly false.  After all, ‘stashed’ sounds more like hoarding something into a small tight hiding spot.  Quinn is almost in plain view.  Almost?

“Let’s not be coy, Darling.  You know what happens when I don’t get my way.  I want you to give your boyfriend a message from me.”  Dean began to speak out the message when I rudely cut him off.

“Sorry Dean.  I am not your personal secretary or his.”

Dean stepped right up to the shower curtain and every muscle in me tightened on high alert.  I felt Quinn’s hands squeeze tight around my waist as well.  It felt like he’d be prepared to remove me from my post if Dean reached out for the curtain.

“Cathie, Cathie.  You were always too bold for your own good.  Do not cross me Darling.  I prefer to keep our relationship fun and adventurous.  It would spoil my day if I had to teach you a lesson in manners.”  His eyes bore into mine with a deep passion.  However it wasn’t the kind a passion a woman would ever dream about.  It was a dark and twisted passion that revolved entirely around power and conquering.  At that moment, I hoped that I never had a past with this man as he did imply.

“Dean.  Say your message and then get out.  Though, I will not promise you that Quinn will get it.”

He didn’t move or speak.  He watched me with intensity.  Then his head bobbed very discreetly to the right.  Instantly Pony-tail man stepped into action walking towards me with his gun poised.  He came right to the side of Dean watching me over the barrel of his long hand gun.

I had never seen a real gun close up before.  You'd think it would fill me with fear.  I should have tossed the curtain back to reveal what they wanted to see in order to save my life.  But I didn’t.  I felt safe.  I felt secure.  Strangely I felt I knew exactly what I was doing.  I wasn’t going to die.  It was just an idle threat.

So I spoke with authority.  “Speak your message and then get out of my bathroom now.  And take your thugs with you.”

Dean and I stared at each other for a moment and then he released his henchmen with a slight nod of his head again and they all left the room.  At the doorway, Dean paused and turned to see me again.  His eyes softened slightly.  “Please tell Quinn to come find me.  Preferably before I find him.  On a nicer note, I hope I will see you again during your stay in our wonderful City.  Perhaps after this mess with Quinn is cleaned up, you will allow me to take you to dinner?”

Where he gets the audacity to ask me for a date, I do not know.   “Not likely”, was the nicest response I could think of.

He took one last seductive glance before turning to leave.  “Too bad, Darling.”

NEXT PAGE is here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I think I found it!!

I may have found a song for this blog story.  It is a song I have loved for years.  It touched my heart in a very special way when we lived in Rainbow Lake.  The words spoke to my heart when I was struggling with God's plan for something in my own life.

During that time my daughter was going through a battle of sorts. Her school experience was quickly becoming out of control.  She was taking desperate measures to be heard.  We naturally reached out for help from the medical community and soon found ourselves elbow deep in psychiatrist, psychologist and doctors all spouting big words of diagnosis.

I cried out to God to ask why.

Then along came this song.  "I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned.  I only know at His right hand stands One who is my Savior."

As this blog story is progressing in my mind it is clear to me that Cathie is asking the same questions.  And in the midst of her uncertainty that is thrown together in a heap of faith, she is struggling to share this with Quinn.  (YOU GUYS AREN'T AT THIS PART YET - SO JUST WAIT!!)  

But, ultimately it is God who chooses the songs for the story. Therefore this may be too soon to say for sure, but I couldn't resist sharing it with you.
My savior loves.
My Savior lives.
My Savior is always there for me.
My God He was.
My God He is.
My God He is always going to be.

To Him be the glory!

Lyrics to My Savior My God :
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)


Chorus: (2x's)

My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior loves, My Savior lives

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chapter four, page one

“Quinn!”  I shouted down the hall forgetting the late hour.  So then I lowered my voice to a loud whisper.  “Quinn, come here quickly.”

He bolted down the hall to the window where I stood.  By the time he reached me the men had disappeared from my view. 

“What is it?”  Quinn said.

I grabbed his wrist and pulled him quickly behind me to my hotel room door. 

“Tell me what is happening, Cathie.”

A heavy breath of worry escaped my lips before my words.  “Dean’s men are here.”  I fumbled for my room card-key.  “I saw them in the foyer.  Do you think they followed us?  You should hide.”  My rapid-fire responses came out with a fury.  My card would not register and my frustration grew.

Quinn’s hand covered mine to stop my frenzy and then he slowly slid the card out from my fingers.  Deftly he swiped the card and opened the door.

His slow movements were irritating me as I wanted to hide him quickly before the men saw him.  As I shoved on past him into the room, he grabbed my upper arm swinging me to a halt in front of him.

 “Cathie, you need to stop this.  I do not need a saviour.”

His words felt like a firm brick wall slammed into my face.  “Don’t say that!  Everyone needs a Saviour!”  I forced myself to calm down before I continued.  “Besides I am not your Saviour; I am your friend.”

Our eyes met and held each other for too long considering our newest dilemma.  However I was entranced.  There was love in his eyes; a glimmer of something like love anyway.  I couldn’t resist drinking it in.  The hint of gold in his topaz eyes seemed to dance and sparkle with hopeful yearning.  There was nowhere else I wanted to be at that moment.  That is until the ding of the elevator startled both of us.

Using my foot to close the hotel door behind us, I whispered for him to go hide in the bathroom.  He resisted me until the thump on the hotel door forced him into action.  As Quinn hurried off to the hotel bathroom I stole a moment to pray for God’s help.  As I closed my eyes a picture of Dean’s guys standing in the bathroom of my hotel waving a gun around filled my head.  Within the next second I found myself opening the bathroom door.

Quinn stood open-mouthed looking at me.  “What?”  He asked as the look of surprise washed over his white face.

I whispered loudly to him, “They are going to come in here.”  Pulling back the shower curtain with force, I motioned for him to get in.  When the idea finally registered he shook his head in protest.

“Non, non.  I will not put you in jeopardy to save my own skin.”  Quinn stepped towards the bathroom door.

I grabbed his arm just as the thump of the hotel room door being forced open reached us.

“Get in!”  I said.

He finally followed my direction and I crawled in after him.  Quickly I snapped the curtain closed around us.  I gave him a second’s notice before I pulled the water tap on to full and released the shower spray.

In order to play the scene well, I pulled my left arm through the neckline of my shirt.  Quinn couldn’t stay quiet any longer.  He grabbed for my last arm as I tried to pull it through.  “What are you doing?”  His voice was raised above a whisper to be heard over the pounding water of the shower.

“They are coming in here so I need to give you cover.  Don’t worry I am not fully undressing.”  I pushed my arm all the way through finally.  “Stand completely behind me.”  I turned to see his confused face.  “And no matter what they do or say, don’t let them know you are here.”

Quinn whirled me around to be face to face with him again.  The shower head had water tumbling down onto both of our shoulders which made errant drops of water bounce in every conceivable direction.  Through the crazy spray of water I saw determination building in his eyes.  His head shook from side to side with the tiniest of movements.

“I cannot let you put yourself in harm’s way for me.  It is not right.”  His voice sounded broken and I longed to heal it; to refresh him with my love.  

NEXT PAGE is here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A break from the story for a word from our sponsors ...

I hope you are enjoying the story so far.  I am certainly entertained while I write it.  If you are anticipating the next page you will need to check back tomorrow at around 5 pm.  That is when the next page will be added.

Instead today I felt prompted to write about something else.  For those who are new or perhaps haven't read all the information on this site I want to talk for a moment about where these ideas come form.  If you aren't new ... or you have read everything I've posted I hope you still find it interesting.  It still amazes me and I have known all this for over a year now.

Yesterday, as I woke up in the morning still recovering from the flu my mind gravitated instantly to an image of a young woman. She was covering her face with her dark auburn hair.  It took only a second before I realized what was happening as a young man walked over to her to talk.  He reached out his hand towards her offering a photograph.  She was reluctant to take it.  He lowered himself to her level, as she sat on a wood stump.  "Please," he begged.  "Your Uncle knows who she is but he won't tell me."  She glanced up at him through her long tufts of hair.  "Please, just take a look.  Tell me if you know who she is."  He said.

Need I remind you that this is all taking place in my head just as I am waking up.  Once I got up and started moving, so did they.  All kinds of adventures started to unfold in my mind as I went about my morning getting my kids off to school.  Once my three kids climbed on the bus, I crawled back into bed in hopes of removing the fog in my head and the aches in my body.

However the sleep helped my flu symptoms, it did not deter the young couple now firmly planted within my mind.  Scott, is a college student.  He is eager for life but always trying to outdo the last thing he did.  Bigger and better are his comfortable companions.  He is forever on a search rarely finding what he is truly wanting.

He stumbles across a girl that he never gets to meet as he is visiting a rodeo in a new location.  He manages to snap a picture of her before she fades out of sight. Only his picture is obscured slightly.  She turned her head at the moment of the camera's click and her face is not clearly visible.  All he has is a photo of  her long flowing honey hair and a memory of a face he swears he will never forget.

PJ is a young woman who had life by the horns until a tragic accident took her father, her future and half of her face.  Now she lives behind a veil of hair to hide the pain the scars do not show. She has developed a happy sense of normal now until one day a young ambitious man enters her sleepy town looking for a woman that no one wants to remember.

Are you enticed?  Well, let me tell you as I slaved over my financial records for my business taxes the two of them had quite a story to tell.  It is still playing itself out in my head today.  I am anxious to know what happens to these two young folks.  How will God invest His truth in their lives?  How will they come to know the life He has planned for them?  Will they taste and know that God is good?

It still amazes me how these things happen to me!  And why me? I did not plan this for my life.  I never dreamed of becoming an author.  Yet, for some reason God has chosen me for this.  I have no idea where He plans to take this or how far reaching it will become.  For now, I am content to type.  (And type fast just to keep up with the plentiful bounty of life stories He is giving me.)

By the way this one you won't see for awhile.  It is story number 23.  Anyone a faster typer than me out there????

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chapter Three, page three

As Stacie pulled alongside the curb in front of my hotel Quinn finally released my hand.  He climbed out of his door before I had my seatbelt undone.  I reached over the seat, hugging Stacie again from behind and told her to call me in the morning.  

She gave me a worrisome look through the rear-view mirror. “Please tell me he is not staying overnight with you.”  Her eyes begged for my answer to please her.

“He’s not staying with me tonight.  I love you, Stacie.  Have a safe drive and a good sleep tonight.”  I kissed her cheek and winked at her in the mirror before crawling out of the back car door.  

In my mind I wondered what would happen next with Quinn.  He bolted extremely fast from Stacie’s car.  It was unlikely he was still around.  I’d seen in his eyes his interpretation of me - a crazy woman who just wouldn’t leave him alone.  It broke my heart, because I was certain before tonight his eyes held love for me.

Nothing about tonight made any sense – from Quinn not recognizing me all the way to the money in Stacie’s trunk to pay off the local Mob.  ‘Lord, there must be something that makes sense to You in all this.  I am trusting that You are in control amidst my chaos.’

Fetching my suitcases from her trunk, I headed into the Hotel lobby with my head hung low.  Somehow this day needs to come to an end with tomorrow having fresh new mercies.  ‘Please God.’  That is a prayer that has graced my lips many times over the last three years.

As I pressed the elevator button I felt a hand come around my waist.  I spun around right into his full embrace.  “I am so sorry Cherie.  I never meant to put you any danger.”  He squeezed me so tight before he pushed me back to see my face.  “Will Stacie be alright?”  His eyes glinted with a hint of fear and remorse wrapped tightly in compassion.

“She’ll be fine.  That’s if I can stop freaking her out.”  There was no doubt that tonight I stand alone in my version of reality.  Hopefully this universe will right itself by the morning’s dawn.

Quinn stood peering into my eyes searching into the depths of my soul.  “Cherie, where did you get that money from?”  His voice held no accusation.

“Quinn, I wish I had an answer for you.  Or at least one that made any sense.”  I could see his disappointment in my answer.  “Do you believe in God, Quinn?”

He flinched and released me fully from his grasp.  “Uh?  Let’s just say that he and I don’t see eye to eye.”  He stepped back away from me again. I watched his eyes tighten and the hard line of his jaw stiffen.

“But, I take it you believe in him?”  His accent took on a new brusque tone.  I didn’t like the sound of it at all.

“Well, as a matter of fact God is very important to me and He guides everything I do.”  My response caused even more discomfort than my original question had.  Quinn may have walked away from me if a family hadn’t arrived right behind him in line for the elevator. 

He closed the gap between us, placed his hand on the small of my back and whispered in my ear.  “Perhaps we could finish this conversation somewhere else?”  As his soft voice reached my ear it sent a tingle down my spine. Only to be met halfway by the tingle climbing up my back from where his touch was.  How odd it is, the comfortable level he has around me, yet he cannot remember me from before tonight.

The elevator door opened and just force of nature we entered without much thought.  As we traveled up the flights, my internal sensor began to alarm.  Although he had not been inappropriate to me in any shape or form, it appeared to me that he was planning on coming to my hotel room.  ‘Lord, give me the right words to say so that I do not make a horrible mistake with this man.’

Our floor arrived before the people standing in front of us, so we squeezed our way through them and out onto the third floor.  My room was at the farthest end from the elevator which gave me more reason for concern.  My hesitation at the elevator must have clued Quinn into my thoughts.

“Cherie, perhaps it is best for me to bid you good night.  Will you be alright?”  His eyes bled kindness into his words and again made my heart shiver.

I stumbled through my fast-paced heartbeat.  “Y-yes.  Sure I will.”

“Well then, you head off to your room and I will wait here for you to get in safely.”  He winked and gave me a small shove.  “Bonne Soir.  And thank you for everything Cherie.  I will try to ....”

“It’s Cathie.”  My voice sounded whimsical and lost in some romantic fairy tale.

A most delicate smile tipped the edges of his mouth all the way to his topaz eyes.  “I do know your name and I am sorry for not using it.  ‘Cherie’ is a term similar to ‘darling’.”  His eyes fell to the floor as a soft pink blush filled his cheeks.  “I will try not to be so personal, Cathie.”

The sound of my name sugared with his perfect tenor accent made my knees go weak.  ‘Lord, I don’t understand the effect he has over me.  There is no way a stranger can do this to my heart.  I am certain this is not our first encounter.  Lord, please help Quinn remember me.  Please Lord.  I am afraid my heart cannot take losing another man.”

Then with a deep sigh I turned to head down the hall towards my room.  Halfway down the hall I couldn’t resist turning to see if he was still there.  Amazingly, he stood like a sentinel at the elevator doors; my protector.  Thoughts of my evening with Quinn flooded my mind as I resumed my walk down the hall. 

However my eyes caught a glimpse through a set of atrium windows that overlooked the lobby below.  A group of three men were entering the main doors led by the pony-tail man from the pub earlier.  

NEXT CHAPTER starts here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapter three, page two

Quinn stepped back from the trunk like I had slapped him with a mighty force.  In fact, his face held much the same kind of expression as if I had.  His hands went up in mock surrender.

“Whoa.  I don’t know what is happening here but now it has gone too far.”  He continued to step back until he came up hard against the vehicle parked behind him.

“Quinn, listen.  Dean is coming and he plans on hurting you.  He won’t ...”

He stepped forward and interrupted my words with force.  “I want to know how you know all this!  Do you work for him, or something?”  All the decency and gentleness drained from his eyes as he demanded my answers.

“No” was all I could muster to say under his intense scrutiny.

He articulated each word with great force as he stepped into my space.  “How do you know he is coming here?  Or that he has a gun?  Or that he plans to hurt me?”

Just before any words could squeak their way out a red truck pulled up right beside us blocking any escape Quinn might have planned.  The truck came so close that even Stacie was unable to open her car door.  She squealed out the window demanding they move their truck.

“Well, well, well.  Look what we have here.  The Boss will be delighted to know that you both were waiting here patiently for us to arrive.”  The man’s voice was thick and taunting.  His long, black hair was pulled back into a tight pony-tail that hung slightly over his shoulder.  Quinn shuddered slightly as he turned to greet the man leaning from his pimped-up truck window.

“Evening, Mate” came Quinn’s strained welcome.  “We were just discussing Dean.  Is he with you?”

The man winked at Quinn and then pulled a small pistol up from his lap far enough that we could see.  “Dean was hoping you would join him tonight for a night cap.”  The sarcastic drip to his French voice sent shivers up my spine. 

Quinn must have sensed it because he instinctively pulled me close in behind him.  I leaned into his back and felt his strength and his courage roll over me like an ocean wave.

Quinn spoke in a hushed voice.  “Where would that be?”

“Once you and Cathie get into the truck then I will feel at liberty to share those details.”  Now his once smirking face morphed into a tight growl.  “So, get in!”

My mind was reeling.  How does he know my name when Quinn doesn’t?  ‘Lord I need help sorting all this out tonight.  Where are you?’

Then like a silent answer to my prayer came the words, ‘blue satchel’.  Immediately I dove into the trunk to retrieve it and was accosted by armed men that appeared out of the darkness like thieves.  Quinn jumped to protect me and was thumped on the back of the head with the butt of a gun.  I retreated with my hands in the air.

“Stop!  Wait!  I have a bag in the trunk for Dean.  It is blue.”  I gasped for a breath.  “It is the twenty-three Grand that Quinn still owes.”  Everybody froze in their position until the man at the truck window nodded for one of his men to grab the bag.

A tall, slender man on my right pushed me aside and retrieved the bag.  He cautiously opened the rope tied top and grinned from ear to ear as some money toppled out.  “Ohhh”, he said with a slight warble, “the Boss is going like this.”  Then he cinched it up tight and tossed it to the truck in one swift movement.

“Get in, Lovebirds!”  The pony-tailed man shouted and motioned towards the back door of the truck cab.

Quinn tightened everything and pulled me snug to his side again.  “No thanks, Mate.  Dean has his money now and I expect that means he'll be leaving me alone.  This isn’t a mob movie were in.”

My heart skipped a beat as the words rolled off his tongue without a hint of fear.  He has always been a gallant man.

Next I felt Quinn’s body pressed against mine as he took a step backwards, moving me along like his puppet.  He walked slow and precise until we were both on the sidewalk beside Stacie’s car.

He opened the door without taking his eyes off the man in the truck and then slid me into the car before he scooted in beside me.  Stacie’s car was still boxed in by the large red truck but Quinn directed her to start her engine anyway.  We all held our breath waiting for ‘Pony-tail’s’ next move.  Thankfully, the red truck revved loudly and sped off down the dark road.

There was a moment of stillness in the car until a small sniffle came from the front seat.  I reached over the seat back and hugged my sister to comfort her.

“Sorry”, she sniffled again, “I am really scared.”  Her sobs came stronger as her body rocked in my arms.

“It’s okay Stac, I’m really scared too.  Thank God no one was hurt.”  I fought back my own tears and turned my head slightly to be sure Quinn was still there.  He had been perfectly quiet since he crawled into the car behind me.  His eyes were misty and his face was ashen white.  Without a moment’s hesitation I released one of my arms from around Stacie and clasped Quinn’s hand in mine.

He turned his face away from me and stared out of the car window.  Finally Stacie started up the engine and slowly entered the flow of traffic away from the pub.  There wasn’t a single word spoken the whole way to my hotel.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chapter three, page one

Chapter Three

As we stepped off the curb to cross the street, I was flooded with fear.  The image of a red truck raised up on its axles came across my mind.  Then like a recorded message, played the words ‘get Quinn out’.  Wrenching my wrist from Stacie’s grip, I bolted back into the pub. 

It took me a few moments to locate him.  His smile was radiating against some skinny fake-blonde with way too much make-up and not enough clothing.  She was definitely not his type.  However she was being pulled in by his tractor beam smile and intoxicating accent.

“Quinn, sorry to interrupt,”  I offered my apology to both of them.  Then I lowered myself to his level.  “You need to come with me now.”

He blinked once and then again as he searched for words perhaps.  “Cherie, thank you but I am quite happy here.  Perhaps, you should rejoin ...”

Grabbing his wrist tightly I tried to pull him out of his chair.  “It isn’t safe for you here.  You must come with me.”  My eyes attempted to plead with him where my words failed.

He stood and I felt relieved for a moment until he turned to his ‘date’.  “Will you excuse me a moment.  I will be right back.”  His perfect tone and tenor made her bubble in her seat.  It wasn’t fair that he had the same effect on her.  She wasn’t his type – I was.

Quinn removed my grip from his wrist and clasped my hand tight in his.  Pulling me through the crowd, he made his way to the hallway of the washrooms.  He turned slowly to me with an odd expression on his face.  His eyes were downcast as he examined my hand that was interlaced with his.  He turned my hand over and studied each side of it.  The temperature in my hands rose from his attention and my heart swelled under his awareness of me.

“Cherie”, he spoke so soft I almost had to read his lips.  “You need to find your sister and let her take you to see a doctor.”

His words cut through me like a knife.  I snatched my hand from within his with lightening speed.  My eyes blurred with my own tears from his complete rejection. 

“Cherie, it is okay.  She will help you.”  He offered with a gentle and reassuring voice.

“My name is Cathie and I do not need a doctor.”  My intensity wore off quickly and I took a moment to gather my thoughts as I stared into his eyes, liquid with compassion.   A deep breath finally surfaced and I leaned into his ear.

“I know you don’t believe me.  I can’t truly explain it myself but please listen very carefully.  Dean is on his way here in his red truck.  He has a gun. ” I felt his shoulder stiffen beneath me.  “You may have no reason to believe me or trust me but I want to help you.”  I leaned back to my place and watched his eyes colour over in flecks of dark gold and his jaw muscle flex.

Once again he dug deep into my soul looking for answers.  “How do you know this stuff?”  His voice was soft and pensive.

“I don’t know.  I just do.”  I took his hand again and re-entered the chaos of the party scene.  We headed for the exit.  Once we were outside I saw Stacie leaning against her car hood across the street.  The rusty old car nearly looked sleek in the blackness of the night.  I could tell it was her as her angry eyes lit up the distance between us.

I pulled Quinn along behind me and she scowled even deeper and hung her head in disgust.  “He’s not coming home with you.”  She spoke through her hands that rubbed her eyes along the bridge of her nose.

“I know Stacie.  But can you pop the trunk for me?”

Her head shot up and her eyes scanned Quinn desperate for some answers.  I felt him shrug his shoulders behind me as I continued to drag him around the back of her four door car.  My fingers drummed on the rear hood as I impatiently hinted for her to comply.  In a noisy release of exasperation she popped open her trunk and then slid into the driver’s seat, closing the door behind her.

The blue satchel was right where I pictured it would be.  It was a nylon material that bulged out in so many different directions, ready to burst its contents.  When I reached for it there was a groan from my throat as it was heavier than I was prepared for.  

Quinn reached around me and pulled it closer to the edge of the trunk.  “What’s this Cherie?”  His accent dipped and swirled in his own curiosity.

“Cathie.”  It was upsetting me that he couldn’t get my name right.  “It is the money you need to pay back Dean.”

NEXT PAGE is here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chapter Two Page three

Stacie stood to her feet announcing, “That’s enough Cathie.  It is time to go.”

Then I saw him coming right towards us, just as I knew he would.  He parted the crowds of people like a synchronized act.  His handsome good looks took my breath for a moment.  His eyes were right on mine like we were alone in the room.  As he neared the table I couldn’t wait any longer and I jumped to my feet.  “He’s here!”  I proclaimed as I leapt from my spot into his personal space.

My movement was so quick I almost missed noticing how his eyes were not on me anymore.  Instead his eyes were expectantly scanning the room on past me.  Although, when I suddenly approached him, his eyes lit up with the flecks of gold that I love so much.  His hands were full of drinks so I smiled sweetly then swung my arms around his neck.

“You made it!  I missed you.”

“Hmm.  Well,” he stammered out. “That is a wonderfully special greeting.  I guess I missed you too, Cherie.”  His thick and drippy English accent rolled off his tongue right into the only soft corner of my heart.  Most of the time I am reserved and cautious but when he speaks to me I melt.  That one special place that is only reserved for him overpowers the rest and in his presence I am a new person.

I released him and offered to take one of the drinks from his hand.  Turning to place it on the table I was accosted by Stacie’s fired up green eyes.  They almost glowed with anger; or concern?  As we stood still with our eyes locked for a split second I could read from Stacie’s expression that she was not approving.
Through gritted teeth she spoke her anguish.  “What in the world are you doing?”

There seemed no need to address her infantile reactions so I sat down.  I turned towards him and inquired which drink was mine.  He stood speechless for a moment then with a look of uncertainty teased with a hint of intrigue he shrugged his shoulders.  “Well, Cherie, you may take whichever one you want.  I will trade it for the chance to join your table.  Then he motioned to Stacie, “Allo.  Choisi.”

Stacie gave him a nasty glare and then grabbing my wrist she announced loud enough for the neighbouring tables to turn, “Sorry.  We’re leaving.”  Her sarcasm was completely interpreted as rude.  Yet it didn’t seem to bother him in the least.  He just smiled his ‘knock-em-dead’ smile and shrugged.

I stood by the force of Stacie’s pull on my wrist.  Then, however I managed to stop her in her tracks.  “I am not leaving.  But you may.  You are being rude anyway.”  Then I gave her the ‘thanks-a-lot’ glare.  

She leaned towards me.  “What are you doing?  You don’t even know this man and you are all over him like a  ... a ...”.  As she scrambled for an appropriate word I flopped back into my chair mortified that she would act like this.  “Cathie!”  She said, gaining my attention.

My mind was grasping for an explanation.  Usually Stacie was the encouraging and supportive one.  She had even slipped into a routine of annoyingly so since Mitch’s passing.  Her words and actions seemed an impossible fit for my present circumstances.

“Cathie, this is dangerous behaviour.  You don’t know this man or anything he might do!”  She glanced quickly down at him and offered a weak apology. “Sorry, no offence.”

He chuckled and responded bravely.  “None taken.”  His mouth twisted into a sly smile as he watched our little dispute.

A fog had settled in my head and with all the commotion of people everywhere and the pounding music I felt the room begin to swivel.  Attempting to shake it off I asked Stacie to sit down so we could talk for a few minutes.

Once she was eye level with me I took her hand and held it from across the table.  “Stacie, I don’t understand why you are acting like this but please just listen to me.”  I motioned towards the breathtaking statuesque man beside me.  “This is Quinn.  You know him and so do I.”

Stacie’s mouth dropped open and her eyes scanned between the two of us.  As I was about to finish my statement I glanced at Quinn and saw the exact same look on his face. I did a double take ending with my eyes pouring over his facial confusion.

“How did you know my name, Cherie?”  Thankfully, his quirky smile and cocked head gave away his teasing.  At least, I hope he is teasing me.

A gentle slap to his arm on the table beside me made Stacie jump.  “You’re not helping the situation any, Dear.”  I said with a hesitant smile.  The emphasis on dear came out a little more sarcastic that I had planned.
For a brief moment my mind considered the ramifications of what was happening.  Suddenly I was feeling faint.  My sister, the dearest person in the world to me was looking at me like I‘d fallen off a cliff.  No, change that to jumped.  Then the look on Quinn’s face had me questioning everything.  Despite how I assumed he was joking with me his face did not completely testify to that.

“Alright you two,”  I spoke with a cautious jesting, “what are you up to?”  I leaned all the way back into my chair and crossed my arms over my chest.

Stacie looked at Quinn and he looked back at her.  After a moment of awkward silence she leaned over and asked me if I was feeling alright.  Her eyes were drowning in worry.  It was her look I knew way too well.  Even though I hadn’t seen her a lot since she moved overseas, I had become far too familiar with it as I grieved the loss of my husband.  How could she be giving me this look now?  Not now when I had Quinn in my life?

Just then Quinn rose to his feet and tried to politely excuse himself.  “Wait!”  I grabbed his wrist and pulled him back down to my level.  “Don’t go.”  His topaz eyes studied mine very closely for a moment.  His smile never left his face but it morphed a few times as he pondered his options.  Then in his perfect tone and drawl he asked, “Why should I stay, Cherie?

How odd to ask me that?  We’re in love, why wouldn’t he stay? “Well for the first reason I want to spend time with you.”  His smile deepened at my words.

“Then the second reason is I have been looking so forward to hearing how Anna is doing with her treatments.  And for the third reason I ...”.  I stopped there because both Stacie and Quinn leaned in closer to the table with looks of utter panic and confusion.  They watched me like I was an alien.

“What?”  I asked now very self-conscious.

“Who's Anna?”

Stacie’s response was right on top of Quinn’s question, “How do you know my sister?”

My first response was a smile thinking I was on Candid Camera; only Stacie had never been a good actor before and she was completely believable tonight.

“What is going on?”  I insisted.

Stacie barked back at me, “That is exactly what I want to know!”  Then we both managed to look over to Quinn, who had to wipe off his sexy smile for the first time this evening.

“Well, don’t look over to me for answers.  I just got molested by a beautiful woman so I decided to sit down.  Now I am really confused.”

Before he could sneak away I pulled him closer to me.  “So, you aren’t joking ... you don’t know me?”  The question feared me only for the answer I might receive.

His face softened and I could see inside his eyes to a depth of character that I had not recognized before.  “Non, Cherie.  I am sorry, but I have never met you before.”  Then he paused and it felt like he looked deeper into my soul.  He moved in another inch towards me and whispered, “At least I don’t think I have.  There is something very familiar in your eyes though.”

“Alright that’s enough.”  Stacie parted our precious moment of connection with her hands.  “I think it’s safe to say that Prince Charming can move along then.”

As Quinn slowly stood up I remembered what I needed to tell him.  “Oh before you go Quinn, I wanted to tell you that Dean will be at Anthony and Jane’s dinner party tomorrow.  So you may wa...”.

Quinn’s hand shot over to my chin and he lowered himself onto his haunches.  “What did you say about Dean?”

I stumbled for the right thoughts because it had come out so naturally I hardly knew what I had said.  “Well, I said that Dean will be at --“.

Quinn interrupted my sentence as his eyes shifted from fun and intriguing to frightening.  “How do you know Dean?  Do you work for him?”  He stood, grabbing my wrist so hard it pulled me up to standing.  “You can tell Dean that I won’t be played with any longer.  I will have his money by the end of next week.”  Then with one last flash of fury in his eyes poured out on me, he turned and walked away.

Stacie finally let her lungs take in a breath.  “What just happened?” Her voice shook with intensity.

“I don’t understand.”  My head shook from side to side in slow motion.  “He doesn’t remember me.”

“Cathie!  You do not know that man and you have never been here before.”  Stacie reached for her purse.  “I need to take you to the hospital I think.  Let’s go.”

Like a mannequin, she pulled me through the throngs of happy people out to the sidewalk.  I was so overwhelmed by my own feelings that she could have led me off the end of a pier and I wouldn’t have noticed.  Lord, I am so confused.  How is it that Quinn doesn’t know me?

NEXT PAGE is here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chapter Two, Page two

Soon the city lights began to flash before my eyes.  The beauty was unmistakable.  In fact, pictures stored in my head from movies or magazines did not do much justice.

Stacie drove me past many amazing sights as we made our way south through Paris.

At one point we passed an architecturally stunning building and the voice revisited me again.

I have a plan for you.

Instantly I could picture a hotel room with long rich drapes.  I was sprawled out across a massive duvet covered bed that was shadowed by mirrors along each wall.

“Stop Stacie.”

“What?”  She turned to me.  “Are you feeling ill?”

“No.  You passed my hotel.”  The words weren’t exactly mine.  I mean, they were but I had no idea of them until they tickled my lips.

Stacie slowed her car as her eyes fixated on me.  “Your ... what?” 

One of the most unusual sensations I can ever recall washed over me.  I felt strong and empowered.  It was not that Stacie’s disappointment meant nothing to me, only that I was convinced of my course of action.

“Sorry Stac.  I just figured I would get a hotel room.  You don’t mind too much do you?”

There was silence from the driver’s seat.

“The way I see it, I can do some sightseeing while you are working.  And besides, maybe you can stay in my room with me for a couple nights.  That is if Neale won’t mind?  Are you mad?”

Finally Stacie broke the silence.  “I’m not mad Cathie.  I-I am just shocked you didn’t mention it.”  She flicked her signal light on.  Moving her car over towards the curb, she spoke soft with hesitation.  “I just wish you would have told me.  Then I could have gotten you a room closer to me.”

There was nothing said after that until we were each out of the car. 

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay with us, Cathie.  Neale and I have been looking forward to your visit for so long.”

When I turned my head to see her face to face I was overwhelmed by the darkness in her eyes.  Their usual bright green glimmer was absent.

“Are you upset with me?  I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”  I said.

She lowered her eyes from mine.  “I’m not upset, just ... well I had hoped to make you supper tonight and visit with you some more.  But, I will have to wait till tomorrow, I guess.”

“Well, I don’t have to check into my hotel yet.  Let’s go find a place to grab a bite to eat and then you can bring me back here later.”  I swung around without waiting for her answer and loaded back into The Thing.
Stacie hesitated on the curb before following my lead.

She started the car up and slowly joined the flow of traffic.  We drove in silence around several blocks and then she turned her car along a boulevard with many night clubs and restaurants.

“Stop the car!” I said as my head rubber-necked to watch a brightly lit establishment fly past.
“What now, Cathie?” She blurted out in anger.

“Just stop the car please Stacie.  There is something I need to see.”  My enthusiasm was not mirrored in her expression.  The corners of her eyes tightened with a wrinkle.

I jumped out of the car as soon as she parked and began crossing the busy street.  “Come on Stacie.  Trust me.”

She had barely left the side of her vehicle by the time I crossed the street.  I eyed the line up of men and women waiting for a turn to enter the establishment.  My eyes followed the dark brick work of the building up to the neon sign above their heads.  It read La Soubrette Bleu in bold sapphire lights.

By now Stacie was reluctantly by my side.  “You aren’t serious, are you?”

“About what?”  I said as I grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her along behind me. 

We walked right past all the waiting people, right up to the thick stump of a man leaning on a bar stool at the doorway.  I could hear Stacie’s whispered pleading behind me.

“Bonne soir, Monsieur.”  I greeted the man.

He eyed me up and down for a second.  “Oui.”  He motioned with his head for us to enter through the double wooden doors.

As the door swung heavily towards me, I was accosted by the smell of smoke, the hypnotically flashing lights and the pounding of Jazz music echoing in my chest.  It felt invigorating.

Stacie pulled back on my hand but I didn’t allow her to deter me.  I knew I was in the right place.  Now all I needed was a seat for us while we waited.

“Tell me again why we are here, Cath?”  Stacie let the words stumble out of the corner of her mouth while scanning the joint for all the exits.

“Lighten up a little.  He should be here soon.”  The music was speaking to me and I couldn’t stay still on my seat.  My eyes were scanning the room like Stacie’s, but I wasn’t looking for a way out.  I was looking for him.

Stacie touched my hand that was pounding out a beat.  “Did you just say ‘he’ will be here soon?”

I looked over to her long enough to assess the lines on her face as worry.  Since Mitch’s death three years ago she had been trying to get me to go out and experience life.  Now she is trying to shut it down.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Writing dilemma

I have encountered a dilemma.  It is one of those writing moments as an author where you say 'lets see where this takes us.'  A moment in the story where you have not anticipated the cost of writing a certain scene yet.

So, what's the big deal you ask?

There is a moment in the coming page that I am not sure if I should reveal a certain detail or keep if from you, the reader, a little longer.  If I was just writing this on my laptop in the secrets confines of my home, I could write it a certain way and than see how it works out further along in the plot.

However I am not writing this in secret.  So, I have to decide if a certain scene gives away too much information or not.  I presume it is best in this scenario to err on the side of caution.

Tis better to omit, than wish you had but didn't.  (Or something like that)

So, I shall leave the information out and hope that you can follow without taking a huge leap.  Please feel free to comment if you find yourselves wondering how you (or the characters) got here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chapter Two page One

Chapter Two

The fading sun gave the French countryside a vibrant glow.  Soon we'd reach the city which would come alive with a night life I have only read about.  My bland and predictable life back in Quebec would not fit in here, even if I can speak their language.

Stacie directed me down a row of vehicles of various sizes and colours.  There were many shiny and tailored cars and smooth and shapely SUVs.  Planted deep within the eye candies, was Stacie’s car.  I had seen pictures and heard stories of this car.  I knew it was hers before she motioned me towards it.  The four door car had earned a name from Neale and Stacie.  The Thing.

There was a trail of rust holding up the bottom strip of the car beneath the door frames.  It contrasted nicely with the odd mint green colour.  I am sure that in its day, The Thing, was a sight to behold.  In fact, lined up with the beautiful vehicles in the parking lot, it still is a sight to behold.

Stacie unlocked her door and reached under her steering wheel to pop the trunk.  I remembered her story of how the lock on the trunk door ate her car key.  If I know my sister, the tiny remnant of that key is still wedged inside the lock.

As I approached the trunk to toss my suitcase in I braced myself for the scene I would find.  Stacie, bless her heart, never had a clean car a day in her life.  Unlike mine, that I was proud to admit you could eat a picnic off.  When I heaved the suitcase up in the air I nearly lost my grip on it.  The trunk was spotless.

“Stacie?  What happened here?”

“Oh stop your fussing.  Just put your suitcase on top of all the junk.  I promise it won’t get eaten.”  She started up her car and flipped her radio on.

“No Stac.  You haven’t seen this?”

“Seen what?”

I leaned around the side of the trunk to the driver’s side.  “Words cannot fully express.”

She huffed as her door creaked open.  Her heavy footsteps made their way to the rear of the car.  “Don’t tease me about my mess.”  Then her eyes froze in a wide-eyed stare as she saw the immaculate trunk.  “You can’t blame me for that.”  Her high pitch voice burst into a laugh as it finished.  “That must have been Neale.”

“That much I know to be true.”  I laughed back.

I dropped my matching red suitcase and carry-on bag into the empty trunk.  As I moved to close the trunk I nearly hit Stacie who still stood gaping at the pristine view. 

“Enough already.  You can give Mr. Amazing a sloppy kiss for all his hard work as soon as we get there.”  I shoved her back an inch and made my first attempt to close the hood of the trunk.  From Stacie’s vibrant stories on the phone, I knew it might take me several tries.  It did.

Stacie and I giggled over her car tales as she manoeuvred her way out of airport parking and joined the busy traffic flow heading into the city.  Neale and Stacie settled in a small, modest home in the south portion of Paris.  The house is located only a short walk from the Hospital Saint Michel in the 15th arrondissement.

“Our drive will be about an hour, so you can put your seat back and rest, Cathie.” 


“Because you are tired?”
For a moment I couldn’t fathom why she would think that.  Then the reality of the last twenty-four hours flooded my mind.  “I guess I should be.”  I leaned against my passenger window to watch the lights of Paris inch closer to me.  “However, you only see Paris for the first time once right?”

“Maybe you should close your eyes now and we can see it for the first time tomorrow.” 

I shook my head with determination.  “Not a chance.  You are driving me right through the centre of it tonight.  I have waited too long for this, Sis.”

Stacie let out an agreeable huff of air and a nod.  “You are the bossy older sister, after all.”

The time went by quickly as Stacie rattled on about all the plans she has for me over the next ten days.  It made me tired thinking about it all, but I knew we would cherish every moment we could together.  

When Stacie met Neale at a Youth For Christ missions conference five years ago, I said a tiny prayer.  ‘Lord please don’t let him take her from me.’

However Mitch and I were so happy and lost in each other I hardly let the words rest.  After Stacie married Neal and moved overseas to his home, I felt the tinge of fear and sadness return.  Yet, how could I deny her the happiness I experienced with Mitch.  Besides my sister’s adventurist spirit needed an outlet.  Our home town lacked inspiration and intrigue.  I had always known Stacie would end up somewhere exciting.  I guess the Lord knew that too.

So it wasn’t until Mitch’s death three years ago that I fully became aware of the hole Stacie left in my heart by leaving.  I do not blame Neale for taking her from me.  Or God, for that matter.  I only wish I had half of her sense of adventure.  If there ever is another man in my life he will have a horrendous time even changing the brand of dishwasher detergent I buy.  

Check out the next page here.

I'm still here

Just in case you thought I forgot about you or that maybe I fell down a deep well, I am here to say ... I am here.

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster for me.  Sorry to leave you out of it all.  Aside from having the worst flu I can remember ever having, I had two new stories come.

Let me tell you it is very hard to write one story when your head is conjuring up another.  And another.

So I have put the characters Susanna and Zane (new story) to rest for now.  As well as storing Janine and Becky's story in a word document on my laptop.  (More on them later!!!)  Now I can get you and I back on track with Cathie and her sister Stacie, somewhere in a French Airport.

I should have it posted by the end of today.  Currently I am researching the landscape/ driving pathways of Paris.  It is hard to be exact about somewhere I have never been.

Check back soon!

Anyone been to Paris??  Help!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chapter One Page three

With renewed vigour, I walked through the crowded hall towards the baggage claim.  I recognized my sister, Stacie from a long way off.  She had propped herself up against a trash bin.  Stacie’s petite frame was raised up on her tiptoes as her eyes scanned the hallway with intensity.  An image of her and her new husband decked out in their Sunday attire sitting on my living room couch flooded my thoughts.  Has it really been three years since I’ve seen her last?  That won’t win me the ‘best sister’ award.  Thankfully her gracious heart knows how much I love her.  Even though I am certain her quick tongue will take every opportunity to lash me over it.

She continued to search the people even though I was walking right towards her.  I gave a small and indiscreet wave but she was unmoved by it.  Her eyes darted from one weary traveller to another.

As I approached within a couple steps she still hadn’t made the connection.  “Stacie.”  I called out.

Her eyes popped in surprise as she zoomed in on me.  “Wha... Cathie?  What happened to you?”

“Happened?  Nothing.”  I said as my hand rose to smooth my dangling locks. 

It was a tossup which facial feature opened the widest – her eyes or her mouth?  She stuttered through an awkward hug.  “Wow.  Hi Sis.” 

When she released me she kept a few of my long curls in her hand still.  “Your... your hair is down?”
I released my hold on her.  “Yes, it is.  Do I look that bad?”

“No,” she said.  “You know I love your hair.  It never felt fair you got the Runway model hair and then shoved it mercilessly in a ponytail.  Me?  I got the stiff, straight, paper thin mess and have never had the smarts to put it in a ponytail.”  She giggled and then hugged me again.

I have missed her pointed, yet encouraging words.  For all the doubts I am toting around about why I am here, there is one loud and resounding answer.  Stacie.

Then I heard it again in my heart.  I have a plan for you.  I paused a moment to consider where it came from.  Stacie rambled on and on about her new job she started last week.  My ears heard her, yet my heart did not.

Is that you God?  Are you speaking to me?  I haven’t heard Your voice for years.  I thought  You left me the same time that Mitch did.   My head knew it didn’t make sense that God would abandon me, but I couldn’t feel his presence.  Only His silence.

Stacie nudged me hard in the ribs.  “You are tired then.  I don’t think you’ve heard a word I said.”  She laughed sweetly.  “Are you going to wait until that red suitcase makes a few laps before you grab it off the carousel?”

As she spoke I saw the back end of my suitcase travelling farther from me.  Thankfully it will return to me – unlike other things that I thought were mine.

I turned to Stacie and saw the concern dripping from her green eyes.  “I’m a little tired I guess, but I really was listening.”

“Yah?  What did I say?”  Stacie asked.

She always calls me on my attempts to be misleading.  “Um... you were telling me about your new job.”

“I will give you a half point for that one.  But if you weren’t the waking dead I would expect more details than that.”  She turned to her left and mumbled loud enough for me to hear.  “I think the guy on the bench knew that much about our conversation.”

After a minute or two without conversation I felt the nudge in my side again.  It jolted me to my senses.  “Hey!”  I said as I returned to inflict a painful retort to Stacie.  I saw my red suitcase as it rounded the corner and made its approach to me.

By the time I retrieved and readied my suitcase to roll through the airport, Stacie had begun her monologue again.  This time, I caught a few more words from her.  Hungry.  Long drive.  Neale is happy to see me.  
Stacie’s husband, Neale, is a native of France.  He is one of the gentlest giants I had ever met.  His voice is soft and his touch is even softer.  Behaviourally, he is not your typical French man. Physically, he represents that dark, strong figure that embraces the cover of many French romance novels.  He is perfect for Stacie, even if he hides her from sight when he wraps his arms around her.  There is one thing I have appreciated about him more than anything else.  It is his ability to temper Stacie’s bravado.

As Stacie and I stepped out the sliding doors of the De Gauille Airport I inhaled a surprising sense of freedom.  Somehow, the air that entered my lungs felt unlike any other breathe I could ever remember taking.  It was unmistakable how the smell of vehicle exhaust marbled with a surge of anticipation.

Maybe it was a good idea to come here. 

Suddenly the words of my bathroom buddy came back to me.  ‘You never know who God plans on you meeting.’  As the thought took root, I fluffed my hair one last time.

My sister and I strolled to the automobile parking lots, both smiling and looking forward to the next week.  Even if for different reasons.

Check out Chapter Two, page one here.