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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a little late, but here's chapter three!


                                            Let me know what you think of the new story!!












Chapter Three

Janna moved around the kitchen of the restaurant, going through the motions of shutting it down for the night. She was irritated. Get that man out of your mind, Janna.

Tilly, her chubby, red-headed best friend, and only waitress, came into the room and frowned. “What’s wrong, girl?”

Janna pulled her shoulders back, looked up into the concerned face of her friend and said, “Nothing, why do you ask?”

“You’ve been scrubbing that stove like you’re trying to kill it. News-flash, it’s already dead.” She laughed and swatted Janna with the dish towel she pulled from her round shoulder. “Now tell me what’s up.”

“Nothing, Tilly.” She ducked her head in shame at the lie.

“Really? Don’t play me like that Janna. I know you well enough to know when something’s eating you.”

She huffed, pouted out her full red lips and looked up. “It’s just that man…”

“Ah-ha! I knew it,” Tilly said.

“See, that’s why I didn’t want to say anything.” Janna clamped her mouth shut and pursed her lips.

Tilly held her hands up. “I’m sorry, I was just teasing. He looked yummy. He sure was checking you out.”

“He was not!”

“Yes he was. I’m surprised the back of your shirt didn’t turn the color of his eyes.” She giggled and swiped at the already gleaming silver counter.

Janna looked at her friend. “Was he really looking at me?”

“Uh…yes. How could you not know that?”

“If he was staring at my back how could I see him?”

“I can always feel someone staring at me.” Tilly walked out and flopped down on one of the bar stools. “You should ask him out.”

Janna’s mouth fell open as she followed. “I should not.”

“Why not? You’ve been here for almost five years and never been on a date.”

“I don’t date, you know that.”

Tilly softened her voice. “You can’t go through life avoiding all men because of one bad episode. Now I don’t mean to sound callous, but it’s true.”

Janna sat down beside her. “I have to. Every time I think about accepting a date, I get all freaked-out. Remember what happened with Johnny Lee?”

“Yeah, but this guy’s different. I can tell and I didn’t even talk to him.”

“Why, because he’s so good looking?” Janna smirked.

“No…I don’t know what it is about him, I just have a feeling.”  

Janna threw her head back and laughed. “You mean the way you did with Harold Whitmore?”

Tilly gave her a mock-angry look, and then burst out laughing, too. “That’s not fair. You know my receptors were getting interference from all that was going on at the time.”

Janna laughed even harder. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say, and that’s saying a lot.”

It was Tilly’s turn to pout. “It’s true though. Something just tells me this one’s different.”

“I don’t know, Til. I get that feeling too, and that’s just weird. Maybe it’s his dog.”

“Yeah, it was a cute beast.”

“Beast? He was the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen.” A smile curved her lips and lit her amber eyes.

“Oh no…don’t tell me you’ve got a crush on the dog, too.” Tilly giggled again, her green eyes dancing.

“I don’t have a crush on anyone.” But she did, and the lie cut through her like a laser beam. “Well, maybe the dog…” She laughed and got up from the stool. “Come on. Let’s get this done and go home. I want to take a hot bath and soak my cares away.”

“Yeah, me too, but I have to go home and take care of Jessie first. His dad brought him back a day early because he cried all day yesterday.”

Janna’s eyes filled with tenderness for the little red-haired, gray-eyed boy. “Why did he cry for you?”

“I don’t think he likes Andy’s new girlfriend. He told me she’s mean to him when his dad’s out of the room.”

Anger swept through Janna. “I better not ever catch her or…”

“Calm down Jan. I got this. I texted him after I found out last night and told him I wanted to talk to him. We can either hash it out as adults, or we can go to court. It’s up to him.”

“Still…”

Tilly laughed. “I love you, girl, you know that, don’t you? I couldn’t find another friend as loyal as you.”

Janna thought on it for a second, said, “That’s right,” and rushed over to hug Tilly. “If it weren’t for you, I think I really would’ve gone crazy. I still believe God sent me here because of you.”

“That may very well be. Whatever the reason, I’m glad.”

“Me too.”

They walked out of the restaurant arm in arm.

Tilly went to her blue SUV and Janna to her little red compact.

Janna felt for her keys in her apron pocket and unlocked her car.

Tilly was doing the same. “You want me here the same time tomorrow?”

“Yeah, but maybe a little earlier. I want to try a new recipe so if you don’t mind I’ll have you peel the potatoes.” She gave Tilly a mischievous look.

“You just don’t want to peel the spuds. Admit it.” Tilly hopped into her SUV, started it and waited for Janna to get in her car.

Janna laughed. “I admit that’s part of it, but I do want to try the new recipe.”

“I’ll peel them for you, but you’ll owe me,” Tilly yelled, trying to be heard over her running motor.

“What will it cost me?” She loved the banter with her best and only friend. It felt good to share part of her life with somebody.

How about you watch Jessie this weekend coming,” Tilly yelled.

“You got it.”

Janna started her car and pulled out of the lot, the same way she had every day for the last four years.

She didn’t see the dark-haired man parked down the tree-lined street pull out in traffic behind her.

She turned on the CD player and sang along with the popular song, in good spirits for once in a very long time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chapter Two...

                                              Storm clouds above my house yesterday...








                                        

 
Chapter Two
“Wilson, why didn’t you tell me how beautiful your sister was, or that she owned a restaurant, for Pete’s sakes?” Jedidiah held the phone up to his ear with one hand while he poured juice into a tall glass with the other, returned it to the fridge and nudged the door shut with a leg before walking out to the patio where he had a steak on the grill that sizzled and smoked, causing his mouth to water. He plopped into one of the cushioned chairs and grinned in laziness.
“I didn’t think it mattered what she did for a living, or what she looked like for that matter. She’s a job, Jedidiah, and that’s it.” There was a barely concealed warning in his words.
“That’s why I’m asking you why you didn’t tell me. You know I can’t resist a beautiful woman, especially one who has her head on straight.”
“She’s been hurt, and I don’t want it to happen again. Please don’t make me regret my choice in you.” Wilson’s tone had turned frigid much like his sister’s had at the mention of her beauty earlier that morning.
Jedidiah couldn’t help wondering what had happened, and who had been dumb enough to hurt her. “I will protect her, Wilson. You know I’m good at my job. Are you going to tell me why she needs protection?”
“Five years ago she was living in the city. One of the guys in her apartment building walked out on the roof one night and saw her, and heard her singing. He told police he thought she was an angel and couldn’t help getting a closer look. He was hyped up on drugs, and he attacked her, Jedidiah.”
“What did he do?”
“Man, don’t ask that question.”
“I’m sorry.” He rubbed a hand across his bristly face. “Okay, not trying to be rude or callous, but why does she need a bodyguard? You said it was imperative I get here before tomorrow.”
“His lawyer appealed the case and they’re letting him out because of some technicality, some mistake they made during prosecution. His release date is set for tomorrow and he said during sentencing if he got out he was coming back for round two.”
“Why would they let him out then?” Anger sprung up from Jedidiah’s gut at the injustice of the world.
Wilson’s voice turned husky. “I don’t know, and she doesn’t know about it yet.”
“What? You have to tell her.”
“I tried, but couldn’t. It’s bad enough I was deployed, I couldn’t dump that on her too.”
“I see why you needed me then.” He rubbed a hand across his evening stubble again ad sighed.
“I would’ve needed you whether she knew, or not. As I said, he said he would come back for round two if he got out.”
“Do you think he will?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t want to take any chances, and that’s why I called you.”
“Why did you choose me?”
“I trust you man. You stood beside me in ’08 when everybody else high-tailed it out of there.”
“I was doing my job, Wilson. I didn’t even know you.”
“That’s the point.”
“I won’t take your money, man. You have enough on your plate.”
“Yes you will. You have to get paid to do your job.”
Jedidiah didn’t bother telling him he didn’t need the money. He would just send the checks back. “She was scared to death of Hairy.” He laughed at the remembrance of her cowering against the glass door of the restaurant, until he remembered what Wilson had told him. No wonder she was freaked out. Resolve washed through him. “I will protect her with my life, and if that scumbag comes near her he’ll go right back to prison. Send me his info and some photos so I can prepare.”
“Go to my apartment and get in the second drawer in the kitchen. Everything you need to know is in the yellow envelope. I left a key for you under the wheel well of my car. It’s the black one right in front of the door.”
“I’ll go over as soon as Hairy and I devour the steak cooking on my grill.” He looked over at the beast in question, who had drool dripping from his powerful jaws.
“Okay, I have to go. I’ll check in tomorrow.”
“Okay, talk to you then.” Jedidiah sat the phone down on the table beside him and got up to take his steak from the grill, Hairy hot on his heels.
“You can wait your turn, Hairy. After me you come first.”
Hairy whined, seeming to know what his master was saying.
“That’s right.” Jedidiah cut the thick, juicy steak with a knife and threw a piece down to his faithful partner. Yep, he would guard the beautiful woman with his life, and Hairy would help him.
“Hairy, I don’t know how we’re going to guard her without her finding out, unless I pretend personal interest in her.” He looked down at the dog, and he turned his head as if waiting for him to go on. “Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t be pretending. She’s beautiful, sassy, and obviously strong. What more could a guy want in a woman?”
The dog whined and blinked his eyes.
“Yeah, that was my thought too.” He threw the dog another piece of meat, finished the last bite and took his plate into the kitchen. He needed to get to Wilson’s apartment before it got too late.
Jedidiah used the key Wilson left him and walked down the small hallway, and stopped to survey the first room. It was just like Wilson; clean, compact, and practical. There weren’t any geegaw type things; just a table, four chairs and a china cabinet that contained an inexpensive set of dishes. The living room boasted a cheap dark brown couch, love seat, and chair with equally cheap tables and lamps. He grinned. Wilson was a man after his own heart; no frills, no mess, just essentials.
He walked into the kitchen. The counters were bare. He opened the refrigerator and grinned again. Empty, too. He’d been smart enough not to leave anything to spoil.
“Okay, Jedidiah, get on with it.” He opened the second drawer and pulled out the envelope, opened it, and the first thing to fall out was a picture of the attacker. He shook his head. “He looks like a normal guy.” His hair was cut and styled and he smiled at whoever held the camera. He shoved it back in and pulled out some more papers that looked like trial transcripts. He slid them back in and pushed the silver wings of the clasp back out, slipped the envelope under his arm and left the apartment. I’ll look at them at home and let Hairy get a good look, too.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I know I haven't been here in a while. Life has a way of detouring our intentions..











I will be posting once a week for a while to see how it goes. Hopefully it won't take up too much time and I can continue to share some of my stories. :)

The name of the story is Janna's Run and I hope you enjoy it. Make sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!
                                                                   
Chapter One
Janna James took a breath of fresh air deep into her lungs, increased her speed, pumping her arms all the way. Almost there.

Her heart pounded in her ears causing them to roar in protest. She willed her feet to move quicker, and they did.

She could see the restaurant up ahead. “Dear Lord, please let me make it.” The words came from the very depths of her being. She had to get there.

She was on the parking lot now, “I will make it,” She said out loud.

She was in front of the door now. She could see people inside enjoying their lunch. She reached her arm out and felt the hot metal of the door handle. “Please, Lord.” She started to pull it open, only to be knocked from her feet by the great beast. “Help me!” She screamed.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a figure stood over her, holding something in its hand. “Give me your hand,” it demanded.

She shrank back, scooting up against the scorching glass of the door. “Go away. Leave me alone.” She tried to focus but the sweat and tears in her eyes impeded her task.

“I’m not going to hurt you, and neither is Hairy,” the voice said.

She squeezed her eyes shut and then opened them again. A man stood above her with a quirky grin on his handsome face. The sun haloed around his head, making him look like an angel. “Who are you?”

“My name’s Jessie and this is Hairy.” He dipped his head toward a furry German shepherd.

Janna struggled to sit up, still using the door as a prop. “I haven’t seen you around here before.”

“That’s because I just moved here.” He gave her the hundred watt grin once more and her insides began to melt.

Oh no, I can’t let that happen, she thought. Janna moved around until she got on all fours and boosted herself up on her feet. She brushed her hands against dark gray sweats, squeezed one eye closed and held out her hand. “I’m Janna James. I own this restaurant.” She nodded to the building behind her.

Surprise lit his features. “You do?”

Irritation sped through her. Why was that always people’s first reaction? And this guy didn’t know her in the first place so who was he to judge her? “I do. Why do you find that so hard to believe?” Her warm tone had turned to ice.

The man gave her a look she couldn’t define. “I would’ve thought you were a model.”

Her mouth fell open. He was kidding, right? “Seriously?” The word was derisive, not questioning.

“Yes, seriously.” He took her hand in his warm grip, pumped it a couple times and let it go. “I’m Jedidiah Crane.”

Shock waves of electricity shot up her arm and she subconsciously rubbed it as she examined his features. Black, curly hair lay on the edge of his collar, looking soft as silk. Her eyes traveled upward and deep blue eyes smiled at her in amusement. He knew she was checking him out! Her face turned red. “Well, I’m not a model.” Her words conveyed her disgust.

“I wasn’t trying to offend you.” He tied the dogs leash to the bike rack and followed her in the door of the restaurant. “You’re very beautiful.”

His simple words caused her heart to drop to her feet and shoot back up into her chest where it pounded with the force of a ten pound hammer. “Does that line work with all the gals?”

“I don’t say it to all the gals, but I suppose it probably would.

There was that quirky grin again.

He had a small dimple at the right corner of his lips and it softened his otherwise harsh features. He was handsome, but not in a boyish way, except for that blasted dimple.

                                                           ***

“Are you finished now?” He plopped on one of the red, vinyl-covered stools at the counter and watched as she moved behind it. She got a glass, set it under the soda machine and pulled the ice lever before filling it with water. She took a long sip and it was Jedidiah’s turn to swallow and calm his pounding heart. He was amazed she didn’t know she was beautiful. Immediately the song sung by a popular country singer ran through his mind and he laughed again.  He was going to like this town. “So what’s the special for today, or do you have one?”

“Chicken and dumplings with two sides, a salad, and a drink.” She finished the water and walked into the kitchen.

He watched her go. Being in this one-horse town had just taken a turn for the better. When she came back he grinned and said, “Aren’t you going to ask what brings me to this rinky-dink town?”

She shrugged one delicate shoulder and returned with, “Nah, was I supposed to?”

Yes, he was going to love it here. She had spunk, and was nothing like her brother had portrayed her. Was the man blind? He planned to call him as soon as he was done and ask that very question. “It doesn’t matter really, that’s just what most people would say.”

It was her turn to grin. “Well, I’m not most people, which you’ll find out soon enough if you stay in this little ‘rinky-dink’ town.” She waltzed back into the kitchen and didn’t return.

He ate the meal he’d ordered from the heavy-set, red-headed waitress, took one last swig of his soda and walked out the door whistling Dixie, the bell over the door tinkling his departure.