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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chapter Fourteen


I actually managed to get two weeks in a row! I'm on a roll! Let me know what you think. :)

                         Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!





  



 



Chapter Fourteen ~


Jedidiah returned to his seat and grabbed a piece of the pepperoni pizza. He bit into it and chewed, groaning in pleasure. “Whoa, this is good. I’ll have to make sure I save a piece for Hairy.”

“Yeah, he’ll like that,” Janna answered. Her attention was on the small child chewing on his own slice of pizza.

She says there is a ‘we.’ His heart beat a wild tattoo against his ribs. Slow down Jedidiah…it’s just a woman, for goodness sakes.

The persistent sound of a kitten meowing caught Jed’s attention. Snow White was still in his pocket. He’d forgotten about her. He put his slice of pizza on the edge of the box, wiped his hand on a napkin and stuck his hand inside against her warm fur. She nuzzled against his thumb and he could feel her trying to suckle. His heart went all wishy-washy. He shook his head in denial. No, he was not soft, ugh.

He looked up. Janna hadn’t heard it. He decided to surprise her. Most women loved kittens, and she already had a cat so it had to be a winner. “You want another piece of pizza?”

“Yeah sure.” She put her hand out, her attention still on the little boy in the metal bed.

Jedidiah pulled the kitten out and laid it gingerly in Janna’s hand. “There you go.” He could feel the huge grin spread across his face. Wow, I really am getting sappy.

Janna jerked her eyes from the small boy to her hand. She squealed in delight. “Oh, it’s so cute… name?”

“I’ve deemed her Snow White.”

“Where did you get her?”

“I found her in your bushes when I went back to gather you some clothes. She was crying in such a pitiful way. I couldn’t just leave her.”

“I understand. The name’s perfect. So you’re planning to keep her?” Janna’s eyes had turned soft, and he thought he detected a look of respect in them.

“Honestly, I think so. I mean, I don’t usually like cats, but she kind of chose me, you know?” The fierce loyalty that sped through him at the thought of letting the kitten go surprised him. He hadn’t felt this way since….well, since Hairy.

“Perfect. She will get along great with my cat.”

Jedidiah snorted. “Like oil and water…”

She shot him a playful, mad look. “What are you trying to say? You don’t think a big cat can get along with a kitten?”

“I’m saying your monster came from the pits of hell.” He kept all expression from his face as he rubbed the claw marks on the sides of his head. It had its desired effect. She burst out laughing.

“You’re too funny.” She lay the kitten across her chest and began to pet it. It continued to mew, beginning to sound frantic. “I think she’s hungry.”

“What do I feed her?”

“I don’t know. She doesn’t look very old. I’m going to guess you should get some kitten formula from the store.”

“Really? You mean I can’t just smash up some dog food for her?”

Janna’s facial expression was priceless.  “No!”

“Okay, okay.” He held up his hands in self-defense. “I was only kidding, geez.”

She laughed. “That’s comforting then. You know you can’t keep her here at the hospital don’t you?”

“Yeah, I figured that. My house got totaled so I’ll have to rent a motel room.” He stood up and took the kitten, depositing it back into his pocket.

Janna said, “You know, we could all stay at my place…” Her words were slow. Tentative.

His heart raced, but he kept his cool. “Really?”

“Yeah. I mean, it makes sense doesn’t it? I mean, you have to guard me anyway, and you don’t have anywhere to go…”

She sounded flustered now. He grinned. She really did like him!

“But I just went and got clothes from your place.” He had to play hard to get so she wouldn’t see how eager her suggestion made him.

“So you can take them back. I would feel so much more comfortable, and safe, at my house.”

He pretended to consider it for another moment, and then slowly shook his head up and down. “Yeah, I guess that does make sense.” He rubbed his stubbled chin with one hand while rubbing the tiny kitten with the other. “Well, I’ll stop and get some kitten formula and head on over. I noticed a guest room. Do you mind if I shower?”

“Not at all. Make yourself at home.” Her cheeks turned red and he grinned.

Jedidiah glanced over to Jessie’s bed. He was out again; probably the sedative kicking back in. That was a good thing. It gave Janna time to come to terms with what happened before she had to deal with the orphaned boy. “Okay, I’ll be back later on. If you’re sure I can stay at your place I’ll leave Hairy there.”

“That’ll be fine. Jedidiah?”

He was already on his way out the door when she almost whispered his name. He turned and said, “Yes?”

“How are you going to take a shower if there’s no electric?”

He laughed. “Don’t worry about that.  I’m used to taking cold showers.”

Her face turned beet red once more and he laughed, strode out the door and down the hallway of the hospital with a definite purpose in mind. This just keeps getting better and better. It would be so much easier to keep an eye on her if he was at her house. He shrugged. If it made it easier to get to know her on a more personal level, where was the bad in that?

 

An hour later, Snow White fed and Hairy taken care of, Jedidiah went through the rubble of what was left of his house. Lucky for him he hadn’t been all moved in yet. Most of his stuff remained in a storage facility. But there were a few things he needed to grab if he could, like his laptop and his packet on this case.

Being around his own belongings was bringing him back down to earth where he belonged. Was it wise getting involved with a client? Probably not. Was he going to refrain? Again, probably not. There was just something about Janna. She was all strong female, yet strangely helpless. He couldn’t put his finger on what attracted him to her, all he knew was he was.

Her tiny facial features swam before his mind’s eye and he sighed. She was so sweet-looking. “Okay Jedidiah, stop it already. Let’s get these papers and get out of here.” He shook his head at the ridiculousness of talking to himself.

He looked around in embarrassment to see if anyone in the vicinity was watching him. There was no one else around. Everyone had apparently called it a day. He knew he should too, but he wanted to find that packet. There was a picture of Janna in it he wanted to save. It had been his first glimpse at his new client, and he’d known even then this would be different.

“Whatever dude, you’re just being stupid.” He jumped to his feet, getting ready to turn and leave when the yellow-colored envelope caught his eye sticking from the tip of a piece of tiled roof. He moved to the other side of the house and grabbed the packet with gentle fingers. He had another envelope containing information on her whole court case and the maniac who’d attacked her, but to him, this one was more important. He opened it and pulled the glossy eight by ten halfway out and smiled, a feeling of euphoria dropping all the way to his toes. He had it bad.

All right, back to her house to take a shower before heading to the hospital. He couldn’t wait to see her. He had a spring in his step and a smile on his face as he returned to his car.

Janna lay in bed, restless. She wasn’t sick enough to be in here. They’d only kept her because of Jessie. Her eyes traveled to where he lay. How was she going to manage all this? She was torn between feeling the satisfaction of having her best friend believe she was the right person to take care of her child, and the terror of actually doing so. How could she face that little boy when he woke up and realized it hadn’t all been a bad dream, but a reality that would never go away?

“Dear Lord, how will I get through this?” She said aloud.

At that moment Jedidiah Crane came through the door.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Here's the long -awaited chapter thirteen of Janna's Run.



Please let me know what you think. A little feedback would let me know if you like the story. :)


                         Hope you enjoy these pictures taken when I lived in Utah!!









                        This is still one of the most beautiful pictures I ever took.


 

Chapter Thirteen

 

Jedidiah buried his free hand in Hairy’s fur. “I’m losing it, big guy.”

Hairy turned is head, giving him the ‘I feel for you’ look.

“I’ve never been this distracted by a woman before. I can’t let how I feel get in the way of keeping her safe. Her attacker is on his way here.”

Hairy moved closer and laid his wet, furry face on Jedidiah’s arm.

“Aww…I’m glad to see you still love me, even after you’ve spent so much time in the car the last few days.”

Hairy whimpered and rubbed his face against Jedidiah’s arm once more.

The flurry of activity along the street caught Jedidiah’s attention. There were crews cutting trees, working on power lines, and some were doing clean-up.

He pulled into Janna’s driveway and turned off the engine. “Okay boy, let’s get Janna some clothes. We’re probably going to have to make a secret escape as soon as that character gets into town.”

Jedidiah held the door open and Hairy jumped out, moving stealthily up the semi-covered walk. Bushes had been strewn all over the area and Hairy stopped to sniff in several different places. About two feet up the walk he stiffened, sat up and gave his version of a grim look. If Jedidiah hadn’t been so on edge he might’ve laughed because the drool dripping from the right corner of his mouth detracted from the desired effect.

“What is it boy?” He walked up to peer into the bushes where Hairy had been sniffing. This time, Jedidiah did laugh. A small white kitten with huge blue eyes stared up at him. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little kitten, Buddy.”

At the tone of Jedidiah’s voice Hairy stood up and cautiously walked over and sniffed at the kitten once more. It mewed and rubbed against Hairy’s head. He jumped back like he’d been bitten and Jedidiah chuckled in delight. He reached down, picked it up and snuggled it into the pocket of his hoodie. It continued to meow for a moment, but then settled against the hand he laid inside the pocket for its comfort.

Hairy looked up at him. “I know, I know. I’m just a big ole softy. If you don’t tell anybody, I won’t either.” He laughed under his breath and let himself into Janna’s house. He went straight to the bedroom and chose some outfits, under things, and toiletries. He was going on the stuff at the front of her dresser drawers and the items sitting out on her bathroom counter being the stuff she normally used. He opened her closet, spied a pink and black duffle bag and shoved everything inside and zipped it up.

Hairy came into the room whining in a low pitch.

“What’s wrong, Boy? Did you run across that monster cat?”

Hair nuzzled up against the pocket of his sweatshirt and moaned.

Jedidiah laughed, patted his head and said, “Don’t worry. You’ll always be my number one.”

Hairy barked, wagged his tail and disappeared out the door.

Jedidiah shook his head. Crazy dog was jealous. He grinned and stuck his hand inside his pocket to see if the kitten was still sleeping. It was warm and fuzzy. He grinned, realized he was, and pulled his lips tight. “I don’t even like cats, so why am I carrying this one around? I’ll take it to the shelter.” But he knew he wouldn’t. He was already shaking his head no in protest to his own statement. “Man, I gotta get outta here. This woman is making me crazy.”

He stepped around the door, slinging the bag over his shoulder at the same time. He barely saw the furious movement of white fur as it barreled toward his chest. Before he had a chance to ward it off, claws and teeth were biting a scratching him anywhere they landed. It was a good thing he’d put on the sweatshirt. The kitten started crying and the demonic cat stopped, fell to the floor and lay dazed for a moment before sitting up and staring at Jedidiah with an accusing glare.

Jedidiah brushed at his arms, chest and shoulders. He looked straight into the evil beast’s eyes and said, “You are a menace, you know that?”

The cat sneered at him and growled.

“You might as well get used to me being around because I ain’t going anywhere.” Jedidiah reached down and scratched the thing behind the ears before it had time to move. “See there, I’m pretty quick, too.” He walked away, leaving the cat to glare at him from behind.

He checked the cat’s food and water supply and checked on the ice. All looked good so he walked to the door, opening his mouth to yell for Hairy. He didn’t get the chance. The big dog jumped from his perch on the couch and followed right on his heels.

Jedidiah scratched his ears. “Don’t worry, Hairy. You could never be replaced. Yeah, it’s a cute kitten but nothing beats you, Boy.”

Hairy barked and it echoed so loud Jedidiah jumped. The kitten mewed again and he stuck a hand in to comfort it. He had to admit the feel of its warm fur was already growing on him. “I’ll just take it home and feed and water it before I take it to the shelter.” But he knew it wasn’t going any further than…”I don’t have a house anymore.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Oh well, I’ll just take it to whatever hotel I rent.”

He whistled as they got back in the car and headed to the hospital.

He looked over at his dog. “I’ll take Snow White to meet Janna before I get a room.”

Hairy turned his head away and Jedidiah smiled. He liked that his dog was jealous. Maybe it would keep him in line.

He pulled into the parking lot of the hospital and got out of the car. He walked around to the passenger side and scratched Hairy’s neck. “I’ll be back in a while. If you’re good I’ll bring you back some pizza.

“Aarrf.”

“Good, I knew you’d agree with me.”

 

                                                             ***

 

Janna’s sat in bed tapping her fingers on the steaming hot box of pizza beneath her arms. Jedidiah should’ve been back by now. The niggling of worry in her mind irritated her. She barely knew the guy. Besides, he was an ex-marine. He could take care of himself. “Face it. You’re mad because you had to pay for the pizza. It’s a good thing you had that fifty dollars in the back pocket of your jeans.”

“Do you always talk to yourself?”

Janna jumped, almost pushing the pizza off the slick table. “Lord a mercy you scared me half to death.”

He laughed. “You would’ve heard me come in if you hadn’t been talking to yourself.”

“I wouldn’t have been talking to myself if you would’ve hurried back.” She gave him a look strangely reminiscent of that beast cat of hers.

“I’m sorry. Traffic was backed-up because they’re cutting trees out of the way. How much was the pizza?”

“It was eighteen dollars.”

He pulled out his wallet and handed her a twenty dollar bill. “Here. I really am sorry I wasn’t here. I wasn’t trying to saddle you with the bill, honest.”

“It’s fine, I had the money. You keep it.” She reached out and pushed his hand away.

“No, I said I was buying pizza and I am.” He laid the money on the table and began to gently pull the pizza box.

“No, I already paid for it.” She jerked the box and it slammed into her gut. She jumped and moved her arm, screeching in pain.

Jedidiah backed away. “I’m not sure why you’re making such an issue out of this but I’m not going to argue.”

She sat up straight. “Did we just have our first argument?”

Jedidiah’s eyes turned smoky and she inhaled a deep breath.

“I didn’t know there was a ‘we’ to have an argument.” His words sounded almost hopeful.

She pushed the lid to the box up and detached a slice of pizza and bit into it, keeping his gaze trapped in hers. Her heart was beating a hundred miles an hour. She chewed the bite of pizza, almost choking in her haste to get rid of it. “Oh, I’m pretty sure there is a we.”

Jedidiah held her gaze. He grabbed a piece of pizza, took a bite, chewed it and swallowed. “Well now. If that’s true, what are ‘we’ gonna do about it?”

She pushed the giddiness down and said, “I guess we’ll explore that ‘we’ and see what’s up with it.”

They were both breathing heavy and Janna was sure she could’ve cut the tension with a knife as they continued to stare at each other.

“Can I have a piece?” A small, scratchy voice asked from the other side of the room.

Two adult heads swung in the direction of that voice and smiled in surprise.

Together they said, “Yes.”

Dear Father, thank you for that interruption. You are my Rock. Janna scooted up and bit into her pizza again while Jedidiah pulled off a small piece and handed it to Jessie.

 

 

 

Friday, November 15, 2013

I know I've been gone for a while again, but I hope to have the next chapter in the story next Tuesday.





                                 This is what it looks like around my place...









                                This was taken when I lived in Utah...





                                    I hope everyone has a great weekend!!