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Monday, March 30, 2015

She waits Chapter Two

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~ Chapter Two ~

Max Williams glanced toward Nina’s house as he passed by, trying not to be conspicuous. He missed her.

He pulled one shoulder up in a shrug. He even missed their tutor sessions. Raising his chin a fraction of an inch, he closed his eyes for a brief moment and recalled the scent of her perfume. Light and airy, something fruity. Mango? He couldn’t be sure. The scent wafted through his mind once more, but its identification remained a mystery. He’d wanted to ask her, but never got around to it.

Regret rose within him once more, as it always did when thinking of her.

Since that night he hadn’t spoken to her, except through a few cryptic texts.

‘I can’t be your tutor, anymore,’ she’d typed.

‘But why?’ He’d returned.

‘I think that’s obvious,’ she’d answered.

‘Well, it isn’t,’ He’d sent back.

‘I’m a Christian, Max, and I sinned against my God.’

Anger swelled within him and he’d typed back, ‘Whatever. Just remember this was your choice.’

Humiliation filled him. He’d wanted to take back those mean, hastily-typed words so many times he’d lost count.

He stopped at a red light and checked his phone, hoping by some miraculous means she realized he was thinking of her and decided to text him. Of course she hadn’t.

He let his phone drop back to the seat and accelerated when the light changed to green.

Should he call her? As soon as the thought crossed his mind, he shook his head. No, it wasn’t a good idea, especially since six months had passed.

Why couldn’t he get over it? What was it about her?

Yes she was pretty and had a way about her, for sure. And he missed that. But he missed her more. Her sweet smile and soft-spoken manner were very attractive. Unlike most of the girls on campus, she had morals.

Guilt washed through him—And look what he’d done to her. He’d known she was a Christian. She’d tried witnessing to him on more than one occasion.

He’d known she was attracted to him. That’s what had given him the courage to follow her upstairs that day six months ago.

If he hadn’t reached out and grabbed her, would she have come to him willingly? Something inside him said no. She wasn’t that kind of girl.

If he believed in a god he would pray for help, but he didn’t. The idea was too far-fetched.

Anger rushed through him and with a jerk of his arm, he swung the vehicle into a hard right and pulled into his family’s restaurant. He slammed the gearshift into park and turned off the engine.

Unlike Nina his family wasn’t funding his college education he had to work for it. And he hated working in the restaurant. He wanted to do something manly, not languish in a restaurant.

He reached the glass front door and pulled it open, the bell tinkling a warning of his arrival.

The first thing he saw was his mother behind the counter, her graying hair pulled into a ragtag bun at the top of her head.

She looked up and smiled at him in welcome as she rubbed a dishrag across the scarred Formica counter. “Max, you made it on time today.”

 “It’s a nice surprise, right?” He leaned across the counter and kissed her wrinkled cheek. Concern filled him at how rundown she was looking. And here he’d been being ungrateful about working here.

“Go ahead mom. I got this.” He gently took the dishcloth from her hand and dipped his head toward the back.

Felicity Williams sighed and dipped her head in agreement. “Okay, but just for a few minutes, though. I guess a piece of that chocolate pie your sister made earlier will sit right well on my empty tummy.”

Max laughed. “Yes it will.”

“Do you want me to cut you a piece, son?” Felicity Williams asked as she disappeared through the kitchen door.

He raised his voice a bit. “Nah, I’ll have one later.”

He moved around the counter and proceeded to finish wiping it down. His mother loved this place and kept it spic-and-span. He shouldn’t be such an ungrateful brat.

After a few minutes he threw the dishrag into the pan they kept under the counter and raised his eyes to peruse the dining room. His eyes locked gazes with none other than Nina Moore’s father.

Ice water filled his veins and his heart pounded in fear. Did he know?

The sick feeling inside him grew, sitting like a heavy rock in the midst of his gut. But then Gary Moore’s gaze slid away and relief filled Max’s whole being.

He wiped his forehead, not surprised to feel the sweat spread across it. It was in that moment he decided he was going to see Nina Moore.

Monday, March 23, 2015

She Waits ~ Chapter One

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~ Chapter One ~

Nina Moore let the silky peach drape slide through her fingers as it slipped into place beside its twin. Shoulders heaving with emotion she gulped in a deep breath of air, squeezing her eyes shut against the sting. A single tear escaped and slid down her warm cheek.

He was leaving. Again.

She glanced at the calendar on the wall beside the kitchen doorway as she shuffled into the bright, cheery room, resisting the urge to pick up the pen and mark the date. No! I have to stop this.

His name was super-imposed across the stage of her mind. Max Williams. The man she loved.

“Stop it, Nina. He doesn’t remember you exist.”

Plopping into the high-backed chair, she buried her head in trembling hands.

Huge gasping sobs shook her slender shoulders. “What have I done?”

Pulling her hands away, they slammed against her burgeoning belly.

Her back stiffened and she sniffled.

Her pregnancy was becoming obvious and she wouldn’t be able to hide it much longer. She would take responsibility for the tiny life growing inside her, that’s for sure. And even though she’d believed Max loved her like she loved him that was no excuse for what she’d done with him. Shame heated her skin and her cheeks grew warm with humiliation. Everyone would know. She’d be labeled immoral, maybe even thrown out of the church.

Her abdomen tightened and she cried out. “Oh, what will I do, dear Lord?”

The day she’d found out abortion crossed her mind, but she couldn’t do it. Not only was she a Christian, she couldn’t abide the taking of an innocent life. It wasn’t the baby’s fault she’d slept with someone.

Rocking back and forth, she moaned and cried. Her parents would know soon, too. Would they disown her? Take away her allowance? If so, how would she continue to attend college? It would be such a blow to them. Nina had been such a good daughter—until now.

Get a job. The words echoed through her mind, but were discarded. Not on her list of desirable things to do.

Sliding off the chair, she dropped to her knees on the floor. “Dear Lord, please lead and guide me and help me through this. I know I messed up and sinned against You. I’m sorry, but I need you now more than ever.”

The room was quiet. The only sound the quiet buzzing of the refrigerator. There was no audible answer from God, yet a comforting peace settled over her and she smiled. God was with her, even though she’d done such a horrid thing.

Exhaustion enveloped her and sleep tried to claim her as she knelt on the floor, but she fought it until her pleas to God were finished for the moment.

When her last words were uttered to Him, she stood and headed up the stairs of her little rental house, too tired to think about supper. Reaching her room, she flopped into bed sure she’d fall asleep quick and in a hurry.

Her mind had other ideas. As soon as her head hit the pillow her eyes popped wide and she gazed around the room. “Six months ago,” She whispered.

Somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, Nina’s mind wandered back to that night, and Max. His dark hair and piercing blue eyes jumped to the forefront of her memory. Every detail of his facial features etched into her mind’s eye. His smell. The way he looked deeply into her eyes, seeming to meld with her very soul.

She should’ve clarified. No, she should’ve said no, no matter what. She knew better. Good girls like her didn’t do bad things like that. She was his English tutor for Pete’s sake. How had they even gotten in her room? Oh yeah, she’d gone to use the restroom and when she’d come out, he’d been sitting on her bed. She tried to pass by and not meet his gaze, but long arms had come out and captured her.

Her heart thumped against her ribcage, half-scared, half-excited. Her pulse was so loud in her ears she missed his words. What had he said? She’d asked him to repeat it.

“You’re very beautiful, Nina Blue Moore.”

She’d tried to pull away, but honestly not very hard. His hands were warm and the feel of them around her arms caused the thumping in her ears to escalate.

His hand came up and snuck under her long, dark hair, cupping her neck. His lips swooped down and… “No!”

She sat-up, shaking her head. She mustn’t remember the sin. Though she knew it for what it was, she still desired it. “I’m so awful.”

Irritation filled her and she jumped from the bed. She couldn’t blame it all on Max. She could’ve said no. Would he have stopped if she had?

She couldn’t be sure, but for all intents and purposes it didn’t matter. She hadn’t said no, and now she was pregnant, unmarried, nineteen, and alone.

She skipped down the steps as if the hounds of Hades were on her heels.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Conclusion to Broken Dreams!!

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It's been a long time coming, but the end is finally here. I've been trying to decide what to do next, and to be honest, I still haven't planted it in stone. I guess we'll see what next week brings. :)

~ Chapter Forty-Two ~

Arianna looked toward her mother. “What’s he talking about, Mom? Did you know about this?”

Justin watched the scenario play out in front of him, helpless to stop it now that it was coming out.

“I don’t know— I haven’t the slightest…”

“Oh cut the crap, mother. You did know, didn’t you?

Esmarelda’s shoulders shook. “No, I don’t understand.”

Lenwood popped back around the corner and stopped in front of his wife.

Justin’s body shoved against the back of the chair, trying to get away from the rage he felt in the older man’s body.

“It was all the ‘I want this, Lenwood. Can I have that, Lenwood. Let’s re-decorate the house, Lenwood.’ Blah, blah, blah. You drove me to insanity. I was so deep in debt I couldn’t get out. I didn’t want to tell you for fear you’d leave me, so I borrowed money off a man someone from the firm knew. When I wasn’t able to pay it back, he became furious. He sent men to kill me, Esmeralda.”

“So how did it come about with Arianna?” Justin interjected.

Lenwood glanced his way, as if just then remembering his presence.

He shrugged. “I didn’t have the money. I foolishly told him he could take anything he wanted if he’d just let me live. He wanted Arianna.”

Esmeralda gasped, and so did Arianna and Justin.

“And you let him take her?” Esmeralda asked the horror plain in her tone.

“I had no choice.” Lenwood put his hands out, turned toward Arianna. “You understand, don’t you, Pumpkin?”

Justin was becoming concerned by Arianna’s silence. The look on her face was so herat-breaking. Betrayal. He glanced toward Arianna’s mom. She wore much the same expression. She may be a spoiled, demanding woman, but she hadn’t known. Relief washed through him. Arianna wouldn’t be left without a parent, after all.

“Understand? Are you serious, Daddy? I worshiped the ground you walked on. After he took me, I fantasized about you coming to save me, but it never happened.” Tears slid down her face, and she slid into one of the plush hospital chairs.

Justin rushed over and dropped to his knees in front of the chair. He wrapped her in his arms, not knowing what to say. How could you comfort someone in a situation like this? Especially someone you’d come to love?

She laid her head on Justin’s chest. So tired. She wanted…no, needed, sleep. Maybe she was already asleep and this was some bizarre nightmare she’d awake from, but she knew better.

The whoosh of the elevator brought attention from all of them. Two uniformed policemen strode toward her father, their steps full of purpose.

They stopped in front of Lenwood and the tall, skinny one read him his rights, turned him around and popped cuffs on his wrists.

Although the circumstances were horrid, Arianna finally felt a sense of peace. It really was over. Her arms tightened around Justin’s neck. “Take me home, Justin. Take me to see Chance.”

“I will, Arianna. As soon as the doctors release you.”

Her arms tightened even more. “You know. I have so many broken dreams, but the promises you’ve given me give me hope. For a better future. For a good life with my son, and I thank God for answering my prayers.”

“Yes,” Justin said, crushing his wife into the safety of his chest. “I’ll never let anything happen to you Arianna. You are my love. My life. And so is Chance.” He pulled away and brushed a tender kiss across her nose.

“You saved me Just in time, Justin.” She giggled.

His eyebrow rose.

“It was funny. Just in…ah, forget it.”

Understanding dawned and he smacked at her shoulder in a playful way. “Wow.”

Sobering up, she looked deep into his eyes. “Yes. Wow.”

The policemen led Arianna’s dad away, his shoulders slumped.

She didn’t understand what caused her dad to allow such a horrendous thing to happen to her. How could a father remove the protection and love he felt toward a daughter? For money, no less? Arianna shrugged. It didn’t matter. She had Justin, and she had Chance. And she even had her mother, and Mary.

She smiled as Justin led her back to the bed in her room. It had been such an eventful day. No week. No, life. She sighed. Things would be better now that ‘the Monster’ was in jail, and so was her dad. A sting of hurt zinged through her, but she shrugged it away. Thank you for bringing me through this situation, Dear Lord. It wasn’t always easy, but you were always right there beside me.

Justin helped her into the bed then turned around to grab his chair. He set it right next to her bed and slid onto the hard surface.

“Sleep now, Arianna. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

She grabbed his hand and pulled it to her chest. “I know you will, Justin. I love you, you know.”

Her smile grabbed his heart and plummeted it to his toes then back to his chest.

“I love you too, Ari. Get some sleep now. The rest of our lives will be waiting when you awake.”

Smiling, she slipped into slumber knowing his promises weren’t broken dreams, but future ones.