Showing posts with label Multicultural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Multicultural. Show all posts

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Girl Talk from SPRSWB

Dorrie held up the dress.  “Sergei will be here soon.”

Clair reached for the dress.

Dorrie held it back.  “Promise me you’ll give this man a fair shake.”

Clair frowned at Dorrie and pursed her lips reaching for the dress again.

Dorrie backed away from her.  “Promise Clair.”

Clair bit her lip almost hard enough to break the skin. She huffed and finally said, “I promise, fair shake.”

Dorrie held the dress out to her.  “Thank you.”

Clair snatched it.  “Why are you on this guy’s team?”

Dorrie looked beside herself.  “Are you joking, you weren’t at the table when he said that a man doesn’t walk out on a woman after they’ve been together for years.  Maybe you didn’t notice that he had only been in your space for a few seconds and knew that you were worth the effort.  Or did you miss his calm acceptance of your episode.”

Clair thought back, that had been odd.  Only Dorrie knew about her voodoo heritage.  Being raised in Africa she was a bit more understanding about that sort of thing than the average American.  During the phone call he hadn’t even brought it up. He had been more concerned with the idea that she had changed her mind about seeing him. Which considering their rocky meeting was fair.

What had been even more odd is that when Clair thought about it everything she did when he was around seemed oddly out of character. She wasn’t the type to get into a man’s face regardless of the circumstances. She really needed to pay attention. Something was not quite right.  Clair realized that Dorrie had called her name twice and startled she looked up.  “Yeah?”

“Where were you?  I swear you need a keeper most of the time.” Doreen said with slight shake of her head.

Clair shrugged and nodded.  “Just thinking.”

Dorrie huffed some herself this time.  “That is something else you need to give up, just feel Clair.  I know you are attracted to this man.  Be attracted to him and stop giving yourself such a hard time about it.  And for God sake try and have some fun.”

Clair smirked at her worrying mother hen of a best friend.  “Done mama Dorrie?”

Dorrie returned her smirk.  “Smart ass, for now, yes.”  She grabbed her purse and started for the door.  “Have fun.”

Clair smiled and said sincerely, “I will do my best.”


“That’s all I ask,” Dorrie yelled back as the door shut on her.



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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saturday Night from So a Psychic and a Rocket Scientist Walk into a Bar

Clair was in her bedroom in front of her full length mirror annoyed with what she had chosen to wear.  It wasn’t a bad outfit it just didn’t look like a date outfit.  Because of her profession, and because of Jonny, besides jeans and t-shirts Clair only had two absolute looks, dress black for her concerts and skank club gear for Jonny’s concerts.  Somehow neither one seemed appropriate. Not that she knew what Sergei would consider appropriate. She couldn’t help but to wonder about him and their meeting.

Sergei hadn’t even blinked oddly when he had calmly asked her what she had seen.  As if he were accustomed to dealing with people with extra sensory perceptive gifts.  Their phone call last night had been brief but not once had he even implied that he thought her repeated fainting spells had been odd.

He had called around 8 last night, very respectful of her time. Clair had been sitting at her piano going through her paces. She had literally been thinking of him and wondering if he would actually call. Part of her hoping he would and part of her hoping he wouldn’t. The contrast made her uncomfortable. She had been lost in thought when the ringing phone made her jump.

“Hello Clair, how are you?” he had casually answered when she had said hello.

“I’m fine.”  She had been at the piano, of course.  For whatever reason, the day after she had met Sergei she had started a new piece.  She was sure it was just coincidence.  She needed to rationalize the things that she felt when she thought about Sergei. Meeting him had been pretty impactful in a way she didn’t want to deal with.  She had slowly fallen for Jonny and previous guys.  A little flirting at a music event, a date or two. Then eventually they got intimate.

This was different.  Sergei spoke to her in ways she didn’t know she had places to speak from. It was maddening she went from anxiousness, to excitement, to blind terror.

“That’s good to hear, we still on for tomorrow night or have you come to your senses and changed your mind?” Sergei said rather cautiously.

Despite herself Clair had chuckled a little under her breath.  “Should I come to my senses and change my mind?”

He had paused for a moment or two as if he were actually thinking about it.  “Well, Clair, I’m not an easy boy to get along with, you got a taste of that a few days ago.  I know that you never actually instigated this so I don’t hold you accountable for going out with me.  I’d like a chance to get to know you and you seem like a person worth knowing Clair.”

“Clairvoyance.” She had said instantly surprising herself because she never asked anyone to call her Clairvoyance.

She heard a low whistle from the other end of the line.  “My Lord, that’s a god-awful first name, no wonder you go by Clair.  Do you really want me to call you that?”

Immediately embarrassed Clair held her warm forehead in her hand.  “No, I guess I wanted to see if you would go running for the hills.”


He chuckled a little this time.  “Honestly Clair, if you turn out to be as much woman as I think you are, it would take wild horses to drag me away.”


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Monday, February 27, 2017

All the Unexplained - SPRSWB

“Not everything of this world can be explained by science or anything else for that matter.”  He pinned her again with his laser blue eyes.  “I don’t discount anything, there is something in you Clair that is beyond the norm and it glows off of you like a beacon, it attracts me.”

Clair knew she was staring at him in the oddest fashion but she couldn’t seem to control the instinct to do so.  All of her life she just knew that talking about the eccentric nature of her family line would be a bad ideal for a first date.  It would be a bad ideal before marriage but she had admitted to herself that she would’ve volunteered the information if Jonny had ever asked her to be his wife.  She had never guessed that the secrets of her lineage permeated off of her and someone open to those ideals would be able to associate and see how she was different from most people.

“To be honest, I have a family history that would imply that extra sensory perception was an ability I should have, but you are the first person I’ve ever had even a blip of activity with.” Clair admitted.

Sergei frowned slightly.  “Really?  I find that very interesting.  Not a single occurrence before?”

Clair shrugged sheepishly, “Not involving anything else besides music.”

Sergei sat silently for a moment the question burning in his form as he softly asked, “How bad was it, Clair?”

Clair was very solemn and couldn’t hide the fear in her voice as she said slowly, “Bad.”

He nodded.  “I thought so, had a gut feeling about it.”

Clair finally asked, “Is there any reason to believe that someone would want to hurt you?”

He nodded quickly.  “Yeah, this project that I’m here for is under much scrutiny and debate.”  He leveled his impressive eyes at her.  “There are people who would rather not see it done.”

“How pertinent are you to its completion?” Clair said in a very direct way.


“There’s the thing Clair, without me, it doesn’t happen.” Sergei laid hard.

“You want to talk about it?” Clair asked earnestly.

He hesitated for only a moment, “Virgin launch.  The ideal has been humming around the aerospace industry since we first got people on the moon.”  His eyes started to glow again as he started talking with his hands.  “What if we could charter people into space, like airline carriers charter people around the world?  It’s a huge undertaking because you would have to be able to eliminate a bulk of the physical limitations to being in space that astronauts train years for.”

“Okay,” Clair inserted following.

“What is the one thing missing from space that makes it so damn difficult for people?” Sergei asked in an ironic way.

Clair thought for a second. “Gravity.”

Sergei smiled at her then.  “I have developed a rather crude and preliminary gravitational system that would not alter regardless of the gravity, or lack thereof, in space. Currently it can be isolated to a single hub.” He shrugged, “So far I’ve only been able to stabilize a hub the size of a Lear jet, but that’s just the beginning.”

Clair felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.  “You’ve found a way to create gravity?” she said in a disbelieving fashion.

Sergei nodded a bit as he responded. “Sort of, I’ve mostly found a way to borrow gravity.  Gravity is one of the big four forces of the Universe, it just exists, the trick is tapping into it.”

“How?” Clair asked honestly intrigued.

He was casual but confident as he continued. “Same way it exists now, orbiting bodies in a circular pattern, centrifugal force meeting rotating atoms.”

Abruptly he grabbed a napkin and pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket.  He drew a crude looking cigar shaped vessel and drew several rings around it.  On each ring he attached various circular objects of varying size, and with arrows he displayed the directions each ring would move and the directions each circular object would rotate in.

He showed her the crude drawing.  “Mankind’s problem is that we always think we need to reinvent the wheel, we don’t need anything new, the solution is in the application.”

Clair’s mind wrapped around it instantly.  “A roving solar system, with the hub as the sun.”

Sergei nodded.  “It would move in space just like our galaxy does, creating its own gravity as it goes.”

Clair shook her head.  “That’s so simple it’s brilliant.”

Sergei nodded.  “I had this thought for quite a while and I often thought that it really couldn’t be this simple so I never brought it up.  But people are chomping at the bit to get into space.”  He paused before finishing. “So I put a little more time and planning into it, mapped out the physics of it all and I was able to generate a gravitational field on a model airplane.”

Clair was holding the napkin, staring at it blankly not really believing how unerringly brilliant this man was.  “Talk about thinking outside of the box.”

“I find the only issues with science are all the rules, we’ve made things too complicated.  None of us can see the forest for the trees.”  He stated like it was obvious “God had it all right in the beginning, why mess with that?”

Her thoughts got captured by his mention of God.  “Don’t tell me you’re a scientist that believes in God.”

He fixed her with a very serious look.  “No true scientist can look at the evidence and not.  It’s too balanced, everything is.  I don’t know if religion has it right but I do know that something holds this all together.  We’ve broken things down to their smallest component and we have no idea why everything doesn’t just fall apart.  That’s either magic or some other divine force.”  He fixed her with a knowing look.  “And I don’t have to tell you about all else in this world that is unexplainable.”


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Friday, November 11, 2016

Familiar With This Sort of Thing - SPRSWB

“I would like to take your hand, but I don’t want you to have another episode,” he admitted candidly.

Which made Clair ask, “You seem familiar with my odd behavior, why is that?”

Sergei smirked at her.  “You don’t know much about gypsies do you?”

“Well I don’t give any credence to most stereotypes, I don’t see fortune-tellers and the like.” Clair affirmed.

Sergei leaned back in his chair.  “As terrible as it is to say, while stereotypes themselves are wrong, some of their assumptions are based in fact.”

“You believe in things beyond the norm,” she stated more than asked.

“Believe them, hell, I’ve seen ‘em,” he imparted. “Not everything of this world can be explained by science or anything else for that matter.”  He pinned her again with his laser blue eyes.  “I don’t discount anything, there is something in you Clair that is beyond the norm and it glows off of you like a beacon, it attracts me.”

Clair knew she was staring at him in the oddest fashion but she couldn’t seem to control the instinct to do so.  All of her life she just knew that talking about the eccentric nature of her family line would be a bad ideal for a first date.  It would be a bad ideal before marriage but she had admitted to herself that she would’ve volunteered the information if Jonny had ever asked her to be his wife.  She had never guessed that the secrets of her lineage permeated off of her and someone open to those ideals would be able to associate and see how she was different from most people.

“To be honest, I have a family history that would imply that extra sensory perception was an ability I should have, but you are the first person I’ve ever had even a blip of activity with.” Clair admitted.

Sergei frowned slightly.  “Really?  I find that very interesting.  Not a single occurrence before?”

Clair shrugged sheepishly, “Not involving anything else besides music.”

Sergei sat silently for a moment the question burning in his form as he softly asked, “How bad was it, Clair?”


Clair was very solemn and couldn’t hide the fear in her voice as she said slowly, “Bad.”


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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I Choose to Not Let You Die - SPRSWB

With the clarity of daylight, understanding flooded her senses.  “Oh dear God, you knew you were coming to New Mexico to die.”

Sergei didn’t pretend to not.  “I don’t back down Clair, I face things head on.”

Clair was beside herself with rage at the lack of care he showed with his life.  “You are insane,” She uttered carefully. “I’m not the only one who needs a keeper apparently.”  She got up and headed for her kitchen but stopped short and turned around to look at him. She didn’t mean to but ended up yelling the last bit out, “How long have you known?”

He casually shrugged.  “All my life really.”  He stood and tried to touch Clair but she pulled back. He held up his hands.  “You believe in patterns, right?”

She shook her head.  “No Serg, not like this, this is not the pattern.  Death is a natural transition, murder is malicious and brought about by pattern wreckers.”

He moved closer to her but made no effort to touch her again.  “Sometimes the pattern needs to be wrecked so that it can begin again, set right from being wrecked before.  Can you agree with that?”

Clair huffed loudly because they both knew that she did so she refused to answer.  “Our paths change here, for better or for worse, we choose, it isn’t chosen for us,” she clarified with a great deal of passion.

Sergei nodded.  “I agree, I choose,” he emphasized the word, “not to run away from this.”


Clair, still enraged, felt her chin rise as she declared, “I choose to not let you die.”


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Friday, November 4, 2016

Karmatically Predisposed Not to Lie to Me - SPRSWB

Sergei walked into her home.  “Perhaps the anticipation of seeing you has me at a disadvantage.”
With slow deliberation he turned to her and pulled her into his arms.  He shifted and tilted her just enough that she had to grab his arms for support.  For a moment his lips hovered over hers letting her breath in as he exhaled and then returned the favor.  “Something very appealing about watching you breathe me in,” he whispered against her lips.

He watched her skin flush and her eyes dilate ever so slightly.  The woman was exquisite, God help him if she ever figured it out.  He sealed his mouth to hers.  Clair stopped bracing herself and sunk her fingers into his hair a startled sound coming from her. Sergei felt his head swim for a moment, he could get drunk just kissing this woman.  Resigned he lifted his head and resettled Clair in front of him.  They had things afoot.  “Your mother?”

Clair blinked up at him, still slightly dazed. “My mother?”

Sergei smiled despite himself.  He did understand how she felt, the control freak in him would be damned if he showed it.  “Are we going to her?”

Clair nodded. Then started wringing her hands.

Sergei took her arms into his hands. “Clair?”

She shook her head.  “I can’t... I don’t know what... how to explain...,” she huffed deeply. “I’ve never... in my life... to this degree...”

Sergei just stared at her enjoying her gapping.  “Clair, spit it out.”

“I want to jump your bones.”  Clair’s grey eyes popped open and she put her hand to her mouth staring at Sergei in an accusatory way.  “Did you, I don’t know why I just…”  She stared at him gravely.

“I told you, it was a two-way street.  I can’t lie to you either.”  Sergei said softly relief in his voice. 

“It’s starting to become a permanent state.  Before I met you I at least knew when to keep my mouth shut.  But if anyone asks me anything about you, if you ask me anything, the truth comes flying out.  Whether I want it to or not.”

Clair pulled a face thinking about this.  “Karmatically predisposed not to lie to me, that’s not so bad.”

Sergei held up his finger, “Two-way street.”

Clair shrugged.  “I don’t lie often enough to really worry about it.”

Sergei grinned at the shock mixed with horror that spread across her face.

“This sucks.” Clair winced hard as she heard her own words.

Sergei nodded.  “Not all the fun and games you thought it would be huh?”


“Not at all.”  She put up her hands.  “Let’s go.”


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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

So a Psychic and a Rocket Scientist Walk into a Bar - Those Witchy Rumors

Charlie took the hint well.  He got up as well and started out of the office.  “There are weird voodoo rumors circling Clair, just be careful.”  He threw over his shoulder as he was walking out.

Sergei smirked.  “And why would that be a problem?”

Charlie shrugged.  “Some guys get put out about things like that.  Weird witchy shit.  Never know what will happen when one gets uptight about you.”

“Charlie Benson, are you afraid of sweet harmless Clair?” Sergei asked clearly bemused by the prospect.

Charlie shrugged again.  “Not really but you know, it bears to wonder about.  Just in case things go sour.”

“They won’t,” Sergei winced internally, that truth trigger of his was just as hair pinned as ever.

“Confidence,” Charlie said.  “Something else geniuses have a wealth of without thinking about how hard it is for other people.”

Charlie shuffled out of the room leaving Sergei watching his back not really sure if he was okay or not.  With a huff, Sergei sat back down and stared at the screen. The chirping of the cell phone brought him away from any reflective thoughts. “Clair.” He answered recognizing the number.

“What’s your schedule like?” she asked a little impatiently.

He shrugged hearing the anxiety in her tone.  “Whatever it needs to be. I’m my own boss remember.”

“Tomorrow night, about 6:30.  My mother is free.” She said slowly.


“I’ll meet you at your place, with bells on.”  He stated ironically.


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Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't Apologize for Calling a Spade a Spade

“What do you mean? This is good info.”
“I’m not saying it isn’t.  It’s about how it was acquired.” He paused pacing, and stared aimlessly at the back wall. “Unless a person who would have this information legally claims to have given it to you.” He threw up his arms dramatically.  “It can’t be used.”
“In a court of law,” she finished as she dropped her ever-tiring head into her hands.  Abandoning that she popped her head up causing her hair to cascade over her head, and resettle disheveled. “So all this really did was put me on the chopping block.”
Thomas made an odd negative sound that was between a growl, and a hum as he started pacing again.  “Not necessarily; it gives us more than we had before.”
Not seeing the bright side like he was Charlotte hissed, “That being?”
Her sharp tone made him stop pacing, and turn to look at her as an odd expression briefly crossed his normally passive features. “A path.  We can figure out what he is doing, and how he’s been doing it.” Thomas nodded to himself. “I can use it to make him incriminate himself.”
He then looked at her for only the second time since he had determined that she needed to relocate.  The hard lines of his face softened slightly.  The difference was almost undetectable.  Most people probably wouldn’t notice, but Charlotte had.  It made his lips soften, and the crinkles around his eyes lessen.
“You need to sleep.” The statement was more of an order than an observation. 
Thomas walked back to the SUV, and pulled out her gym bag.  With a head gesture he inferred that she should follow him.  Feeling like she was just tired enough not to argue, Charlotte lifted herself from the chair, and fell into pace behind him as he began clearing the space to the staircase.  They went upstairs, and he opened the door of the first room.  Charlotte followed him, and it was like she was at the Hyatt all of the sudden.
The room was like a hotel room.  The furniture was wooden and in solid colors.  Not great, but not bad.  It was mostly sterile, and looked like a man had picked out everything.  There were no knick-knacks, just basics.  An ugly pasty green couch, a matching chair, and some dull wooden end tables were the highlights of the decor.  In the corner was a kitchenette with a full sized fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave.  The sink was a single basin with a washrag, and dish soap nearby.  The second door in the room lead to a bedroom that housed a king-sized bed covered in a hideous beige comforter, and some more of the dull wooden end tables the living area sported.
“Bathroom is connected to the bedroom,” Thomas said as he threw her gym bag on the bed, and started for the door.
Charlotte stared at the room, and grabbed the arm of the brooding man as he passed her.  She almost hissed at the warmth of him through her fingertips.  The feeling was short lived as he stopped, and removed her hand from his arm by grasping her wrist.  The action made her snap her eyes to his, and they held for a moment neither of them blinking for the space of two breathes.
“You’re safe here Charlie.”
“Tommy—,” she stammered not really believing that she had addressed him so familiarly.  It had to be her exhaustion because he had not done anything that would make her assume such an air with him.  The look that danced in his eyes for a moment could’ve been shock or anger.  She wasn’t sure, but she was sure that she had crossed some invisible line with the name that had fell from her lips.
 “Thomas,” she quickly corrected looking up at him.  “I didn’t mean— on the phone—”
He whipped her body into his, and ducked his head to seal his mouth to hers.  Charlotte felt the burn of his lips against hers.  The abrupt entry of his tongue pushing between her teeth made her stiffen, then practically melt against him.  Her wrists were captured behind her back by one of his larger hands.  The other hand had taken possession of her left butt cheek pulling her against his body.  She moaned in a haze of adrenaline, pleasure, and fear as she kissed him back with just as much ferocity as he was kissing her with.  His hips were grinding into hers.  She could feel the length of his erection between them.  With that knowledge her knees nearly buckled.  What she wouldn’t give to get her hands on him.
What had started as rough tongue stabbing was dissipating.  The forays he took between her lips were becoming more leisurely as he explored her mouth with long slow licks that drug his tongue over all of the surfaces of hers.  He would pull away slightly, and then decide that he wasn’t done, and take her mouth again.  This happened a few more times before he pulled back, and slowly licked his lips.  Panting they held there breathing each other’s air.  He let his eyes roam over her face.  She watched as they settled on her lips then flew back to her eyes.

“Don’t apologize for calling a spade a spade,” his deep voice was rough, and his accent was dominating his pronunciation.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And Now the Running

Sandra had a corner apartment on the third floor.  They were the only units in the building that offered the large obnoxious roman bathtubs.  The only draw back, if you saw it that way, was that they were at the end of the living group for the hallway.  The closest thing to her door was the fire escape across the hall. It was open, and Sandra loved to climb it instead of taking the elevator or the interior stairs.  In her heart of hearts Sandra was really a recluse, and this suited her.
While musing over the oddities that comprised her best friend, Charlotte had locked the door, and had that feeling. As soon as she had turned the bolt, the sudden creepy crawly feeling of being watched covered her.  It had been in a split second, but her mind had yelled RUN!!  She hadn’t thought about it, she had just reacted.  She had run to the elevator of the long hall way as the door was closing.  Then she bolted for the stairwell at the end of the hall.  Charlotte hadn’t heard the footsteps, but she had felt the eyes.
Don’t look back.’  She heard her brother in her head yelling at her.  The self-defense pointers he had given her starting to play in her mind. 
Focus on what is in front of you.  Will yourself to that place.’  She flew through the doorway to the stairwell. 
If you get a chance, hide, don’t try and outrun them.’
She turned the stairwell, and went up instead of down.  The stairwell was a myriad of walled half flights, carpeted, and quiet.  She crouched on the other side of the wall facing the steps leading to the next level hoping her pursuer didn’t realize that she was there.  Charlotte pressed her back to the wall of the stairwell flattening her palms near her hips.  She balanced on the balls of her feet ready to spring because of the low heels on her black boots.  Her breath was coming out loudly almost panting. The air-conditioned area was musty like carpet that had been left wet.  There was a single oval recessed light on each landing right above the open space before you stepped through the door.
The creaking of the door on the landing beneath her as it flew open made her stop breathing.  Charlotte swallowed her gasp. Her heart was beating so loudly it could probably be heard from the street. She flexed her hands against the wall willing herself not to move. Even as the slight sound of padded footsteps receding reached her she waited before she let out the breath she had been holding.
Be patient. Don’t make a mistake now. You’re almost there.’
Charlotte slowly moved away from the wall, and made her way back down to the landing she had come from.  She walked slowly, fearful that her pursuer would get wise, and come bolting back up the stairs at any moment. When she reached the hallway she stood nervously in front of the elevator knowing that she couldn’t go down it alone.  She paced a few moments as a crowd of young adults made their way to the elevator.  A few of the ladies had hair like hers.
Don’t shy away from people.  Other people are your best cover if someone is looking for you to be alone.
She boarded the elevator with them.  They reached the garage under the building where she had parked her F-150.  Because of her brother’s diligent teachings, she always parked very close to elevators, and always under highly lit areas.  Charlotte streaked for her F-150, and got in locking the doors, and starting the truck in the same motion.  The creepy feeling returned, and for a split second she stared into the black eyes of a tall stocky man with a greasy look and feel to him.  His face snarled as she hit reverse, shifted to drive, and burned rubber pealing out of the parking lot.
It had all happened so quickly.  She had come home locked all her doors, closed all her blinds, and battled herself into not calling the police.  What would she say?  I think this guy was following me.  Oh yeah because my best friend and me have gotten ourselves into some serious trouble with a local oil baron.  And did I mention the CIA agent that kidnapped her off to Japan.

She had finally convinced herself that she would’ve sounded nuts.  At that time she most likely would have.  After all who was to say the guy didn’t need change or something.  Maybe he was a bill collector she had missed and was trying to find Sandra.  Charlotte had spent the night concocting an array of amusing, interesting antidotes that would explain what had happened at Sandra’s apartment.  Then it had happened again.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Thicker Than Blood an excerpt from Charlotte's Chance

Charlotte started going into detail about doing Brenda’s house, which she had finished a week ago.  Badly.  It had been her worst work yet.  That had a lot more to do with her being a frazzled wreck than anything else.  It had all seemed like such a good idea taking care of Sandra’s things, looking in on her apartment, and seeing to Penelope at the kennel.  She had accessed her accounts, and opened online bill pay funneling the money directly from her account to her creditors.  She had needed to move several thousands from her savings to her checking.  But the woman had an almost trust fund balance in her savings from royalties from her grandfather’s shipping empire.   It hadn’t even put a dent in things.  Charlotte had gone by her apartment and watered her plants a week and a half ago, and that’s when things had started getting interesting.

Charlotte had left Brenda’s feeling pretty good about the way the room was going.  She had made a brief stop by Penelope’s kennel, which had been on the way, to pay the bill.  Sandra had given her an emergency ATM card years ago just in case.  Charlotte had locked it in the safe in the house. 

Sandra had the safe installed when she had first purchased the house eight years ago while she had been studying for her doctorate in Oklahoma.  According to Sandra Oklahoma City was dead on the weekends.  So she would travel to Dallas every Friday afternoon to stay for the weekend, and then head back to Oklahoma on Mondays.  Being tired of hotels she had spent her savings on a house in Richardson.  A few years after she had returned to Dallas by way of Scotland she had been ready to get rid of the house.

Only pure coincidence could explain just why Charlotte had been in the market for a house.  Her business had started going so well after she had met Brenda who would recommend her for all of the high money projects that she had worked on.  So it was time for Charlotte to get out of the one bedroom apartment in North Dallas, and put money into property.

Charlotte and Sandra had been casual friends from their initial meeting in the nightclub.  On weekends they would get together and talk about their pet project W.A.R.M. Soon Charlotte had brought in Brenda, and then Sandra had introduced them to Deborah and Rachel.  Suddenly Sandra had been selling her house, and their friendship had taken on a new dynamic.

It had been a funny scene because Sandra had put the house on the market. Charlotte had seen the ad, and called it up.  When she had met up with Charlotte, and not some stranger wanting to buy her house, Sandra had smiled and said she knew a sign when she saw one.  If Charlotte wanted the house it was hers.  Sandra had brokered the thing herself so that closing costs and realtor commissions wouldn’t make the house beyond Charlotte’s reach. 

This had led to she and Charlotte becoming even closer as Sandra helped Charlotte fulfill a dream she had since she had been small; having her own home.  They had been like sisters since.  Being an only child, Sandra had fancied the idea of having a younger sister, and always treated Charlotte like that.  She would tell Charlotte things first, secrets about herself, and what was happening in her life.  Asking her opinion on matters, something that the outwardly self-confident doctor didn’t like to admit needing help with.  At those times she could look at Sandra, and know that this woman would do anything for her without a second thought.

It was those kinds of things that had made Charlotte uncommonly loyal to Sandra.  As Charlotte knew first hand, sometimes your own family didn’t care about your happiness as much as they cared about their own personal gain. She loved all of her family dearly, but she could count on one hand the members of her family that would’ve moved heaven and earth to make her dreams come true; the ones who already had which were her mother, brother, and grandmother. The three of them together by begging, borrowing, and pleading had made sure that Charlotte had gotten through school at the Savannah School of Art and Design.

Her grandmother wasn’t a wealthy woman.  She and the late Dougal McConnell had come to America from Scotland with nothing but three shirts, two pairs of pants, a couple of dresses, and a few family heirlooms.  So the family had never had anything but a strong work ethic, and a desire to earn their keep.  Her mother and brother had individual trusts put in place by his father, her first husband Jonathan Clangston.  They weren’t plentiful, but they made it possible for her mother to retire two years ago, and for her brother to carry on his international affairs without much fuss.  Everyone had lived a little less than comfortable when they had decided together that Charlotte’s career goals were worthwhile; her mother even more so with the added burden of providing care for her elderly diabetic mother.

Her mother’s two sisters loved her, but they had children of their own.  Bernice and Carolyn were older than Anna Marie, and they balanced husbands, children, grandchildren, and helped Anna Marie care for their mother: children, and grandchildren that Charlotte only saw every few years at family reunions.  She always felt bad about the fact that she wouldn’t even recognize the whole lot of them if they met up somewhere, and she was quite sure that it was the same for them with her.

Her father’s family was a joke.  Just a clan of Irish and Welsh that found it nigh near impossible to conduct themselves within the confines of the law.  Even worse they would steal the shirt off of the back of a blood relative without batting an eyelash.  It seems that they had been in America for centuries robbing and cheating their way through life.  So bad that even the Irish mobs wouldn’t have them.  They had no honor at all. 


That aspect of Charlotte’s blood made her very aware of loyalty, and the importance of keeping your word no matter what.  It was one of her grandmother’s rules. Only on penalty of death should someone be forsworn, and Charlotte believed in that.  She had promised Sandra when she had helped her get her house that if there were ever a time that she should need help she would not need to look any further. 


Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble, and Goodreads

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Women of W.A.R.M.

Charlotte got up from her seat, and moved towards the window of the meeting room they were in.  Sandra had to give it to Charlotte.  She was looking absolutely stunning these days.  When she had met Charlotte she had been a healthy size 16.  Her 5’ 8” stature made most of it look really good, but you could tell she was unhappy with herself, and her appearance.  The blonde had gone from buxom to downright tempting in the next 3 years.  She was now a modest size 7, very happy there, and had kept to that size for the past year.  She had always been pretty with her big blue-green eyes and her wide expressive mouth, but she was alluring now.  Her cheekbones were defined and her nose was slimmer.  She had cut her hair to a long in front bob that showcased her long neck and ultra-feminine shoulders.  It also showcased a head of hair that went from light brown to golden blonde in a natural process that women paid hundreds of dollars for.
Charlotte had a women’s build.  She had become lean with modest sized breasts. She was slim, but not too so skinny you wanted to feed her constantly.  Her waist, shapely hips, and derriere made those low-rise jeans look fantastic on her.  Sandra had started feeling unattractive around her, and that made her feel shallow, and a slave to the very nature that she was trying to eliminate.  Sandra was exotic, but Charlotte was classic.  And unless you liked your women with big boobs, an abnormally narrow waist, giant hips, giant ass, and those oh so sexy linebacker shoulders, you probably wouldn’t want Sandra.
“Hello ladies.”  Brenda blew into the room in her usual fashion.  First the smell of Liz Taylor’s Black Diamonds, and then a whiff of Vanilla from her over coiffed naturally straight blue-black hair that was piled on top of her head.  She had a designer hairspray that smelled of Vanilla.  Her Gucci clutch landed on the table near Sandra as she took a prim seat in the chair next to her. A red plaid Liz Arden suit with gold toggles matching her black & gold Christian Dior pumps adorned her figure.
Brenda was not an attractive lady in the conventional sense.  She was average height, 5’ 6”.  Not too much leg; not too much torso; not too meaty; not too slender, and a real primo nice set of breasts though.  In her own words, ‘you don’t often see real ones this perky’.  Her intense ice blue eyes startled you in their paleness.  To maximize this affect she usually kept them fringed in heavy mascara and thick black eyeliner. Facial features that met you were sharp and blunt all at the same time, swimming heavily in her Italian ancestry, and merely wading in her Welsh.  The combination as a whole was stark and startling.  The oddity of her features was entrancing, and in the oddest way quite lovely. Add that with her healthy amounts of confidence, and the way she exuded power.  She held great beauty.
Brenda was a self-made woman.  She had graduated as an architect 12 years ago, and had instantly scored the biggest business venture ever.  It had taken sixteen months, but she had successfully designed and copyrighted the infamous bank building in Downtown Dallas that featured a most interesting architectural design that resembled a keyhole at the top of the building.  One of her graduation projects had been the interior of the city’s best symphony hall.  By studying the configuration of wind instruments she had figured out a way to stack the walls that caused sound to vibrate and bounce at a higher magnitude than most other symphonic halls.  Of course the architect she understudied for took all the credit.  He claimed who was better qualified to make such a discovery, him or his assistant, who was also a woman. Guess whom the board sided with.  Being completely miffed by this Brenda had reworked the layouts so that he ended up stacking the walls wrong leaving her to have to go in behind him and fix them.  This proved once and for all who had really been the mastermind behind the center’s design which was what actually scored her an arts center job.  From that day forward Brenda had resolved to stand behind no one.  Her projects would be her own, and the construction companies would deal with her and her alone.
Charlotte had been responsible for Brenda being in their lives.  Four years ago Charlotte had put her BA in interior design to good use and founded Not Just Ceilings and Walls. The company had designed the interior of Brenda’s first independent project, a restaurant in North Dallas called Avanti.  They had met and hit it off prompting Charlotte to tell her about W.A.R.M.  Brenda was instantly on board being sick of the male influence in her day-to-day life thanks to her career.  So Brenda got to soon add being an active member of W.A.R.M to her hobbies of being a clotheshorse, and a social butterfly.
“How are those red Prada sling backs I gave you?”  Brenda’s ice blue eyes lit up as she leaned over to pat Sandra’s hand.
“They are as wonderful as you said.”
“Worth the $350?”
“Every penny.”
Looking every bit like Jackie O in her prime, Brenda clucked as she started digging through her Gucci clutch. “I swear they are sexy. It’s a shame I could only wear them twice.”
Charlotte looked at Brenda questioningly, as usual confused by the woman’s sensibilities.  “Why only twice?”
“The dress that went with them, I wore it to the President’s Arts Gala last fall and to the TCU alumni anniversary dinner this past spring.  I was photographed at both occasions.  Anyone paying attention would notice.”  She put a dramatic hand to her forehead. “It would be so embarrassing; it’s not like I’m a pauper after all.”
Both Sandra and Charlotte simply looked blinkingly at Brenda.
Completely oblivious, Brenda huffed and continued.  “Speaking of galas, I’m hosting a fundraiser at the house in Willow Bend. Charlotte would you be my hero and update my living and dining rooms. Last time is still great, but—”
Charlotte interrupted, “I know, you wouldn’t want them to see it twice.  I’ll send Megan over in the morning, and I’ll look over her notes, and get back to you by Friday.”
“You are an angel.”  Brenda smiled as she refreshed her lipstick.
“You just don’t forget to mention my design company when those high society rags come through.” She smiled indulgently at Brenda.  She didn’t always understand the woman, but she really enjoyed her nonetheless.
Brenda gave her a brilliant smile. “Never darling,” she said in a droll self-mocking tone.
The door to the meeting room flew open and two women stood there, one glaring one laughing.  On the left, the glaring redhead turned flashing green eyes to Sandra, and then back to her companion.  The redhead’s normally pale skin tone was emitting tones of red in her fury.  She was dressed super business casual, as was her style; a basic white scoop neckline short sleeve top, and tan wide-legged slacks with no fuss no muss light tan flat sandals.  Deborah was the anti-Brenda if ever there were one.  She kept her outfits simple, and easy to maintain which was interesting since she was without doubt the one out of the group with the looks.  Her heart-shaped face, larger than life green eyes, her sharp pert nose, and pouty lips were a perfect picture framed by fire red hair that was laced with golden red strands and auburn highlights; all natural by the by.  She was definitely gorgeous in the drop-dead sense.  She kept her body fit and toned and stood about 5’ 2”, which most men found absolutely adorable.  Made her easy to physically manipulate Sandra had once jokingly explained to the group to get the little redhead’s ire up.
But the laughing lady to the right, Rachel, did something that Deborah’s beauty couldn’t.  She emitted sex. It was always unintentional, but potent, like Brenda’s “Black Diamonds” perfume.  It poured off of her when she walked into a room.  Her chocolate skin tone looked creamy, and her shoulder length curly ash brown hair whispered how soft it was. Dark brown eyes were always warm with invitation.  She stood a little intimidating at 5’ 9”, but it was fetching.  When she wasn’t on a job, RJ always wore long things, like the simple sleeveless turtle-necked black dress she was wearing that nearly touched the floor beneath her black strappy sandals.  Outfits like that showed off her long legs and smooth curves that practically beckoned for a man’s touch. Top this package off with an exquisite face. Not the pure beauty that Deborah was, but a more flamboyant look.  Her features were broad; her eyes, lips, her nose, and it made you stare without realizing that you were.  Right now those broad features were alight with mischief and humor.
“I can’t believe you did that,” exclaimed Deborah looking sidelong at Rachel.  “What is wrong with you?”
Sandra, welcoming the break from the drama that is Brenda, looked to Deborah and asked, “Did what?”
Deborah started shaking her head, her long red hair dusting her shoulders lightly as it continued down her back. Unforgiving, she pointed at Rachel who was looking unusually contrite.  Rachel’s eyes were downcast, and she continued to hiccup, which meant that she had been laughing very hard.  The ebony beauty raised her dark brown eyes to look at the room, and then turned to run out.
Charlotte rolled her eyes at the duo. “Well Debbie, what did she do?”
“She was being a bully is what.” She formed her face in a perfect pout as she glanced behind her to see Rachel bent over double laughing on the other side of the door.
“Do you remember her mark?” She finally started as she moved over to the other side of the conference table.
Everyone internally sighed as she began.  Deborah was one of those out-of-control redheads that you would find yelling bloody murder at a waiter who spilled coffee in front of her, not to mention how she would act had it been on her.  It took very little to get her angry, and she always held people responsible for their actions.  There were no mistakes for Debbie; there were just people who didn’t own up to their mistakes.  She was necessary for what they were trying to do, because she was like their blind lady of justice. Whenever there was a question of right and wrong she always knew where to look, and what questions to ask.  Deborah was a criminal psychiatrist who took her work into all aspects of her life.
Sandra had met Deborah while she had been consulting on a juvenile delinquency case three and a half years ago.  The case had involved a 13-year-old girl who had been caught prostituting.  Her mother had been a heroin addict who allowed her scummy boyfriend to pimp out her daughter for drug money.  Deborah had intentionally sought her out knowing that if anyone could help her get the 13–year-old exonerated, and away from her addicted mother, and most importantly her mother’s pimp boyfriend, it would be Sandra.  Whose reputation with the Dallas County DA’s office had become legend due to her key testimony in another trial involving child pornography. Most legal factions considered her a key expert in the subject because of her studies in gender sociology.
Debbie dropped her giant hemp purse in front of her on the table, and sat unabashedly down with her legs slightly ajar and arms on top of the table.  “Well miss audiovisual here decided that it wasn’t enough to teach him a normal lesson.”  She glared at Rachel as she began to make her way into the room.  “Instead he got a paranormal one.”
“A what?!”  Brenda as usual, cracked first.
“I can’t speak her techie mumbo-jumbo, so she’ll have to tell you.”
“He was a hard case.”  RJ giggled as she sat next to Charlotte.  “He wasn’t going to be broken with just a routine operation.”  She glanced deviously at the room as she folded her arms across her chest.  “So I stepped it up a notch.”
“Could we be sued?”  Sandra asked in all seriousness.
Rachel shook her head. “He’d be much too embarrassed to tell anyone, not even his therapist. Besides you can’t file charges against a person beyond this place.”
Charlotte’s eyes lit up completely intrigued. “Now you have to tell us what you did.”
Rachel made a smug face. “It was pretty simple really.  It turns out that Brian has a phobia about ghosts and such.  His mom would tell him these heinous stories when he was young to make him behave. Anyway, after our date a few nights ago I set-up some very convincing, not visible equipment to recreate his worst nightmare.  Last night he asked for sex, and I asked him for a commitment.  He refused so I set plan ‘nocturnal visitor’ into effect.”
Sandra felt her forehead crease. There was always one super dramatic ultra militant one in every group, and Rachel was definitely theirs.  Sandra didn’t blame her though.  When she had met Rachel she had been afraid to leave her house. The beauty had been mugged and raped 2 weeks prior to running into Sandra at a local grocery store 2 years ago.  She had visibly flinched when the male stocker had moved towards her to grab a box near her cart, thus dropping the can of ravioli she had in her hand.  Sandra had been in the same aisle for you guessed it, disgusting canned ravioli.  Sandra had picked up the can joking about how your body knew that this stuff was awful for it. Expecting a laugh at both their expense, Sandra saw the most painful look of horror she had ever seen.  So she had followed by asking her if she was okay, and the poor lady had immediately burst into tears.  The teachings of Ayita Sittingbull-Dalianas had taken over instantly. Sandra couldn’t keep to herself or mind her own business at that point.  She had been raised better than that.  Without a by your leave, she had bundled Rachel up, and got her out of there.

During that time Sandra had a house in the middle of Richardson.  She had gotten rid of it, and settled for a small one bedroom apartment because of how lonely the modest sized house had made her feel. The house in Richardson was where Sandra had shuffled Rachel off to.  The frightened woman had fought her every step of the way.  Finally she got her settled in the guest room with a large cup of tea and a very good book talking about how to cope with rape.  Rachel didn’t come out for 3 days.  Sandra had left her be, and left food and water outside of the door for whenever she was ready. She and Sandra had been close ever since.

Available on AmazonBarnes & Noble and Goodreads

Saturday, May 7, 2016

That thing about race from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

They had actually spent most of the drive quiet.  Commenting on music and scenery.  Nothing truly substantial just comforting small talk to pass the time.  He would make a catty remark about a movie billboard. She would berate the art.  It was rather amusing how comfortable, how quickly each got at their end of it.  They were seated at one of the back tables in the restaurant and poor Colan was confused.
“I always get front and center.”
Fiona was looking at her menu. “You’re always with people they want you to be seen with,” she said without really thinking about it.
“If you knew the company I kept you wouldn’t say that.” He argued gravely thinking about his rendezvous with his Columbian backers. “Not everyone I’m here with is white.”
Fiona dropped the menu and looked at him dead on. “I told you it’s not just about that; it’s about class.” She gave him an odd look. “How much is everything you’re wearing?”
He looked down at himself. “Maybe a grand most likely 2.”
“Just in clothes?”
“Just in clothes.”
“This whole outfit cost $20 at the local mall.  I got the dress on clearance for $10, the shoes were on sale for $3 and the purse I got at a 75% discount for 8 bucks.” She showed him her wrists and gestured towards her neck.  “I don’t wear jewelry.”
“You don’t wear makeup. Your hair is as it grows out of your head and not coiffed into oblivion,” he finished.
She tilted her head at him. “Aw honey, you finally noticed.”
He smiled at her despite himself. “It was one of the first things I noticed,” he admitted.
“I’m not one of you guys.  I don’t have the finance. And,” she emphasized. “I’m the wrong color.”
He winced. “I’m really starting to not like it when you refer to color.”
She shook her head at him. “Why does it piss you off?” she said in a way that completely said that he had no right to be pissed off about it.
He picked up his menu. “Because I’d punch someone that said that to me about you.” He paused a slight sharp smile dancing on his lips. “I don’t hit women.”
She stared at him sideways, literally tilting her head the other way. “I don’t understand you,” she said softly.
He looked up at her. “Then we have more in common than I thought.”
The waitress came over finally. “Mr. Abrams, how can I help you?” She said tensely.
Without looking at the girl he said swiftly. “Ask the lady what she would like.”
The girl next door brunette plastered on a fake smile and looked over at Fiona. “Ma’am, what can I get you?”
Fiona returned the smile dripping with every ounce of fakeness the girl had given her. “Well,” she started in her most country accent forcing Colan to slowly pan his head up at her. “Ah think Ah migh’ star’ with a Pabst Light.”
The girl’s face dropped. “I ..” she stammered. “I don’t think. . . we carry that brand of,” she gestured loosely. “Beer?”
“Well Damn,” Fiona stopped. “How bout some OE.”
Colan was biting his lower lip watching the display as the waitress looked at the woman helplessly. “I don’t think we have that either.” She supplied.
“What the ell kinda bar’s this, awright, awright.” In perfect English she requested. “Actually I’d like a vodka dry martini Grey Goose, very very dirty. Please lace the rim with lemon.”
The girl stared and then finding a solution quickly said, “Method actress; I totally get it.” She turned to Colan.
“The same.” He barely got out.
The girl nodded and quickly ran away. Colan followed by bursting out in immediate loud arborous laughter. After about 30 seconds of this he used the napkin to wipe his eyes and just kept muttering, “Well played, Ms. Canters, well played.”
A mischevious light danced in his eyes as he looked at her and started, “You know I have this role—“
“Forget about it mister.”
Colan smiled at the immediate setdown. “What made you . . .”
Fiona shrugged. “Terrible habit I developed years ago.  Can’t make myself stop.  As soon as someone starts treating me a certain way I like to give it to them, and then show them how I really am.” She shook her head smiling to herself. “Man has it gotten me into trouble over the years.”
“In Texas. I’m sure it has.”
She looked at him in an accusing fashion. “You know a lot about the South, and when you got pissed at me earlier your accent got going.”
“Oklahoma,” he supplied. “Born and raised.”
She nodded. “Makes sense.” Then smirkingly asked. “Why doesn’t Texas fall into the ocean?”
Colan rolled his eyes. “Here we go. Cause Oklahoma sucks.” He fixed her with a look. “Why is Oklahoma so windy?”
Fiona laughed. “Cause Texas sucks and Kansas blows.”
She looked around the room. People were either in various stages of disgust, wonder, or overt self-involvement. “How in the hell did you end up here?” she wondered openly.
“Foolishly,” he supplied. “But I’ve made it work for me?”
Fiona picked up her menu. “Well I think we should be ready when she comes back.”
“I’d rather you take your time.”
“Well Cody and I have a flight to catch—“
“I’d be highly offended if you didn’t let me treat you to at least one night in Hollywood.”
“Really, we haven’t booked a room—“
“There is room at my place.”
“But the plane tickets—“
“I’ll refund, have Mic book you a new flight when we get back.”
“I don’t think—“
“Would you refuse my hospitality?” he let his accent slip as he said it.
Fiona opened her mouth, and her southern breeding took over closing it instantly.  “No sir, I wouldn’t dream of it.  One night.”
“Unless more is required.” He hinted.
“One night.” Fiona insisted.
He smiled, “I’ll try not to push my luck.”
“Ready.” The waitress returned with a much more genuine smile on her face as she placed the martinis on the table.  Colan looked over at Fiona to see if she noticed.  She still had her head buried in her menu.  This probably happened all over the place, and she just never paid attention; still trapped in her sea of distain.
“Fiona.”

She still didn’t see it because she looked at him.  He said her name like a caress, like he cared for her.