Tag Archives: FOWC

One-Liner Wednesday

This is somewhat true for me. I’m still missing my mom 11 years on, and she was definitely someone I “had,” a huge part of my life, but otherwise… yeah. It’s pretty easy for me to dump material possessions as I downsize (again) for moving. But it was difficult for me to let the “soul mate” dream go. I’ve never had a soul mate, which may seem ironic for a romance writer, so when my 20-year marriage ended, I became more determined than ever to find this person. It took 5 years of increasingly frustrating and depressing situations for me to realize I had to let the dream go for my own mental and emotional health. I talk about this a lot because it helps me reinforce it to myself. I just today posted in comments to 2 blogs how much happier I am without the wings of this dream beating in my brain.

But it was a struggle to lug the thing to the trash bin and leave it there.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

Image found on Google

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A New Life [flash 201]

When she was a child, she played in a magic garden with a sparkling unicorn and a rainbow of butterflies. One day, she jumped in a glittering aqua pool and was pulled out by rough hands. Scared, she stared into an unfamiliar face.

“Foolish girl,” the old man said. “That river is dirty. Don’t go in there again.”

“What about my white horse?” she cried.

He laughed but not unkindly and returned her to the orphanage, where they punished her for escaping again. A few years later, they sent her out to work for a wealthy family to earn her keep. She cleaned their floors and sometimes was allowed to help in the kitchen, where she might stir a pot of sauce or cut up vegetables.

One day, she was in the driveway helping the chauffeur wax the white limo when the old man appeared, the one who pulled her from the river. He didn’t seem to recognize her however.

But when he walked past he commented, “When you’re eighteen you can get your license and learn to drive my limo. Maybe a car can replace the white horse you left behind and you can create a new life for yourself.”

~*~

BrewNSpew Cafe

Image credit to lovethispic.com

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Lexi Needs A Ride [fiction 1195]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Vicky informed Lexi of Dan’s intent to drive to Otter Village and how he seemed to have disappeared along the way.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation]

For the first time since she’d moved to Otter Village, Lexi regretted giving up her car. She’d had a cool metallic blue Mazda with the personalized plate BLUWAVE. It had not been her intent to be political, only whimsical, and after Jim’s infamous death, the plate made her easily recognizable to those who liked to snap her picture. As soon as she’d arranged for accommodation here, she sold the car and her furniture, booked a flight, and ubered to Carolyn’s. When she needed a ride, there were Uber drivers here, though you could wait a half-hour or more, unlike the city where one would pop up two seconds after you texted.

Uber app

Tonight, after Vicky’s call informing her that Dan had apparently disappeared en route to Otter Village, Lexi really wished she had her own car available. She felt trapped, having to rely on Ubers or the kindness of people like Carolyn to drop her off when she wasn’t feeling well. She paced across the porch, trying to decide what to do.

Her first impulse was to call Kevin, but no. Their romance was only just starting and it wasn’t right to impose upon him. They had already planned a fun event tomorrow and she didn’t want to ruin everything with a Saturday night drama. This ongoing Dan problem had nothing to do with Kevin. She needed to deal with Dan and make him understand that she’d tried to help Jim, but he hadn’t wanted help. She’d already told Dan that at the funeral, but he’d tuned her out that afternoon. She didn’t blame him; grief did strange things to your brain. Yet, she hadn’t wanted to restart the discussion again either.

Cemetery flowers

Lexi stayed outside a few minutes longer, worrying about Dan… stranded? Hurt? The victim of a crime? Where was he now? What had happened to him? Finally the cold was too much and Lexi went inside, grateful for the warmth of the boarding house. She hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so she wandered into the kitchen.

Peering into the fridge, she wished Carolyn hadn’t left for the weekend. Her landlady would probably be willing to help look for Dan. She was a very kind person. Lexi shut the fridge, deciding she wasn’t hungry after all. She went into the great room where the TV droned… an old James Bond movie was playing.

“Hey Lexi,” said a guy on the sofa. It was Mike, the newest resident. “Whassup?”

Lexi forced herself to sit on the opposite end of the sofa, even though her nerves were still jumping. “Mm nothing. Was wondering if maybe I could get a ride…”

“Now? I’m a bit wasted.” He grinned. “How about in the morning? In the meantime, I’ve got a fine selection of party favors in my room, if you’d like to join me. When the landlady’s away, the cats will play. Isn’t that what they say?”

Ugh! That’s not what they said! Lexi felt utterly disgusted, though she usually didn’t care what the other housemates did. Calm down, she admonished herself, this isn’t Mike’s fault. “I’ll pass,” she said. “I have to go out.”

“Bummer,” he said, turning his attention back to the screen, where Bond had begun to play cards with a bad guy.

Lexi left the room and went upstairs to her own. She pulled up her Uber app and was just about to request a ride to the airport, in hopes of renting a car and abandoning her promise to Vicky and Nick, when her phone buzzed with a call from Kevin.

“Hi! How are you?” Too late, she realized her voice was jittery and over-bright.

Kevin laughed. “Good! You sure sound peppy for having worked all day. I’m tired, I confess, but I did sneak in a five-mile run before sunset.”

“Nice! I should do that.”

“We’ll get plenty of exercise tomorrow on our beach walk,” he said. “It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day. Cool but sunny. We could have a picnic…”

“Sounds fantastic!”

“Lexi, is everything okay? You seem a little on edge.”

She didn’t want to lie. “Oh, the usual. Haha, you know. My sister! All that.”

“Hmm.” Kevin paused, the silence making Lexi more nervous. Finally, he continued, “Did your sister call with more news about Dan today?”

“Yes.” Lexi sighed and picked up the otter beanie baby on her night table. It was still as adorable as the day Kevin gave it to her at the festival, back when they were friends “light,” before their kiss, before she’d begun confiding in him.

Beanie baby otter

“And?” Kevin prompted. “You can tell me, Lexi. I really will understand. I know it’s not your fault this stuff happened. I too have had…”

“What?” She eagerly seized on that morsel. “What brought you here, Kevin? Why did you leave Chicago?”

“Whoa,” he said. “Actually, I’d like to tell you about all that, even though I won’t be doing myself any favors. It’s not a pretty picture of me, but fair is fair, since you’ve been honest with me. How about tomorrow though, in person?”

“Sure.” Lexi sat on the edge of her bed, still holding the otter. “But for now, I have to go. Want to meet here at noon?”

“Sounds good, but… what happened with Dan?”

“You’re so persistent! Are you sure you’re not a reporter?”

“Just tell me. I’m starting to imagine awful things.”

“It is awful.” She stood up and began pacing again. “He was driving up here and, well, vanished.”

“What do you mean vanished?”

“Vicky said he called her Friday, implying he was coming up here to talk to me. Then in the middle of the night she got a missed call from him with a garbled message like he was in trouble. He won’t pick up now or return texts from her or Nick. Nick traced the last call to coordinates about two hundred miles south of here, but his car GPS was still moving back to the city.”

“He could have changed his mind.”

“Right, but that message…” Lexi shook her head. “No, I think he got in some kind of trouble.”

“I can see why you’re concerned, but isn’t it more logical to assume he lost his phone and turned around?” Kevin sounded so sensible and comforting.

Lexi didn’t want to argue. “Yes, Kevin, that would be more logical.”

“Soooo, you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and I’ll see you at noon? We can stop at the market for picnic goodies on the way to the beach.”

“I’m going to get an Uber to the airport and rent a car to go look for Dan,” she told him. “But the rest of your plan sounds perfect.”

“You can’t do that, Lexi.”

Immediately irritated at being told what she couldn’t do, Lexi said, “And why not?”

“Because rental car places are all closed by now.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. How could she possibly sleep tonight or enjoy herself with Kevin tomorrow when Dan might be lying injured on the road somewhere? “Okay, thanks.”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes to help you go look for that idiot,” Kevin said and clicked off.

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credits Pexels, Pixabay, and Google.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Glow [flash 341]

Golden glowing sunrise with a pink and lavender sky

“Let’s use the darker shades now to layer our sky,” Anita instructed. “We want to get a sense of the deep lavender hues of the waning night, and then we’ll put the bright light of the golden sun last.”

She stood back to admire her painting in progress–her best one yet. She was really nailing this Glow series. But then she glanced over at Michael, who seemed to be having quite a bit of difficulty. Poor guy. He didn’t seem to be focused. She walked over to help him.

“Hey, honey. That’s a really good start.” Anita swirled her own brush through his pink mixture. “Let’s just brighten up your sky a bit here and here, okay?”

He was so non-responsive. But that was the trouble with guys like Michael. You gave and you gave and they didn’t care at all. They acted like you should worship them or something. The hell with that!

“Now look, sweetie. You’ve got way too much chocolate brown there for the tree. For heaven’s sake!” Anita began painting over Michael’s tree with conviction. “I’ll fix it. It’s always my job to fix things, isn’t it?”

She stepped back to view his canvas. Much better. “What do you think?” She nudged his shoulder and he toppled off the chair and onto the floor.

“Dammit!” Anita was annoyed. Now she’d have to take time away from painting to get Michael situated properly in the chair again, which wasn’t easy given how stiff he’d become already. She bent down to pull him up and noticed that he’d begun to smell.

Painting class was officially over. Anita picked up her finished canvas and her unused paints and put them in her truck. She doused the studio with gasoline and tossed a flaming rag through the window before driving away. As she headed for the freeway, she saw the glow of the burning building bathe the early morning sky.

She really didn’t cope well with rejection. Hopefully the next man wouldn’t be such a jerk.

~*~

The Daily Echo

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Entanglement [fiction 875]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin was having second thoughts about getting involved with Lexi so soon after he had to deal with his own romantic drama back in Chicago.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?]

Lexi was ashamed of herself for checking her phone every five minutes like a lovesick teenager. It was just a kiss on the beach, for heaven’s sake! Well… a few kisses. Under a romantic full moon, in his warm embrace…

Cell phone in hand

Stop! She stuck her phone in a drawer and busied herself with laundry. She was not falling for Kevin, despite the fact that the first time they met she had literally fallen off her bike and he helped her up. It was too soon. She needed to chill here, not get involved in a new emotional entanglement.

But a bike ride was an excellent idea. As soon as her clothes were out of the dryer, she’d take a long one. It was a great thing to do on her weekday off work and especially today to clear her head and get re-centered.

She grabbed her phone before she left the house. No messages. Kevin was probably busy working, plus she wasn’t naive. A moonlit walk and a few sweet kisses didn’t necessarily mean that much to a man. Just because she felt all fluttery at the memory of last night didn’t mean he felt similarly. He might not be thinking about her at all. Maybe he took romantic walks all the time with various women.

Peaceful pond with ducks and trees

Biking down to the beach, Lexi took deep breaths of the fresh air. Another gorgeous day! She couldn’t help but smile at people she passed on the path. Even though she didn’t want to get close to folks here yet or reveal much about herself, didn’t mean she couldn’t be friendly. It was a relief not to be wary and tense all the time like she’d been back in the city. The news from Vicky about Dan had flung her back into that whirl of stress, but being with Kevin had magically swept it all away.

Her feet slowed; her ebullient mood popped like a child’s bubble. She turned off the path and stopped, gazing out at the crystal blue waves breaking on the sand. It was still warm enough to play in the water, but the school year had begun, so the beach was relatively empty. Lexi took her phone out of her backpack and saw that she had a message.

She allowed her mind to drift back to last night and how good it felt to be with Kevin. He was so understanding. Even though a new relationship hadn’t been on her radar when she’d escaped the big city after her husband’s death, now it seemed exciting when the idea circled around a certain sexy dark-haired hotel manager. Maybe a good, slow-building relationship with a nice, steady, calm, even-tempered man would not be stressful…

Smiling relaxed man with coffee at picnic table

She unlocked her phone. The message was from Vicky. Dammit! Okay, she’d listen later. Lexi got back on her bike and in a surge of energy pedaled for miles up the coast. By the time she turned around and got back to the rooming house, it was dusk and her legs felt like overcooked noodles. She put the bike away and climbed the stairs an inch at a time.

“You okay?” Carolyn the landlady asked at the second floor. “You hurt your back?”

Lexi shook her head. “I overdid it on a bike ride. Just lost in my thoughts. Pretty silly.”

Carolyn laughed. “That can happen. Go lie down. I’ll make you a cup of tea and bring you some Advil. I think there’s leftover veggie lasagna. Want me to check?”

“That’s so nice of you!” Lexi said as she hobbled toward her room.

“Well, of course, dear.” Carolyn started down the stairs. “We’re all little refugee birds up here. Thanks for making those yummy cookies for us last night.”

As Lexi arranged herself in her room, stretching out in her comfy chair, she thought about Carolyn’s comment. Little refugee birds. That’s why people came to Otter Village, to escape something. Not just Lexi, but Kevin too. She’d been so wrapped up in her own head she hadn’t thought about what his story might be.

Why was Kevin here? She recalled him saying he was relatively new, around three months, but that was a month ago. So, what had made Kevin leave Chicago four months ago? What was his story? He had never told her.

Bird flying over city buildings

But then again… she hadn’t asked. There was no reason not to. He knew all about her life. After she rested for a bit, she was gonna call him. But first, Vicky’s message. She’d procrastinated long enough…

“Hey sis, call when you can. It’s nothing urgent. Just an update on the Dan situation. He kinda confronted me again, but this time Nick was waiting in the car, so things got a bit heated. Nothing terrible! It’s just that Dan is really pissed we won’t give him your new phone number, so he threatened to drive up there and find you in what he terms ‘hickville.’ Nick said he’d slap a restraining order on him, but Dan said he had a right to take a vacation where he wants, it’s a free country, blah blah. He backed off on the finding you part, but I’m worried about it. Nick thinks he’s all talk, but I dunno…”

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Karma Chameleon

Chameleon

This may sound odd coming from an atheist, but I believe in karma. Now, this is not the first dictionary definition of karma, with reincarnation and yada, but my own notion of logic and being held accountable. Cause and effect, baby.

Forex, if you drive like a rude, reckless jerk, sooner or later you’re going to pay for that. Maybe you’ll rack up a pile of tickets and eventually lose your license or get hurt in an accident. Unfortunately, you may end up hurting others. Then you’ll get dumped in the $$$$ end of the insurance pool. Cause and effect, no supernatural interference necessary.

I am of course aware that this karma (or whatever you prefer to call it) does not work perfectly. Some jerks seem to cruise through life, breaking rules and screwing people over, with zero consequences. Or so it appears. I don’t believe they suffer some “hell” after death; perhaps they experience suffering we simply don’t know about. Or they just escape penalty for their terrible behavior. It happens. As we used to say on Usenet, shurgs.

And what about the total other end of the spectrum? I’m talking about wonderful folks like my mom who are inclined to help everyone they can and are full of general goodness and virtue? We don’t always see these people get rewarded, and sometimes they suffer when they shouldn’t. Again, (a) we don’t always know all the facts, and (b) it’s not a perfect system. Shurgs.

Have I come to believe all this merely as a way to reconcile events in my own life? Yeah maybe. And so what? I’m as guilty as anyone else for wanting order to things, and maybe more. Probably lots more!

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Who Needs Drama? [fiction 725]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi took a romantic stroll and she told him about her past, after which they shared their first kiss.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight]

Man in blue suit talking at meeting

Kevin had a busy morning, which was a good thing because he didn’t want to spend time thinking about Lexi. His afternoon passed similarly, in a crush of meetings and reports, since it was third quarter end, and he needed everyone in sync for a great year-end. Just because he’d downsized from Chicago to Otter Village didn’t mean he’d lost his drive to produce the bottom line results for his superiors. A hotel was a hotel after all.

But eventually he ran out of energy, even after copious amounts of coffee, and called it a day at 9pm. Now there was a difference between this sleepy town and the big city: he had pulled all nighters at quarter-end back there as general manager. Part of that could have been due to his ongoing anxiety to impress the Chairman of the Board, aka Dad, he finally admitted to himself as he headed out the door into the refreshing evening air.

“Hey, Kev.” The afternoon chef greeted him as he headed toward the beach. “Going for a run tonight?”

Kevin had changed into casual clothes a few hours ago. “Actually I’m headed home to zone out in front of the tube. I’m beat. Tomorrow?”

“Sure thing!”

Unfortunately, without work or exercise to direct his thoughts, they immediately wandered back to Lexi… and that kiss.

Kiss in the moonlight

What had happened to his plan to go a year without getting involved with anyone? It hadn’t even been four months since he’d relocated! He had thought he’d ended things sensibly and amicably with Emily, but she’d badmouthed him to family and friends, while he’d said nothing, trying to be a gentleman. They’d all relentlessly criticized him, telling him what a terrible mistake he was making. Yet, he stayed in Chicago, where he’d grown up, gone to school and college, knew everyone in the neighborhood.

But then Emily slept with his best friend, got pregnant, married him, had the baby. Kevin felt forced to attend the wedding and fake happiness, with his parents and sisters gloating “told you!” every chance they got. Spiraling into a black mood, Kevin began hitting the downtown bars every weekend and hooking up with whichever random woman caught his eye. One of the women was a employment recruiter, in Chicago for a convention, and had stuck her card in his pocket before they’d parted. Disgusted with his life, Kevin impulsively called her when he found the card. Not for a date, but to send her his resume.

She had a job for him–this one, 3,500 miles from Chicago. Perfect!

Kevin unlocked the front door of his rented condo. He liked it here. Liked his simple life consisting of work, exercise, friends, TV. Once every couple weeks, he called his mother to say hello and “liked” one of his sisters’ Facebook photos. If they texted, he’d give a short, cheery reply. No drama. That was the key.

Relationships were drama. And Lexi? Kevin laughed as he peered in the fridge. Lexi was the freaking epitome of drama. She escaped here, supposedly incognito, after being the victim of a violent crime, with her crazy husband as the perp. A cop killed her mister, and the dead dude’s brother blamed Lexi. Even though Lexi had been using a fake name (more drama), brother dearest, likely another psycho, found her, and he’d probably eventually hotfoot it up here for a dramatic showdown.

Kevin pulled out a container of leftover Chinese food and smelled it. Seemed fine. He dumped it in a bowl with the leftover rice and nuked it in the microwave. As the oven ticked away, Kevin stared out into the darkness of his patio. Just last night he had been with Lexi, in the warm kitchen of her rooming house, filled with the delicious scent of freshly baked cookies. It was nice having Lexi fluttering around him, making sure he was happy and fed. A man could get used to that. Not to mention her soft curves, fitting so well in his arms…

The microwave dinged. As Kevin ate dinner by himself, he thought maybe he could be a little bit flexible on that one year dating moratorium he’d given himself. It had been four months. What if he said six months, not a year, and took things really slowly for the next two? That could work…

Redhead with brown eyes

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Current Events

Mosaic fish

Swirling under a butter sun,
Languidly I become
One with the current,
Ever circling
This luminous pool,
Looping through my lazy reverie.
Vaguely aware I am losing
Some essential identity,
A separateness
That makes me, me;
I vow to forsake this place.
Yet the heady siren’s call
To blend into the cool blue thrall,
The glassy-eyed sameness,
Knowing a belonging
Even while longing
To stand alone and free,
Breathing, thinking, feeling…
Without worrying whom to please,
Recaptures my peace.

[Inspired by Rory’s sheeple post.]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

A Cup of Tea? [fiction 645]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read that Miko, the pirate commander who had originally captured Liana for his Queen, planned to prove she wasn’t special in order to have her to himself. When that didn’t work, he came up with a new idea.

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan]

Colorful flowers

Liana paused in the secluded garden as a disturbance suddenly fluttered through the morning like a swarm of bats. She didn’t see anything, but she felt a presence and, already unstable in her ninth month, she stumbled over a stone.

“Careful.” Miko emerged from the shadows of the coconut palms. “Mustn’t let anything happen to the babe.”

“What are you doing here?” Aware that she was alone except for Sura, Liana felt jittery in the presence of the large, looming pirate. All the other warriors had left to capture a trading vessel from Australia. “Aren’t you supposed to be gathering more wealth for our dear ruler?”

Miko grinned. “That’s what I have trained men for. I have come to protect you. The Queen would be distraught if you were to have an accident.”

“I have Sura to help me.” Liana knew Miko would be the cause of any accident and tried to find a way to get him to leave. “It is bad luck for a man to be around this close to the baby’s time.”

Miko put his powerful hands on his hips and laughed, his white teeth sharp as a cat’s. “Sura is gone. There was a family emergency. Her father is badly injured and may not live through the day. I just gave her the sad news myself and watched her rush away. I told her I’d stay with you.”

“Oh no!” At once, Liana grieved for Sura and felt terrified for herself, alone here with Miko. Then came the certainty that Miko had engineered this predicament by hurting Sura’s father. The warmth of her lovely garden began to feel oppressive and her skin grew sticky under her loose cotton dress.

“No worries, little sea witch.” Miko stepped closer to her, swatting away a bee. The hard planes of his bronzed face were just as frightening without war paint. “Your secrets are safe with me, as long as you grant me a small favor in return.”

Quickly, Liana turned and put her small herb basket between them, though it scarcely was a barrier. “What could you possibly need from me? I’m about to become a mother. Sura says such babies conceived from the Sea Gods need all a mother’s attention.”

“That may be so,” Miko said. “But you and I both know that prisoner spoke true. You’re just an ordinary island girl, the daughter of a so-called oracle, who couldn’t even save his people from a volcano. Your baby was created the usual way, not at sea by a god.”

Liana didn’t reply. She was searching for a certain plant… ah, here it was! She broke off a stem full of shiny berries, careful not to touch them.

Black shiny berries

“If you marry me,” Miko continued, “you will still have the Queen’s favor. But then so will I, as your husband. I will protect the babe as well as you, though it isn’t mine.”

“You already are a favorite,” Liana said, laying more flowers in her basket. “You’ve brought lots of wealth to the kingdom.”

Miko shrugged. “For now. If a season passes with no captures, she’ll turn on me. I’ve seen other commanders put to death and eaten after being favored. But as your husband, I will have the blessings you do. The Queen will look upon both of us with favor. And our children.”

Liana suppressed a shudder at the idea of creating children with this massive brute. He was so unlike the sweet, slender, soulful island boy she’d loved. The one she’d made a baby with. Gone forever. Her heart was broken. No other man could take Ken’s place… the first time she’d felt their baby move, she vowed to live the rest of her days as a widow.

“I see.” She forced herself to gaze up at Miko and smile alluringly. “Would you like a cup of blackberry tea?”

Cup of tea

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Something You Don’t Know [fiction 888]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Lexi and Kevin both have baggage and trust issues that will make a relationship challenging.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues]

Welcome mat

Lexi felt so relieved to see Kevin at the door. She didn’t want to be alone tonight! Vicky had left several anxious voicemails, asking if Lexi had heard from Dan and to please call ASAP. They’d just gotten off the phone, and Vicky sounded totally freaked out by her encounter with Dan at the park. Nick was concerned too, jumping in at the end and warning Lexi to be extra careful, which was ominous coming from a cop.

“Hi!” Lexi greeted Kevin brightly with a quick hug. “I’m so happy to see you! Come on in. The first tray of cookies is ready!”

Kevin looked bemused. “Great, thanks. For a second there, you seemed upset.”

“Me? Ha ha. Not at all!” She motioned for him to follow her down the hall, past the great room where a couple other tenants were watching sports on TV, back to the kitchen/dining area. “Just making sure my cookies don’t get burnt. No one likes burnt cookies!”

Chocolate chip cookies

She fussed over him like a silly girl, trying to distract herself, making sure he had a plateful of perfect cookies and exactly what he wanted to drink. “Are you sure you don’t want coffee? It’s no trouble to make a pot.”

Kevin smiled. “I’m sure. This iced tea is fine, thanks. But you’re acting like you swallowed a few caffeine pills yourself. Sit down and relax!”

“I guess I am a bit wired,” she admitted, trying for some honesty. “I was talking to my sister right before you got here and we always get each other’s energy levels up.”

She noticed that Kevin’s smile faded when she mentioned Vicky, and she wondered if he could tell she wasn’t being straight. Though they hadn’t known each long, she had a sense he was trustworthy; besides that, she needed to confide in someone after Vicky had made her feel so nervous for her safety again. She didn’t know anyone else in Otter Village well enough to tell her secrets to.

“This crazy thing happened last spring,” Lexi whispered across the table. “I try not to talk about it. I came here to escape from it really. But today I found out that–”

“I can barely hear you over the fan,” Kevin said. “But… if you’re trying to tell me that you’re Alexandra Mitchell, I already know.”

Full moon in night sky

Feeling a confusing mixture of relief, anger, and fear, Lexi arose from her seat at the table and walked over to the patio doors. She stared out at the darkness, wondering if Dan was going to storm up here, as Vicky feared, and continue harassing her about how she was responsible for Jim’s death.

But how did Kevin know her real name? Stalking her on the internet probably. She felt betrayed that she wasn’t allowed to keep anything private. Couldn’t start over. Couldn’t stay anonymous. Coming up here was all for nothing. Except…

“Full moon,” Kevin remarked, coming up behind her.

Lexi shrugged.

“Look, I’m sorry I didn’t wait until you told me.” Kevin touched her shoulder. “But I was curious if my mind was playing tricks on me. I could have sworn I saw you before and–”

She held up a hand to stop him. “I get it. My face was everywhere. It was a huge story. And now Dan can’t let it go.”

“Dan?” Kevin frowned. “Who’s Dan?”

“Oh, so there’s something you don’t know,” she snapped at him.

“I guess I should go,” he said, stepping away from the patio doors. “Thank you for the cookies, Lexi. They were really delicious.”

“Stop!” she said as he reached the doorway, and he turned around abruptly. “You have to take some with you.”

“Okay,” he said and leaned against the doorframe.

“I don’t have any Tupperware,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “These are all Carolyn’s. I should get some…” sniffle… “Tupperware. But I have some baggies and you can rinse them out and reuse them.” She wiped her eyes on a napkin. “You really should, Kevin. Else it’s so wasteful.” Her shoulders shook as she tried not to cry.

He came over and hugged her. “If it means this much to you, I promise to wash and reuse the damn baggies. I’ll take pics.”

Silhouette couple

“Thank you,” she said into his chest. He was solidly warm. “I’m sorry for snapping at you. It’s okay to know things.”

Kevin continued to hug her and stroke her hair, which felt absurdly comforting after being alone this whole month with no one to talk to except Vicky on the phone, since she’d deleted all her social media and was trying to be nobody. Also, Kevin was so cute and yummy, so there was that…

“Here’s something you don’t know,” he said, “which might make it easier to talk to me from now on, if you want to.”

She lifted her head and stared at him. “Are you a cop too? That would be convenient!”

“Sorry to disappoint you.” He laughed. “But no. I’m just totally smitten with you, is what I was going to say. But I can see how having an armed guard might be more helpful.”

She wrapped her arms around him. “I’m good with this.”

He gazed into her eyes, and just when she thought he was going to kiss her, he said, “Now, who’s Dan?”

[to be continued]

~*~

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