Written Fireside – On Valentine’s, Part 5

My turn on Written Fireside!

Part 1 : Lori Connelly

Part 2 : Lynn Marie Hulsman

Part 3 : Angela Campbell

Part 4 : Zara Stoneley

On Valentine’s – Part 5

‘I take it you’re okay with dogs?’ asked Cat as Mongo barged the door to the cabin open and loosing traction on the wooden floor, skidded to a halt at the side of the sofa.

dog‘Hey there, girl,’ said Jed, ruffling the dog’s ears.

‘Mongo’s a boy,’ said Cat. ‘Be careful, he doesn’t usually like men.’ She thought back to Paul and how neither hound nor man had been fond of each other to say the least.

However, Cat wasn’t prepared for Mongo’s reaction. Amazingly, her faithful, protective canine, clearly delighted in the attention from his new pal, proceeded to lick Jed’s face and ears. Jed laughed and from his crouching position was bundled over to the floor by the over enthusiastic greeting.

‘What was that you said about Mongo not liking men?’ Jed’s chuckle turned into a full blown laugh. It was infectious and Cat found herself laughing along too.

Eventually, Jed managed to extract himself from under the dog. ‘I think a drink all round is needed. Mongo you could do with a bowl of water and I could definitely do with a beer.’ He stood up and looked at Cat. His eyes seemed to rest on hers longer than necessary as he asked her if she wanted a drink.

Cat gulped, her throat suddenly feeling dry.  ‘A beer would be great,’ she managed to eek out. As she watched Jed amble over to the kitchen area and prepare the refreshments, she took time to analyse her feelings. Was she nervous because of being in close proximity to another man; another man who she couldn’t deny was mighty attractive or were her nerves down to her own insecurities? Paul had knocked her confidence sideways, even talking to another man when she was in his company, would incur his wrath. It had got to the point where she had avoided talking to anyone of the opposite sex when Paul was about.

She gave herself a mental shake. Why was she even thinking like this? For a start, Jed wouldn’t be interested in her. She was, after all, just a family friend of his mate’s. He had made it perfectly clear that summer, that she wasn’t even on his radar.

‘You look miles away,’ said Jed, breaking her thoughts and coming to sit on the sofa beside her. Fortunately, he didn’t press her for an explanation and continued to talk, offering her one the beer bottles in his hand. ‘I can’t see any painkillers so I guess a beer is as good. If not better.’  They chinked bottles and sat in a comfortable silence for a moment, enjoying the refreshing amber liquid.

‘So, without wishing sounding corny,’ said Jed, ‘what brings you out here to the lodge all on your own, well, apart from Mongo here.’

‘Oh, you know, this and that,’ said Cat. ‘Just nice to get away from it all.’

‘And by it, do you actually mean someone?’

Boy, he was perceptive. She looked at him, sat next to her. His eyes once again, holding a steady hypnotic gaze on hers. She nodded. ‘Something like that.’

‘A lot like it, I’m guessing,’ he replied before looking away and taking a long swig on his bottle. He turned to face her, resting an arm over the back of the sofa, his fingers grazing the tips of her hair. ‘Whoever, he was, obviously didn’t appreciate what he had. I might have made that mistake once upon a time.’

Cat gulped. The pain in her shoulder eclipsed by the hammering of her heart as it threw in an extra beat. ‘What do you mean?’ Her voice was practically a whisper.

To be continued next week by Mandy Baggot

Written Fireside – His Way Home

Lori Connelly is the mastermind behind this fun round-robin/written fireside story. She began it back in November and each week a different Harper Impulse author has taken up the story  and added their bit. This week it’s my turn.

All the previous weeks’ links are below.

Part 1 : Lori Connelly

Part 2 : Sarah Lefebve 

Part 3 : Zara Stoneley

Part 4 : Lynn Marie Hulsman

Part 5 : Romy Sommer

Part 6 : Jane Lark

Park 7 : Teresa Morgan

Part 8 : Carmel Harrington

His Way Home

his-way-home

Beth swallowed and took a step back. She most certainly wasn’t pregnant and a baby wasn’t in their plans for a few more years. In her mind, she had imagined her and Matthew having children but in New York, not here in the back of beyond.

Alice was looking at her, a peaceful yet intense expression on her face. ‘Your fate is here, on the farm.’ The words were spoken as fact, rather than persuasion. ‘Don’t fight what is to be,’ said Alice, this time resting her hand on Beth’s cheek.

Beth had no idea what happened, but in that moment, it was as if Alice transferred some sort of inner wisdom. Suddenly Beth knew that New York was no longer an option. Whatever was going to happen in the future wasn’t going to happen in the Big Apple. Her and Matthew were needed here.

Matthew’s voice broke her reverie. ‘Could someone tell me what the hell is going on? Please tell me there’s a hidden camera and someone is going to jump out and say it’s some sort of hoax TV show.’ He clasped his hands behind his head and paced the room. ‘Just let me get this straight. I’m in a secret log cabin, which in all the years I’ve lived on this farm, I know jack-shit about.  In said cabin, is my Great Grandfather, who saved my life when I was 12, despite the fact he had been dead for years. Not only that, but my Grandmother, just happens to be here too, who, no offence Grandma Alice,’ he put a hand out in Alice’s direction, ‘but she’s resurrected herself too.’

‘Matthew …’ began Beth, she could see how agitated he was becoming.

Matthew cut in. ‘No, please Beth, I’m just getting to grips here.’ He took a breath. ‘Now, I know I’m the one with the medical qualification here and have brought people back from the dead before, but they had only been dead a few seconds or minutes, not years. Medical science hasn’t come on that quick.’ He stopped pacing and looked at Beth, then Alice and Walter. ‘Oh, but wait, that’s right, you two have travelled through time. Shucks, why didn’t I think of that before?’

Beth moved to his side and gently placed her hand on his arm. ‘I don’t understand all this either, but what other explanation is there? Let’s just run with it.’ She moved his hand to her stomach. ‘Your past is here for our future. And our future is here on the farm.’

He held her gaze and after a second or two spoke. ‘Not NYC?’ His question was a whisper.

She shook her head in reply, her eyes never leaving his.

Walter cleared his throat in a rather exaggerated manner. ‘Erm, I hate to interrupt but your Grandmother and I need to get back to our own times.’

 ~ ~ ~ ~

To be continued next Tuesday by Erin Lawless

And concluded the week after by Mandy Baggot