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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kiss My Ashes

            

An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author

                                   
Fr. Kevin watches smoke and ash rise from the explosion site
     From the window of the flat, Kevin could see the glow of flames, and towers of billowing smoke and ash, a few miles to the east.  He tried to imagine what was located in that section of town which would cause an explosion of such magnitude, but drew a complete blank.  As far he recalled, that area was strictly residential, a well maintained neighborhood boasting manicured lawns and sprawling, old homes.  His morning runs with Beckett often took them up and down it's shady streets, and he hoped that someone hadn't lost their dream home to a freak gas explosion.
   
     Where the thought first came from he wasn't sure, but in the back of his skull, a tiny finger of anxiety scratched at his brain.  One of those houses belonged to his new brother-in-law.  Beckett's Victorian stood in the center of the block at Maple and 5th Avenue, surrounded by a long, slopping lawn, and several mature oaks.  Although he had never come right out and said as much, it was obvious to Kevin that the house was the Sheriff's pride and joy.  He'd wax on at length about his struggle to find just the right window casement to match the house's original, and had once given the priest a thirty minute lecture on the long term value of copper plumbing.  There was little doubt that the destruction of his prized possession would cause the man considerable angst, and Kevin worried that Cassie McKreedy might have come to the same conclusion.

      Patrick joined him at the window.  "That sounded like it had quite a bit of force behind it.  Any ideas what it might have been?"

       Lying to his eldest brother had never been easy.  Like their father, Patrick seemed to have been born with an uncanny ability to detect bullshit when he heard it, and had no problem letting you know he thought you were full of crap.  Kevin had learned from an early age that you didn't stretch the truth when talking to Pat.  But he was pretty sure that his brother wasn't aware of the problems surrounding Beckett's crazy ex, and was just about positive that Maureen's new husband wanted it kept that way.  Of the two, Beckett scared him more.  There was something about the man that told you he had no difficulties crossing the line of ethical behavior when he felt it necessary.  He recalled the manner in which the Sheriff had handled the guy with Maureen's stolen phone, and shuddered.  He'd sooner ignore family loyalty, than be on the wrong side of Ted Beckett.

       Kevin stared through the glass, and lied through his teeth.  "Don't have a clue, Pat.  It does look bad, though.  I was thinking that maybe I should take a ride over there.  See if I could be of any help."

      Using a bed sheet as a wrap, Eileen joined the two men across the room.  "Did you want us to come with you, Kevin.  Maybe Pat and I could help?"

       Until he knew exactly what was going, it best not to involve anybody else in the family.  If the explosion did have something to do with McKreedy, he'd feel better if his nearest and dearest stayed far, far away.  "That's nice of you to offer Eileen, but I'm not even sure what's going on, or if anyone actually needs the services of a priest.  I'm sure the fire department has it under control.  It's probably best if you two stay here.  I can always call you if it's necessary."

         "Are you sure, Kevin?"

        "Thanks, Eileen.  But it will be fine.  You two have a good evening.  I'll see you tomorrow at the Park West for Mass and lunch."  Avoiding having to look either of them in the eye, Fr. Kevin crossed the room, and headed down the stairs.

_____________________________

         Beckett knew.  From the instance he heard the explosion, and saw the direction of the smoke and flames from the window of the Bridal Suite, he knew his house was gone.  So, when the call came from the fire chief, he wasn't shocked in the least.  What was odd, however, was his lack of rage.  Instead of blinding anger, he was almost relieved.  The crazy bitch had finally played her hand.  Had made the first move, and confirmed both her location, and her strategy.  Once his team had lost track of her two days ago, there was no doubt in his mind that she was on her way here.  The last 48 hours had been a tedious waiting game, causing his focus to shift from where it should have been.  But now he had her cornered.  Knowing Cassie's huge ego, she would surely stick around to see the results of her handiwork, making it simple to find her, and finally take her into custody.  From there, she would simply disappear into some federal prison, and out of his life for good.

        His only problem now, was to decide how to handle his bride.  The explosion, and the flutes falling off the table, had startled her, and he had no choice but to stop their play, and remove her blindfold.  She had followed him to the window, and had seen the smoke and fire, but didn't instantly make the connection.  Once he had received the call, there was little he could do to hide the situation.  To his surprise, she was calmer than expected, insisting that they should make their way over to the house to check on the condition of the dogs.  As she rifled through her suitcase for something to wear, he didn't have the heart to tell her the dogs were, without a doubt, probably bits and pieces in a pile of rubble.  That piece of information would be obvious when they got there, and she saw the mass total destruction.

         He thought about leaving her at the hotel under Nolan's care, sparing her the awful sight on her wedding night, but then changed his mind.  Until he knew the bitch was cuffed, and secured, he wasn't letting his wife out of his sight.  McKreedy had proved to be more sophisticated and dangerous than he had originally determined, and there was no way he willing to take any chances with Maureen's safety. What he did need now was a plausible explanation for why his house no longer existed, one that had nothing to do with vindictive, crazy ex-girlfriends who needed to disappear.

______________________________
                                                               
The aftermath of the explosion
     By the time Beckett and Maureen arrived at the corner of Maple and 5th, the area had been blocked off by first responders.  They parked a few streets away, and were forced to walk in toward the site of the blast.  A half block down, the couple was met by Mike Nolan, who Beckett had sent on ahead when he left the hotel.  From the grim look on the man's face, it was obvious that the explosion had done a fine job of taking out the house.  Nolan offered to stay put with Maureen, suggesting that Beckett might want to get closer on his own.  But the bride would hear none of it, and so the trio made their way together.

     With his military background, and doing what it was he did for a living, Beckett was familiar with what to expect in the aftermath of plastic explosives.  But upon seeing the pile of smoldering wreckage that was once his sacred sanctuary, it was difficult to wrap his head around the idea that everything...his pet...the studio...his paintings...even the Red Room...was now gone.  Completely.  Next to him, Maureen shivered despite the humidity, and looked up into his face.

      "Maggie?  Basil?  Are they...?"

     He could only frown, and shake his head in affirmation, opening his arms wide so she could fall into them sobbing.  For the next several seconds, the two men stood in silence, while Maureen weeped into Beckett's chest.  They were joined first by Fr. Kevin, and then by Dollyville's fire chief who requested a private conference with the town's Sheriff.  Unwrapping his bride from his arms, he turned her over to her brother, who looked at him with accusation and more than a bit of loathing.  Beckett signaled to Nolan stay with the two, and stepped several feet away to converse in private with the chief.

__________________________

     It was nearly dawn before the the site of the explosion was secure enough to leave.  The sky was just beginning to brighten in the east, showing the full extent of the destruction on Maple Street.  Most of the gawkers had gone home, leaving only a few die hard busy bodies, one remaining fire company, an exhausted bride and groom, and a few family members and friends who had come by to offer their support.

       Pulling Nolan to the side, Beckett rubbed a hand over his forehead, wiping away sweat and soot.
"Any information from the teams?"

         Nolan shook his head, obviously frustrated.  "No, Beck.  They've looked everywhere.  There's been absolutely no sight of her.  Is it possible she finished up here, and ran?"

         "Possible...but not likely.  I know she's here somewhere.  No way is she running without having the last word."

         "Maybe the C-4 was her last word?  You gotta consider that possibility."

       "I'm not willing to risk that, Nolan.  Until I know she's in custody, I'll be looking over my shoulder all the time.  That's unacceptable."

         "I'm sure we'll eventually take her down.  You just gotta wait it out.  In the meantime, maybe the two of you should consider disappearing.  Go somewhere nice and chill until we take care of business on our end."

         Beckett was quiet for a moment, reviewing the possibilities.  He looked over at Maureen who was sitting on a neighbor's lawn, a few houses down from where his house once stood.  Next to her was her brother, who continued to glare at him every time their eyes met.  Maybe it would be best to get away.  Spend some time with his bride without having to worry about interfering family, and the psycho woman.  He and Maureen had originally planned to take the Lamborghini and drive the coast, spending some time at the new beach house, and just relaxing after the crazy weeks leading up to the wedding.  But getting away...far away... might be the way to go.  It would take some work to get things in order, but in return might offer some much needed piece of mind.  Making a decision, he turned again to Nolan.  "Maybe you're right.  Some time away might be just the thing in this situation.  Can you handle the paperwork for me?  Put something together in the next few hours?"

        Nolan smiled, and slapped  Beckett on the back.  "No problem, Buddy.  Anywhere special you had in mind?"

        "Not really.  Somewhere tropical would probably suit my bride.  Just make it quick.  The sooner we're out of the country the better.  Make the cover solid.  The target is an experienced hacker.  We can't afford to underestimate her again."

        "Piece a cake.  You want to go with the usual cover?"

        "That'll be fine.  But you're going to have to create an entire packet for Maureen.  All of it...passport, birth certificate, drivers license...the whole deal.  Don't skimp.  It's gotta be tight if this is gonna work."

         "Can do, Beck.  I should have it for you by later this afternoon.  How much do you want to share with the powers that be?"

          "As little as possible.  They don't need to know about the situation I'm in with the target.  It will just cause me all kinds of unnecessary headaches.  I don't feel the need to explain this whole mess."

         "I can understand that."  They both looked over to where Maureen was pulling her weary self off the grass, and heading their way.  Nolan grinned at Beckett "Don't you worry.  I'll share as little as possible."  He laughed under his breath, and added,  "You're gonna have enough trouble spinning this all to your new little wifey."


Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved


   

     

       


 

10 comments:

  1. es una pena lo de los dos perros , pero al menos Cassie solo ha hecho daños materiales y Ted parece tener medios para reponer eso y mas , a ver con que viaje nos sorprendes , y Cassi donde se ha metido ?

    besitos

    Mari

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Mari,
          Sabemos que Beckett puede permitirse el lujo de reemplazar a su casa y sus pertenencias. Pero, ¿podrá reemplazar la pérdida de confianza a su nueva novia podría experimentar cuando sge se entera de lo que ha estado escondiendo de ella? El tiempo lo dirá.
           Como siempre, realmente apreciamos el apoyo de este blog. Trabajando duro para mantenerlo a pesar de cada vez mayores responsabilidades en el trabajo.

      Lo mejor para usted,
      Vicki

      Hi Mari,
      We know that Beckett can afford to replace his home and his belongings. But can he replace the loss of trust his new bride might experience when sge finds out what he's been hiding from her? Time will tell.
      As always, truly appreciate the support of this blog. Working hard to keep it up despite ever growing responsibilities at work.

      Best to you,
      Vicki

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  2. Where is Cassie now? wow she sure did a lot of damage. I even feel a tiny bit sorry for Ted. I do not think Maureen has any idea just what she has got herself into :D I hope that they at least have a quite honeymoon (fat chance ;) Exciting story.
    Hugs Maria

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    Replies
    1. Hi Maria,
      You're right about Maureen being "in the dark" about Beckett's issues with Cassie. She's too busy trying to wrap her head around her new husband's last minute revelation regarding his occupation. Probably not the best way to start a long term relationship.
      Thanks for your continued support. Appreciate it.

      Vicki

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  3. I do love this story. I wish your posts were longer. This one just left me wanting to read more, but I do get your time is not your own now. Whichever way to proceed with this, I am sure will be good. I am on board with you all the way. :)

    So, for my next comment, your fireman guy looks really hot (not temperature-wise) in the pic. Pity he isn't real. ;) Also, I am in love with the little red step stool.

    <3,

    B

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    Replies
    1. Hi ya B!

      The beginning of the school year has been brutal. We jumped in with a full day, and temps in the upper 90s. I'm finding it hard to find time and energy for my writing, and it's terribly frustrating.
      The story is shifting a bit, but all will eventually be revealed...I promise!
      Hugs,
      VR
      PS Glad you enjoyed Mr. Fireman. ; )

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  4. Hi Vicki!

    I'm with B, wish the posts were longer but this time of year is probably very busy making time limited. Ah, we shall have to survive on what we get ;-) But loving the storyline! Hmmm... Is Beckett really going to hide from Cassie? Does Maureen know what's going on and why? Will he ever tell her? Where is Cassie? I'm sure we haven't seen the last of her.

    Love the little step too! I have that same one and it came with a seated stool. Did yours? I'm working on a kitchen roombox (still in my head) with it and a wrought iron pot/pan rack I got for Christmas with the pots from my Dad by Jason Getzan. Still in the planning stage is my little girl's roombox featuring your punchneedle rug! I'm still finishing a quarter scale project and now one of the miniature clubs I belong to is making a braided rug so that's consuming quite a bit of time. Oops! Guess my comment is getting a little long and off the topic!!!! One last thing, ankle is getting much better. I'm out of the boot and walking on my own and all function came back to my arm. Yeah! Hope school has started good. Have a great rest of the week!!

    Susan

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan!
      Wow...such wonderful projects ahead of you. I'm so envious! Can't even think about mini making right now. Since the beginning of August, school has pretty much taken up all my energy...first getting my classroom ready and such, then the actual start of when the kids came back. It's only been two weeks, but it feels like ten...crazy busy.
      As per the storyline...Beckett has...unfortunately...kept this whole problem with Cassie..from Maureen's knowledge. Maybe he does it because of her pregnancy. Maybe it's because he's a total control freak. Either way, he seems determined to act the part of the happy groom. This could, of course, be the catalyst for a whole boatload of problems for the newlyweds. To go after Cassie himself, without Maureen's knowledge, would be pretty damn difficult, especially if she's expecting some type of honeymoon. Leaving the country is just a way of buying himself more time in hopes that his team will clean up the mess for him. Plus, it lets me focus a little more on the growing relationship between Maureen and Ted, away from the Dollyville setting. (Although why I would want to deal with the photo challenges is beyond me. LOL)
      Best to you,
      Vicki
      PS Glad you're feeling better! Great news!

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  5. But.... But... But.... you killed the Dogs!!!!! Waaaah!!!
    I can't believe you killed the dogs!!!! Okay...Cassie killed the dogs.... It is Time to get that Cassie B----!!!

    I hope you can get them safely to a Honeymoon... but I am sure it will just get them in even Hotter Water...!!! And where did Roxie go????
    I really want to know!!!

    I hope school is going well.... I work in the business office of a Private High School.... so I think I can Imagine a little bit of what you are going through! Bravo for giving us anything at all to read!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy!

      LOL...I was just reading an article on fiction writing that suggested authors need to be "sadists" when it comes to their characters and story lines. I wasn't ready to kill off any of my beloved characters, so the poor doggies had to sacrifice themselves for the development of the plot.
      As I mentioned in some comments above, the new school year has been exceptionally hectic. More demands on the teacher's personal time than ever before. I used to be able to set aside some time to write, but that's been near impossible as of late. I'm hoping my readers are patient with me while I work this all out.
      Don't despair though. Still have some great story ahead.
      Thanks for your kind comments. So do appreciate them.
      Hugs,
      Vicki
      PS Good luck with your story! Will catch up ASAP

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