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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Come Fly With Me

    

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

Red Eye Flight to Cancun

    They had already reached a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet, the stewardess had begun First Class drink service, and still she refused to say one word to him, her lips firmly pressed together, and her attention focused on the night sky through the plane's window.  Not that she didn't have plenty to say on the drive to the air port.  Her reactions had ranged from confusion...to disbelief...to panicked realization...and finally sullen silence.

     All things considered, he could hardly blame her wide range of emotions.  The last 48 hours had been a roller coaster of events, even for the hardiest of souls.  She had married a man she had known for less than six months, had been informed that her husband had less than a normal occupation, watched her new home blown to a million pieces, and had been unceremoniously whisked out of the country under the guise of a romantic honeymoon.

     In spite of the ongoing angst, his bride had remained dried eyed, up until the very moment he needed to explain the use of aliases on the passports and travel documents.  For reasons he couldn't begin to fathom, the thought of being Margaret Baker instead of Maureen Beckett had brought on an extended period of water works, followed by the still ongoing silent treatment.  If his focus hadn't been split between fury over McKreedy, and worry over the pending courier assignment, he might have felt a twinge of guilt over her red eyes, and occasional sniffle.  As it was, his major concern was currently centered on the issue of flying without a weapon, a situation he found deplorable, but could not avoid.  Dealing with the reluctant Mrs. Baker, in public, was a luxury he could not afford at the moment, and so he shelved any discussion of that nature until they were safely ensconced in their honeymoon resort.

____________________________________________

    The sky outside the window was a canvas of black, offering not a thing of interest to hold her outward show of rapt attention.  Still, it was the better alternative to having to face the stranger sitting calmly next to her.  Her husband of only two days reclined in the adjoining seat, his eyes closed, seemingly undisturbed over the crazy events of the past 48 hours, while she remained in a state of utter confusion.  Her wedding day, and the 24 hours following it, could best be described as a Cinderella story written by someone with serious mental illness.  Her mind twisted back and forth from one memory to another, a mix of fantasy romance and the truly bizarre, always coming back to the last conversation she had with him before beginning the silent treatment.
     
         "But, Ted...I just don't understand this whole thing.  It's crazy!  I mean...it's bad enough you drag me out of my own dinner party for this so called secret honeymoon.  Don't even let me say good bye to my family, or pack my own damn clothes.  We drive all the way to New York when there's a perfectly good air port 3 hours closer to home, in the middle of the night, without me having any idea of where we're going until we get to the gate.  And then you tell me I have to travel under some stupid alias?  It's ridiculous.  Weird shit.  I won't do it."
   
        "Baby...I realize this all seems rather odd...but trust me.  There's nothing sinister about any of it.  I  wanted some alone time...just the two of us.  And let's face it...your family can be a bit over bearing.  We'd have been tied up for hours saying our goodbyes.  This is best.  You'll see.  We'll have a wonderful time."

       "Then why can't I just be me...Maureen Beckett?  I don't see why I have to be this Margaret Baker person."

       "I've already explained all this, sweetheart.  I'm not exactly the guy next door.  Traveling under an alias is simply prudent, that's all.   Now, be a good girl, and don't fuss about it."

     Dismissed.  Just like that.  Any attempt at clarification was met with silence, and a look that signaled he was not in the mood to be pushed.  Her tears had garnished a tight hug, and a kiss to her forehead, but then were largely ignored, as was her lack of communication.  So here she sat...on a flight to the Mexico...in the middle of the night...with a man she was beginning to think was as crazy as bat shit...her cell phone in his front pocket...$37 and a phony passport in her purse...on a honeymoon that had all the makings of a nightmare sequel to her wedding.
        
      The stewardess came by with pillows and blankets, and soon afterward, the lights in the cabin were dimmed.  Maureen pulled herself into a tight ball against the window, leaving a chasm of space between she and her husband.  In the dark she heard him sigh, then reach over and pull her closer.  The more she resisted, the more he tightened his grip, until in exhaustion, she finally relented, and let herself be tucked under his arm.  For the first time in several hours, she let herself relax, finding comfort in the security of his embrace, and letting exhaustion finally have its way.

_________________________
 
Cancun International Airport
       It was just after dawn, the sun coming up over the low lying scrub and swaying palm trees surrounding Cancun International Airport.  Bleary eyed, Maureen made her way off the jet, rolling the small carry-on bag behind her.  God knows what was in the damn thing.  She didn't even want to think about the fact that Ted's arrogant buddy Nolan had obviously gone through her personal things to pack it.  Knowing he must have gone through all her dresser drawers, including the bottom one to the left of the bed, made her cringe.

        Despite being party to the same set of events as she, her husband looked disgustingly chipper, and not in the least bit weary.  He, in fact, was overly pleasant, and suddenly concerned with her needs and well being, insisting on taking her bag from her, and stopping for coffee and a bite to eat in a small cafe near the gate.  Beckett appeared to be in no hurry to go anywhere in particular, and if she was able to read him correctly, seemed to be waiting for someone's arrival.

        45 minutes later, her theory was proved right by the arrival of a middle-aged man, dressed in linen pants and a Panama hat, who behaved as if Beckett were a long lost cousin he hadn't seen in years and years.  At least that's what she assumed the conversation was about, as the two men were speaking in quick, fluent Spanish, with she able to only pick out a few words.

       Eventually, the two men finished their reunion, and Ted included her in the conversation.  "Margaret, I'd like you to meet a good friend of mine...Victor Salazar.  Victor...my new bride."

       The man smiled, removed his hat, and stuck out a hand.  " Ah, Senora Baker...congratulations on your happy news. And welcome to Cancun.  I very much hope you enjoy your stay in our beautiful country."

     Maureen bristled at the use of the name "Baker", but not wanting to appear rude, returned the man's handshake.  "Thank you, Mr. Salazar.  I'm so...happy to meet you.  I'm sure we'll have a lovely honeymoon."

     Salazar clapped his hands together.  "Si, Si...beautiful vacation for such nice friends."  He looked to Beckett, and gave him a sly wink.  Then taking the bags from the newlyweds, he started toward the door.  "Shall we go?  I would like to make the trip before traffic gets heavy?"

      Ted grabbed her hand, and they followed the man outside to a beat-up Camry parked at the curb.
"Has podido conseguir el equipamiento de serie?"  Were you able to get the standard equipment.

      "Si ... más algunas nuevas sorpresas Creo que usted estará satisfecho con."   Yes...plus a few surprises I think you'll be pleased with.

      Beckett deposited Maureen into the back seat, and then joined Salazar at the trunk of the car.  She tried to peer out the back window to see what was going on, but the upright hood blocked her view, and the men had lowered their voices to almost a whisper, thwarting any attempt to eavesdrop.  After a few minutes, the men shut the trunk, and joined her in the car.  Though it was still early in the morning, the heat and humidity in the air caused her to stick to the seat, and the sour smell of the vehicle made her queasy.  She hoped where ever they were headed was a short trip, as she desperately needed a shower, a clean set of clothes, and a good long nap.

       As they pulled into traffic, Beckett and Salazar chatted amicably, with the man pointing out points of interest along the way.  They passed several resorts, all fabulous ocean side gems set along the Caribbean shore, yet stopped at none of them.  Soon, they were out of the city limits of Cancun, and traveling along a dusty highway, the view offering few urban amenities.  Unable to keep her concern to herself, she finally asked, "Aren't we going in the opposite direction of Cancun?"

       "Si Senora...we are driving south of the city."

        "But...but aren't we staying in Cancun?  I thought we were staying in Cancun?"

         There was no response from either the man behind the wheel, or her husband, as the city slowly disappeared behind them.
On the road again


Copyright  2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wedding Weekend Wrap-Up

    

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


Beckett waits in the utility closet for Maureen
     He heard a rap on the utility room door, and smiled to himself.  3 minutes and 27 seconds.  Not only on time, but early at that.  She must have been clipping at record speed to get all around the hotel to this  point furthest from the banquet rooms.  Any other time, he would have wished her late, as she was a delight to discipline.  But today's schedule was set in stone, and there was no room for interruptions, no matter how pleasant the thought might be.  He hoped her desire to please him would linger for at least the next few hours.  Her cheerful compliance would make the first leg of this journey a hell of a lot easier.
   
     Beckett inched the door open, a crack wide enough for her slight size, and drew her in. Breathless with both exertion and anticipation, she was the cause of an overwhelming temptation to shuck his rigorous timetable.  It was only years of training, and formidable will power, that would save him in this situation. Pulling her closer, he praised her compliance.  "Good girl.  You made it in just over 3."

      Maureen threw her arms around his neck.  "I aim to please, dear husband.  And since I meet your goal, I do believe a reward is in order."

       Damn...she was making this difficult.  Sighing, he forced himself away.  "Hold that thought, baby. Right now, we have to make a run for it before anyone notices you're missing."

      "Run?  Run where?  I don't know what you mean."

    With his foot, he inched the door open, and stuck his head in the hall, one hand still vise gripped around his bride's wrist.  Seeing no one there, he tugged on her arm and led the way toward the hotel's delivery entrance.  As a team of one, the crazy bitch would most likely stake out a position in the front main parking lot.  This would give her the advantage of being able to clearly see three of the building's exits, while maintaining some sense of reliable cover.  She probably knew the service entrance was here, but staking out that one exit, instead of the three more likely ones, would be a huge gamble on her part.  He liked his odds, and continued in that direction.  Next to him, Maureen began to fuss, peppering him with questions, and confused over the odd turn of events.  He answered with a stern glance, and a finger to his lips, and she fell gratefully silent.

       As expected of a Sunday evening, that area of the hotel was deserted.  They were nearly out the door when a sudden thought crossed his mind.  If by some slim chance he had judged Cassie wrong, and she was stationed at the delivery entrance, Maureen's ginger locks would make her an easy mark.  Checking around, Beckett noticed an old hooded jacket lying in a heap on top a nearby pallet.  It would be much too large, and smelled like stale sweat, but in lieu of anything better, it would have to do.  Picking it up, he tossed it toward his wife.  "Here baby girl...put this on for me."

      She caught it with both hands, and then getting a full whiff, wrinkled her nose.  "Ewhh...it smells awful.  I'm not wearing this."  She dropped it in a heap at her feet, and crossed her arms across her chest.  " Just what the hell is going on, Ted?  You're acting like some kind of lunatic."

      He grinned, all sex and sin. "It's a surprise.  Kind of an adventure.  You're gonna just have to play along."

      "Well...I'm all for surprises, but I'm not putting on that nasty jacket.  It reeks, and I have no idea who wore it before I did.  What if they have some disease ...or something."

       He didn't say word.  Just continued to stand there, hands on hip, and stared at her.

       The show down lasted a near two full minutes, but eventually she reached down and picked up the filthy jacket, her tisking and sighing echoing in the empty room.  When she had it zipped, he flipped the hood over her hair, and grabbing her hand, headed out the door, and into the night.

___________________________________
                               
Cassie watches the hotel from a stolen car in the parking lot
        Stretched across the seat of a the car, Cassie McKreedy rubbed her eyes and yawned.  Shaking her head, she took another sip of the luke warm coffee, and tried to keep her attention centered on the front of the Park West Hotel.  The events of the past 36 hours had begun to take their toll, and she found herself nodding off on more than one occasion.  Losing her focus now was simply unacceptable.  Last night, from a hidden position a few blocks away, she had watched the C-4 take out Beckett's prized Victorian, the explosion ripping through the house like giant scissors through tissue paper.  She'd expected to feel some type of satisfaction, a rush of vindication, seeing his pride and joy reduced to rubble.  So when there was none, it left her confused.  This was, after all, what she had wanted.  Her moment of vengeance for all the wrongs she had suffered at the bastard's hands.  The empty feeling in the pit of her stomach was an unexpected response

         She stayed long enough to watch the first responders, and despite a burning desire to be there when he finally arrived...to watch his face as he took in the destruction...sensibility won over emotion, and she headed 30 miles outside of town.  There was little doubt he had security looking for her, and it was imperative that she change her location, and mode of transportation, every few hours.  And though she missed his first reaction at the house on Maple Avenue, she did catch a glimpse of he and the red headed twit returning to the hotel in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Through the lens of the binoculars, she thought that he had looked somewhat weary, but mainly pissed, and in spite of the absurdity of the reaction, she found her getting turned on over the thought of his anger directed at her.

          The newlyweds hadn't stirred from the hotel from that point on, although from the flurry of activity around the hotel late Sunday afternoon, something must be going on.  She moved from spot to spot around the grounds, keeping low in the car to avoid being spotted.  Even though she was once again in disguise, her hair tucked under a baseball cap, and sporting a very realistic moustache, there was no reason to test the fates by flaunting her presence.  She had faced a close call several hours earlier, when that asshole priest had walked by only a few cars away from her in the east parking lot.  She pretended to be on a cell phone, her face turned away from the window, hopefully drawing no attention to herself.  But the priest seemed to be in his own world, and strode past without a glance in her direction.

            Now, it was nearly eight, and there still was no sign of Beckett, or the woman.  It was very possible that they had decided on another night at the Park West before venturing out into the real world.  Over the past three hours, she had searched the web high and low for some clue as to what the man might have planned next.  Knowing him as she did, she'd guess that he might skip town, while his team stayed behind and tried to track her down.  But she had been frustrated at every attempt.  No plane or train tickets, no rental car issued in his name.  If he had reservations somewhere, he was keeping a very low profile.  She had set up a watch on passports, and if he tried to use his, she would instantly be alerted.  Right now, the two of them were ghosts.  Not on a single radar. But at some point, they'd need to check out of the safety of the Park West, and when they did, Cass would be waiting.

________________________
       
Fr. Kevin finally apologizes
         It was the strangest thing.  One minute she was standing in the room, talking to Patrick and Eileen, and the next she was gone.  Simply no where to be found.  He had even sent one of his nieces into the ladies room to see if she was there, without any luck.  Fr. Kevin would have gone from concerned wonder to real panic, if not for the fact that her husband was also missing.  Beckett had been glued to his sister's side since their vows the day before, and he doubted she had gone off anywhere without her husband's knowledge.  It was possible they had snuck back to their room, and if that was the case, he thought it rude.  There were still guests milling about, and the polite thing would have been for the bride and groom to have least stuck around long enough to say goodbye to their remaining guests.  Yet, for reason he couldn't quite understand, the whole disappearing thing made him uneasy.

        He wandered over to the lobby on the off chance they might be there, seeing some people off to their cars.  But the space was empty and quiet, except for the lone woman standing near the front desk, the suitcase at her feet an indication of her departure.  It seemed his last ditch opportunity to try and talk to Roxanne, apologize and explain, before she took off for his sister's apartment.  He thought about waiting for a better time, maybe later in the week, but straightened his shoulders, and made his way toward her.  If nothing else, she might know where Maureen had gone off to.

         "Excuse me, Roxanne.  I know you probably don't want to speak to me right now...but would you happen to have any idea where I might find Maureen?  She seems to have disappeared from the banquet room."

        For a moment, she refused to turn around and look at him, and then with a sigh, faced him.  "I talked to her about ten...fifteen minutes ago.  She gave me her apartment keys, and share some last minute advice on working in the deli.  Then I left to get my suitcase from my room, I haven't seen her since."

        "Oh.  Well...I guess she must be somewhere in the hotel.  It was weird.  She was like standing there talking to my brother and his wife, and then...Poof!  She's gone.  Just like that."

        By her wary expression, it was obvious that she thought he was an idiot.  "I suggest you try their room.  That'd be my guess."

         The silence between them hung heavy.  With the knowledge that the rest was up to him, Kevin jumped in, the words tumbling out of his mouth in a thick rush.  "Look Rox...I've been trying to apologize for the last two days.  It seems like every time I open my mouth, I just keep saying the wrong things.  I don't know why.  But the fact is...I'm sorry.  Sorry for the way I left things when we were kids.  Sorry for not explaining why way back when I should have.  And really sorry I made it seem like I didn't want you staying on a bit in Dollyville.  I think what you're doing for Maureen, and the Schillers, is terrific.  Very nice of you.  And I hope...that is...if you'd like to...maybe we can grab a pizza some night...and talk things out.  I know I have a lot of explaining to do.  And I really would like to hear how things have been with you."  When she said nothing, he continued.  "I guess... I understand if you're...too busy...or something."

           Her face was calm, but expressionless.  "I'll think about it, Kevin.  Let me see what my schedule is like at this job, and then I'll give you call over at the church, okay."

           He felt a tremendous amount of relief over the unburdening of his guilty conscience.  At least he had gotten the heavy weight off his chest.  "Sure.  That would be great.  Call me.  Whenever you want, Rox."  They stood awkward posture, neither knowing what to say next, until Roxanne moved first, pulling her suitcase behind her.

             "Good night, Fr. Kevin."

              "'Night, Roxanne."

    He watched her leave the hotel, and wondered if maybe someone should go with her.  Make sure she found the place okay.  Arrived safely.  Then he shook his head at the stupidity of that someone being him, and remembering why he had come to the lobby in the first place, pulled out his cell phone, and tried dialing his sister.

   
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

       To my loyal and dear readers...

              I apologize most graciously for not personally answering each and every one your comments as I have be able to do in the past.  The new school year has been crazy busy so far, with a huge increase in the "take home" work load.  I hope it will all settle down in the next few weeks, and I can get back to a more leisurely writing schedule, with some free time to answer comments and inquiries.  Please know... I truly appreciate the minutes you spend from your busy day reading my humble story, and love all your kind words.
              I am grateful for your continued support!
Best Wishes,
VR


     

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Don't You Hate Long Good Byes?

   

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 attempts his apology...yet again.
    By 7:30 PM, the celebration had dwindled to a handful of guests.  The majority of the O'Kenneys had said their good byes, gathered up errant luggage and children, and began the trek back home to Boston.  From across the room, Beckett watched Fr. Kevin in an animated conversation with  Roxanne Spinelli, glad to see his brother in law's attention on something other than he and his bride.  For plans to move forward, he and Maureen needed to quietly slip away without much fanfare.  He knew from experience that Kevin missed very little, and if he thought something was up, he'd be after the two of them with a litany of questions in tow.

     The Sheriff had neither the time, or inclination, to answer any of them, nor the patience to present an argument defending his plan of action over Kevin's disapproval.  There would be time later, when things were taken care of, to soothe her brother's ruffled feathers and hurt feelings.  His job at the moment was to pry Maureen from the clutches of Patrick and Eileen O'Kenney, and somehow maneuver her into Nolan's rental, parked in the lot to the rear of the building.  Checking his cell phone one last time, he nodded to Nolan, and began the process of collecting his wife.
_________________________

     It surprised Fr. Kevin, that despite the drama of all that happened in the last 24 hours, he found himself enjoying the post wedding festivities.  Dinner had been delicious, and the conversation around the table had everyone relaxed,  as Brendan entertained them with crazy stories from his North End precinct. When the two of them had been kids, he and his brother had been like oil and water, forced together by genetic code, but never easily blending.  As an adult, he still found Brendan sarcastic and mean spirited, but there was no denying he had loads of charisma, and was simply funny as hell.

       Roxanne must have thought so too, as she spent the entire dinner giggling over everything that came out of his brother's mouth.  Sensing he had a fan, Brendan put forth his best tales, while next to him, his wife rolled her eyes, having heard the same stories far too many times.  Kevin found himself wishing he was the one making Roxie laugh instead of his brother, and that realization made him uncomfortable.  He quickly squelched any such feelings, and worked instead on encouraging his brother's performance by bringing up stories he had heard a dozen times before.  Eventually, Sarah grew tired of her husband's one man show, and with the excuse of a long ride home, ended the party around the table, leaving Fr. Kevin alone with Roxanne.

       There was no putting off any longer what needed to be said.  He had tried to apologize several times over the course of the wedding, but each time he had gotten close, something had interrupted the moment.  Now, he just needed to get the words out.  "I'm really glad you came to the wedding, Roxanne.  It was great seeing you again."

        "It was great seeing you too, Kevin.  To be honest, I almost didn't come.  I thought it might be awkward, but now I'm glad I did.  Everyone's been really nice..."

         "Before you leave to go back to Boston tonight, I really need to talk to you."

         "Oh. Well...okay, that's fine.  But I'm not leaving right away.  Not tonight anyway."

          "You're staying until tomorrow morning?"

           She looked at him puzzled.  "Maureen didn't tell you?"

           "Tell me what?"

           She half smiled, and explained.  "She was worried about leaving the Schillers without any help while she was away on her honeymoon.  Especially with Mr. Schiller's bursitis acting up.  She asked if I could possible stay in Dollyville for a couple of weeks.  You know... kinda take her place in the deli."

       "Stay here?  In town?  But...don't you have classes or something back home?  And what about your...your job?"

     At the mention of her employment, they both blushed, but she quickly regained her composure, and continued.  "The fall semester at Boston College doesn't start for at least five weeks.  As for the job...well...I get paid when I work.  My time is my own, so no worries there."

       Never in a million years would the possibility of Roxanne staying in Dollyville past the wedding weekend ever have crossed his mind.  Working in the deli down the street from the church?  Probably staying in his sister's apartment?  He'd likely run into her all the time.  See her when he picked up his groceries.  He'd have to make casual conversation and such.  And...Oh Lord...what if she showed up at Mass?  Did she even go to Mass anymore?  He suddenly felt confused, giddy and horrified...all at the same time, and the recently consumed lobster tails with drawn butter threatened to reappear at any moment.

       His expression must have revealed his inner turmoil, because the smile slipped off Roxanne's face, and was replaced by an embarrassed grimace.  "I guess you weren't aware of any of this, were you?"

      The flustered Pastor could only shake his head, not trusting he'd say anything that would come out sounding reasonable

      Gathering her backbone, hurt by the disapproval she read in his face, Roxanne fired back, "Look, if you're not comfortable with me staying in your sister's apartment, I could perhaps hunt for some where else to camp out for the next few weeks...although it's seems pretty damn silly when the flat above the store is sitting empty.  I gave Maureen my word that I'd take care of this for her, so I have no intention of backing out, especially after all the poor girl's gone through in the past few hours.  She deserves some care free time alone with her new husband, and I intend to do my part in making that happen.  Even if you view living down the street from a stripper as an insult to your high moral sensibilities."

        The conversation seemed to be headed in a downward spiral, and Kevin dug deep for something to say that would change the course of its direction.   But the exhaustion and stress of the last few days had taken a toil, and he was void of any words of  priestly wisdom.  The best he could come up with sounded flat and empty, even to his ears.  "No it's fine.  Feel free to stay in Maureen's flat while you're here in Dollyville."

         Grabbing her purse from the back of the chair, she slung it over her shoulder, hitting him in the chest  as she did so.  Then, with a look of disdain, added, "I'm so glad it meets with your approval, Father.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to say my good-byes to the bride and groom."  With that, she turned her back on him, shoulders set in firm determination, and marched away.

__________________________
The infamous utility closet at the Park West.  One can only imagine...

         Maureen was in mid-conversation with Patrick and Eileen, when she once again heard the "pling" of the cell phone in her purse.  It was, without a doubt, another text from her husband, who seemed adamant about wrapping up this celebration in prompt fashion.  He had been texting her all evening, most of the conversation being of the nature of things that made her blush.  She excused herself, and stepped to the side, retrieving the phone from her purse.  She knew better than to ignore his texts, and couldn't do so even if she wanted to.  The fact was, everything the man did made her breathless and shaky, dizzy with anticipation.  She was still pinching herself over the realization that they were officially husband and wife, and even the disaster and heartache of the night before did little to change her mind set.

          This text was minus any of graphic detail that made up the earlier ones.  It simply stated, "Baby...you have approximately four minutes to meet me in our favorite utility closet.  And I do mean four.  T."  She wanted to giggle out loud, the whole thing being so damn hot, but she was sure people would notice her odd behavior in light of the events of the night before, and instead, slipped the phone back in her purse, while looking for the most discreet way to leave her own party.

Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved




     

       


Monday, September 9, 2013

I Need Your Input...

So...

   A discussion was started on my Facebook page, amongst those who follow my blog, about which character from the blog storyline was their favorite, and why.  I found the comments extremely insightful, as well as helpful to building my characterization skills.  I would very much appreciate if you could drop a comment here, and let me know your thoughts on the same subject.
    Who is your favorite character in the storyline, and why?  Who would you like to see more of, or learn more background history about?
    Even if you don't normally comment here on a regular basis, I would be ever so grateful if you might do so on this topic.  If you hate the Google method of commenting, feel free to email me directly with this information.  The link is at the top of the blog page.
Thanks for your help!
Vicki

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mr. Travel Delivers

                 

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

Family and friends gather for a post-wedding dinner at the Park West Hotel
    The events of the early hours put a decided damper on the post wedding festivities.  It was hard to hide misfortune that went "Boom" in the night, and by mid Sunday morning, virtually everyone in Dollyville had been witness to the chaos, or had heard from somebody who had.  At the Park West Hotel, Maureen's siblings shook their heads and sighed, commiserating together over the continued history of bad luck for "Red the Wrecker".  From the time she had been a small child, trouble seemed to follow their baby sister like a trailer hitched to her petite derriere, and the loss of her new home by a freak gas explosion, just hours after saying "I do", was accepted by her brothers as the natural order of things.  That is, all the brothers, except the youngest, who had the unique misfortune of being privy to the truth.

      When he had shown up at the scene the night before, Fr. Kevin was unprepared for the sight that awaited him.  He had pulled up the block, expecting to see some serious damage to Beckett's home.  What awaited him was total destruction, a pile of smoldering rubble sitting on what was still a perfectly landscaped lawn and parkway.  He had arrived a few minutes before the newlyweds, and therefore landed the miserable priviledge of witnessing his sister's reaction to the pain of the moment.  After a few moments together, a grim faced Beckett had given Maureen over to his care, and left in search of what Kevin presumed were answers regarding the hows and whys.

       Not that he, or Beckett, for that matter, needed any explanations.  There was no doubt in Kevin's mind that what he was looking at was the result of Cassie McKreedy's animosity.  While they were wrongly hunting her trail at the Park West, she had obviously had free access to the house here on Maple Avenue.  He shuddered, remembering that he had been the one to suggest that the bride and groom should spend the night here, and thanked a merciful God that Beckett had decided against his reasoning.  If the Sheriff had not been his usual stubborn self, the future might have been too unbearable to even consider, and so when his new brother-in-law rejoined them, looking them both straight in the eye, and announced that the explosion was due to a faulty gas line connection, Kevin glared at him, but held his tongue, and the truth of the matter.

        Now in the daylight clarity of Sunday afternoon, Fr. Kevin wanted answers.  Because of the excitement of the night before, plans were pushed to later in the afternoon to allow everyone extra time to rest.  He arrived at the Park West around 3 PM, and began setting up in one of the hotel's small conference rooms.  A quick call to Maureen confirmed that the family still planned on gathering for Sunday Mass at 4, followed by dinner together before everyone began the trek back to Boston. Although her voice sounded strained and weary, his sister seemed firm in her desire to finish up the last of the wedding celebration as originally planned.  Not wishing to ruin these last moments for her, Kevin avoided mentioning his concerns, and set his mind to preparing for the liturgy.

__________________________________

      It was nearly 5 before the last of the guests made their way downstairs.  The small conference room was filled to capacity, and for Fr. Kevin, the sight of his entire family gathered for worship, made him feel better.  Despite the weight of all that had happened, Maureen looked surprisingly peaceful, and exceptionally lovely in a pale green sundress, her hair bundled up in curls atop her head.  Beckett wore his usual calm demeanor, his face betraying nothing.   Across the room, Kevin caught his eye, and made a face, expecting the usual smirk in return.  Today, however, his brother in law held the gaze longer than necessary, his expression perfectly still, and it was Kevin who looked away first, uncomfortable under the man's stare.

      Although most were family, the crowd also consisted of a few close friends who had been invited to share the last of the wedding festivities.  Fr. Kevin watched as Allison took a seat near his sister, followed by the best man, who planted himself directly next to her.  He was no expert in modern courtship rituals, but if he had to guess, he'd bet that there was the start of something going on between the two of them.  Mike Nolan appeared to be a nice enough guy, if a little caustic around the edges, and it was obvious that he and Beckett had known each other for a long time.  How this impacted Allison, whom he had known since she was kid, he wasn't sure, but he hoped for her sake that Mike was a more  "normal" person than his sister's new husband.

       Roxanne Spinelli's attendance at Mass and dinner shouldn't have surprised him.  Kevin knew that she was staying at the hotel, and it made perfect sense that Maureen would invite her to this private gathering.  But when she took her seat in the back row, and gave him a cheerful little wave, he was tempted to run and hide.  Why he had this ridiculous reaction to the woman, he didn't want to even think about, and drew the conclusion that the Almighty was still not entirely pleased with the way he had handled his so-called apology.  Once that requirement was completed, she could mosey on back to Boston, and he could put her back into the slot reserved for childhood memories where she belonged. Or at least, that was the plan.  With a deep sigh, he tucked all his worldly concerns and neuroses to the back of his mind, and began the opening prayers of the liturgy.

__________________________

      To anyone observing the crowd at Mass, Theodore Henton Beckett appeared to be thoroughly engaged in Fr. Kevin's homily on the virtues of modern family life.  In truth, his mind was somewhere else, clicking though a long mental list of things he needed to take care of before he departed for whereabouts unknown.  He still hadn't mentioned this honeymoon trip to his bride, figuring the surprise approach, preferrably in the company of her family, would ward off any questions regarding this sudden change of plans, at least until he could work things out in his own head.  He had hoped to speak to Nolan before the start of the services, but the pain in the ass didn't walk in until the very last moment, right behind the fetching figure of Maureen's friend Allison, raising thoughts about what might be going on between the two of them.

       He and Mike usually stayed out of each other's personal affairs, but he gave some worry over to the thought that his partner might attach himself to his wife's best friend, a no win situation for any of the parties involved.  He and Nolan would have to discuss that when he returned, and hopefully, before any permanent damage was done.  His energies now needed to be focused on tracking down the psycho bitch, and guaranteeing she would no longer be a threat to he, or his new family.  It was utterly ridiculous, and if he were willing to admit, embarrassing as hell, that she had created as much havoc as she had.  It stood as testimony to the fact that he might be going a bit "soft" where his emotions were concerned, and vowed to increase his mental training when this whole honeymoon nonsense was over.
Currently, he just wished Kevin would stop yammering, and speed up the church stuff, so he could get on to the several important tasks at hand.

________________________
Roxie and Fr. Kevin meet again

       Deciding he would no longer act like a silly teenager, Fr. Kevin positioned himself in a chair directly next to Roxanne, commiting to her company through the entire length of dinner.  If his nervousness was apparent, the young woman gave no sign that she noticed, and seemed genuinely pleased at his appearance, asking for his insight about the events the night before.

       "So I heard all about the explosion.  Was it as bad as they're saying?"

        Because she was already aware of the situation with Cassie, and actively involved, it was a relief for Kevin to be able to openly share his thoughts on the subject with another human being.  "It was unbelievably awful.  There wasn't a wall left standing, and what the blast didn't take out, the fire afterward finished completely.  I'm just grateful no one was injured."  For a moment, his mind slipped back to the thought of Ted and Maureen inside that house, and he willed the horrible image away.  "The explosion blew out some windows on the houses on both sides, but luckily, that was the extent of the damage to anyone else's property."

        "It wasn't really an accident, was it?  We both know it has something to do with that woman I met yesterday.  The one after Maureen's husband."

         "That's what I'm thinking.  But Ted is blaming a gas explosion to anyone who will listen.  He's desperately trying to contain any real information, so I doubt if he'll honestly share what he knows with us.  That's the way he is with everything.  I've know the guy for well over a year, and frankly, I never know what he's really thinking."

         "Do you think he's finally told Maureen.  I know he said to me yesterday that he didn't want her involved...especially on her wedding day.  But after all that's happened, wouldn't it be best if she knew what they both were up against?"

          "You would think, wouldn't you?  But Beckett doesn't do things the same way the rest of us do.  He marches to his own drummer.  I've been trying to get him alone since the end of Mass, but I think he's purposely avoiding me.  He does that kind of stuff all the time."

          "Well, he is the Sheriff.  You'd have to guess that he knows what he's doing."

           "One would hope, Rox.  This is serious business to be playing around with.  I knew Cassie was a bit extreme, but even I didn't realize she was capable of something like this."

          The waitress came around and laid their plates in front of them.  Having missed the wedding dinner the night before, Kevin eyed the twin lobster tails, and petite filet on his plate with interest, and soon joined the jovial dinner conversation around the table, happily pushing aside any thoughts of murderous revenge for the duration of dinner.

_____________________________

         It wasn't until dinner was practically being served that Beckett was able to finally corner Nolan alone.  "Were you able to do as I asked?"

         "Yup.  No major problems."  He pulled a thick envelope from inside his suit coat, and handed it to Beckett, who slipped it into his own.  "Everything you asked for, plus a few extras thrown in for good measure."

         "That's more than satisfactory.  Thanks, Nol.  You used the Baker personae like I asked?"

          "Yeah, I went for the usual cover for you...John Baker.  For the little fox, I ended up using the first name Margaret.   I thought it best not to use her given first name, although I expect she'll have a hard time answering to a new moniker.  You're gonna have to coach her a bit."

           "That won't be a problem.  As long as you've made us as bland as possible.  The target's a pro, and no dummy.  She look for any type of red flags."

           "Don't worry.  I have you flying out of New York early tomorrow morning.  I figured you could  just take my rental, and I'll get a ride out of here on my own.  In fact, I may just meander up to Boston for a few days R and R"

            "Look...you know I normally don't interfere with your personal love life, Nol, but I'd appreciate if you wouldn't..."

           Nolan put a hand up, stopping the line of discussion.  "You leave my concerns to me, Beck.  I'd say you have your own mess to clean up right now."

           Dropping the thought, Beckett changed the subject.  "So...where do you have my lovely bride and I honeymooning?"

           Nolan hesitated, and made a face.  "I did have a bit of trouble keeping this out from under the noses of the powers that be.  Building your wifey's new file caught the attention of a few people I had hoped wouldn't notice."

           "Damn it, Mike!  I was adamant about keeping all this bullshit in the dark.  After that whole mess in Italy, I was warned about any leftovers.  How much do they know?"

           "Don't get all worked up!  I fixed it so they don't have a clue about anything.  Unfortunately, they were already aware of your new relationship status."

           "Yeah, I did contact them that I was marrying.  And about the pregnancy.  Figured it was best to get that out there.  I needed to make...provisions.  They just don't need to know about the other problem."

            "I understand.  And I took care of that the best way I knew how.  I explained that you were willing to take an assignment, but needed to have the new wife with you.  They weren't very happy, but they bought it."

           "Aw, fuck, Nolan!  I don't want an assignment with Maureen in tow.  That won't work at all!  She's way too young, and has absolutely no training.  She's like a frickn' open book.  No control what so ever."

           "Sorry, bud.  It's the best I could do on such short notice.  It was truly the only way I could get a complete set of credentials for your little fox.  Figured it was the lesser of two evils.  On assignment, you'd be buried so deep, the crazy bitch won't have a single clue where you're at.  It'll be like the two of you fell off the face of the Earth.  Nobody...and I mean nobody...will know where you've gone.  And if the target's as slick as you say, it's probably best that you don't tell anyone either.  Not even the family."

            Aware that their discussion had attracted attention, Beckett let his face and body relax, laughing out loud, and giving the appearance of a casual conversation.  "This better be a simple job, Nolan, or I am apt to kick your ass inside out."

             Nolan grinned.  "Like you could possibly even attempt that.  Seriously, Beck, it's an easy go.  Just a simple courier job. Drop and disappear.  A few pesos to smooth over some riffled feelings, is all. Nothing too difficult."

           "Shit!  You're sending us to Mexico?  You know how I feel about the place!"

            "It was the only job available with the least amount of risk.  I figured it was the best choice with you having company along.  Don't worry.  It'll all work out fine.  Just drop the package off, and the rest of the time is yours.  Foxy won't have a clue you're on the clock.  I even booked you into the honeymoon suite of some chi-chi tourist resort.  Your girl will have the time of her life.  All kinds of spa treatments...shopping...great beach...women eat that shit up, Beck.  It'll be great.  You'll see.  In the meantime, the team will round up the psycho, and dump her somewhere out of sight.  End of problem.  You come back, everything's taken care of.  Mark my words...this job's a fuckn' picnic.  A walk in the park...just the way you like it."

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