Good morning and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales. If you celebrate Easter, I hope you got your chocolate fix in.
Each week talented authors share a scene from their current work in progress with you. This week, I continue with Wedding Bell Blues. The word this week is swallow.
MJ glanced at her watch and walked back into the kitchen. “I hate to drink and run, but we’d better get going. I’m supposed to meet with the realtor in twenty minutes.”
“Susan Wilkes over at Oswego?” Paul asked. “She’s the one who sold me the house.”
“No. Duncan Philips at Northlands,” she answered and chuckled humorlessly. “I probably should’ve gone there before coming here. If I had I could’ve spared us both all this.”
“I’m glad you didn’t,” he said smiling. “You know, if you can’t find anything today, you’re welcome to stay here until you do. I’ve got more than enough space. In fact, I was thinking of finishing the basement and making it a small apartment to rent,” Paul said causing her to choke on the last mouthful of beer. “If you’re working down the street, it would be perfect for you.”
Carla burst out laughing. “And what would your neighbors think of that? A bachelor with a woman tenant? Watertown’s not that much bigger than Stilton, and in a neighborhood like this, I’ll bet the gossip runs wild.”
MJ’s libido was doing handsprings. If he offered to have her stay with him, there couldn’t be a woman in that bedroom. She visualized getting to know Paul, in the biblical sense, in every room of the house, and almost died at his next words.
Paul laughed. “Get serious, Carla. MJ might as well be my sister. No one’s going to say anything. I spent as much time if not more in her house than I did in mine. The offer stands. Think of me as your second big brother. What’s that bird that lays its eggs in another bird’s nest? A swallow?”
“No. That would be a cuckoo, who generally kicks out the egg that belongs in the nest and lays hers in its place–sort of like taking over,” Carla said and laughed. “Considering how much time MJ spent at my place, it fits.”
If she says another word, I will kill her.
“Sorry about that,” Paul said and grinned. “Anyway, the rest of the furniture arrives on Wednesday. If you want a place to crash until you find yours, feel free, and if it works out, I’ve got no problem finishing the basement sooner rather than later. I’ll be out of town for a couple of weeks. You could house sit for me. King’s friendly. You couldn’t be in safer hands.”
Thoroughly dejected, her girlish dreams in ashes at her feet, she mustered every ounce of dignity she possessed.
“Thanks for the offer, Paul, but Carla’s right. This close to the school, gossip like that might ruin my reputation. I might think of you as a brother, but others wouldn’t. Don’t worry about the blouse. I’ll take care of it.” She handed him the empty beer can. “I won’t be here until the end of July, so I can’t help you out while you’re away, but I’ll tell Ron and Mama that I saw you. Goodbye. It was great seeing you again. Maybe we’ll run into one another sometime.”
Hopefully, when I’m driving the car and you’re in the road in front of it.
The murderous thought surprised her. Ashamed of herself, she turned and headed out of the house with Carla scrambling to keep up with her. She tossed her small suitcase back into the trunk and slammed it closed with more vehemence than necessary. Getting behind the wheel, she didn’t even wait for Carla to tie her seatbelt before pulling away from the curb.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” Carla asked. “You were downright rude.”
“Was I?” MJ asked, swallowing her pain. “I didn’t mean to be. It was past time to leave, that’s all. Besides, his girlfriend was waiting for him in the bedroom.”
“What the hell are you talking about? He lives alone. He told me so.”
“Just because he lives alone doesn’t mean he was alone. You smelled those cookies and tasted whatever was cooking on the stove. A man doesn’t cook and bake for himself.”
Carla laughed. “Point taken. By the way, it’s bean soup. He claimed he’d made it following your mother’s recipe, and it’s even better than your mom’s.”
“Of course it is. Everything he does is great,” MJ said bitterly. “It always was. Sorry for the bad mood, but I don’t want to be late. That’s the second house I’ve lost in three months. I don’t want to lose another.”
Please drop by and visit all of this week’s Tuesday Tales.