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Hello Again and welcome to this week’s Tuesday tales,the blog where weel-known and new authors share their current work in progress with you. Each week, the prompt revolves around a word or, once a month, a picture. This week, the word is PILL.
I continue to offer snippets from my current wip, which is tentatively entitled, Wedding Bell Blues. Normally, I’d only post one POV, but you need this first part to enjoy the second.
Here you go:
“I’ll bet it has, and I don’t know half of the story,” Paul said, swallowing awkwardly.
Is there ever an easy way to do this?
“There’s a fully stocked bar in the bungalow, but before I give you any booze, any chance you’re pregnant?”
MJ gaped at him, and he watched the fury build in her eyes.
“What in hell made you jump to that conclusion?”
“You did. You said you didn’t eat this morning and you just fainted.”
“I didn’t eat this morning, jackass, because the flight left at six, and I expected to get fed on the plane.”
He didn’t comment on the name she’d called him. “Another casualty of the war on terrorism, but you did faint.”
“Fine. I can’t explain that, but I can guarantee I’m not with child. Now, if you don’t mind, I really want to get out of here.”
He’d need to apologize for what he’d said, but right now, she was mad enough to spit nails.
Maybe a drinkor two isn’t such a bad idea.
More angry and embarrassed than she’d ever been in her entire life, MJ followed Paul along the crushed, white stone walkway, edged by artificial torches, watching her backpack bounce along on his shoulder. It was just her luck that her hero turned out to be as big a jerk as the man responsible for this mess. Pregnant? What the hell kind of person did he think she was? He was the one with the babe in the bedroom. If he had the morals of an alley cat, that was his problem, not hers.
So much for thinking life was going to improve. Wait until Mama hears this.
And she had no doubt Mama and everyone else she knew would hear about her latest fiasco. Once Mark realized she’d been foolish enough to ignore his threat and come here, he’d put his own spin on things, and it would be all over Stilton, and Mama would bear the biggest share of the shame. She’d really messed up this time, and knowing what an absolute fool she’d made of herself was a bitter pill to swallow. Once she got to Paul’s room, she wasn’t leaving it again until it was time to board the ferry, and she’d have to find a way to get from here to there unseen. Maybe with a big hat and sunglasses…
She sighed. She could try appealing to Mark’s better nature, but he didn’t have one. No, this was his revenge, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. The odds she could escape the island and he wouldn’t hear about it were astronomical. By now, her situation was most likely the talk of the resort and that wouldn’t end today. She swallowed awkwardly. How many others had jumped to the same conclusion as Paul? Exhaling heavily, she hurried to catch up to her rescuer.
The sun had dried most of the lush tropical plants and the rich scent of exotic flowers perfumed the air. She could hear birds in the canopy overhead, and couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place. Now that she was accustomed to the warmer air, she realized it wasn’t as bad as it had been.
Paul slowed his pace so she could catch up.
“The guy who sold me the vacation package didn’t tell me this was a couples’ resort,” Paul said. “You didn’t mention you were getting married. Congratulations. So what happened to your room?”
Before she could think of anything to say, the path veered left, and she yelped.
“What the hell is that? Is that a dragon? They have dragons here?” she screeched, trying to climb up on Paul’s shoulders and join the backpack.
Paul chuckled. “Calm down. It’s not a dragon, it’s just an iguana. It won’t hurt you. It eats nothing but plants and leaves. Even the bugs are safe. These are quite domesticated. See, it’s even got a collar.”
“What difference does a damn collar make?” she asked, moving behind him, using him as a shield against the monster. “I’ve seen iguanas, and they’re green, not grayish like that one, and they definitely are not that big.”
“This is a green iguana, but its color fades to a greenish gray as it ages. I’ll admit it’s larger than most specimens you’ve seen, but it’s harmless. Right now, that poor little guy is as warm as you are, and that’s why he’s so pale. He’s heading into the undergrowth to cool off. If you see him tonight, he’ll be much darker in color.”
“Little guy? If I meet that thing alone tonight, I’ll have a coronary,” she said, offended by the smirk he tried to hide. “What is it with you an overgrown animals? You’ve got a horse-sized dog and now this, this … dinosaur. That sucker’s at least four feet long and has to weight forty pounds, and you expect me to believe it eats plants?”
“Twenty tops,” he said, his shoulders shaking.
The son of a bitch is laughing at me.
If she weren’t so upset she might see the humor in the situation, but right now she’d rather kick him hard, and hope the giant lizard didn’t come to his defense.
“His ancestors ate plants and look at the size of those.” Paul used his foot to nudge the reptile out of the way and send him back into the trees. The animal disappeared into the bushes.
MJ eyed the brush suspiciously, not convinced the monstrosity was gone, but unwilling to go looking for the lizard—if that’s what it really was. She realized Paul had started walking again and hurried to catch up to him.
“Some of his ancestors were meat-eaters, and who’s to say he won’t morph into an omnivore when salad isn’t enough to fill him up? I didn’t realize this island would be like the Galapagos Islands—they left that out of the literature. What next bird-sized mosquitoes and giant heads?”
“I haven’t seen any huge bugs,” he answered trying to keep a straight face. “But I plan to look at a gigantic head tomorrow. If you were sticking around, you could come with me. The tour leaves first thing in the morning, and we’d be gone for the day. You didn’t answer my question. How come you don’t have a room?”
“It’s just one of those modern miracles. The computer cancelled my reservation,” she answered, trying to be blasé. “They’ve found me a place in Saint Pierre, but it isn’t available until the day after tomorrow.” She hoped he wouldn’t ask too many questions. She was a dismal liar at the best of times, and given the situation, concocting a lie to explain it all and save face was a feat way outside of her area of expertise.
The all-day trek off the island sounded promising. If she could leave before Mark and Melena arrived, it would be her word against his, and since Mama thought she was in Watertown, the only one who’d know the truth would be Carla. Obviously Paul knew, but since there was no way in hell Mama would ever know he was in Watertown, let alone here, it might work. She could leave the tour on Martinique and get herself to the airport. The sooner she got back to the United States, the better.
That way, I’d never have to tell Mama what I’ve done.
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