Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the place where books are born. This week, the word prompt is CHAIN. I won’t be around next week for the picture prompt. My husband and I are off to Ticonderoga, NY, to visit Star Trek’s original USS Enterprise set. Since it’s also Canadian Thanksgiving, what better way to celebrate the day than doing something so cool with the man I love?
This week, I’m continuing my contemporary romance, Same Time Next Year. In today’s post, you get to meet Michael. I know a few of you have been wondering if you world. Enjoy!
“Mike, don’t be such a party-pooper,” Lydia snarled, her arms crossed over her ample bosom, a sheet of paper held between the fingers of her left hand. “Mavis Crowder was my best friend. Just because the two of you didn’t see eye to eye is no reason to deprive me of this opportunity to go back to The Captain’s Inn.”
“Hey, nobody’s stopping you,” he said, running his hand through his short white hair. “That invitation didn’t include me when it arrived, and I doubt it does now, so what’s really your problem?”
“You are. Charles decided he’s not coming unless you do,” she admitted, her mouth an inverted U, her lower lip protruding, the look in her eyes the one she’d always used to turn her father and later him into mush, but not this time. She might be the only family he had left, but he wasn’t going to give in. He had no desire to ever step foot near that place again. And as far as Mavis went, while he shouldn’t blame her for what happened, he did. The heart wasn’t always logical.
He shook his head. “Don’t dump this on me. If you can’t convince your own husband to go, why should I? Chuck probably remembers what a barracuda Mavis can be. Didn’t she hit on him when you attended Fiona Carson’s wedding about twenty years ago? I don’t see age improving her.”
“That’s water under the bridge. She and Rick were going through bad times—they’d just lost their son, for heaven’s sake—and she’d had too much to drink. You know better than anyone how those Department of Defense letters and calls can shatter a family. I’m sure she’s changed by now,” she answered, not backing down.
“Right, and a leopard changes its spots, too.” He exhaled heavily. “You’re sixty-six years old, Lydia, why don’t you just go by yourself? Besides, Chuck will be chained to the helm. This is our busiest time of the year.”
His sister stomped her foot, her hands fisted at her hips. “That’s exactly why he has to come with me, and so do you. Trent and Art are more than capable of handling things, and you know it. Charles promised me he’d slow down after the incident last spring, and he hasn’t.”
She never used her husband’s nickname despite the fact she was probably the only one on Earth who called him Charles.
“Sis, you’re getting yourself all worked up. It was a minor heart attack. He’s fine and staying busy is good for him. If it helps, I’ll talk to him. You guys can make this a second honeymoon. You really don’t need your big brother lurking in the bushes, watching your every move, like I did when we were kids. I can help the guys, maybe even take out a few tours myself.”
“Bo and the others are more than capable of doing that. Please,” she begged, “do this for me. Charles has no history there, and you know how he hates crowds. The wheelhouse is his favorite place to be, where he’s isolated from most of humanity.”
He chuckled. After years in the army, that wasn’t hard to believe. It was one of his favorite places too, as was his office when his sister wasn’t in it.
“Mavis has invited everyone who used to live in the area,” she continued, her voice cajoling. “Come on. This is our chance to revisit our old stomping grounds, maybe take a look at Indian Lake and see how things have changed. From her emails, I know Skeeter will be there, as will Jake and Johnny.”
He frowned. How long had it been since he’d seen those guys? He’d run into Herbert Simms, Skeeter, twenty years ago, just after he and Chuck had retired from the army and invested in a whale excursion tour boat out of Victoria. Skeeter had been a passenger on one of their tours that first summer. Now, Natsilane Tours owned three boats and ran tours all year round. They’d more than recovered their investment. Lydia was right, they could afford to take the time off, but watching his sister fidget, he realized there was something she wasn’t telling him.
“Lydia, I agree it might be nice to catch up with old friends, but there’s something you aren’t telling me, something that’s got you all worked up, and I don’t think it has anything to do with Chuck’s refusal to come or my old friends being there. Why do you really want me to come with you?”
She handed him the email she’d been holding.
“This came an hour ago. Twyla Lancaster is there—she’s staying at the inn for the month. You always said you wanted to know why she’d lied to you. This is your chance to do just that.” Her phone rang. She reached for it. “Damn, I have to take this. Promise me you’ll think about it? I have to go. We’ll talk later.” She hurried out of the office.
Michael stared at the paper in his hand, but he didn’t see the words printed on it. Instead, he saw the green eyes of the only woman he’d ever loved, the woman who’d shattered his dreams and broken his heart.
That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.
Same Time Next Year isn’t the only book born on Tuesday Tales. Check out Hello Again, My paranormal/suspense/romance available from Amazon.