Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. We`re back to wrap up my PNR mini-series, Anastasia`s Locket. Last week Maggie and Gerard had their first real taste of an angry spirit and goodness me was it a sour one!
This week our word prompt is ‘Sweet’. Since this hasn`t been edited or beta read by anyone but me, there may be some grammatical errors. I do apologize for any mistakes.
Please check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
Gerard pushed me aside and leaped to his feet. The man moved like greased lightning. I could only imagine how fast he must have been on the gridiron field before his injury. He dove into the pond. I scuttled over on my hands and knees to fetch the camera. The light wavered and bounced terribly. My hands were shaking strongly. I got up then staggered to the white lady covering her lovely face with one hand as if weeping silently. The water broke. Someone inhaled deeply. I moved the beam of light to the far side of the pond. Gerard was exiting the water; his hair covered his face as water rushed from his sodden clothes. Mrs. Gundy was limp in his arms.
I hurried around to where Gerard was. He flipped his hair off his face then scowled at the bright light in his eyes. I saw bloody gouges in his cheek and gasped.
“She fought me tooth and nail,” he said, dropping to his butt roughly to avoid sitting on his bad leg. I didn`t dare ask who had fought him so. The old woman was whimpering softly. So softly, in fact, that had I not been seated beside her, I wouldn’t have heard her. The sound was gut-wrenching. It was like the call of a broken-hearted dove.
Gerard relieved me of the camera. The surface of the water was smooth as glass I noticed. Mrs. Gundy coughed weakly. I shook off the shock and helped the old woman to sit up. She began mumbling. I peeled off my jacket and placed it over her shoulders. Both she and Gerard were shivering.
“Mrs. Gundy, we need to get you inside,” I whispered then looked at Gerard. “You as well,” I added as his teeth began to clatter.
“I`m not going to argue that suggestion,” he said. We all drew back when Anastasia`s head broke through the dark surface of the pond. Mrs. Gundy wept harshly into her gnarled hands. I pulled the old dear closer to my breasts. The spirit gazed at us for several seconds. Then she gracefully sunk back under the water. We watched until the ripples disappeared.
“She won`t come back anymore,” Mrs. Gundy coughed. Her voice got us moving. We moved into the old farm house, closing and locking the door soundly. I helped Mrs. Gundy to her room, one arm around her slim waist as we scaled the stairs to the second floor slowly.
“What was so special about that locket?” I asked as we climbed.
“It had the picture of her son. I didn`t think – didn`t want her to be reminded of him, of giving him up, so I took the locket . . . kept it from her,” the old woman wheezed. I feared she would be dead come morning after that dunk in the pond. “She was only fifteen. It was not acceptable for young ladies to be having bastard children. Plus,” she glanced over her shoulder at Gerard. A look of reluctance moved over her wrinkled face. “The man that got that boy on her was a Negro.” The last part was whispered to me.
Gerard made a rasping sound in the back of his throat but said nothing. I remained quiet as well for a moment.
“What made you finally give her the locket back?” I asked as we neared the top riser.
“She was going to hurt you or your friend. I couldn`t let her do that.”
“Why didn’t you just give the girl her locket when she started haunting you?” Gerard asked. He was much gruffer than usual. Mrs. Gundy shook her head.
“That child was half-Negro. I was doing Anastasia a good, but she never recognized it as that."
And that, as it turned out, was all the reason Mrs. Gundy felt she needed for taking away the child, turning it over to an adoption agency, and barring her daughter from ever seeing or mentioning her son again. If Anastasia`s drowning was an accident or a suicide, we would never know for sure. Mrs. Gundy refused to speak about it – or anything else - come the first rays of sunlight. I strongly suspected the girl had taken her own life, but that, as well as a pregnancy outside of marriage, was simply something one did not talk about. Or so we were semi-politely told as we had coffee before leaving as quickly as possible. The rapid departure was mutual, rest assured.
The ride back to New York was an uncomfortable one. Gerard had withdrawn into himself and with good reason. As night came and we had a couple more hours to go due to my need to stop at every antique store we passed, I insisted we stop in a lovely inn just this side of the New York/Pennsylvania border. We tried to replay the tape made beside the pond, but some sort of replay doohickey button had broken off during the chaos. We made a call to Eddie and sent the unseen video to him over the internet. Then we disconnected from the world. I lit a few candles. Gerard filled the Jacuzzi in the richly appointed bath. Champagne was delivered. We stripped in the candlelight and slipped into the bubbles, our eyes never leaving each other.
Gerard pulled me to him the moment I stepped into the water. My skin slid over his as he settled me where he wanted me. I leaned closer. He cupped a bare breast and a buttock. My mouth moved over his in the same mind-altering way that his body was moving inside mine. The water bubbled and frothed. I arched upward. His mouth latched onto a breast. We moved as one, our wet bodies churning the already foaming water faster and faster until we both found release. He held me close to ensure he stayed sheathed as the convulsions rippled through him. I held onto his biceps, my nails leaving half-moons in his gorgeous dark skin.
His lips moving over my cheek brought me down from the clouds.
“You know, years ago what we just did --”
I cut him off before he could go down a road of past hatred.
“What we just did was wonderful, sensual, natural, and sinfully addicting,” I whispered over his lips. He smiled. I kissed him once more. “Times have changed, thank God.”
“Yeah, but still. . . ” he said wistfully, his fingers massaging that right breast he seemed so fond of. I curled into his chest, my legs slipping over his thighs as I moved to get a comfy side-saddle seat. Jets of warm water rushed over my calves and rumbled over my breasts. My damp head dropped to a strong shoulder. His arms held me close as steam scented with honeysuckle tickled my nose.
“But still nothing,” I purred across his thumping jugular. “We have each other so screw the outside world.” I kissed the side of his neck. His low rumble of laughter moved through me and the water. It was arousing to say the least. As was the way his fingertips were trailing lightly over the inside of my thigh. “We`ve got the makings of something special here, Gerard.”
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” he said, his Bogart utter perfection.
As was the sweet kiss that followed.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
That was fun. And downright scary in places! Sometimes the secrets and hate that we bury comes back to haunt us. Hopefully we can continue to grow as a country and a world in our acceptance of love, no matter the color or gender.
Next week I`ll be able to start sharing excerpts from my NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law. This is my first crack at writing a western and I am quite excited about it. I have my soundtrack all picked out and my two leading men are patiently waiting to be given free rein!
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See you next week!