Archive for July, 2014

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 468) With Rage

“Where do you keep your travel bags?” Crispin asks as he follows Lyla into the room.

“Oh, those are in the hall closet.” She points in the direction of two doors that are catty-cornered across the hall from her bedroom. “It’s the one on the right, closest to the banister railings.” As Lyla steps further into her room, Crispin walks back across the hall and opens the closet door. Shockingly, Marnie attacks viciously as she pushes her way out of her hiding place screaming with rage and seemingly inhuman sounds.

Completely unexpected and off guard, Crispin falls backward across the hall hitting his back against the wall with great force. With a large knife in her right hand, Marnie drives the blade into Crispin’s left shoulder causing blood to start flowing immediately from the deep wound. He yells out in agony and the forceful impact of his body hitting the wall creates an intense sound that radiates throughout the structure. Marnie steps back in shock.

“NO!” she screams as she points her bloody fingers at him. “NO! It wasn’t supposed to be you!” With one hand outstretched and the other over her mouth, she whimpers like a wild beast snared in a trap.

Excerpt 468

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 467) Fresh Start

“It still smells like smoke in here,” Crispin says as he wraps his arms around Lyla, “but I have the best crew already starting the restoration. It will be perfect once again.” He says as he directs her toward the staircase. Walking arm in arm to the second floor they continue their conversation.

“Look at how far we’ve come since we met six months ago, and again now.” Says Lyla as they stop on the second floor landing. She looks down the hall to the right at the damaged portion of the house. The space is dark, gloomy, and still very wet from the water used to extinguish the flames. The scent of moisture mixed with smoke consumes the air.

“Don’t even look that way, Lyla. It will all be repaired and you need not subject yourself to bad memories.” Crispin takes her hand and guides her down the hall toward her bedroom. “Just think of this as a new beginning, a fresh start, and soon everything will be as it should be.” He smiles.

Crispin stops at Lyla’s bedroom door allowing her to enter first. She is thinking of what he just said and he is right. This is a new beginning, exciting and fresh is exactly how she feels. Looking back at him, she thinks of how he must have felt, realizing how frightened she had become of him. She cannot fathom how manipulative and cruel Quinn’s distorted guidance was for him at that time. Crispin is right, they are starting new. Looking at him, she smiles and he responds with a wink.

Excerpt 467

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 466) I Did

Stepping into the foyer of her damaged home, Lyla flips the switch on the wall to the on position and the large stained glass chandelier lights up brightening the space with blends of color.

“Hey, that reminds me,” she turns to Crispin poking him in the chest with her finger. “Did you happen to buy a certain stained glass lamp while in Madrid?” Laughing, Crispin looks at her with a childlike sneer as if he has no idea what she is talking about. His expression alone makes Lyla laugh as he begins his confession.

“Ah, yes indeed I did.” He laughs again. “I noticed it in the shop window and thought it would be a perfect match to your chandelier.” He steps toward her and becomes very serious. “The chance to give it to you just had not quite come up yet.”

“You are sneaky,” she grins, knowing he is about to burst into laughter. “I ended up with a very old, yet beautiful ornate lantern because of you, thank you very much.” As Lyla turns to the table where the item usually sits, she remembers that it was involved in the fire and may be lost forever.

“Then again,” she states while her back is to Crispin, “it may not hold memories that I want to keep.”

Excerpt 466

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 465) Kindness

“We are going inside to grab a few things and should be out of your way shortly.” Crispin says as he takes over and puts an end to this uncomfortable conversation. He and Lyla start walking toward the front porch together and Robert follows.

“That’s a good idea. We just secured tarps on the damaged part of the house. It looks like rain is on the way.” He says rather quickly. This comment from Robert causes both Crispin and Lyla to stop and look over their shoulders to the west. Robert nods in the direction of the line of clouds sitting on the horizon.

“My guys and I will be leaving in about five minutes, so if you need anything let us know as soon as possible.” He smiles as if embarrassed, and he probably is. It is obvious he is taking things personally and Lyla hates to leave him on that note.

“Thank you, Robert.” She places her hand on his arm. “You take care and let’s hope Marnie turns herself in soon. I truly appreciate all of your help and kindness.” She smiles looking him in the eyes, “Please do not worry.”

Excerpt 465

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 464) Lyla’s House

After several more topics of conversation and a bit of flirting, Lyla and Crispin clear away their plates. He explains that while she was asleep, he took charge of the situation and met workers at her house as soon as the sun was up. Under his guidance, the task is already underway and he suggests they drive into town to gather more items and to make sure the contractors have started work as he directed. Upon their arrival at Lyla’s house, they find Marnie’s brother, Robert, standing in the front yard conversing with a few other men.

“Hello there,” says Robert as Lyla gets out of the car. He quickly walks over to greet her.

“Robert, I didn’t expect to see you here.” She says as she glances at Crispin.

“You have my sincerest apologies, Lyla. I had no idea my sister was so irrational and confused. We still don’t know where she is and I’ve got to get her some help, fast.” He states as he steps closer to both Lyla and Crispin to keep the other men from hearing his words.

“I want her to get some help too. If there is anything. . .” Starts Lyla but Robert interrupts her quickly.

“No, I feel so bad about all of it Lyla, you don’t need to do anything. I am so glad to be on the team that is making the repairs to your home. It makes me feel better about myself.” Robert shakes his head as he pushes his hat back a little from his sweaty forehead.

Excerpt 464

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 463) You With Me

“Yes, I do fairly well on my own.” Lyla pauses. “I hope you don’t mind me being here, with you.” She says as she tips her head slightly waiting for his response.

“You, my love. . .” Crispin pauses briefly as if he may become emotional. “I hope by now you realize I want you with me, wherever our life together may take us.” Without a hint of uncertainty, Lyla responds.

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” she says as she leans forward kissing him quickly. “Let’s eat, I’m starving.”

As they enjoy the meal Crispin prepared, a slight breeze begins to blow and birds flutter in and out of the vines overhead as well as the nearby shrubbery. The sun is warm but as clouds begin to drift in it gives off the appearance of wispy shadows crawling along the ground. Lyla and Crispin talk for over an hour and finish off their meal with a large glass of wine. Before they take their last drink, Crispin holds his glass up to Lyla.

“May God grant you many years to live, for sure he must be knowing, that earth has angels all too few and heaven is overflowing.” He taps his glass to Lyla’s and says, “To you my angel.” Smiling, she slowly leans over the table to kiss him once again.

Excerpt 463

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 462) Have A Need

The heavy scent of earth and blossoms is intoxicating as Crispin leads Lyla quickly through the glass building. From here, they exit though another door and step outside to a rather large vine-covered pergola with a fire pit chimney at the far end. Creamy tan and white stones are grouted together making a perfectly level floor as they walk over to a table that is sitting in the center.

“Exactly what time is it?” Lyla asks a bit shocked to see that the sun appears to be low in the sky for the noon hour.

“It is half past three.” Replies Crispin as he pulls a chair out for her to sit down.

“No, you are kidding me, right?” she questions as she looks out across rolling hills of green grass and white rocks. “Oh Crispin, this area is beautiful. It takes my breath away.” She cannot believe that she is in the same country as her hometown.

“Yes, it is beautiful, peaceful, and remote here.” States Crispin as he sits down across from her. “As you may suspect, I tend to keep to myself except when I am needed, or have a need.” He smiles as he reaches out touching her hand.

Excerpt 462

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 461) The Reason

“Do you ever sleep?” Lyla asks as she looks into Crispin’s eyes. He tips his head as if his answer is questionable and Lyla runs her hand along the back of his neck as she looks at him thoughtfully.

“Let’s just say my mind is wonderfully consumed and that keeps me up at times.” He says in a vague manner as he continues to hold her.

“That’s a very cryptic reply.” Lyla laughs. “So what does it mean?” Crispin looks at her and grins. “What are you hiding?” She teases.

“You are the reason I don’t sleep.” He replies has he holds her close. “Let’s just say, you are a beacon to my soul.” He kisses her as he draws her into a tighter embrace. “I prepared breakfast, but it’s more like a late lunch.” He laughs.

Taking her by the hand, they walk down the short hall, through the main room, and out through the back door of the kitchen. Stepping across three large square stones, they immediately enter a glass structure. It is a greenhouse of sorts with various pots and planters full of flowers and vegetables sitting in neat rows and sections. Some varieties are hanging in large baskets, some spilling out of tall urns, and the gravel walkway is wet and shiny.

Excerpt 461

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 460) Enveloping

Once dressed, Lyla pulls the covers of the bed up and arranges the pillows neatly in front of the headboard. Just as she tosses the last throw pillow in its place, Crispin comes up from behind sliding his arms around her into an enveloping and tender hug. She welcomes this embrace by holding his arms and leaning back slightly as she looks up at him. Wrapped in his arms she slowly turns to face him.

“Hello,” she says as she drapes her arms over his shoulders and gives him a quick kiss.

“I take it you slept well?” he asks with a smile.

“Yes, I did except right before I woke up I had a bad dream.” She looks down.

“Do you want to talk about it? He questions.

“No.” she looks up at him and shakes her head. “The worst part of it all was when I woke up,” she pauses. “You weren’t there.

Excerpt 460

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 459) No Trace

Lyla reaches down to the foot of the bed and grabs the bathrobe she laid there last night. Slipping it on, she cinches it at her waist and slowly walks across the room and opens the door. Dashing out ahead, Smokey runs down the short hall and rounds the corner into the main room. Lyla can still hear the heavy thuds of all four paws as the hefty cat runs across the room.

There is no trace of smoke or any strange mists as she searches for Crispin and this is a relief. The main room is void of anyone but herself and still pleasantly scented by the bouquets of flowers Crispin arranged last night. Stepping into the kitchen she  finds Smokey alone, nibbling on dry food from a small bowl on the floor.

Looking out the windows the sun is high in the mid afternoon sky. She does not see Crispin anywhere but the car is still in the drive, so she believes he cannot be too far away. Going back to the bedroom, she digs through the bag of clothes Crispin gathered and slips on a pair of pants and a shirt.

Excerpt 459

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 458) Mind Racing

Looking around the room, Lyla thinks about the dream she just had. Could it be foretelling as to what may happen in the future? After all, the lantern appeared in her dreams, and then became a reality that was used against her. Where is Marnie in all of this? She wonders if they have found her yet.

“Okay, stop with the mind racing, Lyla. You’re driving yourself nuts.” She says as she looks over at the night table and notices a small piece of folded paper. Leaning over, she picks it up and unfolds it.

“Pulse of my heart, song of my soul, light of my night.” She reads aloud. A wide smile forms on her face as she thinks of Crispin and his knack for poetry. When she lays the note down, she realizes the stained glass lamp on the nightstand is the one she wanted to purchase while in Madrid. It may not be the exact lamp, but it is a close second. This makes Lyla grin as well.

“Well you sneaky devil.” She says softly. “Come on Smokey, we need to find the man of the house.”

Excerpt 458

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 457) Should She

Smokey still has an ashy smell to her fur from the fire, but she looks better than she did a few hours ago. The poor cat must have been grooming herself all night. Lyla leans back and holds her hands up in front of her astonished at how badly they are trembling from the frightening nightmare.

“I don’t ever want to have a dream like that again.” She says to herself as she lies on the pillows and closes her eyes. This is her attempt at giving herself time to relax and ease into this new day. Immediately she thinks about Crispin and all the things that have happened in such a short time. She knows she is madly in love with him, how can she possibly help it, but should she be? Should she trust him so blindly?

“Oh stop it, Lyla.” She says to herself as she looks up at the ceiling. Closing her eyes again, she smiles as she sees Crispin’s face and thinks of their closeness. In addition, it is wonderful how happy Marcus and Destry are because of Crispin’s decision about the vineyard. “I knew he’d do the right thing.” She whispers to herself as she sits up.

Excerpt 457a

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 456) In Bed

“No!” Lyla yells as she sits up in bed. Her heart is pounding violently as she hears it throbbing in her head like a dull drum. Slowly and hesitantly she looks around at the dim lighting of the room and then down at her shaking hands. She is alone in the bed and she wonders where Crispin might be.

This dream was so real, she could smell the smoke, feel the pain in her throat as she tried to breathe, and then there was Crispin. Was he dead?

Smokey jumps up on the bed and immediately starts purring as she walks over to Lyla and lays down in a submissive way. She tips her head back as if pleading for a brushing. With a single loud meow, she finds her mistress is not reacting to her plea fast enough.

“Oh Smokey, thank god you’re okay little girl.” Lyla laughs as she runs her hands along her cat’s belly.

Excerpt 456

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 455) Screams Out

As Lyla steps away from the open window, she begins to hear laughter. It is a loud overbearing sound from nearby, but she does not see anyone. Turning around she trips over something causing her to fall to the floor. Looking back at what caught her footing, she finds that Crispin is lying on his back covered in blood and lifeless.

She gasps for air as she turns to help him but the smoke begins to overtake her; she cannot breath and begins to feel sick to her stomach. With one final push of air, she screams out for help and someone steps up beside her.

Looking up, she finds Marnie standing over her laughing in a wicked and hysterical manner as the fire engulfs her. It starts at her feet and covers her clothing then ignites her shirt. The smell of singed hair is strong as Marnie’s entire head bursts into flames.

Excerpt 455

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 454) Engulfed

“Smokey, hey little girl.” The fluffy cat does not respond. “Smokeums, are you hungry?” Again, no response, “Smokey?” Lyla says as she nudges her cat but instead of a warm welcome, she realizes Smokey is stiff and cold. She is dead. “Oh no.” Says Lyla as she covers her mouth from the shock. “What happened?” sitting there for a few minutes she again calls out to Crispin. “Crispin, are you here?” Now she begins to cough as she realizes the fog in the house is actually clouds of smoke in the air. It is causing a burning sensation to attack her throat.

“Oh god, oh no.” Lyla says to herself as she stands up. “Crispin!” she yells fearing he has succumbed to the toxic air. Lyla cannot catch her breath as she makes her way to the door. Trying without success to turn the lock, she soon realizes it is jammed and will not budge. Stepping over to the window, she pulls back the shades and pushes the shutters open to find the entire area, the fields and nearby trees, engulfed in massive flames. So much so that she cannot see the driveway or the tree lined drive.

Excerpt 454

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 453) Hint Of Light

With a hint of light creeping in through a crack in the curtains, Lyla looks around the room. She smiles as she glances over at the pink rose in the vase on the night table. The clear water has a sparkle to it and bubbles have collected on the green stem. The delicate rose is almost transparent and has opened slightly from the tight bud it was just hours ago.

Crispin is not in the room and the door is closed. Sliding out from the sheets, Lyla grabs the robe that she left at the foot of the bed and slips it on, tying it snugly around her thin waist. Walking out into the hall the cottage feels cold and not as welcoming as before.

“Crispin?” she calls out hoping to find him very soon.

She turns to look behind her for she feels as if someone is there. As she looks back, she notices a low fog or mist in the air that has settled near the floor. This confuses her because she has never witnessed such a sight inside a dwelling before.

Being extremely cautious, she peeks around the wall to the main room of the cottage. There too she finds the same low misty fog hovering just inches above the floor. Curled up on the sofa is Smokey and Lyla goes over to her while calling her name.

Excerpt 453

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 452) Plane To Catch

“Lyla is with Crispin, isn’t she?” asks Destry. “Yes, but. . .” starts Marcus.

“But nothing, I’m sure they are fine.” She smiles when she says this.

“What’s so funny?” Marcus asks as he stops what he is doing.

“They are in love. Did you not see how they acted around each other? Crispin won’t let anything or anyone harm her.” Says Destry confidently.

“That’s not all I’m worried about.” says Marcus. “I fear he hasn’t really changed and we have all been fooled by him.” Marcus looks up at the clock on the wall. It reads seven. He glances over at Destry and she is just standing there staring at him with a slightly strange look on her face.

“What?” he asks.

“Do you really think that?” she questions. Marcus looks at her for a moment wondering why she seems worried. He then realizes how stupid his statement was. If he is concerned that Crispin is fooling them, then there is a chance the vineyard is not at all under her control and this is a vicious trick to get them out of the way.

“Oh, no. . . that came out wrong.” Says Marcus as he walks over to the love of his life. “Just ignore me, I’m a suspicious idiot. Everything is fine. I really do believe he is sincere, which has really surprised me, and you are right about his feelings. I think he is and has been in love with Lyla for a long time.” Marcus puts his arms around Destry and hugs her. “Let’s finish packing, we have a plane to catch.”

Excerpt 452

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 451) Hate To Leave

As far as anyone knows, Marnie is still missing after she fled the scene of the fire last night. Police have been patrolling the streets and checking in with several leads, but so far, all have come up empty-handed. Until they apprehend her, the police chief fears she will go after Lyla again.

“How are you coming with your bags?” Destry asks as she passes by where Marcus is standing.

“Not too shabby, and yourself?” he replies as he watches her walk by. Stopping quickly, she turns and leans up against him.

“My part is done, so let’s get you caught up.” She whispers in his ear in a teasing way. He leans over and gives her a quick kiss on the nose.

“I’m worried about Lyla.” He confesses.

“Have you tried to call her?” Destry asks as she picks up the list and checks off two more items.

“No, I thought it was too early, but I hate to leave town without knowing her whereabouts.” He says.

Excerpt 451

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 450) Good Note

As if peeking over the horizon to spy on the small town, the sun begins to rise. Marcus and Destry are already up to greet the day and continue with the task they started the night before. On the table is a list with a pen nearby and they have marked off the majority of the items. With the wonderful news from Crispin still fresh and exciting, they plan to return to Spain to surprise the staff at the vineyard, especially Severo.

One thing that keeps crossing Marcus’ mind is the wellbeing of Lyla. He knows she and Crispin have grown very close and worked through many of the mysteries that surrounded their first encounter. Yet he cannot help but worry if she is safe and if Crispin’s intentions are as true as they seem.

To his surprise, he must admit he is very impressed by Crispin’s actions of late, especially toward himself and Destry with the relinquishing of the vineyard. In no way did he expect the situation to end on such a good note.

Excerpt 450

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 449) Don’t Leave

As Lyla covers up in the cool sheets she lies back on the soft pillows, it is all she can do to stay awake. From down the hall the music has now stopped and soon she hears Crispin quietly walk into the room. Opening her eyes, she smiles up at him.

“Are you comfortable?” he questions as he stands at the foot of the bed. Lyla reaches out to him and he walks over taking her hand in his as he sits next to her on the bed. “You are safe here.” He says softly. She sits up as he pulls her into an embrace. With her head pressed to his chest, she feels the warmth of his body and his arms across her bare back. His shirt smells fresh and is soft to the touch and at this very moment, she feels a security she has never experienced before.

With extreme tiredness setting in, she wants nothing more than to drift away and dream, but not alone. She does not want Crispin to leave. Still held in his strong arms, she looks up at him as he leans in for a kiss pulling her even closer. With her arms wrapped lovingly around his neck, she draws him to her.

“Don’t leave.” She whispers as their eyes meet.

Lifting the sheets, she invites him to lie down next to her. As he does, she gently caresses the side of his face starting near his ear and following his hairline, while he slides his hand along her waist and up her back. Laying there in a tight embrace, he kisses her softly on the neck as they respond to one another, as they never have before.

Excerpt 449

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 448) Her Bare Skin

“You should be comfortable in here.” Crispin says has he stands at the doorway allowing Lyla to walk into the room alone. She glances around at the various pieces of antique furnishings and the linens that remind her of a fine hotel. “After I put the candles out and stop the music, I’ll be back to see if you need anything. Make yourself comfortable.” He says as he winks and smiles at her. “Your things are in that bag on the dresser.”

Without another word, Crispin turns, pulls the door shut, and walks into the shadows of the hallway. All layers of the linens are folded back, much as they would be in an upscale hotel, and thick fluffy pillows are stacked near the headboard in a mound. It is as if the bed is inviting a guest to partake in a long luxurious slumber and Lyla is more than ready to do so.

Sitting on the table near the lamp is a glass of ice water and a small vase supporting a single pink rose. She steps over to the dresser and looks in the bag. It contains several articles of clothing but she leaves them where they are. Turning, she slips out of her robe and drapes it across the foot of the bed before sliding between the sheets in her bare skin.

Excerpt 448

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 447) Shallow Lives

“Why do you suppose Marnie snapped like that?” Lyla asks as she sits back on the sofa holding her teacup with both hands.

“Marnie has emotional issues that she never dealt with properly is my guess. She then lived in an imaginary world that she began to perceive as reality.” Crispin says as he looks directly at Lyla. “It is almost as if she realized this and was willing to do anything to make that world come true.”

“She was focused on you.” says Lyla. “Apparently she has been from the first day you arrived.”

“If that is true, then it is only because I was new to town and have wealth.” Replies Crispin as he leans toward her. “Shallow people live shallow lives.” He tips his cup back drinking down the rest of his tea. “Anyone with common sense can tell you are the only one that has captured my heart.” Lyla smiles at him over her cup.

“Well, you’re Grandmother certainly knew her stuff, I could fall asleep right here.” She says as Crispin quickly responds and takes her cup.

“Here, I’ll show you to your room.” He stands up and pulls her up by the hand then leads her back down the hallway to a spacious bedroom with deep colored furniture and thick layers of bedding. A small stained glass lamp is sitting on the night table emitting just enough light to cast a creamy glow over the room.

Excerpt 447

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 446) Drink Up

“I apologize, it’s a little chilly in here, but I did not feel a fire would be appropriate,” Crispin states carefully as he continues to look at Lyla. She takes a sip of the tea he prepared and coughs slightly as she swallows.

“So, I take it your Grandmother’s secret ingredient is whiskey.” Lyla says as she coughs again and then laughs.

“Ah, what butter and whiskey won’t cure, there is no cure for.” He says with a laugh but then they both grow silent for several seconds. “It has all caught up with you, hasn’t it?” he asks. Lyla nods yes in response as she looks down and thinks of the events from the past few days. “Drink up and I’ll show you to your room.”

Crispin pours a cup of tea  for himself and they sit together quietly as the music plays softly. Even though the conversation is slow, they are both content and comfortable as they sip their drink.

Excerpt 446

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 445) Fresh Soap

Music is coming from the main room of the cottage and as Lyla rounds the corner from the hallway; she sees several bouquets of flowers sitting in various areas. They have sweetened the place with full fragrance and color. Small candles flicker throughout the room and she sees Crispin backing out of the kitchen with a tray in his hands.

“Ah, you didn’t drown after all.” He says with a gentle voice as he nudges the kitchen door forcing it to close behind him. “I was getting ready to check on you.” He says as he walks across the room. He is neatly groomed and wearing blue plaid pajama bottoms with a deep gray cotton t-shirt. Lyla is so used to seeing him in a suit that this relaxed look seems odd to her, but quite nice at the same time. His stature is well-defined and he smells like fresh soap. “I made you some tea to help you sleep. It is my Grandmother’s recipe.” He sets the tray on the table near the sofa and motions for Lyla to take a seat as he sits down next to her.

“Do you always have fresh flowers sitting around?” she asks as she looks at the arrangement on the table.

“No, they are just here for you.” He says as he pours her a cup of tea. “I wanted to surprise you but this wasn’t exactly how I planned it to happen. None the less though, here we are.” He watches her closely.

“They are lovely and smell fantastic.” She says as she takes the cup from his hand and curls up on the sofa tucking her legs and feet under the robe.

Excerpt 445

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