The Eyes Of A Fetch 261-280

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 280) His Next Move

Tucking the file back in the drawer, Lyla slides it shut and turns the key. Looking behind and around her, she scans the diffused room with her eyes as she stands absolutely still. Again, Crispin does not move as he stares at her from his corner, his adrenaline rising as he holds himself steady. Almost looking directly at him she speaks.

“Is someone there?” she questions in a soft tone. She waits a few minutes for a reply but begins to feel a bit anxious about being there and decides to leave. As she places her hand on the doorknob, she stops and looks again at the room.


A sly grin crosses Crispin’s lips as he begins to plot his next move, for now he knows Lyla is open to him. One thing is for sure, he must not let her leave town. He sent Quinn to the Vineyard to finalize the sale and Quinn believes Crispin has returned home to Ireland. With Marcus gone as well, there will be no interruptions as he approaches Lyla and the two of them finally have a chance to rediscover each other.

Excerpt 280

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 279) A Letter

Crispin remains extremely quiet as he sits on the floor, patiently watching. On a table near the door, Lyla finds a stack of unopened letters. Flipping through them, she hopes to find an address or anything that may direct her to where Crispin has gone but she comes up empty handed.

Leaning back a little, she slides her hand across the cabinet stopping as her fingers bump into a key that is sticking out of a locked drawer. Turning it, the latch clicks and she pulls the drawer open. Inside is a file titled Arrosa Valente / Destry Boucher.

Slowly, she pulls the file from the drawer and opens it on the table. Inside is a letter stating Duff Industries is to meet with Destry Boucher and family for the final signing of the property. The address listed as the meeting place is the vineyard.

“He has gone to Spain, he is where Marcus is.” She says to herself. “I need to go there, I need to know more. I need to talk to Crispin myself.”

Excerpt 279

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 278) Isolated

What is it exactly that Lyla remembers? Do her memories involve the attic of her home, or have those thoughts been too difficult to retain. Crispin knows things could have been and should have been, handled differently all those months ago, but he too had little choice in the matter. His frantic state of appealing to her was frightening and losing her completely was the result of it.

No, Lyla is not quite ready for him to show his true feelings and the last thing he wants to do is frighten her. He knows there is much, much more for her to remember and learn before she will be able to handle the memories, fears, and truths that he must reveal.

It is torture for him to be so close, within inches of each other, and yet feel so very detached and isolated. As she moves about the room, he has caught a hint of her sweet perfume. All the feelings he felt for her are there, encased in his heart, needing to react.

Lyla walks toward him and for a second he believes she may have seen him. She stands with her hand on the chair directly in front of him as she peers through the door jamb to the hall that leads to the bedrooms. If she turns and looks to her left, he fears his hiding place will surely be exposed.

Excerpt 278

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 277) That Night

“I sat here, with Crispin. We had dinner.” She says and then giggles to herself, “and all the lights went out.” As she says this, she turns in the chair and looks around at the room. “We had candles everywhere.” She pauses for a moment. “It was beautiful.” Spinning back around she looks over at the sofa.

“The vision or dream or whatever it was that I had of the two people, I know it was a memory. I remember sitting here with him.” She says softly as she stands up and walks over to the sofa picking up the blanket that hangs across the back. Crispin had pulled it around them that night as they held each other. Lifting it to her face, she touches it to her cheek. “I remember everything from that night.”

In a darker corner of the room, behind a large wingback chair is Crispin. He appears as a dark shape that blends in with the dimness of the room and he sits very silently still. He is but a shadow intently watching Lyla as she discovers her memories and thinks aloud. It is all he can do to stay quiet and not rush her, taking her in his arms to tell her everything.

Excerpt 277

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 276) Empty Chair

Once more, the sugary and earthy scent of the cottage engulfs Lyla as she walks into the room. Quietly she closes the door behind her shutting out most of the light. Her thoughts are, if someone were staying here, they would be using glasses and utensils, so she proceeds to walk over to the door that leads to the kitchen.

Pushing it open slightly she looks inside and finds the room to be empty and dimly lit by the grayness of the morning. The counters are spotless and it is clear that no one is here. Turning back to the main room, she walks to the fireplace running her hand along the richly stained hardwood mantle. Large mossy stones encase the firebox and stack their way to the ceiling. An assortment of trinkets, crystal, and stained glass candle holders are sitting about in nice neat clusters.

Turning, she walks over to the round dinner table where she pulls a chair out and sits down. It is obvious she is in deep thought as her memories continue to flood in. She rests her hands on the table in front of her as she stares at the empty chair on the opposite side.

Excerpt 276

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 275) Misty Dawn

Pulling at the thick damp honeysuckle vines, Lyla clears the entangled mass away from the gate. The sun is barely up as a low misty fog hovers just above the grass and shrubs. She gets back into her car and drives along the path to Crispin’s cottage.

The low yellow blush of morning glows through the gray mist as it attempts to drive away the shadows it creates. In spite of this, as Lyla travels down the hills deeper into the valley, it grows darker still. The blacktop circle drive in front of the cottage is shiny and wet from the droplets of the misty dawn. Lyla parks the car but sits inside for several minutes without moving, just as she did on her first visit.

Everything looks exactly the same as it was during her visit the day before, but she feels hesitant to enter. She looks up at the fog cloud hoping it will pass soon for it reminds her of the ominous wraith that haunts her in her home. The dampness in the air has her feeling cold, so without further indecision, she gets out of the car and walks up the stone path.

To make sure she is alone, she knocks at the large wooden door, no answer. Again, she raps on the door and again there is no response so she jiggles the handle. To her surprise, the door swings open and she stands still, looking in through the crack at the room inside. “Um, hello?” she says lightly as she sticks her head in and looks around.

Excerpt 275

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 274) A Whisper

“Smokey,” says Lyla softly but again, there are no sounds. “Well, you are a cat and cat’s prowl.” She says to herself as she lies back in the water washing its warmth up over her shoulders. “Hum, I am definitely ready for bed and I better get moving or I’ll end up falling asleep and drowning myself.” She says in a mumble as she pulls the stopper allowing the water to start draining out.

“Lyla.” She hears her name as if someone whispered it from her bedroom. Startled she grabs the towel, stands up, and wraps it around her. “Hello?” She says in a nervous voice. Nothing, there is not a single reply. “Hello? Is somebody there?” she questions again as she leans out of the bathroom doorway to look around her bedroom. She jumps slightly as Smokey darts into the room from the dim hallway. The stubby cat then leaps up on the bed and starts purring. “Awe, pretty girl are you ready for bed too?” Lyla asks as she scratches her cats head while looking toward the hallway.

From the dresser drawer, Lyla pulls a nightshirt out and slips it on, then tosses the towel on the sink. Stepping back over to the doorway, she looks down the hall and finds that all is quiet and at rest. Slowly she pushes her bedroom door shut, blows out all the candles, and slides into bed. Pulling the covers up around her shoulders, she rolls over and settles in for the night.

A few hours later thunder begins to rumble off in the distance stirring Lyla but not waking her completely. She rolls over onto her back when softly, in a whisper to her left ear, she hears this phrase; “The red rose whispers of passion and the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, and the white rose is a dove.” Instantly, she opens her eyes.

Excerpt 274

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 273) Free Her Mind

Through the open door to the amber glow of the lamp near her bed, Lyla can see Smokey curled up in a ball sleeping soundly. The house is very still, no wind is blowing outside, and no frogs are calling for rain tonight.

Lying back in the bathtub, Lyla closes her eyes as she unwinds from her interesting day. She is trying to free her mind from focusing on all the things she now remembers about Crispin. Also, she wants to stop straining to summon all the memories still suppressed. The more she works at cleaning the slate the more her thoughts begin to stir and she opens her eyes. Glancing around the room her surroundings are just as they were a few minutes ago and she closes her eyes again.

Her movement in the bathtub causes a soothing trickling sound and the aroma of the lavender candles is sweetly scenting the room. She slides down allowing the water to cover over her ears as the gurgling sound of it turns to muffled echoes. With eyes closed, she listens to the gentle movement of the water.

“Lyla,” she thinks she hears her name.

Opening her eyes, she slowly sits up and looks out toward her bedroom. Quietly she waits for any possible sounds, but nothing happens. She notices Smokey is no longer asleep on the bed. Leaning out of the tub slightly, she looks to see if maybe the pudgy cat has moved up toward the stack of pillows near the headboard, but she does not appear to be on the bed at all.

Excerpt 273

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 272) To Relax

After studying the website for quite some time, Lyla comes to the realization that it frightens her when she thinks of confronting Crispin Duff. Will he be angry and lash out? On the other hand, will his response be the complete reverse? That night with the dog, he did not seem aggravated or upset. He was a perfect gentleman and even put himself in harm’s way to protect her. She conducts many searches online but the only thing that pops up is the site she built. Looking in her files, she follows her notes and everything she is viewing online matches perfectly.

“Crispin, I need to know where you are.” She says to herself as she rubs her neck trying to relax her muscles. “I need to go back to the cottage. Maybe there is something there that will direct me to him.” She sits there in the dim lighting staring at the screen for several minutes. “Oh, this is silly; I need to go to bed.”

Annoyed and tired, she shuts the computer down and flips the small desk lamp off. The room is dreadfully dark except for a slight hint of moonlight shining in from the window. Carefully she maneuvers through the darkness and steps out into the hallway. The house feels serene and she is not at all afraid as she walks up the staircase and down the shadowy hall to her bedroom.

This is a rare thing for she has been frightened numerous times here in this old dwelling. Tonight is different somehow, it is as if a weight has been lifted and she is at peace in her surroundings. After lighting several candles and running a full bath, Lyla steps into the large porcelain tub for a nice relaxing soak before bed.

Excerpt 272

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 271) Traveling

Walking home, Lyla smiles as she thinks about Crispin rushing in to save her from the large dog that night at the art shop. Yet, if things were good between them, why did he not say something to her at that time? It is almost as if he knows her memory is blurred and that she does not know who he is. Did she offend him when she did not recognize who he was? Closing her gate behind her, Lyla steps into the backyard and meanders leisurely through the garden on her way to the veranda and the back entrance to the house. The door squeaks a bit as she opens it.

“Damn it, I was supposed to oil that thing.” She says to herself as she shuts the door locking it before she steps away. Walking through the sunroom, she enters the kitchen where she finds her fluffy feline sitting patiently as she waits for her evening meal. “Hey pretty girl, are you hungry?” she pats her cat on the head. Smokey sits quietly which is out of character for her. Normally she is very vocal about things and most of all at dinnertime. “You feeling okay?” asks Lyla as if this fluffy cat will answer.

Without getting a response, she fills the cat bowl with wet food and leaves the room. Sitting in her office, Lyla opens her laptop and goes out to Marcus’ site to take care of a few updates. After half an hour goes by she starts to feel tired and decides to call it a night, but first she wants to go to Crispin’s website.

“Let’s see here, where in the world may I find you hiding Mr. Duff?” she says as she types his name in the search bar. Pulling up immediately is a photo of a large historic stone building in Ireland and the title reads, “Welcome to Duff Industries.” Right away, she recognizes her own work and verbiage. Listed here are the various holdings in many locations all around the world. This discourages Lyla because Crispin could be traveling to any one of these places and no matter how hard she tries, she may not be able to reach him.

Excerpt 271

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 270) Was It Fate

The sun is quickly sinking into the darkness of the horizon as Lyla starts her walk home. She is thinking of Crispin and has been for practically the entire afternoon. Slowly she is beginning to recall the details of his face as her fuzzy memories become more and more clear. She remembers Marnie seemed to have fallen for Crispin at first sight and was flaunting herself at every chance. This recollection makes Lyla laugh but that soon changes. For now, she recalls what Marnie was rambling on about a few nights ago.

She kept referring to a man she thought was attracted to her, but that he now wants to kill her, like he killed Penny. Could she possibly be talking about Crispin? Is this why the memories are so choppy? Did Crispin Duff have something to do with Penny’s demise?

When Lyla was looking through the files she worked on for Crispin, she recalled several memories of him. At least she believes them to be memories. She truly is not sure. Is she merely dreaming, or are the events playing out in her visions actually snapshots of reality?

With the slow replenishment of the past she recently lost, she has found the actual cottage where he stays while in town. Apparently, according to the flashes of images, she and Crispin spent time there together, alone. Yet, now she may never see him again for it appears he has left the area. The cottage is locked up, shutters are closed, and the path hidden from unassuming travelers along the country road.

With Crispin gone, will she ever have a chance to get to the full truth? Will she ever see him again? Was it fate that made them run into each other in Madrid and did he follow her here or was he coming to this small town for business?

Excerpt 270

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 269) On Display

As Marcus leaves, Lyla cleans things up, locks the front door, exits the house through the veranda door and back gate. As she walks along the sidewalk, she pulls the note that she found at the cottage out of her pocket. Crispin and Destry must have been on the same flight to New York because this little airport does not have enough traffic for more than one or two flights out in one day. As she reads the handwritten words, she wonders if Destry recognized Crispin as a fellow passenger. Did she realize she and her foe were traveling together for the same reason? Lyla steps around the corner of the building as the delivery truck is backing in near the art shop.

“Ah, perfect timing!” she yells to the driver as she unlocks the loading door of the shop. “Let’s see I have two names here, Marcus and. . . you must be Lyla.” Says the man as he jumps down from the truck and walks to the back to unlock the trailer door. “Yes, you are correct.” She smiles as she moves a few things out of the way so the driver and his helper can unload the crates.

Once they have brought everything inside, she signs the delivery sheet and locks herself in the shop. It takes her several hours to unpack the paintings and place them back on their proper display. This task would normally be a bit tedious but Lyla is in such deep thought, everything flows easily without her over thinking the process. After hanging one final oil painting, she steps back into the storage room and realizes her job is complete. Everything has been unpacked and is once again on display in the shop.

Excerpt 269

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 268) Out The Door

Lyla feels bad but at the same time is thinking of Crispin and his role in this matter. The information she recently remembered is that Crispin was helpful and bought out companies that were in financial trouble.

“Do you think the vineyard was in trouble financially?” asks Lyla as she joins Marcus on the concrete walkway. “No, I don’t think so.” Says Marcus as he glances at her. “I know you’re thinking of this Duff guy but my thoughts about him are anything but positive. Just because you worked for him does not mean he was a good person. Damn, I wish I could remember what was going on back then.” Marcus is clearly frustrated and agitated.

“Yes, me too.” Says Lyla softly as she starts up the steps to the front porch. “Well, my gut tells me I didn’t like the guy.” Marcus follows Lyla to the door and they both go inside. “You hungry?” She asks as they enter the kitchen, Marcus nods yes. She gathers a loaf of bread, a package of sliced ham, lettuce, and spread placing them on the island bar of the kitchen. Both she and Marcus talk as they make sandwiches for lunch.

“I probably should have gone with Destry, she asked me to.” says Marcus. “So why didn’t you?” says Lyla as she puts a chunk of lettuce on top of a slice of ham. “Some of my artwork is shipping back today; guess I didn’t want to leave that for someone else to take care of.” He says. “You mean me,” Lyla laughs. “I can check that stuff in you idiot!” she nudges his arm. “That’s the reason you stayed here instead of supporting the one you love? Oh seriously Marcus, you need to go. I can handle all of this.”

“I don’t. . .” starts Marcus “Yes you do, so go. Take this sandwich with you and go get the next flight out,” orders Lyla. “I’ll put this stuff away and get down to the shop ASAP! I will just stay there until everything is in. Okay? I love you, now go!” She pushes him out the door.

Excerpt 268

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 267) Sound Mind

Lyla cannot help but see the connection between what Marnie is going through and what she herself is experiencing. She is having her own bout with a fear of the dark, strange visions, and an intense feeling of someone watching her every move. It is the same thing Destry mentioned when she spoke of her Grandmother as she fell ill, and why does it all seem to trace back to Crispin Duff? Pulling up to her own house, she finds Marcus walking down the porch steps. He waves and swiftly walks toward her car and Lyla rolls the passenger side window down.

“Hey, what are you up to?” She asks with a smile. “I wanted to see how you were doing.” Says Marcus as he leans in the window. “Is everything okay?” He acts as if he expects to hear bad news.

“Yeah, things are okay, so what have you stopped by for?” she quizzes but before he can answer she asks, “How’s Destry doing?”

“That’s the thing; she flew out early this morning.” Replies Marcus. This statement shocks Lyla. “What?” she asks.

“She and her uncle have to meet with the attorney. Apparently it’s bad news, he doesn’t believe there is anything they can do to save the property, it’s as good as gone.” Says Marcus as he stands up so Lyla can roll the window up and park the car. She then steps out and walks toward him. “Oh no, I hate to hear that.” She says with concern. “I was hoping they could work something out or prove her Grandmother was not of sound mind when she agreed to the sale.”

Excerpt 267

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 266) About Marnie

Lyla makes the long drive up the blacktop path to the gate where it meets the main road. Parking her car off to the side, she pulls the gate closed and tugs at the honeysuckle vine that is there to conceal the entrance to the cottage. Many thoughts are rushing through her head as she drives home.

What aspects of her relationship with Crispin is she missing? The night of the tornado is still a mystery and for some reason she has blocked it out, or was her memory erased by her injury? What is it about Crispin that makes her want to cry and most of all, why does the thought of being alone with him frighten her?

On her way home, Lyla begins thinking about Marnie and all the odd statements she has been making as well as the unusual behavior she displays.  She decides to speak with Marnie’s brother, Robert. Once in town, she stops by Robert’s house and he explains that Marnie has been experiencing night terrors, severe cases of sleepwalking, and a recent diagnosis of schizophrenia. She keeps talking about a dark figure following her and of seeing her deceased friend, Penny.

He felt it was best for her safety to be under the constant care of her doctor. She is currently in a locked facility with no visitors allowed unless approved by her family. According to Robert, Marnie began her dangerous spiral downward months ago, but in less than a week has come crashing all the way to the bottom. What frightens Lyla most is that she too has been seeing a dark figure and ever since the storm, has not been comfortable in her own home.

Excerpt 266

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 265) Need Answers

“I shouldn’t be here.” She says as she stands up. She is now nervous that she invaded Crispin’s home. The shutter on the window has slowly blown closed again leaving Lyla without any light. Stumbling in the dark she knocks over a small trashcan sitting near the door and a document falls out onto the floor.

Setting the can upright, she picks up the piece of paper taking it with her to the open window. Gently pushing the shutter, it swings back letting enough light in to read by. In her hands is a note listing an early morning flight from here to New York and it has today’s date on it.

“He was just here.” She says to herself as she tucks the note into her pocket. “I need answers and the person I must talk to is Crispin.” She turns and looks around the area but clearly, things have been packed away as if the house is to be vacant for a long time. “I need to find out what the connection is with him, my house, and Marnie.”

What Lyla fails to remember, is the correlation between Crispin and the sinister phantom with spellbinding green eyes that has been taunting her. She does not realize that with her questions will come many answers that she may not be able to comprehend, or agree with.

Excerpt 265

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 264) Second Night

Lyla now remembers everything that took place up to the night she was here six months ago with Crispin. There was indeed a working arrangement between them for she had just accepted the job the night before. Here at the cottage, was their second night at enjoying dinner together, and Crispin wanted to avoid any discussions about work.

She recalls having an admiration for him and the things he was doing for various people all over the world. He helped those less fortunate get out of debt or offered to assist business owners in becoming more organized and prosperous. This was all very appealing to her and incredibly exciting.

“Had he tricked me into believing his intentions were to help people?” Lyla questions herself. “Destry’s family is being torn apart by his actions, yet my recollection of Crispin is that he was kind, thoughtful, and attentive.” She remembers wanting to be around him more and more. Were they falling in love?

Excerpt 264

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 263) In My Dream

“I’ve been here, with Crispin.” Lyla says to herself as she slowly walks around inspecting the trinkets sitting about. “This is the place in my dream.”

She sits down on the sofa and in seconds feels as if she is in a tunnel traveling through time. She lays her head back, for now her stomach is churning as this spinning falling sensation controls her. There is only blackness around as she tips and turns as if floating. She is dizzy and feels sick.

Suddenly with a loud pop, the experience stops and she opens her eyes. There on the sofa, she finds herself sitting with Crispin. It is dark outside and raining because she can hear water trickling through the guttering and downspouts. Warm firelight has the room aglow as she and Crispin look at each other. She is happy here with him and he reaches out taking her hand in his.

“Bang!” slams the shutter on the window as a strong gust of wind blows it against the window frame. The entire room goes dark. Straight away, Lyla comes out of the vision and finds she is unaccompanied in the room. She looks to the window where the shutter is slowly swinging back allowing bright sunshine to flood in once again.

Excerpt 263

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 262) Déjà-vu

Gently, Lyla steps onto the grass and leans over a shrub as she pulls the loose shutter open just enough to peer into the house. It is dark and quiet and seems to be void of people. She tugs at the shutter a little harder popping it completely open. Pausing for a moment, she looks around and toward her parked car to make sure she is still alone. Placing her hands up around her eyes, she leans in toward the glass to get a better look inside. The room is beautiful with rich tones of color, shiny wooden floors and a large rock fireplace.

“Wow,” She says to herself as she backs away from the window. She listens to her surroundings for any sounds that may indicate if anyone has come to investigate why she is there. Thankfully, it appears she is still undetected and she pushes up on the window. To her surprise, it is unlocked and moves half an inch. Again, she glances around as she presses on the glass opening the window enough for her to crawl inside.

Jumping up on the window frame, she balances at her midsection as she looks inside. Instantly she is hit with a feeling of déjà-vu. The scent of the cottage is sweet, mixed with a hint of leather and varnish and the blend is nicely intoxicating.

With a twist of her body, she rolls one leg in, then the other and she is inside. Lyla stands in place listening for any sounds that may indicate someone else is there, but all is quiet. Glancing over at the fireplace, she looks at the firebox off to the side where wood is neatly stacked and sorted from small and thin to large hardwood logs.

Excerpt 262

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 261) Stone Path

Looking out at the building through the passenger window of the car, Lyla watches for any movement. After several minutes of observation with no signs of life detected, she steps out of the car and quietly pushes the door shut. Standing outside the vehicle, she looks up at the quaint cozy cottage. The walkway is made of large flat gray stones with rows of moss curving in and around each rock like fuzzy natural grout. The sound of gurgling water is close by creating a calming effect.

She steps around the front of the car and slowly proceeds up the walkway toward the charming dwelling. Stopping midway, she looks at the babbling brook as ripples of water trickle along shiny round rocks and stones to a larger body of water at the foot of the hill. The water is clear and sparkling as if fresh from a spring in the hillside. A banging sound draws her attention back to the house.

“Hello?” she says as she continues up the stone path to the door. There it is again, something is banging loudly and she soon sees that one of the shutters on the front window to her right is loose. She knocks at the door and waits, but no one answers.

Excerpt 261

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