The Eyes Of A Fetch 321-340

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 340) Suspicion

As Destry and Marcus walk down the stairs of the Valente home, they overhear Quinn on the phone. “Yes Sir, all the paperwork and releases have been signed and recorded.” Says Quinn as he talks on the phone to Crispin. “I will remain on the property until all items have been removed and will bring the file with me as I travel home.” He pauses as Crispin talks.

“Actually, you should be able to leave tonight, there is no need to oversee anything.” states Crispin almost as an order.

“I assumed, as with all acquisitions, I would leave after our shippers have completed their duties.” Quinn says boldly and almost with a laugh.

“Not necessary Quinn, it’s not like they haven’t done this numerous times before.” Crispin replies. “Go home and leave the rest to the movers. I will meet you there in a few days,”

“You’ll meet me? I was under the assumption you were already in Ireland.” States Quinn with a hint of suspicion in his tone.”

“No, I took a little side trip and decided to spend a few days alone. No worries old fellow, we may very well have another acquisition under way soon.” Crispin confidently replies.

Destry looks at Marcus in disgust as they step down off the last step of the staircase. Marcus makes a goofy face and silently mocks Quinn as he speaks. Destry smiles quietly but it is obvious Quinn is now aware that they are within earshot of his conversation. Even though it is one-sided and they cannot hear Crispin on the other end of the phone, Quinn is still perturbed that they walked in during his call.  “Very well.” Quinn replies to Crispin as he glances at Destry and Marcus. He then walks around the corner into the kitchen and closes the door.

“Ass,” says Marcus quietly as he wrinkles his nose. “Don’t let him get to you, people like that get theirs in the end.” He looks at Destry for a moment then walks to the front door, opens it, and steps outside.

Excerpt 340

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 339) Main Topic

“I think I’ll prepare a nice little dinner for tonight so I better head over to the grocer and pick up a few things. First I need to check on Marcus.” Lyla goes back downstairs, with shoes and purse in hand, to her office and to her laptop computer. “Okay mister, let’s see what you’re up to.” As soon as Lyla signs in, she sees a message from Marcus.

“Hey Lyla, just sending a quick note, we are on our way back, it was a disaster. Destry needs to stay away from here as things get hauled out and stored or tossed.” States his message. “Tossed?” says Lyla aloud. “Oh no! That is awful! Why would Crispin allow that?” she questions as she continues to read on.

“During a conversation with Severo, I started remembering a ton of things that took place six months ago. Crazy weird things and I need to see you as soon as I get back.” Lyla can sense the urgency in the tone of this message and she has a good idea that Crispin might be part of the main topic.

“I hope I haven’t been too hasty in befriending Crispin, but he. . . he doesn’t seem to be a bad person.” She stammers as she hits reply and begins to type. “Marcus, I hate to hear it all ended badly, bringing Destry here is probably best. You will be her protector and confidant. I have a few interesting things to share with you as well. Travel safely, love you.” She hits send and signs out.

Excerpt 339

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 338) Melting

“I was beginning to think I had been dreaming.”Lyla says as she takes a step in Crispin’s direction. He also steps forward and as they meet, they both reach out and hold hands. “I have a meeting this morning, but I want to continue our conversation later if that’s alright. I have much more to share with you and there are a few things that must be explained.” Crispin pulls her to him enveloping her in his strong arms.

With her head on his chest, she feels as if she is melting into him. She wants to stay here, in the protection of his arms and the warmth of his body. “When will you be back?” She asks without moving.

“I should be free late this afternoon.” States Crispin as he touches his head to hers. “May I join you later?”

“Yes, most definitely.” She replies as she looks up at him. He pulls her in kissing her fervently. She does not want him to go. “I will see you tonight, Lyla.” Crispin holds his gaze with her then steps toward the door. She follows and once he starts down the porch steps, she slowly closes the door behind him. Grinning from ear to ear, she heads upstairs to her bedroom where she washes her face, changes clothes, and piles her hair into a haphazard bun of sorts.

Excerpt 338

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 337) Open Arms

After carefully setting the wine glasses in warm sudsy water in the sink, Lyla starts to wash them. Looking out the window to her garden, she notices how much the yard is coming to life. The morning sun is now up casting a golden glow against the light yellow-green color of the newly emerging leaves.

“Everything is starting anew.” She says to herself as she wonders about Crispin and his way of life and where he might be at this very moment.Once she finishes washing the dishes and putting the food away, she goes back to the living room to push the furniture into its rightful place. Upon entering the room, she finds everything is exactly where it should be. The table is in the center, perfectly placed between the sofa and chairs, as is the fire screen blocking the dark hole of the firebox.

“What? Am I going crazy?” she asks herself as she stands there looking at the perfectly set room. It is as if nothing had ever been moved.

“Not at all.” states Crispin as he steps out of the dining room to Lyla’s left. This startles her for she had convinced herself she was alone. As she turns to face him, it is all she can do to stop herself from running to him with open arms.

Excerpt 337

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 336) Where Is He

After filling Smokey’s bowl with food, Lyla walks back to the living room where she looks at the setting. She finds the empty wine bottle and two wineglasses next to the wooden bowl that she had piled with fruit, cheese, and bread. The quilt is on the floor and the furniture is setting out of the way.

“Okay, I know I didn’t pull all this out for nothing, where is he?” Lyla says to herself as she gathers things up to take to the kitchen. She folds the quilt and places it back in the wooden chest that she pulled it from the night before. Gathering all the various pillows off the floor, she tosses them onto their proper piece of furniture.

All of the food is in the wooden bowl so she picks it up, along with the wine glasses, and starts across the foyer to the kitchen. As she gets to the middle of the room, she looks up at the second floor landing. Watching and listening she debates on whether she should go up and look around.

“Crispin?” she asks hoping that maybe he is upstairs, but she does not receive a reply. Assuming he has left, she continues to the kitchen where Smokey is sill nibbling on her food.

Excerpt 336

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 335) All Is Quiet

Lyla and Crispin discussed many things last night but her memories of him the night of the party stop just before they began dancing together. Crispin knew it was best to leave this conversation for a later date and he skillfully changed the subject each time it came up. When it comes to that discussion, he knows he must be careful in how he approaches it, for it will not show him in the best light.

With Marnie’s constant clinging behavior, Marcus investigating every little thing about Duff Industries and his attempt at pulling Lyla away, this had Crispin’s temper flaring. He knows he should have handled things differently, more tactfully, and compassionately. Unfortunately, he cannot correct what has transpired. However, moving forward he must right this the best way that he can.

“Come on Smokey girl; let’s see if we can find Crispin.” Lyla says as she stands up. Smokey meows and follows her to the kitchen. As Lyla pushes the door open, she expects to find Crispin there, but all is quiet and she begins to wonder if she dreamt it all. Is it possible that her dreams have become so strong? If not a dream, then why would he just leave without saying anything?

Excerpt 335

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 334) Wondering

Lyla awakens and finds herself alone on the sofa. The light inside the house is dim, which can mean one of two things. Either it is a cloudy day or the sun is just rising. She yawns and stretches her arms above her head to help herself wake up. The fireplace is dark, no longer containing the vibrant colors of radiant flames, and the house feels cool and damp.

Wondering where Crispin is, she sits up and looks around the room. Smokey runs toward her meowing for her breakfast just as the mantle clock chimes seven.

“Hey pretty girl, you hungry this morning?” Lyla questions as she reaches over and pets her cat.

She looks out at the foyer but does not hear sounds that might give her a hint of Crispin’s whereabouts. Smokey begins to purr loudly as she weaves around Lyla rubbing her head against her arms and hands.

Excerpt 334

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 333) Fond Memories

Destry turns and gives her uncle a hug and hands him the notes she took while on the phone. After telling both he and Severo that she loves them, she and Marcus go to collect their luggage from the upstairs bedroom.

“I don’t feel right leaving.” She says. “I can’t believe I will never walk this staircase again or look out the window to the land Grandmother loved so much.” Destry walks over to the tall pane of glass and looks out at the hills of the vineyard. Marcus comes up behind her wrapping his arms around her in a warm loving hold. She closes her eyes as she leans her head back on his shoulder.

“This is a physical place of fond memories, Destry, and those memories will be with you the rest of your life. Be happy when you think of it. That is the legacy your Grandmother gave you and no one can take that away.” Marcus gently sways her back and forth. She turns and they embrace in a long affectionate hug.

Excerpt 333

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 332) Listen To Me

“I need you to do something,” Severo says as he pulls Destry’s arms from around his neck and looks her in the eyes. “I need you to know that everything will be fine. Your uncle and I will oversee the entire process, so don’t you worry, nothing will be left behind.” Lyla’s uncle nods in agreement with Severo.

“I think it’s best if you go back to the states with Marcus. There you will be able to relax. Just let us handle everything here, you do not need to be here for this, you shouldn’t have to go through your Grandmothers things.” Severo looks from Marcus to Destry’s uncle and all three men agree. “We will stay in touch and notify you when everything settles down.”

“No, I need to help, they are tearing Grandmother’s legacy apart.” Destry begins to cry. Severo holds her arms so she will look at him.

“Listen to me. They may be moving wood and iron, books and linens, but they will never tear Arrosa’s legacy down. Do you hear me? Never!” Severo hugs Destry again and nods to Marcus. “Your Grandmother loved you very much; she would not want you here having to endure this process. You go with Marcus now.”

Excerpt 332

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 331) On Edge

As the day progresses, Marcus and Severo spend their time discussing Crispin Duff and comparing their experiences. Even as implausible as their stories sound, they both conclude that Destry may be in imminent danger if she stays anywhere near the vineyard. Together they decide Marcus will take her back to the states on the next available flight. The thought process here is, the farther away from any connections with Duff Industries, the better. Little do they know, that by sending her home with Marcus they will be exposing her to the very man they wish to hide her from.

Destry and her uncle have been on the phone trying to find a place large enough to contain everything they can pull from the house. Call after call they take quotes and inquire about available space. Just as Destry hangs up from confirming a warehouse location for storage, Marcus and Severo enter the kitchen. Both men appear nervous and on edge.

“Oh Severo,” says Destry as she puts her arms around his neck. “They are only giving us three days to pack and move everything.”  He hugs her back but gives Marcus a concerned glance.

Excerpt 331

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 330) Come Back

Crispin sits on the hearth watching the fire until it appears to be steady and secure. Turning, he sees that Lyla is awake. She is watching him and he is not sure how long she has been observing his actions, he then smiles at her. “I believe we’ve done this before.” He grins like a little boy as he refers to the time they spent at the cottage several months prior. His handsome face brightens as she responds to him.

“Um hum, we have.” Replies Lyla softly. Leaning up she pulls a chenille blanket from the corner of the couch and unfolds it. Fanning it open she whispers, “Come back.” Crispin joins her again, this time Lyla scoots to the back of the sofa allowing Crispin to lie down in front of her. She pulls the blanket up and loops her arm under his holding him at the chest.

“Close your eyes,” she says softly, “I’m not ready to let you go yet.”

Excerpt 330

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 329) Awakened

Lying on the couch, with Lyla secure in his arms, Crispin opens his eyes. Their green color glows brightly as little flecks of light swirl in a clockwise motion. Blinking twice they slowly begin to fade to normal and he glances down at Lyla’s arm looped through his. Even though Crispin has been jarred awake suddenly, he is careful not to disturb her.

He can sense that Marcus has awakened to his past and knows he will come at him with all his might to protect Lyla. Glancing up, he checks the time on the mantel clock and sees that it is nearing three-thirty in the morning. The fire has almost burned out.

Ever so slightly, he slides off the couch and walks over to the fireplace. Cautiously, he places another large piece of wood on the warm embers and after a few minutes of fanning it gently with his hand, the flame catches.

Excerpt 329

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 328) Recollection

Marcus remembers his first meeting with the Irishman, six months prior, at the restaurant with Lyla. He recalls the day Crispin came to the shop and ordered the painting that is currently hanging over the fireplace in Lyla’s dining room. His recollection of the vast amount of research he did on doppelgangers, lookalikes, and beings that take over your soul, is all now strong in his mind.

Most disturbing to him are the facts he now recalls from the night of the party. The strong emotions he felt when he found Penny, dead and unprotected from the ravenous storm, are now making him wince. He knew Lyla was in serious danger that night and did all he could to convince her of it. He himself almost lost his life by the hands of Crispin Duff!

Excerpt 328

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 327) Look Familiar

While standing at the counter, Severo slowly flips through photographs he pulled from the kitchen drawer. He then looks up at Marcus, walks over to the table, pulls up a chair, and sits down beside him.  “I took these when no one thought I was around. I didn’t trust them to begin with and felt like I needed to keep track of a few things since Arrosa was becoming confused with the details. There’s my little Rosa there.” He says as he flips a picture down and points to her. She is sitting in her living room with two men, one Marcus recognizes as Quinn and the other is Crispin. Marcus immediately goes numb.

“So what do you think? Does this guy look familiar?” Severo asks as he points to Crispin Duff.

“Yeah,” says Marcus almost in slow motion. “Unfortunately he does.”

There are five prints total and Marcus examines the photographs carefully. He lifts some closer for a better inspection and moves a few around on the table as he studies the faces in their frozen state. Seeing Crispin’s picture instantly sends chills through him and his memories all come into order.

Excerpt 327

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 326) Not Like Them

“Have you ever met the fellow that runs Duff Industries?” Severo asks of Marcus as they walk to his small dwelling. “No, well, I’m not sure.” Marcus replies as he looks around at the room they just entered. The living quarters are small but nicely decorated and cozy. It reminds him of his loft but with a bit of country cottage flair, much like a place one would go for the weekend.

“Your confusing me son, which is it?” says Severo as he pulls out a chair for Marcus to sit down. “Apparently I sold a painting to him several months ago, but I don’t recall doing it.” Says Marcus, Severo turns and gives him an odd look. “What does that mean?” asks Severo as he toasts two pieces of bread and sets butter and jam on the table.

“When Destry and I were at my shop we found an invoice with Duff Industries listed as the purchaser. She was very upset; she even thought I was part of some plan to sabotage her.” Marcus looks at Severo to see what kind of reaction this would bring, but to his surprise, Severo is not fazed. “See, I don’t remember ever dealing with them.” says Marcus. “I have a sort of memory lapse from an injury I sustained in a storm, so I’ve lost a bit of time.”

“Well to make you feel better, you’re not like them so I know whatever was going on between you and them was not related to Destry.” Severo says as reassurance to Marcus. “She knows it too. Here, maybe this will trigger a thought or two.” Severo walks over to a drawer near the sink and pulls out several photographs.

Excerpt 326

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 325) No Choice

“Oh Marcus, I’m so sorry. I need some time alone.” Says Destry as she steps over to the window to look out. Marcus walks up behind her, touches her arm gently and without speaking, he steps outside. The air feels fresh and clean as he starts down the path to Severo’s cabin. He knows Severo has continued working with the staff and pickers but is unsure if he is to remain in his position now that the new owners are in control.

“You running off to find me?” says Severo as he walks up from the side of the house. Marcus turns to face him. “Yes, I was wondering how you were holding up and if you plan to continue employment here now that the exchange of ownership is final.” states Marcus. Severo laughs and shakes his head from side to side.

“This is all I know,” he says as he looks out at the rows of posts and vines. “This is what I love and starting over at my age is a little scary.” He glances around then looks at Marcus. “I’m and old man, I have no choice.”

“I see,” replies Marcus, “and I understand.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad and would give my life for this not to happen.” Severo starts walking toward his small living space. “Come on, let’s grab something to eat.” He motions for Marcus to follow as they continue down the gravel path.

Excerpt 325

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 324) Outrageous

The attorney for Duff Industries turns and looks at Destry as she makes the following statement. “You and the company you work for are evil with no compassion or concern about others! If I could create a curse, I would do so and desecrate you with it! I can only wish the worst for you.” Destry yells. Marcus pulls her away for he knows this is not doing any of them any good. That is when Quinn and another man enter the room.

“Where would you like us to send the personal belongings of Ms. Valente?” Quinn asks, as if none of the words Destry said were heard. She turns, fully prepared to attack but instead Marcus holds her back as Destry’s Uncle steps in.

“I will make arrangements and contact you soon.” He says as he takes charge. “How much time do we have?”

“We will give you three days to notify us of a delivery location. Our team will pack and transport everything. If a location is not decided, then what is left behind will be disposed of.” Quinn nods and motions for his attorney to follow him out of the room.

“But that’s outrageous!” yells Destry’s Uncle. “How can we possibly establish a location large enough for everything in that short of time?” Quinn does not respond as he and the attorney continue walking away.

Excerpt 324

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 323) Final Visit

In the heart of the Valente vineyard in Spain, Destry along with her Uncle and family attorney, have been in meetings with Quinn and Duff Industries attorneys over the acquisition of the property. A judge ordered all titles and licenses be turned over to Duff Industries and the court documents have been signed. The transaction is complete and no further proceedings are to take place. Destry and her Uncle have been allowed one final visit to the vineyard.

“Well, I guess that’s it.” Says Destry completely deflated. She sits one last time at the kitchen table in her Grandmother’s house. The sun shining in from the east window casts sparkling beams of light through a prism hanging in the window. “I’m sorry Uncle; we just did not have enough manpower, time or money to stop this.” She looks down at her hands.

Destry’s Uncle looks around the room then says, “All is well, it just was not meant to be.” This statement angers Destry even more. She stands up and marches over to the attorney for Duff Industries.

Excerpt 323

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 322) Calm And Surreal

Very slowly, Lyla turns toward Crispin and they embrace in a long passionate kiss. Gently she pulls back and smiles ever so slightly then acts as if she is going to stand up, but stops. Instead, she leans back against him as he tenderly wraps his arms around her. Together they lie down on the sofa, both facing the fire, his arms securely wrapped around her and her arms looped through his.

For a moment, just mere seconds, his thoughts go to the night in Madrid when he imagined Lyla in his arms. The scene was much like this, but the night turned on him as his dream became a nightmare and he realized it was not real. He pulls her closer, testing if this encounter is genuine and true.

He feels the softness of her skin and smells the sweet scent of her hair as she caresses his arm with her fingertips. They hold each other securely and without any words, they close their eyes and the house becomes calm and surreal.

Excerpt 322

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 321) Closing Any Gap

Crispin lies back even further on the sofa and looks up at the ceiling as he and Lyla sit in silence. Watching him, Lyla realizes how vulnerable he could actually be and there is a calm sense about him that she finds quite appealing. Looking down at the pillow in her arms, she runs her fingers through the tassel hanging from its corner. Crispin is now watching her.

“Oh, the note you had on the flowers, is it part of a longer poem?” She questions as she digs into her pocket. “It sounds very familiar.” She pulls the note out and slides over next to Crispin so he can read it over her shoulder. He sits up as she moves toward him and she reads aloud. “The red rose whispers of passion and the white rose breaths of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, and the white rose is a dove.”

Leaning in near her ear, Crispin continues the limerick. “But I send you a cream white rosebud, with a flush on its petal tips;” says Crispin softly as he gets even closer to her. “For the love that is purest and sweetest, has a kiss of desire on the lips.” He holds his mouth close to her ear pausing to say anything further. She feels the warmth of his breath as he hesitates. His chest is pressing against her back and goose bumps form on her arms as she leans back closing any gap left between them.

Excerpt 321

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