Author

The Eyes Of A Fetch 421-440

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 440) Place Of Dreams

Several frogs are calling out into the night and as Lyla looks up, she sees millions of stars in the clear sky above them. It is the most beautiful sight she has ever seen and it reminds her very much of the imaginings she has had in her sleep. The aroma around her and the cool breeze takes her to the place of dreams as if they have come to life. The cool air causes her to close any space between her and Crispin.

“It is quite beautiful, isn’t it?” Crispin states as he too looks up at the sparkling points of light above. They stop on the path as they observe the beautiful display. “They seem close enough to touch, which one would you like?” He questions playfully.

“None of them,” she says quickly. “They are perfect right where they are.” Crispin grins, nods in agreement, and steps forward as they continue to walk to the entry door.

“While I was hunting for Smokey, I gathered a few things from your room. I hope you don’t mind.” Says Crispin as he opens the large heavy wooden door. It quietly swings open then lets out a short creaking sound as it stops. The room is dark except for a small lamp in the back corner, which allows just enough light to see the layout of the furniture.

“I guess it all depends on what you brought,” says Lyla as she tries to make light of the situation.

“Yes, I suppose it does,” Crispin laughs as he looks around at the room. “You get settled and I’ll bring in the bags from the car. Don’t worry, the cottage is secure and Smokey will be safe to roam as she sees fit.”

Excerpt 440

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 439) We Are Here

The drive to the cottage is quiet and calm. Lyla has fallen asleep on the way and does not awaken until the car stops. Silently, Crispin sits with her until she begins to stir and realize where she is. Slowly she raises her head and looks around somewhat confused as to her whereabouts.

“We are here,” he says softly as he runs his fingers along her jaw line. This causes her to look up at him and she sees that little spark in his eyes that she has grown more accustomed to of late. She does not say a word as she watches him. “You are safe now.” He says as he takes the key out of the ignition. “Let’s get you two inside.” Smokey meows from her crate when Crispin opens the door and steps out of the car. The lights shine on him as he walks around the front of the vehicle to Lyla’s door. “My love.” He says as he extends his hand to assist her with exiting the car.

She replies with a smile as she stands up. Crispin opens the back door and lifts the crate out receiving another nervous meow from the cat. With one arm around Lyla and the other holding Smokey in her travel crate, they walk up the stone path to the cottage.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 438) Her Hand In His

“Alright men, let’s go!” yells the chief. As the last fire truck pulls away leaving the scene, Marcus and Destry hug Lyla and then Marcus walks over to Crispin.

 “Thank you. . .for taking care of Lyla and for what you did for Destry and her family.” Says Marcus as he shakes Crispin’s hand and then pats him on the arm. Destry joins them and takes Marcus by the hand. Together they walk down the driveway to the sidewalk and quietly stroll back to the art shop.

“We will stay at the cottage tonight.” Crispin says softly as he picks Smokey up in her crate. With his arm around Lyla, they walk to his car. As they pull away from the house, she leans her head on his shoulder and he takes her hand in his.

Excerpt 438

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 437) Staying With Me

“We have several officers on patrol searching for Ms. Jones. This is one bizarre situation.  I’ve lived in this town for over thirty years and we’ve never experienced a situation like this, you’re lucky to be alive.” Says the officer as the other man looks at her nodding his head agreeing to the statement.

The fire chief steps up one final time and explains they will be leaving. “I know it’s been hectic tonight, did you say you have a place to go?”

“Lyla will be staying with me,” states Crispin as he steps up to the group.

“Ah, very good,” says the chief. “I always feel better if victims have someone close by they can rely on. From what I can tell, you saved a couple of lives here tonight. Good job.” He continues as he pats Crispin on the back.

Lyla and Crispin look at each other and Crispin grins slightly at the man’s comment. How ironic, the taker of souls has saved lives.

Excerpt 437

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 436) He Approaches

Before Lyla can answer the fire chief’s question on if she will stay at the house for the remainder of the night or not, something along the side yard catches her eye. In the shadows, she sees movement and realizes Crispin is walking toward her. In his arms is Smokey and other than being dingy from the ashes of the fire, they both look perfectly fine. There is no description that Lyla can fathom for how happy and relieved she feels at this moment. Smiling at Crispin as he approaches, she runs up to greet him, to touch him and to make sure he is real.

“Oh my god, Crispin!” Lyla says as she puts her arms around him. He pulls her close and touches his head to hers. Although it is obvious Smokey is very stressed, she still knows to meow loudly for full attention, which interrupts this reunion, and causes Crispin to hand her over to Lyla.

“Oh pretty girl, you’re okay.” Lyla hugs her fluffy gray cat. Smokey meows again and begins to purr as Lyla sits down on the bumper of the fire engine. Looking up at Crispin, Lyla smiles and he winks at her, she then grins. An officer interrupts their gaze as he pulls Crispin aside to take his statement of the events.

Excerpt 436

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 435) Hope

So much time has passed now that Lyla fears the worst for Crispin. Has he fallen victim to this appalling night? He should have reached out to her by now in some way to let her know he is okay. The fire chief has finally emerged from his inspection of the property and is approaching the group. Lyla feels nervous and braces herself for bad news.

“Ma’am. I’m sorry.” He says softly. Lyla feels her heart rate increase and a lump grows in her throat. “I didn’t find your cat but that doesn’t mean she isn’t hiding someplace,” states the chief, “and no bodies were recovered.”

Lyla blinks slowly in relief. She is worried they could not locate her cat but extremely glad no body has been found , meaning there is still hope that Crispin is alive and well.

“You can stay here tonight if you choose, we have the fire out and I didn’t find any hot spots,” says the man, “But most people feel more comfortable around the damage after a day or two passes. Have you got a place to stay?” he asks.

Excerpt 435

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 434) Joy And Sorrow

As soon as Lyla asks about Marcus and Destry traveling back to Spain, he looks down trying to decide if this is the time or place to break the news. After a few moments he says, “Yes, we will be going back very soon, in fact. . . we’ve decided to live there.” He watches Lyla for a response. She turns her head quickly and looks at him almost in shock.

“Oh wow, that is absolutely great you two.” She is a bit hesitant. Looking down at her phone, Lyla realizes she has a missed call from Marcus and that hours have passed since this entire senseless incident started. She nervously laughs for she wants to cry both tears of joy and sorrow. “Marcus, it’s your call that created the diversion.” Lyla says as she looks up at the house.

“How is that?” He asks.

“It stopped Marnie from lighting lamp oil that was a direct path to me and it gave Crispin time to make his entrance.” Lyla looks around again for Crispin then she once again glances up at the house as her eyes fill with tears.

Excerpt 434

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 433) Looking For Him

“So tell me, what is it that Crispin did, aside from saving two lives tonight?” asks Lyla as she scans the area looking for him. Again, she does not see a sign of him anywhere and more than anything, she wants to be near him.

“He gave me the vineyard.” Says Destry quickly. “What?” asks Lyla a bit shocked yet thrilled as she looks from Destry to Marcus. She is surprised but as she thinks about it, not really. It is almost as if she expected Crispin to do the right thing.

“Yeah, he had notes signed by Destry’s Grandmother stating her last wishes. He said nothing had been removed from the house yet and that it was all rightfully Destry’s.” explains Marcus as he smiles at Destry then Lyla.

“I think that is fantastic. It’s the best wedding present you could ever ask for.” Lyla says softly. She smiles at them both then looks out at the darkness surrounding the outlined areas of the scene. Marcus and Destry look at each other with worry.

“So, had you told him about our plans, to get married?” asks Marcus. “Is that why he had a change of heart?”

“No, I haven’t said a word about it.” Replies Lyla as she slowly turns around looking out at the dark yard and nearby homes.

Excerpt 433

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 432) It Was Marnie

“Oh Lyla! Thank god!” says Marcus as he kneels down in front of her and the officer taking her statement. “You’re okay? Are you hurt?” he asks.

“I’m fine.” She says. “It was Marnie, she. . . she’s gone crazy, Marcus. She tried to kill me and make it look like an accident. I never want to experience anything close to that ever again. She got away and is out there, somewhere.” She looks around behind her almost expecting an attack. She then fills them in with very few details for she does not want to talk about what happened.

“How did you manage to get away from her?” ask Destry.

“Crispin,” says Lyla. “Crispin snuck into the house and startled her. If it was not for him, I am confident I would not be here talking to you right now. He got Marnie out too but, the police cannot seem to locate her or him.”

“I hope he is okay, I’m beginning to like that guy more and more.” Says Marcus as he looks around to see if he is there. Instead of inquiring more, he looks at Destry. “You’ll never believe what he did.”

Lyla looks at them both, very surprised to hear any positive comments about Crispin coming from either of them.

Excerpt 432

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 431) To Get Her Out

The team works at extinguishing the flames and after nearly an hour and a half, the fire is out. Thankfully, it did not spread to the rest of the house. Lyla has been sitting in the back of the ambulance taking in oxygen and they have her wrapped up in a blanket for warmth. With so much going on, she has lost track of Crispin and Marnie, as well as Smokey.

She knows Crispin risked everything to get her out of harm’s way; did he make it out alive? She has asked about him several times to a few different people but all shake their head stating they have not found anyone else in the house.

Oh how she hopes he is okay. She keeps telling herself his disappearance is most likely on purpose. She knows he prefers not to be the center of attention or appear in the news, so he has merely stepped away from the scene. That is it; he must be hiding away until things calm down.

“Please have him be okay,” she keeps saying repeatedly in her mind as she watches closely for any movement or sign that he survived. While a police officer takes Lyla’s statement, Marcus and Destry come running up from the sidewalk as they nervously look around, finally spotting Lyla.

Excerpt 431

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 430) Premonition

A firefighter grabs Lyla by the arm pulling her down the hall. Just as they reach Marnie, she stands up and runs for the staircase disappearing out the front door. Lifting Lyla, the rescuer carries her down the stairs to safety.

Once outside, the lights from the fire trucks are blinding as many individuals are working to attend to the fire as they attempt to save the house. An ambulance is speeding up the road toward them as two of the firefighters begin to work on Lyla by giving her oxygen. She has now slipped into a dream state.

Here she is, in the hall, worried about Crispin. It makes sense now. The dream she has had for the past several weeks was indeed a premonition. The hallway is her own and her fear is of losing not only her own life, but living through the disaster only to lose Crispin. Were the dreams a forewarning of what was to come? Could she have prevented this?

Excerpt 430

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 429) One Exit

Pulling Marnie by her arms, Crispin spins her around and slings her across the floor causing her to slide out into the hall like a rag doll. Unfortunately, the kicking and thrashing of her arms and legs spreads the lamp oil that she had leaked onto the floor. The entire area around the doorway catches fire engulfing the one exit Crispin has. The hidden entry near the fireplace has become fully engulfed and now the flames are thick and strong in the doorway as well as the window.

Out in the hall Lyla stands up and yells for Crispin, she can see him moving behind the wall of flames but as she pushes forward, the fire roars forcing her back.

“No, Crispin!” Lyla screams but the smoke is too much for her and she begins to collapse in the hall. The crackling rushing sound of the flames grow and build as she stumbles, falling to the floor.

Excerpt 429

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 428) Call For Help

Just before Marnie strikes the next match Lyla’s phone, which is lying on the floor near the bed, begins to ring. This startles Marnie causing her to hesitate and this is when Crispin pushes through the secret doorway near the fireplace and enters the room. He immediately lunges for her, knocking her to the floor.

“Ahh!” she yells as she falls very close to the fiery curtains. She starts screaming hysterically and flinging her arms about as if she is on fire, but nothing is touching her.

“Lyla!” Crispin yells as he moves through the smoke-filled room.

He pulls a knife from his pocket and cuts the rope, releasing her from the pipe. Holding her in one arm, he lifts her up and grabs the phone off the floor. Quickly they run out into the corridor where he sets her across the hall from the burning room.

“Call for help!” he yells and after taking a breath of fresh air, he reenters the room.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 427) Flames

“Oh yes, when you are gone I’ll be there for Crispin, to keep his mind off you. He will adore me and treat me like the most beautiful woman in the world, which I am.” Marnie smiles and blinks her eyes several times. “It is all going to work out perfectly.” She turns her back to Lyla and strikes a match. This time she drops it in the lamp oil near the window. Flames take to the oil and the fabric of the curtains immediately and begin to run up the wall to the ceiling.

“Oh my god, no please Marnie, you don’t know what you’re doing!” screams Lyla now more frantic than ever to break free.

Smoke begins to fill the room and Lyla gets on her knees as she tugs at the rope trying to break the pipe away from the steam unit and floor. Coughing from the smoke, Marnie walks over to the fireplace and points at the oil she dribbled on the floor. It trails over to Lyla’s feet and around her legs.

Excerpt 427

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 426) All Rationality

The doorbell rings once again and this time Marnie runs out into the hall in a frantic manner. She looks down at the front door and licks her lips as if preparing to sample a tasty treat. After several seconds of silence and with no one entering the house, Marnie goes back to the room where Lyla remains trapped and fearful.

“My my my, you’ve got yourself in a pickle, don’t you.” Marnie smirks as she runs over to the fireplace.

It is obvious she has completely lost her mind and Lyla feels this might indeed be the last moments of her life. She pleads with Marnie, which seems to thrill her in a very sadistic way. The wildness in her eyes is proof that all rationality is void.

“Well Lyla, I hope you know that after you’re gone everyone will come to me, wanting to help me through this.” Marnie laughs. “Crispin will probably be devastated but after his trickery and ugliness, he deserves everything he gets. I hope he dies a long painful death. As a matter of fact, I wish he was here now, sitting right next to you, hopeless and helpless.” She stops and then continues, “No, no, I cannot say that, he is wonderful, even after tricking me I know he really cares for me.” She grins then becomes excited and hugs herself. “You know what?” She asks as Lyla slowly looks up at her. “You are supposed to ask me what!” she leans down to look Lyla in the eye.

“What?” Mumbles Lyla as she glances over at the large fire in the fireplace.

Excerpt 426

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 425) Disruption

Marnie grabs the box of matches that she has been carrying around and gets ready to strike one to light it. Her eyes are full of delight as she grins in a sinister way. “Well Lyla, it’s time to say goodbye.” She says as she starts to light the match. However, there is an interruption to her plan due to the ringing of the doorbell. This stops her in her tracks. “Who is that?” she asks Lyla as if insulted that her plan has stalled due to this disruption.

“I don’t know.” Lyla replies then quickly says, “It might be Marcus, you better go check or he’ll use his key to come in.” She is trying to buy time and she knows Marcus will suspect something if Marnie answers the door.

“Oh no you don’t, I’m not going to leave you up here alone. You might just get away.” Marnie whispers in a cold and frightening tone as she bends down near Lyla’s face. “And you’ll never get out of this one, Lyla. Never!” she screeches.

Excerpt 425

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 424) Stunned

Without another word from Crispin, he leaves the art shop. Stunned at hearing what he shared, Destry and Marcus stand there, staring at the door as it closes behind him. “So my grandmother was truly ill and hid that from us.” states Destry in a calm tone.

“Apparently so,” Marcus says as he starts flipping through the small book. “I guess you’ll have to do as Crispin said and read her journal. In an odd way, what he said actually makes me feel better about the situation. That she passed peacefully.”

“Yes, I agree.” Destry looks up at the shop door. Finally, after several seconds of complete silence, she leans closer to Marcus and grabs him as they hug each other tightly. She then jumps up and down like a little kid, smiling like Marcus has never seen her smile before.

“Do you know what this means? We can live there at the vineyard and your art can be on display there and in Madrid at all times! This is amazing! I cannot believe it, Marcus! I love you so much!”

“I love you, Destry.” Marcus says as he grabs her twirling her around several times before they kiss.

“Just when I had accepted that all was lost. . .I’m stunned. I must call Severo!” She says as she grabs her phone.

“I’ll get a hold of Lyla after I secure this notebook, she’ll be elated.” Marcus says as he sets his phone up on the counter. Little does he know how significant his phone call may be as he grabs the book and takes it to the back room of the shop. He quickly locks it away in the small safe in the wall.

In the guest room of Lyla’s house, flames are dancing in the fireplace as Marnie tosses more wood on top of the already over packed stack.

Excerpt 424

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 423) Transaction

“Until you return to the vineyard, no one is aware of this transaction. That is except for the Attorneys on both sides. It has been well documented that you are the legal owner and everything there belongs to you.” Once again, Crispin grows silent as he holds the binding of the book open.

“Is this a trick?” questions Marcus as he looks at Crispin harshly. “We heard Quinn talking with you and he demanded we have everything out of the house in just a matter of days. He wouldn’t even listen to us!”

There is a pause in the conversation as Crispin thinks about his uncle, the loss of the man he once worshiped, and the manner in which his life ended.

“No, I have no tricks up my sleeves and I wish only the best for you both.” Crispin turns to leave and stops, looking back slightly. “Read the journal thoroughly, for Ms. Valente detailed many things, including issues with her health.” Crispin steps toward the door and pauses. “If it helps, please know your Grandmother passed peacefully while walking the grounds of the vineyard that she loved. In her own words, you can read about the medical decisions she made and the heart ailment that she knew could not be treated.”

Excerpt 423

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 422) Most Of All

Destry begins to cry as Marcus reads aloud and she follows along. Standing here, reading her Grandmother’s written words, she turns to the next page and lets out a long sigh as if she had been holding her breath.

“My intentions have always been good, for my staff, for my friends, and of course for my family. I fear my time here will be cut short and I must know in my heart that I have taken all precautions to ensure their safety. Most of all to ensure they know I love them.” Completely stunned, both Marcus and Destry look up at Crispin who remains extremely calm as he speaks.

“All items have been left in the house, just as they were at your last visit. I placed a hold on the move and explained to Severo that we had a few details to work out before any changes would take place. I also have two plane reservations already scheduled in order to make your return as convenient as possible.” Crispin hands the tickets to Marcus.

Excerpt 422

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 421) I Am Inclined

Marcus looks over at Destry and turns the latch allowing Crispin to step inside the gallery. They walk over to the counter where Marcus puts his arm around Destry holding her closely to him as if he thinks Crispin will snatch her away. Crispin stands across the counter from them and lays the book out, facing them so it is easy to read.

“What is this?” questions Destry as she looks down at the pages.

“This book lists your Grandmother’s wishes.” states Crispin, “And she wished for you to be the rightful owner of the vineyard and I am inclined to honor that wish.”

“What?” Destry questions as she quickly looks at Marcus with a shocked expression. Marcus reads from the book.

“I Arrosa Valente am of sound mind. Upon my demise, I wish for my Granddaughter, Destry Boucher, to be the recipient of my wonderful vineyard, house, and all outbuildings. Along with my estate she shall have access to all funds listed under my name.”

Excerpt 421

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