Thursday, July 21, 2011

CHAPTER ELEVEN


I have to admit, I debated about this one.  But I've got to say that it's probably closer to reality than most people are comfortable admitting. People are people, guys are guys, including Christian guys, and what happens here will definitely give a good punch to the story- in the following chapters. 
I know some of you are holding on for more Dan/Bekah conversations, and don't worry, they're coming sooner than you might think.  Bear with me. ;)  

Also, a note about Dan's semi-cheesy, controlling side (lol).  Because it can come off too TVish if you go into details, I'm leaving most of that up to your imagination.  If I ever have this officially published, I may go into more detail.  But not at the moment.  

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Dan knew where Rose lived- he’d read her file just before storming into the garage.
Rebekah Rayne Rose- wonderful alliteration- 2208 Grisham Rd, Carmon, OH.  The street, only about six blocks down the main road, would take at least five more minutes to reach if the traffic lights cooperated. At this time of night, he doubted it would be a problem.
He shoved his iPhone into its pouch and pulled on his helmet as he mounted his bike.  Leaving Allie wasn’t easy, especially because they’d found another infection on her arm. Thankfully, it was small enough to be handled with Bactroban, but how many would follow?
If Ryan hadn’t been here, Dan would have made the trip with Allie in the Jeep. 
Out of his ritzy neighborhood he rushed, toward the rough area on the outer edge.  Thankfully the directions were easy to remember- left on Lanning, then another left onto Grisham.  She lived just a stone’s throw from the high school.
No sooner had he turned onto Grisham than rap music from a nearby rumbler exploded in the street. The green Ford rocked and bounced and the men surrounding the car leered as he sped past.
Don’t even think it, Guys, Dan thought.  He’d bust their chops in an unexpected manner if they dared to mess with him or his bike while he checked on Rose.
Same way he’d stagger Brian if the punk stepped out of line again. Big tough guys had no clue how to really get under someone’s skin.
But Dan did.  He hadn’t used his resources in a long time, but if anyone pushed the right buttons-
He felt the Lord tapping his shoulder even as he pulled the motorcycle up the driveway behind a blue Buick.   
Slowing, he brought it to an idle under the carport, dashed off the seat once he’d killed the engine, and removed his helmet on his way to the side door.
Knocking loudly with his pulse pounding in his neck, he ran his hand through his hair and hoped his arrival wouldn’t tug at Mrs. Rose’s suspicions. He’d no intention of maintaining a private relationship with her daughter, but how could he prove it?
If he could take back the multiple mistakes he’d made over the past twenty-four hours, he would have.  Giving Rose that note had seemed almost like a sneaky request for a date, even if her mother had been involved, and then wearing the darned leather multiplied his idiocy by fifty percent.  Tack onto that his screw-up in giving Rose his card- and then offering to help if she needed him- and what he found was one sorry excuse for a teacher.
At least she’d reached out to him in the midst of her pain, but consistently turning to him meant trouble.  The more the two of them stepped out of line, the more they would offset one another’s paths, as well as those surrounding them.
If the principal found out about this…if anyone else found out about this…
He cursed. Why hadn’t he sent Ryan out here instead?  That would have appeared far less suspicious, but time was wasting.
He rang the doorbell a second time and began knocking more loudly.
Finally, the door creaked open and the blond-haired woman with the gray streaks gaped at him.
“Mr. Shields…what are you doing here?”
“Mrs. Rose-“
“Kaye,” she said. “Call me Kaye.”
“Kaye…I apologize, but Rebekah called me a little while ago…she’d been drinking and-“
“Drinking?” The woman stepped back, allowing the door to open wider as she clutched her robe shut.   
“Come in,” she said. “My Lord, I had no clue.  Why did she call you?  How did she-?”
“I gave her my card. She was supposed to give it to you so we could talk.  You see, my sister-”
 “Yes, I know about your sister. Is she OK?” She waved for Dan to come in and as soon as the screen door opened, the scent of roasted meat enveloped him.
“She’s OK for now.” Dan gulped.  Not sharing the full nature of his sister’s illness sometimes weighed so heavily that he thought he’d crack.  If he could open to someone, he would have- but then he’d look like a weak kid.  Which is what he needed least, especially from older teachers like Mr. Schmidt.
He followed Kaye through a utility room that housed a washer and dryer, and left his helmet there before crossing into a dim hallway.  Kaye paused to flip on a light and then prepared to knock on a door at the end of the hall.
“I’m not sure why you felt the need to rush out here,” the woman said and lowered her fist, waiting for Dan to explain.
“I tried calling but got a busy tone.  I think Rebekah fell asleep or maybe even passed out with the phone in her hand.”
Her eyes widened so that he could see the same shades of green and brown that he’d seen in Rose’s.
“She sounded depressed, she was slurring her words. I don’t know what prompted her to call me…” Liar.  “…but we just need to make sure-”
“No, I get it.” Kaye pursed her lips and knocked harshly on the door. “I think I know why she called you.”
Dan raised a brow as Kaye tried the knob, but it was locked.
With a gulp, he reached for his iPhone and Kaye rushed past him toward the utility room.  Time was wasting- what was she doing?
He was tempted to break the door down as he recalled his own nights spent in mental torment, holding a booze bottle in one hand and some Benadryl in the other.  The temptation to end it all had always been worse in the still silence of the night.
Only a few seconds later, Kaye emerged with a small screw-driver in hand and fiddled with the lock until- finally- the stupid knob turned and the door slowly squealed open. Like a slice of pie, light cut into the room and Kaye stepped inside. 
“Rebekah Rayne Rose,” she said in a high-pitched, worrisome sort of tone.
Dan entered behind her, fists taut in the pressure to keep his distance from the bedside.  The snap of a chain and a lamp lit up on the nightstand.  The bright pink walls practically blinded him, and even as his concern ate away at his esophagus, he considered the color completely out of place for Rebekah Rose.
She hadn’t worn a shred of pink in the entire month that he’d known her. And the only reason he knew that was because she’d worn almost consistent shades of black and blue and sometimes red.  Never anything lighter.  
Kaye shook her daughter, who rested on the bed, below a window covered by a white blind.  He released his breath when he saw her chest rise.  Her hair curled toward the tops of her breasts- which crested at the V of her black t-shirt.
Dan averted his gaze.
Suddenly aware of his wobbly legs, he took a few steps back, leaned against the wall and listened as Kaye repeated Rose’s name at least five times. Finally, there came a soft moan and the telephone she’d been holding to her ear slid onto the hardwood floor.
Kaye lifted a glass.  Dan spotted the vodka and the Coke on the floor and neared the women to see if he could find any sleeping pills or antihistamines.  Nothing else sat on or around the bed, except for the dark-haired doll in the red dress under the lamp.  The headdress looked familiar. After a few beats, he recognized her as the Gypsy girl from the Huncheback of Notre Dame-one of Allie’s old favorites.
Turning to him, Kaye shook her head. “She’s pretty out of it.”
How could she have drifted into such a deep sleep after only fifteen minutes’ time?  He’d left Allie’s room at the same time Rose seemed to be fading, and she’d fallen silent as soon as he’d entered the garage.  
“Better get her up.”  Dan swallowed.  “I’m not sure if she might have taken something besides the alcohol.”
Kaye looked horrified but shook Rose more avidly.
Finally, the young woman raised her head and blocked her eyes with her curved arm.  Tempted to shove Kaye aside to inspect Rose for any other signs of intoxication, Dan wavered near a tall, mostly empty bookcase. 
“Do you want me to call a squad?” he asked as Kaye brushed Rose’s hair from her face.
Squinting at Dan, Rose moaned again. “Wha- what’s going on?  Mr.…Shields?”

“Couldn’t hurt,” Kaye returned.  “Probably best, under the circumstances. She’s been through a lot.”

“Wait a minute.” Rose pushed her mother’s hands away and managed to squirm herself to an upright position. Her sheets slid, granting him a peep at white underwear and a midriff tank top. Her mother tossed a blanket over her, but Dan stepped back to plant his sights on the rose-dotted dresser, hoping the heat didn’t show in his cheeks.

Her curves were fuller than he’d realized. Elegant, in a way, and he should have been ashamed for taking notice, but couldn’t deny the familiar charge it had given him. 

Forget the scrawny models on the magazines- he loved the bigger hips, and the glimpse he’d caught of Rose’s would force him into week-long repentance.

Why weren’t all the guys at school all over this girl?  Whether she looked cute or hot on any given day didn't matter-

What are you doing? Why are you even thinking about this?

The women had been whispering, but then Rose blurted, “I don’t need a squad, already. I’m OK!”
And then Kaye began pressing for more information as to what Rose had swallowed. 

No pills, Rose insisted, no “effing” Benadryl, no Tylenol PM.  No need to freak out, she announced, she’d just had some nightmares and had needed to relax.

“And so you called your teacher?” Kaye finally asked the big question and Dan decided it was time to leave the room. Let mother and daughter sort it out, even if he did feel like being nosy, because sometimes advancing meant stepping back.

But he felt sorry for the young woman who’d dared to confide in him.  After everything that had happened with Towers, he may have added to her misery by riding out here.

“I-” Rose practically croaked and then he felt her eyes on him.

Taking a breath, he raised his head.  “Ro-“ He glanced at Kaye, the family name balanced on the tip of his tongue.  Not until now had he realized how much he’d been referring to Rebekah as “Rose.”  Damn it, that in itself could be incriminating, even if he mainly did it out of laziness. Rose was far less difficult to say than Rebekah.

The pretty girl hid her pale face in her palms.

“Rebekah, I’m sorry,” he said softly. “You know I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing about this.”

“She knows.” Kaye, brows knit, stroked her daughter gently along the arm. “It’s going to be OK, Baby. I know why you did it, don’t worry.”

Baby? 

Forget that.  Rebekah’s humiliated and you need to get out of here.

But he remained rooted to his spot while Kaye went on, “You just need someone, don’t you?  Your daddy isn’t here and-”

"Stop, Mom,” Rose protested through her fingers. “I’m not a baby and I can’t talk about this.” She sniffled and Dan nearly took another step toward the bed. 

He understood how downgrading the “babying” could be, the condescension that it extolled, but he also understood how Kaye must have been feeling.  She’d probably been worried sick over the ramifications her husband’s departure would have on Rose.  Maybe she even blamed herself for
whatever had driven the man away.  With that kind of guilt, most mothers probably would revert to the babying, no matter how old the child.

Nadine Shields was one of the exceptions.

“I should probably go,” he said quietly, but Kaye released Rose and stood as she rubbed her temples.

“You don’t have to…I’m going to make some coffee.  For all of us.” She glanced back at Rose. “You need to get up, Sweetheart. We all need to talk.”

As Kaye shuffled past Dan, Rose lowered her hands from her mascara-streaked face.  She blinked at
Dan, her brows twisting in puzzlement and harsh red filling her cheeks.

“Why’d you do this?” she whispered loudly.  “I’m sorry I called…it’s just-”

“Shh.” He brought his finger to his lips and wished he could wipe away those make-up smudges. In fact, he wished he could hold her, if only to ease the pain and humiliation.

No doubt her blooming crush had played a part in her phone call tonight; but emptiness and longing had probably driven her more than anything. 

Yeah, she needed to be held. If he wasn’t her teacher, he’d be the first in line for the job, and thinking about it…just imagining what those curves would feel like…
Shields. He turned to leave so that she could get out of bed. You’re in big trouble. 

He left the room, wondering what the hell had come over him in there.  Leaning against the hall wall, he waited while his slightly hammering heart began to calm and listened as Kaye scurried about the kitchen, running water and doing God only knew what else.

He was surprised she’d allowed him to linger in her half-naked daughter’s bedroom.  Maybe both he and Kaye were partially brain dead from lack of sleep.

It would have been easy to chalk up his roaming thoughts to something like that, but unfortunately he knew better.  His wicked side had managed to punch through the its grave top, whereas before he’d somehow managed to keep it down.

Rose was his student, not to mention a tad too immature to handle a serious relationship. But, who was he kidding?  He hadn’t been thinking of a serious relationship in there. How had he leapt from concern for her safety and soul to lusting like an animal over her body? 

Maybe he was worse than Towers. 

Kaye appeared at the end of the hall, dangling an empty coffee mug from her fingers. “Everything OK?” she asked.

Dan nodded feebly, forcing his hands into his pockets.  So many times his nervousness drove him to stand with his palm to the back of his neck. His father would have been disappointed.

Ch 12:  http://bloodyroseandthorn.blogspot.com/2011/07/chapter-twelve.html

3 comments:

  1. wow he went to her house?!?!?!??!
    that's crazy.
    can't wait to see how the Kaye-Dan-Rebekah early morning convo goes! Update soon, it's really good :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really never expected this to happen, but I do understand Dan's need to see if she's well.
    I also understand Dan's feelings right now... he wants to kick himself, but you know what they say... you can't help who you fall for.

    I'm not sure if he's fallen for her, if it's just lust, if it's some kind of brotherly concern...

    I loved the chapter!!!!! :)

    Suzie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, ladies, thanks for your comments. :)

    What's going on with Dan is sort of a combination of those things, though the "falling for her" part isn't quite as much there yet. Mostly he is concerned for and curious about her, but is becoming more and more physically attracted to her. The lust thing hit him big in this chap. The deeper, fuller, "falling for you" bit is yet to come. ;)

    ReplyDelete