Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chapter 23 reposted and edited


Correction:  I didn't remove it.  My iPad lied to me! lol  But this is the official chapter 23. 
Bekah ducked behind the refrigerator, her heart pounding like a fuzzy, little rabbit's as she hopped away from a pursuing cat. She'd been washing the dishes only moments before- and any girl in her right mind would have lunged for the phone when she'd seen the guy snooping around her carport. Instead, Bekah had scurried into the windowless dining room and then snuck back to the kitchen to peek outside a second time.

The weirdo stood there with his back to Bekah and his hands in his pockets. As though sensing her presence, he began to turn his head as she hid herself again.

What now? If she ran for the phone, God only knew what the lunatic might do to keep her from calling the cops. Closing her eyes, she etched his image firmly onto her brain so that she'd know how to describe him later. Blond, tall, black baseball cap, black coat. That's all she remembered. Blond, tall, black and black.

Did she know any tall, blond guys personally? Did she... her jaw set and she eyed the frying pan about eight feet away. Rapunzel's weapon of choice might be a great idea.

Brian Cruise. The only tall blond guy who might have been snooping around her house was Brian Cruise. Just what the heck was he up to?

She sank to her knees and crawled across the floor until she reached the spot beneath the wall phone. With the window bare of any glaring, green eyes, she tugged the cord and caught the receiver as it tumbled. Since Brian could have seen that, she scampered back to her spot in front of the fridge, because the possibility remained that someone far more wacked out than Brian Cruise had wandered up her driveway for no other reason than to terrorize- and who knew how Freddy Kruger-ish he might become in the heat of a battle?

If only she'd found a friggin job and gotten those self-defense classes, maybe she'd feel a bit bolder.  Learning to kick butt was in the best interest of any girl, especially those interested in joining the police force.

But no, she’d stuck to the typical teenage lifestyle while imagining herself a cut above the everyday school girl.

Talk about being snobby with no reason to boast.

Because she’d failed, here she sat with a phone trembling in her hand and her mind seeking a God she’d been ignoring. 

God, please protect me, please. I know I don't deserve protection, but please help me!

If she’d been certain that Brian now stood outside her kitchen window, she would have confronted him.  Ever since the Halloween dance, he’d been acting like a harmless, starry-eyed puppy, not that she completely bought the act. For all she knew, he’d been trying to reel her in the same way she’d attempted to reel him in a couple of months ago.

Swallowing, she could smell the bucket of bleach water nearby as she turned the receiver over and placed her finger on the number 9.

Wait…if that’s Brian, then calling 911 is idiotic! You may as well join Dweebs R Us.

Then again, Brian’s deviousness may have been pumped up a few notches.  He may have come to collect payment for that humiliating pop in the nose.

Too bad Shields wasn't here to break things up.  He hadn't liked the idea of her being in this position- alone in this neighborhood with creeps lurking around every corner.

No doubt her butt was toast if she didn't fling Teacher out of her head.  Ryan had been right- Shields would never cave to a student and he’d been nicely distracted by Grace, anyway. 

Never mind the painful roll in her chest- should she call Ryan or the police?

Should she call Alice?

Should she peek to see if that dude had left?

Knock, knock, knock.

Bekah felt what she believed every ounce of color draining from her face.  The shiny window looked so serene from where she sat, it seemed odd to think what nightmares awaited if she drew closer to the portal.

Dang, what should she do?

If she fled the house, she might not make it to the car and if she bolted out the back door to the park, she’d most likely run into some other thugs there.

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Still stuck in Hotel California.  This neighborhood, her thoughts, her emotions.  There was no escape, so why not feed herself to the monster outside?

She sensed an invisible ladder hanging over her head and her mind drifted back to the Narnia book she’d begun to read a couple of weeks ago.  Always a way of escape in fantasy, but not in real life. 

Why had Shields wanted her to read those stories so badly?

Keep reading, dingbat, and you might find out!

How could she be thinking about that at a time like this?

Knock, knock, knock.

Vaguely, she heard, "Rebekah!"

Definitely sounds like Brian.

"Rebekah, I want to talk to you!"

But why was he sneaking around her carport instead of knocking on the door?

Holding her breath, she became aware of how violently her heart had begun to pound.  Thankfully she hadn't emptied her breakfast all over the linoleum.  As she stood, her legs wobbled and the phone dropped to the floor.

Brian may have tried to harm her while he was drunk, but she seriously doubted he’d try it sober.

She shuffled to her former position in front of the sink and rested shaky hands on her hips as she glared at the smiling face on the other side of the glass. Brian motioned for her to slide the window open and she rolled her eyes.  Dare she open that window, or should she wait until she felt more sure of herself?  She'd rather jump off the roof than allow this jerkly jockly to hear her unsteady voice or witness her hands trembling..

OK, screw this. She wasn't a kid. She was Wonder Woman.  As stupid as the thought might have been, it forced her to straighten shoulders and reach toward the glass.  Slowly, she slid the window open to her smirking ‘friend,’ who’d removed his hat to allow the wind to ruffle his hair.

"What are you doing snooping around my carport?" she asked as the cold air slapped her and he plopped his baseball cap back on his head.

"I was trying to conjure the nerve to go to the door."

"Yeah, right. You've never struck me as the nervous type, Brian."

"Well, I gotta have guts to ask you this."

"Ask me what?"

"If you'll go to the holiday dance with me." He wiggled his brows.

"You've got to be kidding."

"Come on, Rebekah," he pleaded. "I know I've been a jerk, but can't you give me a chance? I think I’ve just…misunderstood you, you know?”

“If you think I’m buying this act, you’re wrong.  What are you up to?”

He glanced down. “You won’t know unless you give me a chance."

Bekah squinted. How familiar those words sounded.

"Maybe I just want to see how easy you are or maybe I want to get to know you better.”

“Or maybe you want to kick my butt!”

“Maybe.” He shrugged.  “But there will be plenty of people at the dance, so it’s not like we’d have to be alone.”

“Brian…are you aware that I’m dating someone?  Or that I only went to the Halloween dance because my boyfriend talked me into it?  Dances are not my thing, get it?  Much less a Christmas dance."

“Party pooper.” He turned his lower lip under and almost looked sort of cute.  “Dating the same guy from the Halloween dance, huh?”

“That would be a yes.”  So far, she’d kept most of her struggles with Brian to herself, so it would be interesting to see Ryan’s reaction if she shared this one.  Would he turn into macho man or laugh it off? 

“You’re dating Shields’ brother?”

“Yes again, not that it’s your business.” But this was amusing. Apparently he'd no violent intentions today.  Just game-playing.  Maybe she should accept his invitation if only to find out what sort of games Brian was into these days.

He looked away and the fact that his persona failed to emanate any anger or ire made her feel as though she’d never met this dude in her life. 

“Hey, who the hell are you?”

Bekah shuddered and Brian stood erect.  She’d recognized Ryan’s voice immediately- speak of the ‘devil’- and wondered if relief or nausea were in order. His out of character testiness suggested he'd gotten the wrong impression.

Guess you’re finding out how he’d respond to Brian’s antics.

No sooner had Ryan marched into view than a car horn sounded out front and Brian took a few steps back. Waving his hands, he stuttered as he struggled to explain himself to Shields’ younger brother. “I-I’m just talking to her, relax, man.”

Bekah could hear Ryan’s breathing over the rushing wind and before any other nasty exchanges could ensue, Brian started down the drive. “See you, Rebekah,” he called over his shoulder, but she had the feeling he’d be back.

Ryan turned to her, eyes blazing. “What was that about?”


“Never mind, I need you to come with me.”

Bekah stammered, suddenly aware of the redness around those angry eyes and the completely disheveled state of his growing, brown waves.  He hadn’t cut his hair in over a month and she’d been teasing him about trying to look like a rock star.

“Please, Bekah,” he said. “Allie’s bad…real bad.”

Chapter Twenty-Three, Part 2

No comments:

Post a Comment