My apologies for those of you following the continuing saga of Remy, the serial novel being written by the Spot Writers. I was away on vacation for three weeks and now I’m playing “granny” for a week, so I’m WAY behind. Thanks to Val for filling in for me this week while I’m busy with my grandchildren. Check out our writers and our blogs at the end of this posting.
So, here’s chapters 12 to 15
A movie and a few drinks had left Remy feeling relaxed and refreshed. She’d ignored the unknown caller and had shut her phone off as soon as Alison picked her up. She hugged her friend tightly before getting out of the car.
“Thank you so much, Alison. I didn’t realize how stressed I was over the entire week. A night out was just what I needed.”
“Don’t let some guy you barely know drag you down, Remy. You already know he comes with a bit of baggage and that’s all you need to know. Do you really need answers?”
“No. No, I guess I don’t.” Remy smiled weakly at her friend, feeling uneasy for the first time that night. She wished she could fool herself into believing she didn’t need answers, but she knew she wanted them and she felt violated by the unknown calls and texts.
Remy waved as Alison pulled away from the curb. She started up the path that led between the buildings when she felt a presence behind her. She turned and saw a figure walking up the block, from the direction of The Corner Pocket. She recognized his broad shoulders and wished she hadn’t paused as Jeremy rushed to catch up to her.
“Remy! Remy, wait!” Jeremy picked up his pace and was quickly approaching. Remy held up her hands as if to ward him back.
“What do you want, Jeremy?”
“I thought we had a date tonight. After work? That’s what you said.”
This was getting ridiculous. “Actually, Jeremy, my exact words were ‘I don’t know.’ As in, I don’t know if I want to talk to you or hear your tale of woe.” Her words sounded harsher than she had intended them to be.
Jeremy stepped a little closer – close enough for Remy to smell the liquor on his breath and notice the wobble in his step. She was surprised to see his eyes darken with anger.
“No,” he hissed. “You said we’d talk. You lied to me.”
“I – did – no – such – thing,” Remy enunciated angrily. She turned back to the path leading towards the buildings when she felt a strong hand grab her upper arm.
“We’re going to talk. We’re going to talk now, Remy.”
“Get your hands off of me!” Remy tried to pull away but she couldn’t. She struggled only as long as it took Jeremy to pull the small switchblade from his jacket pocket. Remy paled as she looked from the blade to Jeremy’s insistent eyes.
“I just want to talk. Come on.” He pulled her up the path and turned away from her building, dragging her towards his own door.
“Fine. Fine! Jeremy, fine! We’ll talk. But please, let’s go back up to my place instead. That way if Barbara decides to stop by she won’t know where to look for you.” Remy silently congratulated herself for thinking on her feet. She wasn’t sure what she’d do in her own condo, but she had no plans of letting Jeremy drag her into unfamiliar territory.
“Whatever,” Jeremy growled. He quickly turned heel and turned instead towards Remy’s entrance.
It wasn’t until they were at the base of the dark landing that Remy realized there was another figure sitting on her top step. As the motion-activated light switched itself on, Dr. Sam Kendrick stood up to assess what was not the situation he’d hoped to encounter as he’d waited for the past half hour to talk to Remy, concerned about the phone calls he’d had traced earlier in the day.
“What’s going on here?”
Remy blew out a breath. Her hands began to sweat. This was a little tricky. And maybe dangerous if Jeremy decided to start trouble. All she needed was for Jeremy to beat up her boss.
“None of your damn business. Get lost,” Jeremy snarled.
“Jeremy, stop. You’re drunk. I’m not going to talk to you right now,” Remy said sharply.
Dr. Sam approached her and gently touched her arm. Remy turned and gave him a small smile in the glare from the porch light.
“You ‘ve been avoiding me. I want to talk to you,” Jeremy mumbled.
“We have nothing to talk about. You have a girlfriend or a wife, and a baby on the way,” Remy declared.
“Nope. Don’t! No way! Barbara’s a pain. I don’t even know her, “Jeremy sputtered.
He reached for Remy’s arm again, but Dr. Sam stepped between them.
“That’s enough,” Dr. Sam said calmly.
“Bug off, man. I got to explain,” Jeremy growled.
“Explain what?” Remy said, reaching out to restrain Dr. Sam. This was very nice of him, trying to be her chivalrous knight, but no way she wanted him hurt on her account. What was it her father used to say? “Protect your boss and he’ll take care of you.” This wasn’t exactly a business dispute, but the idea still applied. Didn’t it? Daddy never said anything about getting your boss’s butt kicked for him!
“I got to explain. Barbara’s a wacko. I bought her a drink once in a bar, that’s all. She’s driving me crazy with this baby stuff and telling people I’m the father. One drink, that’s all,” Jeremy insisted.
“Okay, got that, but you were manhandling the lady tonight,” Dr. Sam said. “You need to go home and sleep it off.”
“I know what I’m doing. Who the hell are you anyway?” Jeremy demanded, drawing himself stiffly upright and glaring at Dr. Sam.
“I’m her boyfriend,” Dr. Sam said very clearly.
“Are not,” Jeremy slurred, his drunkenness hardening to anger. “Remy never mentioned a boyfriend. Leave us alone, we’ve got stuff to do.” He reached to put his arm around her, but he was too drunk to reach.
Sam Kendrick narrowed his eyes. “Stay away from my girlfriend,” he said.
Remy, trying not to look or sound shocked, needed to stall for time. What should she do? Play along with it? Tell them both to get lost? Call the police? She took a deep breath, trying not to let the situation get the best of her. How did things go from relaxing night out with friends to sordid love triangle so quickly?
“Jeremy,” Remy said, speaking slowly and clearly, “this is Dr. Sam Kendrick.” She wanted to add a descriptor, but what would she say? Dr. Sam Kendrick, my boss? Dr. Sam Kendrick, my boyfriend?The corner of her mouth drew up in an unconscious smile at the thought of it. What would Irene say!
Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “Dr. Sam Kendrick, huh? What kind of doctor are you? One of those academic pricks? Or a dentist, perhaps?”
“Jeremy, you’re drunk,” Remy said. “Go home. Call me when you’re sober, and I’ll explain everything.” That’ll buy me time to figure this out.
“I’m plenty sober,” Jeremy barked. “I want answers now. I thought we had a date tonight, Remy.”
“Look, Jeremy. I don’t know what the deal is with Barbara, but I can’t deal with her. The two of you need to work things out.”
“And if I work things out with Barbara, you’ll go on a date with me?” His lower eyelid twitched, and he held up his knife as if a subconscious manifestation of his thoughts.
Remy felt herself being backed into a corner. This was a side of Jeremy she didn’t like. Drunk. Violent. Confused.
“I’m sorry, Jeremy, but I can’t.”
“Why not? You just said—”
“I’m sorry,” Remy said, swallowing hard and barely believing that the words were coming from her mouth. “It’s just that I’m already dating—Sam.”
Jeremy narrowed his eyes, including both Remy and Sam in his line of vision. He chewed his lip as if trying to justify them in his mind as a couple.
“I don’t believe you,” he said, though he did manage to close his knife and shove it in his pocket.
Remy stepped closer to Sam, gaining confidence. “Believe it or not,” she said. “I’m telling you how it is.”
Sam reached out to her, encircling her shoulders with his arm. Remy leaned close to him. It was only when she felt the warmth of his body that she realized she was trembling. He rubbed his hand along her arm to help the trembling subside.
“Is this for real?” Jeremy asked, the lingering alcohol making him sound like a maladjusted teenager.
“I’m afraid so,” Sam said. “So I’m sure you’ll understand when I ask you to stay away from my woman.”
Jeremy’s eyes flashed, regret finally starting to sink in. But it was clear he still wasn’t convinced. Not completely. But there was something Remy could do. It was barely an effort for her. She knew it would convince Jeremy, and the way Sam was protecting her made it a labor of love. She angled her body toward Sam, placing a hand on his chest. He rested his own hand on top of hers and angled his eyes toward hers.
“I was surprised to see you waiting out here, Sam,” Remy said. “I thought you’d be waiting for me inside. You must have forgotten your key.”
“He has the key to your apartment?” Jeremy asked, his voice cracking.
“Left it at home,” Sam said. He leaned in for a kiss, and Remy lost herself. She looked up to see the moonlight reflecting in his eyes. Then she closed her own and melted into a current of warmth. It took her away. She was floating and warm and happy, Sam’s lips smooth and soft, drawing her away from herself.
She couldn’t say how long the kiss lasted. Maybe a minute. Maybe forever. But when she opened her eyes again, the spot where Jeremy had been moping about was nothing but a soft pool of moonlight wrapping her and Sam in its magical light.
And then she leaned in and kissed Sam once again.
Remy ran her hands underneath Sam’s jacket, letting the warmth dissolve the chill Jeremy had brought. She was moving backward, she knew that, but her mind let her body take over. Something cold and sharp found its way to her hand, and into the lock of her door, and soon Sam was bolting the apartment door behind them, and they were making their way in the darkness to the couch. The comforting smells of Remy’s apartment blended with the musk of Sam’s aftershave, and something primal took over.
Remy could walk her apartment blindfolded, and she continued her backward walk, leading Sam to the couch and pulling him down on top of her like a blanket. Another eternity passed and then Sam came up for air. Remy’s eyes adjusted to the darkness. Sam was looking down at her, and she tried to read his eyes. Was he embarrassed? Did he want more?
Was he going to fire her?
“Sam,” she whispered.
He brushed is hand along her cheek and smiled. It was the kind of smile made with the eyes more than the lips.
“Does this feel wrong to you?” she asked. “Is it wrong?”
Sam licked his lips. “No.” He leaned down but paused, his brown concerned. “Does it feel wrong to you?”
She bit her lip. What was it that Sam read on her face? Did her expression tell Sam that it was wrong? Logic was starting to trickle back into her brain. She thought of her job. She thought of Irene. She could never keep a deadpan face at work. Irene would read this the moment she set foot in the office. And Sam? He wanted an assistant at work, not extra baggage. Right?
Her skin rose into goosebumps as he whispered her name, but she had no answer for him. “I—”
He ran his fingers along her cheek one last time. Then he got up, flicking on the lamp. He walked to the back door, checking the security bolt. Then he went through the kitchen, and Remy could hear him from the couch, testing the windows.
“Got a balcony?” he asked, motioning to the second floor.
Remy shook her head, freezing at the thought of Sam going upstairs to check. Upstairs to the bedroom…
“Then you’ll be safe tonight,” he said. “Everything’s locked up tight. You just bolt the door behind me. And if that punk comes back, call me first, and then call the cops.”
He shook his head. “No need to explain. You think it over. I’ll be waiting.” He walked to the door, and then he turned. She saw how broad his shoulders were against the doorframe. “See you at work,” he said.
Remy ran to bolt the door behind him. Then she sank into the couch that still smelled like Dr. Sam Kendrick. She turned out the lamp and stared into the darkness, thinking about nothing and everything all at once.
The Spot Writers- our members:
Catherine A. MacKenzie – https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Jessica Degarmo – http://www.jessicadegarmo.com/
RC Bonitz – http://www.rcbonitz.com
Val Muller – http://www.valmuller.com/blog
Deborah Dera – http://www.deborahdera.com