Posts tagged “emotions

Chasing Truth: Chapter 21

Posted on 17/11/2014

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            “I’m guessing my time is up.”

Mari didn’t try to hide the bite in her tone. Tyler had an agenda. She would be stupid to forget that.     She watched his gaze dip to the stuffed animal. His lips curved at the corners and he took a small step forward. She stopped once more.

He slipped his hands into the pockets of his jeans and his eyes lifted to rest on her face.

“You’re still mad. I get that. I left the other night when I didn’t want to. I gave you the time and the space you asked for, but now it’s time for us to talk.”

“You know, I’m noticing a theme here. You make a decision and everyone’s just supposed to fall in line with it.”

“You going to be difficult about this or do I just need to wait you out?”

“Wait me out. And hold your breath while you do it,” she added over her shoulder as she started around him.

He caught her arm, pulling her to him. “Don’t do this.”

Her brow furrowed with fury as she thought about just what he’d ruined. Their relationship had been so easy, so affectionate and amazing. That was now gone.

“I’m not the one doing anything. You did this.”

He hesitated. “Hear me out, Mari. That’s all I’m asking right now.”

She pulled her arm free but nodded as she took the few stairs up to the door. She barely pushed the door open before he was behind her, following her inside. She could feel his warmth at her back. Then he leaned in, his words tickling her ear.

“Missed you, sweetheart. Spent a whole day at Rocanda thinking about you.”

She closed her eyes against the words as if it would shield her. It was these moments that heaped on the confusion. He wanted to get close to Blake. It was his entire reason for being on the island to begin with. She was a means to an end. Yet, when he said things like that, looked at her as if she mattered…well, she had a hard time remembering that.

She turned and set both the plate and stuffed animal on the table before she made herself face him again.

“You’re using me, Tyler. Don’t think for a moment I’ve forgotten that.”

“I found you that morning at the beach because I knew who you were. You’re one of the few consistent links to Blake and it wasn’t easy to find that out. I’m not going to lie about that and I’m not going to apologize for doing my job. But Mari, you took me out to Rocanda the next day and things started to change. The more I was with you, the more personal it got. I need Blake. That hasn’t changed. Neither has what I told you. What’s between us is between us and that’s real. Maybe we don’t like how we got here but that doesn’t make it any less real. Don’t sit there and tell me it’s not.”

Arguing about it was getting her nowhere and she was afraid if she wasn’t careful Tyler would talk her into believing him. She tried another angle.

“So let me make sure I’ve got this right. You want to get close enough to Blake to…investigate? Figure out whether or not he’s really into trafficking…things?”

She’d done her best to shy away from the things Tyler hinted Blake might be involved with. There were years of abandonment and now animosity between them but that didn’t mean she wanted him to be that kind of man.

Tyler’s eyes never softened, never left her, but he allowed the subject change.

“I need to get information.”

She chewed her bottom lip and then forced out a long hard breath. “Then right now we need the same thing.  As far as everyone else is concerned we’re still together and everything’s good. When he shows, you’re the boyfriend and you can do whatever it is you need to do.”

She thought he would smile and acknowledge her concession as his victory. Maybe he would even assume everything was good between them again. He did none of those things. His eyes seemed to darken as he crowded her.

“As far as everyone else is concerned?” he echoed quietly.

“That’s what I said.”

“And as far as we’re concerned?”

His voice was softer but she wasn’t fooled. Still, she held her ground without breaking the stare.

“We’re two people helping each other reach a goal.”

He was shaking his head before she even finished. “Not good enough, Marielle.”

“Well it’s going to have to be because that’s all we’ve got.”

He continued crowding closer until she took a few involuntary steps back. Her back came up against the edge of the counter, halting her retreat. Tyler came closer still and cupped her face. His words were slow and pointed.

“You do not come into my life and make me feel things I swore I would never feel for a woman and then dismiss me. I lied to you. I owned up to that. I’m asking you to work through it with me. For me. If I could’ve met you another way, without all this between us, I would take it in a heartbeat. I can’t do that.  This is the hand we’ve got, baby. Play it out with me. Give me a chance to show you we can turn it into a winning hand.”

Her heart beat far too fast and his serious gaze held her frozen.

“I don’t know if I can trust you,” she finally whispered.

“Let me show you that you can,” he whispered back.

She closed her eyes against the force of his gaze. “If I decide it’s not working, we go back to my plan.”

He smiled and kissed her forehead. “We won’t need your plan.”

With those words he confirmed her fears. Tyler was talking her into believing him.

<< Chapter 20 || Chapter 22 >> 

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On to the Next One?

Posted on 16/11/2013

Petra is twenty years young, bright-eyed and ready for male friends after  depriving herself of their intriguing complexities.

Eddie she meets first. He’s perfect in every sense of the word. Tall, dark and definitely good to look at. Plus he’s incredibly talented! Not only does he play the guitar and sing… gosh, he leads worship on Sundays and Wednesdays. He’s sensitive, in touch with his emotions. Undoubtedly, Petra’s completely taken by him. One thing; he’s got a long list of ex-friends. Uh-hmm, you heard right. Of all the people Petra’s heard him talk about, they’ve all offended him in some way and he doesn’t hesitate telling her about just how. Not wanting to add herself to that list and lose such an incredible friend, Petra gears up for placating and accommodating Eddie… until she drops her guard and speaks out of turn. Without a moment’s notice, Eddie’s checked the list, scribbled her name in black, permanent marker and promptly kicked her out of his life.

Blindsided, Petra makes a vow to stay away from guys like Eddie and dusts off the remnants of that failed friendship. On to the next one.

Mike‘s perfect on paper! He’s handsome, kind, softhearted and oh boy, is he smart! What’s even better? He’s not overly emotional and has his head screwed on correctly. Sold! Petra’s got several years behind her and is ready to begin a new friendship, even if Mike’s a bit more reserved than she expected. Ignoring his tight-lipped responses, she can at least count her lucky stars that there are no drama theatrics since Mike’s a rational human being. Relaxing a little too much, Petra’s blindsided yet again when Mike blows a fuse, listing off all her offenses. She has no idea when or how she’s offended Mike but he certainly doesn’t hesitate telling her to the day, hour and millisecond of said offense. Barrages of “why can’t you”, “if you could just”, “everything would be okay if you could”, “why are you” echo like loud, nagging gongs in her head as she staggers back to catch her balance or at least catch her breath.

Thankfully, she manages to escape with her sanity in check and makes yet another vow to avoid guys like Eddie and Mike. With a haggard breath, she trudges on. To the next one.

Collin‘s a breath of fresh air. Gorgeous, suave, he’s got charisma oozing from every pore in his sculpted body. His confident smirk and bright eyes leave Petra stunned and off balance. In a good way. His self-confidence and ease is intriguing. With the many women flocking around him, fawning over him, it’s no wonder why Petra finds herself drawn to him too. He’s got it going on, in a big way. He understands women, or so he thinks, and everything about him speaks of his confident ease around women. Around Petra. He’s got all the right words to say, the right look to throw her way to keep her wondering. She’s curious and finds herself wondering if he’s any different. He doesn’t seem overly-emotional nor manipulative… but Petra’s cautious. Every man must have a vice to him after all. Collins scoots in, brushes her arm with his warm fingers and wiggles his brows at her as his eyes caress her face. Her cheeks warm and tingle under his attention and she shyly succumbs to his charm. Bingo! Except not really. Collins scoots back just as easily and with a furrowed brow, he tells her not to fall for him. He doesn’t like her like that. She’s just a friend. Like the other hundred girls giggling and fluttering around him.

Embarrassed and slighted, Petra ducks away with most of her pride still in place. She pulls out her imaginary notebook and crosses off yet another one. This time, she’s tired and no longer looking. If the right one’s out there, he’ll find her. Right?

Shane swoops in. Man of the hour, he’s talented, he’s easygoing and surprise surprise, he’s not bad looking either. There’s no sign of an overly-emotional, manipulative casanova personality type. Even with a sigh of relief, Petra hesitantly inches close. At least she’s sorta grateful and impressed that he’s neither pushy nor aggressive. Patience in a man has to be a good sign? She’s content to listen, taking in everything he’s saying without any refrain. After all, she wants to get a feel for him before she lets her guard down.  Shane doesn’t disappoint. He’s honest and forthright, she has to give him that… except he’s not let her get a word in. Barely a pause is given for her to speak of herself. It’s not a big deal since she doesn’t like to brag about herself, not that he notices and is content to fill the silence with colorful stories of his amazing life…

Quietly, Petra bows out and slumps against the invisible wall before pulling out her notebook. She warily stares at the blotted names and mutely crosses yet another name off the list.

On to the next one?

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