Posts tagged “Relaxation

Chasing Truth: Chapter 39

Posted on 27/03/2020

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Mari breathed the fresh scent of the ocean as she reclined in her favorite hammock in Raoul and Allie’s backyard. Her night with Tyler was phenomenal. He and Reese hadn’t gotten into an argument when Reese picked her up that morning. Work was fun and short. Now there was a steady supply of lemonade for her to enjoy and the smell of charcoal and meat wafted under her nose. Life was good.

She cracked one eye open to spy on Raoul and Reese standing at the grill together. She hadn’t been paying attention, so she missed whatever Reese said to make Raoul laugh. Her smile came easily anyway. She’d anticipated helping bring Reese into a conversation, but he and Raoul fell into an easy discussion only a few moments after they arrived. When Raoul suggested grilling, Mari didn’t hesitate to make her way out to the hammock.

Allie crossed the grass and plopped down on her in the hammock, sending it swinging and Mari into laughter as she fought to keep them from tumbling out of it. Once it steadied, she wrapped her arms around Allie.

“Reese should be leaving in a few days,” Mari said. “That camping trip is definitely on. I’ve already worked out the schedule.”

Allie tipped her head back with a grin. “Of course, you have. I don’t know who’s worse; you or Raoul. He already has a bag by the closet.”

“That right there is just proof we’re equally amazing.”

Allie snorted in laughter. “Of course. What was I thinking?”

“I don’t know, but that’s what I’m here for.”

“Have you given any more thought to your plans?”

“Plans?” Reese echoed joining the conversation before Mari could answer.

“Mari graduated a handful of months ago,” Raoul explained. “She came home and picked back up where she left off with touring, but we haven’t discussed long-term plans.”

Mari freed one arm to reach for her glass and took a sip from her straw. She liked touring and working with Keon. She liked being able to have an impromptu girls’ night at the drop of a dime and dinner with Raoul and Allie whenever she felt like it. Her boyfriend was settled on the island. She had a million reasons to stay right where she was.

“I talked to Gage about traveling some,” she admitted quietly. “Not right away, but later. Just to get a change of scenery and see what things are like in other places. We’ll have plenty of time to work the schedule around whatever trips I take.”

She hadn’t gone to school incredibly close, but she hadn’t gone somewhere completely different either. She wanted that experience. Guilt still ate at her for the desire.

“Have you discussed it with Blake?” Raoul asked.

“I hadn’t even discussed it with you, so no. Besides, it’s not his choice.”

Raoul glanced at Reese before he grabbed the spatula. “I’m just thinking if you want to travel, he might want you to visit him. I think you would enjoy that.”

“Good point,” she admitted. Her shoulders lost the defensive edge. “I’ll talk to him about it next time we have a call.”

“When did you talk to Gage?” Reese asked with a grimace.

“We texted the other day. Why? I don’t like the face you’re making. Don’t stick your nose into it.”

He arched a brow and she read the expression immediately. “Just because you didn’t say anything about that other thing doesn’t mean you wouldn’t run your mouth about this. I said I would talk to him.”

“What other thing?” Raoul asked.

“You’ve done it now,” Allie murmured before she carefully rose from the hammock to head inside the house.

“Nothing to be worried about,” Mari said as Reese chuckled. “You are such a menace.”

“I haven’t done anything. You do just fine on your own.”

“I’m still waiting to hear about this thing,” Raoul said, plating the burgers.

Mari groaned as she rolled out of the hammock. “It’s not even a thing. I promise. Allie probably needs help in the house.”

Raoul sucked his teeth. “Convenient.”

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. Her warning glare at Reese melted into a smile she couldn’t quite hide. Ducking her head, she walked back inside the house.

<< Chapter 38 Chapter 40 >>

Chasing Truth: Chapter 8

Posted on 08/08/2014

            Mari sipped at her lemonade, enjoying the sun that filtered through to the patio outside of Janey’s café. It was nice to take a morning off from tours. She’d slept in and let the sun wake her before she rolled out of bed to enjoy a morning of relaxation. Raoul and Allison found her in the hammock in the backyard and suggested lunch at Janey’s. The temptation turned out to be greater than that of spending the rest of the day in the hammock.

“Business has picked back up since you’ve been back,” Raoul noted as he stirred his soup.

“Yeah, I meant to talk to you about that.” She swallowed a bite of her sandwich. “What do you think about hiring another guide?”

“We’ve discussed it. Are you planning on sticking around?”

“I don’t have any plans to leave as of right now. I spent enough time away as is. Whether I stayed or not, you’d still need another guide.”

“But whether or not we have you as a trainer determines how far out we can look.”

“You can count on me for the next month or so. I haven’t really thought beyond that. Still, I don’t have any plans to leave.”

“That’s good to hear.”

The relief in Allison’s voice made her smile. “What? You thought I’d leave so soon? I haven’t gotten over missing this place yet.”

Allison shrugged. “You hadn’t said much one way or the other. We didn’t want to make any assumptions.”

Mari glanced up from her plate and reached for her glass when she spotted him. Tyler was as attractive as the night before, this time dressed in jeans and a plain white shirt as he came through the side door. His hair was a little wild, ruffled and sticking up as if he’d run his fingers through it and forgot to brush it back down. She couldn’t fight the smile when they met eyes. She set her glass back down just as he reached the table.

“Good afternoon,” he greeted with a warm smile.

“Hey.” She fought a laugh when Raoul looked pointedly at her. “Papa, Allie, this is Tyler. Tyler, Raoul and Allie.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Tyler.” Allison reached out and took her husband’s hand. “Raoul, I think I want to take a look at the to-go desserts before we leave. If you’ll excuse us.” She didn’t give him a chance to protest or even address Tyler, drawing him from the table and toward the bakery inside of the café.

Tyler smiled knowingly as he watched them go before he turned back to Mari. “I think Allie and I will get along just fine.”

“Yeah, well don’t count on her always being in your corner.” She rose from her seat. “What are you doing here?”

“I believe these are for you.”

He whipped his hand from behind his back and the flash of colors stole her attention. There in his hand was a bouquet of pinwheels. Surprised laughter spilled from her lips.

“Wow. Okay, yeah, you did pretty good with this. I might be a little impressed.”

She took the bouquet and playfully spun one of the wheels, a smile on her face all the while. It was an inconsequential story and yet he remembered the simple pleasure the pinwheels brought her. When she looked up again their eyes locked.

“I don’t want any confusion about what yesterday was.”

She opened her mouth to speak. Nothing came out but an exhalation of air. She wasn’t prepared for his forwardness, but this was Tyler. Everything she learned about him indicated he wasn’t a man to play games. This only proved it. The question was, was she ready for it? She inhaled and tried again.

“And what was yesterday?”

He smiled that crooked smile. “We had fun. I want to see what else we can have together. Are you interested?”

Her fingers went back to the pinwheels. It would’ve been easy to stop by Louise’s and get a bouquet of flowers. The pinwheels were thoughtful. Sweet. Meaningful. Exclusive to her. The excuse of a busy schedule and previous thoughts of him being a complication or distraction completely left her mind.

“Yeah. I’m interested.”

The smile returned full force. “I was banking on that wild girl in you.”

She laughed. “I guess there’s still a bit of wild left in me then.”

“Good. It works to my advantage. Am I being presumptuous if I plan to get with you tomorrow?

She smiled and shook her head. “Tomorrow night is good as long as it’s not too strenuous. I’ve got a tough schedule and I’m still getting back into things.”

“Dinner then. We’ll get you fueled back up. Should I pick you up from the shop?”

She could just walk down to the shop in the morning instead of taking the truck. It would give her more of a chance to get to know him and she was finding she wanted very much to do that.

“Yeah, that works. Thank you for these,” she added lifting the pinwheels.

“Trust me. It was my pleasure.” He pulled her in for a brief hug and she went willingly, linking her arms around him. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he promised as he pulled back.

“Tomorrow,” she echoed as he backed away from her before waving and walking back through the café.

Moments later, Raoul and Allison rejoined her. She wasn’t surprised to find Allison empty handed. Raoul’s gaze settled on the pinwheels she held before looking to the café for Tyler’s retreating figure.

“Should I be looking for my shotgun?”

Allison nudged him playfully while Mari rolled her eyes.

“No, Papa.”

He looked at the pinwheels once more; this time taking in the reverent way she touched them. He groaned softly.

“You like him.”

“Yeah…I think I just might.”

 << Chapter 7 || Chapter 9 >>


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