Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT





Welcome! This is picture prompt week. And I  have to keep this to 300 words only. I'm still with "Reunited". Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales and my website. Thanks for stopping by.

*********************

Mike looked at the pretty, young woman. What she was presenting was ridiculous. About to raise his hand for the check, he remembered what awaited him at home. The empty room haunted him. Yes, his sister had cleaned out all of Patty’s stuff. But he still felt her presence there. He’d tucked away her favorite bear, Briny, in the closet.
And the room still had her sweet scent. His wife and his little daughter, just six and the light of his life died in a car crash two years ago. Mike had gone to therapy. He’d taken a long trip, tried everything to forget, but there was no way he could ever forget her shining smile, and effervescent personality.
He sat back. He’d listen to Cassie for a while longer. As crazy as her idea was, it kept him from going home. He ordered another drink. Maybe by the time, he’d be tired enough to sleep without waking up and ending up in her empty room.
“Sorry, my mind wandered. What were you saying?” She had grown more beautiful over the years. And the shy little tomboy now flashed significant cleavage his way. Who was he to ignore what was on display? That would be rude, wouldn’t it?
As he watched her explain her dream, her lively expression, broad smile, and sexy body sucked him in. Maybe he’d shuffle back a few years and get what he’d wanted so bad ten years ago -- one glorious roll in the hay with hot, little Cassie Newsome. Maybe she’d make him forget what he had lost that stormy day in February.

He took her hand in his, and focused on her words. Could something this totally insane save him? Who was he to doubt Cassie’s ambition and determination? Damn it. She turned him on. 


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Monday, February 13, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "LOVE"


Welcome! The word prompt this week is "love". How appropriate! I'm continuing with the story "Reunited" this week. Hope you enjoy it. Scroll down for links back to the great stories at Tuesday Tales and my website. 
Thanks for stopping by. 

******************************

Cassie arrived at the bar first. She learned that, on a blind date, being there before the guy meant you could scope him out and if he looked really bad, you could hide in the ladies room and sneak out the back door. It gave her the upper hand.
This time was different. But she needed to be in control here because there were big stakes involved. If the program “Reunited” took off, she and Ned would be multimillionaires. This had to work.
Mike walked in wearing a blue, button-down shirt, dark gray slacks, and a tan corduroy sports jacket. Having filled out some since high school, he looked good. She smiled and waved. He noticed her, raised his hand and headed for her table.
When he sat down, he didn’t lean over to kiss her cheek or even shake hands. There was something different about Mike. She didn’t know what it was, but she sensed it.
“You look great, Mike. Life must agree with you,” she said.
He shot her an odd look and a half grin. “I’m doing okay. You look terrific. Even better than in high school.”
Cassie laughed. “We were such good friends, but just friends.”
“Maybe you were. But not me.”
“No?” Her eyebrows shot up.
“I had a huge crush on you.”
“You did?” Her voice registered genuine surprise.
“You didn’t know? Really? And when I trumped up that story about Mary Callahan, I thought for sure you’d see right through it.” He grinned.
“A story? She wasn’t after you?”
“No one was after me. But I knew you’d rescue me if you thought I was in trouble.”
“Got that right. So agreeing to go to the prom with you was just because you wanted to go with me?”
“In the worst way.”
“Why you little fibber! You fooled me completely.”
“Worked, too,” he replied, raising his hand for the waitress.
“Sure did. I had no idea.”
He’d crushed on Cassie? That threw her, it was unexpected. But not now, as he sat across the table from her, aloof, sizing her up. Did he think she’d embarrass him about the prom? She’d had a phenomenal time, but it had simply come too late to do much about it. She had gone to college in Oregon and he had attended a university in Maryland. Even their vacations didn’t dovetail. He was on trimester while she was on the traditional two-semester schedule.
Warmth surrounded her heart. For an instant, she wondered where she would be, if they had attended the same school. His admission changed everything. Remembering sneaking a beer or two and making out with Mike in his car, she had assumed he’d been drunk and made out with her because that’s what you were supposed to do. It had changed her, the way she’d felt about him, but she was too shy to say anything. 
He’d gone to be a counselor at a sleep-away camp and she’d waitressed all summer. Cassie had been ready to give up her virginity to Mike, but never got the chance. The question of where they would be today if they’d started dating sooner or stayed together brought a sting of tears behind her eyes. Would they have fallen in love?
His dark brown eyes connected with hers. She wondered if he could read the regret there? Probably –so she lowered her gaze to her wine. This wasn’t going the way she’d hoped it would at all.

“So, tell me. Why did you want to see me? The anticipation’s been killing me. What’s up, Cassie?” 

Monday, February 6, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - REUNITED continues #romance #amwriting


Welcome! This week the word prompt is "metal". I'm continuing with the story "Reunited" 
Scroll down to the link to return to Tuesday Tales and read the other stories and to get to my website. 
Thank you for stopping by!

*******************
After a call to the reunion committee, Cassie secured Mike’s phone number. She paced, thinking about what she’d say, her opening line.
“Hey, Mike, It’s Cassie. Remember me? Hey, Mike, remember your old friend, Cassie Newsome? Hey, Mike, wasn’t that prom a blast? It’s Cassie.” Nothing pleased her. She opened a bottle of red wine and poured a glass, then continued pacing.
She stood by the window, gripping the metal security bar, and remembering their senior prom night. The whisperings at school were all about hotel rooms, types of condoms and giving it up for the first time. Cassie’s first boyfriend, captain of the football team, had pressed her for sex. She’d only been fifteen at the time. When he found out, he dumped her, to avoid trouble.
She ended up bouncing around to a science nerd, a shy boy named Nathan. Nathan had been the smartest kid in the class. By then, she was seventeen and curious about sex. She’d coaxed him into going all the way one steamy July night. When he parents found out, they threatened to cut off his college money if he didn’t give up “that cheap trick, Cassie.” Reluctantly, he broke up with her.
More humiliated than heart-broken, she’d sworn off guys. Then Mike came along. They became friends. When he asked her to the prom so he could turn down Scary Stacy, she’d agreed. With Mike, she’d have a good time and there’d be no parental disapproval or pressure for sex. She’d enjoyed herself more than she had expected. After that they went to different colleges and lost touch.
She took a long breath, poured another glass of wine, then dialed.
“Hello?”
“Mike?”
“Yeah. Who’s this?”
“It’s Cassie Newsome. You might not remember me, but we went to the senior prom together.”
“Cassie? You’re fucking kidding me. Oops. Sorry.”
“No problem. Yeah, it’s me.”
“Well how the hell are you?”
She took a sip and smiled. “Just fine. You?”
“Okay. You going to the reunion?” he asked.
“The tenth? Wouldn’t miss it.”
“Me, too. Guess I’ll see you there. We can catch up then.”
“Wait!” She sensed he was about to hang up. “I’m going to be in your neighborhood for work,” she lied. “I was wondering if we could have a drink together.”
“Oh, that’s why you called? Sure. When?”
They made arrangements. When she hung up, she called Ned.
“I made contact with Mike.”
“Great.”
“I’m meeting him tomorrow night in D. C. for a drink,” she said.
“Fantastic! I know you can set this up, baby. We’re on the way.”
“Right.”
“So what are you doing on the phone with me? Shouldn’t you be catching a train?” He asked.
“Of course. See you in a few days,” she said and hung up the phone.

Monday, January 30, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "TRACK" REUNITED CONTINUES


Welcome! This week the word prompt is "track".  This week the story "Reunited" continues. Thanks for stopping by. Scroll down for the link to return to Tuesday Tales or go to my website.

******************

Sipping on a glass of Cabernet in her tony East Side apartment, Cassie rifled through her mail. Boom! There it was. The answer to her problems.
She ripped open the invitation. It was to her tenth high school reunion. That would be the perfect place to reconnect with Mike. She picked up her cell.
“Angela? Angela Faiola?”
“Yes?”
“It’s Cassie. Cassie Newsome. Your high school classmate.”
“Oh! Of course, of course. Cassie. How are you? Are you coming to the reunion?”
“Yes. Are you making a list of people coming available?”
“We have a Facebook group. If you’re looking to reconnect with someone, why don’t you join?”
“I will. Thanks.”
“If you want to help out, we can always use another pair of hands.”
“I’d love to help, but I’m launching a new program and my plate is full.”
“A new program? On TV?”
“Yep.”
“How exciting! I hope you’ll tell me all about it at the reunion.”
“Sure will. Thanks.”
Cassie hung up and sat back, She opened her laptop and went to Facebook. Looked like it was going to be easier to connect with Mike than she thought. But convincing him to go along with her plan was another story.
She joined the group, then searched for Mike. His name was there. She added a post, then called Ned.
“Hey, baby. What’s up?”
“I’ve got a way to get in touch with Mike.”
“Great! The sooner the better. I’m working with Josh and Tina on locations for your outings.”
“How much time will I have to spend with him?”
“However much it takes to make your reunion look real.”
“I’d really rather be with you, working behind the scenes,” she said.
“We talked about this. I thought we’d agreed that you and I would have to take a little break. Just until the show is in the bag.”
Silence.
“Of course, you won’t be with him twenty-four/seven. If you can sneak away and spend the night with me, well –that’d be great.”
“Mike won’t care. He wasn’t exactly in love with me,” she replied.
“Are you sure? Nerds fall hard, babe. They just don’t know how to say it.”
She chuckled. “Maybe. But that was forever ago.”
“When he sees you again, well, just don’t fall for him, okay?”
She laughed. “Like he could be any competition for you?”
“You never know.”
“I’m committed, Ned. You’re the one who’s only got one foot in. Not me.”
“That’s not true. I’m giving everything I have to make this program work. It’s for us, baby. Us. The success will belong to you and me. Do you understand?”
“I do. Don’t like it much.”
“Don’t be a whiner. We both have to make sacrifices. That’s the price of success. And if this succeeds? We’ll be on track, rolling. I mean millions. And you can kiss penny-pinching goodbye.”
She sighed. What he said was true. They’d make out bigtime if the show caught on. Financial security drove her, it’s what she had been working toward.
Leaving her poor background behind had been Cassie’s motivation for working twelve hour days to get ahead. She saved every cent she could, not taking taxis, buying her fancy wardrobe on sale, and eating home every night.
Her goal was so close.  And to have a sexy, smart man part of the package of success and freedom from fear of poverty was a huge plus.
“Okay. I’ll stop bitching,” she relented.
“That’s my girl. Besides, a few days off won’t hurt us. We’re  strong,” he said.
“Right.
“Goodnight, babe.”
“’Night, Ned.”
“Call me after you connect with that guy.”
“I will.”

Cassie hung up. She wondered why she didn’t feel happy. The plan was falling into place. 


Monday, January 23, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT - REUNITED CONTINUES










Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Because it's a picture prompt, the text can only be 300 words. I'm continuing with my story, Reunited. Scroll down to get back to Tuesday Tales and to my website. 

********************

She sighed. The things she had to do to get Ned Collins to commit. Was it worth it? Hell, she had two years of her life invested in him and she wasn’t about to walk away now. Besides, once the deal was signed with CEN, they’d be rolling in money. She could have a nice life.
Better than her mother. No waiting tables and taking in laundry for Cassandra Newsome. No siree. She’d be rich, with a successful husband, unlike her mother, deserted by her bum-of-a-husband and reduced to desperation, trying to support her daughter. Cassie smiled. Mom always said you could love a rich man as easy as a poor one. She was right.

**** 

Ned treated her to a pancake breakfast after a night of love at his place. When she returned home, she retired to her room and turned on her laptop. First she had to find Mike Taylor. She blew her bangs off her face. There must be ten million Mike Taylor’s in the U.S. Then she remembered his middle name –Alston. The kids teased him about it all the time, eventually giving him the nickname of M.A.T.
She began her search on white pages. Then she dug out the mailing she got about her high school reunion. It was happening in September. Perfect timing! She’d have to make sure he was there. She finally located him in Washington, D.C. A smile spread.  Cassie Newsome was good at what she did, she was a winner. Not like her parents. She’d grab that brass ring and hold on to it for dear life.
She undressed and got into bed, but she wasn’t tired. Her mind worked at a hundred miles an hour about how she could meet him, rope him in and get him to play along. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - REUNITED CONTINUES - "TRAIN" IS THE PROMPT #romance #shortstory


Welcome! Thank you for coming. The word prompt is "train" this week. I'm continuing my story, "Reunited." 

***********************

He turned to stare into her eyes. She leaned back.
“You.”
“What?”
“You. Sanderson doesn’t know you’re my partner. You’ve never met. Didn’t you date some loser named Mike something?”
“I had a high school friend named Mike.”
“Didn’t you date him? I thought you told me you took him to the prom.”
“He took me. I saved him from some whack-o girl who liked to target shoot.”
“Then he owes you one.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“I’ve never been more serious in my life,” Ned replied.
“I thought you and I were about to get engaged?” She took a drink.
“Sure, sure, after we film this and sign the biggest deal of our lives.”
“I’m not following,” she replied.
“You don’t have to really reunite with this guy. Don’t sleep with him or anything. Just pretend. Just until we hook the audience Ben Sanderson is looking for.”
“Me?”
“Yeah. You’re hot, Cassie. Beautiful hair, smokin’ body. What does this Mike guy look like?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in ten years.”
“Perfect!! You guys’ll be the perfect Reunited couple.”
“But what about us?”
“There’s still us, baby. Just do this for me and I promise you, the minute you and that jerk break up officially, in the press and online, we’ll get hitched.”
“Really? I have to go through all this just to get you to commit?”
“You know I love you. I never would’ve come to you with this idea if I didn’t trust you.”
“Hey! This was my idea. I came to you.”
“Whatever. I sold it to Sanderson.”
“True. You could sell anything to anyone.”
“Can I sell this to you? It’s our dream. We’ll hit it big and hit the gravy train.”
“Hold your horses. What about Mike?”
A lascivious grin widened Ned’s face. “Seduce him.”
“You want me to sleep with him to get him to agree?”
“Nah, you’re right. Promise him a bonus.”
“A bonus?”
“I’ll think of something. A…a..? I know! A honeymoon trip! Yeah, and all expenses paid trip to somewhere in the Caribbean. He can take anyone he wants, except you. We’ll do it around Christmas time. Perfect.”
“That’s a very romantic time of the year.”
“Almost as good as Valentine’s Day,” Ned said.
“We could get married on Valentine’s Day,” she offered.
“Fine. Rope in Mike. Get this rolling and when the show ends and you two break up, we’ll tie the knot in February. Does that work for you?”
“It’s a little dishonest.”
“Not really. We’re actually reuniting you two.”
“But it’s fake. We’re not looking to make it permanent or anything.”

“So what? Who’ll know? No one. Meantime we’ll have signed a sweet deal and can find another couple to divert the attention of you two breaking up.”

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Monday, January 9, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - COFFEE



Howdy! I'm back. I took a short hiatus to write a holiday story that was eating at me, called The House-Sitter's Christmas for the entire month of December. But I'm back on track with Tuesday Tales now. Reunited is a brand new story, simmering on the back burner for now. I'll be posting it, bit-by-bit here, on Tuesday Tales for a while. Thanks for stopping by.  


REUNITED

 Cassandra Newsome paced in front of the Starbucks on Fifty-third Street, waiting for a call from her business partner, and boyfriend, Ned Collins. He was meeting with the head of programming for Cable Entertainment Network, CEN, the hottest network on television.
She was shocked when he’d agreed to meet with Ned to discuss the idea for their reality television series, Reunited. The call came. Cassie’s hands shook as she answered.
“I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Just tell me what happened,” she said, going inside and sitting at the counter. Cassie ordered a cup of coffee while she listened.
Ned cleared his throat, then did his best imitation of the hotshot executive: 
“We love your idea. Bringing together people who once loved each other and got separated for some reason is intriguing, I grant you. But the half dozen couples you’re ready to shoot are not in our target demographic.” 
“Target demographic?” she asked.
Ned went on: “In plain English, they’re too damn old. No one gives a rat’s ass if a couple of people in their forties or fifties get it on. In fact, some might consider it obscene.” 
“But these people’s stories’ll make viewers cry,” Cassie said.
“I don’t give a flying fuck if the audience cries. I only care that they buy our advertisers products. I can’t see hot new car advertising on your show. More like commercials for Viagra or nursing homes.”
“But…” she tried to interrupt.
“We get all those advertisers on our daytime shows. The game shows and judge shows. Hell, that’s where that audience is. In prime time, you’re talking the 18-34 demographic. And the last thing they want to watch are wrinkled people sucking face.”
“So if we get a couple that’s younger? Would that appeal to him?” She asked.
Ned continued: “If you can find a couple in that age bracket, then we have a deal. I love the premise. Real heart tugging crap. The network president’s gonna love it, and especially his wife. But get me that young, hot, sexy couple who can’t wait to hop into bed, and you’ll have a winner. Sorry. I’ve got another appointment at four. Call my secretary when you’ve got this glitch fixed and we’ll set up another meeting.”
“Really?,” she said, frowning.
 “Meet me at the bar in the St. Regis. I need a drink,” Ned said.
She pushed through the door and joined him. They headed toward a dark room. Sure enough, it was a bar. They were seated at a small table in the empty room. Three o’clock, a little early for the cocktail set.
“I’m not going back to Dickwad and Dickwad, Cassie,” Ned said, sipping his scotch on the rocks.
“I hate advertising, too, but if we can’t get a deal, we don’t have a choice.
“You heard Sanderson, if we can find a younger couple, we’re in,” Ned said.
“Yeah, but where’ll we find someone like that? And would they be willing to go on the show?”
Cassie raised her glass of wine. Ned startled her when he snapped his fingers.
“Wait! I’ve got it.”
“What?”
He turned to stare into her eyes. She leaned back.
“You.”

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