Home of a mother, wife, writer

This was actually a perfect Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “man”, for the dialogue that popped into my head the other day between a few characters. This will come near the end of Heart of Christmas, which I’ve been plotting.

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“Why would you want to do that?” Caelen asked Alaina. “What if I turn out like him?”

“Why would you? That man isn’t even your father.”

The words were soft, gentle, but he still flinched away from them. Just as he always had from the man himself. “Maybe not, but he’s the one that raised me. I don’t even know who my real father is because he had no interest in me. Just like my mother. Just like everyone in my life.”

Alaina opened her mouth as if to argue, but a voice behind them said, “That’s not true, little brother, and you know it.” Braeden stepped into the room, carrying something under one arm. “Not all the way true, at least. Not everyone has walked from you. I never did.”

The heat of shame flushed through him, leaving his face stained red, he was sure. “I’m sorry, Brae. I know, but-”

“But nothing. And you were too young to know everything going on in this house before she walked. I saw what he did when she told him she was pregnant with you. She left then and only came back then because the man she was with, your father, was being deployed, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to make it on her own. And Da was cruel to her, Cae. Every moment of every day. I’m surprised she managed to stick it out for five years.”

He saw Alaina’s brother, Declan, lift his head at the other side of the room at the mention of the man being deployed. But, Caelen couldn’t think about that. There was too much emotion rushing through him.

“She could have at least taken us with her.”

Braeden shook his head. “He never would have let me go, and she didn’t know if she could take care of herself, let alone either or the both of us.”

“How can you just forgive her?” He wasn’t sure he ever could. “She left us at his mercy. He beat you, too.” Usually because Braeden stepped in the way when he’d wanted to hurt Caelen.

“I’ve spoken to her. The day after I turned eighteen, in fact. He couldn’t do anything to me then.”

Caelen could only stare at him. Why hadn’t he known his brother had gone to the woman who had abandoned them? He was about to ask but Braeden continued before he could get a word out.

“She wasn’t in a good place, Cae. She’d been living with your father, but he’d been killed in action a little more than a year before that. She still wasn’t in a place to take care of any one but herself. I told her what life had been like for us, and I know she felt terrible, but she couldn’t face it. I did what I could to make him leave you alone because she couldn’t, Caelen.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“Because I didn’t want it to hurt you anymore. And you never showed any signs of being ready to forgive her for getting out of  a cocked up situation.”

“Why now then?”

“I visited her for Christmas. She gave me this for you. Even if you don’t want to speak with her, she wanted you to have something from him.”

Declan had made his way over to stand behind Alaina. Caelen flicked open the latch on the box Braeden set on the table. On the top sat a photo. He reached for it, ran his thumb over the woman, one he hadn’t seen in nearly two decades. He couldn’t bring himself to look at the man.

“Can I see that?” Declan asked.

“I don’t even know who he is. Having his picture won’t help.” But, he handed it over.

“I do,” Declan said softly. “I thought there was something familiar about you.”

Caelen’s head jerked up, and he stared at Declan. “What do you mean?”

Declan tapped the photo. “Caelen Mulroney. My father served with him. He wasn’t happy when Da decided to leave the army and move us to Texas to be with Mom and Alaina, but they stayed in touch. And we came back here for his funeral. I remember Da speaking to her. She’d started living with him about the time we left.”

“I remember,” Alaina said. “I was so angry they let you miss a week of school, but I still had to go.”

Declan’s mouth ticked up at that, and he handed the picture back. Caelen couldn’t look away from it. There was so much he wanted to know, and yet he was afraid to find out. Alaina seemed to sense his mixed-up feelings. She brushed a kiss over his cheek. “We’ll leave you alone to look at this.”

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That turned out longer than I expected. And I’m sure there’ll be more to this when I put it with the rest of the story that’s still to be written.

I’m back with another scene from my fleshing out of Midas’ Daughter. Here we’ll see more of Calla’s interactions with her father.

Calla made her way down to the fountain in the middle of her father’s yard. She settled on the wide base of the pool and trailed her fingers through the water as more trickled down from the three tiers until it fell back into the pool. Something about the cycle of it soothed her frayed nerves. Her father had it installed when he’d moved her mother into the house with him, before Calla had even been born. Maybe that was part of what soothed her as well.
Her father, Dario Midas, was already a wealthy man, so she didn’t understand why he only cared about making even more money. Sometimes she wanted him to see she was right here, to know she mattered more than any business deal or wealth he attained. Other times she just wanted to get away. To find someone who wanted her and not her father’s wealth.
He was in another of his moods today, and it was always best to make herself scarce in these moments. Not that he’d ever raised his hand to her, but she’d be another target for his angry words. Even though, she wasn’t quite sure what had brought this mood on tonight.
She shook her head as she looked into the pool of water in the fountain. All of that was likely wishful thinking. Yet she couldn’t stop it. Everyone said he had the golden touch when it came to business, but he drove every woman in his life away. And he failed to see her, the only one who remained through it all. Maybe she would go as well, if only she had the means. She couldn’t touch any of her money yet, so she was still stuck.
She pushed back up from the fountain, knowing she should go back in and check that he hadn’t done too much damage this time. Hopefully he’d calmed by now anyway. When she stepped inside, the tension was still thick. All of the house employees averted their eyes, and she wanted to head back out of the house. That wasn’t the way to get her father to see her. So, she headed toward his office, even if it was the last place she wanted to be.
She knocked on the door but pushed it open without waiting for a response. Her father sat at his desk, his hands clasped at the back of his head, staring down at the top of the desk. She approached slowly, hoping whatever upset him had passed now.
By the looks of the room, that wasn’t the case. Liquid dripped down the wall on the other side of the room. Glass lay shattered below it. Calla sighed. She’d likely have to order more glasses soon.
“Father, are you all right?”
“Go away, Calla.”
I would if you’d release my trust. She didn’t like the thought going through her head. She was all he had left, and she should want to be here with him. And whose fault is it he has no one else? Certainly not mine.
Another ugly thought that seemed to go through her head at least once a day. She shoved it back down and went to clean up the mess he’d made.
“That’s not for you to do.” There was a distinct snarl in his voice.
“I can handle it, Father. Cook should just about have dinner ready. I’ll meet you in the dining room.”
He sniffed, but his chair creaked as he stood and his footsteps headed toward the doorway. After a slight hesitation, the door closed behind him. Her eyes shouldn’t be burning. She’d brought this on herself. The maids didn’t deserve to deal with the effects of her father’s temper. Still, it was her fault if that’s all he saw her as.

This was actually the opening scene in the original version of this story. Next week, we’ll see the fallout, or at least a hint of it, from this one.

Ok, not literally. That would be really cold. But, it’s been snowing here pretty steadily since the other night. Not as bad as some places, but we’ve definitely gotten a good amount. Not enough for them to even delay school, though.

And I’ve made a lot of progress on my writing goals for the week. As in, I’ve checked everything on my weekly goals list off. So, I’ll be working on my A-Z posts for the rest of the week during my writing time.

And before I get to more on that, it’s WiPPet Wednesday!! I thought I’d be sharing from one of my side projects, if that’s what I had open when I got to working on this post, but since everything is done, I’ll share some more from Stay a Little Longer. I have 15 paragraphs today(simple math this time). Mike is Jess’ daughter’s father, and their at his house for the daughter’s birthday.

Twenty minutes later she was pulling into his driveway. And saw Terrall’s car already parked there. Her stomach twisted a little. He was early. She was hoping to get there in time to introduce him. She looked up and saw the two dark-skinned men standing on the porch together, looking out at her.
She took a deep breath then stepped out of the car, going around to get Clay out of his seat. Paul was already standing at the front of the car, the gift he’d made and wrapped himself in his hands. “Why’s he here?” he asked, looking at Terrall.
“He’s my friend, Paul,” she said, wishing they could be even more than that. “I invited him.”
Her son didn’t say anything else, but he seemed wary as he approached the porch. Mike ruffled the boy’s hair, and Paul ducked away even as he laughed. Then, her ex took Clay from her arms and quickly flipped him upside down. Her son giggled, and Jess couldn’t help but smile. She loved hearing that sound. He might not talk much, but he was a happy child. That meant she had to be doing something right, didn’t it?
She glanced at Terrall then back to Mike. “I’ll get the rest of the things out of the car. Be right back.”
By the time she’d opened the trunk, Terrall was standing next to her. “Do you need help with anything?” he asked.
She looked up at him, feeling the smile spread even as razor-tipped wings fluttered in her stomach. She couldn’t remember any one else ever making her feel like this. “You can tell me why you’re here so early,” she said.
“You told me the party started at one, but you’d be here earlier to set up. I figured I’d lend a hand if I could.”
It was a sweet thing to do. She hadn’t asked him to do it. She handed him the cake box. “You can take this into the kitchen.” She grabbed the box of favor bags and started to lift it. But, he nudged her aside and set the cake on top of it, lifting both boxes at once.
Jess sighed. “I can lift a little box, Terrall.”
He leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to her lips. She moaned and leaned into him. His tongue grazed her lips then he jerked back, as if he’d forgotten himself for a moment. And his eyes were dark when she met them. He just smiled at her then started toward the house. She sighed again and grabbed the pinata she’d purchased the other day. At least he was letting her carry that.
“So, I met Mike,” he said as they walked up the sidewalk. “Seems like a nice guy.”
“He is,” Jess said. “Like I told you, we’re still friends even though we didn’t work out. Neither of us see Alex as a rope that needs to be tugged between us.” Unlike the way Frank seemed to think of Paul.
“Met his…partner, too.”
A corner of her mouth ticked up at his hesitation. “Boyfriend is the term they use,” she told him. “And it’s fine. I knew when Mike and I first got together that he was bi. It never bothered me. And Fadil has been good for him. I wish them all the happiness in the world.”

So, I almost want to write Mike and Fadil’s story now. Every time mike shows up in this one, I like him more and more. Not sure I’ll ever get to that one, though it may end up being a short story or novella.

Now, as promised, my progress for the week.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 1496 words on Alaina’s back story, 649 on Caelen’s back story. 2145 words so far this month
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 28269 words/45000, 27/38 scenes for the month. 7906 words/9 scenes this week. I wrote 5k on this just Tuesday morning. The words were definitely flowing.
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 3349/5000 words so far this month. 1014 since last check-in. 63/63 comments applied to Patrick & Sarah & posted to Patreon. And sent chapter 2 to beta.  51/51 comments applied to Tavin & Haiwee, have read through 5/9 in Snow White Twist.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 2/10 new scenes finished this month, started on the 3rd. 3/40 scenes edited. 2580 words added this month. 1022 since last check-in
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 2/24 for the month. 160 words on E post. 0 since last check-in. I’ll be working on these this afternoon and the rest of the week, though.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 26 posts

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 3/8 for the month, 0 since last check-in
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – just started this one Wednesday morning. On Chapter 23.
  • Read: 31 books – 13/31 for the month, 2 since last check-in. I set aside several that my MIL gave me. They just didn’t pull me in.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Reading this when I finish the rest of the books on my weekly list. On page: 181/314(not counting all the end notes & index)
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments. I’m on Chapter 7/166(If I counted right. The chapters are labeled with POV characters’ names instead of numbers).
    • The Ranger(Monica McCarty) – Read this on Monday. Really enjoyed it.
    • Wanderlust(Roni Loren) – I started this one after setting several others aside(ones my MIL had given to me, and they just didn’t grab me). I’ve actually read it before when it was part of an anthology, but I’ll always re-read a Roni Loren book. I finished reading it last night. It was a pretty quick one, but just as good as I remember(though there was one detail I believe was changed).
    • First and First(Santino Hassell) – Just started this morning. At 2%.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – started this on Monday. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 36/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section. Almost finished round 37 but ran out of yarn.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat – will be starting this today probably.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – I finished the scarf on Sunday.

I’m back with another teaser from Stained Blood. This one comes right after last week’s.

Carl was scowling now as Jacob continued to talk. His gaze shifted to his son then back to the man challenging him. “You can’t really mean to do this,” he finally said.
“I do,” Jacob insisted. “You’ve had your chance with this town. Now, I think it’s time for something different.”
“You’ll never convince this town you have its best interests in mind. You’re nothing but a shiftless rambler. Everyone knows it. You have to stick around town to be able to protect it.”
Barrett watched every muscle in Jacob’s neck and face tighten. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me, sheriff, if that’s what you really believe. And there’s a lot more to keeping the people in this town safe than just pinning a badge on your chest and kicking your feet up on the desk in there.”
Carl’s face went red at that, and Barrett jumped in. “That’s great, Jacob. I’m glad you took my advice and decided to run in this race.” He turned to look at the sheriff. “After all, what kind of race would it be if you were running all by yourself?”
Carl turned his scowl on Barrett, but it seemed to disarm him at the same time. The red faded from his face and his breathing settled, his fists finally unclenching. “I can’t stop you,” he spit into the dirt at Jacob’s feet. “But don’t think it will be so easy to best me.”

So, is change going to come to this town? Or will everything end up staying the same?

Gotta love the time change for Daylight Savings Time. Or not. Totally not. Although “springing forward” means my kids might actually almost sleep in. 😉 Actually, they’re both still up before 7, which yesterday would have been before 6. So, not much on the sleeping in thing.

I had a pretty good week, progress-wise. Met all my writing goals, got all my reading done, started a new short story I plan to submit for this year’s World Unknown Review(it’s the second one I’ve started toward that, hopefully this one fares better). Today our church is doing a 1st responder’s appreciation thing so we’ll be going to that. Then, we’re going down to meet my family for lunch for my grandpa’s birthday. So, that will be a big chunk of my Sunday. Hoping I can still get stuff done around it.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 1496 words on Alaina’s back story for this month, 1069 since last Sunday and finished it. Will be starting Caelen’s back story this week
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 20363 words/45000, 18/42 scenes for the month. 13790 words/12 scenes since Sunday
    • Still, Jess had made promises to herself. That she was done with men. That she wouldn’t bring another into her kids’ lives. That she had to put them first. The last was the only one that truly mattered, though. And she was so tired. Tired of acting like she was doing more than keeping her mouth and nose above water. Tired of doing it all on her own. Tired of sleeping alone. Just tired.
      So she didn’t listen to Terrall’s warning. This didn’t have to mean anything more than two lonely people coming together. “I’m not asking you for forever,” she said, sliding her hands up his stomach under his shirt. “My boys are at my parents’ tonight, and Alex is still at her dad’s. And I don’t want to be alone.”
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 2335/5000 words so far this month. 1225 words since Sunday. 56/63 comments applied to Patrick & Sarah. 26/51 comments applied to Tavin & Haiwee, have read through 5/9 in Snow White Twist(2 this week)
    • Midas’ Daughter – 161 words – “You even think about hitting me, boy, and you will find yourself out of a job, a roof, a family, faster than you can blink.”
      He did just that—blink—as he stared up at his boss. “I-I’m sorry, sir,” he finally managed to stammer. “I didn’t know it was you. You startled me.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 87-ish words – Her face was still drawn in hard lines, but he thought her eyes had softened with…confusion, maybe. Just how had people been treating her in the years since her husband had died? But, something about these two pulled at him. He couldn’t explain it.Patrick had fought in the war, too, and had seen too many men fall. Men who had left widows and possibly even orphans. He’d never worried about helping any of them before.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – -12 words – Tavin couldn’t help but smile over at her. He could hear the affection and pride in her voice when she spoke of her brother. In his mind, that meant he had to be a good guy.  *some of the few new words I wrote(32, then I cut 44)
    • Roman – 143 words – “I’m sorry,” he said, even though she hadn’t even spoken yet. He started unbuttoning his shirt as he walked across the room. “I didn’t realize it had gotten so late. I got caught up in my work.” He dropped the shirt in the hamper then started to remove his slacks. “I didn’t think you’d wait up for me.”
    • Dougal & Shae – 111 words – Maybe his dad could help him figure out what to do about the woman he couldn’t get out of his head.
    • Mason & Lila – 120 words – “Need a quick tutoring session?” Brian asked.Mason banged his head against the locker. “Maybe if I thought that was actually going to do any good. I swear he knows the problems that give me the most trouble and makes sure they’re all that’s on quizzes and tests.” *oh, poor Mason. And all he did was want to date the man’s daughter.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 186 words – Matthew leaned back into Jacob’s touch. “I always said I wouldn’t go back there. After Ma died, nothing was right. Then, he married her, and they had [xx], and it was like I stopped existing. The few times I’ve visited, we have done nothing but fight. What reason do I have for returning to that?”
    • Hang On – 153 words – “I said I was coming,” I told him as I finally yanked the door open. The man on the porch shook his head, nearly white-blond hair falling into his face. “No. I certainly would remember if you’d given me that much information. You said hang on, but I can’t do that in public.” *Haven’t even named this character yet, but I like his sense of humor.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 2/10 new scenes finished this month. 2/40 scenes edited. 1558 words added this month. 1100 since Sunday
    • The truth was he was a coward. A damn yellow-bellied coyote. Seeing her made him want so much. And he wasn’t sure he deserved any of it.
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 2/24 for the month. 508 words on D post, 361 since last check-in. Finished D. 160 words on E post. I may not finish drafting all of these this month, but hopefully will at least have a good start.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 26 posts

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 3/8 for the month, 2 since last Sunday
    • In Her Sights(Robin Perini) – enjoyed this one.
    • Need You for Keeps(Marina Adair) – finished this one last night. Really enjoyed it(and listened to the end as a break from the emotional rollercoaster I was reading).
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – just started this one Wednesday morning. On Chapter 15.
  • Read: 31 books – 11/31 for the month, 9 since last Sunday
    • Hope Burns(Jaci Burton) – enjoyed this one, though the resolution seemed a little too, I don’t know, rushed I guess.
    • Gone to Die(Stacy Green) – I had some issues with this one. Some of it felt out of character. And I just went “of course, the sadistic killer was raised by her killer truck driver father. Because truck drivers are always criminals.” That portrayal bothers me. My husband was driving truck when I met him, and I just…ugh, it irritates me.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Reading this when I finish the rest of the books on my weekly list. On page: 23/314(not counting all the end notes & index)
    • Lucky Break(Carly Phillips) – I liked this one okay. Probably wouldn’t have finished the trilogy, though, if I hadn’t had all three books. Still, it was a light read.
    • History is All You Left Me(Adam Silvera) – Finished this Wednesday afternoon. Just, so, so good.  This had me crying within 50 pages. And a couple pages later, I was laughing again. I actually had to take a break and listen to the end of a romance. This was breaking my heart so bad. There are some downsides to being such an emotional reader.
    • Suffer Love(Ashley Herring Blake) – On page 12/344. Started this while waiting for the kids’ bus Wednesday afternoon, though it was kind of windy to read a physical book outside. Finished it Wednesday night. It was a nice, fairly light and quick read. Really enjoyed it. And needed it after the emotional roller coaster of the last book.
    • Burning Bright(various) – this was a collection of love stories set around Hanukkah. I couldn’t get into the first three, but read the last one(by an author I’ve read before) and enjoyed that one.
    • Against the Odds(Kat Martin) – started this one Thursday morning. Finished it Friday. Have an issue with a side character. Saying she has to force her daughter(5 years old, I think) into wearing dresses and playing with “girl” things. No, no, no. Just don’t. I’m hoping that attitude will be challenged in the book. And it’s not like it’s an older book. It was published in 2013. Update on the mini rant: She did finally realize she was being stupid about this, at least. And other than that issue, I mostly enjoyed the book.
    • Red Zone(Mari Carr) – Started this one Friday night. Finished it yesterday. Really enjoyed it.
    • Dangerous(R.G. Alexander) – read this one yesterday. enjoyed it, too.
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – started this on Monday. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 16/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – I finished the scarf on Sunday.

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m continuing to share from Dance with the Devil this month(next month I’ll probably share from what I’m writing for the A-Z challenge which is the next story in this series). For now, we have 10 sentences from the next chapter. The Riders are going to face down their rivals, try to get the problems between them ended. Devil’s feeling a little uneasy, though(since these are the guys who have beat him up twice, he has good reason).

I looked back at Hawk once as we headed to our positions. Once we were in place, Bull and Icarus would finally approach the house. There was a wariness in Hawk’s eyes. It wasn’t exactly unusual to see it there. He always seemed to be watching for what could go wrong, but there was something more here, I was sure of it.

I wanted to ask him what was wrong, but it was too late for that now. I’m sure he’d tell me it was nothing. Just a bad feeling, or something like that. But, I knew to trust his bad feelings. They were usually spot-on.

Is something wrong? Should Devil have asked about what Hawk’s worried about? You might find out next week.

Last week I shared the first scene of Midas’ Daughter. Today I have the next one. Here you’ll get to meet Flip, who was mentioned in last week’s scene. And if you missed starting this last week, you can read it here.

“You must be kidding me.”
A part of Flip Castellan wanted to shrink away from the angry man. The same part that always had from the time he’d moved here with his father as a just barely sixteen-year-old. Six years later, and he still hated it just as much. So, he shoved it away and stood a little straighter. “I’m not, Mr. Midas. I told you when Mr. Dobrin called the other day, that he didn’t want to go through with the deal any longer.”
“What the hell did you do to make him change his mind?”
Of course, it was his fault. Everything was always his fault. Even when it wasn’t. “I didn’t do anything, Mr. Midas. He-”
“Maybe that’s the problem. Your father never would have let this happen. Letting him put you in charge was a mistake.”
Flip’s hand tightened into a fist at his side. His father had needed to step back. His health had been declining. It had improved once he was away from the stress of dealing with Dario Midas’ temper tantrums. Flip had been picking up the slack for him even before he’d taken that step back. Who was Mr. Midas to tell him he couldn’t do the job when he’d been doing it all along?
But, he didn’t bother trying to interrupt his boss. He’d learned long ago, that there was no point in that. He’d just keep railing on, and it could very well cost Flip his job. He couldn’t let that happen. For more than just the money it brought him. But, he didn’t let his gaze go anywhere near the main house. Near Calla. That would give everything away.
He was still ranting along, but Flip barely heard anything he said. It wasn’t important what he said anyway. He was laying all the blame for what had gone wrong on Flip’s shoulders.
“You better fix this,” Mr. Midas said. “You have until the end of the week.”
“But, that’s tomorrow,” Flip said. Then added quickly, “Sir.”
“Then, you’d better get on the phone and figure out where you went wrong. And be quick about it.”
He turned and strode out of the barn, leaving Flip standing there. Flip fisted his hands a couple times, trying to let go of the anger as well. That man didn’t know just how much he did around here, while he was shut in his office or meeting with his fellow rich men. And he didn’t get, probably never would, that it was his own attitude that tended to lose him deals. Not anything Flip did or didn’t do.
He left the office in the barn and headed down the aisle to the only occupied stall. He reached up and petted the mare’s face. “He doesn’t even see, does he? Not what he does to himself. Not what he does to you or Calla, either. Not that I think he’d change if he did know.”
The horse snorted and nudged his shoulder. As if she agreed with him, or maybe it was just the mention of her mistress’s name. He dug a carrot out of his pocket and offered it to the mare. “I’m sure she’ll be to see you as soon as she can.” And it would probably be best if he wasn’t around when did come. He couldn’t risk Mr. Midas seeing them together and making assumptions.
He patted the mare’s neck. “I better go start making those calls. If I get canned, I won’t be able to take care of you or her.”
And that was something he couldn’t let happen.

 

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