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Story a Day September: Day 24 – “House Hunting”

Today I used the “a character is trying to sell something to another character” prompt. Since in High on Loving You, Morgan is a real estate agent, this set things up pretty well. Terrall was one of the main characters in an earlier story in the series, Stay a Little Longer. This takes place probably a couple months after High On Loving You.


Morgan stepped out of his car and waited for the man to join him on the sidewalk. “This is the other house I was telling you about,” he said. “I think it checked off nearly everything on your list. It is near the higher end of your price range, but there’s a nice-sized yard out back.”
“That all sounds a little too perfect,” Terrall said. “There has to be something wrong with it.”
Morgan smiled. He’d been all prepared to hold a grudge against this man. Especially since he’d been behind the damage to a good man. But, seeing that man begin to forgive, had helped ease Terrall’s way to becoming a part of the town.
And he’d seen how he was with Jess’ kids. Morgan could appreciate someone who took to kids not their own and acted as more of a parent than that kid’s own. He’d found that in Anna for his own daughter. And Terrall had done that times three with Jess, plus he’d seen the way Terrall fawned over his heavily pregnant girlfriend. And that baby wasn’t his, either.
Yeah, he thought Terrall was a good man, despite the mistakes he’d made as a younger man.
“It may need a little work inside,” he admitted. “Nothing major. I’ll let you see it for yourself, though.”
He stepped up onto the porch and used his key to unlock the door. The dark wooden paneling in the entryway made it seem darker in here than it should be. But, he flipped on a light and led the way into the kitchen. He glanced back at Terrall and saw his eyes taking in everything. If Morgan wasn’t mistaken, he was already making a list of things in his head. “You can remodel, of course. A lighter wood or even stripping it down and painting would brighten this up. The kitchen was just redone a couple years ago, though. There’s a dining room right through there,” he said, pointing across the kitchen. It would easily accommodate a table for six people.
Terrall didn’t have much to say to that, so Morgan led him in the other direction. He pointed out the other rooms, a bathroom in the hallway, stairs leading down to a finished basement. “That could be a family room, or possibly make it into another bedroom.”
“How many bedrooms are there?” Terrall asked. “We’d like the kids to each have their own if we can. That’s one of the problems with Jess’ current place. I know you rented it to her, but that was before Clay was born. Him and Paul have been sharing a room, but with almost six years between them, that’s getting hard.”
Morgan could understand that. Paul was nearly nine. He’d be on a different schedule than his three-year-old brother. “The master bedroom is this way, and there’s a smaller bedroom on this floor. And two upstairs.” He could see Terrall doing the math there and frowning. “And as I said, the downstairs could be arranged into a bedroom. The living room up here is decently-sized if you didn’t want a separate family room.”
Morgan showed him the two bedrooms on the first floor. “This smaller one would make a nice nursery and it’s not far from the master.” He let Terrall explore for a few minutes then led him up the stairs. The rooms were currently empty, but there was plenty of room for beds, dressers, desks and more besides that.”
“Can I see the basement?” Terrall asked when they were back in the living room.
Morgan led him down those stairs and waited while he prowled around the large space. It was carpeted down here and rather wide open. But, Morgan could see it as a bedroom, too. “This would be nice for Paul,” Terrall finally said. He faced Morgan again and flashed a wide grin. “I like it. I’ll have to talk to Jess and bring her to see it. But, it’s definitely a strong possibility.”
Morgan reached out to shake his hand. “Just let me know when she’s available to take the tour, and I’ll set it up. Hopefully we’ll get you into it soon.”
Terrall nodded. “Yeah. Let’s hope so.”

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Whether/Weather”

“Weather be damned,” Anna said, grabbing her coat off the hook. Damn snow. But, it was almost Christmas, and if she didn’t go now, she’d be going to the mall on Christmas Eve. And there was no way that was happening.

It had stopped coming down so hard at least. She shouldn’t have a problem getting out there, as long as the roads had been cleared.

She pushed her door open then stumbled back as a figure loomed over her on the porch. “Morgan,” she said, her hand on her chest, “you scared me.”

“Sorry,” he said, his voice gruff. “I wasn’t expecting you to come out right that moment.”

“Of course. What did you want?” Morgan didn’t usually just come over to her house. No matter how much she wished he would.

Even with her porch light on, his face was in shadows, but she saw the worry flash through his eyes. “Have you seen Raina? Kacy called and said she can’t find her anywhere around the house?”

“You mean she actually looked for her this time?” Anna blurted and caught Morgan’s grimace.

“Apparently. trust me, I ripped into her about that last time. I still can’t believe she went all night not knowing her own daughter was missing. And that the judge wouldn’t even consider rescinding the unsupervised visitation after that. Apparently she hadn’t put our daughter in enough danger.”

Anna reached out and laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry, Morgan. And no, I haven’t seen her. The last time she hid out in the diner kitchen. Why don’t we go down and check there?”

“Thanks, Anna. Raina is…she’s my everything.”

“I know, Morgan. We’ll find her. If she’s not at the diner, we’ll call out some people to search. But, we will find her.”

They had just headed down the street when someone called out his name. They turned and saw Morgan’s sister’s girlfriend waving at them from her porch. Morgan stood where he was, but Anna tugged on his arm. “We have to find her,” he said, his voice strained. “Not visit.”

“And maybe they can help,” she reminded him.

When they reached the porch, Anna saw a little face peering out from behind the doorframe. And she let out a long breath. “Thank God.”

“Raina, come out here,” Morgan said, his voice  trembling. His daughter ran to him, and he dropped to his knees to gather her close. “You had me so scared,” he said. “You have to stop doing this.”

“I’m sorry,” she cried. “I just want to go home with you.”

“Not tonight,” he told her. “You have to go back to your mom’s tonight. But, I’ll be picking you up tomorrow night and bringing you home. Okay?”

The girl looked very much like that was not okay with her. But, she nodded. Morgan took her hand and headed for the sidewalk. He glanced back at Anna. “Thanks.”

“I didn’t really do anything,” she said.

“You kept me from totally losing it,” he said.

She watched him walk away and let out a sigh. “I should get going. I still have to finish my shopping.”

“You getting something special for Morgan?” Susan asked with a laugh.

“Like he’d even accept it from me,” she muttered. “Anyway I’ll see you around. Thanks for taking care of Raina.”

“She’s practically my niece. I don’t need thanks.”

Anna headed off, walking back to her house to get her car. And, yes, she was going to get something for Morgan, whether he would accept it or not.


This Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use weather/whether in any way we wanted. I’m plotting out Morgan and Anna’s story right now, so I figured I could write about them and this just kind of took off.

Story a Day: Day 23 – “The List”

“I don’t know what your problem is.”

Morgan glanced at the woman he’d once thought he could have made a life with. For about five seconds after she told him she was pregnant. She didn’t care. She had never cared. “Do I really need to make a list?”

“You don’t have to be so cruel about it.”

“Cruel? How am I the one being cruel? You left our six-year-old daughter home by herself so you could go on a date. You don’t call me when the babysitter cancels when you know I’d be willing to have extra time with Raina. You conveniently forget when it’s my weekend to have her, yet threaten to call the police if I’m even five minutes late bringing her back.”

“Well, you’ve taken care of that, haven’t you?” she snapped at him. “You and your precious lawyer made sure I can’t even see her unless someone else is there.”

“The last time she was under your supervision, and I use that term loosely, she fell down the stairs and broke her arm.”

“I still fail to see how that is my fault. She should have stayed in bed.”

Morgan was having an extremely hard time hanging on to his temper. But, he knew it was necessary. If he lost it, she’d probably use it to say he was the one who was a danger to their daughter the next time they went to court. “She was looking for you. But, you weren’t even home. She could have suffered a lot worse than a broken arm because you put your pleasure before her needs.”

She opened her mouth, but he couldn’t sit there and listen to any more of her excuses. “I’m done,” he said, grabbing the receipt from his lunch. He’d already given Anna the money to pay for it. “I have to go pick our daughter up from school. If you have anything else to say, you can relay it through Brian.”

“I don’t want to speak to your lawyer,” she insisted. “We can settle this ourselves.”

“Obviously we can’t,” Morgan said, “or we wouldn’t be going through this in the first place.” he left the diner, but he knew this wasn’t the end of this. Kacy wouldn’t give up until she got her way.

He just hoped he could protect Raina from as much of the fallout as possible. She didn’t need to understand yet that her mother only saw her as a weapon to use against him.


Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story in the form of a list. So, this isn’t so much that. But, more lead-up to High on Your Love, the story I started plotting yesterday. Morgan’s shown up in the last couple stories in this series, so I know some of what’s been leading to this.

Story a Day: Day 21 – “Visitation”

Morgan strode out of the courtroom, his steps heavy, his mood almost as much so. The man beside him was silent as they headed through the courthouse. Until they reached the steps outside. “I’m sorry, Morgan,” Brian said.

“I just can’t believe it. Why would he side with her?”

Brian sighed. “Because there are still some judges who believe a child is better off with their mother. Even if all the evidence points to the contrary. And it’s not custody. You still have that. It’s just visitation.”

“Unsupervised visitation,” Morgan grumbled. “The last time Raina was with her unsupervised, she ended up with a broken arm. She doesn’t want Raina, she only wants to use her as a weapon against me.”

“And I am sorry for that,” Brian said. “We can take her back to court, but there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be any different. She made a convincing portrayal of contrition for her past mistakes. If I hadn’t seen the uglier side of her during this whole debacle, I might have believed it myself.”

“So, you don’t think she’s really changed? That she’ll do the same things all over again.”

“It’s a very good possibility,” Brian said. “And if she does, she’ll be lucky to keep even supervised visitation.”

Morgan just hoped his daughter wasn’t hurt by the fallout of that.


Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story dealing with societal worldbuilding. This might not be quite what the prompt was going for, but it’s some plotting for the next novel in my Kurztown series. There’s been bits and pieces of this through the last few books, but I’m finally going to get around to writing Morgan’s story.

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