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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.

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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: “You’re/Your”

Time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. Today’s prompt was “your/you’re/yore” I’m almost finished with the plotting for Defending the Heart, but it was a couple other characters who jumped into my head this morning. I didn’t think I’d be writing their story yet. but, they’ve convinced me it need to move up in the line. I don’t have any of it plotted yet, but I did write out some parts of scenes in my head one day while we were on the motorcycle. So, there’s that.

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You’re really going to do this?”

Terrall ran one large hand over his head while he held the phone to his ear. He felt the bristle of the hair growing back in. Not shaving it all off again might be the hardest part of deciding to change himself. “Yes, Mother,” he said, trying to hold on to his patience. He should have known better than to answer the phone when he saw her number. “We’ve already discussed this.”

“I still do not see why you won’t just come home. You don’t have anything to make up for.”

Only because your sense of entitlement is too large to let you see it. “You know exactly what I need to make up for, Mother. I would have done it seven years ago, if you hadn’t pulled all those strings.”

“Well, did you really think I’d just let my baby boy rot in a jail cell?”

He moved his hand down to grip the back of his neck. “I deserved to be there, Mother. That’s the point you’re not getting. I didn’t deserve everything I got when someone else-”

“Enough, Terrall,” she said, her voice sharp. He knew better than to argue with her when she took on that tone. “You’ve brought enough shame on us by that public spectacle last summer. Now, you’re back in that backwards town. It is only asking for trouble.”

“Lieutenant Berman  has given me an opportunity here. He could have just written me off after what happened. Instead I have a chance to give back. I don’t see why you have such a problem with that.”

“If you bring more shame to us-”

“I don’t see what could be more shameful than me walking away when I left one person dead and the other broken.” Doren likely wouldn’t like being described that way, but hopefully it would get his point across. “Nothing I do will make that right, but I can at least do everything I can to balance the scales a little. I’m doing this, Mother, no matter what you say about it.”

There was a sharp sound then…nothing. He pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at the screen. Yeah, she’d hung up on him. Not all that surprised, he clipped it back onto his belt.

“Parental expectations can be hell, can’t they?”

He spun around, his gaze latching onto the woman standing a few feet away on the sidewalk. She looked familiar, but he couldn’t place why. “You eavesdropping on my conversation?”

One corner of her mouth tugged up. “I just stepped out of the store there and caught the last part. I don’t know what it was about, but I understand disappointing your parents.” He didn’t like what he saw flash through her eyes, but he didn’t know how to make it go away. Then, she was sticking her hand out. “Jess Amadeo. Haven’t I seen you around?”

He gripped her hand in his much larger and darker one. “Terrall Shreeve. I haven’t been here in over a year, and I don’t live here.”

“Strange. I thought you looked familiar. Well, I have to get going, but maybe I’ll see you around. Hope you can work things out with your mom.”

“Thanks, but that’s unlikely.”

She smiled at him then turned and walked away. Well, maybe there was more than one reason to stick around here for a little bit.

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I may have trouble with this one. Drunk driving is one thing I have trouble finding any sympathy for. And yet, somehow, Terrall has burrowed his way in. So, I guess we’ll see if he can find any redemption.

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