I am still in the process of updating my website. It’s on the priority list; unfortunately, it’s somewhere near the bottom. And I’m okay with this because I’m almost done with Speak Tenderly To Her. I’ve only two and a half chapters left to write. And since I’ve got the last bit outlined and ready for writing, I should be complete within the week. I hope anyway. I’ve learned things can change quickly enough, so my plans tend to be tentative. But I am happy with the progress I’ve made and I am posting another sample. Once the book goes to my beta readers, I’ll begin finishing The Pledge. I will be posting samples of that book in the next few weeks. If you’d like to catch up on the story before it’s complete, you can click here. Until then, thanks for stopping by my blog.
Tory had successfully ignored his mother for six days, but he knew things were quickly coming to a head. He hadn’t returned any of her many phone calls. Plus Charlie was still being curt and Rebecca had yet to call him back. He had called her several times, but each time he got her voicemail.
“You’ve reached Officer Rebecca Garner. If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 9-1-1. Otherwise, please leave a message and I will return your phone call as soon as possible.”
“Becca, please. It’s Tory. I just want to explain. Call me, okay?”
And because he couldn’t think of anything else to say that he hadn’t said already, he hung up. Maybe he had screwed up beyond fixing. But all he needed was one chance, one opportunity to explain everything and fix the situation. Dear God, he sighed, can I please just have one thing go right in my life?
His phone rang. He let out a sigh of relief; certain God had answered his prayer.
“Why haven’t you called me back, Tory Edward Jamison? I have been calling you for days now.”
It was his mother.
Dammit. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
“And don’t even think about hanging up. I’m not above going down to that clinic where my only child is concerned.”
Tory loved his parents and he often humored his mom when it came to her protectiveness over him, but this was one of those times he wished he had siblings so he could deflect the attention she was giving him.
He cleared his throat.
“Don’t get smart with me. Just answer my question.”
“What? I just said hi.”
“You’ve had a week to say hi. Why haven’t you called me back?”
“I’ve been busy here. You know we’re open on Saturdays and I often sleep on Sundays.”
The statement was true-enough.
“What is this I hear about Isobel being back?”
And so it started. Tory rubbed his temple. He could feel a headache forming.
“You shouldn’t believe everything you hear.” He was going to pay for this, but if she left him alone even just for a little while, it would be worth it.
“Missus Cooper said she saw her at church on Sunday. And Missus Cooper is not like those other busy-bodies who have nothing better to do. So is she back? Was that her at church?”
Damn Isobel. She didn’t go to church before. Why did she have to start now?
Well, that’s just the wrong attitude to have, isn’t it? he thought to himself. He should be glad she looking for some form of salvation.
Not when it meant he was going to be harassed by his mother, though.
“I didn’t go, so I can’t verify that.”
“And why didn’t you go?”
I was out drinking…
“I had a late night Saturday.”
“Hmm!” his mother grunted.
“Look, I’m a grown man…”
“So you’re telling me that Isobel hasn’t contacted you?” she interrupted him. “Or that she’s not staying with you? Because if she is…”
“Ma, enough!” he exclaimed, realizing too late that he not only interrupted her, but talked back. He felt like he was ten again. But he wasn’t and his life was just that: his. He didn’t have to explain himself to his mother, his friend or anyone else.
“I just don’t want to see you get hurt again,” his mom declared. “I can’t help it that I worry about you. I’m your mother. You’ll see one day, when you have kids.”
“I know and I appreciate it, but I am capable of taking care of myself. Besides, you know how many Latinas fit Isobel’s description? Short, chunky, brown hair, brown eyes? That could have been anyone.”
His mother was silent. Tory wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not, but he was going to take advantage of it.
“Listen, I’ve gotta get going,” Tory said quickly. “Tell Dad I love him and I’ll talk to you later,” he added and hung up. This would certainly not sit well with her, but he was not discussing his life with her. Not right now.