A Heart of Deception Part 2
This is a 13 part series, featuring a chapter each of my novel, A Heart of Deception. The book can be found in it's entire original format at www.redcabincrimemysteries.bravehost.com
A Heart of Deception Part 1
Holly Everten was lying lifeless on the cool cement that had befriended her for an indefinite amount of time. Blood pooled around her once deep, blond locks that were now a crusty russet hue. Her long elegant fingers she once lavished attention to had several nails ripped off them. Her slender legs had been methodically broken in several places from a wicket. The telltale rivets were scarring a faded tan she had once proudly displayed with flirty shorts on occasion. She could not see well from one of her eyes because it had been swollen shut, yet she knew that her petite feet were gone. They were now replaced by crude scars and bandaging...see more
2 Holly and Darrell settled into Rex Fields, a dry, warm, southern town near Oklahoma and Louisiana border. It was their second home since getting married. This one was special because they were buying it. Rex Fields was not far from the mid-sized Louisiana town of Screaming Trees, where Holly and Darrell both grew up, but never crossed paths due to both moving away in their early teen years.
Right a way, Holly wanted to have kids. She knew with Darrell's long, dark eyelashes, his tall frame, olive complexion, and deep ruby lips would collaborate well with her fair complexion. They soon realized that despite having all of the resources possible at their disposal, they would not realize that dream. It would be especially cruel that as an aspiring biological engineer, studying at WestfordCollege on the weekends, Darrell could not give Holly this one gift. Darrell fulfilled personal enrichment through giving to others, and not giving Holly a baby made him fear that she would stop loving him eventually.
Holly had quit her career in social work thinking the work-related stress would aggravate their infertility. Despite the tenuous rehabilitation, Holly had a hard time as well working in that field due to her brain injury. She did not want Darrell to doubt her commitment to him and their marriage by not trying to have a baby. Even though Holly believed erroneously that everything would work out, a conjecture she defaulted on naturally, in the end there were not answers that could be infallibly reached.
Not having the opportunity to prove he was worthy to be a dad, Darrell inveterately thought about his own dad who was not a part of his life from the moment his mom knew she was pregnant with him. A product of a single uneducated mother and born out of wedlock, Darrell developed a sense of caring and maturity fast in his young life.
Darrell's dad had been released on parole from prison after committing a string of burglaries at local mom and pop stores, when Darrell was only a small boy, perhaps just 4 years old. Garret Fleischer had tried to contact Darrell, but unbeknownst by little Darrell, his mom would not hear of it and placed a restraining order on Garret. Jacinda (“Jacie) Everton became very ill and eventually could not care for Darrell so her cousin Mae stepped in and raised him from the time he was 8 years old.
Darrell awoke from his daydream about his parents that afternoon and instructed his devastated wife that he would take care of her and that she could be a homemaker, pursuing her passion to open a home-based shelter for homeless pets. Their open acreage provided ample space for all sorts of animals that were neglected and unwanted. Holly agreed and quietly resolved to not having children. She was not the sort of person who would allow conflict and tension to arise. However, the pressure of taking this directive from Darrell made her secretly check out emotionally from Darrell.
To pass time, Miles, and Toby Fortescue, another friend of Darrell, would join them to complete a match of Euchre on a weekly basis. Toby had the wit and charm that lit up the room. Unlike Darrell, who was quiet, and Miles, who was dark and mysterious, Toby was the life of the party. He was the one who introduced Euchre to the group. He came from Ontario where it was quite popular. His French background and lovely accent was refreshing.
“Hey Holly! Be a babe and get that biere for me.” Toby swung around and grinned wildly at Holly.
“Is that all you want? Or do I need to make a fancy dish for ya too?” Holly sarcastically quipped. She grabbed one of the last beers from the frig.
Darrell knew how to pick his diverse friends well. His friends were attracted to Darrell's giving nature too. Even though Darrell was more educated than his friends were, he understood what it was like to be the underdog; after all, he was one as a child.
Miles, a show-off with a hunger for attention, would brag about his mom’s African ancestry and argue in a catty way with Toby that cricket was much better than rugby any day. He would talk big about his cricket tournaments and all his award-winning accomplishments. No one was sure if these stories had an ounce of truth or not but they were funny.
Whether it was a weekly duel of cards or another social event amongst the four, it would always end with Darrell “convincing” them that wrestling still was the all-time best sport. His argument had been won largely because he had, by far, the biggest TV set between them and therefore, many a match would be seen on it. Additionally, Darrell had won many a wrestling match in high school.
“Ya’ll will have to come back Tuesday for the match. I hear Toronto will kick some serious ass.” Darrell flashed a smarteleck grimace as the inebriated duo, Miles and Toby, who were departing from the front door of the house.
“Ne’? Come on bru, you soeking with me? Toronto will never win, he’s a moffie. Beast will klap him down!” Miles retorted.
“You’ve had too much to drink man, I’ll take you home.” Toby began to laugh at Miles and his cultural insults.
“Please, have my sister give me a ride.” Miles begged. He knew Toby was no better off driving than him.
Toby guided Miles into the backseat of his sister’s car. Toby loved to party, but he knew his limit, unlike Miles.
Rapturously, Darrell adorned Holly with gifts regularly. He loved her so. One of Holly’s favorite gifts was a surprise trip to Mexico when the couple had only been married three years. Darrell took a week off from his job to make this happen. He was also out of school for the summer; classes were scheduled to resume in a month.
They would walk along the stone streets drinking margaritas laughing about the times they would pull pranks on Anuja Gowda, Holly’s lifelong friend. Anuja was so gullible and naïve. She would believe anything people would say to her. One time Anuja had to pick up flowers for their wedding. When she arrived at the flower shop, the florist, who was in on the prank, scooped up the reserved order. The flowers handed to Anuja were a traditional casket spray of Gladiolas, white Carnations, and white daisies with pink ribbons. She thought since the arrangement had pink ribbons, the predominant color of the wedding, that the unusual reserve must be correct. The look on wedding party’s face when she arrived with numerous casket sprays was priceless.
Darrell and Holly sojourned to the Palacio de Gobierno. As Holly whisked her long manicured nails across the red quarry stone, she pensively stated, “Mom would have loved this place. She was such an accomplished artist.” Holly ogled the exquisite murals. “I remember her hands always smelling like paint thinner and her nails were caked with old paint remnants.”
“I would have loved to have met her sweetie. I could just imagine her cooking and gracefully decorating cakes while singing and dancing too.” Darrell lamented. He knew it had been many, many years since Holly’s mom Carole succumbed from colon cancer. Holly had only been 8 years old at the time. Her brother was merely two years old, and went to live with her paternal aunt. James could not handle caring for both kids with his paltry janitorial income.
“Did your dad ever try to gain back custody of you?” Holly looked off in the distance blankly.
“No, but mom visited a lot while my cousin raised me-that is until she died. I know that she loved me but she was just like your dad, unable to take care of a child.” Darrell smiled and seemed a little lost in thought for just a moment or two.
That evening, as Darrell and Holly returned to their bungalow near the sandy shores, they dined on chileatole de pollo. Tampico, where they had gotten married, was not too far away. It was along these shores of the Gulf of Mexico that Darrell and Holly felt the most content and happy. Mexico was a very special place.
Very soon, Darrell would be returning to Jack E. Moore Memorial Hospital to endure the graveyard shifts. The evening commute took twenty minutes to the neighboring town of Woodbine. Holly’s loneliness growled within her, despite the rigors of feeding over 50 homeless animals a day at her home-based shelter. She could not grow attached to any of them, as soon they would find successful partnerships with many adopters around the country.
Darrell felt sorry for Holly. A former patient of his that survived colon cancer himself asked Darrell if he was interested in a young dog. His daughter had left for college and could no longer care for the Brussels Griffon, a wiry-haired, tan, petite canine. Darrell agreed to surprise his wife later that evening with the new family member when he got off at midnight.
“Oh Darrell!” Holly squealed as she threw back the lavender covers that were on their bed. She was unable to fall deeply to sleep that night, so she caught a glimpse of the adorable pup in Darrell's muscular arms before he could present the wriggling ball of fluff to her.
“I love you Holly with all my heart and soul. I know it has been hard not having a baby like Anuja and all your other friends. I hope this little cutie will help with that.” Darrell then laid the pup near her on the bed.
“He already loves me!” She exclaimed in delight at the pup licking her face all over with content. “I will name him Percy, after my uncle who died before dad did.”
With that, Percy rooted his nose under the soft covers that were speckled with shiny white flowers. Complacently, he fell asleep by Holly. Darrell rolled over in the bed, and then his arm drooped around the pair.
Copyright © 2009 Asher Kade. All Rights Reserved.