This month's prompt is about new beginnings. If you'd like to read some of the other blogs participating in this bloghop, please click on the link below the image to the left. Happy reading!
A brief excerpt from my work in progress, FIRST DRAFT.
Set up: Annalyn and her best friend Tessa have won a vacation to St. Martin's Island in the Caribbean and are sight-seeing on a nearby island volcano.
“I wish we could afford a rental car,” Annalyn said. “We could see so much more than on the tours.”
“I’m more interested in who I see than where.”
“Of course you are. But you could see more “who’s” if we went more places.”
Tessa laughed out right. “Says she who pretends she isn’t looking.”
“I don’t pretend I’m not looking. I just don’t fall for every other Joe that comes along. Kidding,” she said grinning back at Tessa.
“You’re such a liar. What’s holding you back? This is our one and only paid vacation this year.”
“I’ll fall when I’m ready. But I’m not going to hang out a sign if that’s what you mean.”
“You seemed to hit it off pretty well with that guy the other night…”
“He’s okay I guess.”
“Are you going to see him again?”
“I’m not that into blonds Tess.”
“I know, but you could do worse on vacation than be nice to that body.”
Annalyn laughed. “You are such a goon. All you think about is sex.”
“So do you, you just won’t admit it. Come on, I know how long it’s been.” Tess swatted Annalyn on the bottom and laughed. “You can’t fool me, though boy, do you try.”
Giggling like teenagers they continued up the stairs, which Annalyn counted as being over 2000. They were panting by the time they merged into a magical rainforest complete with lilting birdsong. They followed the narrow path until it opened upon an immense boulder, at least twenty feet high, jutting out into thin air, over what appeared to be the volcano’s rim. In spite of the wisps of steamy vapor coming from the volcano, the air hung cooler here and damp, jungle damp. A few sightseers stood next to the bolder, while others had climbed up to look over the edge down into the volcano itself. Annalyn realized she couldn’t fault Tessa for a wandering eye when hers caught on a dark-haired man standing with another man to one side of the small open space, each using a camera and tripod. Annalyn grabbed Tessa’s arm and pulled her toward the sign that gave the volcano’s name and information. “Do you see what I see?”
Tessa almost turned, but Annalyn stopped her. “Don’t look!” Tessa laughed and turned her head toward the two men.
“They’re packing up.”
Annalyn peeked over her shoulder. The two men had put away their tripods. The dark-haired one, who was tall and so well formed Annalyn was afraid she’d start to drool, glanced in her direction, then glanced again. He looked right into her eyes as if surprised, then smiled. As far as she was concerned the sun had just risen. The Adonis lifted his camera, pointed it at her and pushed the button. She watched his every move, felt rooted to the spot where she stood and almost smiled. “Oh my,” were the only words she could get past her lips.
Annalyn, so distracted by the man’s eyes, didn’t even notice when Tessa turned and grinned. “Aha,” Tessa said quietly. “I see why you don’t like blonds.”
The men gathered their equipment and made toward the path, which meant they would pass right by Annalyn and Tessa. Annalyn wondered at the feeling inside her. Not fear or nerves, which she expected. What she felt came sure and easy to her. This was the man she’d waited for. “Idiot. What am I thinking?” she asked herself in a whisper. Her cheeks burned as they always did when she felt embarrassed. “Tessa,” she started to say, but the Adonis stopped right in front of her, smiled and said, “I’m Jack. Who are you?”
She almost sputtered, but found her hand reaching for the one he stretched out to her. “I’m Annalyn.”
“Annalyn,” he said simply, still staring right into her eyes. “I love your eyes, Annie. Can I call you Annie? I hope you don’t mind I took your photo back there,” he nodded toward where he’d stood before. “I couldn’t help myself.”
Intense, the whole scene felt unreal, like a dream, a really, really great dream. “No. No of course not. Thank you for the compliment.” With her free hand she pushed a strand of her dark chestnut hair back behind her ear and smiled. That’s when she realized they were still holding hands.
Jack and Annalyn both looked down at their joined hands, then back at each other and grinned. They let go as if reluctant but not sure what to do next.
Tessa cleared her throat and jumped right in. “I’m Tessa,” Tessa said shaking hands with Jack’s friend.
“I’m Sean. Nice to meet you, Tessa.”
“Where are you staying? Sorry, I don’t know what’s happened to my manners.” Jack started. “We’re staying on St. Martin at the Emerald Beach Hotel. Are you on St. Martin also? If you aren’t busy would you like to have drinks with us tonight, say around eight?” The words rushed from his mouth, leaving his voice almost breathless.
“We’d love to,” Tessa answered quickly. “I think we’re just a few doors down from you.”
“Yes, thanks,” Annalyn said. Then they all moved toward the path back down the mountain. Jack let Annalyn go before him while Tessa followed Sean.
“Have you seen an active volcano before?” Jack asked her.
“I’ve never seen even an inactive volcano before,” Annalyn said. “This is my first time on an island with volcanoes. Mostly I’ve done the Keys thing and they are flat as pancakes. I grew up near Miami.”
“A true Floridian?”
“Born and raised. But I live in Atlanta now.” What was she doing? She didn’t know this man from Adam and here she was offering up her life story.
“I’m from Illinois but I live in Portland, Oregon now.”
“I’ve never been to Portland. Is the rose garden as gorgeous as I’ve heard?”
“Yes, and you can see the whole city from it. Worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. Do you think you’d ever go? Don’t answer that. Sorry, there is my sad lack of manners again. I don’t know what’s wrong with my mouth. All of the sudden I can’t stop talking.”
“Don’t worry. I’m a good listener.” Annalyn looked up at him, glad he seemed nervous as well. They were on a part of the path where they could walk side by side and when she grinned he answered it with one of his own.
“I could get used to that.”
“What the path?”
“No, your smile.”
“Wow. What a line.”
“No line, Annie. An original from Jack Knight’s runaway mouth.”
Annalyn laughed. “Keep going Jack Knight, because it looks like there's no telling where your mouth might take us.”
copyright 2014 Lisa Buie-Collard