Hi everyone.  I just read on my FB page that today is  “SAMPLE SUNDAY”.  At least according to one of the writing groups I’m in “LitPow Writer’s Network”.  So I thought, ‘Hey it’s been a while.  Let’s give my readers another snippet from my work in progress…”  So here’s another glimpse of “THE SHIP”.  I’m almost done with the 1st draft and will be hard at work to finish it up within the next week or two.

Now this scene is one of the more quiet moments for my two lead heroines Cassandra Elliott (billionaire heiress) and her lover Julie De Luca-Cloudfoot (internet catfight star and Physical Therapist).  Yeah, I know strange combination.  But I love using atypical occupations and roles for some of my characters.  Especially if it’s something you don’t see being used over and over in other novels.  Now this scene takes place after Cassandra was attacked, supposedly by a shark, while learning to surf.   She escaped unharmed except for a strange mark on her lower leg.

At this point she’s in pretty bad shape physically, but not from the incident on the water.  Cassandra suffers from Epstein-Barr, a condition that leaves a person with severe body aches and weakness which can leave a person bed-ridden for days or weeks.  In this case, her condition has flared up as a result of the stress from her encounter.   Please enjoy…

 

All was quiet inside the beach house, which suited Julie just fine.  After nearly screwing things up with Cassie earlier, she was quite content to have the girl curled up against her on the sofa.  “This is really nice,” she breathed happily.

“I’m glad,” she heard the heiress reply, and then felt her breast being nuzzled affectionately.

It felt good, but there was still the matter of how bad the Cassie was feeling physically. After all, she’d been through a lot today.  “Stop it, you’re hurting remember?” she told her.

“I can lie there while you do most of the work,” Cassie replied looking up at her hopefully.

For a moment Julie had to think it over, it sounded tempting.  But then she shook her head, “If you start going ‘Ow, ow, ow…’ you ghostly guardian Brandon might show up to see what’s wrong, and then I’d die of embarrassment.”

“Why?  People watch you fucking other girls all the time in your videos,” Cassie pointed out.

“True, but they’re watching in the comfort of their own homes, not in the room with me.”

“Um… good point,” her lover sighed, looking around, “Though I don’t see him, or feel him at the moment.”

“Maybe he’s having some fun of his own with a lady ghost,” Julie laughed.

“If he is, it better be with Roxanne or he’s going to be after-life toast,” Cassie replied with a chuckle.

“Who’s Roxanne?”

“His wife, you’d like her.  She’s very pretty.  Long dark hair, big brown eyes, oval face, plus she’s got a nice chest.”

Raising an eyebrow Julie tried to sound nonchalant about her next question.  “I take it she tends to show up every once in while with him?”  Even before the reply came, she felt Cassie stiffen against her.

“Sometimes, but not as often,” the heiress nodded casually.

Julie pursed her lips, obviously there was more.  “Do any other relatives from the past appear to you besides them?” she persisted sweetly, while staring pointedly at her girlfriend.

But Cassie had been ready for this.  She was looking up at her with big soulful eyes and said in a childlike voice, “A few.”

“How many?”

“Dunno.  Lost count,” Cassie shrugged and cuddled up closer.

“How ‘bout some names?” Julie persisted.  What kind of relationship had she gotten herself into?

With obvious reluctance, Cassandra sat up and began ticking off names.  “There’s William, Brandon’s uncle.  His wife Margaret and their sons Jacob, Gerald and James…”

The name Gerald caught Julie’s attention making her interrupt, “The kid who spied on William and Jerome outside the door in the hillside?”

“The same,” Cassie nodded, “He wound up transferring his dislike for Jerome onto Brandon and for years the two of them did not get along at all.  Especially after Gerald got engaged to Rachel who had been Brandon’s girlfriend…”

“Who’s Rachael,” Julie interrupted, “I thought you said Brandon married someone named Roxanne.”

“Who happened to be Rachel’s younger sister,” Cassie explained patiently.

“What, he couldn’t have the one so he settled for the other?”

“NO!” Cassandra snapped angrily.  “Look, things got so bad between Brandon and Gerald that they wound up fighting a duel over Rachel.  Brandon got badly hurt in the fight and Roxanne spent months nursing him back to health.  Now she was already in love with Brandon and made no secret about it.  But he was afraid of taking advantage of her at the time and insisted on taking things slow.  They wound up courting for 2-3 years before getting married.”

“Oh!” Julie nodded, feeling a little ashamed and embarrassed.  She didn’t know why, but a part of her always wanted to suspect Brandon of being something different than what Cassandra thought of him.  Maybe she was jealous of him for being so close and protective of her.

Feeling like maybe he’s encroaching on your territory? her chatty brain chimed in.

‘Fuck off!’ she thought, but only half-heartedly.

Meanwhile Cassandra was going on about other ghostly ancestors that had appeared to her at one time or another.  “…then there’s Brandon’s Mom, plus I’ve seen a few of their children and at least one of his great-grandchildren, Peter.  He was the last to see Brandon alive just before the big fire at the factory in 1890…”

“Wait Brandon died when he was an old man?” Julie interrupted again.  Didn’t spirits usually show up looking like they did at the time they died?  “How come he always shows up looking so young?”

Cassie shrugged, “Search me.”

“Maybe later, I’ll make it a strip search,” Julie replied absently, her mind elsewhere.  This was strange.  Hell, the whole business of ghostly ancestors hanging around was bizarre period. “Am I going to have to get used to all these people showing up on a regular basis?” she asked finally.

Much to her relief, Cassie shook her head.  “No, mostly they appear at the Old Manor House back on Long Island.  Brandon is the only one who appears elsewhere,” the heiress explained.

“Uh-huh,” Julie nodded, “and didn’t you want me to come and stay at the Old Manor for a while after we get back to the east coast?”

“Please?” Cassie begged, “I really want to show you the place.”

Something about the way she said it broke Julie’s resolve, “Sure, why not.  I can’t wait to meet the rest of the ghostly Brady Bunch.”

Cassie gave her an innocent look and said, “Hey, can I help it if when I came out of the closet some of the family skeletons followed?”

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