Monday, April 24, 2017

Sharing a Spring Short Story - Love in Lies

DK Davis here – sharing a Spring Short Story I wrote for the 750 Writer’s Group on GoodReads. They have monthly short story contests – March was 500-1000 words, and required three components: a boat, a storm, and an angry person. Hope you enjoy it;) Here’s my entry:

Love in Lies – written as Susan Davis   w/c - 960

“Marry me, Lisa.” Nick slowed the trolling motor to a stop. Water lapped against the boat from the jet-ski activity in the middle of the lake. “Five months is plenty of time to mourn and move on.” He pulled a velvet ring box from the cubby beneath the steering wheel. His brilliant turquois eyes studied my face, perhaps in judgment.

I closed my eyes for a moment in loving memory of my mother and silently spoke a, Bless You.

“We’re set for life. We could be travelling, enjoying our time together right now.” He flipped open the box in front of my face. “Let’s do this.” The diamond sparkled as did the sapphires on each side. “It’s rose gold, just like your mother’s.”

“It’s beautiful. Truly, but…”

“But—what are you going to say? What’s the reason now?” Nick’s lips pinched, his eyes narrowed.

Mom’s killer continues to run free. The lawyer is still clarifying all of Mom’s properties, business dealings, and assets. I’m following up on her insurances.

I could list a ton of reasons why marriage didn’t rate as a priority. “I’m not done grieving.” I’d used this before.

A couple of swans slapped the water announcing their landing a short distance away. They were building a nest in the reeds, making ready for a family. Something Nick never talked about, children. He wanted to travel, see the world and never allow any seedling to grow beneath his feet.

“I retired early for you, and now that’s not enough.” Nick snapped the box closed and dropped it into his pants pocket. He started the main motor and spun the boat around, toward the dock and Mom’s lake home.

“I’m not retired, why would I care if you’re retired? I’ve got a good twenty-five years or so to work. I never told you to retire for me.” Frustration and the knot in my throat stole my breath.

“Don’t give me that spiel about you need to work. I know your mother set you up. Hell, you’re a millionaire, if not a billionaire.” He shut the boat down and attached it to the dock. “You don’t need to work another day in your life.”

Why the anger? It was like he never lost a person he loved, but I knew he did.

What did I honestly know about this man?

I met him at Mom’s funeral. Right away he made me feel like no one in the world existed but me. We hit it off. He always said the right words to draw me out of my grief, to make me feel special, loved when I had no one else in this world. My father had passed years ago, and now my mother. No siblings; like my parents. No living grandparents.

Perhaps that was why I resonated so fast with Nick. His life sounded a lot like mine, at least according to him. He’d lost his entire family in a house fire when he was young, and then he lost a pregnant wife in a car accident. He was alone in this world, like me.

I never did a history check on him like Gordon, Mom’s lawyer and my best friend through high school, had suggested as soon as he knew of Nick. Perhaps I should, if only for peace of mind.

Dark clouds shuffled in from the western sky, inking away the mid-day sun. A stiff breeze whisked across the water, creating a chop of white to the waves. I craved some alone time, maybe until the darkness passed from the depths of my life.

Nick stood on the dock, staring at me. “What’s your big plan for today? Are we staying here or heading to your Colorado place?”

“I’m not leaving Michigan until I have a handle on Mom’s estates and holdings.” I sighed then climbed out of the boat. “I’m a lawyer with clients, even if it’s small town stuff. People depend on me.”

My office and home were an hour away from the lake house, so I didn’t visit Mom much, plus she’d traveled a lot.

“I want to set a date, Lisa.” His voice tightened. “Let’s nail down the wedding.”

A gust of wind whipped my hair around my face and knocked over a chair on the patio. I ran to the house as rain pelted across the lake in a fury.  

Gordon met me at the door, he’d let himself into the house. Nick followed me inside.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Nick’s hands fisted.

Gordon studied his face for a moment then turned to me. “It’s a matter of urgency, Lisa. We need to talk. In private.”

“Anything you have to say to her you can say to me. We’re getting married.” Nick shoved his way between us.

“Wait here, Nick.” I moved around him and led Gordon into Mom’s office. Outside the window, a couple of police cruisers were parked. “What’s this about?” I nodded my head toward the cop cars.

“We discovered who murdered your mother.” He motioned for me to sit. “This man had been spending a lot of time with her. We understand from a few of your mother’s travel companions, he was set to marry her…until he found out about you. He doesn’t like children.”  He cleared his throat and handed me a photograph. “His name is Jonas Stark, a wanted man in a number of states.”

Turquoise eyes, silver-gray hair, a goatee, different from the look he wore today, dark hair, clean shaven, and yet the same man, Nick Spencer.

My heart shattered.

Gordon clasped my hand and drew me out of the chair into an embrace. “You’ll survive this, dear one. Begin anew.”

And the storm raged as policemen filed through the front door.

DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan. She also writes paranormal suspense-thriller romance as S. Peters-Davis, and all genre short stories as Susan Davis.

You can find DK Davis at these links:

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