Friday, December 30, 2011

Man on Fire--Poll Coming Soon!

John David Lassiter II:

                     Lalique Genevieve Flynn            Melora Leigh Lassiter

There are at least 6 more chapters coming up on John, Lalique and Melora, there are already four written and in place here at Blogger. At some point I'm going to post a poll where readers will be able to vote for the way they might like it to be resolved. Not promising that I'll abide by the resultings, but will definitely take them into account! I may add another poll regarding another aspect of the story, depending on how the first poll does. 

Meanwhile, there will be chapters on Melanie, Gareth and his former private-eye mother, Glenn; on Brian and Meadow, their growing family and their new house and on Jenny and Lonnie and their problems probably inserted after the next 3 or 4 chapters. I'll need to make a decision before taking on a new storyline I have in mind. Lately my poor little flea-brain is just chock full of ideas (if nothing else). I'm trying to get it all played and written down before I lose steam! Thank all of you so much for reading and caring about my Simmies and please keep those comments coming; they really do have an effect on me and how the stories go forward!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lalique Flynn Ch. 1 Swept Away Part 2

After John and she had spent a couple more afternoons together meeting at public places out of town, Lalique made a mental list of things she had recently learned from her time with him.

Advantages to seeing an older, sophisticated married millionaire were many. But in this case the particulars were: money was no object at restaurants or clubs; he always knew what wine to order, his manners were courtly and from another generation thus making her feel cherished and protected, and he was never dull. John knew more about an amazing array of subjects than any man she'd known before including her world-traveled and famous father, yet he managed to make her feel as though everything she had to say was intelligent and relevant. He'd take her anywhere she wanted to go at any expense; as long as it was out of town. The further from Pleasantview the better.

Disadvantages were: she would always be alone on national holidays; she'd have to pretend not to know him in public, and could not introduce him or even acknowledge him to family and friends. Most of the time she found herself keeping plans on standby in case he had a few hours to spare and called. She suffered guilt, anxiety and insecurity and was sure to end up more alone than ever. Simply because a married man had no real right to demand loyalty he was more jealous than the average single man would be. Because as the "other woman" she was at such a disadvantage--she couldn't really compete on the same level as his wife--she worried continually about her looks and was beginning to spend an inordinate amount of time getting overhauled at the beauty salon and health spa. The "other woman", Lalique thought with chagrin, is one small station in society that the fervent women's movement had never really acknowledged. A married man's mistress was solitary, yet dependent, sexually liberal, yet subservient to a basically selfish male; she was a total contradiction and almost an anachronism.

Well, there was the list, and Lalique determined that while the cons might not outnumber the pros they definitely outweighed them. She was an educated, independent woman and she frankly had never before catered to any man. In the end none of that mattered; she was too spellbound by John and had been alone for too long. Now she was resolved to ask him to come over to the house even knowing this would propel the relationship forward. 

There were two problems, though. First, she did not want him to be around the twins; to enter their world. She had made up her mind when they were born that she would not drag various men through their lives. Any man she dated would not meet her children until the relationship was far along and she could trust it. And a married man did not fit into this equation. Alain and Desiree did not need to become attached to a person who would be here and then gone. 

The other problem was Arlene, the children's young nanny; she did not want to make her uncomfortable by having a man, much less a married man, up in her bedroom while she was there. It was quite likely that was where the afternoon would culminate, if she were to be honest with herself. Possibly Arlene was more broadminded than she appeared, and it was Lalique's house, but she had to be considerate. If she waited until Arlene's day off to have him over then she would obviously need to care for Alain and Desiree herself and John would have to meet them. Arlene by that time knew Lalique was seeing someone, someone important to her, but she did not know who he was. Likely she had figured at some point that since this man had to be kept a secret that would seem to point to an illicit relationship. 

Lalique would talk with her about it; meanwhile she had to find out if John would even consider the risk of coming to her house. To her joy he agreed; he sounded eager. He later admitted to her that he'd been taking time every day to get out of the house for various reasons in the afternoon, so that if the opportunity came up he could be gone without it looking strange. Sometimes he said he was going to the store or on an errand but more often his reason was that he was going health-walking or to the gym. Actually up until now he really had been doing just that. Of course, he could not stay later than around 8 or 9 pm. They set a day for him to come.

For that afternoon, Arlene had agreed that she could keep the babies upstairs; she stocked the little fridge in her room with bottles for the twins and everything else she needed would be upstairs. But she told Lalique she was not interested in meeting him at this time. Perhaps later. Once John was gone, Lalique would let her know.

So by three in the afternoon John and she were seated in her living room on the love seat. 

"I was afraid you might not be able to make it," she admitted a little nervously.

He put his arm around her,

"I told you I'd be here; I wouldn't have said so if that weren't the case."

When she eventually led him up to her bedroom she felt as breathless as a young girl with her first love.

The tenderness he showed her was an added element to his passion that left her weak-kneed and trembling and much more involved than ever. Saying goodbye was harder than she thought it should be. By the time she saw him to the front door and he kissed her goodbye she was floating on air; she already couldn't wait to see him again. Whenever that would be.

As soon as he left she went upstairs to check on her sleeping babies and to let Arlene know she once more had the run of the house.

Lalique was embarked on a journey that would change her life, whether a short or long one she had yet to know but for her there was no turning back.


A month went by during which time Lalique saw John regularly, usually at least once a week, sometimes more often. He was a revelation to her; in her opinion his lovemaking was far more skilled and sensual than any of the stupid clowns she'd ever dated. Of course that was excluding the magnetic but ever-elusive Brian O., who was in a class of his own. 

Mostly they still met somewhere out of town and went somewhere private, she seldom had him come to the house; she still did not want this love affair to intrude into her life with the children and Arlene. She continued to dream that these events unfolding could stay in a little time bubble and that neither his family nor hers would be affected. Telling herself that she was still in control of the situation Lalique was painfully surprised to learn otherwise. One week John was unable to get free to see her and she was nearly undone by doubt and need when she got his cryptic text about it. She really wanted to be near him. Was he getting tired of the necessity of always having to worry about being detected, of constantly being deceptive with his wife? Or was he simply tired of Lalique? She wondered and worried. Then he called her and she was so relieved she was ashamed. Their whispered phone conversation left her excited but unfulfilled. 

At least she was busy with the children who were now toddlers. Arlene and she were teaching them to walk using Smart Milk and thinking caps. Caring for Alain and Desiree was one sure way to get John off her mind for a while.

Once they were in for their after lunch naps, however; Lalique decided to go shopping again and it was no accident that she ended up at Goth's. There was a sale on for the new perfume. What really drew Lalique there, though, was that she had run into John there that first time; if he was a regular customer maybe it could happen again. After all, if she saw him "by accident" he shouldn't feel threatened and no one would think anything. And there he was, deep in conversation with an attractive older woman. Afraid that it was his wife she panicked a moment, but then recognized her as Madeleine Ferguson. They were obviously old friends, but still jealousy and envy stung Lalique. This woman could talk to John all day long and nobody would think a thing about it. She was quite attractive, too. Of necessity Lalique would share him with his wife, but not with anyone else. John did not look once at Lalique nor did he appear nervous or surprised. She could not bring herself to leave when she saw he was there although she knew that was what she should have done. Discretion was in order, but she had to hear what they were saying so she yanked a couple of blouses off the rack and went to pay for her purchases. They were standing right by the cash register.

"...know what you mean because Shep's been using compost, but he's not been that happy with the results," Madeleine was saying, "he's mentioned possibly getting rid of his greenhouse, too."

"That's what I used to do, make my own compost, but I couldn't discern any appreciable difference. Of course, maybe my compost wasn't up to par," John laughed easily. 

A nice homey conversation about fertilizer was what they were having and it eased Lalique's mind. Just hearing his voice soothed her. It was strangely exhilarating to be so close to him and yet not be able to speak to him or touch him, though. She only saw him out of the corner of her eye; she was careful not to really look at him or at Mrs. Ferguson. I could probably get an Academy Award for this she thought giddily. When she got home she was still enervated, she'd seen him--he had not responded, but she had no doubt he'd seen her, too, and she was suddenly certain that he would find a way to contact her soon. Maybe sooner than he'd planned.

 And exactly what happened...

   Next blog update: Man on Fire: Poll coming soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lalique Flynn Ch. 1 Swept Away Part 1

With Arlene as live-in nanny Lalique now had time at last to practice ballet and her piano once more. The two women got along well for the most part and Arlene was a friend as well as an employee. That was something Lalique's mother, Olivia, had told her to avoid, but for Lalique it was impossible to have someone living with her who wasn't a friend. So far, she was careful with what she confided in the girl, though. 

With more time, Lalique had become a little bored and, what was worse, she'd had time to reflect and realized she wasn't feeling so feminine and desirable anymore. This was not something that had ever been a problem for her until now. It was a fact she hadn't found Prince Charming, but she'd never lacked for confidence about her looks nor had problems getting male attention. 

Well, that wasn't strictly true. Her old flame, Devon, had dumped her way back when and then recently married his old flame, Grace Lassiter, but that could happen to anyone, Lalique reasoned. Love was fickle. She had told herself his rejection had not been due to any lack on her part. She had to admit she'd been depressed about it for some time and, according to her friend, Jody Broke, she'd become bitter. But that was before she'd given birth to Alain and Desiree.

Of course, there was also that time with Brian Ottomas years ago where she'd spent one enchanted afternoon in his arms and then he'd never called back, but you couldn't win them all. He'd been single and available or so she'd thought, but he went on the road with his band again a day or two later. When he returned to Pleasantview and went to work for his brother, Dylan, she'd stopped by the Club hoping to entice him, but it was no go. He was friendly but obviously disinterested. Several months later Lalique was unhappily surprised and disappointed to learn Brian had married Meadow Thayer. Naturally Lalique assumed the child Meadow had just given birth to at that time belonged to Brian.

At any rate, since the twins were born she could not have cared less about either her looks or male attention, but now some of those interests were returning. She felt a shopping spree was in order.

While at Goth's Apparel she saw her sister Melanie's school chum, Chelsea Lassiter, and they struck up a conversation. Lalique made a vow to check out Chelsea's flower shop and turned to go, literally running right into John Lassiter. He lived right next door to her parents so, of course, she knew who he was, but hadn't spoken more than ten words with him since she was a child. Her older sister, Yvette, used to pal around with his oldest daughter, Grace (yes, the Grace who married Lalique's high school sweetheart, Devon). This was back when Yvette was in high school and Lalique was in elementary. Yvette was frequently forced to drag Lalique around with her in those days--she had always suspected that her mother used to do that so it would keep Yvette from being able to do anything dire--and so Lalique had often been at the Lassiter house. Of course, Mr. Lassiter had been usually been working and even when he was home he was a quiet man, unlike her own father. She'd been a little afraid of him, in fact.

Now she remembered that she'd seen him at Club Dante one time and she'd vaguely wondered what he was doing prowling around a place like that. She'd also noted then that he was very attractive for an older man. Very. He had an almost dangerous look about him; he was a man of power and prestige, not only in Pleasantview but in the nation due to his business acumen and his talents as a writer. There was dignity in his bearing, and good breeding. His hair was silver , but she remembered it used to be jet black and his blue eyes were alert and almost piercing. Lalique surmised he must have really been incredibly handsome when he was young. In fact, even now he had real presence.

"Hello, Mr. Lassiter," she automatically turned on the charm with men, "You're looking wonderful. How's the family doing?"

He was even deadlier when he smiled, Lalique thought, a tingle running down her spine.

"Lalique Flynn, well, how are you?" his voice was deep and rich, "Everyone is doing fine; Lori had twins so Melora and I are finally grandparents. What have you been doing with yourself?"

"Well, I'm no longer in the education field, but I keep myself busy. Right now I'm raising babies; and it takes practically all my attention," she laughed, "Feels like this is the first day I've had to myself in months. I hired a nanny and she's at home with them right now."
As the conversation went on they quickly realized they had an immediate and mutual physical attraction for each other. It was so strange; he was obviously old enough to be her father, but her new feelings were definitely not those of a daughter. In fact he had asked right away that she drop the "Mr. Lassiter" and call him John. After all, she was a grownup now, he teased. A voice inside reminded her that he was married and not available, but she quickly stifled it. They were just having a public conversation in a crowded store; perfectly harmless. 

They soon tired of standing there and having to move back and forth so people could get around them so John suggested they go outside and sit at one of the tables on the terrace. Much later Lalique realized with hindsight she should have known at that moment to excuse herself and leave for home. But, of course, there was no way she was going to do that; she was having way too much fun. They talked for a long time. It was dusk, people were still streaming in and out of the store and some were sitting at the tables nearby, before Lalique said she must get home. 

A few days after their accidental meeting at Goth's, John called her and asked her to meet him just to talk at the Lost Treasure Maze in Bluewater Village. She wasn't fooled; talk was not necessarily what he had on his mind. Lalique knew that was a place where they would have privacy yet it was public enough that someone seeing them together would not necessarily think much about it. They played chess and after a an hour or so he suggested they go somewhere for a cold drink.

Once ensconced in his sports car, though, Lalique couldn't believe the whole thing was happening. As they sped away she told herself he was a very wealthy and sophisticated man and could have anyone he wanted; but he wanted her. She found this thought intoxicating. Of course, the Lucky Cuss Tavern was an informal night spot where one could sit at the bar, sing karaoke or play poker, it was not upscale or chic, but it was fun and fairly quiet.

When he asked her to slow dance she was surprised, but gratified that he would take the chance in public even if they were in another town. More and more she was mesmerized both by John and the dangerous and forbidden aspect of the situation. Once in his arms she knew she was on a ride that could not possibly end well, but she could not resist him, especially after he kissed her. 

From the tavern he took her out for a lobster dinner at the Botanical Gardens Restaurant, definitely a much swankier place. After their meal John dropped her off at the Maze where she'd left her car, and stood watching her as she drove off. Back home and over the next 24 hours Lalique spent time with her babies trying to get her mind off this man who had quickly and unaccountably overwhelmed her. She even went out the next morning to pull weeds and trim the bushes, she'd never been an outdoors girl, but her mood was light and exhilarated and she wanted to be out in the sunshine. Remembering how much she had enjoyed being with him, Lalique would not let herself consider the ramifications of seeing him again.  

"Oh, he has to call again," she whispered to herself, "He has to."


The Lassiters Ch. 11 Bothered and Bewitched

The thing was, John admitted to his consternation; he might indeed have been an idiot that day he’d spent with Lalique, but he could not forget it. The whole weekend after that he bounced around his home feeling as though he was 35 again; at the top of his form. He worked on his fruit trees and garden; did the usual chores; even stretched out in the hammock to read for a while. It didn't matter; whatever he did he felt fantastic because in his mind's eye he was young again. And Lalique was the reason for his euphoria. It had been difficult to get her off his mind before he asked her out; now it was impossible.

When he momentarily allowed himself to examine his feelings, guilt assailed him and made him sick at heart. So he gave extra attention to Melora whenever he was able to come down to earth for a few moments. She  had begun to be worried about his recent detached air, but now she felt somewhat reassured.

Within a week or so, though, John began to spend more hours away from home. He'd taken up health-walking and now began working out at the gym and was becoming buff, more than he'd been in ten years. He even went out and bought a whole new wardrobe. His preoccupation with being healthier and looking better was contagious. He did not know it, but Melora was beginning to get the seeping, creeping conviction that he was getting bored with his home life. She grew her hair out again and worked on exercising and looking more youthful. She'd always loved makeovers, she told herself. That was true, but these endeavors now had more to do with worry about John's attentions straying than anything else. Never before had she had cause to doubt him, although she'd occasionally been jealous when women had sometimes openly flirted with him, especially when they were younger. John, unlike most men, had been way too smart to ever let her catch him noticing a woman with a good figure, and he'd always made sure not to pay much attention to women who might come on to him.

Why he has to start worrying me now and after all these years I don't know, Melora thought with irritation. On one hand she felt like telling him if he was bored at home, not to let the door hit him in the butt on the way out. On the other hand...she loved him very much and did not want to lose him. For any reason.

This was about the time Lori visited her mother and Melora mentioned to her daughter that John had recently told her he was working out at Harvey's new health club. Shortly thereafter Melora treated herself to a shopping excursion even stopping at the toy store to purchase items for when the twins would visit. She surprised John by coming home with a calico cat she'd found at the animal shelter. She named her Felina and had even more fun with her than with little Spanky. The cat, grateful for a good home, soon adored Melora, who "talked" to her all the time. John complained irrationally that she paid more attention to her pets, particularly Felina, than she did to him. To his additional dismay Felina far preferred their bed over her cat bed in the living room. Melora didn't mind at all, but John kicked the cat out of the room every night. If Felina wanted to nap on the bed during the day, that was one thing, but not since Trey and Lori had been small had he tolerated interlopers in their bedroom. Some things should remain sacrosanct in his opinion, and the cat had access to the rest of the house; let her find someplace to sleep out there.

Nights were quiet now at the house by the sea. John was affectionate, but their lovemaking was sporadic. This was so unlike him that Melora worried he might be having health problems. He expressed no concern and she didn't want to pressure him; after all, he was no longer a man of 35...

So she showered a lot of affection on her pets and threw herself into more renovation on the house. She completely redid the en suite master bath and had the wall in between the living room and foyer knocked down, as well as the one on the other side of the foyer between that and the dining room. Those walls had been put in 20 years ago on a previous decorating spree. The carpeting was ripped out in the living room so that the hardwood floors could be refinished.

The large kitchen was repainted and new cupboards and granite counters went in. Stainless steel appliances were all the rage, but Melora liked warm colors and easy to clean surfaces. New flooring and new curtains and lighting completed that project. Then she widened the archway between the living room and small library, which was converted into a game room with a poker table.

John seemed to be on a similar kick to have new things around him. He traded one of the cars for a new sports car. Then he saw a vintage 1959 Viking convertible for sale and traded their sedan for that.

"I'm thinking about having a two-car garage built," he announced to Melora, "I don't want either the sports car or the Viking sitting out in the sun and rain--how we've got by all these years with no garage, I don't know."

"There's no room to widen the driveway or build a garage, is there?"

"Oh, we can move things around a bit. We don't need Trey's old basketball court--and we hardly ever use the sauna anymore. I could dismantle it. I could put in a wider driveway and 2-car garage on the other side of the house."

"But the pond..."

"Well, I know we've had the pond there for thirty years, but we can put one in on the other side, just not as big."

Melora blinked. John fished that pond every day in the summer. And it was the jewel of their front yard.

He saw her bewilderment,

"I know, I know, but it's not that hard to install a pond and we'll stock it with with fish, too."

She shrugged. If collecting old cars tripped his trigger that was fine with her; at least the project might keep him contented and at home. Strange; she'd always thought that women who had to keep constant tabs on their husbands were suspicious throwbacks. If you could only trust a man when he was in your sight then you couldn't trust him at all. At least that had been Melora's opinion for years. Still the hours John would spend on the cars and his garage project would have that result; she'd know exactly where he was. And she realized unhappily that was what she now wanted.

"If that makes you happy I think you should do it, John," she said  with a sweet smile, "As for us not using the sauna much anymore; that certainly isn't my fault. Any time you want to steam, just let me know."

As she sauntered off, swinging her hips, John's gaze followed her. She'd always had a lovely walk, almost like dancing. Maybe he'd been rash about getting rid of that sauna, after all, he could just move it elsewhere in the yard. He headed toward the kitchen where he could hear Melora singing as she emptied the dishwasher...

In the end John kept the pond and built just a one-car garage where the driveway always was but he added a carport to it. Over the carport and garage he put a wide deck that featured their beautiful and unobstructed view of the sea. It could be accessed either by steps in the backyard or through a door in Lori's old bedroom and included a hot tub. But he shocked Melora by dismantling his beloved greenhouse claiming his heart was not in it anymore and he didn't really have time anyway. She would miss the fresh produce when it came to her cooking.

John insisted that they should have gotten a bigger house and yard years ago, but Melora was definitely not interested in moving from their home after all the redecorating she’d just done. He kept the sauna but moved it to the other side of the yard so they could put in a playground for Gray and Valrae.