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Manifesting Love Club #8

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This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Earlier, Heather introduced her idea of affirmations to manifest love. The friends are working on their lists of what they want in a man. It’s Tracey’s turn today, the widow that has no desire for another man in her life.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short – 300 words or less!

Return to TUESDAY TALES for the rest of the story snippets.

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Tracey hemmed and hawed before deciding to share what she’d written. “You all knew Luke. You know how much I loved him and what a great marriage we had. No one can ever replace him. That’s what I want in a man. I want Luke back.”

Heather leaned over and laid a hand on Tracey’s forearm, patting in reassurance.

Taking a deep breath, Tracey continued. “I know I can’t have him back. Anyone that tried to be his clone would come out on the short end of the stick. The qualities that made Luke such a wonderful husband are what I think is important in a mate. Loving. Caring. Sensitive. Respectful and accommodating for the elders in our life. A hard worker. A good provider.”

Corecia cleared her throat and mumbled something under her breath.

“What?” Tracey stopped checking off her list of admirable traits to question her friend’s unintelligible comment.

“I said ‘Saint Luke’. You make him out to be a flawless paragon. I thought he was wonderful, too. I’m just curious if he had any faults? Doesn’t sound like it the way you’re going on.”

Heather gasped and held her breath. She didn’t like confrontations, especially at her dining room table. Her face looked like she expected Tracey to either lash out at Corecia, burst into tears, or storm out of the room.

Instead, to everyone’s surprise, amusement crossed Tracey’s face and she burst out in laughter. “You’re right. He did. Not many…but a few. One of them was a biggie. There was something he wouldn’t do with me. It was something that I dearly loved to do. If…and I repeat if…I ever end up with another man in my life…he’s going to go to the beach and take long walks on the shore at sunset with me.”

Thyme for Love – TT picture prompt

 Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

After several busy, overbooked weeks, Sally and Izzy have a whole day together. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Only 300 words, so it’s quick reading this week. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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TT_August 2015 pic prompt

After a kiss that left her breathless and weak in the knees, Sally clung to Izzy, afraid to trust her balance.

“C’mon, babe. I’ll show you the house.” Izzy stepped towards the house, tugging her hand in his.

Stepping inside Sally saw a laundry room littered with several pairs muddy boots lined up by the back door. A laundry basket sat on the washer overflowing with dirty laundry. She almost shuddered to think what the rest of the place looked like. But as she followed Izzy into the kitchen, looking around in amazement. Counters were clean. The floor was spotless. The walls were bare, and while perhaps boring in their unadorned state, they were clean and appeared to be freshly painted. One lone dirty glass sat in the sink.

Laughter bubbled from her throat. “You’ve surprised me.”

“How’s that?”

“It looks like a bachelor’s house. Yet, it doesn’t.”

“What do you mean?” He looked puzzled.

“It’s much cleaner than I expected a man’s house to be. But…” She paused and swiveled her gaze around the sparkling kitchen. “You sure don’t have any ‘fluff’ though.”

“Nope. No fluff for me. I’m an outdoor man. That’s where I live. In here, I only eat and sleep.” Amusement flashed across his face. “Except for special occasions. Then, I add a few extra touches to the décor.”

“Oh? What special occasions?”

“When I’m expecting special company. Then, I decorate up a bit.” He pointed into the dining alcove set off of the kitchen.

Sally turned and saw a spray of delicate, two-toned roses displayed on a hand hewn oak dining table, surrounded by a mass of chocolates.

Tears welled up in her eyes as a feeling of love filled her body and oozed through her pores. Her mouth opened – but no words came out.

 

Thyme for Love – pen

Here’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy are out for a whole day alone. Join us as he shares a bit of his world with her. This week we’re writing to the prompt, ‘pen’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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“Would you like to tour the fields first? Or the greenhouses?” Izzy inquired as he helped her down from the truck.

“Maybe the fields first. While it’s still somewhat cool.” Sally laughed. “Which must be why you warned me we’d be walking.”

“Yes ma’am. All you see are the pretty little pots of herbs in the stores. Today I’ll show you what goes into getting those to you.”

Izzy led the way down the dirt road that divided the fields into sections. They held hands as they strolled along – that is, when Izzy wasn’t busy pointing to features in the distance, or to a hawk circling above them. Then without warning he’d drop to his knees and stand back up with a fresh sprig of fragrant greenery.

CNJ_lavender fieldsIt was the lavender field that captivated Sally. Rows upon rows of lush mounds, topped with delicate lilac blossoms billowing in the soft breeze. The sun gently warmed the acreage, sending wafts of heady scent around the two. Bees buzzed a cacophony of sound around them, taking advantage of the warming day before the heat was stifling.

“I always thought if I ran away, it would be to the nearest beach,” Sally said. “I think I’ve changed my mind. It would be here, in the midst of the lavender field.”

“Depends on the time of year,” Izzy replied. “There’s about two nice months of blooms. Then the heat hits and before you know it we’re into winter.” He bent and plucked stems until he had a handful and handed them to Sally. “You saw this at the peak of their magnificence. It makes a good first impression, but it’s not always this beautiful.”

Gazing around her, Sally stood in awe of this little bit of paradise hidden out at the end of a dirt road.

“C’mon. Let’s go see the greenhouses.”

TCNJ_herb markershe tour of three greenhouses was more than Sally ever imagined. Thousands of tiny pots held growing herbs in every stage; freshly planted seeds, seedlings just emerging, and plants beginning to grow and thrive. The heady aroma of compost, potting soil and dampness was totally different than the soon to be sunbaked fields of mature plants.

The tables of mint fascinated Sally. She read labels as she moved down the aisle. “Chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint…who knew there were so many kinds? I always thought there was just peppermint and spearmint.” She held the bouquet to her nose and inhaled deeply. “You must enjoy being out here every day.”

“More than you’ll ever know. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy every single moment of what I’m doing.”

“But now I’ll show you what I’m really proud of.” Izzy was beaming, almost jumping up and down in his excitement of showing off his achievements. “Let’s go see the back patio. If I’m not working – and if it’s not freezing cold – that’s where I spend most of my time.”

They followed the trodden path from the greenhouses towards the house. As they neared the back side of the house, the dirt path progressed into a bark path edged with large stones. Foliage on the sides of the rock border got larger and more interesting.

CNJ_back patio oasisThe aromatic stroll through the greenhouses receded to the back of Sally’s mind once she stepped into the verdant oasis hidden behind the old farmhouse. “Oh my!” she gasped. Plants of every size, shape and color surrounded the brick floored patio. Vines wrapped around the posts, and hung along the rafters, filled with a variety of colored flowers. Small green plants oozed out between the bricks, creating a soft walkway. Sally bent to touch them, rubbing her fingers across them as she’d seen Izzy do in the fields. Taking a whiff, she smiled. “More herbs?”

“Of course. Mostly thymes around the sides, a few different low growing species, and Corsican mint on the interior portions.”

“It’s beautiful,” Sally said softly. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Maybe this will be my run away spot.”

Izzy scooted closer and wrapped his arms around her. “No, you’re beautiful,” he whispered into her neck. “And you can run away to here anytime you want.”

They stood together, holding each other tightly, their hearts beating against their chests. Neither one moved. Finally Sally admitted, “This is heaven. I don’t want to leave this moment. I feel like I want to stay right here forever.”

“Promise? Let me go get a pen and make you sign.”

At which she opened her eyes and laughed. “Deal,” she agreed.

“But before I got get that pen…” Izzy said. He lowered his lips on hers, silencing her laughter.

Thyme for Love – TT Bloom

Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy’s relationship was heating up, until she got a little snippy on their last phone call. This week we’re writing to the prompt, ‘bloom’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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The rest of the day was a blur: vendor dilemmas, a no-show or two, getting speakers and demonstrators to the stage area in time, fielding questions from the milling throng of attendees. Stores owners in town kept catching Sally to gush over the successful event. “I’ve never seen so many people in Oak Grove Square!” was oft repeated phrase of the day.

By the end of the day, as the last vendor pulled away, Sally did a quick walk around the square to make sure that the city’s maintenance crew had everything cleaned up and restored to its usual tidy appearance. Luckily they’d done a good job as she doubted she had the mental resources or energy to try to follow through with one more task.

She arrived home without knowing how she’d gotten there. The entire ride was a foggy blur. She stumbled in, too tired to even eat.

Marmalade was on her own. Fortunately the kitty bowl was full of crunchies because she evidently wasn’t getting any soft treats for dinner tonight. Sally had collapsed across the bed, clothes and all.

It would be dawn before her eyelids flickered open. And at that, all she did was get up to make a quick trip to the restroom and headed back to bed, peeling off clothing as she went. Stripped bare, she pulled the covers back and crawled in between the sheets. Her eyes were closed before she got the comforter pulled up and was back asleep, spending most of Sunday in bed.

She awoke, ravenous, and was standing in front of the refrigerator scanning the contents for what she could fix that was easy…and fast… when Izzy called.

“Just making sure we’re still on for tomorrow.”

“Yes we are. I’m yours the entire day.”

“Great. Pick you up at eight? Breakfast at Waffle House first?”

“That sounds good. I’ve never eaten there.”

CNJ_hash browns“Never? You can’t call yourself a proper Texan if you’ve never eaten at Waffle House!”

“Then I guess you’ll remedy that situation for me tomorrow.” She propped the phone between her ear and shoulder, moving containers as she continued her search through the long ignored substances, some of them turning green and threatening to walk out on their own power.

The two chatted for a few minutes while Sally filled a plate with the Chinese leftovers she settled on for her meal.

Izzy heard the dinging microwave in the background. “I’ll see you in the morning. Wear comfy clothes, we’ll be walking a bit.”

“Okaaaay. What are we doing?”

“Not gonna say. You’ll find out tomorrow.”

She was curious. But the hot teriyaki aroma drifting her way had the stronger pull. She seemed to eat her way through the rest of the evening, making up for not eating since the day before. And then, her pillow called her back to bed for early slumber and she didn’t wonder about the mysterious Monday plans until the next morning when she had to choose what to wear.

Jeans and t-shirt. Can’t get much comfier than that, she mumbled to herself. She started to reach for her favorite wear-almost-every-day sandals when she remembered Izzy’s mention of walking. She rummaged under the edge of the bed to dredge up her broken in tennies.

By the time the doorbell announced Izzy’s arrival, Sally was ready and feeling refreshed and vitalized for the first time in several weeks. She opened the door and rushed into his arms, delighted to see his smiling face standing on her doorstep.

Izzy laughed and hugged her with all his might. “Well, if this isn’t a pleasant surprise,” he drawled.

She cupped his face in her hands and slathered him with kisses, up one side and down the other. He slid his hands up behind her head and the two were soon embraced in a long overdue passionate kiss. A car horn tooting as it passed by brought them back to reality.

“Guess we’re giving your neighbors a show,” Izzy chuckled.

A slightly flushed woman, breathing heavier than she had for a long time, answered back. “You want to come in? Or did you want to go ahead and go?”

“Let’s head on out.” He paused. “If you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. I’ll grab my purse and meet you in the car.”

They chattered the whole way to their breakfast destination. “I can’t believe you’ve never eaten here,” Izzy said as he found an empty parking spot in an otherwise full parking lot. “Every self-respecting southerner loves a good ‘ole Waffle House meal. Any time of the day.”

They had to wait a few minutes for a seat. “I guess it is a popular place,” Sally conceded.

Once seated, they kept talking so much that they’d never looked at the menu. The poor waitress had to return three times before they were ready to order. When the food arrived Sally didn’t say another word as she shoveled food in, one bite quickly following the one before it.

“You’re hungry.” Izzy leaned back in the booth and watched her admiringly. “Good. You’ll need the sustenance.”

“So…where was it you said we were going?” Sally quizzed him.

“Um. Like, I didn’t say where we were going.” He took another bite of his smothered, covered, and capped hash browns before he continued. “If I recall, I thought it was a surprise. But good one. You get points for trying.”

When the waitress brought the check, Sally knew it wasn’t much from the low prices on the menus. When she saw the size of the tip Izzy left, her admiration went up another notch. She didn’t like cheapskates. Men that were cheap in one area of life were often just as stingy in all other aspects of a relationship.

CNJ_speedwayBoth of them were full and content when they pulled back onto the highway, so the ride was quieter on this segment of the trip. Sally watched the countryside. She recognized Texas Motor Speedway as they passed by, and then they were passing through Rhome. She sat there taking mental notes, but didn’t ask any questions because she knew they wouldn’t be answered. Boyd was familiar. She’d been to the big cat rescue there before. But when Izzy turned down a dirt road a few miles down, she totally lost her bearings.

She looked at Izzy with a puzzled expression.

He just grinned and puckered up his lips to blow her a kiss across the seat. And kept driving as the dust whirled around the truck, threatening to envelop them.

“What’s back here?” She couldn’t contain her inquisitiveness.

He didn’t answer until he pulled up and parked in front of a small farmhouse, sitting under a canopy of towering post oaks. “I’m going to share my world with you today.”

He got out and moved around to Sally’s door while she was sitting there scanning the fields lining the horizon. Opening the door, he held out his hand to help her out. “Shall we go see what’s in bloom today?”

Thyme for Love – tiger

Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy’s relationship was heating up, until she got a little snippy on their last phone call. This week we’re writing to the prompt, tiger. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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OGS_herb festival2“I know. You were busy too. I got so wrapped up in wanting this event to be a success for Oak Grove. I think it was more than I anticipated and I was overwhelmed.” She slid her free arm around his waist. “That’s no excuse for treating you like that though.”

“That’s one thing I love about you though. The way you pursue your goals with the vengeance of a tiger chasing its prey.” He chuckled. “Me? I have my goals but I don’t think I’m quite as intense about getting there.”

“No. You’re Mr. Mellow-Yellow. You get there when you get there.” Her face flushed with a scarlet hue as a memory crossed her mind. “Welllll…” she drawled, “Sometimes you’re not all that laid back though.”

He bent his head down and nuzzled her neck. “If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, sometimes a little more action is called for.”

A longing surged through her body that had nothing to do with the herbs and vendors surrounding her. She leaned a little closer, breathing in the fresh, earthy scent of Izzy. “Can you forgive me?”

“Oh, babe, of course I forgive you.” He wrapped his arms around Sally and added, “Under one condition.”

“Ut-oh.” She tipped her head back and looked into the happy face so close to hers. “That could be trouble.”

“You’re probably going to collapse tonight when this is over.”

“Oh, there’s no probably about that. I can guarantee I’ll be a zombie by the time the last vendor pulls out of their space this evening.”

“Which means tomorrow you’re probably not going to be up for much.”

She shook her head in agreement. “I may not even get out of my pj’s tomorrow.”

“And you’re still closed on Monday?” he asked.

“Yes. Why?”

“You have any plans for Monday?”

“Nothing special. Just no work,” she answered. “No Crafter’s Cottage. No herb festival. I don’t even want to see Oak Grove Square.”

“Good! Then Monday you’re mine. All day. That’s my condition. I pick you up for breakfast and I get you for the whole day. No work. No phones. Nothing but the two of us.”

A puzzled look crossed Sally’s face. “What plans are running through that mind of yours?”

Izzy laughed as he dropped another kiss on the top of her head and backed away. “Nothing you need to know right now. Now go get back to work. I’ve got plants to go play with and you have an adoring public headed your way.” He tipped his head to two vendors headed in their direction.

“Bright and early Monday morning, sunshine. And you’re mine – all mine – for the whole day.” He blew a kiss and turned back towards the truck to help his sister unload herbs.

Sally admired the view of his retreating back side for a moment before turning to meet the vendors coming her way.

Thyme for Love – Tuesday Tales picture prompt

Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy’s relationship was heating up, until she got a little snippy on their last phone call. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt, only 300 words. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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TT_July 2015 prompt

Sally smoothed her hair back behind her ears, unsure how to begin. She looked at the ground, then back up. She searched Izzy’s face. Usually he appeared so laid back and easy going. Right now he appeared fidgety, slipping his hands in and out of his pockets and shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

Becca looked back and forth between the two. “I think you two need to talk. Without little sister hanging around. I’ll finish unloading the truck.” She eased away. “Nice to finally meet you,” she called before she turned and went back to work.

“You too,” Sally replied. She hesitated and looked up and down the tree lined street surrounding the square. “So, I never liked the taste of crow, but I need a giant serving of it now.”

Izzy stopped squirming and looked intently into her eyes. “How’s that?”

“I owe you an apology. I was a snot when you called me Monday night.”

“Yeah, I probably wouldn’t argue with that one very hard.” Fortunately the grin on his face showed that there was more tease than anger in his words.

“And right now,” Sally continued, “after you didn’t answer last night, and then I saw the cute young girl helping you out, I jumped to conclusions.”

“I could tell. I could see it in your face.” Izzy laughed. “That kind of made up for you being snippy with me. It was totally worth it.”

He stepped closer and cupped her face in the palms of his hands. “The reason I didn’t answer was because I’d left my phone in the house while I was loading up the truck last night.” He dropped a quick kiss on her nose. “You’re not the only one that had to work this week.”

Thyme for Love – Tuesday Tales – flexible

Tuesday Tales

Here’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy’s relationship was heating up, until she got a little snippy on their last phone call. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘flexible’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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Sally meant to get to bed early Friday night, knowing that the alarm would be sounding far too early for her liking. It still ended up being almost midnight before she fell into bed, exhausted. She groaned when she set the alarm. Thank God this is almost over, she muttered before she conked out without a further conscious thought.

When her phone started summoning her in the dark room, informing her that it was 4 am and time to rise, she wanted to throw it across the room. She settled for hitting snooze once before she dragged herself out of bed and aimed her body towards the shower, feeling like she was a cast member in The Walking Dead.

She wanted to be on site by five, even though vendors weren’t supposed to be there until six for set up. From past experience at craft shows she’d attended, she knew there were be the early birds chomping at the bit, arriving far before the arranged set up time. And then, there would be others, barely arriving by the time they were supposed to have vehicles moved to ready the site for attendees. She briefly wondered when Izzy would show up and if they’d have time to chat during the day.

I need to apologize, she told herself firmly. I was totally in the wrong. I didn’t need to snap at him like such a bitch. Note to self – girl, you must learn to be more flexible!

CNJ_farmers marketArriving at the town square, at a quarter past five, she discovered that she was right. She spied three vendors already parked and waiting. She grabbed her clipboard from the car and hurried towards them, ready to check them off the list and direct them to their assigned spot. Fortunately they weren’t too chatty. They seemed to be as semi-comatose as she was.

Cars arrived pretty steadily, keeping her running back and forth. When she had a brief break a little later, she scurried over to Java Time, to grab a chai tea.

“The ‘grande-est’ one you have,” she told Carmen, who greeted her from behind the counter. “I don’t think you have one big enough to keep me going all day.”

“I’ll bring you out another one in a few hours,” Carmen volunteered.

“I won’t know where I’ll be on the square.”

“That’s all right. I’ll hunt you down. I’ll be ready for a break by then.” She grinned and handed over the steamy concoction. “That will give me a chance to look around and see what goodies are out there.”

Sally clutched her caffeine lifesaver and headed over to the stage area to make sure it was set up to accommodate the speakers and demonstrations that would follow throughout the day. When she saw Izzy’s truck parked in front the double space he’d requested on the corner, she switched directions and headed his way.

She fully intended to apologize – until she saw the young, gorgeous blond helping Izzy unload the truck.

CNJ_herbs“What the hell?” The words spewed from her lips before she could stop them. Yeah…‘his girl’ my ass. It sure didn’t take him long to come up with someone new. She stomped towards them, her jaw set and lips clenched.

Izzy lifted a flat of lush green plants and turned to set them on the tables lining the space. As he saw Sally bee-lining in his direction, his face lit up in a radiant grin.

The smile slowly faded as she got closer. “Hey babe,” he called out, sounding a little unsure of himself.

“Don’t you ‘babe’ me.”

“All right.” He voice wavered, as if confused. “You still sore over me asking you to dinner when you’re so busy.”

“It’s not that at all.” Icy frostiness coated Sally’s reply. Her eyes cut over to the young assistant who was busy filling the tables with trays from the back of the truck.

Izzy followed her glance and burst out in laughter. “Hey, Rebecca,” he called out. “Come here a minute. There’s someone special I want you to meet.”

Sally glared at the fresh faced girl as she approached. When Izzy walked up and put his arm around her shoulders, Sally felt like a lead ball landed in her stomach.

“Becca, this is Sally, who I’ve told you so much about.”

Rebecca’s face lit up as she held out her hand to shake.

Sally stood frozen, unable to dreg up any southern hospitality in response.

“Sally, this is Rebecca, or ‘Becca’, my favorite younger sister.”

Becca chuckled and slapped at Izzy’s chest. “Your only younger sister, you big brute.”

Relief washed over Sally, lifting a weight from her. It seemed that the sunshine broke out from a cloudy sky and the world was a fine place, once again. She didn’t know whether to dance around in happiness, or wish for a big hole to swallow her and her embarrassment up.