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Authors: Prudence MacLeod

Tags: #love, #gay, #house, #dog, #lesbian, #desire, #hotel, #photography, #blonde, #runner, #wildflower

Wildflower (3 page)

BOOK: Wildflower
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“Walt,” he whined as he struggled to his
feet, “I don’t know what the child told you, but...”

“She told me the truth, Avery, as she has
been doing for years. This morning she took me up to the point
where I read the truth of it for myself. The tracks on the ground
never lie, Avery, only men do.”

“Walt, please...”

“I imagine she asked the same thing of you,
Avery,” replied Walton as he advanced on his quarry. “I expect you
didn’t listen either. Now then, I am about to give you a sample of
what you can expect, if I ever hear of you being within a mile of
my daughter again.” Avery Spicer tried to scream, but he had no

Walton Fillmore carried his unconscious
brother-in-law into the infirmary as easily as a woman carries a
child. “Avery didn’t make it all the way up the stairs,” he said
softly as he laid the man’s battered body on the stretcher. “I will
leave him here with you, as I have work to attend to.”

Hazel returned home from school to learn that
her uncle had slipped with his crutches and fallen down the stairs.
He now had several bad bruises and cracked ribs to go along with
his broken leg. Hazel noted the bruising on her father’s knuckles,
but she said nothing.

In the weeks to follow, Hazel started to go
to the school dances; she even joined the basketball team. It was
driving her crazy, but she was determined to stay hidden until she
could get out into the world. One night she took a wild chance and
allowed Tommy Reid to walk her home from the dance. All the way
along the road he behaved himself perfectly and he didn’t even try
to kiss her goodnight. When he asked her out the next day, she
agreed to go.

Hazel had truly enjoyed the movie and Tommy
had behaved himself completely the whole time. She got a bit
nervous when he turned off the main road on the way home and parked
where there was a great view of the Bay of Fundy. She sat very
still as he put his arm around her shoulders and kissed her
awkwardly. When he tried again, she pushed him away. “Tommy,

“So it’s true then,” sighed the slim red
haired boy as he turned back to the view, and withdrawing his arm,
relaxed back into his seat.

“What’s true?” she asked as she squirmed over
tight to her door and gripped the handle fiercely.

“You’re a lezzie,”

“Screw you, Tommy Reid, you bastard,” she
spat as she struck at his face again and again. Tommy did nothing
to stop her; he just protected his face so she was punching his
open palms. Hazel continued to flail and swear at him with tears
flowing down her cheeks. Finally she ran out of gas and just lay
against the seat of the old car crying softly.

“It’s Ok, Hazel,” he said softly as he gently
patted her hand, “I was really hoping you were.”

“What??? Tommy Reid, are you completely

“Completely gay,”

“Excuse me? Did I get that right?”

“You heard it right, Hazel.”

“So why the hell did you ask me out

“Because I need you, Hazel, and you need

“Oh yeah? What do I need you for?”

“Listen Hazel,” he said gently as he turned
back to face her again, “I know what things are like for me, and I
suspect they are much the same for you. You know how folks are
around here. If you haven’t gotten at least one girl pregnant by
grade nine, you’re suspect, and the whole gang is on your case to

“Keep going,” she said softly, relaxing a bit
at last, “I’m listening.”

“Well, I thought if I had a girlfriend and
you had a boyfriend, they would get off our backs. We only have
this last year to go then we can get the hell out of here and lead
a real life somewhere. I just though this would make it easier for
the both of us.”

“You’d better not be playing with me, Tommy,”
she said severely. “If you’re messing with me I’ll tell my dad you
raped me.”

Tommy blanched at that. “Jesus Hazel, don’t
ever kid about a thing like that,” he exclaimed hastily, shrinking
back a bit from her. Walton Fillmore’s reputation was formidable

“I’m not kidding,” she replied as she gazed
deeply into his eyes. “Mess with me on this and I promise, that’s
the price you pay.”

“I’m not messing with you, Hazel. I need you
to help me here.”

“Ok, then I guess you’re my boyfriend for the
rest of the year. Just tell me one thing, why did you kiss me?”

“I wanted to see if it would really taste as
bad as I imagined,” he grinned.

“Screw you, Tommy Reid,” she exclaimed as she
punched him hard on the arm. He winced as she hit him again, but
she was giggling this time. “Brat,” she growled as she slid over
and nestled against his shoulder. “Do you really think this will
work, Tommy?”

“It will if we try,” he replied as he put his
arm around her shoulders and lightly kissed the top of her head.
“It’s just got to work, Hazel; I don’t think I can make it if it

“You’ve got to make it, Tommy, you’re the
only friend I’ve got and I want you to last. You’d better give me
your school ring too.”

“My ring?”

“All the girls wear their guy’s ring. No one
will believe a word of it unless I have the evidence.”

“Yes dear,” he grinned as he removed the ring
from his hand and gave it to her.

“I’ll give it back after grad,” she whispered

“Thanks honey.”

“Tommy, I know that kissing me is pretty
tough on you,” giggled Hazel as they pulled into her driveway, “but
we’ll have to do it once in a while just for show.”

“Tell the truth,” he grinned, “you liked

“Jerk,” she muttered as she punched his
shoulder again. “Night sweetheart.”

“Night lover,” he laughed gently. “See you at
school tomorrow?”

“Come for me, we’ll walk together.”

Somehow they made it work. Everybody accepted
the charade at face value, everybody except Walton Fillmore and he
kept his peace on the subject. Tommy came often for dinner and to
study, and Hazel was often in the Reid home as well. They exchanged
gifts at Christmas and even took dancing lessons together as well.
The local folk often spoke of what a handsome couple they made and
wanted to know when they would marry.

It was the most peaceful year of school Hazel
had ever had. She and Tommy were like brother and sister and her
uncle had taken work in Alberta as soon as he was out of hospital.
It was with great hope for the future that Hazel Fillmore packed
her bags to take the train to Toronto. She had been accepted into U
of T and she had her student loan money in hand. She and Tommy had
said their goodbyes as he headed out for Vancouver and now it was
Hazel’s turn.

“You’ve got a chance now, girl;” said Walton
Fillmore gently as he stood on the platform waiting to put his only
daughter on the train, “don’t waste it. Make sure it is right for

“I will, Daddy,” she smiled softly, “I

“Send me a picture when you find what you’re
looking for.”

“I will,” she promised. Suddenly she hurled
herself into his arms and hugged him fiercely. “Thank you for
understanding.” With that she stepped away from him and boarded the
train. Two days later Hazel Fillmore arrived in an alien world.

On The Rock


It was a clear day and Abby was actually
enjoying the view of the city as the plane circled St. John’s,
waiting for its turn to land. The three of days rest in the hotel
had done her a world of good and had given her time to think.
Abby’s entire life plan, complete with career ambitions as well as
the good marriage had just been blown apart. “Sometimes life wants
you to go in another direction Abby,” her grandmother had said many
times. “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” Abby
couldn’t argue with that so she was now planning to cruise a bit
and wait for life to point her in the right direction.

Abby smiled in spite of herself as the plane
descended through a clear blue sky and came to a smooth gentle
stop. She made her way through the airport, found a cart for her
baggage, and retrieved it from the carousel. Pushing the cart
through the doors, she hailed a cab and the driver quickly
installed the baggage in the trunk and Abby in the back seat.
“Where to Miss?” he asked, obviously awed by the rather dazzling

Abby sighed and thought for a moment. “I need
a descent hotel near shopping, banks, and car dealers,” she replied
in those sweet rich tones. “Where do you recommend?”

“Well ma’am, that’s a tall order,” he replied
respectfully, “but there is one place we could try. It’s not a
hotel, but it is a B&B and it does have all the other

“And it’s run by your mother?”

“My nan actually,” he blushed. “How did you

“I’ve lived in San Francisco for a time,” she
grinned. “Every cabbie there has a brother or uncle who has exactly
what you need.”

“I wasn’t ragging you Miss,” he said
sheepishly. “Nan’s is a nice place; it’s just not in a good tourist
location. It is close to the university, the mall, and a couple of
banks as well as a few car lots. It’s an easy walk to everything
for you and she’s quite reasonable.”

“All right I’ll check it out,” laughed Abby,
“but if you’re lying to me I’ll put the hex on you.”

“No ma’am, not a word of a lie, I swear it.
I’ll just call her to let her know we’re coming.” He whipped out
his cell phone and dialed quickly. “Hi Nan, it’s Billy. I’ve got a
customer for you. We’re on our way over right now.” He popped the
car into gear and pulled out of the parking lot, chatting easily
about the weather as he headed across town to his grandmother’s

Abby absentmindedly listened to his chatter
and gazed out the window as the city passed by her view. True to
his word, Abby could see the mall, with bank and car lot right
nearby. The cab pulled up to a well kept older home with a grey
haired woman waiting at the door. “This is my Nan Parsons,” said
the cabbie by way of introduction as he held the car door open for

“Hello Mrs. Parsons,” Abby smiled warmly as
she extended her hand, “I’m Abigail MacKai. Please leave my bags
there a moment, Billy, I want to see the room first.”

“Right this way, Miss MacKai,” said the older
woman as she led the way back into the house. She seemed to be a
bit awed by Abby as well, and that was just the way Abby wanted it.
From now on she would command respect and she would get it. Abby
would use all her charm, looks, and whatever else she could, but
she would demand respect. Abby had been used disrespectfully for
the last time; she was never going to go through another experience
like that again.

The room was clean and nicely appointed even
if the furnishing were quite old. The woman made a point of the
fact that she used the same mattresses as that famous hotel chain.
The rest of the house was spotless and the woman was nicely
dressed. “This would be wonderful,” smiled Abby. “I should like to
stay for a few days until I can arrange for an apartment.”

“I could give you a weekly rate Miss MacKai,
if that would make things a bit easier for you.”

“That would be perfect Mrs. Parsons. I’ve
been a bit unwell recently and am under doctor’s orders not to do
anything strenuous. Do you think Billy will carry my bags upstairs
for me?”

“Oh my dear, by the look on his face, I’d say
that boy would do anything you ask him to do.”

“Well then, let’s test that theory shall we?”
laughed Abby. She gave Billy a generous tip after he had her bags
installed in the room.

Abby settled herself in a bit then headed out
to explore the area. “Supper’s at six,” said Mrs. Parsons as Abby
came down the stairs and headed for the door.

“Excuse me? I thought you only served

“Ah well, you’re on the weekly rate and I
hate to eat alone. Supper at six?”

“Thank you Mrs. Parsons,” smiled Abby. “I’ll
be sure to be back at six.”

“Edna, call me Edna.”

“Thank you Edna. My friends call me Abby.
I’ll be certain to return in plenty of time.”

“Here, take this with you,” said Edna as she
passed a card with Billy’s cell phone number on it to Abby, “just
in case you get lost.”

“Thanks Edna,” laughed Abby, “that’s a good
idea, I’ll keep it handy.” She smiled as she walked toward the
mall. Abigail MacKai had never gotten lost in a city in her life
and she would not start now. Carefully noting every landmark that
she passed, Abby made her way swiftly to the mall.

“How convenient,” thought Abby as she walked
into the bank inside the mall. She nearly went into shock as she
exchanged her American money for Canadian. All along Abby had been
looking at things and prices still thinking in American dollars.
Once the exchange was made she had nearly doubled the numbers and
the reality of the exchange hit her. She now had over one hundred
and forty thousand dollars. She took her new bankbook to the food
court and bought herself a tall coffee and muffin. It was time to
reflect a bit.

As she sat down Abby noticed an abandoned
newspaper at the next table. She pulled it to her and flipped
through it, looking for the prices of apartments. The real estate
ads fell open and she glanced at them as well. After all, her
grandmother had always said property was a good investment. Abby
was surprised to see that she could actually afford to pay cash for
a house. Suddenly one small ad caught her eye.

“Older home, private setting, less than one
hour from city, town water supply. House in good state of repair.
Estate sale, comes fully furnished, try an offer.” The asking price
was less than forty thousand dollars. It was an older looking
place, and, for some reason, it called to Abby. She finished her
snack and tucked the paper under her arm as she walked away. A few
moments later she bought a cell phone and activated it with a
prepaid program. Abby found a quiet bench and used her new phone to
call the agent about the house.

BOOK: Wildflower
11.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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