Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chapter Seventeen - Finally from Michael

I think this will be the whole chapter. We haven't heard from Michael forever and it's really three scenes in this one dive log. This is more revised than what you've been getting lately. I had a whole glorious day to work today. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

We passed the 30K milestone today. I'm up to 200 manuscript pages. We've got 20+K more to go. I hoped to finish a draft before Christmas, but I don't think that will happen. I'm having too much fun and loving all the complications these new characters are straying into to rush the process. Hope you'll all stick with me--and invite your friends. We closing in on 100 followers! Who-hoo!



Dive Buddy: Leesie           
Date:  06/06
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

            Seth is supposed to pick Dani up at the airport tonight, but nobody’s seen them yet. I take Leesie out to dinner, and when we get back, Alex has Gabriel in the room. There’s a note to Leesie on the door. Come back at one.
            I steer Leesie out of the apartment before she hears anything. She’s never been around stuff like this. I don’t like it. “How long has that been brewing?”
            “Since Kai left. Gabriel’s good at comfort.”
            “But not commitment.” I put my arm around Leesie and we head down the stairs.
            “Alex thinks she can change that.”
            My hand glides down to Leesie’s waist. “He seems to care about her. You should have heard him tear into Seth when we were cleaning up after this morning’s dives. Not like him at all.”
            Leesie slips her arm out of her sling and wraps her fingers around mine. “He’s a classic hero. All he need was a damsel in distress.”
            I jingle the keys in my pocket. “You want to go for a drive.”
            She wraps me closer, puts my hand on her stomach. “Nope.”
            We wander across the beach and down to the dock. She wants to make out, but we need to talk.
            I kiss her fingers. “So Alex and Gabriel? Is that going to be awkward?”
            She runs the fingers of her casted hand through my hair. “I guess I could take the fifth cot in the living room.”
            “No way. It’s not that serious. They’re just messing around tonight. He won’t move in with her.”
            Her eyebrows rise. “You don’t know Alex.”
            I sling both arms around her back. “You don’t know Gabriel.”
            “She got your work schedules changed up so they’re diving together—every shift.” She sticks out her tongue at me.
            I wrinkle my nose back at her. “She’s so not his type.”
            She leans in close. “But she needs him.” Her breath tickles my ear. “That’s intoxicating.”
            I close my eyes and inhale her cocoanut closeness. I miss her sweet banana mango shampoo. “So what do you think we should do?”
            She kisses me. “Make out.”
            Her mouth is on mine again. “But nothing.”
            We kiss for awhile standing on the edge of the dock with the soft night surge swirling against the floating wood and the deep starry night for a backdrop. It’s sweet—slow, unhurried, neither of us going anywhere, pressuring each other to do anything else but hold each other and trade love with our lips.
            I rest my cheek against her head. “You can’t stay in that apartment all summer. It’s not good for you.”
            Her face gets hot. “Maybe I’ll learn something.”
            I grasp her face between my hands and tilt her head back. “I don’t want you to learn anything.”
            Her shoulders rise in a hopeless shrug. “I have to learn sometime.”
            “I’ll find a new place for you to stay.”
            “Without you?” Her lips find my neck. “No way.” She looks down at our feet—mine on either side of hers. “Let’s buy our own place.”
            She pulls me in close, kisses me, won’t let me talk.
            I turn away from her lips. “But we can’t get married.”
            “Yes”—she kisses me—“we can.” Another kiss. “It’s easy.” She goes in for another kiss, but I pull out of her reach. “I looked it all up. We could get married tomorrow—well Monday if I didn’t have my appointment.”
            I study her happy face. “Did you plan thing whole Dani thing out? Did you manipulate everything?”
            She laughs. “I’m not that smart. But I am in the way for Alex and Gabriel. We don’t have much choice.”
            “We can’t get married.”
            She kisses me, gets my tongue.
            “Stop it, babe. I promised your dad I’d take you home first.”
            “You what?” The smile drains out of her face. She releases me, turns her back, squats down and stares into the dark water.
            “When we talked on the phone—I promised him.” I hunker down beside her.
            She turns her glare on me. “I’m never going home.”
            I lean over and catch her lips. “If you want to marry me, you will.”
            She lies back, draws me down on top of her. “We can just shack up together. I don’t care.” Her legs wrap around me.
            I push up off her. “Nope.” I get on my feet and offer her my hand.
            She won’t take it, just lies there looking up at me. “Then what are we going to do?”
            “Go back up to the apartment and disappoint Alex and Gabriel.”

            The clock reads 1:52 AM when I usher Leesie in through the apartment door. All the guys—including Gabriel—mill around the kitchen and living room drinking beer, waiting for Dani and Seth.
            “Shhh!” Gabriel puts a finger up to his lips. “Alex is asleep.”
            Cooper chucks a pillow at him. “Worn out, eh?”
            Gabriel catches the pillow, frowns. “She was distressed.”
            Brock sets his beer down. “And you took her mind off her troubles?”
            Ethan looks up from soccer reruns on TV. “She does not need another rascal breaking her wee heart.”
            “I’m well aware of that.” Gabriel lets the pillow drop from his hands.
            Cooper stands. “Then what the hell are you doing?”
            Gabriel rifles his fingers through his black chick-bait hair. “She wants me.” He rotates, gathers everyone’s eyes. “What am I supposed to do? Turn her down? Humiliate her?”
            “You’re taking advantage of her.” Cooper gets right in Gabriel’s face. “Not cool, dude.”
            Gabriel puts his hand flat on Cooper’s chest and pushes him back. “I’m trying to make her happy.” He sits down on the couch.
            Brock cocks his head. “You care if she’s happy?”
            Gabriel’s face softens. “I do. I care.” He see’s Alex’s face peeking from a crack in her and Leesie’s bedroom door, turns, and addresses her. “I do care very much.”
            Alex slips through the door, crosses the room to Gabriel, climbs on his lap, and hides her face against his neck. Gabriel’s arms go around her, protecting, a hand strokes her head, and he kisses her forehead.
            Leesie smiles, goes to the fridge and takes out butter and eggs. “I need brownies. Anybody want to help?”
            I crack the eggs, Leesie melts the butter and chocolate on the stove. Brock turns on the oven. And Cooper and Ethan measure the flour and sugar.
            A half hour later, we’re crowded around the table, eating hot, gooey brownies—same recipe that she made when I met with those jerk missionaries back at BYU.  The guys have traded their beer for milk. The apartment door opens and a half-drunk Seth leads in a very drunk blonde girl spilling out of her fuchsia halter top and matching mini skirt. Dani.
            Alex gives her a brutal, loathing glare and stalks into her and Leesie’s bedroom.
            Gabriel stands up. “Hello, Dani.” He speaks in a solemn voice and goes after Alex.
            Dani giggles and punches Seth in the arm. “You’re right, Sethie. They all want me back. “ She stumbles. Seth catch her—stumbles, too.
            Cooper and Ethan leap to help them. “It’s cool, Dani,” Cooper says. “We’re glad you’re back.”
            “Liars.” The giggle dissolves to tears. “She should be mad at Kai—not me. It’s his fault.”
            Brock pats her arm. “If you promise to make this pathetic bloke happy again, we’ll all be thrilled with your return.”
            She beams at Seth. “So it’s true? He can’t live without me?”
            Seth plants a loud smack on the side of her face. “You’re never getting away from me again.”
            She kisses him, and Brock and Cooper hustle them into their room and shut the door.
            Leesie leaves the table with the dirty plates balanced on her broken left hand.
            I gather up the dirty glasses and join her.
            She dumps her sling on the counter and whispers so only I can hear. “Dyed hair. Long, though. Pretty.”
            “And those”—she rolls her eyes dramatically—“weren’t real.”
            “I didn’t look.” I concentrate on scrubbing the plate in my hand.
            Leesie elbows me. “Yes, you did.”
            “They weren’t so big.”
            “So you admit it?” She pulls the sprayer gadget out and rinses the plates I washed.
            I nuzzle the side of her head. “Sorry. I won’t ever look at those again.”
            “Or any other girl’s frontal zone.” She turns to me holding the sprayer like a weapon.
            I hold up my hands. “For the rest of my life?”
            “Yes. This is all you get.” She drops her hands to I can assess my fate.
            I put my hands on her waist and whisper, “You know I’m a small breast guy.”
            “There’s no such thing.” She glances down at her white T-shirt. “Should I get them fixed? Look like that?”
            “No way, babe.” I hug her. “I want the real thing.”
            Leesie still has the sprayer in her hand and somehow it gets pressed and soaks my back. I wrestle it away from her, making sure I douse her front.
            She hides against my chest and whispers, “Do you want to go back out to the beach?”
            “Yeah.” It’s too late, we’re too tired, too turned on, and feeling her up is another huge Mormon sin, but we’ll just roll around in the sand—make out some more—that’s it. That's probably sin, too, but I don't care tonight.
            Leesie takes my hand, walks backward to the door so I get a good view of her wet T-shirt, pulls me forward.
            Gabriel opens the bedroom door. “Leesie?” he calls, “Alex needs you.”
            The teasing excitement drains out of her face. “Sure. I’m coming.” She kisses me goodnight and disappears. 


  1. I love Michael. I love him. He is such a good guy. It is so crazy how they have completely switched roles. I must say, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen...I'm scared. If they are not together I will die. ;) Ha ha that is a little dramatic, but what can I say..I LOVE Michael and Leesie. I'm kinda missing the old Leesie though. She needs some serious spiritual saving. I love this new side of Michael.

  2. SO many things to say! I loved this whole post. It was so good to read Michael again. What a wonderful guy <3
    Alex and Gabriel are ADORABLE. That was simply perfect. And it is official - Seth and Dani are NOT meant to be. That made me so happy. She can go back to Kai or whatever. I really don't like her. And Seth needs to snap out of it!
    Michael and Leesie were SUPER CUTE in this! Atleast he made her sort of face the music. I foresee bittersweet things for them.. :D
    If Gabe messes with Alex - and if Dani's involved in it - I will throttle him. <3

  3. FINALLY we see a little of the old Michael come out at the last of this post. I missed him. I hate to say it but no guy has that much restraint when faced with the love of his life desperately trying to make things happen. It is nice to see he is still a guy for heaven's sake. Especially at the end with the wet T-shirt. HAHA! That is SO what a guy would do! It was perfect.

  4. I agree. I did like that little part of the old Michael that came back there at the end. :)

  5. Yeah. Michael's definitely back. Leesie is back to her games. Michael knows. He just can't fight her anymore. Loved this chapter. Intense. You have some great scenes in here. Definitely show Michael's old self vs. Leesie's new self. And as always you mention the mouth watering food! I do miss the old Leesie. The one that cared about family and would never let Michael get away with that. But only time will tell. I sense more drama up ahead!

  6. I love that you all worry about things that I never even remotely imagine! You give me great ideas for mixing things up. And nobody's guessed where we're going yet, so I haven't given away my secrets. Good stuff. Thanks for the feedback. You're the best editors I've ever had!

  7. Aww, Gabriel was really sweet with Alex!

  8. I agree with what Alyssa said about the evidence of Michael's old self vs. Leesie's new self. I love the calibre of drama, but I sort of miss the old, sensible Leesie. She's so different from how she used to be, and I love the dimension it adds to the story :)

  9. I agree with everyone here. That thing in the spite of the change in Michael, shows he's still a guy. Darn! Leesie's lucky to have him, though.

  10. Angela,
    your comments make me oh so NERVOUS!!!!

  11. AWH! I agree with the old Michael part. Nice to have that wisp of air.