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Nereids and Neptune (standard:romance, 940 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: Jul 24 2006Views/Reads: 1832/1018Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The only way to forget love is to find it again. Two years after the death of his wife, Tom heads back to California.
 



Nereids and Neptune 

Copyright: Kelly Shaw2005 

Chapter 1. Mendocino 

Tom Champion places both hands on the bar and rests his right foot on
the brass rail. The bald, heavily bearded barman, busy drying glasses, 
throws the damp towel over his shoulder and sets a mat in front of him. 
Tom orders a beer, which comes in a tall frozen glass. He chugs it 
down, its coldness hurting his throat, before pulling a ten-dollar bill 
from his wallet and nods an acknowledgement to the barman before 
stepping back into the streets of San Francisco. 

Crossing Golden Gate Bridge he settles deeply into the leather seat.
It's a four-hour drive to Mendocino; time in which old recriminations 
would sully the memories. If he hadn't chosen to sail the yacht back 
from Hong Kong, after promising he would fly, he would have been with 
her that fateful day. Now, two years after hearing the news, he is 
heading back, leaving highway 101, toward Jenner, a small bohemian 
community on the Pacific Coast Highway, with all its unrivalled, 
spectacular beauty. He didn't wanted to come back at all, knowing her 
clothes still hang in the closet, her perfumes and make-up still 
clutter the bathroom, and it's this intimate knowledge that sets aside 
any certainty he will enter the house. 

**************** 

“ Honey, we need to hurry.” Tom leaned against the bathroom door,
watching how she curled her eyelashes. 

“I'll be two minutes, almost done,” she said, giving the strange metal
curling tool another blast of heat from the blow dryer. It was enough 
to make him flinch. He stepped back into the bedroom. 

The phone rang; it was Joseph Chapman, a long time friend and business
agent. He called confirming the American businessman had accepted the 
offer and signed the contract on the house. 

“We'll be in London this evening, Josey...well, if Katherine leaves the
bathroom anytime soon...” he joked. 

“ I heard that, honey,” she called out. 

“...and we fly out early the next morning.” Tom finished. 

“A limo will take you from the airport to the Sonoma Lodge, about an
hour and a half drive, and the following morning you'll be driven to 
Mendocino.” 

“Yeh, I've been thinking about that, I'd rather drive myself. Can you
fix that?” 

“Sure, if that's what you want.” 

Katherine appeared from the bathroom, moved to his side and nibbled at
his ear. 

“Great, Josey, we'll take in the coastal route, do a bit of sightseeing
while we're there. Okay, it looks like we're ready. I'll give you a 
call from the airport.” 

“You bet. Tell Katherine, hi from me.” 

Tom put the phone down and put both arms around her waist. 

“Well...” she said, raising her arms and dipping her hip in model
fashion, “worth the wait?” She smiled radiantly. 

He didn't need to answer, his eyes and arms told her all she wanted to
know. 

“You're sure you want this, Tom, you're not buying this house just for
me are you? I know your heart, your spirit and soul are in this house.” 



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