Welcome Readers...into my Dreams and Imagination.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CJ's Christmas Party - Part Five

Hey all,

Here is the fifth installment of this very special story.  I hope you enjoy this peek into the lives of the people that live in my imagination!  And have a wonderful Christmas!!!!!

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: Sharing of this story is suggested, encouraged and applauded, but the author’s name IS NOT to be removed from it for any reason whatsoever. Please do not offer it for sale; it is a free read story for CJ England’s fans and designed only for those who are 18 and OLDER.

All characters in this story have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.

Amy allowed herself to be towed to the stage.  “Callie?  She’s married to Jordon McKenna, right?”
“Yes.  The hoops they had to jump through were really painful.  CJ touched on something a lot of women have had experience with.  Fortunately for Callie and Jordon it had a happy ending.”
“What do you mean?”
Lara sighed.  “Callie was the victim of date rape.  And Jordon was part of it.”
“He raped her?” Amy stopped dead.  “But…but, I’ve never read any of that in the newspapers.”
“No, of course he didn’t rape her.  That’s not something CJ would allow.” Lara pulled on her friend’s arm and got her moving again.  “It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that someone else planted the drug without either of them knowing about it.  Jordon drank some too, so he was pretty out of it by the time it was over.”
“How horrible.  For both of them.”
“And then Callie found out she was pregnant.  That was really hard.  She had to choose whether to tell him or not and once she did, they had to decide whether they could make a life together.  Then there was a horrible tabloid story that almost broke them up, Jordon’s ex-girlfriend coming in and stirring the pot, and, oh yeah, Callie was almost shot to death by some crazed fan.”
Amy’s mouth had dropped open at the list.  She finally gulped.  “You’re right.  They did go through a lot.”
“But once they knew they loved each other, it was all worth it.”  Lara smiled.  “And they have a beautiful son named J.J. who I hear is a real handful.”
They’d finally reached the stage.  A small woman with honey-blonde hair and eyes the color of pewter stood with two other women.  Lara walked right up and gave her a hug.  “Callie.  The music is wonderful.”
“Isn’t it?”  She glanced up to where her husband was playing a quick riff on his guitar.  Dustin St. James was strumming right along with him as Keeton Metro played the piano.  “They just can’t help themselves.  They love to play together.”
“All the better for us.”  Amy stepped forward.  “I love the music.”
“This is Amy Cassidy,” Lara said.  “She and Givré Beauchamp are in CJ’s latest Christmas story.”
“Oh—” Callie’s eyes went bright, “—you’re with that sexy Frenchman.  The one that came to life one day as a snowman.”
Amy laughed.  “That’s my Givré.”
“A snowman?”  The tiny redhead next to Callie frowned.  “I don’t understand.  How can a snowman come to life?  Ain’t possible, is it?  The snow on my mountain don’t do anything but make it hard for me to get to the outhouse.”
“Amy, Lara, this is Favor Rowen-Metro,” Callie introduced.  “She’s Keeton’s wife.”
“How do you do?”  Lara gazed down at the ethereal looking woman.  She gave you the impression of a forest elf who’d escaped the forest.  Or in Favor’s case, her mountain.  “I remember hearing about you.  You saved Keeton when his plane went down in that big snowstorm.  He would have died if not for you.”
Favor blushed.  “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
“You were more than that,” the woman to the left of Favor spoke.  Her beautiful violet eyes filled with tears.  “You healed him.  Body and soul.”
“This is Heather Kraft,” Callie said, sniffing back her own tears.  “She’s a new friend of ours.”
“What do you mean, she healed him?”
Heather smiled.  “Favor has her own magic.  She can heal by empathically linking to someone.  That’s how she kept Keeton alive.”
“Wow.  Another empath,” Lara marveled.  “And this one is in our world.  Remind me to introduce you to Lanai and Talia later on.”
“And you were snowed in with Keeton all winter long?”  Amy glanced up at the handsome blond man stroking the piano keys.  “That could have been a lot of fun.  I don’t think I’d mind being snowed in with Givré.”
“I didn’t mind it,” Favor answered.  “I’m used to being snowed in all winter long.  But Keeton, he wasn’t so happy.  He was still hurting from the plane crash and losing all his friends.”  She shook her head.  “Once he got better it was easier.”
“And you fell in love?”  Lara sighed.  “How romantic.”
“It wasn’t quite that easy,” Callie said exchanging a brief glance with Favor.  “Keeton wanted her to come with him off the mountain.  He didn’t want to leave her behind.  But then—”
“But then,” Favor took up the narration, “my pa decided he could get some money out of Keeton, so he forced us to get married. He lied and both Keeton and I, we fell for it.”
“What happened?”  Amy could see the pain in the other woman’s face.
“We went back to Nashville but Keeton, he wouldn’t even talk to me.  See, he thought I was in on it with my pa.”  Favor shook her head.  “But I wasn’t.  My pa…he is a very bad man.”
“It was a difficult time for both of them,” Heather said quietly.  “And part of it was because Favor couldn’t read or write.”
Lara’s mouth dropped open.  “You can’t?”
“I can now.” Favor nodded decisively.  “But back then I was so embarrassed I kept it a secret.  And because of it, my pa was able to hurt us for a long time.”
“It took a while for things to get straightened out,” Callie murmured.  “But once the truth came to light, then all that was left to do was decide if they wanted to stay married or not.”
“And we did.  Though that was hard too.”  Favor’s lower lip trembled.  “We was so different.  Keeton likes people and I would rather be on my mountain.  Living in a big town after so many years alone was a big adjustment.  But after a while we knew we were meant to be together, so we both made compromises and here we are.”
“Wow.”  Amy wiped away a tear.  “What a great love story.”
“Oh, you should hear Heather and Dustin’s if you want great.”
Lara glanced up at the guitarist next to Keeton.  He was as dark as Jordon and Keeton were light and quite dangerous looking.  She patted her heart and looked back to the ebony haired woman.  “You’re with Dustin St. James?”
Heather blushed.  “That’s still to be decided.  But I’m at least here for the night.”
“Heather and Dustin’s story comes out in January 2011,” Callie explained.  “And if you like stubborn, hot tempered heroes, Dustin is your man.”
“Did I just hear my name being taken in vain?”
They all turned as Jordon, Keeton and Dustin jumped off the stage.  The regular band took their place and immediately the song, Do Me a Favor began to play.  Keeton put his arm around his tiny wife and grinned at the dark guitarist who had taken his place next to Heather.  “Mate, your name should always be taken in vain.”
Dustin snorted out a laugh.  His dark gaze swept over Amy and Lara.  “Now, who are these two lovely ladies?”
“This is Lara, our hostess,” Heather answered him.  “And this is Amy Cassidy.  She’s with—”
“The artist, Givré Beauchamp.”  Dustin nodded.  “I’ve seen his work.  It’s great.”
Amy blinked in surprise.  “Really?  But he hasn’t had his show yet.  How did you hear about him?”
Red touched Dustin’s cheeks and he exchanged a wry glance with Jordon.  “I know some people who know some people.  That’s all.  But tell your guy he won’t have to worry about selling his work.  I’ve got this feeling…collectors will be all over it.”
“Thanks.”  Amy cocked her head.  “Do you know a lot about art?”
Jordon laughed at the embarrassment on his friend’s face.  “Let’s just say it’s a family thing.  Without his family being involved, Dustin wouldn’t know a Van Gough from my son J.J.’s latest crayon drawing.”
“You’ve never said anything about liking art.”  Heather glanced shyly up at Dustin.  “What aren’t you telling me?”
“Now, honey.”  Dustin took her hand and squeezed gently.  “You and I haven’t had time to talk about stuff like that.”  He shrugged at Lara and Amy.  “See, Heather and I met six years ago when she and her family came to visit Nashville.  Sparks flew, but back then it was impossible for us to be together.”
“I—” Heather blushed, “—was already married.”
“Oh.”  Lara wasn’t sure what to say.  “Bummer.” 
Dustin snorted again at the obvious understatement.  “But when she freed herself from that nightmare—”
“Dustin!” Heather interrupted, looking even more embarrassed.
“Nightmare,” Dustin repeated fiercely.  “That’s what it was and you know it.”  He took a deep breath to calm his rising temper.  “Anyway, she came to Nashville and we met again.  And everything I felt for her six years ago came rushing back.”
“But it’s really hard,” Heather whispered, her violet eyes shadowed.  “I’m older than he is, and I’ve got so much horrible baggage.  My marriage…”  She shuddered.  “It wasn’t a very good one.  He…”  She shook her head.  “Never mind all that.”
“Don’t care about your past,” Dustin told her.  “All I care about is now.”
Heather stared up at him.  “But I’ve got two grown kids.”
“Grown kids?”  Amy’s mouth dropped open.  “Good Lord!  How old were you when you started?”
“Amy!” Lara hissed, giving her friend a nudge.  “That’s not polite.”
“I’m sorry,” Amy apologized immediately, her face going a bright red.  “It’s just, you look so young.  God.  Can I be you when I grow up?”
Everyone laughed, breaking the slight tension.  Even Heather had to smile.  “Trust me.  You don’t want to be me.  Like I said, I have baggage.  Too much of it.  And I can’t believe a man like Dustin would want someone like me because of it.”
“I told you not to think like that,” Dustin growled.  He pulled Heather closer.  “I’ve been waiting for you for six long fucking years.  You think I’m going to worry about a few extra suitcases?”
“This is more like a whole shop full.”  Heather’s lips curved in a teasing smile.  “And from what I hear you didn’t wait for me at all.  Shall I tell Lara and Amy your nickname, Dusty?
“No!”  When everyone laughed at his horrified shout, Dustin gave them all a disgruntled look.  “Damn it.  I wasn’t a monk, but you know I was never serious about any of them.  How could I be?”  He lifted Heather’s hand to his mouth and gently kissed her fingers.  “None of them could compare to what I felt for you.”
All the women visibly melted.  Keeton and Jordon groaned.  “Christ,” Keeton said, shaking his head.  “Put it in a song, why don’t you.  After all, you and Heather are both songwriters.”
“Among other things,” Jordon muttered under his breath.
“I also serve drinks at the Wildhorse Saloon,” Heather explained when she saw Amy and Lara looking confused.  None of them saw Dustin glare at Jordon.  Or Jordon’s teasing one-fingered salute in return.  “And Dustin is a studio musician.  He’s really good.”
That brought Dustin’s head around.  “Thanks, honey.  It’s the music that’s important.  Almost as important as—” he dropped a kiss on Heather’s surprised mouth, “—you are.”
“So, after six years you’re back together?”  Lara looked back and forth between the two of them.
“We’re dating.”  Heather jabbed Dustin in the stomach when he started to protest.  “Nothing is decided yet.”
“Well, good luck,” Amy said with a wicked grin.  “Knowing how CJ writes, I’m betting it won’t be easy.”
Dustin shrugged.  “As easy as the two-step as long as Heather will trust me.  It’s all or nothing, baby.  You know that.”
Heather’s eyes darkened again.  “Oh, Dustin.  I want to.  But I’m so afraid I’ll hurt you and—”
“This is getting a little serious,” Favor interrupted, shaking her head slightly at Dustin.  “Isn’t this supposed to be a party?”
“Well said, palesa.”  Keeton dusted a kiss across the redhead’s nose.  “We have music, we have food and we have beautiful women.  So let’s put all the worry and fear away right now and just enjoy ourselves.”
“Hear, hear,” agreed Jordon.  He motioned to a nearby waiter and a moment later all had fresh champagne glasses in their hands.  “I’d rather have a beer, but this will do in a pinch.”
Amy sipped carefully.  “This is my third glass.  If Givré doesn’t get back from the lounge soon, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”
“Ask and you shall receive,” Callie whispered.  “Wow!  He’s even more handsome close up.”  She giggled at Jordon’s mock growl.
“My Ami.”  Givré swept up beside her and pulling grabbing her hand, plastered kisses all over her fingers.  “I am back within my thirty minutes, no?”
Amy glanced down at her watch.  “Ummm, no.”
Givré looked crestfallen.  “I am late?  Impardonnable.  I ask of you my forgiveness.”
“She’s got you on a time limit?” Dustin said with a choked laugh.  “Seriously?”
Jordon looked down at his wife who was gazing at the other couple with speculation in her eyes.  “Don’t even think about it, woman.  I’m not a two year old you can put in a time-out corner.”
Non, non.”  Givré put up his hands in protest.  “I make the promise.  I must not break it, no?  But I was distracted.  First by the ESPN.”  He winked at Lara.  “I won the gamble, so all is well.”
She grinned back at him.  “Good for you.”
“And then the noise it came.”  Givré pointed at the roof.  “Very loud.  But when it stopped, I finished up with the drink.  I came to find my Ami, but she was gone from the roulette table.  Then I was diverted again when I saw the rat.”
“Rat!”  Lara’s eyes went wide.  “You saw a rat?”


See you next week!

CJ England


1 comment:

Phylis said...

Good chuckle. Rat! lol Look forward to next installment but I won't be able to read until after the 22nd. I am going to Iowa for my sister's 50th birthday and we are trying to surprise her with me. lol Hope all your travels are going well CJ! Merry Christmas to you and your family!