Supernatural Fiction posted April 15, 2011 Chapters:  ...4 5 -6- 7... 

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Steven tells Esther his true feelings

A chapter in the book The Glass Cat Eye

The Meeting of the Hearts

by amahra

(Chapter Six)

While staring into his bathroom mirror, Steven made a face like a blowfish and gently pulled the razor across his cheek. He repeated the routine several times before patting his face with a towel and splashing on Blue Seduction. In his bedroom, he whistled while strutting around in his briefs and pulled a suit from his wardrobe. He danced over to the bed with his suit in his arms like a partner and placed it there. He matched up a shirt and tie, a pair of socks, and examined the shoes for a perfect shine. After dressing, he studied himself in the mirror, grabbed his car keys and headed down to the garage. At the restaurant, he waited for Esther.   
He had known Esther since he was seven and she was five. They had played together at school and in the churchyard. Since each was the only child, they often considered one another the brother and sister they never had. But by high school…between his raging hormones and her developing buxom body, those feelings had changed. At least for him.

Since eighth grade, he had loved Esther and felt very protective of her. Just a scrawny little kid at first, but by age 15, he had won several amateur Judo championships and defended her honor on more than one occasion. While other girls saw him as a brainy nerd, Esther found him fascinating and fun. She was the only one who could hold a candle to him intellectually.  In their senior year, both worked in their respected fields as interns with assured possibilities of being hired after graduation: Steven, as a nuclear engineer–worked chiefly in design engineering at a private research and development laboratory. While Esther, a CPA major, worked for a Forensic Accounting and Consulting Firm.
Steven looked at his watch; it wasn’t like Esther to be late for anything. He had waited half an hour. He tried calling her and found that his phone was off.
Esther ran her fingers through her glossy, long, auburn hair. Standing in front of the mirror, she flashed her hazel eyes of approval at the outfit she had chosen for the night, then dabbed White Diamond on her neck and throat.  She tried Steven’s home and cell phone one more time, before heading out the door.
“God! Pick up, will you,” she said.
 He clicked on his phone and saw that she had called.
Message one: "Hey Steve, tried to catch you home.  Sorry, I have to ask for a rain check. Something’s come up.  Give me a call ASAP. Ok Stevie? Bye."
Message two:  “Steve, give me call.”
Message three:  “Pick up the damn phone!”
Message four:  “By now you know I’m not coming…so–talk to you later."
 He spoke so loudly people seemed almost frozen as they stared at him.  Walking towards his car, he calls Esther. She answers.
“Where’ve you been?” she asked.
He said, “What the hell was so important that you couldn’t make dinner? I had reservations, you know.”
“Sorry?” Steven snapped.  He felt disappointed with her nonchalant attitude about an evening that meant so much to him.
“I can’t talk to you right now. I’m pulling up,” she said.
“Pulling up where?  Where are you?” 
“Steven, I swear I’ll make it up to you. I told you something came up.”
“What came up Esther? "Why the mystery?  Is it a guy?”

“No, it’s not a guy,” she sighed. "I’d tell you, but I know we’ll argue.” 

He dreaded her saying that. He knew there was but one argument that they’d had recently and that was her obsession with Madame Reece.
“Tell me you’re not at Madame Reece's.”  Esther didn’t respond.
“Oh God. You are, aren’t you?”
“I’ll call you as soon as I’m home. I promise.”

“WHAT-EVER!" he snapped.
He clicked off, then dialed Doc and left a message.
“Doc, Steven. Esther stood me up tonight and she’s with that damned Madame Reece. I don’t know what to do. Please call me before I do something stupid.”
Heading over to Reece’s house, he barely stopped at stop signs; he raced through caution lights, and crossed in and out of lanes. He pulled up in front of the house and found the house dark and gloomy just as it had been the first night he came.  He thought it odd that there were no cars in the parking spaces. Before he could make any sense of it, his phone rang.
“Doc,” he said feeling relieved.
“I got your message,” Doc said.
“She’s not here.”
“Are you at that house?”
“I’m just parked here, relax. She lied to me. She’s not here at Madame Reece’s. Why did she have to lie?”
“Maybe she just didn’t want you to follow her.  She knows how you feel about her involvement with Reece.” 
“I guess you’re right.” Steven felt a slight headache. He dropped his head and massaged the bridge of his nose.  “Doc, I’m worried.”
“Well–there’s nothing you can do over there, “why don’t you swing by here?”
When Steven arrived, Doc had mixed some drinks and had two glasses on chill. He tried  to keep Steven’s mind occupied with the intellectual stuff they both shared; however, Steven kept calling Esther periodically and leaving messages. Doc took him into his library to explained his recent demonic research. Although Steven’s experience in Madame’s basement had poked holes in his agnostic philosophy, his puzzling mind still craved a more scientific explanation. While they debated different points of view, Esther called.
“Esther, thank God, where are you?”
“I’m home.”
“You alright?”
“Yes.  I’m sorry about tonight. We can go out tomorrow night if you want.”
She sounded so sincere and so sweet.  He never could stay angry with her for very long. He paused, then answered.
“Meet you at six?”
“Goodnight,” he said.
He clicked off and sighed, then looked at Doc and smiled. With Esther tucked safely at home, he was stress-free to continue his discussions with Doc. They parted around midnight.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Steven shifted his body beneath the covers. Esther let out a passionate moan as his hands caressed her soft breasts.  He placed a sweet kiss just below her belly button, then drove his tongue deep inside her and out again–darting and teasing her flesh. Her body moved like the rhythm of the waves as the raven hovered above them. Its giant wings covered them, like a six foot shadow.

“Make him go away,” Esther pleaded.

Steven hit at the raven but missed–his hand smashed against the corner of the night stand. The pain jolted Steven awake. He sprang up in bed, grabbed his hand that was throbbing and looked over at the clock. It was 4:00 in the morning–nearly 14 hours to go before his special evening with Esther. After massaging the pain out of his hand, he settled himself and fell back to sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After work, he rushed home to shower and dress.  Kofi's was Esther's favorite restaurant and Steven waited eagerly for her to arrive. He took a table by the window looking out over the city harbor. He watched as her car pulled up and stopped.  She gracefully stepped out as the valet attendant held the door and took her keys.  She wore a little black dress that hugged her curvy hips and round buttocks. The low-cut front was tasteful with just a peek-a-boo look at her full breasts. Her silky brown hair flowed in soft curls that adorn her brown face. She captivated Steven’s attention as she seemed to float towards the table he’d reserved for them. Her bright smile lit up his world. 

He rose and greeted her with a hug, then pulled out the chair for her and took his seat. They chitchatted for a while then ordered. Neither seemed to want to spoil the evening by speaking about the disagreement they had the night before. After dinner, they took a walk around the harbor. He struggled to get up enough nerve to tell her how he felt. They took a ride in the water taxi.  During the short ride, he turned to her.
“I apologize for the way I reacted last night,” he said.
“I shouldn’t have stood you up.”
Steven took her hands, held them and looked deep into her eyes. Esther looked away and gave a deep sigh as if she knew what was coming.
“You know how I feel about you?” he said.
Esther didn’t answer but looked up at him. He pulled her close to him and passionately kissed her, but she was as ice in his arms.  Steven felt awkward and stepped back. She looked into his eyes and saw love and hurt staring back at her. She let out a deep sigh as she struggled to choose her words carefully.
“Steve…you know I’m very fond of you. I’ve always thought of you as a dear friend, but, “I’m not ready to have the kind of relationship that you want.”
 “You mean, not with me.”

Esther struggled to say something when he turned away.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“It's ... um... ok.”
Esther hated hurting him that way. She held on to his arm as he looked at the ocean waves. He wanted the waves to scoop him up. He wanted the ocean to part like it had for Moses–to swallow him up like it had the Egyptian army. They hardly said anything to one another during the end of the ride.  Later, while silently walking back to their cars, he assured Esther that he was fine with her wanting just friendship. They embraced and promised always to be there for one another.  Their cars passed going in opposite directions; Esther glanced over at him, but he looked straight ahead and drove out of her sight
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 Steven’s Study Room: Evening
Steven stared at his computer; he had been at it all day–researching the information Doc had given him.  He tried to keep his mind off of Esther. Every once and a while, the hurt would resurface and he became depressed. He knew he had to get past her not loving him the way he loved her. But nothing would deter him from protecting her from the dangers posed by Madame Reece. He researched the UPC and found that though this organization was a threat, it was not as world-wide as Reece had claimed. There were only three chapters in the world; each chapter could only boast of several hundred members. One chapter, here in the US; one in Haiti and a third in a small village on the coast of West Africa.
Steven also researched the death of the young girl Doc and Katherine Dawson had told him about. According to police reports, the young girl was a run-away and had been reported missing for several months before being found murdered. The report was exactly as Mrs. Dawson had said…she was hung up-side-down, split down the middle and her throat cut.  The report also stated that the girl appeared to have been a human sacrifice. The police suspected a dangerous cult had committed the crime. The report further stated that after the closed casket funeral, to her parent’s horror, her body had been dug up and stolen.  Her parents made a heart wrenching plea for their daughter’s return.  But her body was never found. 

Weeks after her parent’s desperate plea, sightings of the girl was reported in the small town where she lived and died. Police, as well as the girl’s parents, dismissed claims that these sightings were anything but bogus. On a blog that was following the sightings of the girl, it was reported that everywhere the girl was sighted, gruesome murders, dead animals and the disappearance of several people followed. The police refused to believe that those crimes had any connections to the dead girl.
Steven called Doc with his findings.  He told Doc he was going to the small town where the girl was murdered to see what he could further find out.
“You’ll go over my dead body,” he said.
“We’ve got to get to the source of this thing.”
“Son, you don’t know what you’re up against.”
“I can handle myself.”
“Right, like you did in Madame’s basement.”
“I won’t make the same mistakes."
“No. You’ll make dumber ones.”
“Then, what would you suggest I do? They’re getting together in that same town for some powwow in a couple of days.”
“What kind of powwow? Speak English–will you.”
“Don’t know; some kind of convention or something. I forgot to tell you that while I was recuperating from my injuries, I hacked into Reece’s computer and copied some interesting stuff.”
“What did you find?”
“Oh–names of UPC members, their phone numbers, addresses, emails, upcoming activities and some stuff she’s got in codes.” 

Doc was ecstatic with this information.
“Son, I could kiss you. Can you break the codes?”
“That’s what I’m working on now.”
“Call me when you’re done,” he insisted.
“I will.”
“And whatever you find, don’t do anything, or go anywhere without checking with me first,” Doc warned sternly.
“I got it! I got it!”  

After hanging up with Doc, he checked online for flights to Cleveland.



I can't thank you enough jgrace for this beautiful artwork, "God's Crystal Ball."
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