General Fiction posted November 8, 2012 Chapters:  ...57 58 -59- 60... 


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The wedding day approaches

A chapter in the book Twist of Fate: A New Generation

Goodbyes

by Connie P



Background


This third book centered around the life of Brian Connor, retired Defense mogul, moves Emmie Winton, daughter of Brian's second wife, Kelly, to the forefront.

Having previously married Brian's  half-brother, Mike Winton, Emmie found herself in a power-struggle between the embattled brothers. After some dramatic twists and turns detailed in Book 2, Twist of Fate, Emmie is widowed when Mike dies of cancer.

Twist of Fate, A New Generation, takes up five years later, when Emmie meets Alex Hennessey, a partner in the law firm along side Brian's attorney and best friend, Eric Palmer. Six months prior to their meeting, Alex's wife, Susan, committed suicide, leaving him to care for their three children.

Brian's background in the defense industry and the unscrupulous dealings of his late father, Senator Braxton Connor, visit a string of intriguing and dangerous events on the family.

We reenter the story two days before Alex and Emmie's wedding.

****


On Tuesday morning, Alex hustled down the stairs in a light-footed half gallop. Finding the events of the previous day overwhelming, he decided to let his mind work for him instead of against him. He'd have plenty of time to let the generosity of Laura’s gift soak in, he reasoned, but today he simply had to put his plans for his and Emmie's marriage ceremony on the front burner and stay focused.
 
He still had to buy tuxes for Zane and Zachary, make sure Michael hadn’t outgrown his, and, most importantly, get Olivia a dress.
 
Even though the clock read ten past five, he smelled coffee and couldn't believe anyone else was up. The aroma drew him to the kitchen, where he found Kelly at the table concentrating on what appeared to be a list.
 
On his way to the coffee pot, Alex said, "Good morning, I didn't expect to find anyone up."
 
Kelly laid her pen down and smiled. "I've been awake for hours." She wrinkled her brow as she turned toward the window. "Emmie was carried away with your hands-on approach with the arrangements. I ... uh ...." Her voice trailed off and she stacked everything she'd been working on.
 
“This is just my way of letting her know I can handle things; so she can concentrate on the children and make sure she gets plenty of rest."
 
She reached for his hand. The slight quiver she felt gave her an opening. "Is everything under control?"
 
"Yeah, everything except Livvie's dress. We're going to get the boys fitted for their tuxes later, but I'm worried about finding something for Liv on such short notice."
 
Kelly slid her phone from her back pocket. "Let me show you something." She pulled up her pictures and flipped to the dress Brian had bought Cara. "This is what Cara will be wearing. It would be nice if Olivia could be in something similar."
 
"My God, that must be a five-thousand dollar dress."
 
Kelly gave him a slanted glance.
 
"More?"
 
She nodded. "Brian."
 
"So that's what he was up to yesterday. It was so hectic, I didn't even ask. Where in the world am I going to find something to hold a candle to that?"
 
"Well, someone from Neiman Marcus found Cara's dress in Atlanta. It's an original. Maybe if we get on it early enough they can find something for Olivia by the same designer. I'd be glad to help."
 
*****
 
Adrian Cale, the former right hand to the now deceased CIA director, Walker Rush, crawled out of bed and thanked his lucky stars he could finally get out of his apartment. He'd been holed up since the announcement of Rush's suicide two days earlier and cabin fever had him in nervous turmoil.
 
His last assignment for Rush still lay ahead of him. He'd left something in a safe deposit box weeks earlier and instructed Adrian to retrieve it only in a case such as the one at hand. He emerged from the shower and checked the clock. The bank wouldn’t open for three more hours.
 
Shuffling through an agency file, he pulled out one of his alias IDs, double-checked the information and sat on his bedside to call the airline. He planned for this to be his last charge to his credit card, so after checking several flight options, he booked a seat in first class for departure to Paris early that evening. Adrian thumped the card and chucked to himself. Nothing like going out in style.
 
He glanced around the room and assessed how long it would take to pack ... not long, since he practically lived out of a suitcase. Satisfied there'd be enough time to say a proper good-bye to a couple of lady friends before he left, Adrian pulled a ball cap over his thick, blonde hair and hit the street in search of his last American breakfast. 
 
****
 
Alex squeezed Kelly’s hand and leaned down and kissed her cheek. “I’d be more than grateful if you’d take care of Livvie’s dress.” He took his wallet from his pocket and pulled out his credit card. “I’ve got a pretty healthy limit on this card, but I don’t see any point in spending a week’s salary on something she’ll wear once. Do the best you can for under five.”
 
“It takes some time to get used to the money, Alex. It did me, anyway.”
 
He plopped down beside her and rattled his head. “That’s right … you haven’t always … I mean, you understand. I guess I forgot, or maybe I never really realized, you didn’t come from money.”
 
“No, I didn’t. Emmie and I always had Tom’s father, but we lived on my salary, aside from the splurges T.J. insisted on from time to time. Brian still fusses when I slip into my old way of thinking.”
 
After a few moments of silence, Alex took a deep breath and said, “I guess there are worse things than learning how to be rich.”
 
Kelly giggled and gave him a sly wink.

Snapping back to the other matters at hand, he checked his watch. “There’s something I need to do before Emmie and the kids wake up.” Although he maintained his smile, he lowered his eyes. “I, um … I need to go talk to Susan.”
 
Taken by surprise, Kelly fought to disguise her shock and batted at the tears rushing to the back of her eyes. She nodded understanding, but lost her battle. A salty stream trailed her cheeks as she released Alex's hand.







Book of the Month contest entry


This is a chapter in a novel, the characters and plot have been previously established. I haven't been able to post in months, I appreciate those who read and review considering the long gap between chapters.
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