Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chapter Five

Lexie looked at the hand, then the man. Slowly, what he said sunk in.

“I think you got this all wrong. I am not the cook.” She told him. “I am renting this place for the next three weeks.”

“So am I or so are we.” He looked her over once again this time closer. He had seen her somewhere. It was driving him crazy. She wasn’t a fan, but she knew who he was, he loved solving puzzles.

“There must be some mistake; my boss rented this cabin for me.” She told him still not taking the proffered hand. “You must have the wrong cabin.” She turned and walked back into the kitchen, leaving him standing there with his mouth open.

Jon shook his head and followed her into the kitchen.

“If I’m at the wrong cabin, then how did I park in the garage and open the back door?” He went and sat on the stool by his son.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a fluke and your supposed to be at the next cabin.” She tried to rationalize the both of them being at the same cabin.

“Daddy, me hungry.” Romeo tugged on Jon’s shirt. Looking up at Lexie, he gave her a pout, “Lady, Me hungry.”

Lexie looked into the little boy’s eyes, the same blue as his fathers. One look and she was lost on the pout.

She smiled at him.

“Would you like some eggs and bacon?”

The pout was gone and his smile went right up to his sparkling eyes.

“Yes, please. Can you make messy eggs?” He cocked his head wondering if she could.

“He means scrambled.” Jon told her.

“I understood. One messy egg or two, sir?” She asked

“One, lady, can I have toast too?” He was so cute, she couldn’t bring her self to tell him no.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chapter Four

Jon slowly became aware of a cold wet object tickling his chin, but came fully awake as the cold wet object licked him. Slowly opening one eye at the time, he heard Romeo giggle as a small white fuzzy dog licked him again.

“Well, hello and who might you be?” Jon scooped up the dog and looked at his son. “Where did the dog come from, Ro?” He sat up and handed the wiggling dog to his sons open arms.

“Downstairs. I smelled bacon and went down and there it was.” Romeo hugged the dog. “Can we keep it?”

Jon sniffed the air. Sure enough he smelled bacon cooking. Hugh didn’t tell him a cook came with the rental. Good, that meant they wouldn’t be living on grilled cheese and soup for the three weeks they were staying. Sliding off the bed, he brushed the hair out of Romeo’s eyes.

“Let’s get washed up and see who is cooking? This little fuzz ball must belong to them.” He walked his son into the hall bathroom.

Lexie went back into the living room to look for Snowball. The towel was there but no dog. She gave a whistle and heard the dog barking from upstairs.

Jon heard the whistle and watched the dog struggle out of Romeo’s arms. Romeo not liking the defection of his new dog ran out after it.

Lexie laughed as the little dog ran past her into the kitchen. Looking up, hearing the pounding of little feet, she gasped as the small blond boy came bounding down the stairs.

“Puppy come back.” He yelled.

“Where did you come from?” She asked as the little boy ran after Snowball into the kitchen.

“You must have been absent that day in school when they talked about the birds and the bees.” Came the laughing voice from the top of the stairs.

Lexie turned at the sound of the voice and stared into the bluest eyes she had ever seen. She knew those eyes, and she knew that voice.

“Oh my God!” She gasped.

“No, the name is Jon, but I have been called that before.” He chuckled. “You must be the cook.” He walked up to her and held out his hand.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chapter Three

It was almost two in the morning when he pulled up the drive. Looking over at Romeo, asleep in the back, he grabbed the remote and opened the second door to the four-car garage. Snow had been falling hard when he got closer to the chalet, he didn’t bother to notice the other jeep parked in the garage. He carried Romeo in and put him on the sofa in the living room. He didn’t even wake up. Jon went back out and hauled in the two suitcases. Once he put them in the second bedroom, he went back down and carried Romeo up and put in bed. Feeling worn out, he fell across the other bed in the room and was asleep in seconds.

Lexie was awaken by a low growl coming from Snowball. Getting on her robe she opened her room door and went downstairs to looked around. After checking the door locks she shook her head at the small dog.

“See, there isn’t anything, must have been the wind.” She yawned and went back upstairs.

Snowball sniffed along the upstairs hallway, growling as she went.

“Snowball, get in here.” She called the dog, which turned and ran back into the room where she stood. Leaving the door open, Lexie got back into the bed. Listening to the wind rattling the windows, she fell back asleep.

~ ~ ~

Once her inner clock woke her up, Lexie got dressed and took Snowball out to do her business. Once that was done, she went in and cleared out the ashes from her fire the night before. Once that was done, she turned on the stereo and went into the kitchen and started breakfast.

Romeo slowly woke to the smell of bacon cooking. Getting up, he didn’t wake his father; he followed the smell of bacon downstairs. His attention once down the last of the steps was the small white fuzzy dog lying on a beach towel. Snowball finding a new playmate, let Romeo pick her up and take her back upstairs. Climbing onto the bed with his father, Romeo put her on Jon’s stomach. Snowball finding this fun, she walked up Jon’s chest and put her cold nose on his chin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chapter two

Hugh sat at the bar with Jon as he seemed to be drowning his sorrows. This was his second anniversary of his divorce and for some reason this one was worse, must be because his Ex was getting married today. Dorothea and her divorce attorney were to be married at one in the afternoon. Here he was at one thirty having his fifth Jack on the rocks.

Hugh watched him lift his fingers for another round. Reaching out a hand to touch Jon’s arm, he felt it tremble.

“Hey, don’t you need to be home when they drop off Romeo?” Hugh asked him, hoping that he would stop with the fifth drink.

“I’m fine Dad; you of all people know I can hold my liquor.” Jon answered the question but still held his hand up for another round.

“Holding it and driving back to the house is different. Do you really need any bad press on Dorothea’s wedding day?” Hugh questioned.

Jon thought on what Hugh was saying. Did he want to cause a scene? Ruin her day, as she had ruined his? But did she ruin it? They had joint custody of the kids; he let her have the house on the river. Seeing as how the kids lived with her and he got them on the weekends, everything was working until Stephanie told him about the wedding date.

He put his hand down and turned to Hugh.

“Okay, So, I don’t need the drink.” He told Hugh.

“Listen, what you need to do is get out of town while they’re gone. Kelly has an Uncle who has a chalet in the mountains. I have the key and the garage opener in the car. Why don’t you head up there and take Romeo.” Hugh put his hand in his jacket pocket and pulled out a set of keys. “There’s snow up there and Romeo needs a little extra time. He didn’t want to stay with the others at Greg’s parents.”

Romeo seemed to be having a hard time accepting Greg as his new step-dad. Staying with his parents seemed to be out of the question. His own parents were in Florida and were getting ready for a cruise. They couldn’t take Romeo. So, Jon told them he could take care of him while they were gone. Jon swirled the ice in his empty glass, snow and his son sounded better than sitting in the townhouse feeling miserable.

It didn’t take Jon long to agree with the plan. He got the key, garage opener and directions to the chalet. Once Romeo was delivered to the townhouse, he had the Jeep loaded and they were on the road within an hour.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chapter One

The snow was starting to come down really hard. The map said that the road to the cabin was right around the corner, but what did Mapquest know about driving in the mountains in the snow?

“Go ski, drink hot chocolate by the fire, read a book…just get the hell out of town.” Max her boss had told her.

Lexie had been working on her book for over a month and she was blocked. She never got blocked, but after the breakup with her now ex-boyfriend, she couldn’t even put three words of love together without bursting out in tears.

“My wife’s family friend owns a cabin up in the Adirondacks.” He held the key in his hand when he had made the suggestion.

So here she was, alone but the pet cage in the backseat, heading down mountain roads. As she got to the next exit she slowed down. Did that sign say Shasta Road, she put on her blinker and made the right turn up the incline. Thank God she had borrowed her bosses Jeep, the road was turning slick.

“Where the hell was my mind when I agreed to head up here Snowball?” She asked the pet carrier in the back seat.

Slowing down she made the right turn into the driveway. Her headlights reflected off the gate. Reaching over to her briefcase she pulled out the slip of paper with the gate code on it.

“Shit!” She cursed when the cold icy air hit her face. Reaching out to the key pad she punched in the code. Slowly, due to the mounded snow the gate opened. Rolling up the window, she slowly edged the Jeep through the opening and headed up the driveway.

“Okay Snowball, were almost there,” Hearing a whimper from the carrier. She nearly drove the Jeep into a snow bank when the cabin came into view. “Cabin hell, this isn’t a cabin…it’s a chalet.” She stopped and pulled out the garage opener and pressed the button. The front door of a four-car garage opened she drove in.

When she got back she was going to give Max a piece of her mind. This didn’t belong to a family friend of his wife; he had to have rented this just for her. Turning off the Jeep she turned to the carrier.

“Well Snowball, home sweet home for the next three weeks.” She opened the door, the garage was ice cold. Quickly she got the car unloaded and then went to open the pet carrier. Nothing happened when the little door opened. “Come on Snow, I’ll open a can of your favorite food if you’ll come out.”

She tried to coax the small animal out of the carrier. Leaving it sitting on the floor of the kitchen, she went about unloading the eco-shopping bags she had brought from her SoHo apartment. Still in her snowsuit and boots she filled the cupboards and the industrial fridge. Once that was done she opened the small rolling suitcase and started taking out Snowballs dish and water bowl. Once that was sat on the floor filled with minced steak from last night’s dinner and fresh water, she noticed a little pink nose poking out of the carrier. Shaking her head she walked past the carrier and headed into what she was told was the living room. Reaching for the door, she bumped her boot on the carrier and a small fuzzy white dog ran to the bowls and started to eat.

Continuing into the living room, she walked to the thermostat and turned the heat on. Looking around the white on white room she drew in her breath, it was beautiful. Crossing the white carpet she headed to the stairs. Once she had a look around, she would bring in her suitcase and unpack. There were four bedrooms and two baths. Picking the room with the in-suite bathroom, she went back down stairs to the kitchen. Snowball would need to go out to do her business.

“Good girl, lets go do our business and then figure out how to start a fire.” She grabbed her keys and went into the garage.

Finding a snow shovel, she went out to the front of the cabin and started shoveling a path to the nearest tree. Snowball stood in the driveway and watched her clear a path to her bathroom. Whimpering and scampering along the frozen grass she made a beeline to the tree and quickly got her business done, and scampered back to the driveway.

“Okay, now that’s done let’s get in and get warm.” Lexie followed the little white dog back into the garage.

When she had moved into her apartment she noticed the lease said she could have a small pet. The landlord told her about a boutique dog store, but instead, she had gotten directions to the local humane center. Walking along looking into the pens she noticed a small white ball of fur. That was her dog! Quickly filling out all the adoption papers, she finally brought the little dog home. Along the way it had started to snow and the little dog sitting on her lap began to bark at the falling snow hitting her windshield.

“Okay Snowball, big ferocious killer that you are…” Then it hit her she had just named her dog…Snowball.

Once the mandatory stop at the boutique dog store, she bought a carrier, bowls, food, puppy pads, and the cutest dog sweater in the shop. Tucking the dog into her coat, she carried in the bags, and brought the dog into her new home.

Drying her off she watched Snowball walk into the white living room and curl up on the beach towel Lexie had brought. Making a little den for herself she looked up at Lexie and began to whimper again.

“Okay, I get the hint.” Lexie said as she read the directions that were sent along with the map the cabin. Making sure the damper was open, she put the logs in the grate and rolls of old newspaper. Finding the matches in the box on the mantle, she started the fire. Replacing the screen in front of the fire, she moved to the windows and looked out at the dark cold landscape. Softly falling snow fell along the path to the tree, good thing she had brought the puppy pads, if this kept up she would be cleaning the little path the whole three weeks.

Slowly turning back around she looked about the spacious living room. She noticed the 52 inch flat screen TV over the fireplace mantle, state of the art stereo system, game console, and a huge mahogany desk. So this is how the rich live, she thought. Max had told her once this third installment of the detective series, she would have enough money to buy her own vacation home. She had automatically pictured herself sitting on a private beach on an island somewhere. Now looking at this place, she could see herself here along with Snowball and where did those children come from? Shaking her head she left Snowball curled up in front of the fire and went up to her bedroom to unpack and change into her pj’s.