I’m continuing with my brainstorming about my horror-romance series, Infusion Blue, today.
Keep in mind that my copyright monster is always lurking and he does not like it if my work is copied or used without my permission. No exceptions.
Thanks for the great feedback,
Claire had had enough already.
“What have you been saying about me now, Arlan?”
He put his hands behind his head and stretched his long legs out in front of him. “What makes you think I said anything about you, Claire? I mean, you and your friend did put some kind of hex on me, didn’t you? So, I’d be helpless to talk about you then. Right?” He grinned.
“Now you’re being sarcastic. I know you’ve been saying whatever you feel like to make yourself look like some of good guy. And ease your damn conscience.”
Arlan was still grinning. “Awww… now would a nice country gent like myself do that to a pretty little girl like you?”
“I am not a little girl. And you, mister, are not a gent by any means.” Claire sat down on a chair across from his. “I want this to end. Stop talking bad about me. I never actually hexed you, Arlan. But, if you keeping pushing me……I will push back.”
He opened his blue eyes wider. “Will you?” He leaned forward threateningly. “What makes you so sure that I can’t do what you did? Only better?”
“Who told you about the magic?”
“Who do you think? Your so-called friend, Catherine.”
Claire opened her mouth to answer but could not find a thing to say.
“Yes. Her. We had a, uh, well, meeting. And after that she agreed to give me certain instructions.”
“You slept with Catherine? I can see why they call you a tool. Only you’re a tool without a soul.”
Arlan put a hand up to stop her. “It didn’t mean anything. She and I are of a like mind when it comes to sex. And that’s not the only reason why she agreed to be my teacher.”
“What else is there?”
“She hates you.”
“Me? She hates me? Why?”
“Jealousy. She sees something in you and is resentful of it. She all but said it flat out. And, she knows that I ingeniously found a way into your life.”
Her green eyes flashed with a burst of anger. “You mean you hacked your way in!!”
Arlan smiled now. “Whatever. Cat doesn’t like that part. She thinks it means I have deeper feelings for you than just being some kind of Peeping Tom.”
Claire snorted. “We both know that’s a crock.”
He was now sitting back in his chair. And he swallowed hard just once before speaking again. “I was playing a game, Claire. That’s how it all began. It’s just me and who I am.”
Those words didn’t ruffle her a bit. “Fine. But I want you to stop talking about me. If I get mad at you and post something online you need to be a man and take it on the chin. Don’t get others involved. And if you talk about me, say the truth. Tell them. You weaseled your way in without my consent or my knowledge. Hell it was a full year before I realized you were listening. Much longer than that before I realized you had hacked my camera too. Christ, Arlan. Are you so desperate to look at a girl?”
He became more serious. “No.” And then more quietly. “You are special.”
Now Claire was becoming suspicious. “Special? You consider me to be special? Then Catherine does have some kind of inkling of the truth?” She paused before asking, “Do you consider yourself to be in love with me now? I mean since the spell wore off you’ve been a real shit, so I didn’t think you were. But — are you?”
For the first time Arlan didn’t put on some kind of sarcastic front, or do an exaggerated cowboy thang. He just looked at her. “I honestly don’t know. I’ve never really been in love before, Claire.”
Two things struck her with a force like a hurricane. One – Arlan Truss was saying he has never been in love. And, he said her name. “What about your girlfriend, Vera? You seem rather preoccupied with that woman.”
He smiled. “Good choice of words. That’s what I am – preoccupied. But, I don’t love her.”
“I’m confused. Why didn’t you come to me before now and talk? If I hadn’t set up this meeting we may never have had this conversation.”
A silence fell in the room. It was thick and heavy and it seemed if Arlan didn’t answer soon they might both suffocate. After what felt like ages, he spoke. “It didn’t really hit me until I saw you sitting there. Mad as a hornet. Then I saw right through it. And I guess you could say I saw the light. I never really believed you fell for me in five minutes like you said. I thought you were a little crazy. But now, sitting here without being drunk or high or under some damn spell you cast on me, I think I finally believe you.” Arlan looked Claire square in the eyes. “And I believe in my heart that I feel just as much for you.”
Claire didn’t respond right away. She didn’t know what to say. The fact that he openly, and without being under any kind of influence, admitted love for her was not the only thing that astonished her. Arlan Truss had finished his bold statement by tipping his hat to her.