Landie had prepared food in advance for the weekend, so there would more time for her and Cary to talk. When Cary arrived, a pot of coffee was waiting, along with a small platter of Landie’s famous Lemon Bars. The stage was set for a conversation along whatever lines Cary might need for advice.
She got right to the point, not surprising Landie on speed or subject.
“I think I’m in love with Mike Webster,” Cary said matter-of-factually.
“And what makes you think that?” Landie was smiling, Cary figured, because she probably already knew the answer.
“Because I’m miserable when he goes away,” she said, “. . . and I think he is, too.”
“That’s a start.” Soft words from her friend. “Have you given any thought to spending some uninterrupted time together? Do you think Mike would be open to that idea?”
Landie had a way of getting right to the heart of the matter, whatever it might be.
“From the phone conversations we’ve had,” Landie said, “I don’t think you’ve spent more than a very few hours together—really together, I mean.”
She gave it a few moments, and then asked, “Am I right?”
Cary had to agree that her elderly friend was indeed right.
“Maybe the two of you could get away for a few days—maybe even a week. No phones, no assignments, nothing to concentrate on but each other.”
The thought of having some time really alone sounded dreamy to Cary. But how? She wasn’t even sure she could reach Webster, and to entice him into some days away from everything and everyone?
“I don’t know if it’s possible,” she told Landie. “I don’t know how to reach Mike directly. I would have to make some calls and someone would have to have him call me.”
“So it’s too much trouble to even try,” Landie said with a smile. “I guess I misunderstood how important this is to you.”
Cary smiled too. “You’re right, of course. Mike and I should spend some time alone.” She thought about it, Landie sitting quietly—allowing her to work it out for herself.
“I’m going to do it,” she said to Landie. “Maybe his boss will get a message to Mike. I have Jack Robbins cell number and he seems to like me—and he certainly likes Mike,” Cary said as an afterthought.
Emphasizing the point in her own way and to her satisfaction, Cary reached for one of Landie’s Lemon Bars, dropped it on a saucer and licked the powdered sugar from her fingers, saying, “There!”
Watch for the continuation of this conversation coming soon in Landie’s Blog.
Cary knew she would never get used to having him leave her. Despite the way she had grown to feel about him, she wasn’t sure Webster also felt that way. She wasn’t even sure her own emotions could be called love. Neither of them had used that word.
Were they just being careful, Cary wondered? She got up from the table and holding onto her coffee, walked to the bedroom where he had slept only a few short nights ago. Taking a deep breath, she edged forward and brushed her hand across the comforter he had used to stay warm.
She had dreamed again last night that she had joined him there under the covers. Remembering, Cary felt herself blush at thoughts that continued to occupy her mind. Not even safe at work, she had closed her office door several times recently and sat facing the windows, thinking of him and wishing he was still there with her.
Cary had dreamed of Webster almost every night since he left her. In the latest episode, they had drawn each other close, kissing with the passion of teenagers. Then, still in the vision, the two lovers had started to explore their longings past the kissing. And finally she had started to give in to . . .
But she hadn’t; it was just a dream, and now he was gone to who-knows-where.
Returning to the kitchen, Cary tried to pull herself away from thoughts of Webster. Easier said than done!
There was so much Cary didn’t know about him and so little she did know. He had told her things about himself, but could she believe them? Was he always secretive and on guard with everyone, even lying to her? On the lakefront in New Orleans, when they had been searching for her mother’s killer, he had appeared to open up, to be honest with her.
He had said he was hiding from unsavory people who wanted him dead. The attack in North Carolina had seemed to verify several pieces of information about Webster. Obviously, his enemies had been trying to kill him, but were those the only ones. Who would know, other than Webster? Maybe his boss, Jack Robbins? But she couldn’t just call and ask.
Not even knowing where he had gone when he left her on Sunday was a bit of a problem. Having these almost erotic dreams couldn’t be overlooked, either.
If she could talk about the situation, perhaps that would help. But who would listen and and give her an honest opinion. Probably not Rita and besides, she was taking some time away from the office after her kidnapping. Poor Rita! Thanks to the Hunter, she had been raked through the fires of Hades, yet she come out smiling on the other side.
Then Cary thought of the perfect person to help her. She picked up her iPhone and scanned the contacts, picking the one individual who really could help. Then Cary dialed the number.
Though old in years, the voice on the other end of the line had wisdom beyond almost everyone Cary had ever known. And she would listen, Cary knew that.
“Landie, I need your help,” she said. “May I come see you this weekend?”
By Judy Ragan and Joe Shumock
October 2, 2013
In Joe Shumock’s first book, “A Letter to Die For”, Cary Anne Warren was the character that captivated our interest and kept us turning the pages as she set out to find her birth family after the accident that claimed the lives of her beloved adoptive parents. She had been instrumental in planning their trip and was now motivated by guilt and an intense desire to know more about the mysterious death of her birth mother, the identity of her father and the circumstances surrounding her adoption.
We followed the unnerving experiences of her discoveries in New Orleans, the unfolding relationship with her mysterious new friend, Webster, and ultimately, his disappearance from her life. How would she cope with the information she uncovered, and the loss, and how would she change as the result of those experiences. Maybe there are some clues for us if we look hard enough!
A letter left in Cary’s adoption file by her mother, Janice Talmer, explained the difficult decisions the young mother had been faced with and the strength and compassion. These same decisions had propelled Janice to leave a dysfunctional, abusive family, never to return. When she arrived in New Orleans, Janice dedicated herself to creating the life that she knew was possible. She studied hard to complete her education and developed some very good friends like Carolette who was with her when she died.
Then Janice met and fell in love with Cary’s father. She was attracted by his good looks, charm and ambition. Unfortunately, he had neglected to tell her about his marriage and family, and she soon discovered his ambition would overshadow any concern he had for her and the baby they had created. To his detriment, he surrounded himself by some unsavory characters that appeared to insure his success. When Janice told him she was expecting his child, their relationship could not compete with his ambitions for a powerful political career. We know how disappointed she must have been by his betrayal. However, the young expectant mother’s strength surfaced again as she chose to give Cary an opportunity for a better life through adoption.
Now we realize that Cary was genetically predisposed to her determination and intelligence—yes, and even her beauty. Add to that, the love, integrity and wholesome life she inherited from her adoptive parents, the Warrens, and I expect we can look forward to meeting a new Cary with all the beguiling characteristics we loved but enhanced by the swift and powerful surges that come with major life changes. I think, if we meet Cary again, we’ll find a very strong, intelligent, and beautiful woman who can wield the power necessary to achieve her goals without sacrificing the integrity she so values. My guess is she will lead more than follow, take responsibility rather than waiting for someone else to take care of her, and perhaps outgrow many innocent, naïve tendencies of her youth.