Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble …
Jared is hating to see Ava leave but she has to return to Woodcliff Lake and her duties with Westbrook Ltd. Besides, her boss Erma Westbrook states that she is missing her expertise terribly. Alexis has previously left to ensure things are going smoothly at her mother’s home. Ava tries to hold back tears but finds it impossible.
“It’s like leaving a dear friend.” Ava remarks looking out over the waves.
“You are not saying good-bye Ava, you’re just saying so long for a while.” Jared gives her a crooked smile.
“Yes, you’re right. We’ll be calling one another and visiting occasionally. However, it won’t be the same—will it?” Ava can’t prevent a solitary tear that slowly finds its way to her cheek. Jared attempts to brush it away, but she stops him.
“No, leave it alone.” Ava reprimands. “I’ve done it countless times before for reasons that are nothing like this one. It’s time that my tears represent something beautiful and compelling instead of lost horizons.”
“You have such a deep understanding of life, Ava. I think that’s what drew me to you. Looking so sweet and vulnerable but yet so wise and brave.” Jared remembers while enveloping Ava in a strong, caressing embrace.
“I’ve never been very good at hiding my emotions for too long.” Ava smiles weakly. “Let’s just stroll along the beach once more before I must get properly attired for catching that charter plane.”
Without another word, the two begin their trek along the beach not far from Jared’s home. Neither utter a word but reverently listen to the sounds of the calling sea gulls. They watch the ocean’s constant movement—its advancing and ebbing. An early morning sun pouring down its golden rays as if to say, “This is not the end—this is only the beginning!”
Ava sees a beautiful shell, abandoned by its previous owner. She briefly pauses to pick it up. Then, holding it to her ear, she reminisces of the sea gently calling to her—beckoning her to join, to become a part of it’s never ending story.
When she bends to return it, Jared stops her.
“Keep it as a memento of our time together. I know you have others—photographs, palm leaves you’ve pressed against pages in your journal, but the look on your face as you placed the shell against your ear says volumes. I believe it will comfort you until we can be together again.”
“Oh Jared, you make my heart ache! In such a short time, I have never known such peace, such joy—” Before Ava can go any further, Jared’s lips begin their assault. First, against her lips, then her neck and shoulders. Ava buckles against the onslaught of his passion and surrenders herself there among the rocks, the waves, and the sky. For the moment, she is his!
The plane trip back to New York is so different from the one leaving it. Ava no longer feels like the frighten little girl starting out on a perilous adventure. She is now a woman—a mature and fulfilled individual who is wrapped in a magnificent cocoon of love. Love for the sea, love for Jared, and a very special love for the unique and amazing woman she is becoming.
It’s Monday morning and the beginning of a busy workweek. Once the plane lands, Ava hails a cab for home. She will need to shower and change before tackling her position. The ride is pleasant and completely uneventful. Soon she arrives home, tips the cabby generously and then enters her abode.
Instead of the scent of cinnamon and fettuccine greeting her, it is that of Pineapple, Ginger, and Lime in the Living Room. Ocean Mist, Jasmine and Sandalwood attack her senses in her Bedroom. While Passionfruit and Banana Flower tantalize her in the kitchen. The foot of her staircase is arrayed with a lovely palm and there is a delightful tune generating from her stereo system.
“My darling Alexis!” Ava exclaims as she throws her purse into a chair and begins to touch in her daughter’s numbers.
“Hello mom!” Alexis greets, happy to hear the joyous sounds of her mother. Knowing that her surprise has been well received.
“It’s like coming to a new place. Thank you so much for being a jewel.” Ava rejoinders in complete sincerity.
“I wanted you to hold on to that idyllic moment just a little longer.” Ava can tell by the shift in Alexis voice that troubled waters lie ahead.
“What’s the matter?”
“Erma Westbrook says that father has been roaming Manhattan looking for you. He was more than a little perturbed that you didn’t make that conference in Hong Kong.” Alexis tells her mother.
“Hmm, I had no idea that he was going to be there.” Ava successfully manages to stifle the alarm bells going off in her head by looking at the sea shell.
“Wow, you sure are calm! I dreaded giving you the news, but it seems that its unnecessary.” Alexis is very proud of her mother.
“I know—it’s marvelous isn’t it. Before returning home I found a lovely sea shell on the beach outside of Jared’s home. I picked it up and the sea seemed to be steady calling me. Jared said I should keep it to remind me of our time together.” Ava explains to her daughter.
“I’d carry that shell around like Linus does that blue blanket of his. Unless it’s too big and you fear it being damaged. Why don’t you take a snapshot of it?” Alexis inquires.
“I think that would be a great idea! However, I would take a couple of pictures. In fact, I could have one printed and put into a beautiful frame. I’ll keep that one on my desk and another one in my purse!” Ava decides and goes in search of iPad which gives a better impression while she still talks to her daughter.
“I’ve got to get back to work now. Just remember, there are at least three people who think the world of you. Me, Jared, and Erma. Why else would she release you from an important meeting to go to who knows where!” Alexis laughs. After a few more pleasantries they hang up.
Ava goes to take her shower and revels in the refreshing feel on her body. The new shampoo is a tropical blend and afterwards she is feeling totally renewed. With towel wrapped just under her shoulders, she gives Erma a call to gauge the waters.
“Well, it’s about time I hear from you!” Laughs Erma. “How have you been?”
“I had a marvelous time, Erma. It’s been more than I could imagine.” Ava replies.
“You sound so restful and upbeat. Good, because I guess Alexis gave you an inkling of what’s transpired in your absence.” Erma retorts.
“She painted a pretty interesting picture.” Ava replies calmly.
“Girl, whatever Jared did for you, it needs to be bottled and sold for a mint. I have never, ever known you to be so in control. Just hearing the name Gregory Fairchild IV used to put you in a tizzy.” Erma recalls.
“Yeah, I know. That’s because I really bought into his esteem-wrecking spill. It seemed so convincing at the time. So many failed relationships—a failed marriage.” Ava is quiet for a while.
“Are you alright, Ava?” Erma is starting to get concerned. Then Ava tells her about the sea shell and its magic.
“I’m with Alexis. Now get into this office and bring that talisman with you—you’re going to need it.” Erma releases the call.
Ava looks at her shell and recites fiercely, “Let’s get ready to rumble!”
To Be Continued ...
It Calls to Me: The Sea 6
- It Calls to Me: The Sea 6
There is sabotage in the air as Ava returns to corporate life. Things haven’t changed very much. There is still the problem of Gregory Horacio Fairchild—but this time he is putting Westbrook Enterprises at risk.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS