Welcome to the Spot Writers. Each week we’ll be adding to the story begun by Val Muller a few weeks ago. Remy’s life is heating up!
This week is Chapter 6 written by Val Muller. Check out her spicy romance novella, For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal, and her middle-grade mystery series, Corgi Capers. Find out more at www.valmuller.com
Our serial story doesn’t have a title yet… start thinking about some ideas because it smells like a contest might be coming up soon! Watch for next week’s installment from Catherine MacKenzie.
The Spot Writers’ blogs appear at the end of this story. Don’t forget to check them out.
Dr. Kendrick sat across from Remy, a smile on his face. He was staring at her, and Remy studied the menu as an excuse to avoid eye contact. Besides, she’d never been to Banjo Dan’s and didn’t know what to order. Remy thought they were just going for drinks, but when the hostess asked, Dr. Kendrick had said “two for dinner.”
“See anything you like?” he asked. Remy hoped he was only talking about the menu.
Remy hadn’t much cash, and she couldn’t hit up the ATM until her paycheck cleared next week. She opened her purse and flipped through her wallet, trying to be discreet.
“It’s entirely my treat,” he said. Man, this guy was perceptive.
“That’s nice of you, Dr. Kendrick, but I—”
“Call me Sam.” He smiled again. That confident, charming, dimpled smile… Snap out of it, Remy. But Samuel Kendrick was relentless. “You’re a talented employee. Intelligent. Kind. I know I can be kind of a stiff around the office, but you know how it goes. So much pressure at work. But I want you to know I appreciate what you do. Couldn’t run the place without you.”
The waitress asked for drink orders.
“Do you mind?” Sam asked.
Remy shook her head.
“Two Long Island Iced Teas.”
The waitress nodded.
“I hope you don’t mind. My favorite drink, ever since college. And they make ’em great here. Tastes just like iced tea, too.” He laughed. “And I promise it’s the only one I’ll have. I’ve got to get you home safely, after all. Not to mention work tomorrow.”
Remy nodded, but she felt so stiff. She couldn’t relax. Maybe the Long Island would help.
“You’re still shaken up about those phone calls, aren’t you?”
His mention of the phone calls made Remy realize she hadn’t checked her cell phone since lunch. She tried to keep it away while at work—professionalism and all. But she usually checked right after work. What if Jeremy had texted her? No, he was done with. He had Barbara. Or rather, Barbara had him. Best not interfere, especially if Barbara was the one making the stalker phone calls.
She pulled her cell phone out just as the drinks arrived. Not wanting to be rude, she placed the phone on her lap while Sam offered a toast.
“To loving your job,” he said, smiling.
It was such a different side of him, this relaxed, cordial, polite, handsome man in front of her. Remy couldn’t help but join in the toast. “To loving your job,” she said.
The Long Island coursed through her immediately. It was strong, strong even for a Long Island. She had to watch out. Her cell phone remained on her lap, untouched, while Sam recommended his favorites from the menu. Before Remy realized it, her food had arrived, her Long Island had been refilled, and she heard herself laughing and talking with Sam. Relaxing. Enjoying herself. She’d have to talk to Irene about this, for sure.
After the waitress cleared their plates, Sam excused himself to the restroom, and Remy used the opportunity to check her phone. The “new text message” icon was there on top of the screen. She pressed it. Twelve new messages? She rarely texted. Two would have been something to write home about—but twelve?
The first was from Jeremy. Sorry, it said. We can talk when you get back.
Remy huffed. What was there to talk about? He was clearly involved with someone else—had been, anyway—and had things to deal with before he would be free to date Remy. She’d ignore the message for now. On to the next eleven. They were from an unknown number, one not in her address book.
He’s mine, the first one read. The tone of the message sobered her.
Stay away, warned the second.
I’ll be watching. Don’t talk to him.
I’m not afraid of violence to protect what’s mine.
Remy shivered. All twelve were from the same number and offered the same sinister warnings. The last one was creepiest of all: I know where you live.
Remy had just finished reading them when Sam returned.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “You look like a ghost.” He tried to smile. “Too much liquor?” But his attempt at a smile couldn’t hide his concern.
Remy looked down at her hand to see that it was trembling. She put the cell phone down on the table, but her hand still shook. Sam took her hand in his.
“What is it?” he asked.
Maybe it was the liquor. Maybe it was his smile. Maybe it was the gentle way he held her hand. But Remy didn’t want to keep her frightening secret to herself anymore. “I think it’s the same person who called at work. Twelve text messages today, all threatening me. Threatening violence. All over this guy I just met. He’s not even anything to me. We just met, that’s all. And this girl thinks I want to steal him away or something. I didn’t even do anything to her, and she—says she knows where I live.”
She tried to keep composure, but she couldn’t help the few tears trailing down her face. Sam’s face hardened. His chest rose, shoulders broadened. “If she’s been the one calling the office, I’ll press charges for you. I’ll take you home,” he said. “We’ll check your place, make sure it’s safe. Check the doors, the windows. We can even call the police.” Remy tried to smile, but she was terrified. “Or if it would make you feel better,” Sam said, “maybe you should just come home with me.”
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Catherine A. MacKenzie