Whispering Pines - Reading Between the Lines
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers see Part 1.
A very special thank you goes out to my beta reader Mary.
As always this is for Heather.
A very special thank you goes out to my beta reader Mary.
As always this is for Heather.
Stewart, Massachusetts 1912
Anna smiled as she watched her son racing through the garden squealing happily as his aunt pursued him. Richard was home sharing in the light that Catherine had brought to Whispering Pines. Sadly her husband had also returned. Anna's smiled dimmed as she looked around to ensure that her husband wasn't watching. If he knew that any of them were enjoying themselves he would certainly put an end to their merriment. 'Why is he always so unhappy? ' She pondered as she watched Catherine scooping Richard up in her arms. "I've got you now you little scamp." She laughed as she spun around as her precious cargo squealed loudly.
Anna's smile returned as she became caught up in her son's laughter and the way her lover's hair glimmered in the afternoon sun. Her smile dimmed once again when she felt a sudden chill as a dark shadow clouded the moment. Richard's laughter died on his lips as his tiny body froze. Catherine looked at the both of them with confusion. Anna felt the chill running through her as she cast a cautioning gaze towards her lover.
"Richard," Anna said with a tremor in her gentle tone. It broke her heart to see the panic filling his eyes.
"Boy, come here," Ann flinched as she heard her husband beckoning her son with no more respect that he would offer to a stray dog.
"Richard, go to your father," Anna instructed her young son. She had known that her husband was behind her long before he spoke. There was always a darkness that preceded him.
Richard squirmed out of Catherine's embrace. The blonde seemed reluctant to release her hold on him until Anna gave a pleading nod, silently requesting that she not interfere. "Are you running the household now?" The Captain hissed from behind her. Anna's body tensed knowing what was about to happen. She didn't offer any resistance as his fist tightened around her neatly wrapped hair. She stifled her painful cry as he yanked her back.
"No husband," She squeaked out as she looked up into his cold dark eyes.
"Brother!" Catherine's voice cried out.
"Don't, it will only make it worse," She heard her son whispering to his aunt.
Anna braced herself as she watched her husband raising his open hand. "You will not interfere with my family," The Captain hissed at his sister who was now standing beside Anna shielding Richard with her body.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Catherine coldly responded.
Her husband's grip remained firmly wrapped in her hair as she watched the siblings square off each standing their ground. Anna understood something at that moment; the Captain would not strike his sister. Anna and Richard were his property; his sister somehow fell out of his domain.
Horatio's hand still hovered above her face as she turned pitifully towards her lover. "Husband," Anna choked out. "It is late shouldn't I be preparing the evening meal and tending to the boy?"
"Yes," the Captain scowled in agreement as he finally released Anna from his grasp. "Get to the kitchen where you belong. You," He addressed his son who was clinging to his aunt's skirt. "Why are you wasting the day by following around these women?"
Anna chewed her lip nervously as she watched the tears welling up in her son's eyes. "Answer me," the Captain demanded in a ferocious tone.
"Mother insisted," Richard tearfully stammered out as Catherine looked down at the boy with a horror stricken expression. Anna simply nodded to her son silently encouraging him to continue. "She said that I needed to get outside because if I stay inside all day I'll grow to be lazy."
Anna allowed the thin smile to emerge on her lips as she listened to her son skillfully retell the lie she had taught him. The Captain seemed stunned by the boy's words. "Quite right," the Captain gruffly grunted before walking away from the three of them.
Anna released a heavy breath as she listened to her husband's retreating footsteps. "Come now we have duties to tend," she instructed her son and lover loudly certain that her husband was still lingering about.
Later that evening Anna sat at the table in her room with Catherine by her side as they pretended to be enthralled with stitching. "You taught him to lie?" Catherine whispered each of them keeping their eyes down at the delicate needle work.
"Of course," Anna flatly responded as she allowed her fingers to drift from her stitching. She listened to Catherine's breathing hitch ever so slightly as Anna ran the tip of her pinky along the taller woman's thigh.
Anna was learning so many things since her sister in-law's arrival. One of them was how to handle her husband. Fabrications were quickly becoming second nature to her. When her husband questioned her as to why she and Catherine sat up late chatting every evening she looked up at him innocently like a good wife, 'Husband surely the mindless chatter of females holds no interest to a man as well educated as yourself,' Anna dutifully replied. She was proud at the way he nodded in agreement puffing out his chest as he gave his silent consent.
Anna wanted to laugh at his bravado since she was better read than the crusty sea dog she had married. She had learned from Catherine that Horatio had been sent to the sea when he was younger than Richard. Her husband was a very wealthy man probably from ill gotten gains from smuggling or worse, truth be told Richard was probably better at understanding the written word than his father.
"He asked about our sewing sessions," Anna calmly informed her startled lover.
"And what did you tell him dear sister?" Catherine nervously inquired.
"That we are silly females," Anna smirked as her fingers traced her sister in-law's thigh. "Such an arrogant man."
"If he only knew," Catherine said softly. "Richard is such a charming boy."
"Yes," Anna smiled at the statement. "I will die before I allow him to become his father's son. You bring out the best in him. As you do for his mother," Anna's tone dropped sensually as she captured her lover's gaze.
"If only he could visit when his father was away?" Catherine uttered in an almost pleading tone.
"The Captain forbids it," Anna firmly answered.
"We could," Catherine began.
"Yes," Anna nodded in agreement knowing what Catherine was about to suggest. If Horatio was away then the three of them could run off. "And that my dear sister is probably why the Captain forbids it. It is late I must read to Richard and tuck him in."
Anna placed her stitching on the table as Catherine followed her actions. "Later come upstairs and tuck me in as well my love," Catherine whispered hotly in Anna's ear.
"Of course," Anna purred in response.
Danvers, Massachusetts 2003
"Faith don't do this," Shawn pleaded as she struggled with her very wet jeans that were now very snug against her body. "Whatever problems Deb and I have in our relationship this would be a crappy thing to do."
"Oh so it was okay when there wasn't any chance she could find out?" Faith sneered with disgust. "What happened to you Shawn?"
"You happened to me," Shawn answered as the pathetic feeling washed over her. "Please? I am begging you don't do this. She may not be the person for me but she doesn't deserve this. She doesn't seem to think that there is anything wrong with our relationship, which of course is part of the problem. Hell she even got me a present."
"Really what she get you?" Faith hissed refusing to budge.
"A first edition of Ulysses," Shawn informed her ex-lover. 'Damn twenty-eight hundred bucks what was she thinking? We haven't been together that long.' Shawn mentally wondered as she tried to still the rapid beating of her heart.
"You don't like James Joyce," Faith mumbled as her brow creased.
"Faith try and focus on the bigger picture here," Shawn pleaded.
"You don't," Faith argued. "I seem to recall your exact words on the subject were, 'Young catholic boy looses his virginity and throws up, yada, yada, yada,' Why would she spend what I can only image is a huge chunk of change on something you wouldn't enjoy?"
Shawn's head was pounding as she realized that Deb was the one who liked James Joyce and was impaired when it came to listening to Shawn. "That isn't the point," Shawn groaned as she glared at the still unmoving brunette.
"Sure it is," Faith quipped in a catty tone. "If she cared enough to buy you something nice she should care enough to buy you something you'd enjoy. A first edition Hawthorn or Dickens would be much more appropriate,"
"Fine you've proven your point," Shawn said softly as she felt the tears welling up. "You know me better. Are you happy now? Or do you really need to stick around and win the pissing contest?"
"Trust me when I tell you that happy is not how to describe what I am feeling at this moment," Faith said in a hollow tone as her arms finally dropped to her side. The brunette finally began to adjust her clothing to a more appropriate state. They exchanged a cold stare before Shawn watched Faith storm across the room and yank the door open.
Shawn looked on in horror as her present lover gaped up at her glowering ex-lover. Faith released a throaty growl that made Shawn shiver fearfully. "She hates James Joyce," Faith hissed before pushing her way past Deb almost toppling the stunned woman over as she marched out of the room.
"That woman is amazing?" Deb stammered as she watched Faith storming down the hallway.
"That is Faith Charles," Shawn informed her girlfriend as she reeled from the utter absurdity of the situation.
Deb looked completely embarrassed by her reaction to Faith as she turned towards Shawn. "That is the woman you work with?" Deb stammered with a hint of jealousy.
"Yes," Shawn guiltily admitted.
"You never said how stunning she is," Deb noted in an accusing tone as she held out the delicately wrapped package. "Happy Birthday," Deb offered freezing for a moment as she looked towards the still open door and then back at Shawn. 'How did?"
"I knew," Shawn explained in a miserable tone as she turned away from Deb's offer. "Deb, we have to talk."
And talk they did. During the conversation Shawn learned some things about her girlfriend that she had obviously ignored in the past few months. Deb was manipulative, like her gift for Shawn. Deb wanted the book and giving it to Shawn was a way to justify buying it. Deb seemed to be under the impression that it would only be a short matter of time before Shawn moved into her apartment.
Another thing Shawn realized was that she was using Deb for the sense of stability the other woman offered. They argued as Shawn tried to convince Deb that they didn't belong together. Deb didn't agree with the young psychic's assessment of their relationship. Finally Shawn did the only thing she could think of. "Faith is my ex-lover," She blurted out.
"Huh?" Deb choked her face turning a deep shade of scarlet as she gaped over at Shawn.
"Faith is my ex-lover," Shawn repeated in a slow careful tone knowing that she was being cruel.
"Why was she in your hotel room?" Deb spat out bitterly.
"This is her room as well,' Shawn informed the stunned woman.
"You're cheating on me?" Deb stammered in an incredulous tone.
"I'm sorry," Shawn blew out in relief knowing that the accusation wasn't exactly the truth but it would have been if Deb's timing didn't completely suck.
"You bitch," Deb screamed out.
"I'm sorry," Shawn repeated truly feeling awful about what she had done to Deb. A wave of relief washed over Shawn as Deb stormed out of the room clutching her precious book to her chest.
"That was a shitty thing to do," Shawn admonished herself as she stepped out of the room and locked the door behind her. She went searching for Faith allowing her instincts to guide her. She found the very somber looking Faith sitting at the hotel bar. Shawn felt her chest tighten painfully as she spied Tracy, one of the very young production assistants, hanging on Faith's shoulder. Shawn felt sick as she watched the couple stumble out of the bar arm and arm.
send comments to email@example.com
for updates, previews & the wednesday afternoon series join my egroup,
Return to the Academy