Read Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9: The Woman and The Fire.
The beautiful young woman looked taken aback as Nina questioned her. ” No, I don’t think you know me. Maybe you saw me around my boyfriend Malcolm Watts. He works at Mergers. He’s an editorial supervisor for science-fiction books.”
Nina shook her hair out and fluffed it as she tried to remember where this woman was familiar from. Nina looked at her long hair and was frustrated to see the curl she had carefully put in, coming out.”No, I don’t know Malcolm. I’ve never seen John at his work. We’re really new. What’s your name by the way?”
“I’m Talise. And you are?”
” Malcolm said there was gossip around the office that John had gotten himself a girlfriend over the last week. That happened fast for you didn’t it? I mean how can you really know what someone is like that fast? I don’t mean to be mean but I heard John wasn’t a good guy, at least until recently. Malcolm said he was such a drunk playboy when he started Mergers with his brothers. ”
Nina stared at Talise with trepidation. ” Is there something I should know about?You can tell me. ”
Talise looked hesitant and brought her fingers together before wringing them apart. “I heard John’s still a womanizer. He tells all these girls he cares about them and then they sleep with him and never hear from him again. I hear he has children all over Adare. I heard he had this girlfriend that loved him once. He said he loved her but he didn’t love her and made fun of her with his brothers. She was a friend of mine. She never recovered and jumped into Sirene Lake. You should stay away from John Nina. A zebra can’t change his stripes. He probably is playing you, sorry to say .. .”
Nina was so angry by the time Talise finished her speech. “How do you even know John besides through Malcolm?”
Talise pushed up her oversized glasses with one finger. “I was one of those woman he hurt. I thought he cared about me. He didn’t. Maybe I should have seen it coming but I was really young.”
“I’m sorry Talise. I know John with many women when he was younger. But he’s learned from his mistakes. I haven’t known him long but I know how careful he is with the women he chooses to go out with now. And he really does care for me. He might have merely said it in the past but with me he means it.”
Talise’s eyes took on a strange glow. She was angry. “Well it’s up to you. I was only trying to help you out, but you seem to think you know what you’re doing.” Nina laughed haughtily.
“Well, I do have six years on you, sweetheart. Almost seven. I have learned a few things in my time. One of them is to trust your gut instinct. I trust my instinct with John.”
Talise frowned. She looked sad actually. “Well it was nice meeting you Nina. I hope you smarten up about John before it’s too late. I have to go find Malcolm.”
Talise walked off and Nina stood in the large entrance of the venue calming herself. What was Talise’s story with John? She had to find out from John later, — if he even remembered Talise. But right now she had to go back to him at their table. He might wonder what was taking her so long.
Nina trusted John. She told him she did. Nina intended to keep her trust and be loyal to John whoever Talise was in his past.
On the way back to John Nina grabbed another Chocolate Ganache Cupcake. Slowly, she ate it and wiped the crumbs from her lips. She was going to be sorry at the gym on Monday.
Nina found John handing over his Visa to pay for the Canuck’s box hockey tickets he’d bid on for her.” Hey we won the hockey tickets.” He said winking. John pushed a lock of Nina’s hair behind her ear. She leaned on his side as she stood letting the electricity between them sizzle and ignite. John’s eyes darkened and he kissed Nina on her nape before biting her earlobe. She inhaled sharply and was about to suggest they go home when she smelled smoke.
“John what’s burning. What’s on fire?” He looked at her with a sad knowledge in his eyes. Another terrible event was occurring around them.
Plums of smoke were coming from inside the venue. People were running out of the room and choking on the smoke. Soon the smoke was too thick to be in the building and everyone had to go outside.
The water sprinkles had come on from the ceiling before most people were out of the Country Club and everyone including Nina and John were soaked and smelled like a fire pit. The Fire Department of Adare arrived and put out the small fire as people scattered to their cars to gawk and waited for taxis to arrive across the street.
Later, Nina learned no one was hurt in the fire. It wasn’t even a big fire. One of the tables had caught on fire from a candle which had been taken out of a centrepiece. The fire had spread to the next table, but most of the damage was due to smoke. Such a shame when the Country club venue had newly restored their eighteenth- century building.
John sighed angrily. “Good thing Mergers has good insurance.” John said to Nina. He drove them back to his place in his silver Porsche. He wasn’t in a happy mood. Nina supposed living with bad events occurring to you often was frustrating. Not to mention it might be hard on John and his family financially. Good thing he and his brothers appeared to have money enough to go around, thanks to their Grandfather. But Nina thought the tole of bad events on John’s psyche was the worst. He must feel guilty that all these things were happening because of a lie he told his brothers.
On the way home, Jasper called to say that Rianne was doing well and the doctor had put Rianne’s arm in a cast. It would be a long six to eight weeks before that cast came off while the bones healed. Rianne was staying at Jasper’s for the night in a guest bedroom and taking Tylenol threes. Nina said she would pick her up the next day and stay with her on Saturday and Sunday. Rianne had broken her right arm and was right handed so doing normal things might be difficult for her.
“Nina,” John asked as she pressed the end call button, “Is everything alright with Rianne?”
“Yeah, she will have a cast for six to eight weeks and she’s in a guest room at Jasper’s tonight.” John smirked. “No, you. She’s got a severely broken arm. They’re not doing that.”John laughed.
John parked his car inside his garage, where she saw a couple of other expensive vehicles and skidoos. She followed John inside his house into the basement where a huge TV was situated within comfortable soft brown leather couches with blankets.
They settled on a couch and Nina half cuddled with John while watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. When they couldn’t stand the smell of smoke on their bodies they went upstairs to the bedroom and showered.
Sometime later, Nina woke up during the middle of the night. She recalled showering and being exhausted as she crawled into bed. Nina felt comfortable beside John who was snoring. She smiled and wrinkled her nose at John, willing him to stop snoring so she could go back to sleep.
She couldn’t help a stray thought about Talise and her warning about John. But here Nina was with John in his bed, on their third date. Still, bad events had occurred that night and Nina hoped her and John could progress to a place where they more then cared about each other. Whatever she felt towards John was more than only caring. It wasn’t love yet but she was drawn to him on such a level she could not compare him with any other past relationship.
John was good for her; he was a person who was redeemable despite his flaws. Everyone deserves a second chance to have a good life where you don’t have to worry about something horrible occurring everyday, Nina thought. She was sad the events had increased since she had been seeing John. He needed help breaking his curse and John needed Nina to do it with him. Nina snuggled next to John eventually too tired to hear him snoring.
Please Read Chapter 10 here.
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