Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Back to work...

I'm just posting a bit more of A65. This is at Lando's party, where Adam and Casey have had a small run-in with Lando and Veronica.


She forced a smile and guided Adam through a dining room stacked high with questionable edibles into a state of the art kitchen where the chrome and brass gleamed nice and bright, and obviously not used.

"Good God," he said, "the bloody kitchen's bigger than my flat, in Ruislip."

"That where you live?" Casey asked, paying him no real attention as she pulled two cartons of Mac & Cheese from the freezer.

"Cora and I did. Till we parted. Couldn't afford it on my own."

Casey said nothing, just popped both cartons into the microwave. He watched her, uncertain.

"Is this all right?" he asked.

"These're mine," she said with a bare smile. "I used to spend a lot of time here."

He saw the distant expression return to her face, the tight mask with it. "Casey ... was it wise to come back?"

She did not look at him, just pulled utensils and napkins together. "Had to. Make everyone think all is well and good."

"After hiding away?"

She cast him a wary glance, then shrugged. "Don't you just love gossip? Especially when it's rooted in reality." She focused on polishing the utensils as she said, "Y'know, she's wrong about me ... Veronica ... me leaving guys. Tabloids spit out that shit, all the time, but I've never left anyone."

"That ... that, um, doesn't mean we can't leave now. Find somewhere else to have a meal. My ticket."

She looked at him, warmth hinted in her eyes. "In a minute. These two cartons are the last of my crap here, and I don't want to leave anything behind. It'd just stay in the freezer. You see, Lando thinks mac and cheese is beneath him, and Veronica just sucks the life out of people. Trust me, I know. That's what I caught her doing with him, last week."

Adam jolted. "Just last week?"

She shrugged. "Eleven days ... no, twelve ... but who's counting? That was four helpings of Lasagna. Meat lovers."

"Casey," he said, "may I say, your Lando is a fool."

She handed him a spoon, smiling. "You may. There's water in the fridge."

The microwave dinged and Casey pulled the steaming boxes out. She set them on a counter as Adam grabbed a couple bottles of sparkling water and opened them. She peeled the plastic film covers off and the aroma danced up and round and through him, like a vapor sprite.

He took a careful bite, let the cheesy pasta simmer on his tongue and finally growled, "God, starting to feel large, again." Then he dove in.

Casey watched him eat. Manners radiated from him, even as he seemed to wolf his food down. She ate hers at a slower pace, slipping deeper into memories.

"I don't even know why Lando and I wound up together," she said, her voice soft and reflective. "We're too much alike."

"I would argue that point," Adam said.

"You don't know me well enough, yet." She focused on the Mac & Cheese. "Mom thinks she matched us up, but reality is, I'd seen him around. Parties. Awards ceremonies. He was up for a daytime Emmy, back when I was dating an actor from one of the Soaps. Vinny Something. A nice guy who couldn't decide if he was gay, straight or bi." She sighed then smiled, added, "Or even if he really cared about me. Seems being with me helped him in the gossip rags." Then she loaded a spoonful of Mac & Cheese into her mouth.

Adam sipped some water. "Have they always been at you?"

"Baby, c'mon -- you've got Gala and Hello in England, the Daily Mail; you must've noticed how they can be."

"I've never paid any mind."

She watched him take another bite and said, "You're unusual."

He smiled. "Family and friends would agree with you."

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