Today I'd like to share an excerpt from the prequel to Murder! Too Close To Home...Betty! It's the love story of Gabriel and Betty Celtic, how they met, and how they fell in love!
It was starting to cloud up by the time we left, a small cause for concern since there was no top on the Jeep. Betty didn’t seem concerned in the least, asking if I would like to take a ride through a local state park. I readily agreed and we spent a long time driving the various roads throughout the park. She regaled me with stories of Sundays long ago when her dad would take the family for picnics and exploring the trails. From various other discussions I had had with Betty over the preceding months I knew that most of her early family life was anything but normal. Both of her parents had experienced problems with alcohol periodically, leading to job loss and some serious mental abuse of their kids. Her subsequent focusing on the one happy normal activity of her childhood was more then understandable, and more then a little sad.
Realizing I was getting hungry again, I suggested we pick up some sandwiches, to which she wholeheartedly agreed. We drove by Lenny’s and picked up a couple of
Stromboli’s and headed back out. I asked her where she would like to eat and she just smiled and told me she had the perfect place in mind, if I could trust her to make the decision. I had enjoyed every minute of the day so far and could think of nothing I would like better, and told her so.
It took about a half an hour of traveling, leading to a one lane gravel drive with trees and brush scraping the side of the Jeep as we inched along. I was definitely intrigued and Betty had an ear-to-ear grin going on so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. The gravel drive had disintegrated into a dirt cart path by this time and my interest in our destination increased with every yard we traversed. The brush finally gave way to an open hay field, and there was an old barn on the property with the grey weathered siding mostly intact.
She pulled up to the barn, shutting off the jeep and asking me what I thought of her farm. In all of our conversations, I didn’t think she had ever told me about owning a farm.
She said a girl should always have a few secrets. Her and her ex had bought it on land contract a few years ago, but he had long ago lost interest in it. Since he wouldn’t come with her, she very seldom came out, and they had agreed to give it up due to their divorce. She had decided this was the perfect opportunity to come see it one last time with me, since I was a captive audience.
Pulling a blanket out of the back of the Jeep, we took our food and walked to an idyllic spot under a big oak tree at the end of a meadow about a hundred yards from the barn. She spread out the blanket and we sat down to a wonderful lunch of
Stromboli sandwiches and a bottle of wine that had mysteriously appeared out of the blanket. Minutes turned into hours but seemed like seconds as we whiled away the afternoon drinking wine out of paper cups and talking about everything; although I doubt I could relate to anyone exactly what we did talk about.
Throughout the afternoon the sky had continued to build its crescendo of dark grey and blue clouds in its unrelenting effort to grow itself into a hell of a storm. For our part we barely noticed as our conversations melded from one to another as in a symphony composed by collaborators on a deadline. Eventually we almost simultaneously became aware that something was happening; immediately stopping our conversation as we found ourselves looking up into the sky.
We were staring up into the tree as the lightning struck it full force; seeming to attach itself to the uppermost tip and work its way down to the trunk in slow motion. In what seemed to take minutes, the lightning danced down the tree while pieces of the bark were being blown off, the whole show culminating in a huge explosion of dirt and bits of wood as it finally went to ground.
Momentarily stunned by the show of light and sound, we came around as we were showered with the remnants of the explosion; immediately followed by a downpour of cold, wet rain. Quickly we grabbed up our stuff and took off on a dead run for the barn. We found ourselves yelling to be able to hear each other, our ears ringing from the explosive force of the lightning. My heart was beating a thousand beats a minute as we entered the barn laughing.
The next few moments were spent catching our breath and nervously laughing at how close we had come to death. When our breathing returned to normal, I took the blanket and wrapped it around Betty’s shoulders, the closeness of her tingling on my skin. Looking down at her, our eyes locked on each other, those beautiful pale blue eyes of my dreams.
She was shaking, “Are you still cold?” I asked, my eyes never leaving hers.
The rain pattering the metal roof surrounded us with sound as she quickly shook her head before reaching for the back of my neck with her hand and gently pulling my lips to hers.
Electricity crackled around us as a bolt of lighting struck the roof at that exact moment, surrounding us with flashes of blue as it made its way around the inside of the barn, dancing gaily along the beams before diving into the ground.
Looking back at Betty, she was smiling, whispering only “WOW!” as she pulled my lips back onto hers.
Thunder echoed around us as our souls joined as one, the electricity in the air and the close call of earlier feeding our passion for one another to a fevered pitch. Caressing each other passionately, we started exploring each other’s bodies with a fervor that up to that point in my life I never knew existed.
Building in crescendo as we try to satisfy the pent-up hunger for each other, our whole beings climax as a clap of thunder engulfs our noisy release of joy and emotion, rumbling the ground beneath us in apparent approval.
Long past being cold any longer, we lay naked on the blanket in each others arms, our souls also entwined, forever.