After finishing the second scene I have a feeling that this chapter, the penultimate one, will end up becoming the shortest chapter in the novel. I’ll have to check, but right now I’m just under three thousand words, and if I know my next scene well, I doubt very much that I’ll get the scene over a thousand words. But the act finally cleared one hundred ten thousand, so there’s an excellent chance I’ll end up with something close to one hundred and twenty thousand words total for Act Three.
But . . . what’s up with the kids? What did they do? How was dinner? Glad you asked . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry held the door for Annie as she walked into the room, then followed her towards the bed, moving to the far side as she headed towards the side closest to the chest of draws. He sat on the bed and slipped off his tennis shoes and socks as Annie unbuckled her sandals, removed them, and set them by her bedside table. Once they were comfortable, they slipped towards each other, meeting up in the middle. Kerry places his right arm around Annie, who snuggled into his side and half-closed her eyes.
The dinner was great and interesting. Like the Sea Sprite Inn, the restaurant was owned by The Foundation and partially managed by its people, which meant it was possible to come in and discuss matter that weren’t always Normal related. They were told to stay away from any discussions magical, however, because Coraline’s boyfriend was a Normal and wasn’t yet aware that the doctor he was dating was a witch. Since Kerry had been practicing for these discussions with his parents should they arise, he didn’t see it as a problem.
It was great that they got a chance to dine with the adults and see how they acted when they were away from the school and business. Kerry hadn’t seen Erywin and Helena this animated during their trip to Kansas City, when most of their interaction revolved around the field operation and didn’t delve into personal matters, and it was refreshing to see Deanna and Coraline in social settings where they weren’t dealing with the problems of others. Most of the discussion revolved around what everyone planed on doing over the summer, and what they were expecting for the next school year.
The only awkward moment came about when Coraline’s date asked why Annie and Kerry were tagging along with the European-bound instructors. Deanna quickly answered that they were the valedictorians of their level, and as such they were being treated for their hard work. Kerry wondered how much truth there was in that statement, and how much of it revolved about the feeling that Annie and he deserved a last time together before summer holiday.
Another Foundation front, and a chance for the kids to see the adults in action. Also, the statement about the kids being at the top of their level–which they are–leaving Kerry to wonder if what Deanna said was true. Or are there other motives? Hum . . . probably other.
Let’s discuss other things, however.
He reached over and bushed Annie’s right cheek. “Did you enjoy dinner?”
“Yes, mine was delicious. How was your lobster?”
It was his first time for eating the local crustacean, and he’d only ordered it after being told he could. “Fantastic. I’d always wanted it before, but it wasn’t like I’d ever went anywhere with my parent where I could get it without having to worry that my parents were going to flip.”
Annie slowly moved her head as she enjoyed the warmth coming from her soul mate. “I’m glad you liked it. I had lobster for the first time two years ago and loved it, but I know it’s something one saves for special occasions.”
She looked up into his eyes. “Tonight was very special.” Annie reached out with a spell and dialed down the lighting in the room to about a third of normal brightness. “There: much better.”
Ol’ Annie getting the mood set. The question did come up: was it a smart thing to leave these two alone for the night? After all, we, as readers and writers, know a little of their past in these situations, but I doubt very much if Kerry is going to spend tonight trying out magic on Annie.
Kerry said nothing for almost a minute, preferring to enjoy their silence together in the dim light of their room. “Can I ask something?”
“When will Coraline tell her boyfriend that she’s a witch?”
“When she’s certain they’ll have a meaningful relationship. Only then will she tell him so he can become a Knower.” That was a term he’d heard before, describing someone Normal who knew of the existence of The Foundation and the Aware. “If they’re still dating by this time next year, she’ll likely tell him. Or maybe before there: Coraline doesn’t seem like the sort of person who becomes involved with someone for reasons other than a strong emotional attraction.”
Though tonight wasn’t the first time he’d thought of the question, he felt that he needed to ask. “Did you get in trouble when you told me you were a witch?”
“You didn’t worry about telling me?”
“We’d known each other for years by then, and you were the last person I expected to be shocked by the declaration that the girl you knew in your dreams was a witch.”
“Okay.” There was something else. “When did you tell your mom that you’d told me?”
“Two weeks later.” Annie snuggled tightly against Kerry. “She took it well. She also didn’t seem surprised. She’d known about you for years, and even though I’d never told her directly about how I felt about you, she’d my book . . .” She chuckled. “You know which page.”
“Yes.” He stroked her hair. “I know which page.”
“You, you do.” Annie stroked Kerry hand holding her tight. “I wasn’t worried I’d get into trouble with anyone. Other than my mother no one else knew about you—well, my father did the last few years—”
Yes, Mama knew about that page: everyone knows about that page now. I don’t think Annie’s father knows about that page her in book, but he knows Kerry’s name, so he’s probably go surveillance out the butt on the kid. Just wait for the moment when he suspects Kerry’s getting too “touchy feely” with his only daughter. That should be fun.
Speaking of touchy feely . . .
“How do you know no one in The Foundation knew about us?” Kerry rested his head against Annie’s. “They knew about me, but you didn’t, so maybe it’s possible they knew about us?”
That was something Annie never considered, and wasn’t about to now. Tonight was about being together, not wondering about mysteries. And even if they did know, that happened years ago. Nothing happened to us, so it’s not a concern . . . “We’ll think about it later.” She slipped away from Kerry’s grasp and spun around on the bed. “If you don’t mind, I’ll clean up first. It’s been a long day, and—”
“That’s fine.” He nodded slowly. “Your hair will dry while I’m cleaning up.”
The was a slight hesitation before Annie answered. “Yes, that’s true.” She was about to head for the bathroom when she noticed something in Kerry’s expression. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. It’s just—”
He leaned slightly towards her. “I love you so much, Annie. I don’t . . .” He shook his head as he looked at her with near pleading eye. He brought his left hand towards his face and kiss his pressed together index and middle fingers, then reached over and touched Annie’s lips with the same fingers. “You are lovely; you are so lovely.”
Annie stared back at Kerry for almost five seconds, her eyes never leaving his face as her expression softened and light smile formed on her face. “I’ll be right back: don’t go away.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” He followed her past the end of the bed and through the bathroom door on the other side of the wardrobe where she’d put her things. The door closed behind her and Kerry was alone in the dim room.
I like that little moment he did with the fingertip kiss. It’s something both of them have done, and now Kerry gets to do the actual touch. You could almost feel Annie melting–well, at least I did. Oh, those poor little Bulgarian hormones . . .
Leaving Kerry alone at this point may not be a good thing, but Annie’s gotta get clean. In the meantime he can think about the summer ahead . . .
I hope to get the next scene up before I turn in and watch TV tonight. It’s not a long scene, and I want to get my crying out of the way . . .