The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Monday, July 22, 2013

A New Excerpt from Lapses of Memory: Introducing Walker

I thought it would be nice to introduce some of the other characters in Lapses of Memory. Today it’s Walker, who takes the grieving Sydney under his wing.

EXCERPT (G):  The Good Friend

He helped her into his car. “You still up for dinner at Luigi’s?”
“Are you kidding? I’m famished. This second trimester is making up for everything I upchucked in the first.”
“What a pretty picture. You’ve certainly become more graphic in your speech with this pregnancy, Sydney. It’s a wonder you even can blush.”
The maitre d’ saw them coming and had bread and butter on the table before they even sat down.
“Thank you, Luigi. How thoughtful of you.”
Luigi winked at Walker. “After this, your fourth visit to Luigi’s, I know that madame needs sustenance right away. The veal piccata as usual?”
“Yes, please.”
Walker ordered a salad. Finishing it quickly, he sat back to watch Sydney eat, an affectionate smile teetering on his lips. An hour later she scraped the last droplet of chocolate icing from her plate and patted her bulging stomach. “That was delicious. Thank you, Walker.”
“I’m glad I can be here for you.”
Sydney fought her heavy eyelids back to the open position. “Speaking of, when do you have to go back to Turkey? You’ve been here over four months—I thought you were only assigned here temporarily.”
“Oh,” he said carelessly, “you know the military. Everything takes longer than they expect. Which brings me to tonight’s topic.”
Hmmm? I didn’t see an agenda. Don’t we have to approve the minutes first?”
“Waived.” He pushed the candle aside and bent toward her. “Sydney? I’ve asked for a permanent transfer to the Pentagon.”
“They’ve tentatively agreed, but require proof that the grounds I gave are justified.”
Sydney stifled a yawn. It’s after nine o’clock for heaven’s sakes. I wish he’d get on with this. She thought of the hot bath waiting at home and forced a smile. “And what’s that?”
“That…that…” He pushed something toward her. Her eyes dropped to a small velvet box. “…that I’m getting married.”
Without thinking she opened it. Long seconds clicked by. Sydney stared at the ring. Walker stared at her. The couple at the next table stared at them both. The waiter passed by their table and stopped to stare. Finally Sydney took a sip of water and whispered, “Oh, my.”
No one seemed particularly impressed with this response. The waiter raised his hand as if to suggest a more appropriate reply and the woman at the next table whispered loudly to her companion. Sydney caught the words milk and cow.
As she opened her mouth again, praying that something sensible would issue from it, Walker as usual let her off the hook. “Look, take your time. I just thought…” He raised his hand to signal for the check and almost took the waiter’s eye out.
“I…I…” She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t answer him. Not yet.
They left a small crowd glaring at their retreating backs and muttering disgruntled objections. Walker drove her to her house in silence and left her at the door.
Sydney stumbled inside and collapsed on the couch. Something hard gouged into her hip. She pulled out the box. The diamond was quite large, the setting very simple. It is a beautiful ring. A long lost memory rose like Venus from the sea, a memory of a plastic ring with a large pink crystal. Elian had found it on the beach in Tangier. He’d tried to give it to her but she’d run off laughing. When he caught up with her she had puffed, “I’ll wait for a real diamond,” and pushed his hand away.
Elian had tossed the child’s ring down and mumbled, “Okay.”

Should I have taken the toy? Something told her she’d still be wearing it. And I’d never be able to move on. No. She picked up Walker’s offering and slipped it on. Mrs. Walker Adams. The Adams family. Party of three. It just might work.

For more Walker, pick up Lapses of Memory here:

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