THE LAKE APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
Annabelle giggled in a slightly school-girlish short of way as he
nuzzled the softness of her neck. "The things you do to me."
"More like the things
you'd like me to do to you." Charles let out a small chuckle
as he pulled away from her and looked at her closely. She was so
beautiful. Not in the same way that Francis was beautiful, but beautiful
none the less. He wondered for a moment how two women could be so
beautiful, but in such different ways. Francis had such an quiet, elegant
beauty while Annabelle's was more raw and sensuous. They were so different
from each other.
"Charles? Are you
listening to me?"
"Oh, I'm sorry,
dear," he smiled as he extracted himself from his own musings.
"I-I must have lost myself in thought again."
Annabelle's brow furrowed
slightly. She quickly realized that he'd been thinking of his wife
again. Why couldn't she push her memory from his mind? How could she
get him to completely let go of Francis? Her own thoughts were quickly interrupted
by the opening of the front door.
Mr. Callison," Stephanie spoke up rather awkwardly as she led
the apartment. "I-I hope we're not interrupting anything."
"No, Stephanie, not at
all." Charles said as he rose from the couch. "In fact, I
really need to be going. There's a lot of work I have to
finish." He turned to look at Annabelle. "I've got to go
over Preston's contract again. I just know there's something in it I'm
missing. There's got to be some reason he's fighting so hard to get
out of his commitments."
dear." Annabelle's eyes followed Charles as he grabbed his jacket and
headed for the door. "I'll see you later?"
Annabelle." He nodded politely to Stephanie and Clark and then left.
"So," Annabelle said
as she turned her attention toward her daughter and her young suitor, "this
must be the mysterious Mr. Clark Saxon. My daughter has told me so much
"I-I don't really know
how mysterious I am, Mrs. Lake." Clark slowly approached Annabelle
and took her outstretched hand. "I'm pretty much an open book."
Annabelle eyed him curiously as she reclined back onto the couch and casually
lit a cigarette. "So what exactly are your intentions
concerning my daughter?"
gasped in shock. She knew that her mother could be rather blunt, but she'd
hoped that she wouldn't be so immediate about it.
"Settle down, dear, I'm
just asking this nice young man some questions." Annabelle continued
to smile as she patted a spot next to her on the couch. "Come sit
down, Clark, and tell me about yourself."
"Um, not much to tell,
really." His nervousness was apparent. Why hadn't Helen warned
him about Stephanie's mother? He'd never been good with girls'
parents. "I'm a senior at AU and a member of Delta Phi
"Yes, from what Stephanie
has told me, your social credentials are quite exquisite." She
continued to eye him closely. True, he appeared to be just the sort of
young man she's always wanted for her daughter, but something just didn't sit
right. Annabelle had learned a long time ago to trust her gut
instinct. This time, her gut was telling her to be weary of Clark
Saxon. "Stephanie, would you join me in the kitchen?" she asked
as she rose from her place on the couch. "We need to prepare some
refreshments for your friend."
Stephanie smiled nervously at Clark and then followed Annabelle's cloud of smoke
into the kitchen. "Momma, what are you doing? Why are you
asking Clark all those questions?" she asked as she glared at her after the
kitchen door had swung closed.
"I just want to know the
type of boys you're associating with, dear. That's all."
Annabelle set a silver serving tray on the counter and began to pull glasses out
of the cupboard.
"Well, you're embarrassing
"Better a little embarrassment
now rather than a lot of embarrassment later." Annabelle began to
fill the glasses with iced tea. "Don't get too involved with this
Stephanie was shocked. Clark was exactly the type of young man her mother
had always pressed her to become involved with. He was from a socially prominent
family with quite a bit of money. What could possibly be her problem with
"Something is telling me
that there's something not right about him. He's not right for you."
perfect!" Stephanie crossed her arms and stuck out her bottom
lip. "Don't you want me to be happy?"
Annabelle did, indeed, want
her daughter to be happy with a wealthy, socially prominent boy. However,
she couldn't shake the nagging feeling that Clark Saxon was not the
one. She pursed her lips tightly and tried to figure out why she had the
feeling that Clark would only bring Stephanie trouble and heartache.