No! I am not talking about me in this week’s title. I am doing something a wee bit different this week. I am going to share a chapter that I have been working on from my third, and next novel, Invisible.
I realize that I rarely show my novel writing in my blog. I know all of you are dying to read my work! (Please try to refrain from the eye rolling!) But as you know, I try to keep my blog as the outlet for my thoughts. Crazy and bizarre as they come! But today is a beautiful morning. I have my coffee, am still in my pjs, and am comfortably nestled against my stacked pillows behind my back, feeling a little generous. So, with little further introduction, a scene from Invisible:
As Thom had entered the pub, Dunbar tilted his head in the direction of where he could find the drunkard. Marcus was crouched in a dark corner table with his head down, the overhead light fixture casting an ominous shadow over the slumped figure.
“Do you mind if I sit?” Thom asked, his tall frame hovering over the table as he approached.
Marcus looked up with lethargic eyes. He slurred, “I oughta punch you!” He half rose but only faltered, and slouched back down into the cushioned seat.
“Well, probably,” Thom coolly replied, then sat down next to him.
“Everything ok, Thom?” Dunbar called out from behind the bar.
“Aye,” he answered, reassuring his friend. “And bring us two coffees.”
Marcus sat up, stretched his arms across the back of the seat, and looked Thom straight in the eyes. “Shouldn’t we duel or something? Isn’t there some Scottish code to fight over a woman?” He laughed uncomfortably.
Thom didn’t answer. When Dunbar called to warn him that a man at the pub was making threats against him, he did not have to ask who it was. He new it was Marcus. Abby’s Marcus. He probably should have been more hesitant to rush over and confront the threat. He knew men had been shot for lesser reasons. He certainly was not innocent of the crime Marcus was enraged about. A man can be driven to do terribly things when he has been wronged, especially when it is about a woman.
Dunbar interrupted his thoughts and placed a cup in front of Thom and asked, “Are ya sure you can handle this one?”
“I have handled worse on your account,” he reassured, trying to make light of the situation.
Glaring at Marcus, Dunbar dropped the other cup in front of him, slightly spilling coffee on the table. He bent over to wipe it up but did not take his eyes off of Marcus, giving him fair warning that if he started a fight, he was not too far away to join in.
“Leave him be,” Thom ordered, giving Dunbar the signal that he had the situation under control.
Eyeing Dunbar as he walked away, Marcus was not particularly threatened by the skinny framed man. He hovered three inches above him and had at least twenty pounds on him. But that wasn’t who he wanted to fight. He would have gladly hit Thom from across the table if it weren’t for the fact he saw two of him. He hated the man, but he wasn’t foolish. Marcus snickered, “It wouldn’t be a fair fight at the moment.”
“No, it wouldn’t,” Thom replied a little unsure of what Marcus was capable of. He was drunk, angry and in no position to fight, but Thom knew that never stopped a man from trying. He watched him carefully as he reached forward, only to grab his coffee. His head dangled forward and he closed his eyes as he took three slurps. Thom waited for what was next.
“What is it like to fuck my wife?” Marcus bitterly spat out, his eyes very clear of his target.
Grabbing the collar of his shirt, Thom pulled Marcus forward. “Look, lets keep this polite, shall we? Or else I will describe every fucking detail of how I made love to your wife so that every time you touch her you will know I have been there!”
Thom wanted desperately to hurt him. If only to release the fear swelling inside of him that this man could take away Abby. Marcus would overcome a few punches. Thom wasn’t sure he could overcome losing love twice in his life. But his thoughts of Abby stopped him. He had to be patient if not for her sake. Breathing in deeply, he released him.
Marcus grunted, but did not take the bait. With Dunbar not far away he knew there was little chance walking out of there without the crap beaten out of him. He eased up and leaned back letting the coffee ease the effects of the vodka shots that were poisoning his body and warping his mind.
“You are a brazen fellow, I’ll give you that!” Marcus responded. “Not only did you sleep with my wife, you have the nerve to throw it in my face.”
“I didn’t come here to rub your face in it. I’m here for Abby. She shouldn’t have to deal with you in this condition. Nothing is going to be solved with you incoherent. Drink up your coffee, man, and I’ll take you home.”
“Hell with her! I am in this condition because of her!” he shouted out, but then lowered his voice to a whisper as if talking to himself, “What is home? Without Abby, I have no home.”
Thom could only feel sorry for the man who was sitting next to him. A man who probably did not intend to be so careless with such a precious commodity. But it was not for Thom to judge why or how Marcus failed to value Abby. He only saw the remnants of his actions. As far as he was concerned, he got Abby fairly. There was no coercing or manipulation. She came to him openly. Even so, there was no easy way to feel victorious about stealing another man’s wife.
“This isn’t really about you or me. It’s about what makes Abby happy. And if you make her happy I am willing to lose her. But if there is a remote chance she chooses me, I will spend every day, every breath I have loving her.”
“You’re a son of a bitch,” Marcus cursed. He stared at his nemesis. It was hard to hate a man who only wanted the best for the woman he loved.
“Maybe so, but I don’t think it’s up to us, now is it?” Thom rose, reached for his wallet and threw some money out on the table. He helped Marcus get up, steadying him on his feet. Nodding to Dunbar, he bid him a good night.
Marcus pulled himself away and stumbled out into the cold air, his body stiffening from the stark contrast of the warmth inside the pub. The crisp air quickly washed away any remnants of haziness that he was feeling.
“Are you going to be alright?” Thom asked, trying to assess how far he would need to help Marcus get back to the hotel.
Without answering, Marcus pulled his coat tightly around his body and pushed towards the street ahead, ready to conquer the freezing wind, and Abby.
Thom stood silent not wanting to disrupt Marcus’s fortitude. He knew that he was going into the battle of his life. He just wasn’t sure he knew which outcome he wanted for him.