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Fun Friday: A Case for Love

Friday, February 6, 2009

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I went to lunch with my best friend and greatest brainstorming partner ever, Lori, today and talked through some of the issues I’m having with characterization in A Case for Love (Forbes is being VERY stubborn and not revealing much about himself to me!). So I figured since I posted the potential opening scene a couple of months ago, I’d post what that scene morphed into once I started writing.

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A Case for Love
(excerpt from Chapter 4)
Copyright © 2009 by Kaye Dacus

Forbes tried to think of an excuse to run past Alaine’s townhouse one more time. He’d made the circuit of the neighborhood five times already—almost three miles—and the heat and humidity was getting unbearable. He wasn’t sure if he’d be able to make it all the way around again.

Half an hour ago when he’d just rounded the corner onto the street he knew she lived on, her black Mazda coupe had pulled into the garage of the townhouse in the middle of the long row with the sand-colored brick façade and the bay window. He’d never taken the time to notice just how much smaller and less-expensive looking the structures in this part of the neighborhood were until now, even though he knew they went for less than half the price of the all-brick duplex-style townhouses in his section.

The next two times he passed her place, an older model, burgundy Lincoln Town Car had been parked in her driveway, but the fourth time he made it around, the visitor was gone. It was the kind of car a parent would drive—maybe her mother?—not a boyfriend. He hoped so, anyway. But she had turned him down for a date.

He was pretty sure one of the requirements of eligibility for the magazine’s lists [of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes] was that the person nominated wasn’t involved in a committed relationship. That thought helped to quicken his step back home.

When he reached the entrance to the cul-de-sac, he slowed to a walk to start cooling down. He mustered the energy to wave when a blue Porsche Cayman rolled past him and pulled into the garage of the house attached to his. His chest twinged with envy, the way it did every time he saw the luxury sports car. If only he didn’t have to occasionally drive clients around, he could have gotten the two door Jaguar instead of the more stodgy sedan.

A tall, slender African-American man came out of the garage, shading his eyes against the glaring sun even though he wore expensive sunglasses. “Man, do you have a death wish? What are you thinking, running in this heat?”

Forbes powered off his I-Pod and swiped at the sweat streaming down his face with the hem of his soaked T-shirt. “I know. I just had some excess energy I needed to burn off since we didn’t run this morning.”

“You found out where that chick lives, didn’t you?” Shon loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar.

“What ‘chick’?” Forbes started stretching before his muscles froze up—and to have an excuse not to look his neighbor, and client, in the eye.

“The girl from that talk show on Channel Six.”

“It’s not a talk show—no studio audience. It’s a news magazine.” At least that’s how the on-screen digital cable guide classified it, which he’d seen when he set his DVR to record it every day.

Shon snorted. “Whatever. Look, I’ve been telling you for years that I can set you up with some of the most attractive women in this city. You’d be amazed at the quality of our clientele.”

Even though Forbes had represented LeShon Murphy’s business for almost five years, the idea of personally making use of Let’s Do Coffee’s matchmaking services never entered his mind. “Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with the old-fashioned way of doing things.”

“That’s right—she was at the dinner Friday night, wasn’t she? So did you ask her out?”

Sometimes, living next door to someone who’d made his first million by age twenty-five from setting people up on blind-dates wasn’t ideal. “Not that it’s any of your business, but yes, I did ask her out.”

Forbes stopped mid-stretch when Shon didn’t respond immediately.

A huge grin broke over Shon’s dark face. “She said no.”

Since the man was an important client, and someone he considered a friend, Forbes bit back a sharp retort. “She already had plans for the night I wanted to go out. She didn’t close the door for good, though.”

“Right.” Shon unknotted his tie and pulled it off. “Do me a favor and just remember what the Bible says: ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’”

First his mother, sisters, aunts, and cousins, now his client. “Will do. We back on schedule tomorrow?”

“I’ll be out here at five a.m. ready to go, old man.”

“We’ll see about that.” Forbes raised his hand in a dismissive wave as his friend disappeared into his garage.

10 Comments
  1. Friday, February 6, 2009 8:24 pm

    This is a pretty vast improvement over the original scene. I like it a lot.

    But please, for your own sake : It’s iPod. I-Pod is the spelling I would expect from our mothers. 😉

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  2. Friday, February 6, 2009 10:34 pm

    ^ LOL, good call Caleb. 😉

    Sounds great! I’m excited that this scene wasn’t deleted completely – just tweaked & reworked. I’ve been meaning to ask you – when I read the first chapters of ACFL was that helpful at all? Too much/too little? Just wondering!

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  3. Friday, February 6, 2009 11:17 pm

    Or “I-Pod” a sign of someone who avoids Apple products at all costs!

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  4. Judy permalink
    Saturday, February 7, 2009 12:11 am

    Now, Caleb, you give the older generation some respect. Generally speaking, we were the ones who bought the first iPods for you kids.

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  5. Saturday, February 7, 2009 10:01 am

    Hahaha, alright, Aunt Judy, that’s a very fair point. I guess we were lucky that when you guys walked into the store and said “I-Pod” they couldn’t read your words. 😉

    Kaye, you’re totally showing your age. I hate Mac computers, but I literally don’t think I have any friends around my age that don’t own an iPod (of some size or color) by now. It’s such a wonderful little invention.

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  6. Saturday, February 7, 2009 10:02 am

    Or maybe I’m showing my age.

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  7. Saturday, February 7, 2009 12:29 pm

    I am very proud of the fact that I have never laid my hands on an “I-Pod” (nor an iPod)—and I did think, when I wrote that down that it didn’t look right and that I should look it up online. But now I don’t have to.

    And I figured his having an iPod would be a lot shorter and more ubiquitous than saying he turned off his “MP3 player,” which is what this old fogy uses.

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  8. Saturday, February 7, 2009 5:23 pm

    I really like the improvements. It was really good.

    Love the iPod debate. I have a Sony Walkman myself…it was cheaper. 😉

    BTW, I’ve given you a blog award on my blog. Thanks!

    http://www.thevalueofone.com/?p=532

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  9. Lori permalink
    Monday, February 9, 2009 9:35 am

    As always a beautiful re-work. As always incorporating the “guy thing” of technology and cars makes Forbes a more realistic character. Don’t force his personality he will reveal himself to you. Just have to bust through that tough exterior to the “softer side of Forbes”! 🙂

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  10. Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:14 pm

    I think you’re on the right track. He’ll open up with some patience.

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