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Fun Friday–What Matters Most

Friday, September 9, 2011

I thought it would be fun over the next couple of weeks to share with you some of my old stuff . . . writing I did back before I really knew what I was doing. I’m going to kick it off today with the first scene of my first completed manuscript, What Matters Most.

(And those who have read A Case for Love may recognize these characters’ names.)

What Matters Most

Chapter One

Andrew held the directions in one hand and steered with the other. He should turn around – he’d probably passed the turn-off already. But the woman had said to go ten miles after he turned north onto River Road from Main Street. He’d passed several subdivisions shortly after turning on the road that ran along the river on the opposite side of the city of Bonneterre, Louisiana. Now, he’d been driving for a while without seeing but one other road, and it had been a few miles back.

Weren’t most women directionally challenged?

As a large animal vet, Andrew Blakeley occasionally made house calls when an animal wasn’t in condition to be moved. He’d gotten this page on his day off. When he’d called the office, the assistant had given him a number and a name and said it was an equine emergency.

Andrew had been pleasantly surprised when the client turned out to be Rebekka d’Arcement, the very pretty woman who had just started as the weekend sports anchor on the local news he watched. From seeing her on TV, Andrew had entertained his own imagination with what it would be like to know someone like her. She was one of those girl-next-door types yet had an air of authority and an obvious knowledge of all sports that made Andrew admire her for more than just her pretty face.

He couldn’t stifle a yawn – a yawn so strenuous it threatened to split his jaw from his face. The page had come only four hours after the end of his shift… his shift which had ended at six in the morning. Sometimes – like now – he seriously considered leaving the prestigious animal hospital for a veterinary practice which kept normal hours, instead of being open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As the veterinarian with the least seniority, Andrew was stuck with the graveyard shift.

He sighed when he finally saw the sign for the road where he was supposed to turn. A quick glance at his trip odometer told him it had indeed been almost exactly ten miles to this turn-off. The narrow road was in surprisingly good condition, and old farmhouses sparsely populated the scenery.

The white fence and green mailbox showed Andrew where to turn next, and he pulled his Ford Explorer off the pavement onto a smooth gravel drive. The large expanse of yard was meticulously groomed and landscaped, creating a perfect frame to showcase the light blue, narrow, three-story Victorian house.

A classic, red convertible sat under the protection of the carport at the house, but Andrew followed another branch of the driveway around to the stable, as Rebekka d’Arcement had instructed him to do.

He opened the tailgate of the SUV after he got out, but didn’t pick anything up besides his black bag which had the most rudimentary of utensils in it. He followed the sounds into the stable and stopped at the last enclosure.

A young girl was bent over a horse trying to soothe it as it writhed and groaned with obvious birthing pains. The girl looked a lot like Rebekka d’Arcement.

He’d never considered the thought that Rebekka d’Arcement might be married, much less have a child this old. She didn’t look old enough to have a teenaged daughter, even one in her early teens.

“Excuse me,” he said to get the girl’s attention, while he grabbed his stethoscope out of the bag.

The girl turned and looked over her shoulder at him. “Are you the vet?”

“I am.” Andrew entered the stall and listened first to the heart of the mare, then for the heartbeat of the foal.

Satisfied with what he heard, Andrew rocked back on his heels. “Is your mother here?”

The girl’s mouth dropped open as if she wanted to say something but couldn’t.

“Or your father? No offense, but even if this is your horse, I really need to speak to an adult.”

The girl stood, flipping her dark auburn braid over her shoulder. “My mother and father live in Houston. They moved there my junior year of college… eight years ago. Perhaps I should introduce myself. I’m Rebekka d’Arcement and I’m the one who called for a veterinarian.”

  1. Audry permalink
    Friday, September 9, 2011 10:34 am

    haha, well that relationship sure got off to an interesting start, huh? I used to get that all the time on the phone and it was pretty annoying. “Nope, actually my parents don’t live with me, can I help you?” Now I don’t have a landline, so I don’t get many calls from people who don’t know me.

    I suppose she could take it as a compliment though… I’m 32 and still get carded if I buy wine at the grocery store without my husband with me, and it usually makes me happy. That’s not the same as being mistaken for a teenager though 😀


  2. Friday, September 9, 2011 12:00 pm

    Love this! Oh, and my 68-year-old aunt still has telemarketers asking if her mom is at home . . . 😀

    I would read this book, too! 🙂


  3. Jess Keller permalink
    Friday, September 9, 2011 5:10 pm

    Salesmen at the door ALWAYS ask for my parents and then I get to watch them turn bright red when I tell them its my house. I get carded if I go to an R-rated movie, and people freak out when they find out I’m married because they think I’m too young. Then I tell them my age and they don’t believe me and I have to pull out my license to prove it.


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