Monday, September 23, 2013

A Warm Embrace: Cherry Hill Episode 28

Hello dear readers!

When last we left Cherry Hill, Amanda and her white wolf familiar, Namanya, had tracked Jack to an airline hanger where he was being held captive by Walt Fischer and The Association. Even more surprising was the reappearance of Nurse Val - there to interrogate Jack using painful medical interventions! But before she could get started, a loud crash came from deep inside the airplane hanger sending Walt Fischer, his men, and Nurse Val back inside...

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Namanya looked deep into Amanda's eyes, sending her an unspoken message to stay put outside the hanger while she tracked Jack inside; and as difficult as it was for Amanda to not know what was going on, she nodded in acquiescence and ducked off to hide behind a tree.

Inside the hanger, Jack managed to free himself from the chair he had been tied to by smashing it against a wall and breaking the chair in pieces - and knowing the noise would alert his captors, quickly made his way along the side of the large room toward the exit.

But just as he reached the door, Walt Fischer's voice came from across the room. "Don't even think about it Wilson," he said, pistol pointing straight at Jack's head, "We've got you completely surrounded - any attempts at getting away are just going to make it harder on you."

Jack felt deflated. As Amanda's Watcher he had completed his sworn duty to keep her safe, but he couldn't shake the feeling that, somehow, their story wasn't over. He believed if he could just get out the hanger to safety it would be sign enough that he needed to turn back and find her.

But it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out they wouldn't be letting him out of this one alive. Jack took a deep breath and accepted his fate. He was a man and he was Amanda's Watcher - they would have to kill him before he would ever divulge where she was or who she was with. But just as he began to raise his hands in surrender, a massive white wolf leapt onto Walt Fischer knocking him to the ground. The gun flew from his hands on impact and with one swift move, Jack grabbed it and was running toward the side door with the wolf behind him.

Jack knew exactly where he was going. There was a Stinson biplane parked at the far end of the runway - if he could just get there before the rest of Fischer's men, he could get out of there - and as he made the long sprint praying for speed, he had no idea that Amanda was directly above him willing him to run faster and that Namanya was right behind.

When he reached the plane, Amanda landed on the ground directly in front of him.

"Jesus Murphy!" he exclaimed, your lucky I didn't shoot you! What are you doing here?"

"There's no time Jack, get into the plane!"

And with Walt Fischer's men gaining on them, Amanda, Jack, and Namanya jumped into the plane. Jack fumbled with the starter and though it seemed as if they would never get away, the plane taxied down the runway at breakneck speed and amidst gunshots from the ground below, was air bound and headed back to Cherry Hill.

***

Marjorie Wilson was setting the table for dinner when the oddest feeling about Jack overtook her. Ever since her son disappeared with Amanda Fitzpatrick and her children, the two had been the talk of Cherry Hill. But because no one living in the sleepy little prairie town were of The Zanzibar (including her own husband) Marjorie had to suffer the rumour mill in silence.

As a Watcher of the highest order, it had been Marjorie who had come to take Amanda from her parents, Tristan and Victoria, and after hand picking the family Amanda would grow up with, she hoped the girl would be able to live out this lifetime in peace; but The Zanzibar had had other plans. Originally it had been Jack who was supposed to go to Halifax and woo Amanda, but her head strong son had enlisted and was shipped overseas - leaving the Zanzibar no choice but to send Paul.

The plan had been for a Chosen and a Watcher to marry and have children in the hopes that their offspring would have the strength and intuition of a Watcher and the powers of a Chosen - and though all went according to plan, Paul had never truly loved Amanda and resented being tied down. It had broken Marjorie's heart to see Paul so flagrantly carry out his affair with Val Peterson - an affair the entire town was aware of - except Amanda.

But when The Zanzibar got wind of what was happening, justice was swift and final and Paul was killed in a terrible car accident while Val Peterson's life had been spared. This left an icy shiver in Marjorie's heart because she had always suspected Val Peterson might be with The Association. There was a sense of deja vu where Val was concerned and though Marjorie couldn't quite put her finger on it, she couldn't shake the feeling that she had known Val in another lifetime.

Sighing deeply, Marjorie wished life could be as simple as it appeared on the surface. The kitchen table was set with cheerful rose embossed Melmac plates, and Boston Blackie played on the radio in the front room.

Supper was her husband's favourite dish: Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas.




















And under any other circumstances a lovely dinner in their cozy kitchen would imply comfort and contentment.

In the meantime, Amanda and Jack were in the air.

"How did you find me?" asked Jack, marveling once again at the effect Amanda's blue eyes had on his heart.

"After you left, the strangest things began to happen," said Amanda gazing at Jack's handsome profile as he navigated the plane, "You told me you're a Watcher; well after I met my Protector, I began to remember who I am. My parents, our legacy, the Zanzibar - and as the memories flooded in, so did you. Jack, I knew you were in danger and so I left the children with my Protector and set off to find you. Along the way, I found Namanya, and I began to remember some of my, um, abilities."

"Abilities?" asked Jack raising his eyebrows.

"Yes. It seems my identity isn't the only thing that's been kept hidden from me."

"Like what?"

"Well, for starters, I can fly."

Something about the way she said it, about the incomprehensibility of the entire situation, struck Jack in the funny bone and although he didn't want Amanda to think he was making fun of her, he started to laugh, softly at first, and as the stress of the past few weeks began to peel away, Amanda joined him.

Soon they were wiping tears from their eyes and as Jack expertly landed the plane in a field on the outskirts of Cherry Hill, laughter turned to embrace under the bright light of a full moon as Jack did what he had longed to do for so many years.



























When their lips met for the first time an unusual magic ignited. Passion met safety and comfort and what was always meant to be came to pass.

Amanda and Jack had come home.

***

Marjorie scooped up a generous helping of macaroni and cheese casserole for her husband and just as she was about to serve herself, the back door swung open.

"Mother, we're back!"

Marjorie's eyes filled with tears as her only son walked through the door with Amanda by his side.

In the back yard, a large white wolf made herself comfortable in a pile of soft leaves and, howling at the moon, let the universe know of her happiness that all was as it should be.

But in an airplane hanger deep in the woods of the Lost Lakes Walt Fischer understood that The Association had only just begun. Darkness was coming to Cherry Hill...

***

Stay tuned next Sunday for the next exciting installment of Cherry Hill! And if you enjoy reading my food related fiction, pop by and check out my hilarious new web series "Starring Samantha."

Samantha Wentworth's catering business goes belly up along with her marriage to cut throat divorce attorney Alan Wentworth. To recoup her losses she applies to be on a reality TV show, falls in love with the married producer, just about kills the pompous chef host, and gets herself into all kinds of other interesting predicaments. 


Stay tuned Saturdays for this brand new serial on The Kitchen Witch! I'll be basing the characters off of well known food world celebs to keep you guessing! So be sure to bookmark The Kitchen Witch and come along for a fun, food related, romantic romp through the world of reality TV!

Click here for the series index: Starring Samantha



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Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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