Guarded Hearts - Chapter 4June 22 2006 at 12:01 AM
|Renee (Login charmedSB)|
from IP address 22.214.171.124
Hey everyone, here is the latest chapter. Sorry about the long wait but life got in the way a little. We are short staffed at work, so longer hours here we come. I will try to have a couple of updates ready to go soon. Thanks for your support,
Belle took one last look in the mirror before heading out the door. After having a lengthy conversation with Mimi earlier, she had called Shawn and suggested meeting at nice little coffee place not to far away from her apartment. She had considered a lot of places, but decided that the Java Hut would do just fine. It allowed her the opportunity to talk to Shawn but keep it in a neutral environment. Mimi had helped Belle make sense of the thoughts swirling through her mind earlier and now she had a better idea of what answers she was looking for. On top of that list was why had he stopped writing and communicating with her.
Mimi had even accompanied Belle back to her apartment and helped her pick out the perfect outfit for tonight. Mimi had to let out a laugh as Belle rummaged through her closet for the third time. Belle looked up in frustration at Mimi’s laugh. “It’s not funny. None of these outfits will work. I need something… Ohh, I don’t know what I need.”
Mimi tried to cover her next laugh but failed. She couldn’t believe how nervous Belle was at the thought of meeting up with Shawn. The look Belle shot her was murderous. “Belle, you do know that you are acting like this is a first date.”
“It’s NOT a date Mimi. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that.” The date theme had been reoccurring from Mimi since Belle had mentioned that she was to meet up with Shawn tonight. “It is just two old friends getting reacquainted with each other.”
Mimi appeased Belle while mentally rolling her eyes. She had the feeling that this meeting meant a lot more to Belle than just getting reacquainted. “Okay, okay, it’s not a date, but that means you have to calm down Belle. Take a few deep breaths and then we will find something for you to wear.”
Belle did as Mimi instructed and had to admit that she felt better. They set to work on putting her closet back together while picking out an outfit. They decided on a simple but classic black wrap around dress. After picking out accessories, Mimi happened to glance at the clock.
“Oh my god, it’s 6:00 already!”
“It’s ok Mimi. I am not meeting Shawn until 7:00.”
“I know, but Brady is going to wondering where I am. I have to get home. We have plans for this evening also.”
“I am so sorry Meems. I didn’t mean to monopolize your time.”
“It’s okay Belle. You know that I am here when you need. I will explain to Brady. It will be fine. Tonight will be fine also. Just remember to listen to everything Shawn has to say. I know that you will probably be upset, but you need to listen to his side too Belle. Call me and let me know what happens.” Belle and Mimi said their goodbyes and Mimi left while Belle continued to get ready.
Shawn had a different way of dealing with his nervousness. He headed to the Brady Pub. Shawn had just gotten into town two days ago and had immediately met with John at Basic Black. His family didn’t know that he was going to be in town and so he wanted to stop and see his grandparents. The bell jingled as he pushed the door open. He heard his grandmother greet him without ever looking up from the table she was serving. “Welcome to the Brady Pub. Just have a seat anywhere you want and I will be with you in just a minute.”
Shawn saw a booth off the left and went to sit down. It was a few minutes later that his grandmother stepped over. Without ever lifting her head she started to rattle off the specials of the day. Shawn waited until she finished before answering with “I will have the calm chowder, Grandma.”
Caroline’s head snapped up and she exclaimed “Shawn-Douglas!” before pulling him into a hug. She immediately called out for her husband. “Shawn Brady get out here and see who has finally come home.”
Shawn came out of the kitchen with much fussing about being in the middle of something before abruptly stopping at the sight of his grandson. He rushed over and pulled him from Caroline’s arms to his. “Shawn-Douglas, Welcome home lad.”
Shawn and Caroline sat down with their grandson to find out what had been going on in his life. “You must tell us why you are here Shawn-Douglas. We haven’t heard from you in months. We asked your parents but they didn’t have much of an answer for us either.”
Shawn proceeded to fill them in about the new job at Basic Black and what he had been up to the past months. Before he knew it, it was a little after 6. He made his apologies to his grandparents and prepared to go. “I am sorry, but I have to meet someone at 7:00 and I don’t want to be late.”
Shawn couldn’t miss out on the chance to rib his grandson now that he had him home. “Ahh, not even back for a week and already using that Brady charm to meet the lassies.”
Shawn hurried to correct his grandfather but got the feeling that he just made it worse. “No, it’s not a woman. Well, it is a woman, but…” Shawn took a stopped and gathered his thoughts. Best to just come out with it. “It’s Belle. I am going to meet Belle.” With that he rushed out the door missing the knowing looks that his grandparents shared.
Belle arrived early at the coffee house. She felt that if she arrived first and picked out the table and seat that she would have some of the control. She ordered a vanilla latte and sat down to look at one of the magazines provided at the table. At 5 till 7, Belle looked up when she saw a shadow fall across the table. “Shawn, I didn’t see you come in. I am glad you could make it.” Belle didn’t jump up and pull him into a hug this time. She simply gestured to the seat across from her.
Shawn felt a wave of disappointment when he didn’t receive the same greeting from her that he did earlier. However, he understood what was happening. Belle was trying to gain control and set the pace of their meeting. It was a tactic that he had employed many times himself in his career. Shawn sat and decided to see where Belle would take this.
Belle started out with the easy questions. “So Shawn-D, where did you go to law school?”
“I graduated from Boston College with my degree in law. I also did my undergrad there.”
“Boston, how did you end up in Boston?”
“I finished up my high school years at a private school in New England and gravitated towards Boston. I had some family there. My Aunt Kim and Uncle Shane lived there, so it seemed like as good as a place as any.”
“New England, I thought that your parents sent you to a school in the West?”
“It’s a long story, but that was the first school I went to. It was in Denver.” Shawn got the feeling that Belle was working her way around to something, so he decided to bite the bullet and ask her. “But Belle, I get the feeling that this is not what you really want to know. Why don’t you just ask me what ever you are thinking? By the way, I just go by Shawn now.”
“Ok Shawn, what I really want to know is how could you stop writing to me? I mean, you were my best friend Shawn-D, sorry, Shawn. Especially after the last time we saw each other, I thought that you would really keep in touch. I thought that you really cared about me.”
“I did care Belle. I really did care. It’s just that things got really screwed up. It all stared when I reached the school in Denver…”
I know, I know, the ending, but I promise not to leave you hanging for too long. The next chapter is being worked on now.