I was looking for a scene with an April theme, and I found one here in the opening chapter of A Taste of Honey--a book I always associate with May. Go figure.
Oberon, Book Four
by PG Forte
Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense
This title is currently out of print. However, I'm currently in the process of re-booting the entire series. Join my FB group for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheCronesNest and get a FREE novella (details below).
For Lucy Greco Cavanaugh, life is a dream come true. She has it all. The perfect family. The perfect husband. The perfect marriage. What more could she wish for? Other than the chance to do it all again. To experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams. To recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.
As far as Dan Cavanaugh is concerned, his life has become a nightmare. His storybook marriage is on the line when Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend arrives in Oberon intent on proving Dan is her father. Even though he's convinced the girl's claims are false, Dan decides his only chance to keep from losing everything lies in keeping her very existence a secret from his wife and family.
But, sometimes, what you don't know can hurt you—and those you love. When Deirdre, masquerading as a surfer girl named Monica, accidentally hooks up with their son, Seth, Lucy and Dan are left to wonder: has their perfect, fairy-tale romance, turned into a classic Greek tragedy?
Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for. And it's more than you'd ever dreamed.
The present. Mid April.
In a lot of ways, Oberon is typical of any one of several small towns to be found along California’s Central Coast. Clinging to sheer, corrugated green cliffs above a windswept strand of pale, golden sand, it lacks a little of the endless sunshine boasted by its neighbors to the south, enjoying instead a milder, more temperate climate and, for much of the year, a lot of fog.
The area surrounding the town lacks one other very important California mainstay as well: the plethora of freeways that grace most of the rest of state are largely absent here. Bounded on the west by the broad, brilliant blue crescent of San Bartolo Bay, and to the east by the majestic bulk of Mt. Totawka, the ‘sacred mountain’ of local lore, Oberon is virtually isolated. Set amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, undeveloped wilderness and—where the landscape and the environment have cooperated—acres of agricultural fields, it’s a hard place to get to. It can be an even harder place to leave behind.
But if Oberon was ever the type of funky beach town where teenaged girls with sun bleached hair, driving station wagons with surfboards tied to the roof was a common sight, it certainly is not that way anymore. So when Lucy Greco-Cavanaugh did happen to spy one, rolling down Main Street one sunny morning late in April, followed only a few minutes later, by a longhaired young man in a VW convertible rabbit, also with surfboard, she knew something strange was up.
Perhaps someone was making a movie, she reasoned. Or maybe—and being a lifetime resident of Oberon this was of course the theory she favored—a sudden tear in the fabric of space-time had inadvertently allowed her to take a nostalgic glimpse back in time to the California-dreamin’ fantasies of an earlier age.
Not coincidentally, this time displacement theory was one that she found herself applying to more and more events of late. She was thirty-seven years old, and she had memories that spanned most of those years, albeit, with varying amounts of clarity. But somehow, lately, it was almost as if all those memories didn’t quite add up the way they should.
For several months now, she had been aware of a vague sense of dissatisfaction growing within her, coupled with a worrisome preoccupation with the past. As if some invisible anchor line that had once kept her mind tethered in the present had been cut. No matter how hard she tried to stay focused, her mind kept drifting back to places it had already been.
Perhaps it had to do with the fact that while everyone around her seemed suddenly immersed in fresh new lives and new loves, she’d had to content herself with more of the same old, same old. Not that there was any part of her life that she wanted to change, she reminded herself sternly. She took a moment to rap her knuckles against the side of one of the wooden half barrels that served as planters on the terrace of the tea shop where she and her two best friends were having breakfast. The same old everything she had was pretty damn great.
She had two wonderful kids, satisfying work, a comfortable house, and she’d been happily married to the love of her life for the past sixteen and a half years. It was just that, after all those years, everything seemed to have gotten the slightest bit stale. She couldn’t help but remember how things used to be—
“Okay, Lucy,” Marsha snapped, “What’s wrong? You’ve been sitting here sighing to yourself for the past half-hour. You’re driving me nuts.”
Lucy frowned as she reached across the table for the pot of lavender honey. “Nothing’s wrong,” she answered. She could feel both Marsha and Scout eyeing her curiously as she occupied herself for several minutes deliberately drizzling the honey over the buttered French baguette on her plate, but she refused to return their gazes. “And anyway, I was not sighing.”
“You were sighing,” Marsha insisted. “Wasn’t she sighing, Scout?”
Lucy looked up impatiently as Scout turned weary hazel eyes in her direction. “What can I say, Lucy? It sounded like sighing to me, too.” Scout shrugged, absently stroking her baby’s head. Three-week-old Cole, who was turning out to be one of those preternaturally alert infants who have to be held all the time, had finally fallen asleep at her breast.
“Well, you’re wrong. Both of you.” Lucy took a big bite of bread and honey, and stared defiantly at her friends: Marsha with her new boyfriend, and Scout with both a new husband and a new baby. There was no way she was ever going to discuss what was bothering her with either of them.
She couldn’t believe that, with everything she had to be grateful for, she could still be so petty. She couldn’t believe that she would actually begrudge her two best friends a little happiness. But the plain fact of the matter was that she was so jealous of both of them, it was a wonder she wasn’t as green as an avocado. She saw the way Sam acted around Marsha, the way Nick looked at Scout, and she knew that once, she and Dan had been that way, too. Somewhere along the way it seemed they had lost that.
And she wanted it back. Oh, how she wanted it back! But, after all these years— she wasn’t sure that was even possible.
You couldn’t recreate newness could you? You couldn’t expect to discover anything too different about the same old person you’d been regularly and intimately exploring for almost two decades. And how could anyone ever hope to recapture the exquisite torture of doubt and uncertainty that so often accompanied the first stages of love? She wasn’t even sure she wanted to--except when she remembered the way the agony transformed into ecstasy…
Be careful what you wish for, a soft voice seemed to whisper in her head. She shivered as a gust of wind swept across the terrace setting the wind chimes to tinkling in the trees around them. Lavender spikes swayed on their long stems and the tiny pink Cecile Brunner roses that covered the arbor over their heads shed a few more petals onto the table. Cole whimpered slightly. Lucy watched as Scout wrapped his blanket more snugly around her baby and Marsha picked the petals out of her teacup.
Such Fleeting Pleasures
An Oberon Prequel Novella, 0.5
by PG Forte
Love wasn't always strawberries and cream for Lucy and Dan Cavanaugh...or was it? In this Oberon prequel, we travel back in time to see how it all began.
Most of the material in this prequel novella (which is set some eighteen years before the series begins) also appears as flashback scenes in A Taste of Honey. But you can download it (and read it NOW) for FREE when you join my Facebook group: The Crone's Nest