Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday's Tasty Temptations

In My Wildest Dreams

Moving along in my effort to calculate the number of times the story includes food, we are in chapter eight this week. I probably should focus on this particular "food" since it seems to be a constant with Lynzi and her family. Yep. You're right. It's coffee again.

How do you take your coffee? Plain or flavored? Check out the array of spices grown in the magical fields in Layne's Fae world and used to flavor the coffee in this excerpt.

“May I help with the coffee?” I offered.

“Why yes, thank you, dear. If you would get mugs from the cupboard and the cream from the refrigerator, that would be a tremendous help,” Layne’s mama answered as she directed me to the correct cabinet door.

I took five mugs from the cabinet and set them on the table. After getting the cream pitcher, I returned to the table and made sweeteners available for those who may like sweet coffee.

Layne’s mama brought shakers filled with various spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and chocolate among others to flavor the coffee. She explained all the spices were grown here and freshly ground for use in cooking and baking. She put the coffee on to brew and settled into the chair next to Layne’s daddy while I took a seat across from them.

“You have a gorgeous home here…uh…with the exception of the hole in it and everything.” Mercy, how smooth. Way to impress the parents Lynzi.

They both laughed. “Thank you,” they said together. “Layne has worked tirelessly to make everything here perfect for you,” his daddy added.

“For me?” I couldn’t believe Layne had done all this for me, not knowing if I would be accepting of his invitation for me to join him here and share his life.

He smiled, “Layne has been extremely busy since he returned home to us. After being away for so long, he had to get acquainted with us all over again, come to terms with his heritage and destiny, understand our enemy, train, fight…” Layne’s mama placed her hand over her husbands and gave it a little squeeze. They exchanged a loving glance before Layne’s mama added, “And all the while he hungered to be with you, Lynzi. He explained to us how he left you the night we called him back home and because of our plan, he could not go back to you as soon as he wanted.”

“I had a rough time,” I said lowering my gaze to my folded hands on the table remembering all the lonely nights I spent as a married woman.

Layne’s mama pulled me back to the present from my brief visit to the sad places in my past. “We know, dear, Layne made frequent trips back to your world to check on you. Each time he came home, he remained silent for days. Nothing we did or said would ease his pain. He suffered too, Lynzi. Though difficult, he realized he needed to be patient…that his time…your time together would come, but it broke his heart every time you were sad.”

“He knew we would be together…I would be divorced?” I tried to wrap my mind around the whole reading your heart idea. The possibility of seeing the future remained a lot to process in the short time since I had first begun receiving the information this morning. In a few short hours I had gone from the normal life I built for myself to a magical, fantasy world I had only read about in children’s books. The one big difference…Layne was here and he was real the same as his world was real.

“It’s all about the heart, dear. One of our abilities as you put it, is to sense what is truly in the heart. While he was already certain your heart was pure, he did not read as much from the one you were with.”

Still hard for me to grasp the fact Layne and his folks could read your heart. I wondered if those abilities included reading minds also. I thought I’d best save the mind reading question for Layne.

“How long do you think they’ll be gone?” I asked. The concern in my voice surely matched the expression on my face though I truly tried to conceal my fear.

“Hard to tell, they have to track the four we spotted and deal with them. With any luck, they can get some information about the location of Allvis and the rest of his followers so we can finally put all this to rest,” Layne’s daddy answered.

“So you think Allvis is holed up elsewhere?” I needed all the information about Allvis so I could better understand what we were up against. From what I had learned already, Allvis was one sick son of a gun.

“Oh yes, Allvis won’t take the chance of being caught. He’d send others to do his dirty work while he waits to reap the rewards.” Layne’s daddy lowered his head and blew out a tired breath. This struggle for peace had gone on far too long.

Layne’s mama brought the coffee pot to the table and filled the mugs. I checked with the guards to find out how they took theirs and passed the mugs over to them. She placed a large tray with a variety of finger foods on the table and an even larger one on the counter near the guards. They seemed appreciative and began to enjoy the sandwiches and pastries without hesitation.

“We realize this is all very new and strange to you dear, but rest assured Layne and his men are well trained and they have the latest equipment at their disposal. Layne makes it a priority to provide the best for his teams,” Layne’s mama said.

“Reassuring to be sure, still, I can’t help but worry. I’m a worrier by nature.” I turned to the window and stared out into the darkness as I asked, “Does Layne check in when he’s out like this?”

“The guards have been monitoring their movement since they left. They’re still in pursuit but we can’t tell how long they’ll be able to follow. Come, I’ll show you.” Layne’s daddy moved toward a room adjacent to the kitchen and motioned for me to follow.

The security room, set up with monitors, radios and tracking equipment mimicked the one in the tack room out in the barn. All the equipment was high-tech and way above my understanding. I joined him in the next room, along with Layne’s mama. Two additional guards monitored the screens showing different views of the property.

Layne’s daddy pointed to a screen. It reminded me of the radar screens in flight towers at airports. The white line circled the screen and two sets of blips flashed in the upper right corner, one set of four and one set of six. He pointed to the set of six blips then to the set of four. “Here you see Layne and his team and this is the group they are after.”

“How are you able to track the group who bombed the house? Don’t they have to be carrying some type of tracking devices?” I had no knowledge of tracking but I had paid attention at the movies.

“Smart lady…yes, they do. Layne created small tracking devises he placed around the property in case someone managed to sneak in without being detected. Placed along the pathways, under the windows and in the edge of the woods, they are no bigger than a thumbtack and attach as easily to the bottom of a shoe when stepped on. He has the receiver and as long as he’s within range he can follow. I’m sure they don’t even realize they’re being tracked.”

“They are closing in sir,” one of the guards at the monitoring station said addressing Layne’s daddy. We stared at the screen and watched the blips all merge together into one group.

“What happened? Is Layne alright?” I asked, my voice sounding a little shaky.

“It means…Layne and his team have engaged the enemy, Lynzi. There is a…skirmish going on.” Think I'll get a cup right now!

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