Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chapter 120-Full Circle

George and I spoke very little on the plane and even less in the car ride to the house. I should have warned Mom, I know it, but to say what?  When the car pulled up outside, I couldn’t make myself get out. Marisol was intent on hurting me and everyone around me in this quest. My mother had been through enough and now she was about to suffer more.


I stepped out of the car and headed up the stone walkway to Mom’s new house. I’d not been here since she moved. After the divorce was finalized, she’d stayed in my childhood home for a few months, but then decided it was time for a change. Dad had managed to taint the good memories she had of that place since she now felt like their entire life had been a lie.

The new one was very quaint. The vibrant rose bushes that lined the front of the small house gave it a lot of character. Stack-stone pillars flanked either side of the covered front porch area. The house was smaller than the one I grew up in, but it was the perfect size for just her. It sat on a quiet, tree lined street in one of those planned communities. Mom’s house was cute, and inviting. A stark contrast to the place George now lived. We’d stopped by there so he could drop off his luggage first. I think he was really stalling, trying to buy time before having to face Mom. They’d not spoken to each other since the sale of the house. Like me, Mom didn’t want to hear his apologies. I wondered how Marisol would leave the message since Mom didn’t mention getting any visitors recently.

There were two cars parked in her drive way. Mom’s small compact, and a bright red Mercedes. After ringing the bell, we both waited. Through the glass-pane front door, I couldn’t see Mom but then she appeared coming out of a room. She was securing the sash of her robe and smoothing down her hair.

“Amari? What a surprise.” She sounded nervous and glanced back over her shoulder towards the door. “Why…why didn’t you call?” Her eyes then settled on George. Whatever she was about to say was halted by the sound of a deep masculine voice calling out her name.

“Kathy, baby, who is it?” Seconds later he appeared in the doorway, shirtless and still in the act of fixing the belt buckle of his tan slacks.

My eyes went to him then back to my mother who was wearing a robe at one in the afternoon and her hair was disheveled. My mother was having afternoon sex. My mother was having afternoon sex with a hot younger guy and we’d interrupted. Mom stepped to the side to let us in. She shot daggers at George and the man walked up and put his arm around her waist.

“Adrian this is Amari. And that is the ex.”

“A pleasure to meet you finally,” he said extending his hand out to me. “Kitty has told me so much about you and the grandkids, I feel like I know you already.” Adrian smiled at me flashing a beautiful set of perfectly white teeth.

Mom looked up at him adoringly. She’d mentioned she was seeing someone, but I never imagined this would be who. I was happy for her, Dad hadn’t taken the best years of her life after all.

“It’s nice to meet you too. Sorry for the…interruption,” I replied trying to keep the smile off my face.

Adrian’s smile got bigger as color flooded Mom’s face. “I have to get back to the office anyway.”

He cut his eyes over at George who hadn’t said a word. The men sized each other up. Adrian gave Mom a quick kiss on the cheek before heading back to the room he’d come from.

“Have a seat, and let me get decent,” Mom said before disappearing.

George looked pissed as he kept his eyes focused on the now closed bedroom door. I glanced around Mom’s new place. The main living area was one large room consisting of the living room and kitchen area but had enough separation that they felt like two distinct spaces. The color choices she’d made all complimented each other. Her home was stylish decorated, different from the practical, homey d├ęcor our old place had. The place boasted the bold new her.
She’d lost weight, and looked to be in great shape because of it. The shorter hair style gave her a youthful appearance. I wasn’t sure the age difference between Adrian and Mom, but they seemed happy with each other. She deserved that. 

A few minutes later the door opened, Mom stepped out first but Adrian pulled her back into his arms kissing her. I had a feeling that was for George’s benefit. He then whispered something in Mom’s ear and she giggled. Giggled like a school girl. He said his goodbyes to me and was gone.

“Amari dear would you like something to drink?” she asked walking into the kitchen. She pulled out a pitcher of lemonade and carried it over to the table.

“Thanks,” I said reaching for a glass. “Sorry for not calling…”

“You look good Kathy,” George said interrupting me.

She briefly looked at him before turning back to me. “I admit seeing you was a surprise, especially since we just talked yesterday. And…” she got up and went into a different room, coming back with an envelope. “This came for you this morning. I was going to call you later, odd you getting mail here.”

I took the item from her. I hadn’t told her about Ceula when we talked, I didn’t want to worry her, but I knew she was going to want answers.

“Are you just going to pretend I’m not here?” George asked angrily. “We were married for nearly thirty years, and I can’t get a hello?”

“You have a lot of nerve George Vinson thinking you deserve anything!” she snapped. “I don’t owe you a damn thing, you should be happy I allowed you into my home and not push for more. For my daughter…”

“Our daughter,” he corrected.

“MY daughter, to show up here, unannounced and with you in tow can’t mean anything good, but whatever it is will be told to me from her. You sit and stay quiet so I can pretend you aren’t here!”

George pressed his lips together in a tight line. He would never change. He totally blew apart our lives for his own selfish gains yet he wanted to somehow play the victim.
“Now, Amari, I know you didn’t fly here because you had an urge to see me. What’s going on?”

I glanced over at George. “Marisol…she, she’s taken Ceula.”

Mom gasped, covering her mouth with her hand. “Taken? What? When?”

“Shortly after I returned home. Since I can’t have more children, she took her. Marisol is set on revenge that goes past George at this point. She’s playing some sort of game. Leaving me riddles, clues and I have no choice but to play along if I want to find Cece.”

Mom whipped her head over to look at George. “Was it worth it?!” she yelled. “Your selfish ways have had an unbelievable ripple effect. First my children, now my grandchildren have to suffer! Get…out!”

“Kathy! I didn’t plan on this. Marisol, she’s gone off the deep end. I can’t be blamed for that!”

“Like hell you can’t.” I said. “You send her into my life. Everything that has happened since is a direct effect of that choice!”

George got up and walked out, slamming the door behind him. Both Mom and I took deep breaths.

“Why doesn’t he just take responsibility for what he did?”

“Because he’s always been a proud man, even if that pride is misplaced. He will refuse to admit he failed, not matter how much his failure is staring him in the face.”
Mom pulled me into a hug and we sat comforting each other quietly for a while.
“So, riddles?”

I nodded. “Marisol has been dredging up every painful memory she could think of.”

“And one of those brought you to me?”

I shook my head. “This one was directed at George really. He, um showed up…quite out of the blue…” I thought on that for a moment.

I’d not spoken to him, so how did he know he was needed? It was too much of a coincidence. So did she send him? If so, why would she help me? But then again being faced with George was not a pleasant experience.

“Of course he factors in. So, that,” she said indicating towards the envelope on the table, “would be another clue?”

I leaned down to pick it up. “Most likely.” I tore open the piece of mail. A small piece of paper was inside. I read it, then crumbled it up, throwing it angrily across the room.

Mom got up to retrieve it. “Mirror, mirror on the wall. It’s her face you still see after-all. Her face?” I nodded.  “She means?”


The look on Mom’s face let me know her feelings. It was the same devastating feeling I had when Marisol brought the twins into her sick game. Nothing was off limits for her. Her hatred, as misplaced as it was, knew no bounds.

“Mom, I’m sorry…”

“Nonsense, this is not your doing. The one to blame has run away like the coward he is.”
Since George left, Mom had to be the one to take me to the cemetery.

It had been an emotional day. The message at Amella’s grave wasn’t a riddle, it simply said see you soon. Mom wanted me to stay the night with her, but I wanted to be alone. To do something I’d not done in a very long time, drown my sorrows at the bottom of a bottle. I wanted my child back. I wanted Marisol dead. I wanted this nightmare to be over. But my hands were tied. Without another clue, I was forced to wait on Marisol to make contact. I called Marcus to let him know I’d be home in the morning and I was about to settled down for the night when there was a knock at my door.

“Hello, Love.”

Continue Reading: "Chapter 120-Full Circle"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chapter 119-Putting It Aside


Marcus held me, kissing the top of my head and giving me the comfort I so desperately needed in that moment. She was out to hurt me in every way she could. These riddles were not just opening old wounds, but also filling them with buckets of salt. Each one seemed to cause me more grief than the one before it.

“We have to go to Eden Woods Memorial Gardens,” I said quietly.

“What’s…” he didn’t need to finish that sentence when it dawned on him what I’d said. Marcus wrapped his arms tighter around me and I welcomed the embrace.

“I’m going to take you home and I’ll go.”

“No,” I said pulling away. I wiped the tears from my eyes. “I can do this.”

“Amari, you don’t have to.” He stepped closer to me and for the first time since I got home I felt the warmth and caring I used to get from him. “My attitude hasn’t helped and I’m sorry. I’m angry and hurt and when this is all over, there will be a lot we’re going to have to talk about. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but right now, you need me and my support and you have that. Fully.”

I looked up at him and gave him a weary smile. I had to focus on the right now because it may be all I’d have. I stretched up on my toes and pressed my lips to his. I expected him to pull away, but he didn’t. His arms tightened around me, his mouth took control. Our tongues danced, the kiss was desperate. 

I pressed my body against his hoping he could feel how much I needed him, how much I loved him. His fingers tangled in my hair, yanking my head to the side as he broke from the kiss. His nose ran down the side of my neck, my hands clawed at his back, all senses heightened. The deep woodsy scent of his cologne tickled my nose. I wanted him in that moment more than I’d ever wanted anything in life. I felt his fangs scrape my neck, his other hand moved down to cup my ass, giving it a hard squeeze. My body prepared itself for what it hoped would come; the scent of my arousal was mingled in the air around us. Marcus let out a low groan before leaning up to look at me. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

“We should go.”

I felt instantly cold and alone without his body pressed to mine. I put my hand on my tingling lips, recalling the passion we’d shared just moments before and nodded in agreement. The ride to the cemetery was quiet, but Marcus held my hand, softly stroking my knuckles with his thumb.

When we arrived, Marcus held my hand as we walked to the graves where the twins were laid to rest. The hydrangeas were in full bloom creating a beautiful back drop. A gentle breeze blew causing the tall sunflowers to sway. Light, floral scents were dispersed into the air. The cool air caressed my arms causing goosebumps to pop up on my skin. The sounds of birds chirping in the distance was the only thing that disrupted the silence. I pulled my hand free as we approached. There was a rose and a note sitting atop one of the tombstones. I placed a kiss on both, then handed Marcus the items before taking a seat in the plush, well manicured grass.

“It’s been too long since I visited last.” I said softly. “I should do better, but you’re always in mommy’s heart.” I brushed away stray leaves that were scattered around. Running my hand over the cold, smooth marble I traced the outline of the baby booties that were engraved on the name plates.

Marisol was an evil bitch. It’s not that I didn’t like coming here, I had on different occasions, but they should never have been used in this sick game of hers. She already had one of my children and now she’d trampled over their memory. I couldn't understand how someone so heartless could exist in this world. Whatever plan Mulo had in place I hope called for her slow and painful death.

I stood, wiping tears from my eyes. “What does it say?”

Marcus opened the note. “Lies and deceit did heartache bring, she is now the one that wears the ring.”

I felt myself frown. “Ring? What that makes no sense.”

Marcus clenched his jaw for a moment before speaking. “Did…Mulo ever give you one?” I shook my head. “Maybe he gave one to her then.”

An irrational ping of jealousy went through me that I quickly pushed away. “It’s possible, but…”

“But what?”

“I need to talk to George first. They use to date, that’s why this all started, so it’s possible maybe they were engaged.”

Marcus looked relieved that I wouldn’t have to see Mulo, at least not yet. Who knew how many more clues I’d have and where they’d lead me. My only prayer in all of this was that Marisol hadn’t done anything to Ceula. Mainly restoring her memories of her time with David. I didn’t want my baby to relive that.

When we got home, George was gone but he’d left a number with Aric. After having dinner and checking on the babies, I went to my room to call him. The sooner I got this over the better. He answered on the fourth ring.

“Did you ever give Marisol a ring?” He was silent on the other end. “George, did you hear me?”

“I wish you wouldn’t call me that, Amari. I am still your father.”

“You lost the right to be called father when you traded the lives of both me and my sister to keep your lie going.”

Marcus walked in and took a seat on the bed. He didn't say anything, his presence alone was enough to give me comfort.

“Will you ever forgive me for what I’ve done?” George sounded so different now. Gone was he anger and hostility he’d held onto even when faced with his actions. Now he sounded like a dejected old man looking for solace.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 119-Putting It Aside"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chapter 118-The Game Continues

Aric sat staring at CeCe’s phone. After getting the second message I knew I had to let them know what was going on. Talking to Trey was hard. He was angry and with good reason. Accusations were thrown and I let him get it all off his chest. Once he was done Marcus convinced him that his most important job was taking care of Ashley until we brought her mother home.

The triplets rotated shifts at his house helping him out with Ashley and making sure he didn’t try and run off to do anything rash. Bynni made attempts to contact Marisol, but to no avail. The stress level at the house was high. Finley was temporarily staying with Dunham and Embry. Marcus and I barely were able to function, let alone take care of the quads. Nina would came to help out at times as did Bynni. They both offered to take them, but they were still too little to be shuffled around like that. We all tried to figure out the riddle, but no one had any idea what the next message meant.

Wedding vows and lover’s spurned.
It was here where the truth was learned.

Marcus and I had been married three times, but no truths were learned at our other weddings. One of the babies started crying and I got up to go check, Aric followed.

He walked over and turned off the baby monitor. “Have you called him?”

Mulo had been the elephant in the room that no one wanted to mention. I just shook my head. I had so far resisted the urge to fall into old patterns by going to him for help. For Aric to suggest bringing his father in only made the seriousness of what we faced an even harder reality.

“I can’t. He can’t always be my crutch.”

“Mom, anyone that is in the room with you and Marcus can feel the tension. But this is Ceula’s life at stake.”

“You think I don’t know that?” I yelled making Gabby cry. I took a deep breath and tried to calm her back down. “That’s all I’ve thought about since getting that phone call.” I said in a softer voice. “Aric, if I call him…if he is needed…then…”

“Then your marriage is over,” he said finishing my statement.

I nodded in reply. “I feel torn like I’m having to make a choice between my husband and my daughter and I hate it.”

“If he loves you Mom, really loves you, Marcus wouldn’t make it a choice. He would just accept and understand what needs to be done and put his pride aside. I’m not a fan of my father, but even I know when he is useful.”

We finished getting the babies settled in silence. I knew everything Aric said was true, but I couldn’t fault Marcus for his feelings. I’d made a bad situation worse with my actions and for that I took full responsibility. I never wanted to hurt Marcus but I had in the most stupidest of ways. Once the babies were settled we headed back downstairs.

“What are you doing here?”

I stopped moving when I heard Marcus’ voice and he didn’t sound happy. Aric looked back at me, we both had the same thought. I held my breath waiting to hear a response. Since there wasn’t instant fighting, maybe it wasn’t him.

“She’s my daughter and I’m here to help.”

“George?” I said as I reached the landing. “I told you I never wanted to see you again.”

“I know…but we need to talk,” he replied walking into the house. He looked back at Marcus and added, “Alone.”

I looked past my father towards Marcus “No. Whatever you have to say can be said in front of everyone.”

I directed him towards the living room feeling confused. He started all of this, how could he possibly help, but at this point it was only fair to explore all my options.

“Well,” he said nervously rubbing his neck, “I would ask how you’ve been but something tells me you aren’t in the mood for pleasantries.”

“You’d be right about that,” I said taking a seat on the sofa. Marcus surprised me by taking a seat next to me on the arm of the chair.

“A few months ago…Mulo came to see me. He said he was working on a way to get Marisol out of your life.”

I thought about what he’d said to me on the island when I’d asked about Marisol. He only replied he was taking care of it. I had no idea whatever he was planning would have involved my father.

“And what is this grand plan of his?” Marcus asked. “Because if he had one, he should have enacted it before Ceula was put in danger.”

“Well some things take time and no one could predict that Marisol would do this,” George countered.

The tension in the room was thick. Everyone was on edge and it meant cloudy judgment if things got off track.

“I don’t care what the plan is right now, all I want is my baby back! But we can’t get her back because Marisol is playing fucking games and leaving riddles like a child!”


“Yeah,” Aric answered showing George the phone.

“I don’t know what truth she’s talking about. She’s crazy and makes no sense!”

George thought for a moment, repeating the verse in a low murmur to himself.

“The kid’s weddings. Aric and Bynni, she was there. It’s where…”

“Where she told me how you so freely traded my life for yours.”

Guilt and shame flashed across his face. “Amari, I know now that…”

“That what George? You were wrong? Save your apologies,” I said holding up my hand to stop his talking. I didn’t want to go down that road with him. He clamped his lips shut. “I have to go.”

“I’ll come with you.”
Continue Reading: "Chapter 118-The Game Continues"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chapter 117-Talking In Riddles

“Where is she?”

“Sleeping right now.”

“Let her go Marisol…this isn’t about her!”

“Oh, you silly girl, but it is. I told you should you not complete your task she would be the one to do it. Now that you are unable to do as I need, she will step in for you!”

My entire body shook. I knew there was only a matter of time before Marisol reared her ugly head again. She had my baby, the one child that seemed to have the worst of it in life.

“What do you want?” Marcus asked grabbing the phone from me.

“What makes you think I want anything?”

“You wouldn’t have called otherwise. If you were going to force Cece into anything you would have done so without announcing your plans. You want something so what is it?”

There was silence on her end for a moment. “How’s the marriage?”

Marcus’ eyes met mine. “It’s fine,” he answered with a bit of edge in his voice.

“Really…you are a forgiving man then. I wonder if your wife would be as forgiving if the situation was reversed.”

“We’ll never know since she’ll never be in that situation.”

I hung my head in shame listening to him defend me. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to make things right with us, but I was determined to try should Marcus give me the chance.
For now I needed to push those thoughts aside and focus on getting Ceula returned safely.

“Marisol, where is my daughter?”

“Let’s play a game.”

“A game!? This is my child’s life you heartless bitch! I’m not playing any games!”

Her sinister laughter rang out over the speaker. “Temper, temper girl. If you want her back whole and not in pieces, we play!”

“What is this game?” Marcus asked.

“Ah good the sensible one. I have a riddle for you. Figure it out, you can get the next clue. Maids and men walking through sand. Don’t you remember where it all began? Twenty-four hours…tick tock, tick tock.”

She disconnected the call, leaving us both confused as to what she meant. I grabbed for the phone. She had my baby and I needed her back safe and unharmed.

“Who are you calling?” that same edge was in his voice.

“Trey,” I lied. “May…maybe she’s lying and Cece is safe at home.”

With shaking hands, I quickly dialed the number to her house. It rang and rang, but no answer. I hung up and tried his cell.


“Trey! Oh thank god have you heard from CeCe?”

“No, she is at some spa retreat for the weekend. Limited cell phone access. Why?”

Shit! Shit! Shit! I couldn’t tell him. Not right now. He had to look after Ashley I didn’t need him worrying.

“No…no reason. I just needed to talk to her.”

“Why didn’t you tell him?” Marcus asked after I’d hung up the phone. “He has a right to know his wife has been kidnapped!”

I looked at him, but didn’t respond. I thought back over Marisol’s riddle. What the hell did she mean? Mulo. I looked at Marcus and knew he was not an option. If I called him, my marriage was as good as over, but at the same time how could I put Marcus’ feelings over Ceula’s life?

“Amari!” Marcus yelled, getting my attention. “He needs to know.”

“What did she mean Marcus? I…I don’t know what she meant!”

My breathing became restricted, the phone fell from my hand. I started shaking, I couldn’t think. I don’t know what she meant.

“What did she mean? What did she mean?”
Continue Reading: "Chapter 117-Talking In Riddles"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Belated Birthday

So just like last year, I missed the anniversary of Kiss. It turned three on 7/20/14. Hard to believe that this story is still going after all this time and that is still holds your interests! Thank you for all the support over the last 3 years. I keep going because you guys keep enjoying it!!! We are headed towards the end and NO I don't know how it will end yet. It's all still up in the air at this point. I thought I knew, but like with most things my characters are taking over and changing shit! LOL No matter how it ends, I hope you all will enjoy it.

Thanks for the support! I hope you all will join me at my new story Retraction. I am working to get it kicked off soon.
Continue Reading: "Happy Belated Birthday"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chapter 116-Crossroads

The house was tense. Finley picked up on it, and started spending a lot of time out with Zana. Marcus and I barely spoke, and when we did, it was about the kids. I’d tried to talk to him about us, but he would shut me down every time. Nothing I could say would make this better for him. I’d betrayed him in the worst possible way. I’d fought against my attraction to Mulo, and he showed a will power I didn’t know he possessed in keeping me from crossing that line. We got close, too close many times and no explanation was going to help Marcus deal with that. Each day that went by, I felt the wall between us grow. I thought being without him was lonely, but I realized I hadn’t truly experienced loneliness until now. To be so estranged that it seemed like I truly didn’t exist to him made me feel more isolated than I ever have.

“Marcus, how much longer will we go on like this?” I asked once we got the babies down for the night.

Most nights he ignored me when I spoke, at least tonight he stopped as if he were considering answering my question.

“I didn’t sleep with him Marcus. He wouldn’t let me go there because he knew how much I loved you and he knew what that would do to me to betray you that way,” I continued trying to capitalize on the moment.

Silence. I thought he was going to just walk away like normal, but he didn’t.

“You expect me to believe that you spent all that time with him and you didn’t once have sex with him? On top of that, he was the one to say no? Don’t insult me by lying Amari, it won’t help anything.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Finley close the door to her room. This was not a conversation to have in the hallway especially if things got heated. He stepped forward quickly, grabbing onto my arm and pulled me into our room. I moved away from him as he closed the door. The look on his face was the same one from the night I returned home and I knew that he was still just as angry now as he was then.

“I’m not lying to you Marcus. I won’t say we didn’t come close, because we did.” I backed up more when I saw Marcus’ jaw clench and his hands ball into fists at my admission. “As much as it pains me to say we did…but…we never…I swear we didn’t.”

“But you wanted to.”

“It was out of my control. You’ve been through it. I was struggling Marcus. I nearly killed 3 people, I couldn’t handle the plasma options, so there was only him. Feeding from him made things worse. It was out of my control.”

“You could have come home Amari! You had other options, yet you chose to stay there, with him so don’t talk to me about things being out of your control. It sounds like an excuse to me.”

Continue Reading: "Chapter 116-Crossroads"