Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zeal - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Zeal: Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.  Synonyms: Passion, ardor, love, fervor, fire…..

On March 6, 2015, I wrote my very first blog. Ever. Because a friend said I should. On April 1st, I was telling another friend about my friend’s entry in the April A to Z Blog challenge and explained what the challenge was all about. This friend said “you should do it”. I said, I’ve only written 3 blogs in my entire life. I’m not ready. He pushed. I said it starts today, and it’s already 8 pm! He pushed some more. Have I ever told you, that sometimes I cave to peer pressure? Well, ok only to some peers, but still. I signed up for the challenge.  AND I MADE IT!  The purpose of the challenge is to get us to write every day (except Sundays).  And I will admit to sometimes writing two or three blogs in a day, and a couple ended up not getting posted until very late in the day.  I made the challenge. A post for every letter in the alphabet, and a post for everyday in the month (again, except Sundays)

But what I got out of it was so much more. I got good feedback for my writing. I learned that I LOVE to write. I learned that I am passionate about writing. And I just can’t stop. I am now working on a book, or two (wink, wink). I have a new passion, a new love, a zeal for writing.

I would like to thank the organizers of the challenge, my Fairy Godmother, Donna M., my pushy friend Ron M. and my mom, for offering the opportunity, and for pushing, pulling, cheerleading, sending me those Urgent: edit your blog messages, putting up with my new crazy schedule and washing a few extra dishes because “I was in the zone”.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

What a fabulous experience it has been!  I wish to send out my deepest heartfelt Thank You, to all my readers. Readers give writing purpose.

God Bless you all, and thank you again for all you do! Now, let's go have a glass of that heavenly Ecuadorian Champagne. (or two)

 Tomorrow we will start looking for a new abode, that includes an office! ;-)

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Yes! - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Yes! I ran away from home to a far off land at the age of 49.
Yes! I found a brand new life that exceeded my imagination.
Yes! I have met some of the most interesting, wonderful people.
Yes! I found my Fairy Godmother! (Who knew you had to travel to find your Fairy Godmother, I’m sure glad I did)
Yes! I have tried and learned new things.
Yes! I Smile a LOT more, Laugh a lot more, and am a lot less stressed.
Yes! I found a new love, a new passion, and many new adventures. To hear all about it, read tomorrow’s blog Z is for Zeal.
Yes! Following Z in the April A to Z Blog Challenge, we will return to our regularly scheduled blog about my new life.  Look for blogs every week or two, not every day. Because I have a new love and a new passion!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for XOXO - April A to Z Blog Challenge

 Trent had disembarked, been through immigration and customs, retrieved his bags and headed for the airport exit. That is when he saw her. Running hell bent for leather right for him. He dropped his bags just in time to catch her.

Abby clung to his neck, sprinkling kisses everywhere she could find to kiss. She wore a grin the size of Colorado and there were tears rolling down her cheeks.

Trent laughed and said “ Well, I believe that might the be finest greeting I have ever received. Hello, Gorgeous!” Abby replied with a sparkle in her eye “Bienvenido a Ecuador!” As he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and hailed a porter to move his bags, they exited the airport to a waiting car. Neither of them knew that danger could be on the very next plane.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Note from the author: The story of Trent, Abby and Cole that you have been reading in the A to Z blog challenge are excerpts from a new book. If you would like to be notified when the book is released, leave a comment below, or email with your contact information. Thank you for reading my blog.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Worried - April A to Z Blog Challenge

For six solid weeks, Cole had been following Trent Dumas and he was getting seriously worried. This man had even less of a life than Cole did. Although he did apparently have a job which was something Cole didn’t have. The man went to work, went home, went to work. That was it. He saw not a single solitary sign of Abby.

Maybe his information was wrong. Maybe there wasn’t anything going on between them. He had no doubt that Abby wasn’t in town any more. But he assumed that she was close by, or that Trent would travel to see her and he could follow him to locate her.

After the first two weeks of little to no sleep, he realized that once Trent was home in the evening, he never left home again. Why was that? He had started going home after all the lights went out in the house and returning two hours before he left for work. Trent’s routine never varied. Why was that?

Wait a minute, wait a minute! There is only one explanation! How could I not realize? She must be in the house, that would explain it all. I was planning on replacing the watch tonight while he slept, but maybe I will go there now, and have my way with the bitch, while he is working thinking he will come home to his little woman. MY woman.

Cole went to the house, from the street behind, just like he did the night he took the pocket watch. He used his lock pick set to get in the back door and looked around. No signs of Abby, no sounds. She must still be sleeping. He went straight to the master bedroom, barely glancing around on his way. No one was there. Dammit! Where was she. He began looking around. The closets, the bathrooms, the kitchen. Not a single sign of a female anywhere. What the hell was going on here. Now he really was worried, that there was nothing going on between the two and his hopes of Trent leading him to Abby were all but dashed. He had one more play left, and tonight was the night.

Cole arrived at three am. He let himself into Trent’s house the same way as before. He returned the pocket watch, making sure to place it where he had taken it from, but not the photo. That would give Trent some pause for thought. Maybe he would think he was loosing his mind. He sure looked like he was sleeping soundly. He decided it was time to go, the mind play from the watch would be enough for now, because maybe he had been wrong about Trent having something with Abby.

As he was making his way out of the house, he noticed the two large suitcases by the garage door. Well, well, well, what is this? Going somewhere, Trent? About that time he heard the alarm clock go off. Two hours early. He made a hasty retreat, returned to his car, and drove around the block to watch.

Trent left home, two hours early. He was so excited to finally be making this trip, he didn’t noticed the car following him. Following all the way to the airport, and parking in long term parking. He didn’t notice the man following him to check in, then stepping out of line, once Trent got his boarding pass.

Ecuador? What the hell is in Ecuador? I don’t know, but I’m damn well going to find out.

He pulled his last hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and returned hastily to the ticket counter. He explained hurriedly that the man that had been in front of him in line had dropped the bill, and if she could be so kind as to tell him which gate he was going to, he could return the bill. The agent looked and told him gate 4C. He then went to the arrival/departure board and located gate 4C. Departing for Guayaquil Ecuador. He then pulled out his cell phone, called Virginia Steel and asked to speak to Trent Dumas. He was informed Mr. Dumas was on vacation. So it wasn’t a business trip. Throwing caution to the wind, he returned to the ticketing counter and bought a ticket, not for the same flight, but the next one. Praying the credit card would not be declined, he vowed that he too was going to Ecuador.

 © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Vacation - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Trent had made up his mind. There was no way he could make a wise decision about Abby and his future until and unless they had some time together. He knew the only way he was going to get any peace of mind, was to go to Ecuador. Although he and Abby had talked about him going for a visit on many occasions, he hoped that she was going to be excited about his coming.

“Good morning, Gorgeous. You know you are the only person I have ever known in my life that wakes up as gorgeous as she goes to bed.”

Abby groaned, “Really? How is a girl supposed to resist that kind of statement? Even if she knows the very handsome man making it is lying. Good Morning, Trent. It’s good to see you.”

“Well it has been four whole hours since you saw me last. I for one, think that is entirely too long. But I know you need your sleep.”

“Oh my goodness, you sure are full of it this morning. What has you in such a good mood?”

“I couldn’t sleep last night, so I was thinking. And I made a decision. How would you feel about me coming to Ecuador for a visit?”

“Well, you have been saying you were going to come since before I left the States. Why would you wonder how I would feel about it? Honestly, I think it’s just empty promises and chatter. I don’t think you will ever take off from work long enough to come.”

“Abby, I booked a ticket this morning”

“ Oh my gosh! Really? You are really coming? When? I can’t believe it, oh my gosh. When, when when, how soon?”

“ Um, well, I guess by that response, you are ok with it” he chuckled. “In six weeks. I have to tie up loose ends here and get someone to cover me at work. I can do that and come for a month. If that isn’t too long for me to stay.”

Without thinking, Abby blurted “The only thing better than a month would be forever. I can’t wait. There is so much I want to show you! What are you telling your family and work about being gone that long?”

“I’m going to tell them I’m going to Ecuador. They might as well get used to it.”

Abby was so excited she could hardly concentrate. She immediately started a list of all the places they would go and the things they would do. She didn’t need to make a list to know the first thing she would do when he arrived. She absolutely could not wait to feel his arms around her or to kiss those lips that up until now she could only look at and dream about. She knew she needed the list to remind her of why she would need to leave the comfort of his arms and her beloved dragon tattoo.


When Trent left for work that morning, all his thoughts were on Abby, his impending vacation, and the bliss he felt. His step was light, there was a smile on his face and he worked hard to concentrate just enough on his driving to be safe. He never glanced in the rear view mirror. He never knew there was someone back there who was intently interested in all things Trent Dumas. 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved 

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Undecided

Amory sat spellbound following his conversation with Abby. He had seen the dark side of Cole on numerous occasions, especially in their younger days. He knew there were issues, and he knew that as a young man, Cole had been charged with attempted murder following a brutal beating episode. Some good attorneys had gotten him acquitted, despite his cohort being sent to prison. And it was never mentioned, by anyone, ever again.

He really thought it had been a fluke. Cole had said Abby had gone of the rails, his speak for she had gone crazy. But there was starting to be a pattern of the people in Cole's life going crazy. He didn’t much believe in coincidences and when he had been around Abby in the early years, he didn’t get any feelings that she was anything other than a pretty, capable, intelligent lady. So what went so wrong?

Then there was the story Abby told him about Julia. Julia was the wife of Cole’s youngest son. Cole’s oldest son had died a few years before, from bad choices related to drugs. Abby told him the girl had disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Those circumstances being that in the first days following her disappearance, the story of who saw her last and what was happening changed multiple times. The story went back and forth from Cole was the last one with her, to her husband was the last one with her. Abby also told him that although the police had ruled it a run away, a close friend with ties to the police department had told her the case was still under investigation.

Wow, what a tangled web this was, and he had to make a decision about whether to tell Cole he had found her or not. He had already been dodging his calls for two days. He was still undecided. After googling the disappearance he couldn’t find anything about conflicting stories and since he was a person non gratis in all police forces now, he wasn’t sure what else he could do. Contacting any of the family members he was still in contact with wasn’t going to be helpful. It was a tight family, accustomed to covering for each other, and he knew, this long after the fact, there would only be one story.

Amory was still a lawman at heart. So he knew he had to do the right thing. He didn’t have enough information to make an informed decision. But he had checked the court records and discovered that there was a divorce, over a year ago. Weighing the choices he realized that if he erred in favor of Abby, Cole would be mad, but likely no one would be hurt. If he erred on the side of Cole, there could be devastating consequences. While he hated making uninformed decisions, the ramifications of his decision were clear.

Amory’s decision was made.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Treasure - April A to Z Blog Challenge

“My watch is missing!” Trent exclaimed when he called Abby on Tuesday morning.

“The one you said is your prized possession?”

“Yes, I had it last night, this morning I can’t find it.”

“You had it last night at home, or out?”

“I had it at the business dinner, it was in my pocket. This morning I can’t find it. I can’t remember having it after I got home, but I think if I hadn’t I would have noticed when I emptied my pockets.”

“May I ask why it’s your most important possession”

“My grandfather gave it to me. His grandfather gave it to him. My grandfather was the most important person in my life. He practically raised us after mom and dad got divorced and I told him I would always treasure it. I have, I do, and now it’s gone, that watch is almost 150 years old”

“I assume you have looked everywhere at home. Have you tried calling the restaurant to see if maybe it was turned in to the lost and found?”

“Yes I did, it has not.”

“Darn Trent, I am so sorry. Maybe it will still turn up, could it have slipped out of your pocket in your truck?”


Cole sat in the dark room, the curtains closed. He was feeling rather pleased with himself. He didn’t have any way of knowing how valuable the treasure in his hand was to its owner, but he felt sure its disappearance would have some kind of impact. What he treasured most was hoping that fear would strike when it was discovered what two items were missing. He didn’t know which of the two items in his hands the rightful owner treasured most, but he knew he treasured the picture of Abby. The pocket watch was just the icing on the cake.

It had taken supreme willpower for him to slip into Trent’s house last night while the man was sleeping and not kill him. But before he did away with him, he wanted to play with his mind a little. He wanted Trent to know the fear that he had the ability to end his life and Abby’s too.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Sparks - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Trent came out of work and found his tires slit, and a note on his windshield.

“Where’s my wife you bastard? I’m going to find her, she will come back to me. I will make you sorry you ever fucked with MY wife. I know where you live.”

He knows who did it, but can’t prove it. But he files a police a report, and asks if they can check out Cole.

“No sir, I’m sorry, there is no proof that he had anything to do with this, and until there is, there isn’t much we can do” states the officer.

Cole implores “Don’t you see my life could be in danger, here”

“Well, if you have a physical confrontation with him, call us, then we can do something. In the meantime, maybe you shouldn’t screw around with someone else’s wife”

“Thank you officer, for that sage advice. I’m not screwing around with anyone’s wife, they have been divorced for two years. He is stalking us both now.”

“Be sure and call us if anything else happens” says the officer as he gets in his cruiser to leave the scene.

Trent decides then and there that it apparently is up to him to do whatever necessary to keep himself and Abby safe. The realization hits him, that he is going to have to be very careful now. Cole knows where he is and evidently that he and Abby are involved. So now Trent has to make sure that in no way does he lead Cole to Abby.

When Trent gets home, he grabs a Mountain Dew, plops down in his recliner, and contemplates what if anything to tell Abby about this. He doesn’t want to frighten her, but he feels she needs to know to be aware. He finally breaks down and succumbs to the notion that he needs to tell her. He is NOT looking forward to this conversation.

“Hi Sweetness, how is your day going?”

“I’m having a good day, that just turned great, because you called. How was your day, did your meeting go well?” Abby asks cheerfully.

“The meeting was successful and my day was fine. But I have some unsettling news I need to tell you. When I came out of work today, my tires were slit and there was a note on my truck. I know it was from Cole. I filed a police report, but they say there is no evidence it was Cole and there isn’t much they can do.”

“Oh crap, this is bad. Trent we have to figure out what we can do. I know the cops will be no help, they weren’t for me and they weren’t for Julia either. I have to figure out how to throw Cole off your scent. I cannot have you getting hurt or worse. Crap crap crap, I have to figure out what I can do from here.” Abby is terrified now, not for herself, but for Trent. He doesn’t deserve this, well, actually she is figuring out that she doesn’t deserve it either, but that is beside the point.

Trent panics at her words. “ Whoa whoa whoa, you cannot get involved in this. You have to trust me. I’m thinking on it, and I will call my brother Tommy to see what he thinks we can do, maybe his experience with the FBI will give him some insight. But Abby Please! Let me deal with this.”

“Trent you wouldn’t be in danger if it wasn’t for me. I need to figure out what I can say to Cole to make him think he is barking up the wrong tree. If I can figure it out, I can send him an email. Maybe I will tell him I am coming back to town and we need to talk. That should get him off your tail at least for a while. Then we can figure out what to do. What did the note say?”

He read her the note, then told her “ Abby, No. That would be playing right into his hands. Plus if he has any friends in IT they could trace your IP address and he would know where you are. He still thinks you are his wife. He is seriously delusional. Please please don’t do anything. Let me talk to Tommy. I’m ok and I will be ok, I promise, but you cannot do anything that might lead him to you, I’m too far away to help protect you if he finds out where you are. You are mighty important to me, please don’t add more stress by making me worry what you are going to do.”

Abby responded “Please call me and let me know what Tommy says.”

 © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Ruminations - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Abby was deep in thought. So much is happening. I am finally on the road to recovery I believe, I feel better physically and mentally than I have in years. I know Trent is a huge part of that. Damn damn damn! I want Trent here with me so much. But can I let him do that? I’m scared. I’m scared he will come and begin to resent me, I’m scared he will come and it won’t be the same, I’m terrified that he won’t come. These months have been the best in my life and I think the only way for it to be better is for him to be here, where I can share with him, touch him, be with him. But what if it all falls apart, like every other relationship I’ve had. I would rather have him at a distance than to not have him at all. It feels like the perfect romances and loves you only read about…usually in a romance novel. A mutual love, all consuming, yet supportive. A gut wrenching, never waning love. A forever kind of love. I want to just accept and cherish it, but is that wise? I’m tired of making mistakes. Dear God, please don’t let this be a mistake.

Likewise, Trent was also ruminating on his situation. I didn’t mean to blurt out my feelings to Abby. What are you thinking? What’s the matter with you? Do you really think you could move to Ecuador? I’ve been burned so many times, is this time really different? But I’m not going to loose my kids, I have to figure that out first, maybe I will go for a visit to check things out. Our relationship up to this point is based on talking. What if she has some crazy habits that drive me crazy, or the reverse. My need to touch her, kiss her, feel her is so overwhelming, but is that just because I can’t have it? I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this. I just know I want to be near Abby and she is in Ecuador. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without her in it, but can I do what I need to do to be with her?

Cole was always in a state of rumination these days. He had lost his job, so he had all day to sit and think. I can’t believe the bitch left me, left the whole family. I will stop paying the alimony. I know she is broke, so then she will have to contact me and/or come back to town to get her money. If she files a court claim it will have to have her address on it. That will work! When she comes back I’ll teach her a lesson. I should have killed her when I had the chance. Well I just have to make sure I get another chance. And I mean to take out that pretty boy that she is slutting around with too. Ok, that’s settled, I know she will fall for that, the stupid bitch. Maybe then I can take care of her, her boy toy and maybe even her attorney. Lying on the table in front of him were two 7.62 rounds, one with AAG scratched into it, the other with TKD.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Query the Quarry - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Amory Hunter is frustrated with his lot in life. He is having to work in what he feels is a demeaning job, because of a whiny criminal that charged him with excessive force and brutality. The opportunity to get back to what he loves, is exhilarating him.

He begins his search for his long time friend’s errant wife with google. Since he is no longer a member of the force, he doesn’t have access to all the tools of his trade, but he still has his investigative skills. Google netted him nothing using Abby’s or Trent’s names, except for a link to Trent on the Steel company’s website. He could use that as a starting point, if he didn’t find anything better.

Next he tried Facebook. Bingo. There is Abby. He sent her a friend request. His facebook account didn’t have his full name, he used AM H Online for his facebook identity, so there was a chance she might accept his request. He wouldn’t have long to wait. Within a couple of hours, she did accept his request. He didn’t message her right away. Instead he stalked her page looking for information and clues about where she might be. It looked like she was in Ecuador, but that couldn’t be right. But the posts, friends, photos, sure pointed in that direction. He waited a couple of days before messaging her.

Abby had been very careful with her Facebook account, before and after coming to Ecuador. Before she left, there was nothing about Ecuador, her moving, or any other clues posted to her social media accounts. She unfriended anyone that Cole might have access to, including Lizzy Grant, the night before her flight out of the U.S. All her security settings were set to the max. But her down fall is that she does love to play facebook games, and has always accepted friend requests from fellow players. She received and accepted the request from AM H Online, thinking it looked like an online gamer account. Until late one night when she received a PM from an AM H Online:

AM H Online: Do you live in Ecuador?

While this question would not normally set of any alarms, she had indeed talked to several of her game friends about Ecuador, and belonged to several FB groups for expats in Ecuador, for some reason, when she saw the message, her breathing changed to short rapid gasps, her heart began racing, and a general sense of panic and dread set in. She sat looking at the message for several minutes, before responding. She never knew why, but her initial response was wary.

AM H Online: Do you live in Ecuador?
Abby Grey: Who is this?
AM H Online: Amory, I’m a friend of Cole’s. I lost track of you guys a few years ago and was trying to find Cole.
Abby Grey: Amory Hunter? I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you. Cole and I are divorced now. And quite honestly, he’s drinking again and gone crazy. For my safety, I can’t answer your questions about my whereabouts or anything else for that matter.
AM H Online: I understand. I’m sorry to bother you. I’m not surprised you are divorced, I figured it was only a matter of time before you saw the dark side of him. I swear I will not tell him I was in contact with you. I’m glad you got away from him. We have been friends since childhood, but that man is messed up, and I know it full well.
Abby Grey: You know what happened to his daughter-in-law, right?
AM H Online: No, I haven’t talked to him in about five years, what happened?

Even though she was suspicious and frightened she continued the conversation long enough to tell Amory about the girl’s mysterious disappearance and the circumstances surrounding it. She bid him good night, and immediately unfriended him. She had never answered his question about where she was living. She went back through her facebook posts and determined that most of her posts about Ecuador, didn’t point to anything more than a tourist visit, thankfully. She just had to pray at this point, that Amory would keep his word. She felt that she had been able to impress upon him the dire situation if Cole found her, and that as an officer of the law, at heart at least, his protect instinct would be stronger than his serve instinct to an old friend that he purportedly knew was a mental case.

Amory sat stunned, rereading the conversation,trying to decide who to believe. He decided to sleep on it and make some contacts regarding what he had learned tonight before getting back to Cole. He began his search again on Google, looking for the story of a young woman’s disappearance. Then he would decide whether to tell Cole he had found Abby or not.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Pursuits - April A to Z Blog Challenge

“Trent, I know I said I was only coming here for a few years. But I love this place. I think about coming back to the States, and I just don’t know if I can do it.” Abby confessed.

“I know, I sense it, I’m figuring that out. I just don’t know at this point what the hell I’m supposed to do about that.” Trent replied.

“What do you mean? What you are supposed to do about what? Are you saying you want to be with me?” Abby asked.

“I’m saying I want to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is what we all are after, right? I feel differently about you. I’m tired of relationships, as I’ve known them. I’m tired of arguing. I’m tired of all anyone ever needs me for is money. I’m tired of being the one to keep in contact and the only time I ever hear from anyone is when they need something. I’m tired of my fucked up life. Yeah, right now, I think things are different with you. But I can’t be sure yet. Pursuing this is what I want to do. But I don’t know how with you there and me here. If I come there, I give up and lose everything. I know you want to stay there, hell I think you need to stay there. At least as long as Cole is still alive. So yeah, I don’t know what the hell to do, what I’m supposed to do, what I need to do, what I want to do. If I come there, I loose my kids, their mother will never let them come there. That’s the most important thing. Secondly, I have to earn a living. I don’t speak Spanish and really don’t want to learn. So what the hell am I supposed to do, how the hell am I supposed to do it?” Trent was visibly agitated, running his hands through his hair while simultaneously shaking his head.

“Let me tell you, as someone who has done it, given up everything, walked away from everyone and everything. It can be done, if it’s what you want bad enough, but it isn’t easy. But Trent, I didn’t know you were to this point. I didn’t know you were feeling or thinking about this. Damn men, never say how they feel, it’s like a guy code thing, express your feelings and you are at risk of loosing your man card if anyone finds out. So, for sure, don’t tell a woman your feelings because we all know they tell everything.” Abby said, wide eyed with a look of shock and surprise.

“What do you mean? I know how I feel about you. That’s not the problem, the problem is, what do I do about it.”

“Exactly, you know how you feel about me, but I’m not sure how you feel, because you haven’t said. Yes, you have shown me in a million different ways, every single day, and yes, most women say show me, don’t tell me, but dammit Trent that doesn’t me don’t tell me, it means tell me and show me. I don’t know why, but we need to hear it too. If I knew you were thinking this way, it is something we could work out together. There are ways to handle situations. No, your kids probably can’t come here, but you can go there. You could work here, with all the gringos here, I’m sure we could find something you could do. Or I could come there. I can travel there 3 months a year, you can travel here 3 months a year, legally. We can work this out some way if it’s what you want.” Her voice calming.

"What do you want Abby?" Trent asked.

“I want to be happy. You are right, the pursuit of happiness is what we are all after. I’ve been chasing it all my life and I finally am happy, feel safe, and at peace. My definition of happiness is very different at this point in my life, and maybe yours is too. What makes me happy is this place, the friends I am making here, the activities I’m involved in, but mostly you! You, Trent, make me happy, everything I do, I want to be able to share with you. I want you there with me. But I don’t want to take you away from what is important to you. I don’t want to take you away from your kids. So, if we can talk about it, maybe we can find a solution that fits not only both of us, but with all the circumstances. We want to be happy, but happiness can’t come with a price. Happiness is black and white, there is no gray. But that doesn’t mean there is only one way to accomplish it. For starters, go buy a lottery ticket!” Abby said with a slight chuckle.

“Have we just had our first argument” Trent asked.

“No, we’ve just had our first impassioned heated conversation” said Abby.

They both chuckled.


Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Cole is working on his own pursuit… of Abby and Trent.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Obsessed - April A to Z Blog Challenge

Cole’s childhood best friend was Amory Hunter. Amory had been a cop until a few years ago when he had been fired for excessive force.

Cole knew Amory was who he needed to call.

“Amory man, long time, how are you?”

“Cole? I thought you dropped off the earth. You changed your number, it’s been what five years?”

Cole felt a little chagrined, and replied “ Yeah, man, I know, I’m sorry, you know how life gets in the way. I moved to Louisiana, had a new job, blah blah blah you know how it is. Did you get reinstated, are you working?”

Amory always hated that question and it always came up. “No, still in proceedings waiting for trial. I don’t know how many more postponements they can get for one trial. Whatever happened to a speedy trial? I’m working private security now, which sucks.”

Cole felt he could make his old friend’s day. “What would you say about a little freelance work? Abby’s gone off the rail, she went a little crazy, has left, and I don’t know where she is. Do you think you could find her? I can make it worth your while”

“Cole, buddy, I sure hate to hear that, she was the best thing that ever happened to you. I certainly will see what I can do, what info can you give me?”

“Her full name is Abigail Albright Grey. I think she hooked up with a guy she used to work with, his name is Trent Dumas. They may be in Alabama or Kansas. She has family there. I really need to find her and see if I can get her back, man.” Cole knew he had to sound as calm and as sincere as possible. If Amory knew the truth he would never help him, and Cole knew this was his best shot at finding them both.

“I will see what I can find out, you should hear from me in a few days.” Amory promised him.

Amory had no clue that the real truth was not about love, but about obsession. A cruel wicked dangerous obsession. He had not heard about the disappearance of Cole’s daughter-in-law or all the suspicion that surrounded it.


A world away, another conversation about obsession was taking place. But not the scary, crazy cruel obsession, but the sweet, ecstatic obsession of a new deep mutual adoration, where everything in the world seemed right.

“Trent, some days I feel crazy again” Abby admitted a little shyly.

“Abby, you are not crazy, you have never been crazy. You were made to feel crazy, but you are one of the most sane people I know.” Trent said with a hint of agitation.

“Oh I am beginning to believe that now, what I mean is, I feel like I am obsessed. Obsessed with you. Isn’t that supposed to be a bad thing? I am loving this feeling, but does it scare you?” Abby held her breath waiting for his reply.

“Gorgeous, no way, no how, am I scared. I suppose someone on the outside would call me obsessed with you, too. I guess a mutual obsession is a good thing, right?” While it did frighten him a little, not that she was obsessed, but to admit his true feelings, he couldn’t let her feel she was hanging out there alone in this.

“ I sure hope so, I’m sure my family would call this an unhealthy relationship, hell, probably everyone would, but it sure doesn’t feel unhealthy to me.” She sure hoped it wasn’t her bad judgment creeping in again.

“Me either, sweetness. Let’s just go with it and see where it leads. Besides, my opinion is the only one that matters.”

She chuckled “Really? Your opinion is the only one that matters”

“Sure in my opinion” he quipped.

“Ok your opinion is the Only one that matters then” She laughed.

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Scarlett Braden
in Cuenca, Living the good life!