Friday, May 20, 2011

Wanderlust part 65 "Exactly"

Here we are rocketing toward our destination, dear readers. I have to say, I will miss doing this. I also have to say, I doubt this will be my last serial novel. I've had too much fine waking up to Johnny and Really and you all every morning.

Good stuff, good stuff. And we still have a few days left. So buckle up...


part 65
by Sommer Marsden

I made my mind up outside a diner in Las Vegas. Johnny was finishing up another of his atrocious sandwiches. This one was called a Monte Cristo and I had though the Reuben was bad.

“I have to do something,” I said.

“It’s not leave, is it? Because that would really ruin this love buzz thing I’ve got going.” He said it as a joke but there was a small flicker of fear in his eyes.

We were both so beat to shit by emotions that the slightest hesitation from either of us provoked anxiety. He had sworn to never love again and I had sworn I’d never love at all. I was pretty sure, though—with time—we’d get over it.

“Nope. Much worse than tearing myself away from you.” I leaned across the table quickly and kissed him. I wanted him alone and naked and vulnerable again. But for now I relished watching him eat like he hadn’t eaten in a year.

“Calling the old man, then?”


“Listen, we are dangerously low on funds. We might be drifting to our final destination on fumes.”

“We’ll make it,” I said, because I truly felt in my gut that we would.

I used the pay phone on the side of the building, studying the graffiti that said Yesh and Kuntlikker and wondered why they couldn’t at least spell the words right. Maybe I was getting old.

“Mason Blake.” I had dialed his cell and not the front desk.

“Hi, daddy.”

Silence. And then, “How much do you need?”

“I don’t need anything,” I said. “I called to say goodbye.”

“Still with your waiter?”

“Does it matter?”

“Listen, Aurelia, I know losing your mother upset you. But you can come back whenever you like. To this life. No grudges held.”


“No thanks. I’m fine. I just wanted to say goodbye. More for me, than for you,” I said.

I was surprised at my calm, but then again, not much. Johnny had helped me remold a lot of what used to live inside of me. A lot of my ugliness had turned to beauty. Mildly twisted beauty—but still…it was beauty.

“Jackson is filing for divorce, you know.” His voice had become clipped now that he realized he was not going to win. That I would not come crawling back.

“Good. Tell him I’ll check in periodically and let him know where to send the papers.”

“He’s sad.”


“No he’s not. He’s realizing he’s relieved. And you know, daddy, you really should keep him on and treat him well. He’s more of a son to you than I’ve ever been a daughter. And he’s loyal to you. I don’t know how me manages that, but he is. He deserves to be treated as a son.”

“Just come back and stop this nonsense, Really.”

He rarely used my nickname and that, too, was a ploy.

“Nope. But I’ll call soon. I’ll be fine. Not that you were worried.”

Beyond how it affects you…

“Aurelia, you still have money. I won’t put a hold on the account if you—“ He was bluffing. That money was mine.

“I don’t think so. That money costs too much. Take care, daddy,” I said and gently hung up.

I was finally ready to see that once my mother died, my family ties had been severed. The only family I would have now was the one I created for myself.

I turned fast and walked into a wall of man. “You okay, Snowflake?”

I smiled at him. “I am great.”

And then we were leaving Las Vegas and barreling toward our destination. The sky was blue and balmier than the weather we had left.

We hit the California border and I stared at that blue sign like it was a spaceship.


“Wow?” He raised an eyebrow.

“It was just an idea before,” I said.

“Now it’s reality.”

“It is. And us…”

“We lied and lied and lied. Right?”

I grinned. “Yes, we did lie, didn’t we?”

“We’ll be okay,” he said as if he could see that vein of uncertainty that lived in my head. That little rivulet of fear that always entwined itself into my thoughts.

“I know.”

“We’ll have to work.”

“I can work. Fuck, I look forward to work. And don’t laugh at me.” I stared ahead watching the blacktop river of road ahead of us. The yellow dotted lines looked as if they were leading us straight to our futures.

“I would never laugh at you. I’m itching to work some myself. Something with my hands. Dirt and sweat, out in the sun,” he said laughing.

“Are we going to stop once more or just go?”

“We’re going to just go. I have a place I’d like to show you. But we might not be there until dark.”

“Since when did we not do things in the dark?” I asked.

“Exactly.” Johnny winked at me and I felt my body warm. It was like being in on the best inside joke ever.

I turned the radio on and put my head back to watch it all come rushing at me.

I have waited a lifetime. Spent my time so foolishly. But now that I’ve found you. Together we’ll make history…

“Turn it up,” Johnny said. His eyes straight ahead but the rest of him relaxed. More relaxed than I’d ever seen him.

Exactly,” I said echoing him—laughing at the whole burst of happiness I felt—and then I cranked it.



  1. Uggh. Foreigner. Sorry, that one dug up a past relationship demon I'd just as soon have left buried. Not your fault.

    The wall of man made me laugh. I'm going to miss this once it's done. I won't be one of the ones bugging you for a sequel, though. Once Johnny and Really's story has been told, it's over. But if you do another serial novel, I will definitely be back for that. Driving cross-country with y'all has been a blast.

  2. I'm with CJ. I don't think they need a sequel. Maybe Jacksons story needs to be told though - y'know? Him and the secretary?

    I won't be unpacking my bags from this trip - just send me my travel itinerary for the next one.
    Consider me a permanent passenger.

  3. BTW, when I said sequel -- I meant Charlie. I'd love to know more about Charlie. How cool to have his story told, taking us before his break up, to meeting Really, his run in with Johnny and how he lands on his feet, because I know he will, uh did.

    But whatever you decide is cool, I'm in for the long haul.

    Great installment, cutting ties and barreling toward freedom.

  4. Another loose end tied up. Soooo proud of Really.

    Yep, I'm in for another serial. I'd love to start at the beginning this time although I'm glad this one is not quite over. I want to hold on to Really and Johnny for just a few more days. ;)

  5. CJ, sorry for the Foreigner, LOL. They are a mixed bag of memories for moi.

    thanks all for your input. And for warm fuzzies (I think ;) )

    As for sequels, they come when they come. I am not much for sequels. I did three Seekers books and felt done. I think there will be three zombie exterminator novellas. The book I'm working on now is the sequel to a book that comes out in October (the one we are doing a slow cover reveal for).

    The book itself must DEMAND i come back and do more. If it doesn't, then I don't. A lot of Base Nature fans are demanding a sequel to focus on Ben. Alas, it's still in my head (with a title even) but it's not banging its fists on teh door. So it sits.

    I am sure I'll do another serial, though. It was wonderful and challenging and intoxicating as hell. And look at me, sitting here at teh end with the longest thing I've ever written. Nearly 90K.



  6. And I swear I can spell "the". I am not a LOL cat. THE THE THE <~~~~~see!

  7. Alright. I'm buckled. Even made a mixed playlist, something for everyone. Even threw in some "cockrock." So, pass me snacks, I'll go wherever you take me Sommer. ;)
    P.S. I do hope Jackson gets his HEA.

  8. I'm pretty sure Jackson's HEA won't be the secretary. She might as well have "rebound" stamped on her forehead. Jackson will get his HEA when he's ready to go looking for the woman he really needs, not the one who happens to be convenient.

    Also, can I get a show of hands from those who think Sommer is really a LOL cat? ;-)

  9. I want to amend my last comment. I can see Jackson accidentally wandering into a BDSM club one night, and meeting his HEA wearring a PVC skirt and domme boots. She'll scare the crap out of him, but Jackson has subbie male written all over him.

  10. *raises hand* (LOL)

    Janeen, I imagine he does. And we can all wait for CJ's version! Go on, CJ! I would like to read that. :)


  11. LOL! I may just take you up on that.

  12. CJ - looks like the ball is in your hands now. Run with it girl!


What sayest thou?