Chapter I - Lost

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This is a true story in so far as related to the geographic location. Concerning the events, my memory remains a bit faulty with the accuracy of the telling. In regards to the peculiar goings on, I leave it among yourselves to decide.

Pulling up before the house, Samuel switched off the motor. The drive up today had been a harrowing one. Dramatics had been expected, but that was awaiting at the house. The road up through the forest was typically his favorite part of the journey. This day though had been different. The weather brought rain through the night. In the morning the rain had continued. However, once out of the city, the sun started to break through. The sky became the most outrageously vivid blue.

"Obnoxiously arrogant of the sky," he had commented, to the backside of the windshield.

Perhaps the outrageousness came more from Samuel's projection than from any atmospheric condition.

Nikki had been over. She came for dinner and stayed for breakfast. The initial arrangement had been for her to come over a few days earlier, but there had been some mysterious drama of a business nature. She had been required to fly off immediately to take part in some firefighting triage. An apology had been offered. A promise followed to make it up to him; something of a tease, a most delicious exotica to set the hook. He put off the drive to the country house, awaiting Nikki's dangling surprise. If the delay brought complications with Lenore, so be it.

When Nikki returned, the energy between them was amazing. They were both left a bit sore for it. As she had foretold, the reward proved most satisfying, well worth the cost. Or so he thought at the time.

Sitting in the car outside the country house, memory of the morning's departure from the city flowed in his thoughts: She pulled out of the driveway. The indicator came on. Her car turned away from his direction and was gone, disappearing into the traffic.

"Aaah," Samuel said, reflecting back upon the tryst.

With a sigh, he forced focus back into the present. Duties awaited inside the house. He couldn't sit out here all day avoiding her. Lenore would be waiting, pacing back and forth, annoyed he hadn't arrived days ago.

"Time to face the music."

The rear view mirror was adjusted for a hair check. A bit of fluffing at the locks had it back to right.

He laughed, "Some riotous fireworks out your ears would have ensued, my dear Lenore, were you two to meet. Maybe that could be arranged someday. Accidentally, of course."

The gap between his teeth was checked. Nothing unsightly remained.

"See, Lenore. See what your kind, passionless love has driven me to? Into the arms of another. Nikki. She knows how to love a man. I mean like really love a man- real good. So good that it makes one sore in all the right places for days.

"How's that, Nikki? You require more? Again? How long has it been since the last time? Four hours, or so? I'm still vibrating like it's only been 4 seconds. How's that? Shall I be over for a hot lunch rendezvous? Naturally, your loveliness. Your need is my command.

"Why can't you make me feel that with you anymore, Lenore?..."

He left off at the speech practice in mid babble after getting out of the car to pause at the sight.

"That isn't right."

There was a large roller suitcase on the porch. The suitcase was familiar. It being on the porch was also not an unusual sight. Lenore's routine after packing the suitcases was to roll them outside. It then became his role to hump their weight over to the trunk. The car would sag in complaint, but he never would.

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