Monday, January 5, 2009

Cruising for Love -- Part 4

posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary

Armand hauled Tricia out onto the dance floor and away from the smoldering gaze of the dark man, but she could still feel his eyes following her. Pieter glided past, a short woman in a feathered mask with garishly tinted red hair in his arms.

“Damn!” Armand whispered hoarsely near Tricia’s ear. “That’s Anita Fitzhugh. I’ve been trying to get close to her all evening.”

The dark man momentarily forgotten, Tricia craned her neck to get another look at one of the grand dames of Broadway.

“She’d be a perfect customer,” Armand continued. The music stopped and Anita moved away from Pieter toward the exit. “She’s going to the powder room. Follow her!”

Tricia blinked at him. “Me?”

“Well I can’t very well go into the ladies’ room,” Armand replied, and gave her a not too gentle shove. “Go on! Don’t lose her.”

Tricia stumbled for the door, the strap of her sandal coming loose as she moved, but she had no time to stop and fix it. She hurried into the hallway but Anita Fitzhugh was nowhere to be seen. Scooting along so that her shoe didn’t come completely off, she rounded the corner toward the bank of elevators, but the woman wasn’t there either.

Armand was going to be furious!

Where was that dratted bathroom?

Tricia rounded another corner and literally ran into the dark man, her nose bumping abruptly against the lapel of his tux. She jerked backward, swaying, and he steadied her with a hand on her bare arm.

“I’m so sorry!” she blurted, and yanked self-consciously at her bodice to make sure nothing had fallen out.

“No need to apologize.” His gaze dropped to her cleavage and she couldn’t stop herself from giving her gown one more tug. “That’s quite a lovely necklace.”

His dark eyes moved slowly from her breasts up to her face, while Armand’s warning echoed inside her head… ‘Whatever you do, don’t let that man get you alone, even for a second…’

“Th-thank you.” Tricia glanced frantically around the dimly lit corridor, panic clawing up her spine. Then her gaze snagged on a door built right into the dark paneling.

The bathroom at last!

“Excuse me, please, but I have to go in here.”

Wrenching her arm from his grasp, she darted through the door, pressing the lock in as it closed behind her. Panting, she turned around and leaned back to rest against the solid panel, her shoulders slumping with relief.

“Pardon, madame,” said a soft masculine voice. “Are you lost?”

Tricia gasped and looked toward the sound. To her dismay, she saw she was not in the ladies room at all, but an area behind the ballroom stage. The speaker was a young man in a white jacket, holding a trumpet.

“Have you lost your way?” he asked again, white teeth gleaming in his olive-skinned face. "Or are you hiding from an over-eager dance partner?”

“Oh, no!” Tricia quickly denied. She stared at the oval name-tag on his jacket which said ‘Mustafa’ and below that ‘Turkey.’ “I… I just needed someplace to fix my shoe.”

“Maybe I can help you.” He set his trumpet on a storage box and motioned for her to come closer.

Intrigued in spite of herself, Tricia obeyed. She lifted her foot and rested it on top of the crate opposite the shiny instrument.

“I’m Tricia,” she said. “Tricia Ivy, and I’ve never met a trumpet playing Turk before.”


  1. "Left turn" indeed!

    I tried to create external conflict for those who like suspense, while leaving those with a comedic bent enough room to play around.

    I laughed out loud at trumpet playing Turk. Great addition, Cindy.

  2. Love the inspiration from your travels, AC!!

  3. I'm lovin' it. Well done ladies. And it seems like so much more fun on the reader side of the fence, no sweat trickling down the back trying to think of something to write. lol.
    You are doing such a good job.

  4. I'm loving this. Great job, ladies!

    Robin :)

  5. Okay, I'm awake, sort of...

    Thanx MM, you and Terry did a great job of setting up the external parameters. Glad you liked the "trumpet playing Turk" since I wrote the whole piece with that last line in mind. ;-)


  6. Hey Danielle,
    I always say, "Ya NEVER KNOW how or where you'll be inspired from your travels." Bits and pieces of my various trips turn up in the oddest places, but it is always GREAT FUN!


  7. Thanx a bunch, Michele!

    Honestly, I don't find the stories any more difficult than a regular blog post. In fact, in some ways they are easier since I don't have to come up with a topic. :-P


  8. Thanx Linda and Robin! So glad you're enjoying the story.

    I can't wait for day after tomorrow, since Cheryl has already made veiled hints about the "things" she has planned for my trumpet playing Turk! LOL!!

    Linda, I know you'll be throwing in your own brand of fun stuff! You always do...


  9. LOL, Cindy, the turk does sound hot! I'm hoping he sticks around:-) Very nice, and I love the humor. I can also relate, since I can't find my way out of a wet paper bag even with GPS...

  10. Aw Cindy, you're making me wish I'd done more with him, but how much can you do in 500 words?
    And yes, ladies, writing this is much easier than the usual blog, and a whole lot more fun! We should start planning another one now!

  11. Yeah! So loving this! I wrote my first portion last night and it is such a kick to take all the little hints dropped here and there and then run with it.

    This was where the story got really fun. Love the Turk! Ha!! Not sure if he will be around again *zipped lips* but I KNOW we will be seeing more of tall, dark, and mysterious! Oh yeah baby!

    This story will be so hot. Anyone know a good publisher!

  12. LOL, Kendra, you're the sister of my heart!

    I'm constantly getting turned around on cruise ships and never know if I'm going forward or aft, never mind starboard or... And finding a bathroom always seems to be a PRIORITY for me. Write what you know!


  13. Yes, Cheryl, I feel your pain about the 500 word limitation, but that strict limit also keeps things interesting. :-)

    I'm all for doing another story. We'll have to discuss logistics on our private loop.


  14. Hey Sharon, can't wait to read your first contribution!

    I knew that once you tried it, you'd like it! ;-)


  15. *snork!

    I did a writing exercise and had a one-eyed Mauritian in it so this just made me laugh!

  16. Ah, Michele, you did such a great job too. :) This is great, Cindy. I'm cheating since I haven't had time to keep up and I got to read the whole story tonight before I wrote my next scene. Everyone is adding lots of fun twists! Super job! Can't wait to see more!