The House of Four Seasons
The evening passed quickly, dinner, a card game, a snack and then bedtime. They said good night in the hallway and went to their separate rooms.
It seemed strange to Hallie, but they were not lovers, only becoming friends. She shuffled her DVD’s and watched his movie. She found herself crying several times and really liking Lachlan. She could understand why the woman fell for him. Everything about him endeared itself to her. Afterwards she put the DVD back in the case and saw Rough Magic, she still had not watched that one and she decided to save it for another night, just his picture on the cover made her ache for him…Alex.
She saw him at breakfast, “I watched your movie last night.”
He seemed almost embarrassed by it, “Ya did, well then you know I am attracted to married women.” He grinned and cleaned out the marmalade jar.
“It was more than that Lachlan. I’d love to hear you recite that poem sometime.”
He looked up over his coffee, “Maybe.”
Lachlan spent a rough night, it was worse than he thought. Alex really did a number on her and now it was up to him. It was going to be a long drop, before he’d feel an updraft. He wasn’t going to give up, it wasn’t in him to do that.
“Looks like a nice day, any plans?”
“I’ve already been outside, if it doesn’t change, I’ll take you flying, how’s that?”
Hallie widened her eyes, “I don’t know about that.”
“Are you scared? Don’t be you’ll be safe.”
Lachlan tossed her a jacket and a pair of goggles, “Gets pretty cool and windy up there you’ll need these.”
“Ooo Lachlan,” she was still scared.
He helped her climb in and strapped himself in and started the engines; soon they were coasting along the road and then they were airborne. He circled the field and headed toward the ocean he could hear her “Aieeeee” when they took off. He flew along following the coast and pointing out things below. He banked and flew inland over farms and villages.
Hallie was really enjoying this. He would dip down low and then climb higher and higher, bank and turn in another direction. She had a bird’s eye view of the area where she was living now. She’d forgotten her fear. He was climbing higher and higher and into a cloud, it was like cotton wool she understood what he meant about addiction. How could you not want to fly again. He was back on the coastline again following it down, she could see the house and they passed by that and on over Gloucester and back out to sea, there were fishing boats out.
Finally he brought the plane back to the house and landed on the road above the stables. Hallie would have been content to fly all day. He helped her out of the cockpit and to get her goggles off.
“What did you think?” he asked biting his lip.
“It was thrilling,” she finished unzipping her jacket and looked up meeting his eyes, “I could have stayed up there all day, I loved it I really did Lachlan, thank you,” she kissed him on the cheek.
Lachlan was all smiles and mentally made himself a tick in the right column. “I’m about dried out, think we might get a drink?”
“Oh me too, I can’t get over it; I wasn’t afraid at all once we got up. You’re a good pilot.” She smiled giving him a side glance.
Lachlan casually took her hand as they walked back to the house.
They had cokes on the terrace enjoying the sunshine.
Hallie had a new appreciation for Lachlan, flying coming on the heels of the movie she’d watched. He really was something special. She was chatting away about the flight and Lachlan was listening to her enthusiasm and excitement, he was liking her more every minute.
“Did you always want to be a pilot, Lachlan?” she asked sipping her coke
“No actually I didn’t, but the war came and I thought I might be safer in the air than on the ground. I joined the air corps. I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do before the war, spent my time larrikin about.”
“It’s hard for me to think about the war, I know I studied it in school and my great grandfather fought in the Pacific. He was in the Navy.”
“I guess the good guys won, I never get out of it you know the training.”
“Hmm, the good guys, I guess that depends on who you ask, are there ever any good guys when you’re killing off tons of people,” that was Alex’s influence on her talking.
“I look at it like this, we didn’t start it but we’ll bloody well stop it. It has to be stopped civilized people don’t behave like that, the time for world domination is over, that was over in Napoleon’s time. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get on a soapbox.”
“No, no, I see you’re passionate about it, nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if the desire for world domination will ever be over. We’ve had the cold war with Russia and now Russia is all broken up. Who’s to say another Hitler won’t rise up someday.”
“I sincerely hope not Hallie, people deserve to live in peace.”
“I believe that too. Human nature being what it is and ignorance rampart over the world; it may happen someday though.”
“You’re pretty passionate about it too.” He smiled.
“I was a history major in college.”
“Are you going to teach?”
“I don’t know, I don’t look like a teacher nobody would take me seriously.”
Hallie smiled at him and finished her coke. “We could go get some fish and chips, bet you’d like that.”
“Bonzer idea,” he smiled and stood up and held her chair for her.
Hallie drove them to Gloucester and found a fish and chip shop. They took their meal outside and ate on the wooden picnic benches.
“This was a great idea, Hallie,” Lachlan bit into his fish.
“I like going out, you know, away from the house. We probably could have had the same or better there.” She turned her bottle of beer up.
“There’s a movie complex near Boston, maybe we could go down there sometime.” She’d gone with Alex and knew where it was.
“Sure, I like movies, comedies are the best I think.”
“We’ll have to check and see what’s playing.”
“What else do you like to do?” he asked.
“Oh I don’t know, just hang out you know.”
“Uh, no I don’t know what that means.”
Hallie swallowed the last of her fish, “Walk around, window shop, stop for a drink. There’s a bar in Gloucester that has a band on Friday and Saturday nights, I don’t know if you dance but maybe we could listen.”
“I think I could do all that…hang out,” he smiled and shook his head.
“You think that might be ‘bonzer?” she laughed.
Lachlan laughed with her, “Separated by a common language.”
Hallie noticed just how cute he was, and how much fun to be with. Maybe the fall season wouldn’t be so bad after all. They finished up their beers and walked down by the waterfront, Lachlan again took her hand and she let him.
Back at the house they watched TV for a little while and then went up to bed, saying goodnight in the hallway.
“Thanks, Lachlan for a great day, it was a lot of fun,” she kissed him on the cheek and embarrassed herself. She’d expected him to kiss her back.
“Thank you, Hallie for being with me today, it was great, no it was bonzer,” he smiled and waited while she opened her door and awkwardly went inside.
From her diary: Lachlan Currie has been here for two days, I really like him and think it’s going to be okay. Strange thing is, unlike Maximus and Alex we are sleeping separate, he hasn’t so much as kissed me yet. Maybe I’m crazy but I wanted him to tonight. Am I being unfaithful to Alex? I can’t be, Lachlan has to marry me for everything to work for me and Alex. I don’t know if he’s going to ask me or not, he said we have to love each other and we don’t. He might be easy to love but I’m not sure I want to, what about Alex? I am so confused.
The next afternoon they went to the beach thinking the warm weather wouldn’t hold for long and they’d better take advantage of it.
“Here let me carry that for you,” Lachlan reached for the insulated bag she had over her shoulder. He already had the blanket and a bottle of wine.
Hallie handed it to him and walked with him to the bottom of the cliff. They weren’t sure how cold the water was and decided to change clothes on the beach. Hallie had her bikini underneath her shorts and long sleeved tee shirt.
She kicked off her sandals and waded in the edge of the water while he changed, “Feels good to me.” She called out.
She turned and saw Lachlan emerging from the shrubbery, he had his clothes in his hands and wearing a pair of swim trunks. She smiled liking what she saw.
“You say the water’s still warm enough?”
“I think so, here let me take your clothes and put them on the rocks.” She walked over to him and he handed her his things.
“Wow, is that what sheila’s swim in nowadays?” He looked her up and down.
“Well, yeah this is quite conservative compared to some.”
“I like it.” He grinned.
She folded his clothes and set them up on a flat rock and turned around, he was still staring at her.
She didn’t want to appear to be staring at him but she had to look, he was lightly tanned and fit, well he would have to be since he was in the military. His body was leaner than Alex’s and not quite as muscular but he was well built.
“Are you going to get wet or just stand there gawking?” she teased him and he ran her into the waves.
They played in the water, he would go under and swim up to her legs grab them and pull her under and she’d try the same with him but never could dunk him. She came up sputtering one time and he grabbed hold of her.
“Are you okay?”
“No, I’m drowned Lachlan,” she wiped the salt water from her eyes and then laughed, “let’s go eat something and dry off a little.”
Once out of the water the air was a little cool and they put their shirts on. Lachlan opened the wine and she brought out the sandwiches the House provided. They ended up sharing their meal with a little crab that crawled out from the rocks.
“He’s cute, I wonder if there are any more in there,” she looked toward the rocks.
“Probably not, they’re territorial, he would fight off another crab.”
“What if it was a female?”
Lachlan smiled, “Why do you think he’s got that big claw, he’d say ‘come here ya little shelia’ and drag her kicking and screaming back under the rock.”
“Really…why would she kick and scream, he’s a good looking little crab. Maybe she’d like to go with him.”
“Would she, do you think she would?”
Hallie turned to him, he wasn’t talking about the little crab. “I don’t know, maybe she’s got another boyfriend under one of those other rocks.”
“Yeah, that’s what I reckon, she likes him better.”
“Maybe she’s confused and doesn’t know what she wants.”
“She can’t have them both at the same time and she can’t have one without the other. Poor little crab, she might end up with neither one of them.”
“She doesn’t want that.”
He smiled suddenly, “That’s why he has the big claw,” he reached over and quickly grabbed her big toe, “that’s where the kicking and screaming comes in.”
Hallie laughed and wrestled her toe back. Lachlan lay down on the blanket hands behind his head. He was wishing he had a big claw.
His shirt was open across his chest and Hallie curled her fingers and dug them into the sand, she wanted to put her hand on his chest, feel his skin, she watched his stomach rise and fall as he breathed, she took a breath and looked out at the ocean. She wasn’t being fair to him, he was doing all he could, what did she think was going to happen with him… she didn’t want it to happen did she? How could she be true to Alex…it was all impossible. She picked up a pebble and tossed it toward the ocean.
“It didn’t have sparkles in it did it?” he asked.
“Oh, I didn’t look.”
He sat up, “That’s okay, I gave up on rocks a long time ago, too heavy to carry around in your pockets.”
“Me too, mine all went into the garden border. I don’t collect anything now, no place to keep it.”
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