Writing Prompt - Flower
When Claire rowed the boat up to the beach, she was exhausted. She prided herself for being in good shape, but nothing could prepare her for the strenuous rowing expedition she just pulled off. She worked harder than the brief time she had a fitness trainer yelling at her, another get-in-shape-fast scheme that didn’t fare well. Nothing made you move faster than when you thought you were running for life, away from a murderous honeymooner. She jumped out the boat, her bag over her body crisscrossed, so she wouldn't lose it this time. She spotted Nancy on the beach coming toward her.
"I've never been so glad to see someone I know," Claire blurted out as she hugged her friend almost knocking them down on the sand.
"What happened? This better be good, Tess O’Neal's workshop on police procedurals is about to start in a few minutes. I wanted to go to that."
"I could've been killed, Nance. You can order the cd later. I might be involved in a real police procedural. Real, as in real life." She stomped off toward the hotel with Nancy on her heels.
"Well are you going to tell me what happened?"
Claire stopped in her tracks and looked around. "I don't want anyone overhearing me. I think I might've walked in a murder."
"What? What did you see and who was killed?"
"You know the honeymoon couple at the hotel..." Claire recanted her encounter on the island in a low voice to Nancy.
The two picked up the pace and walked into the plush hotel. The inside was just as beautifully decorated as the outside grounds. The spacious lobby and surrounding walkways were layered with island trees, native sculptures and wood carved furnishings that looked as though were designed for royalty. The two women walked through the busy lobby towards the elevator bank. Claire saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, and would normally join them, but instead she ducked into an elevator hoping they didn't see her. She needed time to unwind and process what had happened. Nancy was right beside her, too stunned to say anything.
Nancy had her card key in hand when they reached the door and quickly swiped it open. Claire walked into the room and knew exactly what she wanted, she went to small refrigerator they requested for their room and pulled out the bottle of red wine, half full from the night before.
"I don't care if it's before noon, its four o'clock somewhere in the world. After all that, blood…I need a drink to relax."
"Don’t' close that," Nancy reached for the bottled before Claire re-corked it. "After hearing that story, I could use a drink too."
The two discussed what they should do next. Claire was afraid she'd been seen, and didn't want to do anything to put herself in danger. While Nancy protested that she didn't really know what she saw. She needed proof before she could do anything.
A knock at the door startled them both, and then Nancy laughed walking to the door. She looked through the peephole and saw what appeared to be a man holding a bouquet of exotic island flowers in front of his face.
"Who is it?" Asked Claire, sloshing her wine around in the plastic wine glass.
"I don't know. Someone's holding flowers. Who is it?" Nancy asked from behind the closed door.
“Special delivery for Claire.”
Claire heard the voice from the hall and almost dropped her glass. "Oh no, it's Sam. Just what I need to complicate things." She went to the door, and looked through the peep hole. She saw the flowers hiding his face, but his well-toned body was in full view. She recognized the fashionable black jeans he sported like a uniform, and wore so well she didn't mind seeing them every day. But not today.
She opened the door, and he extended the flowers to her, "A peace offering before you resume the last fight we had," he said as he strolled in the room as if he owned it. He reached over to plant a small kiss on Claire cheek.
"Thank you, they're beautiful." He quickly kissed the other cheek before she had a chance to object. "What did you do, just get back from France or something?"
"No, your cheek just called out to me."
Sam Stewart a successful author of thrillers and spy novels. He and Claire met at a writer’s group, critiqued each other’s work and even collaborated on a couple of stories together while on their road to publication. Along the way they also had a brief relationship, which Sam thought ended a little too soon.
While Sam and Claire got caught up, Nancy noticed a message light on the room phone on the night table. She picked up the receiver to hear the message. “This message is for Nancy Wells,” said a muffled voice with wind in the background. “Whatever you think you saw on the little island today, you’re mistaken, so just please go about your business and forget about it, and I’ll forget about you.” The call ended and she almost dropped the phone.
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