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30 days hath December, April, June . . . Wait, June? And it's already the 30th? Damn! My only excuse for another not-the-end update is that I've been taking classes since school let out. (Must do it to renew my license, and I rather enjoy them but--homework!)

In any case, for you wonderful die-hards who are still hanging with this, here's this month's rather-rushed chapter. I promise, you will at least glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel.

See, I'm reduced to cliches. Also to redundant disclaimers: Season 1 AU, not mine, etc. Oh--and none of the medical terminology and techniques are remotely realistic.

Best Forgotten, Part 28


Caleb’s eyes, narrowed anxiously, widened with relief as the dark windows of the clinic annex abruptly lightened again.

Grady, watching too, gave a derisive snort. “Must have been some kind of power glitch, Cal. You know, the systems in countries like this--” He shugged contemptuously and lifted his cigarette, but it never reached his lips. Caleb snatched it away and flicked it, still lit, to the ground.

“Your nicotine addiction can wait, Grady” he said curtly. “It’s a filthy habit anyway. Right now we need to go back inside and make sure that blackout didn’t disrupt the operation.”

“Cal, it only lasted a few seconds.” Grady shook his head, grinding out his wasted cigarette. “What damage could it have done?”

“I don’t know. But I intend to find out. There have been enough setbacks already. This whole business should have been over by now.”

Caleb reached for the door handle to reenter the clinic. His hand closed around the metal bar. He had just started to pull when a sudden cry, shrill and vibrating violently, split the dry, oppressive air.

“Dad! Do you hear me? Dad!”

The voice struck Caleb like lightning. It surged through his body, searing and lethal, and he froze. His face blanched, white as his shirt, white as the sheets that had covered Ryan.

No, he thought. No. It’s not possible. It’s somebody else. It must be.

With an effort, Caleb forced his fingers to move. They splayed, releasing the door. It swung shut again and he wheeled around. Bracing himself, breathing hard, he squinted through the glare of the setting sun.

Four figures were rushing wildly toward him from the main building of the clinic. Backlit by the red setting sun, they appeared dark, faceless and unknowable. And there are four of them, Caleb told himself. Four. Get hold of yourself, Nichol. It's not your family. It has to be someone else. Still, he shivered. He couldn’t help it. The silhouettes reminded him of long-repressed nightmare shapes, deadly, impossible to outrun, impossible to escape. Long shadows stretched in front of them, like tentacles reaching across the parking lot. Caleb could feel them ensnare him, one and then another and another, coiling around his chest as two more voices joined the first one. The snarled tangle of shouts grew louder, sharper and more insistent.

“Dad!”

“ Don’t move, Cal!”

“It’s over, Grandpa!”

Beside Caleb, Grady stiffened uneasily. “Is that--? How the hell did they find us?” he muttered. Caleb didn’t answer and Grady’s gaze slid over, registering his boss’s pallor, his unfamiliar incapacity. “Never mind. I’ll handle them.

Stepping forward Caleb raised his voice. Automatically it slid into a tone of false concern, slick and unctuous, as he spoke. “Sandy, Kirsten, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in San Francisco? Is there a problem with the project? You could have called--”

“We did!” Seth yelled. “Mom called you like three hundred times, Grandpa.” He panted, stumbling over a parking barrier in his heedless dash. Unfazed, he ignored his father’s outstretched hand, picked himself up, and kept running. “You never answered.”

“That’s not your grandfather’s fault. We’ve had issues with the reception here, Seth,” Grady claimed. He started to add something else, but Caleb raised a hand, stopping him.

“Let it go,” he ordered.

By that time, the Cohens were close enough to see their faces, but Caleb only looked at one person. He paid no attention to his grandson’s flushed indignation or Sandy’s barely-contained fury, and he did not spare a glance for the red-haired woman who followed one step behind, her cool gaze condemning him as she approached. Caleb’s eyes were fixed on Kirsten. She had sprinted in front of the others. Even yards away, her father could see her clearly: the anguish carved deep into her ice-white skin, the way every line of her body was pinched with pain, the absolute desolation in her face.

“Kiki,” Caleb said. He held out a hand and Kirsten flinched. She jerked to a stop, holding herself rigid, just out of reach but infinitely far away.

“How--?” she whispered. The blue of her eyes submerged beneath unshed tears, and her lips trembled, shredding the question like ancient paper. “How could you, Dad? I believed in you, and all this time--” She broke off, swaying, and Sandy moved behind her, pulling her close. His own eyes blazed as he glared at Caleb.

“It’s done, Cal,” Sandy said curtly. “Take us to Ryan. Now.”

“You heard him, Grandpa. Now,” Seth echoed.

Caleb, staring at his daughter, didn’t answer. Grady did instead. “Ryan?” He mustered a confused, placating smile. “What are you talking about, Sandy? You’re foster son isn’t here. Cal just came to support his friend Brandon McConnell--”

“I said let it go, Grady,” Cal snapped. Shoving his friend out of the way, he moved toward Kirsten. Instantly, frantically, she recoiled, shrinking against Sandy. She shook her head, almost hissing, and Caleb hesitated, then stopped. For just an instant his controlled façade shattered. A trapped expression flitted across his face. His shoulders slumped, and he hesitated, swallowing hard. Then, with an effort, he pulled himself up. He lifted his chin, summoning the composure that saw him through angry board meetings and contentious negotiations, all those occasions when he had to find a way to manipulate the truth in order to survive.

Because, Caleb knew, lies wouldn’t serve him anymore.

He took a deep breath, looking deep into his daughter’s eyes, attempting to infuse a single glance with every happy memory, every moment of love in their entire history. Somewhere inside her, Caleb was sure Kirsten remained his little girl. He just had to remind her of that.

“Kiki,” he said gently, “that boy never belonged in our family. You know that’s true. He would never be accepted by Newport society, and as long as Seth continued to be associated with him, neither would he.”

“That’s bullshit!” Seth interjected angrily. He hurled himself at his grandfather. Charlie had to grab his elbow to hold him back. She shook her head in warning, and Seth stopped struggling even though he still muttered, “And like I ever wanted to hang with Newpsie pod-people anyway. Ryan was—is—a million times better than any of them.” Abruptly wheeling around, he faced his mother, pleading, “Mom, forget this, okay? We’re just wasting time here.”

“Seth’s right,” Sandy agreed. Contempt and impatience burned holes in his words. “We’re not interested in any of your excuses, Cal. Just tell us where we can find Ryan.”

Caleb ignored Sandy’s order. As if neither his grandson nor son-in-law had spoken, he continued to pitched his voice low, directing it only to Kirsten, riveting her with his laser-blue eyes. She stood like a statue, expressionless, silent, listening. “He was playing all of you, sweetheart,” her father insisted. “I know he put on a convincing front, but sooner or later his criminal instincts were bound to surface. How long do you think he could have resisted the temptation living there with you, seeing your cars, your jewelry, your money every day? It was just a matter of time before he betrayed all of you you, Kiki. He didn’t appreciate what you were trying to do for him. The disrespect that boy showed me was proof of that--”

“So you kidnapped him.” Kirsten’s sudden words vibrated, ominous, wire thin and sharp.

There was an instant of shocked silence, broken only by Sandy’s audible breath and Seth’s whispered, “Yes!” Then Caleb mustered an indulgent smile.

“Kiki--” he began, but his daughter did not let him finish.

“Ryan hurt your pride so you kidnapped him and lied to us and brought him here for—for—no.” Her voice crumpled. “I can’t--”

“It’s okay, Mom. Come on,” Seth urged. He tugged at Kirsten’s hand like a little boy. “We know Ryan’s here somewhere. We’ll find him ourselves.”

Kirsten nodded. She took a half-step, before Caleb’s voice stopped her. Seth tried vainly to pull her away, but his mother could not seem to move.

Her eyes were wide, white-ringed, trapped. She looked helpless, like a wild animal mesmerized by a snake.

“Kiki, listen to me. You and Seth and Sandy—you were all blinded by your compassion,” Caleb said. “You couldn’t see who that boy really is. I could. So I did what was necessary to protect you. But I tried to help that boy too.” Ignoring Seth’s and Sandy’s disbelieving protests, Caleb persisted. He used the approach that always worked for him at business meetings, skating smoothly and confidently on the thin edges of truth. “It was clear to me that he had dangerous, deep-rooted psychological and emotional issues. Doubtless they stemmed from his unfortunate upbringing, but he was never going to deal with his problems while he was living with you. They would just fester under the surface until he exploded. And who knows who would have been hurt when that happened?”

Seth made a strange, strangled sound, as if he were choking on rage. “God, grandpa, give it up! You’re the one who’s sick!” he exclaimed at the same time that Sandy ordered furiously, “Shut up, Cal. The only thing we want to hear from you is where Ryan is now!”

Suddenly, unexpectedly, Kirsten shook her head. Without taking her eyes off her father she whispered, “No, Sandy. Let him talk. I want to hear what he has to say.”

Caleb’s lips twitched as he stifled a triumphant smile. “Thank you, sweetheart,” he replied over Seth’s garbled “But Mom--” and Sandy’s worried, “Kirsten?” “I admit, I brought the boy to this clinic. Yes, I wanted him out of your lives—that’s why I chose a place so far away and admitted him under a false name. And that’s why I had Grady mislead you about his location. But sweetheart, I got him professional treatment. I thought that the doctors here might be able to help him deal with his anger and violent tendencies before they destroyed his life. If they were successful, I was prepared to settle him with another foster family somewhere. Just not in Newport with you. Unfortunately, the boy . . .” Caleb sighed heavily. He let the sound linger, filling it with both exhaustion and regret. “Well, he hasn’t responded well to any therapy they’ve tried. In fact, I’m sorry to say that he’s gotten much worse. His childhood proved to be more traumatic than any of us suspected. You have to understand. That’s why I couldn’t tell you the truth, sweetheart. I wanted to spare you from knowing the worst about the boy.”

Caleb paused, grave and patient, waiting for his daughter’s response.

Behind Kirsten, Seth and Sandy stood rigid. They barely breathed as they waited too.

A long moment, fraught with lies and warped history and the burden of family, spun a sticky web around all of them.

It bound Kirsten where she stood, motionless in her husband’s arms. She stared at her father, her eyes glazed and unblinking, her skin cold beneath Sandy’s hands. Unconsciously rubbing her shoulders, trying to warm them, he glanced down at his wife.

The sultry evening breeze didn’t seem to touch her at all. Nor did the heat of his palms. Her body remained frozen, her impassive expression never changed, never even flickered.

She looks like a statue, carved from the inside out, Sandy thought. He ached, unable to force his wife away because he was afraid she might break if he tried, yet wondering if she would survive this encounter, and through it all agonizing over every second that kept them from finding Ryan.

At last, with an effort, Kirsten stirred. She swallowed. It was as if she had heard Sandy’s thoughts.

“Ryan,” she whispered.

The name splintered as it left her lips, catching on the air.

Caleb inclined his head solicitously. “What?”

“Not ‘that boy.’” Kirsten’s voice grew stronger. “I told you before, he has a name. Ryan.”

“Got it, grandpa? Ry. An. At. Wood,” Seth added tightly. He gave each syllable deliberate emphasis. “Not Brandon McConnell.”

Nodding, Caleb mustered a tight, colorless smile. “Yes, of course. I’m sorry. Ryan.” He paused. For the first time, he looked beyond Kirsten, letting his apparently contrite glance reach Seth and Sandy too. “I know this is an extremely painful situation and that you all must feel betrayed.”

“You think, grandpa?” Seth retorted. “Just because you’re a liar and a kidnapper and a fucking sadist?”

Grady’s eyebrows shot up, but Caleb simply sighed and nodded again. “I don’t blame you, Seth. You’re entitled to your anger. It’s true that I . . . persuaded th—“ At the last moment, Caleb caught himself, amended, “Ryan to come here with me and I deliberately concealed his whereabouts from you. But if I hadn’t, you would still feel responsible for his welfare, and I didn’t want you to make the . . . painful choices that required. I had your best interests at heart, all of yours, including Ryan’s . . .” A low growl escaped Sandy’s throat and Seth snorted audibly. Shaking his head sadly, Caleb shuttered his steely eyes for a moment. When he looked up, his gaze had become a tender, remorseful blue. Once again, he focused it solely on Kirsten. “I don’t expect you to believe me, Seth. Or you, Sanford. But you do, don’t you, sweetheart? . . . Kiki?”

Caleb barely finished his final word. He didn’t even get to shape another placating smile. Something in Kirsten’s face shattered.

“This is what I believe, Dad.”

She spat the last word. It snapped like a key breaking off in a lock, bolting something away forever. At the same time she jerked upright and shrugged off Sandy’s arm. Springing forward, blazing with rage, Kirsten slapped her father across the face. She did it again and again, faster and faster, harder and harder until Sandy and Seth finally pulled her back.

“You’re a monster,” she sobbed, writhing and fighting to escape their grasp. “A monster. A monster--”

Caleb rocked backwards, shocked into silence. His hand crept to his face, touching the bruised flesh. Furious palm-shaped stains spread across his chin and cheek, up beyond his temples. He blinked, dazed, his mouth working as if he could not comprehend what had just happened.

“Kiki--” he began at last.

“Don’t you dare!” Kirsten cried, still struggling in Sandy’s arms. “Never! Never call me that again! Just take us to Ryan. I want to see him! Now!” Caleb hesitated, breathing hard. “Now!” she screamed again when he didn’t move.

“You heard her, Cal. We want to see Ryan.”

Caleb’s lips parted, closed, opened wordlessly. The hand at his cheek fell limp to his side. Disbelief, then unaccustomed defeat blurred his sharply-honed features. “You . . . can’t,” he stammered. He swallowed with difficulty. The words seemed to scald him, and his gaze plummeted. He couldn’t endure the rage, the contempt—worse, the absolute hatred—in his family’s eyes. Their faces scorched him, Sandy’s and Seth’s, and especially Kirsten’s. They seared away his carefully constructed house of lies until at last he surrendered. “You can’t,” he repeated. “Not now. Ryan is already in surgery.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inside the operating room, the blackout ended with a burst of bright, unexpected, overhead light. It momentarily blinded the people clustered around Ryan. Only he didn’t register the sudden glare, the surge of renewed energy. It glinted off Dr. Keller’s suspended scalpel, sparking silver, casting a thin scar-shaped shadow across Ryan’s forehead. A soft drone chased away the silence as all the equipment clicked and whirred back to life.

For a moment, though, only the machinery in the room moved. Except for his eyes, which scanned each monitor and screen, Dr. Keller himself remained motionless.

So did his surgical team. They held their positions, watching him intently, waiting for his signal to begin.

“It seems to have been just a momentary power glitch, doctor,” the nurse anesthetist observed quietly. Peering around, she checked off each piece of machinery in the room. “All the systems have been restored.”

Dr. Keller frowned, considering. Beneath his mask, his mouth tightened as he glanced down. Ryan lay apparently lifeless on the table. His head, tipped slightly downward, had been turned to the right. It faced an exit that he couldn’t see, and it was clamped into place by a metal frame, leaving it exposed and vulnerable. Smudges like erasures rimmed Ryan’s closed eyes and his lips were brittle, cracked in the corners around the breathing tube that snaked out of his mouth. A tiny crease ran between his brows as if, even unconscious, he was searching for something and his skin stretched parchment thin, almost translucent, over his cheekbones. Dr. Keller spent no time considering Ryan’s expression, though. He concentrated on a single spot behind his left ear, shaved smooth and marked with a tiny blue mark, the place where he planned to make the critical incision. Then, still not moving, the doctor scrutinized all the equipment again. At last his stare locked on the screen that displayed the imaging system, as if attempting to verify all the vital data stored inside.

The head nurse followed Dr. Keller’s intent gaze. “We’re operating normally again, doctor,” she assured him.

“We seem to be,” he conceded. Both the surgeon’s brow and his tone were shadowed with doubt. “But we don’t know what caused the blackout or what damage it may have done.”

“It was so short,” the surgical assistant noted. He lifted his chin, indicating the bank of monitors. Each one pulsed with clear, insistent, images. “And remember, doctor, we have fail-safe devices built into our systems. There’s no indication that any of them were adversely affected.”

“I can see that. But this is not a routine surgery. We’re undertaking a untried procedure, using original techniques. We have to be sure . . .”

“I can send someone down to maintenance to find out what happened,” the head nurse offered. “In the meantime do you want to proceed, Dr. Keller?”

He hesitated. His jaw worked, wrinkling the surgeon’s mask, mirroring the creases in his forehead. The anesthesiologist waited for a moment. The he looked up. “You need to make a decision, doctor,” he urged. “If we’re going to stop we should do it now. This operation will be a major strain on the patient, and considering his somewhat unstable condition I’m not sure how he’s going to respond to prolonged sedation. I don’t want to keep him under any longer than necessary.”

“I’m aware of the patient’s condition,” Dr. Keller snapped. His grip tightened on the scalpel, and the blade flashed again. It shone sharp, narrow and incisive as the doctor’s eyes as he stood, debating silently.

The team waited, poised and expectant. Two seconds passed, then three. Four. Five.

The surgical nurse cleared her throat. “Doctor?” she prompted.

Abruptly, almost angrily, he responded, slamming the scalpel down on the instrument tray. “Damn it!” Dr. Keller muttered. His voice throbbed, raw with frustration. “No. We can’t risk starting now. There’s too much at stake I want diagnostics run on every system before we begin. I am not going to have this procedure jeopardized by an electrical malfunction or compromised data.”

Everyone in the room knew what the words “too much at stake” implied. The patient’s survival mattered, of course, just as it would be in any operation, but Dr. Keller meant much more that: he was considering his own potential fame, his place in medical history, the fortune he would amass as the inventor of a new form of neurosurgery depended on the success of the surgery.

The entire team had committed to his project. They understood.

As soon as Dr. Keller spoke, the group sprang into action. They moved swiftly and surely, shutting down the monitors, removing the instrument trays, unclamping the frame that immobilized Ryan’s head.

Only the anesthesiologist remained in his place next to the table. “Doctor, running a complete set of diagnostics could take an hour. Maybe more,” he pointed out. “The patient can’t--”

“I know, I know.” Dr. Keller interjected curtly. “We can’t risk keeping him sedated if we have to. Discontinue the anesthesia and extubate him now.” Scowling with combined irritation and impatience, he backed away from the operating table and snapped off his gloves. Already striding out of the room, the doctor yanked down his mask to called one last order over his shoulder, “Nurse, get an orderly to move the patient back to pre-op. And notify me the moment we’re cleared to start.”

Moments later, Felix entered the operating room and moved behind the surgical table. His swarthy face remained blankly unconcerned. Only his eyes flashed a swift, secret smile, hidden beneath his lowered lashes as he wheeled Ryan the way he had been facing, toward the exit door.

TBC

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
beachtree
Jul. 1st, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)
Imagine, homework assigned by someone else? Oh, the turning tables... As for that continuing ed, yay for occupational hazards. Neverending! Think of all your newly acquired knowledge and honed mad skillz.

A shorter month really does have its drawbacks with looming, self-imposed deadlines, doesn't it? Thanks again for rising to the occasion, no matter the workload!

There's some wonderfully vivid imagery again, which isn't a surprise by any stretch. I particularly like the "statue carved from the inside out" metaphor and the sharp, precise finality of the edge and tone like a "key snapping off in a lock." Those really resonated above and beyond, along with the slap fest that took S2 Chrismukkah to a whole new level.

Can I confess I was starting to fear that Kirsten's desire to hear Caleb's drivel would cost precious, priceless, beyond critical seconds. Tick-tock! Run first, hear the lies later!

You know I had to pay close attention for the shear and shave of any kind. I'm glad you went for the "less is better" approach. Any shred of dignity has to help at this point.

Dr. Killer's concern would almost be touching, if it weren't solely for the sake of his own ego and scientific method checklist as he mentally composes his press release and media kit, not the helpless, compromised, tortured "specimen" that Ryan is. He's not human to Killer, just a collection of parts and a self-serving opportunity. If this were "Willie Wonka," he'd be a 3-D golden ticket.

You've bought a little time, one of the many commodities Ryan needs in mass quantities. Phew. Go, Felix!

Happy 4th!
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks, beach. I just returned from a long holiday weekend to comments, and I admit that I was a tad nervous reading yours. I knew Kirsten's willingness to listen to Caleb would chafe people (you, in particular!) but I hoped her final reaction would make up for it. Now I agree--the Cohens better run in case Dr. Killer (hee!) gets impatient.

As always, I so appreciate your wonderful feedback. (Are you sure I couldn't talk you into writing the end of this story?)
beachtree
Jul. 7th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
Nice to hear you had an extended weekend. I'm not sure why you'd be nervous, even a "tad," about my comments. I think anything I may have mentioned about the Cohen's trek being longer than Cozumel was may have been in jest. Ya think?! ; )

As for Kirsten, I would have been shocked had she put Ryan first and had the sense of urgency. I figured she'd want to satisfy her curiosity, dispell doubts, give Caleb the benefit of those doubts, and I'm surprised she didn't "kill" (bad pun) more precious time.

The thing about the Dr. Killers of the world is that they tend to be as sadistic about their ideas of precision as they are egomaniacal and self-serving.

You know I even gave up doing the beta years ago for most but a very select few, so I can't imagine why you'd even joke about the writing! However, with the corner you've painted for poor Ryan and the physical and psychological states that he'll be in with the best case scenario, there's still a haul to go. Merry Christmas?

And it's back to my much less desirable email. With the outcome of a certain case in FL, that's something I'd rather avoid more than usual after official work hours. I'd like to go on the record as saying that I'm not originally from FL, as I think you know, and not all attorneys in FL are like a certain defense team! Another black eye for this state in so many ways. Ouch. But I digress!

Thanks for taking the time to reply to your public.
chicletinho
Jul. 1st, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
At least you gave Ryan more time... maybe one more month? ;)
Thank you for updating despite your tight schedule!
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. And I promise, I'm aiming for one more month!
finlee
Jul. 1st, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
You're killing me chaz!!! Another awesome chapter. Can't wait for more!
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
I'm working on the next part already--don't want the end of the month sneaking up on me again. Thanks so much for reading and for the flattering response (not that I want to kill you!)
marsalka
Jul. 1st, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
omg,for a moment there I thought that scapel was going to get used!! I too was worried Kirsten was wasting precious time listening to the forked tongue of Caleb... *phew*
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and responding, marsalka.

I worried about that Kirsten-Caleb scene (and Sandy not just dragging her away), but reading it aloud only took about five minutes, so I figured that maybe (*crosses fingers*) it wasn't an unforgivable delay. I just thought a caught-Caleb would still try to excuse his actions and that Kirsten would be too horrified to move--like an animal confronted by a snake. (See what you did with your forked tongue metaphor!)

60schic
Jul. 1st, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Phew is right! Beachtree hit on several other points I wanted to make. Except for, "Go, Kiki!" I was pretty sure you'd make her lash out at the Magnificent Bastard and you didn't disappoint.

Now get them all the hell into the clinic and finding Ryan!

Edited at 2011-07-01 03:55 am (UTC)
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed The Kirsten in full-fury mode (even though it took her a while to get there!)

This is my week-long break between the classes I'm taking and now that the holiday is over, the final search for Ryan is on, I promise.

Hope you enjoyed your 4th, and that you're enjoying summer vacation even more.
60schic
Jul. 6th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
the final search for Ryan is on, I promise.

YAYS!!!!!!!

I am enjoying my summer tho am very busy with wedding details.
zbyszko
Jul. 1st, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
How will I know that the month is over when you finish this story? : )

Love that Caleb is finally feeling the effects of his actions. And that there is, at least, another chapter coming at the end of next month..........
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering how I'll mark the end of the month myself! First, though, I have to finish this epic.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Caleb's consequences--more to come on that front!
jassylou
Jul. 1st, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)


Another "AWESOME" chapter chaz. You are really proving yourself has the "MISTRESS of SUSPENSE".

You can't improve on perfection and chapter after chapter you are doing just that!

I loved the vision of the Cohens in front of an orange sunset the dust flying up from their scurrying feet.

Bravo!! "take a bow girl!!" I'm just loving it and it's unique insight of raw emotions in all of the characters.

Big Hugs girl.(g) You rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thankyou so much
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
You are too flattering, jassy, but you made my day (week/month)! Thank you so much.
fredsmith518
Jul. 2nd, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
very very powerful - you know Kirsten was my 'get inside her head' character and boy did you! more on that later

all those occasions when he had to find a way to manipulate the truth in order to survive.

Because, Caleb knew, lies wouldn’t serve him anymore.
this also, the man having no clue what truth is, seeing it only as skating smoothly and confidently on the thin edges of truth not realising that comprise = actual lies

No, Sandy. Let him talk. I want to hear what he has to say.” this rang absolutely true for me, that she would want to know finally the extent of his doing and reasoning

all the way through, you play with the nonds of family, children regressing, Seth pulling Kirsten like a younger child, Caleb attempting to find the child with unconditional love inside Kirsten - watching Caleb attempting to manipulate Kirsten, it crossed my mind that he might be throwing back to the way that he'd treated her mother

A long moment, fraught with lies and warped history and the burden of family, spun a sticky web around all of them family is beyond complicated and this resonates all the more because denying Ryan a name, denying him a place is not freeing him from the mess of complications, its denying him the chance to bond and mesh - in other words 'life's complicated' and we have to deal.

many thanks for the update - homework, yuk, and that reminds me of some coursework that I had completely forgotten about!
chazper
Jul. 5th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
I always think of you when I write Kirsten, and I always wonder if you'll think I did her justice. I am so, so glad that you did, especially because this was such a touchy chapter.

The fact that you took time to note ongoing themes and quote lines thrills me. I appreciate it--and you--more than I can say. Thank you so much.

And now off to work on the final paper I have due Friday!
fredsmith518
Jul. 6th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
it is a pleasure to read your updates, and the last 2 fell on Saturdays, which meant more time to comment, absolute pleasure to have the time to read in detail, I love seeing the layers in your work:D good luck with the deadline - I need to work soon!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )