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Finding Favor and the Secret of Rainbow Moor
By Yvette S.M. Debeau
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Yvette S.M. Debeau
All rights reserved.
Late afternoon and the suns glow cast a soft shimmer on Favor's cheeks as she rested her elbow on the slightly weathered wooden railing of her deck. Brushing back a wisp of hair as it strayed across her forehead her gaze wandered contentedly over the peaceful countryside and the nearby Eel River meandering along its banks. The fresh air smelled of honeysuckle and roses. With her eyes slightly closed and her head tilted slightly backwards she took in a deep breath, letting the sweet spring air fill her lungs. Then slowly she exhaled as a soothing breeze caressed her face like an invisible creature daring to touch the soft wholesomeness of her skin. Feeling invigorated as a slight tingle swept over her, a wave of contentment made her smile. The sweet smell of the honeysuckle growing along the nearby fence engulfed her as it trailed aimlessly up the pergola creating a shady haven for the little meditation garden below. Tams and junipers and shiny-leafed caramel creeper, with its sage blue blossoms, lined the driveway leading up to her modest split-level home. The long, slim, leafy branches of a nearby willow caught the soft, early June breeze, blowing gracefully like long locks of hair.
Immersed in subconscious thoughts and unaware of an approaching figure, she hummed softly as she ambled aimlessly along the length of her deck. Startled back to awareness by the sound of deep hearty laughter, she leaned precariously over the railing edge.
"Adam, how long have you been standing there?"
"Let's just say long enough. I tried calling you earlier, but you must not have been home or you didn't hear the phone. So what daydream were you so lost in that you didn't even notice a handsome cuss like me?" Favor just smiled, ignoring the question. "Since I've interrupted your secret little world, how about coming over to my place for a while? Most of the gang is there and we're getting ready to barbecue up some burgers. We thought we'd watch a movie or play some games after dinner."
About to reply her phone rang, "Come on up," she called over her shoulder as she disappeared through the open deck door. Tall, thin and lanky, Adam Jennings took the steps two at a time as he bounded up the stairs and entered the front door. Comfortable in her little bungalow style house, he knew Favor didn't mind his intrusion and he waited quietly as she answered the call.
"Hello." Her cheerful voice greeted the caller at the other end of the line. There was silence for a moment. "I've told you before when you talk to me like that I'll hang up. You can't be talking to me in that manner. You won't tell me who you are so why do you keep calling? Aren't you getting bored? Maybe you need to think about getting a life?"
Adam stood listening to her conversation and noticed that her last remark was spoken in more of a teasing almost flirtatious manner. It troubled him because it didn't seem like her nature to be speaking to a perfect stranger in that way. It also sparked a strange feeling of jealousy in him which took him by surprise.
There was silence as Favor listened to the anonymous caller. "I can't stop calling you. I want and need you. And, Favor," the caller hesitated a moment and then concluded, "I will have you one day," then he hung up. His words sent a chill down her spine and made her cringe just a little. This call was different and there was something strange in the tone of his voice. She couldn't describe it. It was more of a feeling she couldn't quite wrap her mind around. Standing there staring at the receiver in her hand she slowly put it down as she turned around with a puzzled and a little concerned look on her face. She had all but forgotten that Adam had come in and was startled when he spoke. The look on his face made her suddenly feel self-conscious.
"It was that guy again, wasn't it? Why don't you just change your number?"
Favor didn't like the look on Adams's face. It was her business and she didn't want to talk about it. "I don't know, stubborn I guess," she said shrugging with a matter-of- fact attitude. "It's no big deal. Sometimes he's actually nice to talk to."
She thought about the mysterious caller and his secretive voice that for some reason intrigued her. Yet for some reason the call tonight seemed different than his usual calls. The call and maybe the fact that Adam was standing there listening had frustrated her. "Sooner or later he'll find a girlfriend and quit calling me. He really does have a terribly sexy voice," she teased, then promptly changed the subject. "I thought we were going over to your house. Do you want me to bring anything?"
"We were, but now that I'm alone with you I think I'd rather stay here." Adam's eyes took in the soft willowy lines of Favor Durand's sleek body. She wore a pale blue, hooded sweat-shirt over a tiny white camisole, with matching blue shorts. Her subtle skin had turned a golden tan from the summer sun, adding vitality to her already healthy radiance. Favor had long, dark hair as black as a raven. It enveloped her face like it was wrapped in black velvet, cascading softly down her shoulders and back. But even more alluring was the intensity of her deeply mesmerizing brown eyes. Her mother often said she had bedroom eyes. Whatever that meant. It was a comment that intrigued Favor and made her feel daring and confident which didn't set well with her mother who held a deep jealousy of Favor's beauty and would rather have locked her away so no one could see the delicate, yet strong mortal that she was.
Favor laughed in a playful way at the expression on Adam's face. "Come on, let's go before someone comes looking for us," as she whisked passed him she quickly grabbed his hand.
Adam knowingly gave a good humored shrug as he followed her out the door. "Well, you can't blame a guy for trying." Favor hesitated a moment as she pulled the door closed, looking back towards the phone, still thinking about the caller's words, a slight frown creased her brow and another peculiar unexpected chill crept up her spine. His words still echoing in her mind gave her an unsettled feeling.
Cindy, Favor's closest friend, greeted her with a welcome hug as she and Adam came through the door of Adam's house. A bubbly little blond, she didn't have the spark and intrigue that Favor had, but was pretty in her own right. "When Adam said he was going to get you, I didn't expect you back so soon. I figured we'd end up having to send out the troops," she teased.
"Cindy, don't be silly. There's nothing between Adam and me. We have a completely platonic relationship."
"Oh sure, I've noticed how he looks at you. He's crazy about you! I really think you should take him more seriously. All the other girls envy your relationship with him, even if it isn't as you say, intimate."
Looking at Cindy for a moment with a puzzled look on her face, she seemed to be letting Cindy's words sink in. Peering around Cindy she looked over at Adam Jennings. He was about five feet ten inches tall, muscular build, sandy blond hair and skin deep bronze from long hours in the sun. His features were strong, but gentle. Funny she'd never allowed herself to think of him as any more than a friend. There were rumors that he'd had a relationship in the past that had ended on a bad note that he didn't want to talk about. She admittedly knew other girls had spoken enviously about their friendship, but she had never thought to be so presumptuous as to think he could be more seriously interested. From what she had heard he was a confirmed bachelor and simply enjoyed a special friendship with him. While growing up they had attended the same high school. Now, years later, they had both returned to their home town, and had surprisingly purchased homes on adjoining properties, becoming close friends. It all seemed a lifetime ago.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Houston, Adam's roommate and best friend, came over to greet the two girls. Houston Olsen was a rather large, burly sort of guy who was a little rough around the edges, but the big teddy bear type. He had played football in high school and college and later took up bull riding at the local rodeos. Though very attractive to women, he never seemed to have anyone steady in his life and didn't seem to date much. They often teased him about having a secret lover hidden away somewhere. He would jokingly go along with the teasing and say, "Yeah, I have to keep her away from your influences."
Adam called him over to the barbecue. He leaned over and gave each of the girls a kiss on the cheek saying, "Don't go away. I'll be back. He can't keep me away from two beautiful women like you for long."
"Hey, don't be kissing my girls and get over here."
"Your girls, huh, who says they're your girls?" They all laughed as Houston headed over to where Adam was busy getting burgers ready to cook. Favor caught Adam's eye and she blushed at the way he looked at her. He winked and she smiled, turning away so he could not see her flushed cheeks.
"Favor, see what I mean, you're blushing!"
"I am not!" she chided, much too quickly to be convincing. "Speaking about men, Houston wouldn't be a bad catch for you," she spoke out bluntly, then laughed at Cindy's obvious embarrassment. "Now look who's blushing. So do I detect something? Do you have a thing for him?" Cindy didn't answer, but her blushing red cheeks were a dead give-away. They looked at each other and both broke out laughing, neither confirming the other's assumption. Their outburst caused everyone to turn to see what they were laughing about. Turning, they both walked off to get something to drink, still laughing. "Come on, let's go over and make sure they don't burn the burgers," Favor concluded.
Adam and Houston had been watching the girls with interest. "Ok, ol' man when are you going to tell Favor how you feel about her," Houston urged. "You snooze, you lose."
"You've got a lot of room to talk. You think I don't know you're interested in Cindy? What are you waiting for?"
"Shucks, she'd never want to be with a big oversized oaf like me." They saw the girls approaching and abruptly stopped talking. "So what were you two laughing about over there, or should I dare ask?"
"Dare if you want, but you won't get an answer?" Cindy chided.
"Hey, I've got an idea. Let's play a game of touch football." Favor, always spontaneous and exuberant, eyes that glistened like a shiny mirror, never afraid to take the initiative, stood there with a childlike grin and an expectant look. How could anyone say no? Never over-bearing, strong and enthusiastic she drew people in and captivated their hearts. A sheepish twinkle in her eyes and you were hooked. Before long she had everyone out onto the lawn to choose up sides. One just couldn't resist her play-fullness.
"What about the burgers?" Adam yelled after them.
"The burgers can wait, unless you two want to keep on cooking. Up to you." she teased. She gave him a challenging look. He knew that look, so play they did. It was one of those late spring days when the weather was so perfect that you could hardly describe it because it was more of a feeling. Their laughter and cheers resounded out onto the early evening air. The warm breeze was energizing. Paul threw a pass and Favor jumped to catch it, falling backwards into Adam's arms. They stood there in the street laughing when an emerald green 4x4 truck came down the road. "We'd better move before we get run over." Adam said as he pulled Favor off the road back into the grass.
Favor noticed the driver and said, "Uh, he's a cute one," just to tease Adam and make him a little jealous. As the evening shadows lengthened and it became more difficult to see, players began drifting back to the house. Of course there were a few faithful die-hards who had to give it one more shot. Adam headed back to the barbecue while Houston went to get them a beer. Favor was still playing and he noticed Cindy was now relaxing as she watched the final challenge. When Houston returned with the drinks, Adam nodded in Cindy's direction. "No time like the present ol' man. There's no one else around."
Houston wandered over to Cindy and asked if he could get her something to drink. Smiling she said yes, but that she'd go with him. Wandering out onto the front porch, Cindy noticed the same truck that had passed earlier was parked down the street and commented that it looked like someone was sitting in the truck. Houston shrugged it off saying it was probably someone smoking a joint.
The smell of burgers cooking drew them to the back patio. The football game had given them a hearty appetite. There's nothing like the taste of food cooked over the barbecue. Somehow it seemed to taste better. Add a few good friends, some drinks, and you have the recipe for the perfect evening.
While everyone was settling down to eat, Adam and Favor found them-selves alone in the kitchen. "Houston seems to be spending quite a bit of time with Cindy this evening," Favor commented, hoping to get a response. "Haven't you noticed how good they look together? I think they make a really nice couple, don't you?"
"The only one I've noticed is you." leaning in closer to her. She could feel his warm breath as she turned to face him. Adam leaned in closer and she felt his tender lips as his mouth sought hers. She pulled back shyly, but he reached out to her and drew her close to his warm body. Again she resisted.
"What are you doing? You've never acted this way before!"
"I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me," he lied. The tone of his voice suddenly made her aware of her own attraction to him. Their eyes met and they seemed to be drawn to each other by some invisible force. Once again he drew her close and this time she didn't draw back. She felt her heart pounding. And then he was kissing her. She responded eagerly.
"Oops! Sorry, ol' boy didn't mean to intrude. I was just coming after a couple of beers." It was Dave, one of Adam's long time childhood friends. Favor blushed at the intrusion and quickly left the kitchen hoping to avoid any further embarrassment. Adam followed. He was pleasantly amused and content to watch the blushing young woman from across the room. Before long Adam was actively engaged in a sports debate while others of the group listened in or got lost in their own quiet conversations. Favor, leaned back contentedly in an easy-chair, and smiled with contentment at the pleasant warmth of her friends. She was keenly aware of Adam's repeated glances in her direction and she wondered just how much of his mind was really on the sports conversation. Something inside her stirred and she realized she wanted to feel him close to her again.
Her thoughts drifted back a few years to a very different life before she had come back to her home town of Fortuna. The quiet, slow pace of the town was a far cry from the life she'd lived in the city. Here she'd found peace, contentment and the realization of who she was. The city was only a few hours away if she cared to go, but she found herself less and less interested in leaving her safe haven. Life here was simple, less complicated. People enjoyed the outdoors and a slower pace.
The fresh country air was sweet smelling, unlike the stale odors of the city. Her three years here had been a time of healing and growing, a time to build her self-confidence. She was no longer self-conscious of her own beauty and self-worth. Unlike the stifling city, life here was intoxicating.
The sun had begun to set. The first stars of the night were becoming visible as the evening shadows stretched across the horizon. At the end of the private lane the occupant inside the green truck had been intently watching the group.
Excerpted from Finding Favor and the Secret of Rainbow Moor by Yvette S.M. Debeau. Copyright © 2016 Yvette S.M. Debeau. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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