tagRomanceFrigate Cove Ch. 11-12

Frigate Cove Ch. 11-12

bycoaster2©

Chapter 11 Road Warrior

"This has been the most wonderful Christmas I can ever remember," Glynnis cooed as they lay entwined in their bed. "You spoiled both Jamie and me, especially with that car you bought me."

"The Oldsmobile was not ageing gracefully. I wanted to make sure you were driving a safe car, especially when I wasn't around to rescue you," Cam smiled, kissing her. "The Volvo will do you nicely."

"You don't always have to rescue me, you know. But, I do appreciate it. After all, that's how I got to meet the man I would fall in love with and marry."

"It's amazing, isn't it," he said softly. "Two people meeting purely by chance. What were the odds that your car would die right in front of my home?"

"What were the odds we'd fall in love," she murmured.

"Oh, I think they were pretty good," he grinned. "I think I was pretty much convinced I had finally met the right woman about two days after you entered my life. Besides, there was the subversive effect that Jamie had on me. A damsel in distress with a child to care for? Irresistible."

"And what damsel could resist the charms of the man who rescued her and took her and her son into his home? It took me a couple of days to get my head around the idea that you didn't want us to leave. I know, you gave me all the proper reasons for staying except the one you didn't use. And I gave you all the reasons I should leave, which were, of course, weak and illogical. I think ... somehow ... destiny had a hand in what happened that day back in June."

"I'm sure you're right, Glynn, but does it matter now? We're together and whatever the circumstances were that led to us meeting, it happened and the improbable storybook ending is in sight."

"I don't want an ending," she said, turning to him. "I want this to go on forever. I feel too good to think about an end. I waited a long time ... we both did ... before our destinies decided we should meet. So let's not talk about endings. This is just the beginning," she said, holding him tightly and raining soft kisses upon him.

"I'm going to miss you terribly over the next three weeks," Cam said, returning her affectionate kisses. "These tours are very tiring. A different city and a different hotel almost every day. Happily, the organizers at Houndstooth were good enough to have it end in Seattle and Vancouver so that I can get home quickly. That will at least help with the jet lag."

"When you get home, I'll be here to restore you to your normal self. You always tell me I make you young again."

"You do ... and I'll be counting the days, crossing them off my calendar each night when I call you," he said, pulling her on top of him and stroking her naked form.

~*~

"Hello, Marjean," Cam said with a big smile. "I didn't expect to see you here. I could easily have caught a cab to the hotel."

"Oh no! I couldn't have my favourite author alone in New York. Besides, I wanted to introduce you to your tour guide and facilitator. Cameron Stuart, meet Lauren Niven," Marjean announced, guiding a young woman forward.

"Mister Stuart, it's so nice to meet you. I'm really looking forward to being with you on this tour."

"It's Cam please, Miss Niven. I'm assuming this is your first tour, so prepare yourself for a route march. I hope Marjean has properly warned you," Cam chuckled.

"Yes ... she has. And it's Lauren if we're going to be informal. But I am looking forward to our tour. I've read all your books and I'm a big fan, as is my family. You do what few authors can do, and that's make history really interesting."

"That's kind of you to say so, Lauren. There's my luggage," he said, moving to the turntable.

The two women led Cam to where a limo was waiting for them. Despite the late afternoon traffic, they were barely twenty minutes before arriving at the hotel.

"I'm staying here as well, Cam," Lauren said as they approached the reservation desk. "We'll meet tomorrow morning at eight for breakfast and we can go over your itinerary then. All the hotel and flight reservations are made and confirmed. Your first signing will be at eleven at the Manhattan Barnes and Noble. At three, we'll be in Newark and then back to the hotel for the evening. It'll be a busy day, but I guess you're used to that from what Marjean tells me."

"I won't call it being used to it, but it won't be a surprise," he chuckled. "So, we'll meet at the restaurant at eight then. In the meantime, I'm going to have a shower to get the smell of that airplane off me, call Glynn to let her know I arrived safely, and order room service. I don't usually suffer too much from jet lag coming east, so I'll have no problem being all bright and bushy-tailed in the morning," he smiled before turning to Marjean.

"I take it you got my first draft of #3, Marjean. Send me anything you've got starting tomorrow and I'll see what I can get accomplished in my open time. Sooner is better than later, right?" he grinned.

"Absolutely, Cam. I wish all my writers were as dedicated as you are. And if number two was any indication, we'll probably have a lot less work on number three. You seem to have caught on to what we're looking for quite quickly. I don't find myself going over the same issues too often. I'm sure we'll be in touch over the course of the next three weeks. I have your itinerary and I'll catch you on your cell phone if anything comes up that's urgent. In the meantime, we'll stick with email for our usual correspondence."

"Right ... same as last time," he nodded. He was interrupted briefly by the reservations clerk asking for a signature, after which she passed him a room key card. He turned back to Marjean and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Well, here we go again," he grinned.

"Good luck, Cam," the older woman smiled as she turned and left.

Lauren watched her go, then turned to Cam. "Here's my business card. It has my cell number and my email address, just in case we get separated for some reason."

"Thanks. I hope I don't have to use it. Well, I'll see you tomorrow morning then," he said as the bellman pulled the luggage cart ahead of him toward the elevators.

~*~

"Where are you today?" Glynn asked on his regular nightly call.

"Dallas," he answered wearily. "We're just beginning the western swing. Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Denver later this week. We have a day off between here and Santa Fe. I imagine we'll do the tourist thing if the weather's decent."

"You'll be home in ten days," Glynnis said brightly. "The worst of the winter weather stops are over by the sound of it."

"Denver might give us some grief, but after that, the worst we're likely to see is rain. The weather in the northeast was pretty grim. We almost missed a couple of our stops due to snow and ice. Toronto was mild for winter, and I got a day to spend with Mom and Dad, so that was good. The next day we were on a plane to here, deep in the heart of Texas."

"What did you parent's have to say about our marriage?"

"My mother continues to be happy that it's finally going to happen. I'm sure she'd given up hope that I'd ever marry. You can be sure she'll be at our wedding with bells on," he chuckled.

"Oh, I'm so pleased. How about your sisters?"

"No different. Both they and their families will be there as well. I think this might be a premier event in the Stuart family."

"That's so good to hear, Cam. I'm so pleased that both families are happy about it."

"Yes ... that does take a lot of worry away, doesn't it?"

"I'm counting the days until you're back in my arms, lover."

"It won't be long now, Glynn. The only down note is that I'll probably be doing this all over again next year. Marjean thinks that number three is going to be ahead of schedule, so maybe we can get the tour out of the way before Christmas. Then, you and I and Jamie will head for Hawaii and a proper vacation."

"Oh that sounds wonderful. I've always dreamed of going to Hawaii. I won't say anything to Jamie, though. It will be a nice surprise if it happens."

"I'll do everything I can to make it happen. Marjean knows my plan already, so she's going to help."

"How are the sales doing?" Glynnis asked, changing topic.

"Very well, with some reorders already on hand, according to Marjean. She expects it will do as well or better than the first one, and with a third in the works, we've been letting our public know that there's more to come. If we can get it out before Christmas, then we'll really have a head start on the biggest book selling month of the year."

"How is your tour guide working out?"

"Lauren? She's doing very well. Very organized and since she's a very attractive young woman, she draws in men to our table. I'm sure she's responsible for some impulse buying," he chuckled. "She says she wants to be an editor like Marjean, but that's a long grind. I've been telling her of my days at Hunter and College Book Publishers and warning her about getting what she wished for. I think she sees it as nothing but best sellers to work on, but that's not the real world. I know ... I've been there."

"Well, you just keep your mind on selling books and not on Little Miss Hotstuff," Glynn warned.

"Oh my, is my future bride jealous?" Cam kidded.

"No ... just cautious. You've been spending a lot of time in her company and if she's as attractive as you say, I can see how you might become a bit distracted. Send me a snap of her on your phone."

"I'll send you a picture of her and put your worries to rest. She can't hold a candle to you, my dear."

"We'll see. We'll see," she warned. "Oh, by the way, Aaron called and left a message for you. He wants you to call him when you get a chance. He didn't say what it was about."

"Huh? I spent some time with him when I was in Toronto and he didn't indicate there was anything going on. I'll call him in the morning. I have some time before my first signing."

They ended their normal evening call and Cam hung up the hotel phone, wondering just what Aaron wanted. He realized he hadn't turned his cell phone back on when the afternoon signing concluded. He switched it on now and saw three messages. One from Aaron and two from Marjean. He listened to the messages, with Aaron asking him to call, while Marjean also mentioned Aaron called. Her second message was to let him know the next series of edits on number three were on his email. That can wait, Cam decided. He'd deal with Aaron first.

~*~

"Your former girlfriend is back on the scene, Cam. She has a new lawyer and he's trying to make a case that you were in a common law marriage, and as such she is entitled to some compensation for her 'pain,' as she calls it."

"Oh brother, are we going to have to go through this again? What's the verdict, Aaron?"

"This one is going to be trickier, Cam. Common law marriages are recognized in all provinces and territories in Canada. If she can make a case that such was your relationship with her, then she might be able to persuade the courts to hear her plea. I don't think it will get her the big reward she's dreaming of, but it will mean we have to argue the case in court, which of course is costly. I'm sorry, but unless you reach an out-of-court settlement with her, it can't be avoided."

"Shit!" Cam snapped, silent for a moment or two afterwards. "What do you suggest?"

"As much as it pains me to say, I'd recommend settling if her demands aren't too outrageous. She has no call on your income from the books that I can see. Her only grounds are that you unilaterally broke the bond and left the marriage. I can't see her lawyer making any other case."

"I would never in my life have believed I planned to marry that woman. The idea that I would have to pay her to go away and leave me alone is enough to turn my stomach. Is there no other solution?"

"I'll meet with her lawyer and see what he has in mind. I'm sure this is all contingency work, so I'm guessing he'll have some kind of number in mind. I'm going to make it plain that it isn't going to be a bonanza for her. If he's leaning in that direction, I'll tell him we'll see him in court. In the meantime, I've got one of my clerks looking up common law and various rulings and settlement to see what we can find on this type of situation. Thank God we don't have to argue this in the United States. We're a little more conservative about these kinds of suits here."

"What do you want me to do?" Cam asked.

"Nothing yet. I'll meet with her representative and see what the lay of the land is. When we've had a preliminary discussion, I'll call you back. I don't know how soon I can meet with him, but I'll keep you informed."

"Thanks, Aaron. I really don't need this, but I trust you to do what you think is best."

Cam ended the call and swore once more. He debated telling Glynn about the situation, but it was a short debate. It was not the kind of thing he should keep from his future wife. He would have to let her know what Aaron was telling him."

~*~

"Oh, Cam, does he really think you'll have to pay her off?" Glynnis groaned later that evening.

"Going to court is expensive ... especially civil court. It could end up costing us more than any settlement they might accept. We won't know until Aaron begins to negotiate, but if they think there's going to be a huge payday, it will go to court regardless of the cost. I'll just have to pump out a couple of extra books," he said sourly.

"Well, don't let that ruin your tour. We'll be okay. You know that Aaron will do what's best for you. Put it out of your mind and sell lots of books," she said, trying to lighten the mood.

"You're right. No point in worrying about what don't know. I had no idea that Andrea could be this avaricious. I guess I should have recognized it though. She happily spent every cent I gave her, and some I didn't give her."

"Forget that bitch," Glynnis spat. "I'm getting to really hate her. She better not come anywhere near me. I'll scratch her eyes out."

"Yes, I believe you would," Cam chuckled. "I don't think that's going to be necessary. But I would like to extract some revenge on her for pulling this stunt."

They continued the conversation for a few more minutes before signing off for the night. Cam lay back on his pillow and wondered just what kind of revenge he could inflict on his former fiancée.

~*~

"How's the tour going, Cam?" Aaron asked.

"Fine, Aaron. We're doing well by my reckoning. Marjean says the reorders are coming in more quickly and for larger amounts than my first Gascoigne. All these are good signs."

"Good ... glad to hear it. However, not to dampen your mood, I met with Gerard Faschinau, representing Andrea Delahey. He seems to think he can make a good case for a sizeable settlement in court but like most of us, he would rather not have to go there. In other words, he's looking for an out-of-court settlement."

"How much?" Cam asked immediately.

"We didn't get into actual numbers, but I managed to throw the ball back into his court. I suggested he get with his client and have her spell out just what she thinks she is entitled to. I made it clear to Mr. Faschinau that any amount that was deemed absurd would result in us going to court. Miss Delahey had no part or presence in the development of any of your books. I'm pretty sure my counterpart doesn't want that to happen, but I'm also sure we'll get some kind of inflated number before the real negotiating begins. So, that's how it stands at this point."

"Okay, Aaron. I guess that's no surprise. I won't be surprised if their demands are idiotic, though. Andrea is a very greedy woman."

"My strategy is to immediately end negotiations if they do come with something ridiculous. It's a game of verbal chicken, Cam. They don't want to go to court any more than we do, but we have the resources to do that and they don't. That's our trump card."

"You know this game much better than I do," Cam said. "All I can ask is that you limit the bleeding. After all, I've got a family to support and bestselling books don't pop out of a machine overnight. If the public turns off on my efforts, then I'm effectively unemployed."

"I don't see that happening until long after you've got all the financial security any man could ever want. But no matter what, I'll do my very best for you."

"That's all I can ask, Aaron. Thank you."

~*~

"Two more days in San Francisco, one in Seattle, and one in Vancouver and I'll be home," Cam said with a note of optimism.

"I can't wait. I'm so glad the tour is a success. Marjean called to tell me how proud she was to have you as one of her clients. She says you've been feeding her edited copy on #3 and that you're well along in the first revisions. She pretty sure you'll have it ready for the publisher well before next Christmas."

"She's a real jewel, Glynn. I'm so lucky to have her representing me at Houndstooth. I'd like to do something for her as a thank-you for her support. If you can think of something, I'd be very grateful."

"We talked for a few minutes on the phone and I got the impression that if I wanted to call her, she'd take my call. I do have one idea about what she might appreciate."

"Well, I'll leave that to your best judgement. In the meantime, I've been collecting souvenirs from my various stops for you and Jamie. I had to buy an extra bag to put them in."

"Oh ... I can't wait to see what you've got, Cam. Jamie will be thrilled with anything you have for him."

"It's fun to buy things for you and him. I haven't had the opportunity to do it before. Now I can. Lauren is helping me with your gifts. She has good taste, so I'm confident you'll like what I have brought home."

"Cam, after the extravagance of Christmas, you don't need to bring a lot of things home from your tour," Glynnis warned. "I'll settle for just having you."

"Well, I want to and that's final," he said with authority. "I intend to spoil you, Glynn. You deserve it and I want to do it."

There was a silence on the line and Cam thought he could hear a sob.

"Glynn ... are you okay?"

"Yes," she sniffled. "I ... I don't know how to tell you how much I love you. So much has changed in my life because of you. You mean so much to me."

"It's no different for me, my love," Cam said softly. "I'm a new man because of you. I write my stories because of you. I'm happy because of you. There is only one thing more that I want ... and that's the day we marry. Oh ... and when we have our first child."

"Oh, Cam," she cried. "I need you. I want you home with me. I want you to make love to me. I will wait for you, my love. I will count the hours until you are home with me and Jamie."

"It won't be long now, Glynn. I'm almost home. Just a few more days and we'll be together again."

They ended the call and Cam hung up the phone with a smile. Glynnis left no doubt about how she felt about him. He could hear the emotion in her voice. He knew she was sincere and genuine. He was aware of emotions that he had never felt before, and he was absolutely certain that she was the only woman that could ever make him completely happy.

Chapter 12 Dealing with Adversity

Frigate Cove 2014

"Well, she wants one million dollars, Cam. I told Mr. Faschinau that it was out of the question. We would never settle for that kind of money. We would see them in court. The dance has begun," Aaron said.

"She wants a million dollars?" Cam asked incredulously.

"Negotiations, Cam. I expected something silly from them, but I already had a response ready. I served them with notice that we would dispute her claim and were willing to respond when they filed their suit. I'm pretty sure that's the last thing they want. I suspect there will be another meeting with a different number. Now we wait for their second try."

"Okay, Aaron. You do what you think best, but just for the record, I'll never agree to a million dollars."

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