tagRomanceThe Overlook Ch. 02

The Overlook Ch. 02


"Mama, I need you. Please call me back," Molly said in a quivering voice on voice mail. She stared out the window of the private jet and silently cried. To have been torn so abruptly from Seth had caused greater pain than she anticipated. She felt like a little girl lost in an unknown city. She didn't know what to do or where to turn. All she felt was a void where her heart used to be.

"Excuse me, Miss Fournier," said the flight attendant. Molly looked up at her with swollen, red eyes. "Your mother is holding for you."

Molly grabbed the phone. "Mama!"

"Baby, what's wrong?" D'Arcy Fournier asked alarmingly.

It was hard for Molly to talk, but she brought her mother up-to-date on Seth. "Mama, he opens my heart in a way that is new ... powerful ... astonishing. We made love for the first time yesterday, and I don't know how to explain it, Mama. I ... kept pulling him further inside me. I never wanted to let him go. I never wanted to lose the feeling of being one like that. And, now ..." Her voice trailed off as she started sobbing again.

D'Arcy listened to her daughter with a mixture of joy and heartache. She'd never heard Molly so vulnerable and needed to look into her daughter's eyes to learn how to define those feelings.

"Molly, would you please call the attendant and give the phone to her?" D'Arcy said. D'Arcy instructed the attendant to tell the pilot to change his flight plan and to land in Nice.

"But, Madam, we have been given strict orders ..." the pilot stammered.

"Your orders have changed, young man! I am Madame Fournier, and I am ordering you to bring my daughter to me. Am I understood?"

"But ..."

"If I hear one more word, one more syllable, one more utterance from you, young man, I will make it my life's mission to see that you are fired, stripped of your benefits, brought under pilot review and prosecuted for accessory to kidnapping. Now, turn that damned plane around this instant!"

The pilot swallowed and replied, "Yes, Madame ... at once." He handed the phone back to attendant, who handed it back to Molly. "Dear, you're coming home. I'll pick you up in a couple of hours. Then we'll figure this out together."

Molly clutched the phone to her ear. "Thank you, Mama. I love you."

"I love you too, Darling ... very, very much."

"I know, Mama," Molly answered softly.


Pierre Fournier was on the phone to the French Minister of Finance when his assistant, Michel, came in to deliver an urgent message. He handed his boss a note:

The corporate plane carrying your daughter left Paris airspace and appears to be headed to Nice.

"MERDE!!" Pierre shouted. "No, Minister. I was not talking about your economic proposals. Something has come up. I will call you later." He slammed down the turned to Michel. "Nice, did you say? Nice! My fucking wife!"

"Ex-wife," Michel corrected. Pierre's eyes blazed. Michel swallowed hard and sat down.

"My fucking EX-wife! I could kill her! I could strangle her with my bare hands!! I could ... Get me Federico Moretti on the phone. NOW, you quivering baboon!!"

Michel turned and rolled his eyes. The battles between Pierre and his ex-wife were the stuff of legends. He figured he'd better call his girlfriend and inform her that she should probably go to the shore without him. He was probably going to be tied up for the next few days.


Once they were safely ensconced in the back garden of Madame Fournier's country house, D'Arcy held Molly for a long time and let her cry out some of the pain. Once Molly calmed down, D'Arcy said, "Okay, darling, start from the beginning."

Molly'd always had a special relationship with her mother. D'Arcy was her rock, her safe haven. Molly had always felt she could confide anything to her mother and would not be judged. She told D'Arcy about the spying episode and the nude march across the desert scrub, which made D'Arcy laugh so hard tears formed in her eyes.

"Mama, did you ever feel like the world was shrouded in clouds until you meet someone who becomes your Sun? When I'm with him, I can't wait for my day to begin. When I spy that look in his eyes as he sees me for the first time, my skin tingles, Mama. When he touches me, I feel a current flow that connects to my heart. Mama, I've never had these feelings. And, just as I was discovering them, I was whisked away like stolen property. "

D'Arcy got a lump in her throat as she listened to Molly and looked into her sad eyes, and she could only nod at her.

"When we make love, I feel free. For the first time in my life, Mama, I don't have to hold anything back because his ardor for me radiates off of him like heat off the summer pavement. And, I know I've only known him for a few days, and I know he's nothing that Daddy wants for me. But, my hearts aches more than I can endure," she said as she buried her face on her mother's shoulder and cried.

"Votre père peut être un connard!" D'Arcy exclaimed to the air. (Your father can be such an asshole!) She picked up her daughter's face and asked, "Did I ever tell you about Luc Sinclair?"

Molly sniffed and answered, "No ... I don't think so."

"Luc was a futbol player for Olympique Lyonnais, and I met him on holiday in Marseilles. I had already begun dating your father, but we weren't yet engaged. Luc was so different from your father ... so different from every other man I'd ever been with. Each day was an adventure for Luc. He had no patience for the ordinary. We spent almost every waking minute together for the next month."

"How did you meet?"

D'Arcy chuckled at the memory. "I was foolishly trying to teach myself to wind surf. I have no idea what made me think I could do such a thing. I had fallen backward for the third time in a row and came up spitting sand and saltwater out of my mouth, not realizing that my swimsuit top had stretched out of place, leaving me exposed." Molly laughed at the image of her always-together mother in such a state.

"Well, while I'm standing there, hanging out for the world to see, this man ... this Adonis walks up and offers his help. I yell at him to go away and say I can do this myself. He stands there with a bemused look on his face and indicates my top. I was horrified! I covered myself up and started dragging my rig away from the water.

"He told me not to give up so easily and that all I had to do was relax and let the wind do the work. He said he could teach me in 30 minutes. That's when I really looked at him for the first time and thought my chest would cease on me. Molly, he was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. He had a strong, thick chest with dark skin and a coating of black hair. His arms were muscular, and his shoulders were broad. His thin waist looked like something out of an anatomy lab. He was wearing a Speedo that strained to hold his bulging package. Believe me, it was difficult not to stare. The muscles in his legs rippled with every movement." Molly was fascinated. She had never heard her mother describe a man in such a way.

"After getting a good look at him in all his glory, I decided lessons might not be such a bad idea," she said raising her eyebrows. "We spent the entire afternoon together. We had dinner that evening on his yacht. That's when I learned who he was. We shared an amazing bottle of wine. Then, we shared an even more amazing evening in his bed."

Molly's mouth fell open. "Mama!"

"I am a human being, you know. I have needs and urges. Oh, Molly, I can't even begin to describe what a magnificent lover Luc was. He was gentle, yet forceful. He had a sixth sense for knowing when I needed more and when I needed tenderness. Luc was a magician with his mouth and his tongue."

Molly stared at her mom with a half smile and put her hand over her mouth.

"What? You think I found you under a cabbage leaf? I love sex, Molly. I love the feeling of being filled by an incredible man. I adore the intimacy of having a man's mouth explore my most private areas. Luc did everything. He made me feel like such a woman. I felt protected and desired. We ate ... we danced. We explored the countryside. We played in the sea." D'Arcy sighed recalling her time with Luc. "Every time we made love, angels sang."

"How come you never told me about him, Mama?"

D'Arcy smiled sadly. "I knew there would be a time. This is it." D'Arcy paused briefly, choosing her words. "Luc will always occupy a place in my heart that no other man can ever occupy. But, I chose to marry your father."

"Why, Mama? How could you say no to such passion?"

"Because marriage is about more than passion. It's about friendship, stability, opportunity, parenthood, family, and passion. I love Luc, Molly ... present tense. I will always love him deeply, but I knew that I would have a better life for myself and my children by marrying your father."

"But, Mama, you always said that the heart was the only compass that matters."

"Yes, and I mean that, but that doesn't mean that your heart should ignore your brain or your senses. Take in as much information as possible and listen to your heart. My heart told me to marry Pierre, even though Luc generated more raw heat. I want you to do the same. Take in as much information as possible can about Seth and Federico and life. Then, when the time is right, your heart will tell you what you should do."


Seth was inconsolable. Nothing Cathy said or did made any difference to him. He wouldn't eat. He didn't exercise. He just lay on the couch looking like his heart had shriveled to the size of a raisin.

"That's it. Come on ... get up!" she said to him.

Seth rolled his eyes toward her and saw that she had on her traveling hat and had her purse on her arm. He just rolled over.

"Nope ... that song's already played. We're going to see Katie, and we're going today! Now, if you don't get your fanny off that sofa and into the truck, I'll hog tie you and drag you along behind. But, I'd just as soon not ruin a good piece of rope. Get up!!"

Katie was Seth's first cousin. They grew up together, and she was the closest thing Seth had to a sister. Cathy figured Katie had the best chance of pulling him out of his funk.

When they drove up to her house, she ran out to greet them with a huge smile. Cathy gave her a big hug and told her she hoped Katie could work a little magic. She'd already filled her in on the details. Seth sat in the truck looking out the window, forlorn.

"I have seen some wretched sights in my days, Aunt Cathy, but Seth seems to have trumped them all." She opened his door, grabbed his hand, and dragged him out of the vehicle. Seth tried to pull away, but she held him too tightly. He was very content to be mired in his funk, and he was afraid Katie might just be able to pull him out of it, so he resisted. Katie tickled him until he got mad enough to jump out of the truck after her. Cathy jumped back in the truck, locked Seth's door and started the engine. She peeled out and sprayed gravel and dirt behind her. Seth stared at the truck in disgust.

"Don't even try to cheer me up, K. It won't work."

"Oh, I can see that, but I've already got Chief and Cherry saddled, and you know Chief will get very pissy if you ignore him."

Seth glared at her, and she tried to hide her smile. He grabbed the reins and swung onto the big stallion. Then, he took off like a lit rocket and dared Katie to catch him. Katie shook her head, climbed onto Cherry and took off too.

They rode for almost two hours before Seth finally calmed down enough to head for a walnut grove near a creek where the two of them used to go when they were kids. He stopped and hopped off Chief. He patted the big horse and took off the saddle so Chief could drink, graze and relax. He had been riding so hard that it took another five minutes before Katie showed up and released Cherry.

Seth sat in the shade of the tree, tossing blades of grass into the air. Katie sat next to him, put her arm around him and let him drop his head onto her shoulder and cry.

When he finally wiped his eyes and sniffed, he looked at Katie and said, "I'm lost. For the first time I my life, K, I'm completely lost. I've never met a woman like Molly. I've certainly never felt anything like I feel for her. It wasn't love at first sight, but it was damn close."

He filled her in on the story, and she had to secretly admit she wouldn't have minded seeing her sexy cousin walk naked in the afternoon sun.

"So what're you gonna do?" she asked.

"Nothing. What can I do? She's half way around the globe, living in a world that doesn't want people like us."

"Then, fuck that world ... but, what about Molly? Does she feel the same?"

"I think so. She certainly seemed happy when we were together."

"And, by together, you mean together-together, right?"

Seth smiled weakly and answered, "Yeah. It felt like we were two pieces of a puzzle that were made to fit together, K. She's ..." His voice trailed off.

Katie searched his face. Then, she put her arm around his shoulder again. "Cuz, since I'm a year older, I've literally known you all your life, and I have to say I've never seen this look in your eyes. So, let's sit here in the shade, listen to the wind and the water, and think about this together."


"So, that's your plan, Pierre? To march into D'Arcy's house with me tagging along behind you like a vagrant hound and sweep Molly off her feet? Have you suffered from a cerebral accident?" Federico asked with disdain.

Pierre harrumphed at his impertinence. He was more comfortable when people kowtowed to him. However, Pierre had to admit that more of a plan was needed – especially with his rash act of snatching Molly. "Obviously, D'Arcy will be in her usual snit, but I can handle her if you can handle Molly."

"How? After the incident with Annabella, I don't think I'm on the top of her most admired list," Federico said, referring to the time Molly showed up unexpectedly at Federico's chateau and caught him making out with her topless slutty cousin, Annabella, on a rug in front of the main fireplace,

"She caught you being a man - so what?" Pierre stormed. "You're ... You're well-educated ... You're neat ... You're a captain of industry ..."

Federico was bemused. "Maybe I should try dating you." He turned but then turned back. "Neat?"

Pierre waved him off and responded, "Nature ... Nature's a funny thing. Who can predict nature? When we get there, just be charming. Be sensitive. Be ... what's the word?"


"Yes! Romantic! Women always fall for that, eh, romance. In fact, we'll stop and pick up flowers. Orchids and tulips ... yes, I think those are Molly's favorite."

Federico chuckled. "You are quite the lothario, Pierre!"

Pierre didn't hear him; he was already shouting orders to Michel.


"Vous détestable salaud!" D'Arcy screamed at Pierre when he and Federico rang the bell on her front door. (You loathsome bastard!) "You wretched, despicable ..."

"Now ... Now ..." Pierre interjected, holding up his hands in a defensive stance as he backed away from the door and from D'Arcy's seething advance toward him. "Molly left me no choice."

"No choice? No choice!" D'Arcy bellowed. She picked up a handful of rocks and started pelting Pierre with them, chasing him all the way back into the limo, where he locked the door. Then she stood outside his window, yelling obscenities at him while she bombarded the limo with more rocks.

"Don't just sit there like an imbecile," Pierre shouted to the driver. "Get us the hell out of here!"

"That went well, don't you think?" Federico asked as he cackled.


"So, what do you know about her?" Katie asked.

"K, if she's not the most beautiful woman alive, she's a serious contender for the title. Her eyes are like ..." Seth blurted.

"Hold on, Romeo, I mean what do you know about her family ... where she might be?"

"Oh," he said as he slumped back. "God, I don't know. Her father owns, like, France! Fournier Limited owns a bunch of wineries and distilleries. Molly said they even own some high tech stuff. They could be anywhere. I wouldn't even know where to begin."

Katie sat back staring out into space. "What about that guy you mentioned ... uhm ... what was it?"


"Yeah! That's him! He'd know, wouldn't he?"

"I guess. But, how am I supposed to talk to him? When she left, he went back too."

"He did. He told you that?" She paused. "When ... you talked to him ... at the ranch ... after Molly left?" she coaxed. Finally, the light bulb went on for Seth. "Okay! Let's go get the truck, head out there and see what we can find out."


Pierre fretted and fumed, swiping at the air, and talking to himself from the back of the limo. "Bastard, she says! Despicable, she says!"

"Pardon me sir," the driver inquired cautiously. "Where are we going?"

"What? Oh ... The Hotel de Paris," he answered. "We may be in for a siege," he then said to himself.


The gate to the Fournier ranch was locked, so Seth asked into the intercom, "May I please speak to Henri?"


"Henri?" Seth said unsurely.

"Ohhhh ... Monsieur Henri is not here," the person replied in broken English.

"When will he be back?"

"No ... eh ... he is gone ... back to France."

Seth wilted. "Oh, uh, thanks ..." he said as his voice trailed off. Katie sighed deeply and put her hand on his back. Seth sat in the truck looking totally defeated.

"Is there anyone ..."

"No. Henri's the only one I met ... the only one who saw us together and knows how important she is to me."

Katie sighed again, pursed her lips, and tried to think. Seth had his head in his hand rubbing his forehead. He sighed deeply.


"Seth, where are you? Please pick up?" Molly said into the phone. She was calling Cathy's house for the 50th time, hoping to hear his voice. All she kept getting was an answering machine that seemed to be broken. She knew how she felt and could only imagine how lost and helpless Seth felt. "God! Who doesn't have a cell phone?" she asked herself as she slammed down the phone. She lay back on her bed and tried to think. Molly rested her chin in her hand and started biting her nails, which was a terrible habit she developed as a young child whenever she was nervous.

"Still no answer?" D'Arcy asked when she entered the room, even though she knew the answer from Molly face.

"No! Where could he be?" Molly said as she jumped up and started pacing. "I need to talk to him. I need to hear his voice."

"I suspect he's feeling the same way about you," D'Arcy replied. "Why don't we go downstairs and get something to eat?"

"No!" Molly screamed. "I don't want anything to eat!" She softened and said, "I'm sorry, Mama. I know you're trying to help, but I – I can't think about ... food, right now."

"It's okay, Darling. I understand," D'Arcy replied softly. "Molly ... I know this is not exactly what you want to hear right now, but Federico was with that insufferable miscreant of a father you have. Do you think, maybe, it might be a good idea to talk to him?"

Molly whipped around to face her mother with a stern look on her face, and D'Arcy braced herself for Molly's response. When Molly saw the timid look on her mother's face, she paused before speaking. "Mama, what would that possibly accomplish? He was cheating on me ... with your niece! He disgusts me! Annabella, for God's sake, can't he even cheat with some taste? Besides, being with Federico would mean settling; I'm not willing to settle. I can't pick daddy after finding Luc ... understand?"

"All too well."


On the way back to Katie's house, Seth pulled Molly's note out of his shirt pocket. It was the only piece of Molly he owned, so he carried it with him at all times. He read it for the thousandth time and absentmindedly turned the paper over and over in his hands. He glanced down at one point and noticed some printing that he'd never paid attention to in the past: From the Desk of Henri Girard. Seth's eyes widened and his mouth dropped when he looked at the bottom and saw a home and a mobile phone number.

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