Sunday, February 14, 2010

Killer Chocolate--The Final Installment--Lenora Worth

Ryan pulled Lovey close. "I love you. I always loved you."

Lovey cuddled Cupid, then handed Ryan the chocolate diamond. "Is that why you left me for this? It was right here all along, Ryan. Or should I call you Rouen?"
He took the big sparkling diamond. "I'm Ryan. But ... Lovey, a lot happened. We have get you back to the shop so we can get dried off and then we'll talk. I'll have to report this to the police and explain everything to them, too."

Lovey nodded, her teeth chattering. This day seemed like a lifetime. And Ryan has at least five years of that lifetime to make up to her. Once inside the shop, she changed into her Valentine red sweater and matching scarf, jeans and red boots. Then she brewed a fresh pot of hot chocolate and made them a sandwich, using her Valentine-shaped cookie cutter to clip the freshly baked bread. Yes, even though the man had left her and lied to her, she still loved him. But, she was stronger tonight than she'd been this morning. She wouldn't take him back so easily.

"Talk," she said as she shoved the sandwich across the wrought iron bistro table at him, her tone demanding. "And I mean everything."

"I had to leave," Ryan said, his cup in his hand. "That day when I took the boat out, Creamer was waiting for me. He and Athena had figured out I was undercover trying to retrieve the Chocolate Diamond. He pushed me overboard and took off, somehow making it look like I was alone and that I had drowned. But I survived. I washed up a few miles from here ... but Lovey, I hit my head on the side of the boat and at first, I couldn't remember anything. I got a hotel room and just sat there until bits and pieces started coming back. Then I realized Creamer and Athena wanted to steal the diamond. I watched them and I watched your shop. I was afraid they'd hurt you. I thought you might even be in on the whole thing--that you wanted a cut of the profits from that diamond. I wanted to return it to the museum where it belonged."

Lovey couldn't imagine any of this. She only wanted Ryan. "I would have helped you.."

"I had to pretend to be dead until I could find a way back to you," he explained. "I've been all over the world, trying to find the diamond—but it's been right here all alone. He reached across the table for her hand. "Lovey, I came back to save you. Athena knew I was back and she intended to kill both of us--after I gave her the code to the hidden diamond, of course."

"I don't care about all of that," Lovey said, her rising voice causing Cupid to hiss.
"I want to believe you, but it's so farfetched ...."

Ryan reached into the duffle bag he'd brought in earlier. "Maybe this will convince you." He pulled out a small black box. "I found this in an antique shop in Paris."

Lovey put her hands to her mouth then stared down at the perfect diamond solitaire. Could she trust him? Cupid eyed the sparkling diamond then hopped onto Ryan's lap.
"I love you," Ryan said. "And I'll spend the rest of my life making this up to you. Will you marry me, Lovey?"

Lovey heard Cupid's steady purr. It matched the steady purr in her heart. "Yes, yes," she said, holding her hand out so Ryan could put the ring on her finger. "I can't believe this. But ... I need some time, Ryan. If I still feel this way one year from today and … if you're still around, I'll marry you."

Ryan dropped Cupid and stood to pull Lovey into his arms. "I'm not going anywhere, I promise. I prayed for this moment. And ... I came back to you." Then he kissed her, the sweet smell of rich dark chocolate surrounding them. "You were so right. My treasure was right here all along."

One year later, at dusk on Valentine's Day, Lovey Hart married Ryan/Rouen in a beautiful sunset ceremony on the boardwalk, with the frosty waves crashing around them and a soft mist of snow falling. Cupid the cat, wearing a red bow around his neck, meowed at their feet. And they had chocolate cake and strawberries to celebrate.

Oh, and the Chocolate Diamond was safely returned to the Museum of All Things Chocolate, where it sits sparkling and rich behind laser-protected glass. We hope.


Linda said...

Great story! You know you have us spoiled and will expect a story every couple of months!! Thanks.

Donna said...

Well, this was fun. Can't wait for the next time!!

Jessiecue said...

The story was lovely! I personally think that I would have made Ryan explain some more. I can't wait till the next one! :) Happy Valentines Day!

Margaret Daley said...

I have enjoyed reading and writing the stories we've done. Great job, Lenora.

EllenToo said...

Great ending and I'm glad Lovey accepted Ryan/Rouen's explanation and his marriage proposal but made him wait a year to prove he was going to stick around.
All of you did a great job with the story and I loved the twists and turns it took.

Lisa Mondello said...

This was so much fun. Great ending to the story, Lenora! So when do you think we should do the next one? I'm up for it!

Merry said...

Bravo, Craftie Ladies of Suspense!

Olga said...

Great ending for the story. Happy Valentine's Day!

Leann said...

Wonderful wrap up, Lenora, but I'd make Ryan only wait 3 months. He's waited 5 years, loving Lovey.

Happy Valentine's Day. xoxo

Lynette Eason said...

Wonderful way to end the story--with Lovey and Ryan starting a new life. Great job. I'm really looking forward to the next one!

Barbara Phinney said...

I absolutely love the ending! I'm glad they waited a year, and as far as I'm concnerned, Ryan filled in some of the gaps as he stuck around for that year. I think Lovey intended to marry him all along, but needed time to sort it all out.
Lenora, you did a marvelous job wrapping this up!
Now, I want to see this chocolate diamond!

EllenToo said...

Since St.Patrick's day is in March you could do a story starring a Lepracaun (or however you spell that word) and for April it could be for the Easter Bunny.:)

Lenora said...

Hi. I've been to church, a parade and now I'm off to dinner with my husband and some friends. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the story. It was such fun to work with all the talented writers on this blog. Let us catch our breaths and get back to our books. But we promise we'll come up with another one. I'm thinking an intriguing Irishman will be in the next story! Happy Valentines' Day. Eat chocolate!

Anonymous said...

Great story ladies. I looked forward to each day waiting to see how it would end. I enjoyed it very much. It was interesting to see each author's style of writing each day.

Linda Glaz said...

How adorable! What a great way to tell a story through many eyes. I truly enjoyed it.

Lisa Mondello said...

I'm so glad you all loved the story. It was loads of fun to write.

Debby Giusti said...

Bravo, Lenora, for taking the story to such a satisfying ending!!!

Can't wait for our St. Patrick's Day tale, coming in March ... hopefully!

Now, I'm off to eat chocolate in honor of Lovey and Ryan AKA Rouen!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

RoxanneRustand said...

What a perfect ending!!!

PamelaTracy said...

Great job! Lenora, what an ending.