Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 10

“What did you do to him?” asked Jackson, taking a step back.
Before Alister could answer, Emberlyn took Jackson’s arm. He felt a warmth flow over his body at her touch. “Mr. Russell is very drunk. I’m surprised he didn’t pass out before you came along. Will you walk with me back to the house?”
Jackson slowly nodded. He wasn’t sure if Emberlyn had really given him an answer, but as he glanced back at Alister, he wasn’t sure he really wanted to know.
Jackson walked toward the path Emberlyn had pointed to earlier with her on his arm and let out a chuckle.
“What’s so funny?” asked Emberlyn.
“The fact you asked me to walk you to the house, yet I was the one lost in the maze,” said Jackson. “It was sheer dumb luck that I stumbled across you and Mr. …?” He gave Emberlyn a look.
“Mr. Russell,” chimed Emberlyn.
“Yes, Mr. Russell, the charmer. You definitely had him riled up,” said Jackson. “I’m tempted to ask what you did.”
“You should be weary of temptation, Mr. Hunt,” said Emberlyn, her voice warm like honey. “History has shown that following temptation leads to very bad things.”
“Is that what Mr. Russell has done? Followed temptation?” asked Jackson.
Emberlyn smiled. “All Mr. Russell has done is have too much to drink and made a fool out of himself. Tomorrow morning he’ll find himself with a severe headache and his name removed from our database. I’d hardly declare either of those two consequence to be ‘very bad things’. The headache will eventually go away and I’m sure Mr. Russell will find other organizations willing to add his name and checkbook to their guest lists.”
“But nobody throws a party like Emberlyn James,” said Jackson with a smile.
“You’re right, they don’t.” Emberlyn winked back. “And here we are.”
Jackson was surprised to look up and find they were standing in the doorway leading back into the ballroom. He ran his hands through his hair. “Wow, that was fast.”
“Well, good company does make time fly,” answered Emberlyn.
The orchestra finished their song as a curvy woman with brown skin and short curly blonde hair took the stage.
“Is that …?” Jackson started and then stopped as the woman started to sing, At Last. “That is uncanny.”
“What is?” asked Emberlyn, looking around the room.
“That Etta James impersonator looks just like her,” said Jackson. "If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was Etta James herself."
“You know Etta James?” asked Emberlyn looking impressed.
“Of course,” said Jackson with a shrug, “without a doubt the best singer of her time. My grandmother had all of her albums and we used to listen to her all the time. I got to see her sing once live, it was amazing.”
Jackson had to bite back his laugh as Emberlyn looked at him with surprise. “What can I say? I’m a surfer boy with a romantic taste in music.”
“Does this surfer boy know how to dance?” asked Emberlyn.

Jackson gave her a wink. “He does.”

Part 11

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