It is a morning of notes. The first has been the one he's found on top of his laptop which has him running up the stairs to find an empty and orderly spare bedroom. The second one is on the kitchen island, informing him that his daughter has left him to sleep as he must have been up late writing and the third is from his mother warning him not to wake her up as she's only just made it home in the early hours.
He's now sitting on one of the stools, the over-bright October daylight filtering through the windows and casting blocks of near white sheen across floor and furniture. The time is a few minutes to mid-day and yet it feels like quiet dawn in the loft. The pale light, the silence … the boredom.
He picks up the first note again, written on his own notepaper, with his own pen and in a totally unknown hand. Well at least now he knows what her handwriting is like; firm and round and unadorned … a bit like Kate he thinks … well her character at least, there was certainly nothing unadorned about her physique or appearance!
Thank you for all your care and attention. There is a lot I don't know about how you found me and why you've treated me as you have and obviously there is a lot more you want to know about me. But right now I just need some space to sort things in my own head. I know I owe you much more and I will contact you when I can. Please don't take this in the wrong way.
It's about the fourth time he's read the note and he's not sure if it's just because he wants to re-read the text or want to try and keep a bit of her alive and in the loft. Not that she's dead of course, he hastily reprimands himself, but … well … with a sigh he drops it on the counter and picks up the second note.
Off to school, didn't wake you because I thought you might have been writing. Don't expect me till later, going with Paige to the movies.
Love you! xxx
He has to smile at her note, it is so like Alexis to let him know what she's planning to do and to make him feel happy and sad and proud and worried all at the same time. He's not sure why he should be worried about Paige and her going to the movies … but he can't help it!
The third note he feels like picking up with oven gloves and barbecue tongs, but he makes an effort and holds it between thumb and finger as he reads the contents.
Do not wake me under any circumstances …. short of an earthquake or the second coming! Long night and I need my beauty sleep.
He swears he can smell the alcohol fumes wafting off the paper. With a sigh he places them all in a pile on the counter and heads back to his bathroom for a shower. He needs to get some more writing done, but right now he's feeling a bit flat and he's not sure why. He gets himself a coffee before going upstairs again and grabbing the clothes and bed sheets from the spare bedroom. He's tossing each item into the washing machine when he gets to the bathrobe. Something makes him pick it up and hold it to his nose. He can smell her, her scent and the overpowering smell of the anti-inflammatory gel he'd massaged into her arm and shoulder. Not the nicest smell he has to admit as he scrunches his nose up. With a sigh he adds it to the other items and turns the machine on.
By late afternoon he's fleshed out some of the ideas for the story, he's whittled down the principal characters' names to a shortlist of three each, he's agreed to a book signing next week at Darcy's Bookstore on the corner of Houston and Broadway just to keep Gina happy and he's ignored three calls and two messages from Paula. He probably shouldn't have told Gina he was writing afresh … at least not until he had something to present the two witches with!
He mashes out the first chapter, the shadowy presentation of his mysterious avenger as she sits atop the spire of the Chrysler Building observing the city spread out below her, the wind ruffling her hair, her leather suit blending into the darkness around her …. He has to grin; maybe kinky is better than slutty!
The villain also gets unofficially presented, initially just the head of a technological company, no better, no worse than anyone else. He'll slowly develop the darker side of Brandon Hale's character … assuming he sticks with that name … he prefers it to Victor Conrad or Kyle Cross the other two shortlisted names, but sometimes he finds his characters suggesting their own names as he develops them.
She's still a mysterious character as he has her climbing up the façade of the Hale Building and accessing the air vents to the air conditioning plant, her green eyes observing the spinning blades as she calculates the right moment to roll between them. He leads his reader through the second set of blades, past the side tunnels and through the vent which gives onto the hallway of the thirty-fifth floor.
As she lands in a crouch, silent as a shadow in the dimly lit corridor, Nikki Heat asses her surroundings … yeah, he'll go with Nikki Heat for the moment; it says everything about his mental picture of his new heroine, the ass-kicking avenger.
With a sigh he saves the work and leans back in his chair, a contented smile on his face. It's only a first draft and it will need a lot of work still, but his creative juices are flowing once more and he can feel the bubbling creativity flooding his body again, something which hadn't happened for over eight months, or even longer. He gets up and goes to stand in front of the sketch again. A thought comes to him and he takes a snap with his camera, he wants the image available to him whenever he might need it. In fact he should have taken a picture of her whilst she was in the loft, it had never even occurred to him!
He thinks about heading for Greene Street and canvasing every building in search of a post box with Kate on it, but then maybe its Katherine or Kathy or maybe just her surname … which of course he doesn't know. And maybe if she did see him she'd just go into hiding. No he'll give her a few days … although now he comes to think of it, he does know where she works, so tomorrow, assuming she's back to riding her bike … a grin begins to spread across his face.