Where Our Paths Lead

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Summary

Two proud people looking to their future. When their eyes meet, their entire lives change, and nothing will ever be the same. But can it work? “By the way, what’s up?” “Are you alone?” Jules looked at all the people who were sitting quietly so they could hear what was going on. “As alone as I can be in a house full of people.” At least she didn’t lie. “I think I’m going through some sort of crisis. I found myself in church today, staring at the altar with nothing to say. My eyes just kept darting from statue to statue. I felt lost and asked for guidance. Do you know what I got?” “What?” “Father Patrick and his nephew Matthew.” “I didn’t know he had a nephew.” “Me either, but he does.” She sat down on the bed, her legs straight out in front of her and fell back. Short blonde hair framed her delicate features. It was a riotous affair of blonde and red highlights creating a halo effect when in bright light. “I felt something, Jules.” “OK. That’s natural. You’re still a woman.” “No. I felt something more. I felt excited over seeing him. There were holes in his knees and I actually pictured him walking away with those holes in his back side.”

Genre:
Romance / Other
Author:
sherryaraby
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
11
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

She lowered her head in silent prayer as she pressed her knees to the floor in front of the altar. Her hands were folded tightly together; the knuckles white with tension. A lone tear could be seen sliding from the corner of her eye, following the track of her beautiful, tilted nose, and landing on her folded fingers.

“I’ve been good. I’ve always tried to do what I’ve been told. Now I need your help. Never have I asked for anything from you, but I need your guidance. I am lost. I can’t talk to anyone else. Please let me know if what I want to do is the right direction for me? Please send me a sign to guide me or anything that will light the road I’m to follow?”

She swallowed loudly, her throat hurting from the constriction, and let out a small sob. “Amen”

She stood and quietly turned, hoping to not be noticed, when a light shone from the hallway. She turned toward the altar; her head flying back to look up at the statue and Crucifix. Was this the sign?

Her eyes made a sweeping glance to the statues and paintings that adorned the walls of the centuries old cathedral as she first heard the footsteps and then watched as the figure came toward her. He was smiling at her.

He had hair that hung to his shoulders, swung as he walked, and curls bouncing on his neck. His beard and mustache were a lighter shade than the chestnut hair. His sandals were well worn and there were holes in the knees. His old t-shirt had a peace sign on the front and looked like it may have not only looked like something straight out of the sixties, but may have been the original.

His large hand extended to her. “Hi. The name is Matthew Johns.”

Her dark blue eyes stared up into his golden brown. Acknowledging his extended palm, she wiped her hand down the skirt of her dress and took it in her own. “Janine. Janine Right.”

“Well. Well. Well. I’ve heard a lot about you.” His perfectly white teeth were slightly crooked.

She grinned at him. Her fear of one of the disciples having stepped down from the tapestry to answer her prayer wasn’t real. He was a very ordinary man. She arched a brow at him. “Who’s been talking?”

“My uncle adores your dad. He talks about the whole family, but you seem to be his main concern at the time.” He boldly looked up and down, scrutinizing her from every angle. Her heaving breasts seemed to find his focus more than anything else. “You can be my concern anytime.”

“Matthew. Stop harassing the girl.” Father Patrick came out of the office that was located at the end of the hall. “She’s here to talk to me, not be hit on by a man with a teenaged mentality.”

Janine looked from one man to other. “I was just here for a little solitude, Father. He wasn’t bothering me. Really.”

“Would you like to come to my office and chat for a bit?” He patted her shoulder in a kindly manner.

“No. Thank you. I’ll see you soon. Mother mentioned you would be coming to our home for dinner?”

“Yes. I’m so looking forward to it. I can not only indulge in fantastic food, but imbibe of a bit of great wine, some really fine conversation and laughter, and not have to worry about everyone thinking about how they may be offending me.”

Smiling, she held her hand out to the younger man. “It was nice to meet you Matthew Johns.”

“Hey.” Janine swiveled around at the sound of Matthew’s voice. “I’m not a teenager. I’m twenty-seven. He forgets I’m getting older.”

She nodded to Father Patrick and swiftly walked out the front door of the church into the warm spring afternoon sun.

Removing the hastily pinned handkerchief from her head, she tucked it into her yellow clutch bag that matched her sundress with small red and blue flowers. The white heels made her slim legs look longer and her calves more muscular and shapely.

Matthew watched closely as she stepped out the door and was mesmerized by the way the sun shining on her front, was giving him a full view of her silhouette from the back.

“Is she married, Unc?” He hadn’t turned around, but was still staring at the now closed door she had just gone through.

“No. But I advise you to not go there.”

Matthew reluctantly turned from the door and faced his uncle. “Why?”

“She is considering joining the order. She must make up her mind on her own, not because of coercion. It will be difficult enough without someone trying to sway her.”

“She’s gorgeous. Why?”

“Your aunt is also gorgeous, inside and out. Just as Mary’s decision came from her heart, so must Janine’s.”

Matthew nodded and looked at the door once again. “I feel like I have just lost something, yet I’ve never had it to lose.”

Patrick stared at him and his crestfallen expression. Was this decision Janine had to make going to affect more than herself and her family? Would it also be a factor in the determination of his nephew’s future?

His arm wrapped protectively across Matthew’s shoulders. “Come. We’ll go to lunch and talk more about your mother and father and what it was you have done this time to have them send you to me.”

He already knew what the problem was. Matthew was going through the same self searching that Janine was going through. Maybe meeting her was going to be the final answer for both of them and it was going to be interesting to see in which direction it would go. Either way, it wasn’t going to be easy. Nor was it going to be a peaceful trip, but it sure was going to be fun to watch so long as neither of them was hurt in the process.

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