I am almost done posting Trapped in Time II on my blog, and then I shall work on it in earnest so that it can be published. I hope you're enjoying it! Last week, as you'll recall, Doll found Vittorio! But it wasn't quite the reunion he envisioned. Now what? Find out in Chapter Twelve. Then don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to, and be sure to visit our website too:
I refuse to accept that he does not know me, and I refuse to analyze the possessiveness which seems to pervade this woman’s attitude toward my lover. Perhaps she is attracted to him, and that is not surprising considering his considerable beauty and charm, but there would never, could never be anything on his side for his heart belongs solely to me.
“You do not understand.” I start again, and perhaps I am remiss for not having made myself clear on this point sooner. “I do know who he is, and his name is Vittorio. Vittorio Genovese. And I am Adalbert Klein.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Klein,” she graciously replies, but I seem to see something flicker in her eyes. Something I cannot quite define. “Might I ask how you know Victor?”
I flinch at this continued use of an incorrect name, as well as her question. How can I encapsulate my relationship with Vittorio in simple words when I have no wish to explain us to her or anyone else. I just want to take Vittorio and leave this place, go home, and hopefully his memory will return along the way. Anything else is unacceptable.
And yet if he does not know me, how can I get him to go with me? A conundrum indeed. What I need is time alone with Vittorio. And to get away from this clinging woman, who has linked her arm with Vittorio’s now. It takes all of my self-control not to rip her away from him, but I suspect that will only make things worse.
“He is my best friend,” I say at last, for that is very much the truth, and it is all that she needs to know. “And we work together. We have been close friends for many years.”
She looks from me to him and back, as if gauging the veracity of my words. I can see she is quite unconvinced that I am telling the truth. And then he looks at me with those beautiful dark eyes of his, from which no recognition flickers, and I wish the earth would open up and swallow me whole. Pain suffuses me, wrapping itself about my heart.
“I am sorry,” she says, and I feel a measure of sincerity in her words. I am sure she is a very nice person, and it is my own jealousy that sees more than truly exists between her and Vittorio. Plus she is not the author of this situation. In fact, I should be grateful to her, for obviously he is well, and he has not been without some sort of assistance in his time of need.
“How... how did you come to meet him?”
She turns and gazes up at him, and I am struck all over again with the jealousy I was trying to dissolve. I’ve seen that look before... on Myron, and on others. That same moonstruck, dazed, lovelorn look that says more than mere words. She is in love with him, obviously.
“He found his way here somehow. I came in to bring fresh flowers for my father—”
“Your father?” Yes, I’m interrupting, but my thoughts are too tangled and my emotions too close to the surface to allow for my usual manners.
“I’m so sorry, I haven’t even introduced myself. My name is Abigail Crowder. My father is Reverend Obadiah Crowder, the minister of this church.”
So she’s the minister’s daughter. Lovely.
“As I was saying, I had brought fresh flowers for the church—”
“When was this?” I know, I’m interrupting again. She does not remonstrate with me for it, luckily.
“A few weeks ago. Yes, I believe it was a month ago now that God blessed me with Victor as part of my life.”
“His name is Vittorio,” I mutter between clenched teeth.
“He Is Victor to me, I’m afraid.” And she turns a blindingly bright smile to him. And when Vittorio smiles in return, my heart sinks. Is it possible that I have lost him, along with his memory? My heart breaks anew at the thought.
And then he turns to me, and in his eyes I see something, a flash, but it is gone before I can register just what it was. I need time alone with him, and I need it now.
“Vittorio, please, I must talk to you,” I plead. My voice shakes with emotion. I reach for him with a trembling hand. He reaches toward me and I begin to hope... But her voice stops me cold as she smoothly pulls him to her and links her arm through his.
“We were just about to go out, Mr. Klein, if you’ll excuse us. We must call on one of our parishioners who is ill.” She nods at the basket of flowers that claim Vittorio’s free arm.
Ignoring her, I step closer to him, catch his gaze with my own, staring into those so familiar eyes.
“It’s me, Doll,” I repeat, as if my name holds the key to curing him of this apparent insanity. Although the insanity is mine, for I feel as though I am about to lose my mind.
“Doll,” he repeats, the sound tripping across his tongue. Can’t he feel it, feel me? Am I buried in his mind somewhere? Surely I have a place in his heart. We’ve been together too long to think otherwise.
The blank look that crosses his face tells me otherwise.
No matter. I am one very stubborn man, especially when it comes to Vittorio. However long it takes, I will have him back. No matter what it takes. Beginning with Myron and the magic that has broken us apart. The words I am thinking regarding him at this moment are unprintable.
At the moment, I am powerless. If I persist in this way, I fear I will alienate him. I must think, I must think. Right now, I think I need Vati.
“I’m sorry,” she repeats and takes him away.
to be continued
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