Friday, January 30, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 9

At eleven-thirty Saturday morning Rachel arrived at her parent’s house. Both of their cars were parked on the street and the garage was empty. Rachel pulled her car in to the garage and closed the door.
“Good. You’re here.” Her mom said for hello when Rachel came in the kitchen. “Adam has been waiting for you. He has the Chess set up in the other room.”
“He doesn’t waste any time does he?”
“Neither do you.” Her mom laughed. She picked up a potato and cut the peel off with a knife. “Oh, when you’re done playing Chess could you help me with a few things in the kitchen?”
“Yeah, call me when you need me.” Rachel walked out through the kitchen and in to the living room. Adam was on the couch reading a book. Over on a small wooden table near the bay window he had set up a chess board with mahogany and artificial ivory pieces. She tapped his shoulder and without looking back walked straight to the board.
“Ready to lose?” She signed.
The two of them sat in complete silence. Their focus was on the chess board and nothing else existed.
“Hey you two I hate to interrupt but everyone will be here soon.” Rachel looked up at her mom. After forty-five minutes of playing neither was in check.
“Finish later?” Rachel signed.
Adam waved her on and Rachel followed her mom in to the kitchen.
“Wash your hands then will you get the mashed potatoes finished up?”
“No problem.”
“The mixer and everything else is there.” Rachel poured the warm mixture of melted butter and evaporated milk into the blended potatoes. Her mom made the best mashed potatoes. The secret was to using baked potatoes or cook off some of the water of boiled potatoes before adding the rest of the ingredients.
“So who is the other couple?”
“I don’t know if you know them. They’re some newlyweds your dad and I have taken under our wing.”
“So you can show me how great married life is?” Rachel smiled to her mom.
“I think it’s great. Your daddy and I are best friends.”
“But most marriages aren’t like that.”
“I know.” Her mom looked toward the living room where Adam was sitting with daddy. “Most people don’t have a marriage like your daddy and me but my concern is the two of you. I want you and Adam to have happy marriages.” She paused again to put the corn casserole in the oven. “That’s why we want you to meet a nice man.”
“I will but it has to be in my time mom. Can’t you be happy for who I am now instead of thinking once I’ve-.” Rachel paused. She was getting agitated and that wasn’t the point of today. She came over to see Adam and Curtis. Today was for fun not tension. “Mom, I promise when I find the right guy I am ready to settle down. Okay.”
Her mom nodded her head and turned but not before Rachel saw her mouth “Thank you, Jesus.” Oh well, if her mom felt better thanking a dead philosopher Rachel wasn’t going to fuss.
They finished up in the kitchen and greeted the guests as they arrived. Curtis was the last there.
“Hello again.” Rachel said when she opened the door.
She held the door open for him. “I don’t know if my mom warned you but this is a dating ambush.”
“A what?”
“Mom invited over another couple and you. Presumably to create a third couple for the afternoon.”
“I see.” He said and he nodded his head. “So this is an unofficial first date. And what about Adam?”
“Oh he’s here but his job is to report to mom later on what everyone was whispering since he reads lips so well.”
“Good to know.”
“Come on in and make yourself comfortable.” She motioned to the living room. They had arranged a couple of folding chairs between the couch and daddy’s lazy boy recliner. The seats were full when they walked in.
“Do you mind sitting on the bricks in front of the fireplace?”
“You mean the hearth?”
“Is that what you call it?” Rachel laughed and squeezed in the circle formed by the couch and chairs.
“I think so.”
“There’s no fire burning so we won’t get hot.”
“Good to know.”
They sat down and leaned up against the glass front with a sizable distance between the two of them.
“Have you had a chance to talk to Adam?”
“No.” Curtis replied. “Just a few passing words. I don’t know sign language and I think I still make old hearing people mistakes.”
“Talking slow and over exaggerating your words?”
Rachel pounded her foot on the floor twice. Adam turned and looked. So did Daddy.
“Rachel, I could have tapped him for you.” Daddy said, in his ‘Father Knows Best voice.’
“I know but I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“And stomping wasn’t an interruption?”
She waved Adam over to the Ottoman next to her.
She turned to Curtis. “I’m going to sign and talk at the same time. ASL is not exactly like English so sometimes I slow down a bit or stop talking. I will look at you when I’ve finished interpreting what Adam says. Then you can start.”
“How is ASL different from English. I thought sign language was English.”
She signed what Curtis had said to Adam then told him to read the people’s lips until she was done explaining ASL to Curtis. He laughed and waited.
“What’s so funny?” Curtis asked looking from Rachel to Adam.
“I told him to eavesdrop on everyone else while I’m talking to you.”
“Oh. I saw a show once where a woman was in the FBI and her job was to read lips.”
“Sue Thomas, FBI. Great show. That’s a real woman you know.” Rachel tucked a bit of hair behind her ear.
“Yes. She’s a Christian.” Curtis again looked between Rachel and Adam as he spoke. He had clearly done some research on the deaf community for his business. She hated when people pretended Adam wasn’t a part of a conversation.
“Yes.” Adam said in his nasal voice. “I went to hear her speak at a church once. She’s very funny.”
“I was amazed in her trust in God.” Curtis turned away from Rachel and focused on Adam. “I haven’t actually met her but I saw her talking in a church on tape once. You’re right. She is really funny.”
Adam started to laugh. “Yvonne and I went together when I saw Sue Thomas.” Adam bent over and held up a finger. He laughed harder and tears started to run down his eyes. “Rachel, interpret.” He signed.
“He wants me to interpret.”
Curtis turned back to Rachel.
Adam began. “Tell him when I see S.T. there long line see her. I want hurry and I ask Yvonne interpret for me so I not slow read lips.”
She told Curtis what Adam had said. Curtis started laughing.
“That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“What’s so funny over there?” Daddy called over.
Rachel told the rest of the group and there was a mild chuckle but nothing link the belly laugh going on with Adam and Curtis.
“Okay boys.” Rachel both said and signed at the same time. “Did you want to talk or not?”
“Yes.” Curtis said. “But you were telling me about ASL.”
“Real quick there are a few different kinds of sign language. There is SEE which is Signed Exact English. There is ASL, American Sign Language and then there is Pidgin sign. SEE is obvious. It’s English. ASL is more like French in its structure and it also leaves out words like to, at, the.”
“Didn’t know that.”
“So how do you keep the two straight when you are talking to him and hearing people.”
“It’s funny. When I watch his signs I don’t really pay attention to what I’m saying. I say what I see. Like you can read a book and not remember the words even though you said them out loud.”
“I never thought of it like that.”
“Y’all can come on out en eat.” Her mom called.
“Adam, eat.” Rachel signed.
They walked to the table, where her mom made certain Rachel and Curtis sat next to each other. They had the blessing then started eating. The meal was pleasant with everyone chatting back and forth at the table. After she helped mom clear the table Rachel went back out to the hearth where Curtis was already sitting with Adam.
“We were talking some business. Could you ask him a few questions for me?”
“Sure.” Rachel scooted closer to Curtis so they were both across from Adam.
“Ask him if he’d come by my place this week to look over my ideas for the new business.”
She interpreted. “Adam says that would be fine and that we make a really cute couple.”
“What?” Curtis said.
What had she done? Her cheeks started to burn. “Um, I’m sorry.” She wanted to slink up the steps. She felt like she had walked in front of the whole school with her skirt tucked in her pantyhose.
“It’s fine. He was paying you a compliment.” Curtis said. “Can you finish for me?”
Rachel nodded and interpreted the rest of the conversation. Adam left to talk to the other guests leaving Rachel and Curtis alone on the hearth. She now felt awkward sitting next to him on the bricks but sitting on the ottoman and facing him would be equally as uncomfortable.
“Thank you for your help on the pre-approval.” She finally said.
“You’re welcome. How is house hunting?”
“Well the offer I made on the first house was turned down flat but Drew is looking for other places.”
“Who is Drew?”
“The realtor.”
“Ah, how far do you live from here?”
Rachel turned back to Curtis. “About half an hour or so.”
“Are you looking to move closer?”
She laughed. “Not really. Mom is trying to move me closer against my will.”
He smiled back at her. “You know, your mom speaks very highly of you.” His voice held a soothing quality which surprised Rachel because it was so much higher pitched.
“My mom? Really?”
“Yes. I hear updates on you and Adam fairly regularly.”
“My mom is a matchmaker.” She laughed. “She means well but unfortunately she lays it on a little thick sometimes.”
“No. She doesn’t talk like that.”
Rachel turned toward him and folded her arms. “How does she talk?”
“She is very proud of how you’ve created a successful business at such a young age and that you have the confidence you do.”
“She said that?” Rachel looked out to the dining room where her mom and Adam were busy setting out mini-cheesecakes out for dessert. Curtis continued to speak.
“Yes. She’s told me she worries about you being on your own but she knows you are a strong woman.”
She turned back to Curtis. “I had no idea my mom felt that way.”
“She has good reason to. You’re a wonderful woman.”
She looked straight at him. His playful smile was gone replaced by intense blue eyes that were fixed on her, searching. He was putting out a ping. At least that was the term she had given it. A man put a compliment out in the air to see how she would respond. If she smiled and blushed he would be emboldened. If she deflected it he didn’t have to feel rejected. She felt heat burning in her face. Despite her best efforts she was blushing.
“Thank you.” She smiled then turned away.
“I know your mom kind of threw us in an awkward position today but I’m glad we had a chance to meet socially.”
He wasn’t anything like Drew but she felt a tug on her heartstrings. Maybe that was why she felt that way. “Me too.”
“And thank you for helping me with Adam.”
“My pleasure. You are going to have to learn some sign language if your going to run a business.”
“Yep, I’ve been trying to avoid it since I’m awful with languages but I need to bite the bullet and start learning.”
“It’s not that hard.”
It felt awkward now. Their light-hearted banter was now forced questions and stilted replies. Despite that she wanted to keep talking. She enjoyed sitting with him this afternoon sharing fun stories and laughing. Years ago this was life: Saturday afternoons with mom, dad and Adam playing chess or scrabble and laughing at old stories.
It was like the first couple of years of college when Yvonne, Adam and-.
She stopped before the pain got a foothold again. Those memories needed to stay tucked away with all their hurt.
It was enough to say it had been a long time since she had felt so light. And almost as long since she’d felt so much heartache. That was back when she did pray.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at
Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.
This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 8

“Rachel, I haven’t seen you for a couple of weeks. Why don’t you come over Saturday for lunch?” Her mom’s call came just as Rachel was sitting down to a fast food dinner for one.
“I’m not staying over mom.”
“I’m not asking you to. We have a turkey your dad got from the company for Christmas. The thing is eleven pounds and that is too big for the two of us to eat by ourselves. Now Fall’s coming around again and they’ll be another turkey so I thought I’d have you and a few others over for lunch Saturday.”
“What others.” Rachel was suspicious. She didn’t want to walk in to some sick dating game.
“A few of my friends from church.”
“I invited three people.”
“And how many are young men?”
“So what you are asking me is if I want to come over so you can fix me up with while you guys watch?”
“I’m thinking one o’clock. You can come over Friday night or first thing Saturday morning. Adam said he’ll have the chessboard set up when you get here.”
“Tell him I’ll be over Saturday and that I’ve been playing against the computer so he’d better be ready.”
They hung up and Rachel returned to her meal. It was no longer good enough for her mom that Rachel was dating a man. She needed to have a spare. It was fine. Curtis was a nice guy and fun to talk to. He knew Lisa, Mom, well enough to know he was being set up as a love interest for her daughter and he took it in stride.
As far as church people went Curtis seemed about the most normal of any of her mom’s friends. He didn’t put on airs or look down his nose at Rachel.
She ate another French fry. If she was going to keep her weight in check during the holidays she’d have to cut back on her Wendy’s French fries. But that was still a touch over six weeks away. She bit another fry.
She’d have to talk to Adam before everyone got there, oh and Mom too. Even though she was only friends with Curtis she didn’t want him to know she’d gone out with Drew. Mom would probably keep her mouth shut without Rachel saying something but she preferred to play it safe.
It was better to keep the conversation with Curtis on things that didn’t go anywhere near relationship or dating. All her mom would need was a small crack and she’d try to connect the two of them.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at
Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.
This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 7

If only life could be as simple as a spreadsheet. Rachel could make an equation, set the if then question then plug in values. The computer would run the program and every time a new variable was introduced the spreadsheet could make adjustments. Even with the spreadsheet she was working on that morning returning error messages over and over she had found solving that problem far easier than her emotional woes.
Why wasn’t she attracted to Drew?
Here she had a man who was handsome, funny, successful, and had the voice of a radio announcer and it wasn’t enough. Worse yet she knew he was going to call some time this week, probably today. She’d put in the offer almost a week ago and still hadn’t heard back. He’d emailed but she had her auto-reply on so he had no idea if she was reading them or not.
Each email was about the same. He was thinking about the fun they’d had and the goodbye kiss. She’d thought she had a month but this guy was looking for a physical relationship almost immediately. Even in the romance novels those things took time. Shannon thinks he is a great guy and she usually is dead on with these things but it’s not there.
What about love and romance and slowly wooing a woman. Rachel pushed back from her desk and paced in her office. She had no idea what to do. Shannon was clear and Mom was clear but Rachel wasn’t. She wanted more than great looks. How dumb did that sound? She decided to call Drew and check on the house. Maybe she’d hear what she needed in his voice.
She called his cell.
“Hi Rachel I have some bad news.”
“What is it?”
“The owners rejected your offer.”
“They didn’t have a counter offer?”
“They said no. I think they are trying to hold out for asking price. Which if that’s the case in the market right now it is going to be a while.”
“I like the house but I can’t go up any more than two thousand dollars.”
“And I’m sure that won’t be enough to make them budge. I found out this morning but I was waiting because I was hoping they’d go ahead and offer something back but their realtor didn’t return my calls.”
“That’s fine. Like I told you before, I wasn’t really looking. It was more window shopping.”
“I’ll go ahead and run properties like that one for you if you’d like.”
She thought for a minute. “I’d like to be no more than thirty minutes from work and forty-five minutes from my parents ideally.”
“I will see what I can find. You want to keep the same search parameters?”
“Yes. I like that house, except the teeny master bedroom. If you can find something similar to that one, in the right location around my offer price we’ll be all set.”
“Great.” The line went silent for a few moments. “I had fun the other night.”
“Yes, I’ve been kicking myself for never checking that restaurant out before. I need to listen to the office chatter more often.”
“I’d like to see you again.” And there it was.
“Drew.” Shannon passed by Rachel’s door and stopped. “I was thinking.” Rachel spun her chair away from the door in an attempt to get a bit more privacy.
“Don’t you dare.” Shannon whispered from the doorway. She walked in to the office and stood toe to toe with Rachel.
“Maybe we should stay on a professional level right now.”
“What are you doing?” Shannon scolded.
“But I thought you enjoyed yourself.”
“I did.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“Don’t you dare dump that guy.”
“Was I rushing you? It felt to me like you wanted that kiss as much as I did.”
“No, I mean yes. No you weren’t rushing me.”
“Don’t tell him no.”
Rachel shot a glare at Shannon. “No, you didn’t offend me at all. I had an incredible time with you and I’m not ruling out seeing each other in the future.” She said that part for Shannon’s benefit the tried to shoo her away with her hand. Shannon only moved back a few feet and stood with her arms folded in front of Rachel. “I think it wiser until we are done with our business dealings that we should hold off on a relationship. I’d hate for a personal relationship to get in the way of our professional relationship.”
“You’re assuming something would go wrong.” She knew he would be agitated but his tone put her on edge.
“I don’t want things to be awkward.”
“And this isn’t?” Shannon said a bit louder than a whisper. Rachel swatted her hand at Shannon.
“Drew, all I’m saying is until we are done house hunting let’s stay professional and we can examine our feelings after that.”
“It was nice of you to tell me this now and not string me along or anything.” The agitation was blending with sarcasm to create one very unattractive package.
His tone was firm “I’ll email some properties to you. When you’re ready to make an offer, let me know. We can handle it all by fax if that will be easier for you.”
“Ok, I-.”
“You’ll hear from me soon.” There was a click then the dial tone.
“What in the world are you doing?” Shannon said when Rachel put the phone back in the cradle.
“I don’t have time for a relationship right now.”
“You don’t have time?”
“No, I don’t.” She snapped. The bitterness in Drew’s voice had her wondering whether she wanted to even maintain a business relationship with him at this point.
Shannon sat down. “We’ve been friends for almost ten years now. You never have time. First you needed to concentrate on school. Then it was graduation. Next it was starting this business and now it is maintaining this business.”
“Wait, there was a pretty significant exception in there that you’re glossing over.”
“That was an anomaly.”
“But he-.”
“My point is you have found a man who is successful, handsome and who seems to really want to start something with you. Why are you going to throw it away?”
“But I’m not attracted to him, except physically.”
“So have fun for a while and see what happens.”
“I’m done having fun, I want a relationship.” Shannon laughed and when Rachel realized what she had said she cracked a small smile. “I’m trying to be serious. I want to have a relationship where-.”
“Never mind Rachel, I’m not in the mood to fuss with this right now. You want to throw this away for some fantasy that ain’t gonna happen then do it. But I do not want to hear about how confused you are or any of it.”
“It was one date.”
“But it was going to be two.”
“I hear you. Now I have work to do.” Rachel spun her chair back around to her desk. “I never asked you to come in in the first place.”

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at
Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.
This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 6

Adam would be there any minute. Rachel raced around her apartment to put the food she’d bought at the deli on to nice plates. Thankfully mom had agreed to drop him off and not stay. She needed to talk about both of their relational issues.
The buzzer sounded and she let Adam up.
“When should I be back for’em?”
“I’m not sure.” Rachel turned to Adam and signed. “When you want mom come back you?”
“Doesn’t matter.”
Her mom put her fist on her hip. “Then how to I plan my afternoon?”
That wasn’t Mom’s issue at all and it only made Rachel madder. Adam was in his mid-thirties and she still wanted to mommy the man. No wonder she hated Yvonne. Yvonne didn’t put up with it.
“Do whatever you had planned and if it isn’t convenient to come get him I’ll drive him back out.”
“I need rent car I think.” Adam signed.
“Maybe good idea.”
“No.” Her mom both signed and spoke. “There is no need for him to rent a car.”
“He here.” Adam signed. “And he man can rent car.”
Wow, Rachel couldn’t remember Adam snapping at Mom like that before. She didn’t think kids should be rude to their parents but it was a two way thing. Mom left and the two of them ate club sandwiches and chili at Rachel’s dining room table.
“How has your visit been?”
“Good, I miss friends here and Ohio. People where I live not talk a lot. Don’t know neighbors. People busy.” He signed slowly as if carefully choosing each word.
“Why you not come back live Ohio?”
Adam watched her sign the question then turned away. He stood up and walked across the room. Rachel watched him. “Adam why won’t you talk to me?” She said out loud but of course he didn’t know. He had left for California with such joy ready to do ‘God’s work’ as he put it but now he was back broken. That happened fairly often in Rachel’s life. Oh, it was fine to get excited thinking you’d had an encounter with an all powerful being that was going to make sure life worked out for you.
The reality never fit the dream.
No, people ended up like her brother Adam. They go chasing some notion that they attribute to God and they give up a fine life to do it. Then when their marriage falls apart, their job gets cut or their life is destroyed they come back broken like Adam.
Then they blame themselves for some ‘sin’.
Thankfully Rachel only beat herself with that stick once before she learned. She didn’t spend her life trying to be perfect, whatever that was.
She walked to Adam and gently touched his shoulder. Adam turned to face her with tears in his eyes.
“Adam, can I ask you something?”
“Since we talked at Wendy’s we haven’t really gotten back to why you are back in Ohio.”
“Why do you think Yvonne stopped loving you?”
“You never understand.”
Of course she understood. Maybe she had never been married but she’d had enough relationships to understand giving yourself fully to a person only to have them decide they didn’t want you any more.
“Explain me.” She said to him.
“We go California I work hard.” His gestures were exaggerated but Rachel didn’t need to see the large gestures to know how passionate he was about this. “I talk lots of people and every, every I go talk pastors, I talk ministries share my vision but no one listen. Yvonne go with me, interpret. I day she say ‘No, I stop go with you.’ I mad, tell her she my wife I need with me. She tell me God no say come California.”
“When that happen?”
“Two week before I come.” He signed it then walked to the couch and sat down. “I tell her I know God. I hear God. She say not sure I can hear God now.”
Rachel sat beside her big brother and put her arm around his neck. She was so sick of hearing about God and what He did and did not want. People blew up shopping centers for God and people stayed in loveless marriages. God wasn’t a benevolent dictator, that is if the Christian God actually existed. No, this religion that had been used for centuries to keep women oppressed and men in power was now becoming every person’s excuse or crutch.
If it hadn’t been for Shannon helping Rachel escape from the guilt of that life she would probably be in the same situation as Adam. Worried sick that she was going to miss what some voiceless mist wanted and being willing to give up the love of your life, your hopes and dreams for the illusion of a hereafter.
At least in her confusion over her love life she only had people to contend with. Between her mom and Shannon trying to choose Mr. Right for her she had enough to worry about. If she had an elusive being to add to the mix…no wonder people went postal. Their trying to read a two-thousand year old book to figure out a twenty-first century world and apply it using gut reactions, of course attributed to spirits in competing factions. She wanted to scream thinking about it.
Adam tapped her leg. Rachel turned to face him. “Mom tell me you date man who find you house?”
“The realtor?”
“I went on one date. I not sweetheart.”
“Oh, mom try make you fall love again.” He smiled and poked at her like they did when they were kids. He understood better than anyone how mom liked to pry. “You like realtor.”
“His name is Drew. I think I like him.”
“You no sure.” His smile was gone. “Rachel, you be sure. Need love if you make marriage work. No love it too hard and not fun.”
“I know but Shannon and Mom think Drew wonderful. I like fine. He good kisser.”
“Awww” he vocalized. Rachel laughed. When it was the two of them vocalization was reserved for the biggest shocks. Her brother knew she wasn’t ‘pure’ any longer but he didn’t judge her and with each relationship he acted as if she were a little girl who wasn’t familiar to the ways of the world. “You careful kiss boys. Good boys respect you. Bad boys take you further.”
“Drew bad boy.” She signed
“Awww, Way chall.” he vocalized. She loved how her brother said Rachel. He could speak clear enough to be understood when in an all hearing environment that required it but since they both signed they never used their voices together. It also cut down on their mom eavesdropping when they were younger. He always called her Way chall though. To her it was a term of endearment, not a mispronunciation.
“Adam, I so happy you back Ohio. I wish you live here, have family near me.”
“When God tell me live Ohio again I come home.”

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at
Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.
This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 5


Rachel arrived at the restaurant at six-twenty. They had decided on a steakhouse that she had heard rave review about. She stepped in to the dim entry way. To her right the bar was full of women on barstools. There was only one man and he was at a table for two with a woman she assumed was his husband. She walked to a wooden podium where an equally wooden woman stood.

“My date isn’t here you. Do you have a menu I can look at while I wait?”

“Sure.” The woman handed her a menu. Rachel thanked her and sat down on the padded bench along the wall. Despite the packed bar Rachel was the only person who waited to be seated. She scanned the choices. As she imagined there was mostly beef, and surf-n-turf. There were also quite a few items at “Market Price”. She checked her wallet. When she picked the place she hadn’t realized how expensive it was. She had enough money to cover if she had to.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Drew said when he walked in the door. He wore suit pants and a white shirt with no tie. His top button was undone and as he walked toward her he began to roll up the sleeves of his shirt.

“It’s fine. I was a little early.” She stood to greet him. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. She was startled by his advance but when he turned away as if nothing had happened she concluded that maybe he was just very European.

The hostess motioned for them. “Right this way.” Drew touched the small of Rachel’s back and she complied by stepping in front of him. They followed the hostess past what appeared to be four separate dining areas, before entering a fifth room, holding five tables, with only two of them occupied. Candles burned on each table, soft music wafted around them and the whole place was elegant.

“Is this table all right?”

“Fine, thank you.” Rachel said as she sat down in the chair Drew pulled out for her. The hostess opened her menu and gave it to Rachel then did the same for Drew before setting the wine list on the edge of the table and leaving them.

“This place is really nice. I’m glad you suggested it.” He said.

“The girls at the office rave about the food here. I had no idea it was this fancy, or expensive.”

Drew opened the menu. “Wow, how much are you paying your employees?”

“I pay them well but I have a feeling they’re paying on plastic if they eat here very often.”

“Did they have any suggestions from the menu?”

“Almost everything here is great they said but the most popular was either prime rib or fillet mignon, medium rare.”

The server came out a few minutes later and took their orders.

Rachel gave the server her menu then placed her napkin across her lap. “Do you like working in real estate?”

“Usually. The hours are long some weeks.”

“I think that can be true with any job.”

He nodded his head. On the table a small oil lamp threw a soft glow on his face. His deep, smooth voice reminded her of a radio personality who hosted the all love song show from eight to eleven every evening.

“Have you ever considered a job in radio?” She asked during a short lull in the conversation?

He smiled and took a sip of his drink. “No, why?”

“You have the perfect voice for it.”

He chuckled, “Thank you. I’ve never had anyone say that before.”

“I mean it.” He looked away for a moment and Rachel soaked in his features. Shannon was right, as usual. Drew was what she’d been looking for. She wouldn’t need to go home and read her romance novel with the radio on at night if Drew were there. His voice could be the radio and his touch the romance novel.

The server stepped up to the table, “I have one rib eye with a potato and one rib eye with asparagus.” She set the plates in front of them.

Rachel cut her meat. It was the perfect shade of pink and the tender cut melted in her mouth.

“I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this place.” He said before putting another bite in his mouth.

“Do you find working in real estate affords you the opportunity to hit on lots of women?”

He finished chewing and started to cut off another piece as he spoke. “Not usually. I deal with a number of couples or divorcees. I don’t have many beautiful, single women pass through my office.”

“Good.” She cut off a small piece of asparagus. “I wouldn’t want to be jealous of all your appointments.”

“You’d have nothing to be jealous of.” They chatted between bites throughout dinner.

“Would anyone like dessert?” The server asked as she cleared the plates. They ordered cheesecake and coffee.

“Tell me about your family.” She asked.

He shifted a bit in his chair a bit. “I’m not really close to my family at all.” A flash of anger registered on his face but quickly softened. Rachel stiffened a bit. His eyes were wild when he was angry. “I volunteered for years at the Red Cross and Alzheimer’s wards of Nursing homes. They are really my family, if you’d want me to point to the people I love and who support me.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to bring up anything painful.”

“Hey, you didn’t know. It’s a fairly normal question.” His expression softened further. “I’d rather hear about your family.”

“Well, I guess we have the All-American” family. Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, I’m the baby of the family.”

“And that is why your mom was house hunting for you?”

“No, my mom likes to nose in my life. That is why she was house hunting for me.”

“Ooh, I sense some animosity.” His voice reminded her of a school boy taunting a chum on the playground.

“No, just issues I guess. Everyone has them.”

He nodded in agreement.

The server came back out with their dessert and coffee. The vanilla bean cheesecake melted in her mouth. She scooped up a bit of the raspberry sauce drizzled around the edge of her plate and took a second bit. “This is incredible.”

“I will have to come here again.” He looked around the room they were in as he spoke.

“Let me know when you do.” That had sounded pretty forward.

They finished their cheesecake and ordered a refill on their coffee before they decided to call it an evening. The outside are was cool and damp.

“Smells like rain.” She said.

“I was thinking the same thing. I like the damp smell of leaves in the fall.” He inhaled deep and let it out slow. “Makes me want to jump in a pile of leaves.”

She reached down and took his hand. He stiffened for a moment the interlaced his fingers with hers.

What was she doing? It was too late now. If she let go it would be rude. She’d gotten caught up in the moment again. Why was she always doing things like this? She was going to take this one slow but the evening, the food and-

“I had a great time tonight.” He said and pulled her in front of him to take the other hand.

“So did I.”

“I guess I’ll be talking to you soon on the house.”

“Yes.” She shifted on the other foot and looked in his eyes. She hated first dates. They were nice to look back on and remember your first date but that was only because you could look back and laugh at all the dumb things you’d done.

Right now there was the first kiss question. The timing of the first kiss usually set the entire pace for Rachel’s relationships. Kissing on a first date and less than a month he’d be spending the night if history was any indication. But if she put him off she was only postponing and would have another awkward-

His lips brushed lightly against hers before he gently kissed her. As if flipping a switch her body instantly took over and all reason and logic left. She kissed him back passionately losing herself in the touch of a relative stranger. Like the heroine in her current romance novel a strong hero was snatching her out of her mind and causing her to live in her heart.

The kiss ended and she looked at him again but now with new eyes. The tension of first kiss was gone and the tension of when to invite him over was a least two or three weeks away. Right now she could live in the moment.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.

Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at

Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.

This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.

Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 4


Logan sat quietly watching the wind blow through the leaves of the large Oak tree in his back yard. From his kitchen table he imagined a world where people would love each other. Where they could be loyal. Aunt Tulla had taught him all about love and loyalty. She had been his guardian for all the life he could remember. She took him to church on Sundays and made sure he went to school.

She had an Oak tree too.

When he was a naughty boy she’d make him sleep under that Oak tree with boxer, her half-blind German shepherd.

Boxer was a good boy. He was loyal.

Aunt Tulla had tried to teach Logan about Alpha Mu Epsilon.

Under the Oak Tree.

In Logan’s back yard a dry leaf succumbed to the power of the wind and fluttered down to the grass. It let go of the tree and fell. When it held down the winds could whip it around and smash it in to branches, the trunk and other leaves. But once that leaf had the courage to let go the wind could carry it and gently carry it to the soft grass.

He knew how the leaf felt. There were many times when he wanted to give up and let the winds carry him wherever they wanted. He could shrivel up inside and let the winds of the world blow him off of the Oak. Away from Tulla. Away from Alpha Mu Epsilon.

During those times Boxer was there to teach him. The cold winds would blow across his bare arms and the dry leaves would flutter down in the moonlight. They would blow away. Boxer would lay close to Logan and keep him warm.

Aunt Tulla taught him about following the rules. Boxer had taught him about loyalty.

Aunt Tulla wanted him to grow to be a good boy.

“Is fo yer own good, chile. Gotta get the wicked out cha.”

Aunt Tulla wasn’t fond of spanking. Said hands were made for loving. Love was very important to Aunt Tulla. Each night whether he slept in his bed or with boxer under the Oak she needed him to be sure and say “I love you.”

Only time Aunt Tulla really tanned his hide was the day he refused to say “I love you.”

It was the day boxer died.

It was the day he wanted to blow away.

A siren blaring down the road startled Logan out of his memories. Memories were good things. They showed you where you came from. They were a person’s strength. Don’t know where you came from and you won’t know where you’re going.

He was going to Rachel.

He drank down his glass of white milk and set it in the sink. He always drank white milk. Chocolate Milk was for gluttons.

Alpha Mu Epsilon was about persistence. It was about avoiding excess.

It was about Rachel.

Her name warmed his insides. God had brought Rachel to him.

The way they had connected. Things were moving along faster than he could have hoped they would at that first meeting but then he had a feeling Rachel had been waiting for him all along too.

She had been created for him like Eve for Adam.

Theirs would be a love story for the ages.

He’d see her again in a couple of days but the time drug when they were apart.

That was how he knew she was the one.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.

Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at

Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.

This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.

Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 3

The airport smelled like body odor and diesel. There were two airports Adam could have used. This was the smaller, and dirtier, of the two. Rachel stood between the two luggage belts. A large group of people gathered around them like dessert animals around a puddle. The monitor said that the belt on her right would have Adam’s luggage so she split her attention between that belt and the door that people were coming through.
Now that she was here and she’d have the next little bit alone with her brother she allowed herself to get a bit excited. The broken, filtered information her mom had been feeding her about the relationship likely held little resemblance to the reality. Despite her mom’s position as leader of the Wednesday Bible study she was known to bend the truth, sometimes substantially, when a situation involved her children.
It was that character trait that has caused their falling out. But that whole situation was in the past now and to dig it up would only cause more problems. Right now she needed to keep her attention on Adam and his problems so she could protect Adam.
Since no one had protected her.
The conveyor belt whirred to life followed shortly after by a gush of people through the door. She saw him and quickly ran in his direction. He looked up and saw her. His smile and wave were a poor mask for the pain in his face. He had aged years since she saw him six months ago. His skin was dull and his eyes droopy with dark bags underneath.
“Rachel.” He said.
She signed his name by tapping her “A” hand against her temple. Tears burned her eyes. She couldn’t let him see her cry. Not when his pain was so intense. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. Sobs ripped through his body and he hugged her tight.
Her big brother was broken and it was killing Rachel inside. He composed himself and they walked to the belt to retrieve his luggage.
“You want go restaurant?” she signed in American Sign Language.
“Yes, we go eat before see mom, dad.” He signed back.
She picked up his suitcase and carried it to the car. He tapped her shoulder.
“Cold here.”
“Yes, long time beautiful sun. Two days ago change cold now, continue maybe through spring. Don’t know.”
She lifted the suitcase in the trunk. It was fairly light. Hopefully that meant that despite his one way ticket he was planning on returning to California and Yvonne soon.
They decided to stop at Wendy’s on the way to mom’s house so they could talk without mom worrying about their delay.
Rachel picked at a salad while Adam shoved a double cheeseburger and fries in his mouth.
“You know mom have food home?” She asked him.
“Yes. Hungry now. Eat again mom, dad house.”
Her stomach tightened but she wanted to know what had drug Adam away from the woman he adored in Southern California all the way back to Ohio, in the fall…alone.
Rachel gently touched Adam’s hand to get his attention. He looked up. The whites of his eyes were covered with red lines. Rachel’s eyes stung with tears again.
“Adam, what happen?”
He looked away for a moment before starting. “We go California things change.”
That was why she had told him, begged him really, not to go out to California. Yvonne had confided in her that she didn’t think God was calling them out to California. Rachel didn’t get in to the God thing but she had a really bad feeling about them going too. Of course Mom had chalked it up to Rachel not wanting her big brother to leave. She hesitated before continuing.
“What change in California?”
“Yvonne stop love me.”
Rachel’s ears burned, something reserved for extreme anger. “Yvonne never stop love you.” She signed so hard that she accidentally banged the edge of her hand on the table which threw it off balance. It tipped and she grabbed for her pop. She caught it but her salad slid off the side of the table and splattered all over the floor.
She dove to the ground and scooped up lettuce on to the plate. One of the Wendy’s crew, a chubby boy with bad skin came over and mopped up the dressing. She threw the salad in the trash and tried to regain some composure. She looked hard in Adam’s eyes and signed again, this time with more control.
“Yvonne never stop love you. Yvonne adore you.” Adam looked away and Rachel touched his arm. He turned and faced her. “Why you think Yvonne no love you?”
“Sometimes know.”
And that was all he had to say on the topic. Rachel pressed a little harder but Adam was no different than Mom. When a topic was closed it would not be discussed again until they decided. They gathered their things and went back to the car for the silent drive to their parents’ house.
As she expected when they arrived her mom immediately took Adam off to his old room where the two of them could talk without the prying eyes or Rachel, or daddy.
“Hope your back gets better, daddy.”
“It will.” He grunted and pushed on the arms of his recliner as he stood. “You be safe going home.” He kissed her on the forehead.
“I will daddy. Take care of Adam.”
“You know I do.” He gave her a hug. Daddy’s quiet strength was one of the few things that gave her confidence that Yvonne and Adam’s marriage could be saved. Daddy had a way with Mom, just as she had a way with him. Their marriage was stronger than anyone else she knew which made her mom’s attitude towards Adam’s marriage more confusing.
“I’ll see you soon, daddy.”
She went out to her car and drove home.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at
Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.
This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Face in the Shadow Part 2 Chapter 2


Rachel picked up a decorating magazine on the end table. She had arrived five minutes early to Drew’s office so she could make an offer on the house her and Shannon had looked at. She liked the house but wasn’t sure that she really wanted to move at the moment.

She hadn’t been sure until Shannon talked her in to it on the ride home…

“Make a ridiculous offer and when they turn it down you can have Drew show you another place.” Shannon had insisted.

“But I can call him for a date without needing a house.”

“You can but you won’t.”

Shannon was, as usual, right. On manners of the heart Shannon was dead on almost every time. She prided herself in being the conscience of the office. Shannon was the conscience and Rachel was the calculator.

That was why Shannon had never calculated in what Rachel should do if these people actually took the offer.

“Rachel? Drew can see you now.” the woman behind the desk indicated to a hallway. Rachel got up and started in the direction she’d pointed. Drew appeared out of a door half way down.

“Oh, good. Rachel. I was coming out to get you.”

“They told me you were ready.”

Drew nodded and pointed to a long table sitting in the middle of a rather cramped room. The deep burgundy walls added to the sense of claustrophobia Rachel experienced when Drew closed the door behind them.

He opened a manila colored file folder. “Okay, so you want to offer ten thousand less than the asking price on the Healey place?”

“Yes.” She said.

He wrote in the numbers and filled out the rest of the form to make an offer on the house he’d shown her last week.

“Do you have financing yet?”

“No but I have someone I can call if we need that.”

“That’s fine. I will write in that this offer is subject to you getting financing. That protects you from being bound if you aren’t able to get a loan.”


He checked off some boxes and scratched a few words in to blanks then spun the form around and gave her a pen. “I need you to sign and date it here.”

She signed it and gave it back to him. “When will I know if they have accepted my offer?”

“Their agent should notify them of the offer today or tomorrow but they have thirty days to give us a decision.” He peeled off the bottom copy and gave it to Rachel. “I wondered if you’d be interested in maybe going out some time?”

Shannon’s plan works again.

“Sure, I’d like that.”

“I don’t often ask clients out but I felt like we made a connection at that first place we looked at.”

“What can I say? Guys who have a fondness for giving flowers impress me.”

He paused for a moment then the light of recollection popped on his face. “That’s right. The flowers I planted along the walkway.”


“I didn’t know flowerbeds could be a pickup line but in this case I’m glad it worked.” He looked down at his calendar. “How does tomorrow night look for you?”

She opened her palm pilot and scrolled down the calendar. “I have an appointment at six-thirty with a client. Does the next night work at all for you?”

“That works. When would you like me to pick you up?”

“My house is a fair distance from Woodhaven. Why don’t you call me so we can figure out a place to eat and we can meet there?”

“Does six or seven work better for you?” He asked, as he looked up from his calendar.

“Let’s do six-thirty.”

“I’ll see you then.” He stood and shook her hand. Seemed a bit formal given the new level in their relationship but Rachel passed it off. His boss most likely frowned upon their agents dating their clients.

“But don’t forget to call and tell me where.”

“Right.” He laughed and stuck out his hand.

“I have to say this, for once I’m glad my mom felt compelled to stick her nose in my personal life.”

He continued packing up the papers she had just signed but stole quick glances a few times. “Did she tell you to go out with me?”

“No, she is the one who decided her daughter was thirty and needed a house so why not call the cute realtor pictured on the sign.” The second the sentence left her mouth she wanted to grab it and cram it back in before it reached his ears. “I really didn’t mean that the way it sounded.” She said in a desperate attempt to not make it sound like this date would be...well, exactly what it was. A well orchestrated accident.

After a momentary pause he finished packing up his things and looked up at Rachel.

“Thank your mom for me.” He said then winked. “I’ll talk to you in a couple of days?”

“Yep.” She walked through the door he was holding for her and out of the office. The next thing she needed to check on was the financing. Curtis’ number was somewhere in her planner. She skimmed her address book but didn’t see it. No, because it was in the business card section. She flipped open the first page and lifted out the card, dialed the number, put in her earpiece. He answered on the second ring.

“Hi Curtis this is Rachel, Jeff and Lisa’s daughter.”

“Hello Rachel. Good to hear from you. What can I do for you?”

“I made an offer on a house and I was wondering if you could do up a pre-approval for me.”

“Sure no problem. I can take the information over the phone but the easiest way is to have you fill out the quick form on the website. I can plug that straight over and as soon as I hear from the bank I can call.”

“How long does that take?”

“Couple of days usually.”

“Thanks. I’m heading back to the office. You should have it in your email by three.”

“I’ll watch for it.”

She hung up the phone. Her stomach tightened. When had she last eaten? Had to have been at least six hours ago. There was a place not far down the road that her parents liked. She turned in to Schmucker’s Restaurant parking lot. A neon sign blinked alternating lines of white ‘steam’ off of a red neon pie.

Inside the dining area was only large enough to hold five or six tables. She walked to the counter and sat on one of the three empty stools. A paper menu with peeling laminate was stuck between the salt shaker and the napkin dispenser.

“Can I help you?” A large woman in her sixties in a pink plaid dress and white apron stood across the counter.

Rachel scanned up and down the menu. “Do you have BLTs?”

“Sure do.”

“I’ll take that with a bowl of beef vegetable but could I have half of my BLT in a to go box?”

“Of course. Something to drink?”

“Water’s fine.”

The woman put the order back and Rachel scanned the diner. It was a snippet of the old Woodhaven. The one before the shopping mall came in on the eastern edge of town. Her parents had decried the subdivisions and retail outlets that soon followed but Rachel was seventeen when Woodhaven started to grow. For her having shopping and movies right there in town was an answer to prayer. That was when she did pray.

The woman came back with her food and Rachel finished up her lunch and left a 100 % tip which brought her bill to ten dollars. The look on the woman’s face had been priceless. When she got back out to the car her cell phone was vibrating. Shannon’s cell was on the display.

She pushed the call back button but it went straight to voicemail.

“Shannon, it’s Rachel. Who’s tall, dark and handsome and has a date with me Thursday? Call my cell to find out. Bye”

She hung up the phone but left the earpiece in her ear. For the next few miles she drove along quietly. Where would he decide to go for dinner? It didn’t matter much. Mom would approve of this one. If she didn’t then Rachel would completely give up on finding someone her parents would approve of.

“I told you it was a good idea to go house hunting.” She said, imitating her mom’s voice.

“You’re right mom. And he’s a good kisser too.” That would get her riled. The phone started its new age ring. She pushed the button to answer.

“So Rachel, who is this date with? Not some completely hot Real Estate Agent is it?” Shannon gushed.

“Yes, that’s exactly who it is.”


“There are none. I put in an offer on the house and he asked me out. The details don’t come until after the date.”

“There had better be details after a date with him.”

Her phone beeped. She looked down at the screen. “Mom’s beeping in. Adam’s flight should be in soon. Let me take this call and I’ll talk to you when I get to the office.”

She clicked over to her mom.

“Hi hon. It’s mom.” Her mom’s voice was at once frantic and mundane. A strange combination but the best one she could think of to describe the hurried speech but bored tone.


Rachel, do you think you could get Adam?”

Rachel looked down at the dashboard clock. “When does he get in?”

“Three-forty I think.”

“That only gives me about an hour and a half to get to the office and out to the airport.”

“You’re not in the office?”

“No, I’m in Woodhaven.”

“Why’s that?” Her mom’s voice changed. It was no longer urgent. Rachel noted it as odd but didn’t think on it further.

“I made an offer on the place Shannon and I looked at when we were out this past weekend.”

Her mom squealed. “That is wonderful hon. When will we know more?”

We? It was just a manner of speech but her mom’s self-inclusion in to every major aspect of Rachel’s decision making it grated at her just the same. She pushed away the voice in her head that said tell her there’s no ‘we’ in this decision and opted instead to be polite. “He said he’d call me in a few days hopefully.”


“I guess they have up to thirty days to get back with me on the offer.”

“That long?” Her voice was shrill. Apparently the notion of such a wait was offensive to her mom.

“You know it won’t take that long. The house has been on the market for a few months now I think. I already called Curtis about pre-approval on financing.”

“OOOhhh.” Her mom said, somehow with a southern drawl at the end. “I’m so excited.”

“Mom, I’m getting on the highway. Do you need me to get Adam?”

“Is it possible?”

“Yes. Is there something wrong?”

“Well, not really. Your daddy just overdid it outside doing lawn work and I’d feel better tendin’ to him.”

Every fall for the past three years daddy overdid the lawn work so Rachel knew exactly what her mom was dealing with. Although not old, unless someone thought the mid-fifties old, her daddy was cursed with a bad back that exerted its will every fall when it came time to cut back roses, rake leaves and cover perennials.

“I’ll get Adam. You take care of daddy.”

“Thank you.” She gave Rachel the flight information and Rachel scribbled it all down balancing the notebook on the steering wheel.

“I’ll see you tonight then mom.” Rachel hung up the phone. She’d spent more time in Woodhaven these last few weeks than she had in the previous six months. As long as all of this didn’t get her too far behind in work she wouldn’t have a problem with it. She scanned her mental calendar and decided she was fine. There were no meetings on her agenda this week other than with Shannon. That was a stroke of luck given how busy they’d been recently.

When she got to the office she stopped long enough to pick up some work to do at home and to fill out and email the mortgage pre-approval application to Curtis. As promised she pushed the send key a little before three o’clock then she loaded up and went back out the door.

You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.

Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at

Get each new chapter delivered to you by signing up for the Tiffany Colter Fiction Blog using the link on the right.

This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.

Bloggers may comment on or link to this blog from their own blog. To link directly to this posting click the title then copy the address in the browser.