– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Rocks and Flowers in a Box (Lorna & Tristan Series #2)’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Author :
Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.
The wedding bells for Lorna and Tristan Blake toll doom right as the honeymoon begins with an unexpected turn in Tristan’s health. While World War II winds down, Lorna receives a letter from the War Department informing her that the brother she thought killed in action is still alive. She is overjoyed, but his return will dredge up a devastating secret about their parents’ tragic death –a secret that could destroy her new marriage and threaten her husband’s physical and mental well-being. What unfolds is balancing act of keeping the faith and shattering the pieces of the life she’s worked so hard to put back together.
Context: Lorna and Tristan are dining at a fine Italian restaurant with their friends, Macy and John. John drinks too much, much to Tristan’s dismay. Tristan never drinks anymore after years of alcoholism.
The tension seemed to ease after that as talk continued well into the evening over the clink of silverware on plates, oohs and ahhs over the aroma and flavor of the cuisine, and the music serenading us from one bite to the next. The second bottle of Chianti stood empty, drained mostly by John, whose red nose and loose tongue were both embarrassing and endearing.
“John, this is why we don’t keep wine in the house.” Macy looked at me and Tristan. “He rarely drinks, but when he does, he has no control.”
“I’m just havin’ a good time,” John slurred. “Nothin’ wrong with that.”
Tristan scowled at the other man. “Get a hold of yourself, John. Be glad you have a wife who can drive you home so you can sleep it off.”
Macy blushed. “I’m so sorry. He really isn’t like this.”
I suspected John’s endearing quality was wearing off as quickly as my lipstick had upon eating.
The waiter chose that moment to return and ask, “Will we be having dolce this evening or perhaps another bottle of wine?”
“Don’t you think two bottles of wine is enough?” Tristan shot at the waiter, glowering at John.
“Grazie, but no grazie,” said Macy with a tight smile. “I think we’ll just take the check.”
The waiter left without a word.
When the check arrived, Tristan snatched it and said, “I’ve got it covered.”
“But, Tristan—” Macy started to say.
He held up a hand, withdrew his wallet, and pressed some money to the billfold. He passed it back to the waiter. “Keep the change. Tip is covered.”
“Molto bene. Grazie mille. Buona notte.” The waiter gave a little bow and left.
“I think that’s our cue to leave,” Tristan said, standing.
My heart sank as I took his arm. Macy was helping John up. With a glance at Tristan, I released his arm and aided my best friend.
“I’m so sorry again,” Macy whispered, her eyes prickling with tears. “We were having such fun.”
“It’s okay. Let’s just get him to the car. Will you be able to manage once you’re home? Because we can follow you.” I looked back at Tristan.
“What? No dolce?” asked John, his eyes glazed and round like two donuts.
“I think you’ve had quite enough for one night,” Macy said.
“But, dear, I love spumoni.”
Macy sighed and muttered, “God help me.”
“I can walk,” John said, although he was dead weight as he leaned on Macy and me.
“Here,” Tristan said brusquely, taking John’s arm over his shoulder. He wasted not a moment exiting the restaurant, his tall, strong frame much better suited for supporting John.
Macy and I followed.
“I’m so sorry,” Macy said for the third time.
I placed a hand on her forearm, stilling her when we arrived at their car. “Don’t be. The truth is…Tristan could learn to lighten up a little, although the alcohol incident…well…”
I thought Tristan and John would grow closer, become better friends, but as Tristan loaded the other man into the passenger seat of the Wells’ Dodge, I didn’t hold out much hope. I hugged Macy and opened the driver-side door for her.
“We’ll be right behind you and will help you get him safely inside,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.”
“This is just what I need,” Macy said in an uncharacteristically drawn voice. “My parents will see this, and I’ll have to explain.”
“It will be okay. I promise.” I pressed a kiss to her cheek and got in the Speedster.
Tristan slammed the door with more force than necessary after I entered, fell in behind the wheel, and with a grim expression, said, “Here we go.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds