For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE -A/N - 6/26/2016

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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keepsmiling7
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 3

Postby keepsmiling7 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:30 am

dinner with Scott........who is he??
And I agree with Kyle, it is time for him to move on.
Thanks,
Carolyn

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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 3

Postby sarammlover » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:39 pm

Aw man. I thought this was finally their chance to be together....guess not quite yet. I don't want Kyle to leave!!!! I hope Michael does have a few words with Isabel to see where her head is at. I don't want to know too much but I am wondering if we will ever see the Stevens again??

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For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 4

Postby KindredKandies » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:55 pm

Eva: Lol, yeah, Michael does tend to be a bit thick-headed at times, especially during conversations like that one. Direct is generally the best way to go with that type.

Isabel, like Kyle, has been holding things inside. All it takes is that right person in the right moment… and hers is coming.

keepsmiling7: Lol, Kyle’s question exactly!

Kyle isn’t finished with that thought. And Michael isn’t finished with him.

sarammlover: Well, the two of them have to meet as equals and right now the situation is, while not one-sided, it’s definitely got them on uneven ground. You know how Michael is… think he’ll let go of that thought? Lol, well, the Stevens family won’t be making a guest appearance in this sequel, but we do have two more sequels planned at some point in the future and we can promise that in one of them, we’ll see them again.



Part 4

“Do you think I’m a coward?”

The question came out of the blue and caught Diane by surprise. “A coward?” she echoed, the disbelief clear in her voice.

Isabel shrugged as she rearranged cookies by size. “A person without courage.”

“No.” She set the pan she’d been washing aside and reached for a dishtowel to dry her hands. “No, that’s not a word I’ve ever felt described you.” She shook her head. “Not in any way, shape or form.”

“Then maybe I just have commitment issues.”

“Where is this coming from, honey?”

“I made a mistake and this time I can’t just fix it with a wave of my hand.” She stood up and started to move around the room restlessly. “Kyle moved out,” she admitted finally.

“You don’t think he’ll come back?”

“I hurt him, Mom.”

“Are you afraid he won’t forgive you?” She watched her daughter, seeing the misery she didn’t try to hide. “Or are you more afraid he will?”

Isabel’s hand froze over the cookies she was once again rearranging. “What?”

Sensing that she wasn’t quite ready to take that road just yet she backed up a few steps and decided to take the path Isabel had dodged earlier. “You said Alex hasn’t been around.”

“No.” She sighed and her hands clenched around the edge of the counter. “No, he hasn’t. He’s been MIA for a few days now.”

“Do you know why?” she prodded gently.

She linked her fingers behind her neck and stared at the ceiling. Did she know why? She felt like she was so alone but she couldn’t tell her mom that. She didn’t want her to think she wasn’t enough.

“Honey, you’re so lost right now. Do you think I can’t see it?” She reached over to touch the younger woman’s arm. “I know how much you’ve relied on Alex for advice. I know how much his presence has given you stability. He’s kept you grounded.”

“Yeah,” she agreed and waved one hand jerkily, “and now he’s gone.”

Diane closed the distance between them and pulled her daughter into her arms. “Isabel, honey, as much as you’ve leaned on Alex you’ve leaned on Kyle even more.” She combed her fingers through her long blonde hair, the touch soothing.

“And now they’re both gone,” she choked out, her hands clenching in her mom’s sweater.

She was sure the timing wasn’t a coincidence. But Isabel had to clear her head so she could see what had been right in front of her for some time now.

“Would it have made a difference if I had told Jesse the truth?”

Well, that was an unexpected turn, Diane thought. Isabel had put that behind her so bringing her ex-husband up now was a bit of a surprise. “Are you asking if I think it would’ve kept you together?” She waited until Isabel nodded before she continued. “In the short run it probably would’ve been better coming from you than learning the truth the way he did.” She drew in a calming breath as she recalled how close she had come to losing her little girl to a bullet without ever knowing it. That story still haunted her. “But in the long run, no, I don’t think it would’ve changed the outcome.”

“Why?” She moved back and waited.

“Jesse was a man who knew exactly what he wanted out of life. He was 26 years old, settling into his career and he had a plan for his life. He wasn’t old by any means, but there’s a very big difference between 26 and 18. And the truth of the matter is he didn’t know you.”

“But even if I had told him about me you don’t think we would’ve stayed together.”

“No, I don’t. I believe you would’ve given it everything you had, but even if there wasn’t your alien heritage to consider, I have my doubts. You were 18, Isabel.” She grasped her daughter’s hands and held them tightly. “Your friends were all around the same age. You were just waiting to get out and experience life, sow some wild oats as your grandmother would say. Jesse was already settled. Spending time with a bunch of teenagers wasn’t really what he was looking for.”

Isabel smiled briefly. “Some of his friends were a little…”

“Boring?” Diane laughed. “That’s to be expected with the age difference and with the profession he chose.” She shook her head when she caught the surprised look on Isabel’s face. “Do not ever tell your father I said that.”

She sighed and moved across the room to stand at the window that faced the front yard and her eyes watered as she stared at the Christmas lights on the house across the street. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you.” She reached up and swiped the tears away before they could escape. “I don’t know why I didn’t.”

“You wanted things to be normal and you wanted something you could control.”

“Control?” she asked as she looked up to meet her mom’s gaze in the window’s reflective surface.

“When Alex died you were so lost, honey. I didn’t understand your guilt over his death at the time, but I do know you learned the harshest possible way that we really don’t have control over much of anything in this life. I’ve heard you tell your brother plenty of times that he’s controlling, but that’s something the two of you have in common.”

“What?” She whirled around to look at Mom. “I’m not controlling.”

“Yes, you are. Some people call it being a perfectionist, but it’s the same thing. Christmas is not the only time that part of your personality comes out. It’s present in pretty much everything you do. You’re a force of nature and a lot of people will back down and give in to you rather than put up a fight because it’s the easiest path.” She chuckled. “Alex was learning that the only way to earn your respect and possibly more was to avoid giving in to your every wish.”

“And if he’d just given in that day he’d still be here.”

Diane hurt for her little girl as she watched her, finally understanding where the conversation about Jesse had come from. Isabel held her breath as she strained to hear the slightest sound and her eyes darted around the room, searching for him.

“You don’t need Alex to tell you that’s not true,” she said quietly.

“Yes, I do,” she insisted. “He said he’d be here when I need him. He promised.”

“Then why isn’t he here?”

Silence was the only response to her question so she decided to come back to it from a different direction. “Did he leave when Kyle moved out?”

Isabel drifted around the room aimlessly for a few minutes before finding herself back at the window. “No.” She cleared her throat and repeated the denial in a stronger voice. “No, he left before that.”

Alex had left the night everything changed. She’d known it as soon as she’d woken up the next morning. And she’d been hit with so many thoughts and emotions that she hadn’t been able to look Kyle in the eye as she made her escape. It wasn’t fair to him and she knew that but she hadn’t been able to give him what he needed. So she’d run.

He’d come after her. She’d known he would. Kyle wasn’t the type to just roll over and let anyone walk over him. He’d been angry, hurt and disappointed, but he hadn’t just given up after one try. No, he’d given up when he came to the conclusion that she couldn’t let go of the past, of Alex.

“What do you think of The Nutcracker?”

Diane took a seat on one of the barstools and leaned on the counter as she considered the question. “The ballet?” she asked to make sure they were on the same page. Isabel was all over the map tonight so following her erratic thought patterns was taking considerably more effort than normal.

“The ballet, yes, but more specifically the story behind it.” She didn’t give her mom time to respond before she launched into Kyle’s viewpoint regarding the ballet. “I mean, the man can’t just sit back and watch anything. He sits there and his brain comes up with these completely different views from what anyone else is thinking. I mean, for years I watched that ballet and loved every minute of it. I watched it and I saw this beautiful dream. He watched it one time and he comes up with this dark undertone about how Clara’s at risk for losing herself in the dream, how if she’s so happy she could eventually lose herself to the dream.”

“Hmm,” Diane murmured, “I can honestly say I’ve never given it that much thought. I just watched it and enjoyed the story.”

Isabel threw her hands up. “Thank you!”

“But,” she cautioned as she held a hand up, “that doesn’t mean his interpretation is wrong. Ballet, like all forms of art, can be interpreted in many ways and I have to admit he’s come to an interesting conclusion. Fantasies and dreams can be wonderful and they can be a beautiful escape, but knowing when to let them go and embrace reality is so important. Yes, there’s a certain safety and security in losing yourself in those realms, but if you’re not careful you’ll look up one day and realize life has passed you by. And as much of a hassle as real life can be at times, it far surpasses anything you can ever have in a dream.”

“You can’t get hurt in a dream.”

“That’s true, but you’ll also never really know life or love there either. Honey, no one enjoys getting hurt and there’s no way to ever really prevent it from happening at some point, and in opening yourself up to the good things you’re also leaving yourself open to hurt, but that’s what it means to live, to love.” She sighed quietly when she realized she wasn’t getting through to her daughter. “Here, let’s go in the living room. There’s something I’d like to share with you.”

Isabel did as Mom suggested and she bypassed the chair in favor of taking a seat on the couch, nodding when she said she’d be right back. Was she a coward? Hiding in the dream because she just couldn’t risk getting hurt again? Was she settling for existing rather than living?

“Do you know your dad and I almost didn’t get together?”

Her shocked gaze flew to her mom when she came into the room with an envelope in her hand. “What?”

She smiled and nodded as she sat down on the couch. “It’s true.”

“Why?”

Her eyes took on a faraway look as they dropped to the envelope she held. “Because it is easy to lose yourself in the dream.”

She shifted around to face her mom. “I don’t understand.”

“There was someone before your dad. Someone I loved with the fierceness and passion only a teenage girl experiences.”

“No,” Isabel denied. “You and Dad love each other.”

“Oh, honey, I love your dad with a depth even I can’t comprehend.” She laughed quietly. “I think you experience love differently depending on your age, the situation and so many other factors. When you’re seventeen you rush headlong into love. You’re fearless. There’s no thought about it not working out because all you can think about is that rush you get just from thinking about that special guy. You don’t have that cautious voice of experience warning you to slow down because you’ve never known the pain of a broken heart.”

“So the guy before Dad broke your heart.” She was still trying to wrap her mind around the existence of this other man.

“Not through any fault of his own, but yes, he did.”

“How is that possible?” She was just about to launch into a rant about that when something about Mom’s expression stopped her. “It wasn’t his fault,” she repeated. “He died?”

Diane nodded. “He had enlisted and he was among the last of the soldiers sent to Vietnam. He’d been there less than a week when his platoon was ambushed.”

“I’m sorry, Mom,” she whispered as she hugged her mom tightly.

They were silent for a few minutes before Diane pulled back and opened the envelope. She slid the photograph out and offered it to her daughter. “That’s Travis.”

Isabel accepted the photograph and turned it over to look at it. “He wasn’t like Dad, was he?”

“No, he couldn’t have been more different if he’d tried.” The photo had captured him perfectly – young, full of life, brash and fearless. “Travis was impulsive and reckless and he ran headlong into life. That can be a very heady combination for a seventeen-year-old girl.”

She stared at the young man in the black and white photograph. Fatigue pants and combat boots, bare-chested, dog tags hanging from the chain around his neck, his forearms resting on the rifle lying across his shoulders, chinstrap dangling from the helmet sitting at a jaunty angle on his head, and a wide, infectious grin on his lips. “You kept this. Do you still love him?”

“You always hold a special place in your heart for your first love. But it doesn’t take anything away from what I feel for your dad.” She tapped her fingernail against the edge of the photo. “He knows about the picture and he’s fine with it. He understood and that helped. Travis is a part of my past and that’s where he stays.”

Just like Alex was a part of her past, she realized. Just like Kyle understood about her past, like he had supported her and helped her find a way to survive it.

“I got a letter and that picture nearly a month after he was killed over there.” She drew in a deep breath. “I thought my life was over when I heard he had been killed. For a long time I went through the motions but I didn’t really care about anything. It took a couple of years but eventually I started living again. Or at least I thought I was.” She smiled faintly. “I was starting my second year in college when I met your dad. He was there on a football scholarship and he was in his last year.”

“Dad’s always said he knew you were the one the second he saw you.”

Diane chuckled with a small nod. “He’s said that from the beginning. He was persistent and no matter how many times I told him I wasn’t interested he kept coming back and asking me out. Your dad hasn’t changed that much.” Her eyes sparkled as she lost herself in the past for a few minutes. “Strong and steady, dependable, hard-working, and oh, so good looking. He loved to go out and have a good time but when the time came to work or study all of his focus was on that and nothing else. He was determined to graduate at the top of his class and he knew what he wanted out of life.” Her hand rested on Isabel’s arm. “You ran straight to stability and I ran away from it.”

The clock on the mantle chimed and Isabel glanced at it, her heart stuttering in her chest at the realization that the New Year was only ninety minutes away. “What changed your mind?” she asked as her gaze shifted back to Mom.

“Your dad was persistent but I was determined to avoid loving another man after losing Travis. Philip came to see me at the office where I was clerking part-time and he told me he was gonna ask me out one last time and if I turned him down he’d never bother me again. I’d spent the best part of a year turning him down but he’d never stopped asking. Every time he’d ask I’d say no and we’d end up talking, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for hours. Somewhere during that year I fell in love with him and I didn’t even realize it until that day.”

“And that’s when you finally said yes.” How did she not know this part of her parents’ story?

“No.” Diane smiled sadly and shook her head. “He was going to be leaving for law school soon so I wished him good luck and told him goodbye.” She reached over and gently nudged her daughter’s chin up when her mouth dropped open in shock. “Your dad is not the impulsive type. He’s the man who always has a plan. He’s not rigid or inflexible but he likes order.” She chuckled. “He’s not a stick in the mud but he’s also not a man given to spontaneous behavior. Not very often at least.” She smiled softly as her fingertips brushed over her lips at the memory.

Isabel’s eyes widened. “He kissed you.”

“Yes, he did. He kissed me, told me he loved me, and then he said if I didn’t stop living in the past and fearing what the future might hold I’d spend the rest of my life regretting all I’d missed out on. And then he waited a few minutes, just watched me and waited for me to say yes. But I couldn’t do it.” She’d never forget the hurt look in his eyes as he’d nodded and turned to leave. She’d watched him pause at the door, drawing in a slow deep breath and squaring his shoulders before leaving the office, his head held high and his features free of emotion.

“You let him leave.”

“I let him leave.” She patted Isabel’s arm reassuringly. “But I didn’t let him get away. I had to take a good look at myself, do some soul searching, and cried on my mother’s shoulder for quite some time before I found the strength to take the risk of loving your dad. I went to see him to ask him to give me a chance but he was already gone.”

“What’d you do?”

Diane laughed. “I went home, packed a bag and told my parents I was heading for Cambridge. Your granddad was having none of that so when I got on the bus your grandmother was sitting on the seat next to me. No daughter of theirs was going to chase some boy across the country without a proper chaperone.”

“That’d be so embarrassing!”

“It was,” she admitted, “but it was a different time and while times were changing your granddad wasn’t changing with them.” She rolled her eyes but they shined with a combination of love and humor. “Having a chaperone around had its good points.”

“Yeah, but what about when you just wanted to be alone with a guy?”

“Like I said, it had its good points. At the time it didn’t seem like it and I sure didn’t appreciate it, but being the mother of a daughter I can appreciate the precaution so much more now.” She smiled at the look of disbelief on Isabel’s face. “No, tracking your dad down and having that conversation with my mom in the next room wasn’t what I wanted but I had to make him listen. Once I realized I was willing to risk my heart again I couldn’t wait any longer.”

“Was it hard?” she asked, her tone and expression somber. “Opening yourself up like that again, taking that risk?”

“It was hard. It was very hard to be honest. But honey, living and existing are such very different things. When I found the strength to break free of a prison I wasn’t even aware I was in, it was such an incredibly liberating experience. There’s a freedom in taking that freefall and knowing you can trust your partner to catch you.”

The tears spilled over before she even realized they were coming and once they started she couldn’t seem to stop them.

Diane took the picture from Isabel’s hands and set it on the coffee table as she shuffled closer and pulled her daughter into her arms. “He’ll forgive you, Isabel.”

“I don’t think he’s coming back, Mom,” she choked out through her tears and wrapped her arms tighter around her mom. Kyle was a fighter but how long could you fight for someone who refused to meet you halfway? She’d known the night he packed a bag and walked out that she’d pushed too hard. In all the time they’d been living together he’d given her space, he’d allowed her to set the boundaries, and she’d been content to live in denial.

And now he was gone.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 4

Postby keepsmiling7 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:27 am

Great sharing session between Diane and Isabel.
She's right, you will always remember that first love......
Thanks for the good part,
Carolyn

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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 4

Postby Eva » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:35 am

Whoaw, what a mother-daughter talk! Diane surely knows her daughter. She said the right things and the right time. And Isabel is starting to see some light in the dark, not to much but enough to see. Great chapter! I loved it from the start till the end.
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 4

Postby sarammlover » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:41 pm

I am so glad Diane has been able to be there for Isabel during this time. I think it is good for Isabel to get some insight into her feelings for both Alex and Kyle. I also think it isn't completely lost for her and Kyle.....great update!

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For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 5

Postby KindredKandies » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:53 pm

keepsmiling-7 Thank you for the compliment. We love Isabel's relationship to her mother. It was strong throughout the series and we enjoyed writing them here.
The memory of that first love remains indelibly printed upon the heart, and when that stamp is tarnished by the pain of such deep loss it carries so much more weight. For Isabel it's made it difficult to let go, to allow the good memories to override the pain of that loss. By sharing her past with Travis, Diane helped her daughter to see that it is possible to not only love again, but to open herself to the possibilities and embrace a new relationship.

Eva- Thank you! We love Isabel and her mother's relationship and we enjoy writing them especially now that they're together without secrets.. There is more....;)

sarammlover We're glad you liked the update. :) Diane knows her daughter well and knows how to pose questions to help her sort things out. We love their relationship and enjoy writing them. As for Isabel and Kyle....Please keep reading.:)


Author’s Note: There are just a few lines in this part from the song ‘The Gambler’ – obviously we don’t own it!


Part 5

Kyle’s gaze flicked to the clock over the bar. Ninety more minutes and he’d manage to survive New Year’s without her. He was a grown man. He didn’t need anyone to hold his hand through the holiday just because she wasn’t interested in moving forward. With him. Or anyone really, but he wasn’t noble enough to want her to move forward with just anyone. He sighed and ran a hand though his hair. No, he wasn’t that noble, but if that’s what it took for it to happen then he could suck it up. He wasn’t so small that he wanted her to be miserable. He just couldn’t stay here and watch her move on with someone else.

“I get that you need some space,” Michael said, interrupting his thoughts yet again.

“No, you don’t get it,” he bit out as his gaze swung to the other man. “If you got it you’d get outta here and leave me alone.”

“Valenti, you’re talkin’ about leavin’ and I – “

“Michael, drop it.”

It was rare that Kyle called him by his first name so that immediately had his attention. Usually he called him by his last name or by that stupid nickname he’d given him, El Capitan. The first name was generally reserved for those times when he wanted to make sure he had his attention.

“Look, whatever happened, it’s between me an’ Isabel. It’s not anyone else’s business. You mean well and I appreciate that, but you’re not helpin’ things by pushin’ me on this.”

“I don’t know how else to get you to talk to me.”

If his mood had been anywhere other than the toilet, it would’ve made him laugh. Michael Guerin wanting to talk? Who could’ve ever seen that one coming? “Then do us both a favor and don’t strain yourself. Go back to Maria, tell her we bonded or whatever, and I’m fine.”

Michael emptied his glass and set it down before dropping his feet to the floor. “You’re not fine, Valenti, and she’d see right through the lie.” He shifted to pull his phone out of his pocket, glancing at the caller ID before waving it in front of his friend’s face so he could see Maria’s name on the display. “I’m gonna step outside and get this and when I get back in here we’re gonna get your head screwed on straight so I can get outta here.”

He waved a hand dismissively and turned back to face his half empty beer, sighing tiredly as he rubbed his hands over his eyes. Would he go back and do things differently if he could? Maybe handle the situation without crossing a line that could never be uncrossed? He shook his head, unable to see things unfolding any other way. And selfishly he couldn’t let that night be wished away no matter how much pain it might have prevented. Might have? He snorted at that. There was no might about it.

How many times had she had a date pick her up at their place? She’d never brought them back home afterwards but she’d come home well after midnight on a few occasions. She’d been shocked when she’d stopped by his room and run into Holly Barrister bouncing around his room like the energizer bunny with fresh batteries. Wearing an old football jersey out of his closet and what appeared to be nothing else. Her expression had turned decidedly frosty when he stepped out of his bathroom, a towel knotted around his hips while he ran another one over his hair.

“What’s up?” he asked as he tossed the towel across the room where it landed over the back of his desk chair.

“I just wanted to let you know breakfast is ready if you’re hungry.”

“Okay, well – “

“Oh, I’d love something to eat,” Holly enthused as she ran over and threw her arms around him. “Thank you sooo much for last night!”

He hadn’t missed the eye roll or the look of irritation on Isabel’s face as she turned and stormed out of his room. He started to go after her but she made it out of the house and then ducked him all day on campus. He managed to work himself up into a pretty dark mood of his own by the time he came home, making it a point to get there early enough to catch her before another one of her dates.

She was surprised when she saw him but she was quick to hide it. He didn’t want any part of that particular denial game and when she made a smart-mouthed comment about his date the night before he turned around and threw the pot into the sink without bothering to take the food out of it first.

“You got somethin’ you wanna say let’s hear it,” he snapped. “For the past year you’ve paraded more guys through here than I’ve been able to keep count of and the one time I bring someone home you’re all over me about it. You’re the one that said I needed to get out and date more or have you forgotten that?!”

“I said date them, not bring them home for an overnight stay.”

He was completely lost and utterly confused. “Why the hell does it matter to you?” He leaned on the counter separating them, his hands locked around the edge because at the moment he wanted nothing more than to throttle her.

“I just think you can do better.”

“Uh-huh, and what the hell’s wrong with Holly?”

“Her name’s stupid to start with.”

He stared at her in disbelief. “That’s your argument? Her name’s stupid?” He threw his hands up in the air. “This from the girl who set me up with a girl named Bitsy?” He rounded the counter and stood toe to toe with her as he got in her space to make his point. “You have no right to say anything about who I choose to bring home.”

“I don’t bring any of my dates home and I sure as hell haven’t let any of them run around the house half naked.”

He was seething inside. He hadn’t even done anything wrong. Hell, he had even slept on the couch because he was that guy, the guy that never got the girl because they never wanted the one that was decent and wanted to stick around. Not that it even mattered. Holly had only come home with him because she’d had a couple drinks too many and she’d managed to lose her keys. Her roommate was out of town visiting family over the holidays so she’d had no way to get into her apartment until the office opened the next morning. There would be no convincing Isabel of that but he didn’t care to make his case for celibacy at the moment. Frankly, it was none of her damn business.


“Okay, so let’s talk.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. “Let’s not.”

“Maria said Isabel hasn’t showed up at the pub.”

“And what would you like me to do about that?” he snapped.

“I’d like you to get your head outta your ass and tell me what happened. Beyond the obvious,” Michael clarified, “because whether you wanna admit it to me or not, we both know the two of you got it on.”

“What’re you, like fifteen? You’re obsessed with this situation and you’re using up more than your quota of juvenile terms to talk about sex.” He made a face and reached for his beer.

“Don’t you feel better now that you’ve admitted it?”

“God, you’re like a dog with a bone.” He was exasperated and frustrated and about a dozen other adjectives he could think of just off the top of his head. “I’m not the guy she wants, okay? So it doesn’t matter.”

“It does if she slept with you.” He grabbed a handful of peanuts when the bartender set a fresh bowl on the counter in front of him. “She’s not exactly the casual type.”

He was not sitting in a bar discussing his sex life with Michael Guerin of all people. This was not what his life had come down to. “How do I get it through your thick head that she’s stuck in the dream?” He waved his hands wildly, the gesture easily conveying his frustration. “I’m not the guy in the dream, got it? And I’m not sitting here feelin’ sorry for myself. Sometimes you gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.”

“Say what?”

“The Gambler? Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em? Know when to walk away, know when to run?” He rolled his eyes when Michael just stared at him as if he’d grown a second head.

“You should sing with the Sheriff, you’d fit right in.”

“I’ll pass, thanks.”

“So you’re just gonna fold? Just turn tail and run because she’s got some issues.”

“We’re not talkin’ about her… I dunno, wearin’ her socks to bed, man. I’m talkin’ about the fact that she’s hung up on somethin’ I can’t fight. And I won’t. I’ve waited around for years, hoping she’d finally see me,” he thumped his fist against his chest, “that she’d open her eyes and see that I’m right here, and when she did – when I thought she did, she turned and ran right back to the dream.”

Michael was getting a headache, something that was an unusual occurrence for him, and he blamed it on this conversation. “Look, man, Maria can drive me around the bend to insanity sometimes but – “

“It’s not the same thing! Why can’t you understand that? When that guy, what was his name, Billy, came back into the picture…” he nodded when his friend’s features went taut at the reminder. “Yeah, but you know what? You could’ve fought him. You could’ve put your fist in his face and got your point across.”

“Fat lot of good that would’ve done,” he muttered, wondering how mad Maria would be if he just went to the pub and left Valenti here.

“Well, imagine havin’ to deal with him as a ghost. You know he’s there, you know there’s a bond there, and you know no matter what you do you can’t make her let either of them go.” He lifted his head to look at Michael. “You had to let her go to figure out what she wanted and you lucked out. She came back to you.” He took a drink of his beer. “I don’t have that advantage. Isabel was never mine to begin with.”

“Okay, first off, don’t ever bring Darden’s name up again,” he said with a glare. “Second, I get what you’re sayin’ and I agree that you can’t fight a ghost or a dream or whatever, but the thing is it’s not your fight. If she’s caught up in the dream,” this conversation was seriously taking a lot of work to keep track of, “then she’s gotta be the one to let it go. Sometimes we can’t fight their battles for ‘em no matter how much we want to.”

“That’s great, Obi-Wan.” He leaned forward to thump his forehead on his fisted hands. Michael really wasn’t helping. At all.

“That’s it for the game!”

He sighed when he heard the announcer on the television above the bar shout out those two words. He tuned out the rest of them as his mind shut down, shifting back to a couple of nights ago and the argument that had set their tempers off like a tinderbox. They had ignited like a spark on the dry prairie, engulfing them in flames hotter than anything he’d ever experienced or expected.

He still didn’t know which of them had moved first. They had been arguing and admittedly it had been a pretty stupid argument, spiraling further out of control with every word until they had come together, their lips fusing in an incendiary kiss.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 5

Postby keepsmiling7 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:19 am

I love a jealous Isabel.......
And Kyle, he had great come backs! But he is dealing with a ghost......
So what's in store for these two???
Thanks,
Carolyn

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Eva
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 5

Postby Eva » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:02 am

I get Kyle: I don't think I would've found the strength either. Going away was his ultimate sign. It shows his desperation and love at the same time. I can only hope that that last one will winn. Preferably within 90 minutes :-)
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sarammlover
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 5

Postby sarammlover » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:30 am

At least Kyle is talking about it now and Michael can finally leave him alone! HA HA HA. Michael. I love him. He DID have some good advice and I hope Kyle takes it and I also hope we find Isabel in a little better space and soon!


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