Read Echoes in the Bayou Online

Authors: Ursula Dukes

Echoes in the Bayou (3 page)

Ava
looked back and forth between the two stunned. Not only was he talking to her
as if she were a child but did she just hear him correctly when he said,
when
we
were
trying to figure out what to do with you? 

She could
hold on to her anger no more. "What the hell am I? Some goddamn stray you
found out in the street Gavin? And since when do you have to figure out
anything about me Melanie?" She said sarcastically. "What you need to
do is figure out why you can't keep your goddamn legs closed!" Ava snarled
at her.

Gavin and
Melanie exchanged looks.

"Ava,
you and I both know that you’re not that hard to figure out. I mean let's face
it, you are very passive. But deep down you know we’re finished right? 
Yes I asked you to move in and yes I thought things would work out but I was
wrong. So for you, this will take some getting used to and that's why you need
to hear me out," Gavin pressed.  "Going to this place is just
what you need."

Ava could
not believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. She was sure that
there was not enough room in his small office for himself and his ego.
What the hell
did I ever see in him?
She asked
herself.
You saw those gorgeous baby blues and you liked the way he did that
thing with his tongue too
,
her inner
self reminded her.
Well he’s doing it to somebody else now
,
she pouted.
No wait that’s not right
,
she debated with herself.
He’s doing it
with my best friend
,
she thought
angrily.

"You
know you're right about one thing Gavin, getting the hell away from you two is
exactly what I need, now tell me about this client of yours," she
insisted.

"Now
that’s more like it Ava, I knew you’d come around." Gavin gave Melanie a,
this will
only take a few more minutes my love, once I’ve gotten rid of Ava we can resume
our fucking on my desk
,
look before
continuing.

"Now
as I was saying this client, Magnus DuPonte lives in Louisiana and works right
there on the plantation. Once he got out of the corporate life and decided to
start writing, he needed
someplace quiet, so he
moved into the plantation. Now the plan was for his fiancé to move in with him,
but when he asked her she told him that she wouldn’t be able to stand the
isolation. Well DuPonte didn’t take that too well, but the guy really needed a
break so he packed up and moved into the old place and kept seeing his fiancé
whenever he could. But the distance soon became a problem for her so she broke
it off with him completely and he ended up staying. He figured he’d go it alone
but that's no longer working out for him so now he wants to be rid of the
place. He doesn’t see the point in keeping it; it’s too much for one person to
handle."

Ava gave him a look
of astonishment. "So now you’re sending me to Louisiana?
Could this
job be any farther?
She asked
herself.
But of course, the farther I am
the better, especially for these two
. "And pray tell how the hell do
you know all of this Gavin? I mean surely this man hasn’t shared with you his
entire life story, or has he?"

"Don’t
you ever read the society pages?" She could hear the sarcasm in his voice.
"Just hear me out Ava please. Magnus DuPonte is the owner of Montieu
Plantation.
Now it’s obviously a very old
plantation and he wants to get rid of it, maybe sell it to someone who will
make it into a banquet facility, a bed and breakfast, or raise a family. 
He needs someone who will stay on the property and take care of any and all redecorating
and the like. He’ll pay you for your time of course, but he doesn’t want a lot
of people traipsing throughout the house. You’d have to pass everything by him
first though so that he can approve it. Now there are a lot of rooms in the old
place, some haven’t seen the light of day in many, many years so you’d have
your work cut out for you. Well? What do you think?" He asked staring at
her intently.

She
could almost see the urgency in his eyes; he wanted
nothing more than to get rid of her, the sooner the better. She could see it,
smell it, shit she could almost taste it. And because of his devious
determination, she decided to make him squirm.

"Sounds
too good to be true Gavin; what’s the catch?
"
She raised an eyebrow at him.

"There
is no catch Ava, you have no idea who he
is do
you?" Gavin questioned.

"No
Gavin I don’t, should I?" She asked. Her interest was now peaked.

Gavin
gave her a mocking look. "Ava, maybe you know him under his pen name,
William Nomiuet? You know the bestselling author? He writes those historical
romance novels, with a focus on the not so popular locations? None of this is
ringing a bell is it Ava? I mean I’ll admit his books are not my thing but even
I know who the guy is, don’t you read?" He looked at her as if she were ignorant.

"Of
course I read Gavin. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read so much as when I
moved in with you. After all, I needed something to occupy my time while you
were out doing what did you call it? Oh yes, working late," she looked at
them with daggers in her eyes.

"Ava,
please try and focus." Gavin dismissed her last comment as if it were
nothing more than a stumble of words that had accidentally spilled from her
mouth. 

"Listen,
Magnus DuPonte, a.k.a William Nomiuet is a very well respected author and it
would do you good to treat him as such should you take the job. Now he wasn’t
always a writer, he used to work with his father Joseph DuPonte. Now surely
you’ve heard of him Ava?" Gavin looked at her inquisitively.

"Yes,
of course I have.
He’s some big shot oil tycoon."

"He’s
not just a big shot Ava; he’s one of the principal shareholders in the
industry. Anyway, his son, Magnus got tired of the hustle and bustle of big
business and decided to branch out on his own and pursue his dream of becoming
a writer, and his father supported that decision one hundred percent.

She was
still skeptical.  "I suppose this Magnus is some invalid who also
needs looking after? Am I right?" Ava asked.

No it’s no
thing like that Ava, trust me."

"Wait,
did you just ask me to trust you Gavin? Trust you? After what you just did to
me?" She sneered.

"Look
Ava, we… I think it’s best if you took this job, you know things will be too
awkward here. So go, check it out and if it’s not for you just give me a call
and I’ll tell him that you’re not interested okay?"

She
looked at him as if he were an unfamiliar person,
someone who had simply intruded into her life.  Of course she could refuse
the job and quit all together, there had been enough in her savings to see her through,
for a while at least. Long enough until she found another job, but she was no
quitter and she loved her job.
Even
without the perks
. She laughed at herself
for thinking that she would be able to carry on a relationship with her boss.
What's that saying
?
She questioned herself.
Never shit where you eat?
Well never fuck where you work ought to be
added to that
, she thought to herself.

She knew
what she was going to do before the words came out, she'd go on this
assignment. But not because they wanted her to, she wanted to go for her own
reasons. 
I'm going to do my job and
impress the hell out of this Mister DuPonte, and then when he recommends me to
everyone he knows, I'll be able to build my own clientele. Forget working for
Gavin Realty, by the time I'm finished redecorating the plantation, I'll be
ready to go out on my own and do things my way
.

"It’s
all so easy for you isn’t it Gavin?" She said, looking at the two of them.
"Excuse me, what I meant to say was, it’s all so easy for the both of you.
And the both of you expect me to go with the flow is that it? Take it all i
n stride huh?" She faked sorrow. She didn’t want
them to see that suddenly she was excited about taking the job, a job she was
sure would lend a strong hand in earning her positive recognition in the world
of interior design.

Her mood
instantly cheered, she knew that she had made a mistake moving in with Gavin so
soon after they'd started
a relationship.
But I was so blinded by lust I thought that
I was doing the right thing
. She and Gavin's broken relationship aside, all
that mattered now was that she come out of this ahead.

"Ava, please just give Magnus a call and take
things from there. Hey when you get him on the phone, you can put that great
intuition of yours to work right?" For a moment it looked as if he
was sorry, only for a moment.  Gavin handed her
the sheet of paper that held all of Magnus’s information.

"Oh
and Ava? I told him you’d be in touch with him this afternoon so please don’t
forget to make the call and we’re going to need you to be packed up and ready
to go as soon as possible. I’ll stay away for a few days so that you can have
some time to yourself, just remember to leave the key before you go." Ava
could not believe that this man, a man who she loved and
had thought loved her was standing before her, looking
at her with complete and utter lack of compassion. And after giving her one
final glance, took Melanie by the hand, led her back into his office and closed
the door. "Now where we?" She heard him whisper seductively.

 

Chapter
Three

 

After
stopping at the local supermarket and picking up several large boxes, Ava
arrived at Gavin’s home. "It was nice while it lasted," she said out
loud and stared into the mirror that stood just opposite the front door.
"Is it me?" She spoke to the mirror. She wondered if she was letting
herself go.  She turned from side to side as she analyzed her
reflection. 

There was
something mysterious about her look that even she couldn’t quite put her finger
on. Besides the fact that she was of mixed decent, her adoptive parents told
her that the day they were blessed with her, they were astounded by the way she
looked; it was as if she’d lived a hundred lives before. They told her that she
was an old soul and as she grew older, she became even more intuitive and wise
beyond her years.

"And
yet nothing prepared you for what happened today did it?" She got closer
to the mirror.  She stood there searching for wrinkles, wrinkles that were
nowhere to be seen on her twenty eight year old face. "There’s absolutely
nothing wrong with you Ava," she scolded herself.
The problem lies with Gavin and Melanie
, she silently reprimanded herself.
Now
get packing, the sooner you get out of here the better.
  "I’ve got to make a phone call
first." She dialed Magnus’s number.

Magnus
picked up on the third ring and after she hung up the phone with him, Ava
wondered if she was making the right choice. Although he seemed pleasant enough
on the phone, he did sound irritated when she told him that since she’d only been
told about his need of assistance this morning. She would need some time to
pack and take care of any loose ends before making the long trek to Louisiana.

"Miss
Montgomery, I was hoping that someone would be arriving today, but it seems
that is not possible so I’ll expect you no later than the day after
tomorrow," he said and abruptly hung up the phone. Luckily for her she had
put most of her things in storage before moving in with Gavin so all she had to
do was pack up her clothing and personal items. She’d take whatever she could
fit into the car and put the rest in storage.
Hell who knows, maybe I’ll like it there and decide to stay,
she
thought to herself as she began to pack up her clothes.

Gavin was
true to his word and had stayed away. It was well after midnight and while she
lie soaking in the tub drinking a glass of wine, she began to feel really good
about her upcoming move. She forced herself to acknowledge the fact that Gavin
had been right; things had been strained between them and she simply chose to
turn a blind eye. Deep down she knew that he was spending his time with someone
else; but she had no idea that the someone else was Melanie, her best
friend.  Now she understood it all, it was clear as day. It wasn’t until
after she moved in that he began to get preoccupied, staying out late running
his so called errands.

Come to
think of it, there were several nights a week where he didn’t come home at all,
and when he did it was only to take a shower. She remembered once when he’d
just come home one morning, he was in the shower when she decided to join him.
As soon as she stripped off her towel and climbed in behind him, the look he’d
given her was one of disgust. "Not now Ava, Jesus Christ, can’t I have
some time to myself?" He barked at her.

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