I’ve lived in Michigan most of my life. As such, I get to experience the four different seasons and the changes they bring.
Fall has always been my favorite. Depending on your location, you might see vibrant greens, golds and reds as October arrives, shifting the colors of the many trees that dot the landscape. Or you can feel the chill in the air, the crispness that greats you when you walk out the door early in the morning.
It’s Mother Nature’s reminder that the orchards are brimming with apples and cider, and if you look over your shoulder, you might see hints of winter approaching.
This column should have been done a month ago. But like so much in life, things kept getting in the way. Other ideas kept jumping up, too good to ignore. So as the good nuns in Catholic school used to say, ‘Better late than never’.
To go with that theme, here’s an excerpt from “Devious” where Jamie and Malone are going out for brunch on their second date.
Malone wouldn’t say where we were going. He drove west, headed toward Ann Arbor. We passed the city and kept going. An hour later, we were outside of Jackson. He turned off the highway and began zigging and zagging through two lane roads. We ended up at a country inn. A small lake was in the background. A string quartet was playing softly. Buffet tables laden with everything from fresh fruit to venison lined one wall. At the end was a chef in the traditional whites with a Red Wings baseball cap on his gray head. He was making omelets big enough to feed a family of four.
“Hungry?” Malone asked quietly as I stood there surveying the bounty before me. I noticed the dining room was packed and many people were waiting in the lobby.
“Suddenly, I’m starved.”
He steered me back to the hostess stand. There was a frazzled young woman standing at the podium. She smiled valiantly as we approached.
“Happy Sunday. Do you have reservations for the buffet?” Her voice was as squeaky as a cartoon character.
I was shaking my head no when Malone indicated that we did. She scrolled down the list, made a checkmark against his name and led us to a table overlooking the lake.
We started with coffee, giving the crowd at the buffet line a chance to thin out.
“That’s pretty impressive that you made reservations and got me here on time, Malone.”
His eyes twinkled over the rim of his coffee cup. “A very wise man once said, timing is everything.”
“I’m betting you didn’t make the reservations this morning,” I said.
“Nope, I made them yesterday.”
“You’re pretty sure of yourself, Sergeant.”
“It goes with the territory.”
Brunch was a long, leisurely meal that seemed to last three hours. We went slowly through the buffet line, sampling the delicacies. There was smoked salmon, pate, venison tenderloin with mushrooms and capers in a brandy cream sauce, deviled eggs, roasted potatoes with garlic and chives. And that was just on the first plate.
After brunch we walked along the lake, enjoying the crisp autumn air. It wouldn’t be much longer before the snow began to fly. Already, the days were noticeably shorter.
On the drive home, Malone stayed on the state roads, rather than hit the freeway. It was almost as if he didn’t want the day to end. I know I certainly didn’t. Somewhere along the drive back, he’d taken my hand and held it gently. For stretches at a time, we were silent. Then a song on the stereo would trigger a comment, and we’d chatter away like old friends.
We walked slowly up the stairs to my apartment. I bumped my nose on the door. It was locked. Malone had to remind me to secure the place when we left. He was laughing softly as he took the keys from my hand and unlocked the door.
“You still live close enough to the big city that you should always lock up.”
“Yes sir,” I said, rubbing my nose. I walked several steps inside before I realized he wasn’t behind me.
“Been a long day, Jamie.”
I came back to the door. “And a lovely, relaxing one at that, but it’s not that late. Come in.”
He hesitated. “I don’t want to rush things, Jamie.”
I don’t know if he could hear it, but my heart was thumping so loudly it could have stopped traffic on I-275. And that’s three miles away. “C’mon, Malone. Stay for a while.”
He hesitated again. My mind raced through all of the things I had done in the past to scare guys away. Being pushy or too easy was one of them. Attacking them in the hallway was probably another. But I really wanted him to stay. I couldn’t tell if he’d made up his mind or not, so I jumped right in.
“Look, Malone. I’m not a kid. Neither are you. I’m not some cop-groupie. We’re both adults. We’ve met half a dozen times or more. We’ve talked, gotten to know each other a little. We’ve just spent a lot of time together over the last two days. We’ve got a lot…”
Somewhere in the middle of this speech, he stepped into the room, pulled me close and kicked the door shut behind him. Then his fingers were caressing my face as he leaned in close for a kiss.
“Jamie,” his voice was a soft, sexy whisper.
“Jamie,” he repeated, gently kissing my mouth.
His lips traveled down my neck. “Sometimes…”
He was working his way back toward my ear. “You talk too much.”
Today's music is an old favorite from The Police. Hope you like it.