eBook release date May 21st 2014!

Chapter Nine – ‘Within These Walls’
Happy reading!

Peyton cringed during the rough ride in the ambulance to the hospital, her breathing was still labored and she was sore from being knocked down so hard.
When they arrived in the emergency room, the whole staff had heard sketchy details of what happened to Dr. Hudson.
She got immediate attention even though the ER was crowded. They rolled the gurney into exam room #1. The Dr. on duty was an acquaintance of hers; his name was Dr. Brian Hartley. He was an excellent ER Doc with over twenty years under his belt. Hi Peyton, may I call you that?”
“It is my name Brian,”she weakly laughed, “Oh, that hurt!”
“As you know, fractures of the ribs rarely show up on X-rays; however we need to look for any complications in your chest. We will treat you for fractured ribs even if they’re not. Start you on some Percocet so you can more easily breathe and cough.”
He examined her more by feel than anything else. He concluded that ribs one, two and three on her right side were injured. You are also aware that if it is three or more ribs, it’s considered a severe injury. After X-ray has its way with you we will fit you with a rib belt.”
“Is all of this completely necessary?”she inquired.
“It’s true that doctors make the worst patients you’re going to have to go along on this one with me on this one Peyton. I’m going to list the possible complications that are related to this type of injury. An X-ray will definitely rule out most of them but I want you to be aware.”
A nurse came in with a small paper cup,
“Take these Dr. Hudson, it’s Percocet for the pain and Ibuprofen for the swelling.”
Peyton obeyed, stung by his comment about Dr.s making the worse patients.
“Ok Brian let me have it.”
“First are injuries to blood vessels. Also the chance of a puncture to the aorta and lung. With the top three injured there’s the possibility. Not probable but possible.”
“Oh my God,”Peyton moaned, “I never realized what a serious affliction this is.”
This is all she needed right now…
When she finished talking to Dr. Hartley, she felt gloomier than ever. She wondered if Mac got her message. She also needed to call Skyler and let her and Cameron know what was going on.
“You what?You got mugged, mom? Are you ok? Who did this, did they catch him? Oh mom I’m so sorry! I’ll get Cameron and well come right over.”
“No hurry sweetheart, they’ll probably keep me overnight. I’ll ask Mac to stay with you two.”
The medication and the events of that evening made Peyton tired. She was going to take a small nap until Mackenzie arrived.

~

Hunter was sitting on his threadbare couch. He was on his third beer. Catching a slight buzz. He had the purse setting next to him just staring at it. This was just the beginning of an intricate plan. He detested Peyton Hudson and everything she stood for. Rich bitches in men’s jobs. She should be home raising her kids. That was what women were for.
Well…he’d let the anticipation build up long enough. He grabbed the expensive bag and sat it on his lap. He was going to relish this!
First, it smelled like pricy perfume. Nothing but the best for Dr. Hudson. Then he grabbed a smallish computer, it was a Kindle Touch. He could just imagine what kind of secrets were hidden in that.
It was a good thing he knew how to hack anything. He would reserve that for later.
The next thing he found was an old pack of Marlboro Light 100’s and a gold Zippo lighter. The good Doc was a closet smoker. He roared with laughter. This was getting good!
He reached further in thGucci bag(it read Gucci all over it) and came out with a solid gold hand mirror. No doubt from her filthy rich family. She had a brush, a comb and three 14K gold hair clips. He would like to strangle her with her precious hair!
That was all the big stuff. There were tons of little things like lipsticks, mascara, some kind of powdered concealer, pens and at the very bottom he found what would mortify her had she known he was touching it. A small compact vibrator. He again roared with delighted laughter.
This just kept getting better and better! It was a deep bag. Who knew what else he would find. There were zipper pockets and he opened one. A shooter of peppermint schnapps. She not only secreted cigarettes, she was a closet drinker too. This was getting rich. He was getting aroused with the little surprises she kept in her purse. She certainly never expected anyone to be going thru it.
After that it was anticlimactic…there was just junk. Business cards, candy wrappers, a toothpick, some spare change and a letter he had missed. He wasn’t going to read it right now. He’d already seen too much. Hunter grabbed another beer, downed the shot of schnapps and went to get something to eat. He was starving! He had major plans to make but he had a few days in which to do it. Couldn’t rush genius.

~

Peyton was awakened by Macs one of a kind voice. It was low, raspy, sexy and had that very slight Irish accent.
“If it wasn’t for bad luck you would have no luck at all pal,”she teased, “I know you’re tired and in pain but I want you to tell me everything. Don’t leave anything out, even if you don’t think it’s important.”
“I just saw him from behind. 5’10”, 185 lbs. , grey hooded sweatshirt like Cameron wore, jeans and white tennis shoes.”
“Did you hear his voice?”
“No he didn’t say anything…wait! -I did get a glimpse of his face as he turned to see if I would scream. I was so afraid I forgot. It all happened so fast. He was trying to figure out if he should run. When he saw the breath was knocked out of me he gave me kind of a creepy smile and just walked away.”
“We need to call the cops,”Mac insisted.
“We will a little later. Hey can I use your phone to call Skyler; I want to see if they’re on their way. It would do me a lot of good to see them right about now and could you please get me some 7-up…I’m thirsty even with this IV.”
“Sure you can and yes I will.” She dug for her phone, gave it to Peyton and then left the room.

~

Hunter was half way drunk by this time. A little celebration for a job well done. He heard a faint tune repeating itself; he realized it was Peyton’s cell phone. It read on the display that it was Mac. He thought he’d answer it just for shits and giggles. He disguised his voice as well as he could.

Peyton had dialed her own cell phone and it was ringing.
“Yah?”
“This is Peyton Hudson. I believe you have my phone amongst other things.”
“Yah, so?”
“I’m willing to pay you to get them back.”
“How much?”He was just playing with her.
“As much as you want.”
“Listen bitch… I’ve found your little secrets. You’re not gettting your fucking purse back! Don’t call again I know where you live.”
Why did she just do that? He was hateful and creepy. She would never tell anyone what she had done.
Peyton was visually tremoring, when Mac walked back into the room with the promised 7-up.
“Peyton! You’re ashen what just happened?”
“Nothing I think I’m having a panic attack.”
Mac ran out of the room to find Brian. She found Dr. Hartley on the floor. Mac grabbed him and said,
“Come quickly there is something wrong with Peyton!”
Brian Hartley hurried in and looked at Peyton.
“Have you had these attacks before?”
“No Dr., I think it’s just all of the stress I’ve been under and now being attacked.”
“I’ll prescribe you some Atavan that will help with your anxiety. I’ll have the nurse bring you in one now, you look positively shaken.”
They administered her anxiety pill, it took about a half an hour but she did calm down.
What had possessed her to do that, now he did know where she lived. Her ID and credit cards…everything was lost.
Peyton was terrified. She didn’t think this was over; actually, she felt something bad had just begun.

~

Hunter was rolling with laughter. He knew he scared the bee Jesus out of her. That was what the dumb bitch got for having the nerve to call him and offer him money. Money…Dr. Hudson’s cure all.
Well she had a couple of surprises coming her way. He chuckled.
Hunter had a lot of thinking to do. With that Kindle Touch and his hacking abilities, she was definitely in for an ambush. He could hack her bank accounts, credit cards, rich friends, the list went on. Just took some ingenuity and brains which he was proud to say he had both.

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What’s Next?

Done with revising now on to formatting. Finally downloaded Smashwords Style Guide as PDF file on my flashdrive. Had to copy it to shared folders and upload in Adobe Reader. WOW! It’s 117 pages long, full of information and instructions.
I found out you can’t use more than four consecutive paragraph returns in manuscript. So once again I went through 519 pages addressing this problem. Took hours:)
Ebooks use hyperlinks to navigate rather than page numbers. There’s a lot to do to accomplish this task. I think Sunday I’ll recruit my daughters help for a mothers day gift. The guide says to set aside three uninterrupted hours to format book. Some of it is confusing yet other parts self explanatory. I’ve got my fingers crossed:). Here’s Chapter 8 of ‘Within These Walls’….

Happy Reading!

‘Within These Wall’-Pages 56-74

CHAPTER 7

Peyton was back at the hospital. She was swamped after missing Friday and Monday. Mackenzie had Maria Sandoval reschedule all of her consultations and two anthroplasties. She just took care of a fracture of the arm on a 17-year-old boy. He was extremely brave and it went well.
Peyton had no surgeries scheduled until tomorrow but plenty of consultations. It was somewhat difficult getting back into the swing of things after her vacation.
She kept thinking about her night with her husband in bed. It was really bothering her. Was he even interested anymore? Was he having an affair? She wasn’t sure about anything with him. He could be so loving but then at the same time, infinitely distant.
She shrugged her shoulders and rolled her neck. She needed to quit thinking this much and get her mind back on her work.
Peytons first patient conference was after lunch at one o’clock. She looked over her printed schedule. It was with a 61-year-old man by the name of Benjamin Walker. Then she had appointments at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. She needed to talk to Maria about crowding her schedule. Maria was good at what she did and it was probably due to her time off.
It was ten after one. Peyton was running a few minutes late. As she entered her office, she spotted who must be Mr. Walker. She graciously invited him to follow her into her interior office. He did so and sat down in one of the two chairs opposite her desk.
“Mr. Walker…I’m Dr. Hudson. Very nice to make your acquaintance. Sorry about the inconvenience of rescheduling your appointment. I was called out of town on an emergency,”she fibbed.
“Good to meet you Doc, it’s no problem.”
“I see you’re here to discuss an anthroplasties. How long has your hip been bothering you?”
“For years Doc, but it’s getting so bad I can barely stand it,”he ran his sizeable hand over his baldhead, “Do you do a lot of these things?”
“Yes I do. It’s a major operation and it will take you up to six months to heal. Do you work Mr. Walker?”
“Yah, I’m a private investigator…that long huh?”
They conferred for about thirty minutes. She told him to see the receptionist and they would schedule surgery. It would probably two to three months out. He scoffed and left the room. Peyton didn’t like him very much but he would be unconscious the next time she saw him.
She got through the afternoon with her energy waning. It was time to go home. She stopped by Starbucks on the way there, ordered her regular and travelled what seemed like a long way to her residence.
Mason saw Peyton pull up, disarmed the alarm and welcomed her in.
“You look like you had a long day.”
“Gee thanks,”she laughed.
“I didn’t mean it like that, sorry,”He laughed too.
“Hey I have to go out of town tomorrow for a week. Kevin is sending me to the branch in Toledo. Toledo of all places!”
“That sucks. I hate when you have to travel alone and for a whole week.”
“I guess their complete system is a mess. Maybe it won’t take that long,”he repied hopefully.
Therefore it was just going to be her and the kids for a week. She should be used to it by now but she wanted to cry. She hated his business trips!

~

Mason packed and left the next day. Skyler and Cameron missed him when he was gone but they had grown accustomed to it. For the first time in years of his business trips Peyton felt a twang of suspicion.
Skyler had a volleyball game that night. Peyton and Cameron could cheer her on.
Cameron was taking his meds as prescribed, got some new clothes in Winter Park, tried to stay away from black and they fit…not sagging off his ass.
Spending some quality time with his family appeared to do him a lot of good! He was more talkative, open and stayed out of his depressing room.
Getting rid of the X-Box was a different story.
“Ah come on mom,I’m taking my pills, dressing differently, joining the family, not hanging out in my room as much and trying really hard! Let me keep this one thing. I’ll get rid of the violent games but I’m keeping Madden!”he declared all of this with conviction.
Peyton had too agree with Cameron, he was trying hard. No more cutting episodes and even pleasant to be around. She gave in on the X-Box.
“Ok go through the games and bring up the bad ones. Don’t try to sneak and keep any of them. Please.”
“Hey mom, can I go to Katie’s for awhile we’re going to dye our hair.”
“What? What color?”
“Pink streaks, they’re in style right now and it will always grow out, can I please?”
“I guess it’s all right, it’s summer and you’re right about it growing out.”
Peyton had to compromise. She wouldn’t let Skyler pierce or tattoo her body; she would thank her one day.
Now with Mason gone and Skyler gone, Peyton could help Cameron go through his room. She hoped that she found no surprises.
The two of them straightened his room, opened the dusty shades, picked up all his dirty laundry and it had the appearance of a regular teenage boys room.
She collected the games she didn’t approve of and that left only Madden. Some of the violent ones were marked Mature-18 …Cameron had Dead Space, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Fallout and Assassins Creed. Just the names were telling enough.
“Cameron where did you get all of these?”
“Dad bought a few and Randy lent me the others.”
Mason was not paying attention when he purchased these games. Hope they didn’t leave too much of a negative impression on Cameron. “Well they’re going out to the dumpster now.”
“Ok mom, they were fun but I guess you know what’s best,”he snickered.
“Be serious for once Cameron!”she admonished.

~

Peyton picked up her phone and texted.
Peyton: what time is your game
Skyler: seven
Peyton: we’ll leave at 6:30 will u be back by then
Skyler: yah mom I’ll be back
Peyton: ok see u in a little. Luv ya
Skyler: luv u 2 🙂
Peyton fixed a snack for her and Cameron. Some cheddar cheese, crackers and a sliced up Granny Smith apple.
Skylers team won the match but by a small margin. Both teams were good. They went to Pizza Hut to celebrate. Deep-dish crust vegetarian special and sodas.
They have another match on Friday against a top ranked team. Skyler’s team was in third place but there were a bunch of games left to play. They had time to catch up.

~

Peyton got up early as usual, on Thursday morning routine. It was wierd and sad having Mason gone. He hadn’t called last night like he usually did. She wondered what had happened.
She made it through another busy day. Surgeries, consults and emergencies. She and Mac had lunch at the Armadillo, they touched base outside of work every now and then. Not enough as far as Peyton was concerned. They discussed the trip, Macs love life, or lack there of and finally Peyton confided in her friend that she thought something strange was going on with Mason.
“He either isn’t interested in me sexually anymore or he’s having an affair,”Peyton croaked.
“You’re just paranoid my friend. Mason adores you and would go to the end of the earth for you.”
“I’m not so sure. I used to feel that way too, lately or I don’t know when it started, he’s been aloof.”
They continued to talk over the Mexican food until they realized they had to be getting back to their practice. They rode back together in Macs’ Lexus, hating to end their lunch date.

~

Peyton was relieved the busy day was over with. She was following Stan Young out to her vehicle when he stopped, turned around and started talking to Peyton. Stan was usually silent, except for ‘goodbye and have a nice night’. She was sort of surprised that he wanted to have a conversation.
“Hey, Dr. Hudson I don’t want to scare you but I’m telling everyone I walk out, that there has been a suspicious man in a grey hooded sweatshirt hanging around. It may be nothing but I just wanted to forewarn you.”
“Oh, thanks Stan. I’m glad you warned me, you never can be too careful.”
“Like I said it’s probably nothing, just doing my job!”he smiled.
Peyton liked Stan. He was a good man. ‘Stan the man,’she giggled. She climbed into her BMW and headed for home. She had an upset stomach ever since she ate the Mexican food for lunch. She was going to skip her Caramel Macchiato.
Friday. Thank God, it had been a long, short week. Peyton got to the hospital early. She had a 7:00 anthroplasties. A woman named Elizabeth Burg. The poor woman was only 53 and her hips were shot. They had replaced her right hip six months ago and she was on the table again for the left hip. She was the sweetest, most caring and hilarious patient Peyton thought she had ever had.
The operation took two hours and fifteen minutes and it went perfectly. When miss Burg recovered from this surgery, she would be good as new. Hips like a twenty year old. She was a brave soul doing it again after she experienced the pain and inconvenience of the first hip replacement. It was not a surgery to be taken lightly.
Well… bless her heart and Peyton would see her tomorrow morning on her rounds.
The rest of the day was unremarkable. Same ‘ole, same ‘ole.
As Peyton and Mac were cleaning up from surgery, Peyton suggested they go to TGIF’s for hapy hour. She very rarely drank but a salted margarita sounded heavenly. Besides she had so much fun with Mackenzie!
Peyton just stayed for one drink because Skyler had another volleyball game at 7:00.
The three of them drove to Westminster High School for the match.
Cameron was doing well with being out of the house and in noisy crowds.
Skyler’s position was in the front row where she could spike the ball. She was a brute! The match was close and at one point tied but Skylers team lost. She was bummed out but not a poor sport. They decided on a sub sandwich for dinner. Peyton had barely cooked all week. Just too damn busy and worn out when she got home. They hadn’t had so much fast food ever. Peyton started feeling guilty again, seemed like that had been happening a lot. They took the meal take out and ate at home.
Cameron went down to play Madden and Skyler took her cell into her room to text Katie.
Right about that time her cell phone rang. It read Mason on the screen.
“Hi honey! Hope you’re not working too hard. Why didn’t you call me last night?”
“Hello Peyton,”he chuckled that sexy laugh of his, “how are things at home? Miss you all.”
“Oh Mason I miss you too!”she exhaled a deep breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, “things are good here but not the same without you.”
“How is the tiger doing on her volleyball, and how is my little boy?” God she missed him, it was nice to hear his voice, “Skyler played a hard game but they lost by one. Cameron is amazingly well and acting like a normal fifteen year old boy. We got rid of all of those violent video games but I let him keep Madden. He insisted and I see it is perfectly harmless. Do you know you bought him some of those games? Not accusing but just wanted to make you aware the next time he tries to talk you into one.”
“Well Peyton I’m pretty beat just wanted to find out how things were.”
“Good night honey, I love you!”
“You too.”

~

Saturday there was a beautiful summer sunrise. Peyton planned to read all day and relax. Except for maybe taking the kids to a movie. Skyler wouldn’t drive, she was embarrassed by her Jetta. Peyton was getting into one of her steamy romance novels. Why couldn’t life really be like that, she questioned.
The kids both had plans with their friends. Skyler-Katie and Cameron-Randy.
Randy was his only real friend and she couldn’t have ended that, just because of those video games. However, she did need to have a talk with him about bringing them over.
Skyler was hanging out in her room all morning. She was always good at entertaining herself.
Randy showed up and Cameron disarmed the alarm and led him down to his room.
“Randy hold up a minute. I need to ask you something.”
Randy slowly turned around not looking too sure of himself.
“It’s not a big deal but for now Cameron is only allowed to play Madden on his X-Box. Please don’t bring any other games over here, all right?”
“Sure Dr. H.”
“Thanks Randy. ”
Peyton picked up a little bit and started some laundry. Hannah was coming tomorrow and she would leave the house spotless. Time to lie on the comfy couch and read her book. With the kids being around their friends, she’d have peace and quiet. She was the type of person who couldn’t concentrate with a bunch of noise.

~

Peyton woke around eight which was the longest she had slept in in years. The kids were sleeping; both Katie and Randy spent the night. They’d all be hungry when they got up. She had just let them fend for themselves for dinner last night. There was plenty of food and they weren’t bad cooks for their ages.
She was going to make some homemade waffles. The waffle maker was one of the world’s greatest inventions. Peyton started the batter from scratch, simple really.
After breakfast they were all going to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It had good reviews.
About an hour later the four children invaded her kitchen. They all ate ravenously. They talked nonstop and it was enjoyable watching them relate. Peyton loved kids!
The doorbell rang, it was probably Hannah. The thankful mother disarmed the alarm and let in the housekeeper. She was laden with a bucket full of supplies and a vacuum cleaner. Peyton had offered her equipment but Hannah would not compromise on that point.
While they were at the movies she could get down to her business. She was the most thorough, speedy, hard working maid Peyton had ever employed. She had been with them since Skyler was three. Peyton appreciated Hannah and paid her well. She kept her opinions to herself, was trustworthy, dependable and punctual. She reminded Peyton of Mrs. Doubtfire. Hannah was large, motherly, no nonsense and humorous. She got a kick out of everything and jovially laughed at it all. Sometimes it went right over Peyton’s head. Peyton guessed she appreciated things others didn’t see.
Peyton rounded up the kids, they piled in her vehicle and they were all laughing when she gunned the formidable engine and sped off. They arrived at The Colorado Mills Mall. They walked to Stadium 16, purchased tickets, hit the refreshment stand and found their seats.
Two hours later they jabbered about the movie on their way back to where she’d parked. Peyton was thrilled with the outcome of this short outing. By the time they arrived home Hannah was done, the place shone and smelled of fresh cleaning fluids.
Peyton wanted to get back to her novel, excited to see what happened to the main character. It was a titillating tale and she couldn’t get enough.
The kids scattered to their respective rooms…more peace and quiet to read.
The next time Peyton looked at the clock she figured she had been reading for almost four hours. She needed to stretch, pee and start dinner.
She chopped and diced for ages. She was putting together stir-fry. It was in the wok and the long grain brown rice was steaming in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
She called the four best friends to dinner. Served it on china and cheerfully joined them in the meal.
Skyler and Cameron asked if their friends could stay over another night. It was Sunday night, no school so she readily agreed.
Peyton was going to bed early. She had another busy schedule for the next day. She trusted the kids to hold it down while she slept. Reading made her tired so she read a few more pages in bed and soon was fast asleep.
She missed Mason’s late night call.

~

Hunter Cook woke up fitfully. He had trouble sleeping; you could call him an insomniac. He plodded barefoot and naked to the fridge, pulled out a bottle of Bud Light, popped the top and drank it straight down without pausing for a breath. He opened a second one and sat on his well-worn couch. Flipped the TV on and stared at the eerie glow of static snow. He didn’t want to find a channel he wanted to think. He pulled the job tomorrow. Not necessarily nervous but apprehensive.
He’d been stalking Dr. Peyton Hudson for a couple of weeks, off and on. She was a hot bitch and he wished he were doing more than just robbing her. He needed to think… the parking lot at the hospital was too well lit and there were security guards. Right outside her house would be obvious and dangerous. The only possibility that he could fathom was outside of Starbucks on the 16th Street Mall. She habitually parked and walked in there on her way home from work. He’d have to hope she’d show and the streets would be crowded. She held her purse half-assed, not like those broads that put it over their stupid heads and hung it on their shoulder. Paranoid twits! The Dr.s schedule was not set in stone, but she usually made an appearance between five and seven pm. He’d just have to hope for the perfect opportunity and many people on the walks. Now that he thought it out, he slammed the rest of his beer and headed back to his lumpy mattress. Fourteen to sixteen hours and it would be over, at least that part.

A Little Mixed Up

Well….I made my third physical copy of manuscript today. My first two are rough drafts. I’ve been revising on the computer witout seeing it in print. The reason being, it costs $55 to have it copied and bound. 519 pages at .10 per page. Now I’m writing out of my final revised copy. The page numbers are different due to changes I have made.
Chapter six was on pages 53 through 63, in this copy chapter seven starts on page 56. So if there is any confusion that explains it. Now we should be on track 🙂

Today I typed long and short descriptions. Everything is on flash drive except for the TOC.
I wrote down all of the chapter numbers including first few words of each beginning sentence. I’m not quite sure if this is correct but I know eBooks don’t have page numbers and not sure how readers navigate book. I’ve got a lot to learn!
Anyway I’ve been busy working on publishing ‘Within These Walls’. I haven’t written a word on the sequel ‘The Evil Within’ for about three weeks! I miss it and plan to squeeze in some writing between this blog, Facebook, twitter and publishing.
I also take care of an 89 year old woman downstairs. Needless to say there is not enough time in the day. I do a lot of my work writing, in the middle of the night.
Chapter 7 is lengthy. Better get started 🙂

Happy reading!

‘Within These Walls-Pages 53-63

CHAPTER 6

The family settled in for the 67 mile trip to Winter Park, Co. Mason was heading west on I-70.
Cameron had on his headphones for his I Pod Touch. He liked rap much to his fathers dismay. Peyton had never really listened to it, she probably wouldn’t approve. He especially loved Drake, Eminem, J.Z., Little X…..the list went on. Skyler was working on an advanced word search. She had been doing them since she learned how to spell. She was quite good.
Mason had his Eagles CD playing and Peyton was quietly singing along. Of her many talents, singing didn’t happen to be one of them. This annoyed Mason but he was in too good of a mood to let it bother him and he was enjoying being on the road.
They were nearing the foothills and it was beautiful! Mason would take the Empire exit onto highway 40, up over Berthoud pass and into Winter Park. The roads would be clear this time of year and the Viking Inn shouldn’t be too booked.
An hour later, the family pulled up to the lodge. It was a rustic European styled structure, erected in 1972. They all got out stretched their legs and took in the mountain air, the smell of Pine, Spruce and sappy pinecones.
They checked in, unloaded their luggage, let Ellie roam around a little and then put the dog inside with some water and food. Fresh mountain air stimulated the appetite, they hadn’t eaten since breakfast. They loaded back into the car and drove the six miles to The Crooked Creek Saloon, the best burger place in the state.
After they were seated and had ordered, Peyton said,
“I’m so happy and lucky to have this precious time to spend with you guys,”she smiled and added, “Let’s make this the best vacation and strengthen our bond with eacother. ”
Skyler and Cameron rolled their eyes in unison. Mom could be so corny. Peyton just ignored their rude gesture. The four of them ordered gourmet hamburgers, they still served Peyton’s favorite. It was a large portabella mushroom, spinach and provalone cheese , no meat. It tasted even better than she remembered.
When they were done, Mason paid with a credit card and left an ample tip. The brood piled in once more and returned to their suite. The lodge consisted of 23 rooms and Peyton had reserved the largest one. It smelled of old polished wood, pine trees and the comfortable scent of a recently used fireplace.
The small apartment like suite had all of the amenities. Full kitchen with blender, coffee pot, dishwasher, cobblestone floors, two bathrooms, a main floor and a loft with two queen sized beds plus a steepled ceiling. The master bedroom had a king sized bedstead and a wall length oak dresser with nine large drawers. The couch also pulled out into a double bed.
There were several large windows with a gorgeous view. It was rustic, old, sqeaky and charming. There was a wooden hanging staircase and the heater ran across the floorboards. It had a hot tub, satellite TV and a balcony overlooking the towns main street. To Peyton it was crude but the others laughed and thought it was great. Oh… And the place was reportedly haunted. The kids thoght that was awsome!
Tomorrow they would explore. Take the ski lift up the mountain and hike down. Window shop and truly shop. Peyton wanted different clothes for her son and she wanted to find a bookstore. She loved reading in her spare time. A luxury she had not been afforded for a long time. She liked Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, Sandra Brown and unbelievably, hot steamy romance novels. The rest of the day they just relaxed, played with Ellie, watched satellite, napped and snacked.
Peyton googled town information to get some ideas of what they could do to occupy their time. She would buy some board games as well. Everyone enoyed those. Life, Scrabble, Battleship, Sorry, Monopoly and the newer trivia games.
Peyton went to grab her reading glasses for the TV schedule and discovered Cameron’s medicine. She had totally spaced it out! She felt guilty and like less than the perfect mom. She needed to dispense those now. Cameron took them without any difficulty or back talk. Dr. Deering must have explained it all to him the other day. Later that evening Mason and Peyton went to the grocery store, they needed to stock up. They returned with all kinds of food and goodies. The kids put stuff away while inspecting what they had purchased. After an easy dinner of fajitas(food tastes so good in the mountains), Mason expertly started a fire and they made ‘some mores’. After Mason cleaned up, with the help of the dishwasher, laughing to himself about Peyton’s ‘crude’ comment.
They all got into pajamas and watched more TV. It had been a relaxing calm day. Against Peyton’s better judgment, Mason told a ghost story by fire light. It worked and scared Skyler and Cameron both.
With that fresh on their minds it was late and time to turn in for the night. Kids love scaring themselves.
It had been an uneventful day, hopefully not too boring for Skyler and Cameron. Peyton had loved every blessed second of it. Now well rested she promised herself to make tomorrow a more fun filled day.
The kids were to sleep in the loft and their parents would take the room with the king sized bed. Peyton went in before Mason. He checked to make sure the fire had died down and checked the thermostat. It was all the way down and he set it on 72 degrees. He had an inkling that the temperature would get chilly at night, even in the summer months.
He was still hungry so he proceeded into the kitchenette. He flipped on the light switch trying to be quiet, everyone was in bed probably close to sleep. Mason grabbed all of the makings for a ham sandwich and started to put it together just the way he liked it. He softly walked back into the living room, parked himself on the couch, began devouring the hero and gulping down the glass of ice-cold milk. It tasted amazing.
Done, and finally full, he climbed the hanging staircase, peeked at the snoozing kids and went to join Peyton.
She was quietly laying there looking deep in reverie. He seemed to startle her out of her contemplation.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“I was just trying to remember the last time we made love, it’s been awhile Mason.”
He got naked(the way he always slept) and climbed into the crisp sheets and took her into his arms.
“I’m all for it!”he chuckled.
“Tickle my back?”
She rolled over and he started to gently run his nails softly up and down her beautiful, unmarred and baby soft back.
She got goose bumps,
“That feels so good honey. ”
This was always foreplay for them and he started getting excited.
When she turned back over he mounted her. They moved in practiced unison and eventually they were both sated. He clambered off briskly and she laid her head on his shoulder. Afterwards she always felt somewhat empty. It invariably seemed to her that they had just had sex instead of making love. This left her worried and wondering about her husband.
Peyton rose with the sun. She normally got up early and she guessed being on vacation was no different.
She carefully slid out of the knobby bed with a slight backache. She didn’t want to wake Mason…at least let him sleep in.
She got into her Philadelphia Eagles button boot slippers, Garde robe and headed out to make coffee. Usually Mason’s task but she didn’t want to wait.
She thought she’d start breakfast as well. Eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and English muffins.
The succulant aroma wafted throgh the suite and roused the sleepy heads. She had set the table with cheap stoneware, put the food in servig dishes and hollered that breakfast was ready.
They all joined her in an array of wakefullness.
After eating and thanking their mom, the kids grudgingly cleaned the kitchen. Although she was a fair cook…she left a wreck from preparing the meal.
Peyton was in a fantastic mood and it was infectious. The kids were teasing eachother while they were doing the dishes and Mason cheerily took Ellie out. She was such a good dog. It was monumental that brother and sister were getting along.
Peyton had not felt this good since she couldn’t remember when.
The four of them were lined up at the ski lift. This was going to be fun! Ride it half the way to the top and hike down. They could all use the exercise, sun and fresh air. It was a good thing they got an early start it was going to be a scorcher later on. Peyton was appalled at the fact the lodge had no air conditioning. Next vacation they were at least going to have air!
The ride up was beautiful. The trees, the clear blue sky and the scenery. The walk down had been tiring but exhilarating.
It was time for lunch and they had top rate restaurants in town. Peyton approved of this. The three nights and four days went by in a blurr. They had soaked in the surroundings, played, ate and most important of all…enjoyed their vacation immensely.
It was time to pack up, load up and head back over the pass towards home.
The ride home was full of fulfillment at the retelling of their trip. Peyton was so happy! She did not want to go home and put an end to a lovely time.

‘Within These Walls’-Pages 46-52

Peyton woke up at five am. She was in the spare room and temporarily disoriented. She looked at the bedside clock and calculated twelve hours of sleep. Then she remembered. Mac being there, insisting she lay down.
Wow she must have been debilitated to sleep that long without waking once.
Let’s see…today was Friday and she expected another hectic day. She felt a pang of guilt for not going over to David’s or picking up Cameron’s prescriptions last night.
They had to get ready and pack for their excursion as well.
She wondered to herself if Mason had calmed down, was still furious or was even up yet. Only one way to find out. She forced her tense muscles to get out of this luxurious bed, she felt like she’d been hit by a truck. It’s somewhat scary how stress effects your body!
Peyton gradually got up the stairs and into her and her husbands room. He was still asleep , or faking it to avoid any confrontation. Performing the ritual of showering, dressing, applying makeup and doing her hair would get things back on track. That done…she felt clean, refreshed and exhilarated.
Mason had gotten up, showered and gone downstairs while she was getting ready. Was he making his usual pot of coffee or was it the silent treatment? Mason looked up from his spreadsheet,
“Good morning Peyton. I’ve never seen you sleep like that, you look great this morning. ”
“Thanks, your not so bad yourself. You ready for Winter Park?”
“Not packed yet but stoked to go. I think this is just what we all need. Cameron is going to be all right isn’t he?”
“David said he’ll have a rough time but I’m praying that meds and therapy will do the trick. ”
She was trying to keep the conversation light. Light for such a heavy subject, anyway.
“What time do you think we should leave today? Our reservation is for two. ”
“Oh…about twelve thirty or so. I’m really looking forward to the drive. Haven’t gone anywhere in a long time, except for my business trips ”
“Thanks for the coffee .Mason , excellent as usual.”
“Uh huh. ”
Peyton decided to wake the kids up early. They would be busy today too. Cameron was groggy but excited…Skyler was just grumpy. That girl was not a morning person. Peyton had to laugh, it felt good!
Peyton wanted to wait until eight to call David with an apology, also that is when the pharmacy would open.
She opted right now for packing. It was hard planning for the mountains. She liked to dress up but the two didn’t coincide. She went to the back of her closet to pull out her old Travelpro luggage. Opened them on the unmade bed,(Mason) started adding what she thought she would want and need. She kept changing her mind and repacking. Oh well…what she had, would have to do.
Mason came up, threw some things together with expediency, he had a knack of making things look simple. Peyton traveled back down the stairs to start some breakfast. She was going to whip up a good, wholesome, filling meal.
Skyler got done bathing, packing and went to help the squirt. All he had to pack was black, black and blacker. She was going to talk to her mom about getting him some “regular” clothes, he desperately needed them. He hated shopping but maybe in the mountains, in the little shops it wouldn’t be so bad.
After a good breakfast Mason cleaned up and Peyton left to do what she needed to do.
First she picked up the worrisome medication. They were Abilify, Lexapro and Vistaril. She did not know much about psyche meds but she would ask David about them and a hudred other questions. Peyton hated to interrupt him again but Andrea made it seem perfectly natural.
“Good morning Peyton, how’s my girl this morning? You look one hell of a lot better than you did yesterday. Mackenzie called me, told me you weren’t coming over and that you had practically passed out from exhaustion.”
“I feel a lot better,”Peyton replied, “There’s so much I don’t understand and need to know. The two of them discussed in detail, Cameron’s disabilities and as much as he knew about the pharmaceuticals. Vistaril was for the anxiety, tried and true. The lexapro was for the depression. The Abilify was a newer drug and was for the bipolar and delusions.
“Delusions, David? He’s delusional?”
“That is what makes it Schizoaffective Disorder rather than manic depression. Cameron said he was hearing and seeing things that he knew weren’t true.”
“My poor baby David. Why do you think he never said anything?”
“He reported to me that you didn’t talk in any kind of depth and he was terrified of not being believed. Mostly by Mason, not you honey.”
Peyton and Dr. Deering further discussed his treatment plan.
“Of course you will need a good psychiatrist and therapist. I see a conflict of interest here. I probably shouldn’t have done what I have, but that’s unimportant. I’ll help in setting up proper professionals for Cameron.”
“Thank you David, you’ve been more than gracious and I truly respect your opinions and diagnosis.”
“He’ll be fine my dear. Just get him started on the medication regimen as soon as possible. It takes sometimes two to four weeks for them to begin to help.”
“I promise I will and again thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
David smiled warmly as he led Pey to the outer office; he gave her a light kiss on the cheek.
Peyton drove home thinking. She was slightly relieved after the long discussion with her colleague but she was haunted by what he told her about the delusions.
Does that mean Cameron is crazy? This is one sure thing she will keep from Mason. He would not believe, understand, or tolerate such talk! She would have to take this to the grave with her.
Peyton pulled up in front, parked, went in and everyone was ready to go. They would be taking her SUV and they needed to load it up. The girls would leave that to the guys. They cleaned out all the trash and junk, so they had room for their feet.
They were all loaded in and finally ready to take off on their vacation. Mason swung the vehicle into the gas station, filled up,(Peyton always had less than a quarter tank) topped off the windshield wiper fluid, checked the oil and hopped on the highway.

Long Description-eBook

Peyton Hudson is an Orthopedic Surgeon, mother, wife and friend. She’s a lovable if not somewhat self centered beauty. The story focuses on her life, until it ends at the hands of a mentally disturbed lunatic. The credible characters grieve and seek justice as they struggle to continue with their complex lives. Hunter Cook is a hated antagonist, who draws you in and fascinates, in this impelling crime/thriller.
Mason Hudson…is he a devoted husband and father? Does his abuse as a child drive him to do wrong? Does he have anything to hide?
The tale unfolds with Benjamin Walker, an obnoxious yet dedicated private investigator. His work and prowess lead us to a heightened courtroom drama, in which we learn after deliberations, the verdicts of the accused killer.