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‘What Line’ – Post A Little or Post A Lot?

I have given this a lot of thought and wrestled with the outcome of my decision for a few weeks now. Yes, I’m going to do it. I’m going to post ‘What Line’ on my blog one chapter at a time! This is the sequel to ‘Crossing The Line’  now out in paperback, kindle, Nook and smashwords. You have to realize though that this is a rough draft. Writing is an ongoing process. Some of the criteria and dialogue may change by the time I finish the book and publish.  Chapters may be added or even deleted. There will be errors because I have not done a final edit/proofreading yet. The whole book in its entirety will probably not be posted, but a good portion will be.  After all, there has to be a few surprises! If you haven’t read ‘Crossing the Line’  then you  should probably purchase it and read before you start reading this – I promise it will be worth it.   Don’t worry about missing anything because you can always go to my archives to pull up what has been posted of  ‘What Line’.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of this idea!


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                                         Chapter One

The twenty-five steps it took Jim to walk from the living room of his home to where his truck was parked in the driveway were the longest and hardest he had ever made. His life was shattered – yes, it was his fault, but would he ever admit that? No, he wouldn’t. Anyway, if Helena had just left well enough alone, none of this would be happening. I’m a big boy, he thought. I can take care of myself and I know how to handle myself, however, he knew Helena wasn’t so sure he could.

What now? How could he turn this around and make things right? Helena was pulling him in one direction and Lori was pulling him in another. His oldest daughter, Liza had just had her second baby and his second grandchild. He was getting older and nearing retirement. He and Helena had worked for this stage of their life together by scrimping and saving to get ahead when the kids were young, and together they had built a nice little nest egg to fall back on.

What would happen now, and was Helena really serious about divorcing him? She had made idle threats before, but this time she had that look in her eye. It wasn’t something he could explain. She seemed surer of herself, as if her mind was already made up. She had even accused him of crossing lines – boundaries – whatever she could throw at him!

Not knowing where to go, Jim drove to the boardwalk and removing his shoes, walked out on the sandy beach. There were some benches under the pier and taking a seat he reflected back on how this mess he had made of their love all started.

…………………….Two years ago……………………

Jim nervously turned off the main road onto the tree-lined street he had lived on with his wife, Helena, for the last fifteen years of their marriage. They had been happy here in this beach community on the Florida coast bringing up their three children. He hesitated before turning into his driveway and instead continued on down the street driving straight to his office on the other side of town.

It was quiet at Riceler Community Center on a Sunday afternoon he thought as he opened his office door and sat down at his desk. There were no children or staff around to interrupt his train of thought and he knew that he had to get a plan in place before he returned home in case Helena questioned him about the trip.

Jim had been at a conference for the past week in New Orleans. Helena usually accompanied him on this yearly trip and they both looked forward to it, but she had come down with a bad case of the flu three days before they were to leave. This time he had to go by himself. At least Helena thought that he went by himself and at this moment he wished that he had.

His new assistant, Lori Walters, had come to his office early the day before he was to leave and had offered to go with him. She had said that it would be useful for her to attend the conference because it would give her insight to the programs they had at Riceler. The clinics they taught would be good training for her she whispered, leaning over his desk to point out something on the schedule.

How could he even think straight when she did things like that? The blouse she was wearing buttoned down the front and the first three buttons were straining to stay closed across her breasts. It didn’t take him long to agree with her, and picking up the phone he told his secretary, Pam, to make arrangements for Lori to attend the conference tomorrow and to have Jeffery come by his office before leaving for lunch. Turning to Lori he commented on how nice she looked and then said, “You make sure to pack that blouse with you for the trip.”

Looking at him coyly she answered, “Sure I will and you will be pleasantly surprised to see what else I intend to pack.” Then hesitantly she asked, “You did say that Helena has the flu and isn’t going to be able to make the trip didn’t you?”

Trying to keep his composure Jim replied, “She came down with it a couple of days ago and is really sick. You remember that this is a working trip so we will have to make these meetings and clinics. They usually have a pretty rigorous schedule. I have a schedule around here somewhere. I’ll get Pam to send it to your email.”

“Well, we have to eat and sleep, don’t we? I’m sure there will be a place in that schedule where we can fit in some entertainment.” Having said that she turned to go saying, “I need to leave a little early today so I can go pick up a few things for the trip and make sure Stan and Lilly have enough in the house to eat while I’m away. Do you mind?” Stan was Lori’s husband, a photographer, and Lillie was her daughter.

“Go ahead and take off at lunch time if you want. I promised Helena that I would get home early today and make sure that she has everything she needs before I leave in the morning. She doesn’t want Carrie to have to go over with Lizzie and get exposed to the flu.”

“Are you always so attentive to Helena? She’s here at your office a lot and it seems as if you two have lunch together quite often.”

Trying not to sound like he was defending his life style, Jim responded with a shrug and said that he and Helena had always been close and she helped him out on a lot of the projects he had going on at work. “It’s just the way we do things and we enjoy each other’s company.”

“You have to breathe sometime Jim. Maybe I can take care of that for you on this trip.”

Jim shrugged his shoulders and ignored her statement.” I’ll meet you at the airport in the morning. I’ll have Pam email the flight number and time along with that schedule.”

After Lori had left, Jim was sitting at his desk trying to wrap things up before he left for the day when Jeffrey interrupted. “Pam said that you needed to see me. What’s up?”

“I just wanted to go over a few things with you before I go to the conference tomorrow. Lori is attending too, so that will leave you in charge. Do you think you can handle things here?”

Jeffrey raised his eyebrows before replying. “Does Helena still have the flu or is she going too?”

“No, she’s still sick, too sick to be traveling.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea for Lori to be going then? The last I heard she was going to be in charge while you were gone.”

“Change of plans Jeffrey,” Jim said firmly. Do you think you can handle it or not?”

“Sure I can handle it. I always did before Lori was hired anyway. The point is – do you think you can handle it?”

Jeffrey and Jim had been friends for years before Jeffrey had come to work as the athletic director at Riceler so he didn’t feel as if he was going out of bounds questioning Jim even though Jim was the boss. Everyone on the staff knew that Lori had the hots for Jim – except for Jim. He was in denial. But could he really be that naïve? He and Helena had been married for almost thirty years and they had a wonderful loving relationship and the perfect family life.

“This is a conference we are going to and there will be lots of work to do. Lori needs to learn some of the skills that it takes to run this place, so what better way to teach her than to have her attend the conference. She is a bit brazen, but I don’t think she means anything by it. It’s just her way. I can handle her and anyway I’m a happily married man and a grandfather, remember.”

“Just be careful,” Jeffrey responded as he walked out of the office.


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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

2 responses »

  1. Sound like a very promising and intriguing beginning, Elle.



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