Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Side Dishes - Ch. 12

After his heated encounter with Sage, Delane rushed back home and took a long, cold shower. When that didn’t help and he ended up tossing and turning in bed, he called Petra to come over for an intimate nightcap, hoping that she would be able to quench the fire that another woman had started within him.

By the time his nightcap was all over, Delane had ascertained that his fiery desire for Sage might never be quenched, even though Petra had come closer than most to putting it out. He also resigned himself to the fact that he was just going to have to live with that harsh reality.

Additionally, Delane decided to drop the idea of trying to make Sage a part of his social life. After all, that would only serve to fan the flames higher and give her an added edge over him through his desire. And Mr. Ryder did not want his ex-wife to have any future advantage over him. It was bad enough she could now hold a child over his head. Delane couldn’t wait to see how much she was going to ask for in child support. If her greedy mother had anything to do with it, Sage would be asking for an arm and a leg.


While taking his morning shower a little bit before 10am the next day, Delane heard the phone ring in the distance. He knew that Petra, who was downstairs fixing nutritious breakfast smoothies for the two of them - would not answer it since that was a general rule in their uncommitted relationship. They each answered their own phones.

Downstairs, Petra stopped the black and white blender to listen to the woman on Delane’s answering machine. Although she knew that he casually saw other women sometimes, the current woman on the machine didn’t sound casual at all. And the things the woman mentioned during her call didn’t sound casual, either.

“Delane, this is Sage. Just wanted to leave you my phone number and address before I leave town today per your request. I also wanted you to know that I told our son that I’d found his father and he seems very excited to meet you. Delaney says he can’t wait to draw a picture of you to take to his kindergarten class.” The woman chuckled, before adding, “Not only is our boy a bit of an athlete, he’s also a self-proclaimed artist, too. Anyway, call us as soon as you can and let us know when you’ll be coming to Georgia.”

Sage? Isn’t that the name of his manipulative ex-wife? The same ex-wife that turned him off from marriage altogether, Petra mused, feeling jealousy like no other course through her veins on that sunlit morning which for her had just turned a stormy gray.

When the phone went click after the caller had left her phone number and address, the gray sports bra and black biker shorts clad woman listening quickly made her way to the answering machine to erase that pivotal message that stood to interfere with her plans to become Delane’s next wife. Petra could let nothing interfere with those plans, not even a long lost son.

Then realizing that Delane might make inquiry about the missed call, Petra sprinted up the stairs to the bathroom where he was taking a shower and knocked on the door. The athletic woman was up that spiral staircase in less than twenty seconds thanks to her job as an exercise instructor at the gym Delane frequented, the same gym where they’d met. Even Petra’s long ponytail hadn’t had a chance to catch up yet. It had barely bounced in her smooth ascent.

“Yes?” Delane yelled over the loud sound of the surprisingly gentle shower spray as he lathered his body again with the spicy brown soap he’d been using since high school.

“That was an annoying telemarketer on your line. Do you want me to erase it?” Petra innocently asked. She knew how much he hated people calling him at home begging for donations or trying to sell him stuff he didn’t need. Although Delane was very generous, he liked giving from his heart, not by compulsion or guilt. In fact, Petra’s closets were full of heartfelt gifts from the benevolent man. She hoped to keep them that way which explains her current underhanded actions.

“Yeah. I can’t stand those people,” Delane agreed, glad that she’d asked before touching his private data. Now this is a woman I can work with, he mused as he returned to his shower. If I ever get married again, it will be to an honest woman like Petra.

“Okay,” Petra said, forcing her voice to sound nonchalant as she turned around and skipped back downstairs to finish their breakfast. Her black athletic sneakers made a happy springy sound on the brown carpet of the stairs.

I hope she never calls back, Petra thought. She wondered if she should start coming over more often in order to block any future calls from Delane’s ex-wife.


After almost three full weeks of not hearing from Delane, Sage began to think that maybe he’d started to have second thoughts about being in their son’s life. That perhaps his bitterness had gotten the best of him after all. As a result, she didn’t even bother to call back.

Sage figured why should she call back, when her ex-husband’s uncommunicative actions clearly indicated that he didn’t want a relationship with Delaney. That’s the part that cut her to the core. After all, their child hadn’t done anything wrong and shouldn’t be blamed or punished for his mother’s actions.

Delane’s uncommunicative actions also sent Sage the message that he really didn’t want any type of reconciliation with her, not on any level. Sadly, not even sexually since any man that wanted her as badly as Delane pretended to in that hotel room would have jumped at the chance to know where and how to locate her.

To hide her disappointment, Sage began to throw herself even more into her work, doing as many catering jobs as possible. She also began to spoil Delaney rotten in an effort to make up for the disappointment that he must be feeling, too. He’d been so excited about finally meeting his father, even told his teacher about it.

Every day Sage scolded herself for getting her son’s hopes up so high in the first place. Every day she wished she’d just waited until her ex-husband came to Georgia before discussing his proposed presence in Delaney’s life with anyone, especially with her son. Every day she regretted that she’d put her son in a position to be reared without really knowing his father the same as she’d been.

Although she continued to spoil her son, Sage didn’t overindulge him with food. She’d learned from the mistakes of Delane’s parents. Instead she overdid it in the activity department, allowing Delaney to participant in just about anything his little heart desired, within reason, of course.


Meanwhile, Delane, who was unaware that Petra had erased Sage’s message, was growing angrier by the day. In fact, he was piping mad now as he lie in his lonely bed at 2am in the morning, unable to sleep because his mind wouldn’t allow itself to be emptied of thoughts concerning his ex-wife and their son.

By now, Delane had come to the conclusion that Sage had somehow changed her mind. That she decided to keep him from his son after all, proving that she hadn’t changed as much as she claimed.

Well, I’m not going to let her get away with taking something else that belongs to me, he mused, determined to scour the whole east coast if he had to in order to find his son.

Suddenly Delane remembered Sage’s check and smiled. He wouldn’t have to scour the whole east coast when her address had to be on the green check that he’d been wise enough to make a copy of for his personal files.

Dressed only in his black boxer briefs, Delane rushed downstairs to his study and retrieved the copy of his ex-wife’s check. He soon discovered exactly where Sage was and immediately began to make plans to travel to Opus, Georgia – a city whose name meant creative works, especially as pertaining to musical compositions, and as such had many great colleges with strong creative arts programs.

As a last minute thought, Delane decided to ask Petra to go with him. Yeah, having her there will alleviate the temptation of sleeping with Sage, he mused. Then he picked up the brown phone on his warm espresso-colored desk and dialed his steady bed-buddy. Fortunately, Petra wasn’t averse to him calling her any hour of the day or night. Delane hoped she wouldn’t be too averse to flying clear across the country at the last minute, either.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier


Anonymous said...

bringing bed buddy to meet your ex-wife and to see your kid for the first time is a BAD IDEA!!! this book is getting good.

Anonymous said...

i luved it . i just cant wait to see wat happen next