Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Coda 45


Christmas Coda 45

MURDER BETWEEN THE PAGES: Felix and Leonard

 

The clocks were chiming when I landed on Felix’s doorstep.

I could hear them through the tall, white front door of the Colonial farmhouse. All fifty three of them. Ding-donging away. Chiming out the hour in ten long notes.

Maybe that’s what was taking him so long to come to the door. Maybe he couldn’t hear me over the clocks. Or maybe it was the rain rattling on the windows and roof--and the ragged leaves of the little palm tree plant I cradled in my arms--that deafened him to my knock.

I knocked again and rang the doorbell for good measure. Where would he be on Christmas morning? Hopefully nobody had wrung his scrawny neck while I’d been away.

I was just starting to get nervous when the door suddenly flew open.

“Well?” Felix demanded. His thin face changed. Black eyes narrowing, lip curling. “Oh, it’s you.”

“Hell, yes, it’s me. Who were you expecting?”

“Not you.”

“I told you I’d be back.”

“Ha!”

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

His throat jumped as he swallowed. He said haughtily, unpleasantly, “Don’t you have somewhere more important to be?”

“No.”

His lashes swept down, then flicked up. He gave me a funny, crooked smile. “No?”

“You know I don’t.”

“I thought they loved you in Hollywood.”

“They do. But it’s not home, is it?”

“It could be. If you wanted it to be.”

“I guess so.”

He frowned. “You’re shivering, Leonard.”

“I’m freezing to death.”

“You’re not used to our weather anymore.”

“I could be. If you wanted me to be.”  

Felix studied my face. “Hm. Well, maybe you had better come in then.”

I came inside, handing over the little palm tree and the bags of oranges and almonds. “Anyway, Merry Christmas.” I took a deep appreciative sniff. “Something smells great.”

“It happens that I’m making ham and eggs for breakfast.”

“My favorite,” I said.

“Is it?” He started to turn toward the kitchen, and I caught his arm, pulling him toward me.

A tinge of color pinked his cheeks. “Leonard, you’ll crush my palm tree.”

I laughed and kissed him. He closed his eyes and kissed me back, and the oranges and
almonds rained down around our feet.

 

 

I don’t think he believed I'd be back.

Nah. He had to know. Maybe he thought when I did come back, it would be pack my suitcase and grab my hat.

I don’t deny it crossed my mind as that train had clickity-clacked its way over deserts and cornfields, through small towns and mountain ranges, over the rivers and through the woods…

I liked California. I liked the palm trees and the orange trees and the Technicolor blue of those always-sunny skies. I liked the hustle and bustle of movie studios and doing business beside a swimming pool. I liked the money to be made in California.

I liked the fact that nothing shocked people in Hollywood. And that everybody but Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons minded their own business.

But what Hollywood and California didn’t have was Felix Day.

The one thing I couldn’t live without.

  

58 comments:

  1. OMG! I've just sit in front the PC to get some work done and look at what I found! So excited!! Another coda :) Thank you Josh, now I'll need to read that book first urgently ^___^

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    1. Oh yes. It makes little sense without the book. :-D

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    2. Awww! You're spoiling us!! Thank you for the awesome gift, I just checked my email and saw the freebie there. You made my day!

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  2. Hi any plans to publish the book in other formats? Please?

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    1. Absolutely.
      End of January for sure. It will be everywhere.

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    2. And there will be no more Kindle Unlimited.

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    3. Thank you for that! Having to wait three months for your new books to hit my nook should be against the Geneva Conventions.

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    4. Well, I figured I should at least know what it was I was so adamantly against. :-D Now I know.

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  3. I've spent many a Christmas in California. May be Felix can go with Leonard next time. Thank you!

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    1. It's POURING rain here right now. Leonard left just in time. :-D

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  4. So excellent - the perfect amount of angst & ire & snark between them. Love it!

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  5. Purrs and kitty biscuits.
    I wonder if Felix would let me come visit.
    How is he with belly rubs?

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    1. I bet he's very good with belly rubs. I think he's naturally inclined to like cats. ;-)

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  6. Oh thank goodness. No more KU!! Yessss!

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    1. Well, someone had pointed out that I was an enemy of it without ever having tried it. So I tried it. And it confirmed my original thoughts. A complete and total disaster.

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  7. This warmed me right up. These two deserve the happy. ^_^

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  8. Ooooo, so sweet! My kind of coda.

    goge

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  9. So very lovely! I'm glad Felix finally let him in, it was getting really chilly out there! And then that last line, so sweet :-) Thank you, Josh!

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  10. Awww, a sweet one, with oranges and almonds. Perfect for the two of them. Thanks, Josh. :)

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  11. I love your codas, Josh. All of them. Thank you!

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  12. Awww! That half crushed palm tree, those oranges and almonds raining down around their feet. :-) Thank you, Josh!

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  13. I have read the coda at my lunch break. And then I was flying with a smile on my face through the rest of my work day. Thank you, dear Josh!
    Your codas are like songs for me, I feel them, hear them, see them.

    P.S. You are getting milder, is it the influence of the Christmas tree?

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    1. It must be! I am starting to feel more giddy.

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  14. Well, there goes my heart into a melty puddle. :) Leonard knows where he belongs, and I'm sure he'll have fun convincing Felix right where that is too. <3

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    1. Felix just needs a little reassurance now and then. ;-)

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  15. I have this one to read yet and this coda has served up a lovely appetiser!!

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  16. Is anyone else having issues getting the password from the Holiday Goodies Newsletter to work for the novella? It keeps telling me the password's invalid. =/

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    1. try it without the capital "C"

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    2. It was the damned autocorrect. I didn't notice it had changed it back to capital C. :-D

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  17. So sweet. I'm glad Leonard came back. And that Felix wasn't TOO much of an ass!

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  18. Thank you for the special holiday goodie you sent out today and this coda! I'm going to bookmark so I can read this after the other. Such a treat!

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  19. A perfect coda for these two, and a very sensorial one. I'm imagining the scents of damp wool, oranges, almonds, and breakfast. Thanks.

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    1. Yes! I was as I was writing it. The scenes are so vivid for me in that book. Thanks for reading, Karen.

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  20. Just read the book last night, and now this coda and just d'awwww! They're so adorable, and that little bit, that no matter what else, he can't leave Felix, TOO CUTE! ^^ I do so adore your codas!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and then taking time to comment. It really does mean a lot. :-)

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  21. Aww, another to pick up. And ohhh, because I didn't understand the email about lower case 'c' until now and the website says too late. Still, I appreciate you very much.

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    1. *HEADDESK*

      You should have written me! Everyone else did! :-P

      But thank you! You're very kind!

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  22. Aww thanks so much for this coda and for gifting us Murder Between the Pages. Not only is it a fun story to read but every time I read the names Felix and Leonard I think of my wonderful friends Felix and Glenn and Steve and I love to be reminded of them.

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  23. Loved the book! And was so glad for the coda! This two are new favorites to me! All that rivalry and still obvious appreciation of each other work.... and more. Thank you!

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