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EXCERPTS: BOOK 4    Choices Made: Always


1982 Ė Christmas Ė Paris, France


In his apartment overlooking the gallery, CeCe squinted until the lights on the Christmas tree blurred into bright spots of color. Tinsel sparkled; packages begged to be opened. The mantel clock chimed three times, keeping rhythm with his heart that beat out of sync since taking on The Heart of MacGregor. It seemed as though, in the complete knowledge of Gregor and Athdaraís love for one another, his own heart remained out of touch with life, three beats instead of four, never quite finding the right tempo. And, there had been AnaÔs.

Throughout the weeks preceding the Christmas season, CeCe Ė or Jamy, as he was becoming accustomed to hearing from his old friends and family who called Ė struggled with the unspoken words that came in accusatory looks from JaNi. In the long hours before dawn on Christmas morning, he sipped his whiskey and lemon, alone.

Itís been ten years since Granges gave me that hot car and Midnight Angel for my eighteenth birthday. Ten years, since I asked Linde to marry me and she walked out on us. Ten years since I left that life behind so I could give JaNi a better life. But now, no matter what I do, JaNi slams the door in my face. Iím losing him.

Ian was right, things stick to you.

I never talked of Linde or said bad things about her, as some of the fathers do about their exís, but somehow to him sheís become the savior and me the devil. What do I do? What do I do?

CeCe fingered one of the many earrings that dangled from those that comprised his earring. Kathrynís name and their night together invaded his mind. A night spent not in sexual pleasures, but in small kisses and cuddling, had never happened to him before. It held him on the brink of what could have been. When he boarded the plane home from the foray into Scotland for his opening reception at an art gallery, she waved goodbye and his life continued in its own frenzy. His letters to her went unanswered until he no longer sent them. The sadness it caused him, and his worry over JaNi, kept him up nights. Pouring another whiskey, he swirled the amber liquid in his glass.

I thought Iíd be free, when I took on The Heart of MacGregor. Even Sam calling to wish me a Merry Christmas gave me a headache. Every time I talk to him, he urges me to come back to resolve the inheritance problems. I donít want to go back there; my life is here, in Paris!

Mr. Pierce says the government tax office wants inheritance taxes going back to 1958. How can they want that? I didnít inherit anything until a few months ago, now they say I owe them millions! Millions! I didnít even know MacGregor had millions!

All the bumper crops that were sold off in the fall didnít even dent the pay owed the men. Mr. Pierce said the tax people were going to take that money, except James didnít deposit the money into the MacGregor account. He paid the men cash, keeping no record of it. It only managed to incite the tax collectors.

Mr. Pierce said they took all the money from the account, over two million, and we still owe the value of MacGregor. If the taxes arenít paid, the government will take everything and evict all the families. And now, he tells me, that there should have been millions more in the account, except the banker has skipped town and the bank has failed. Along with all of Adelaideís conniving, the banker was running two sets of books, one for the clients, and one for himself. How can this happen?

Now, I have the dilemma of bailing them out or ignoring them and letting them lose their homes.

What I thought would be an end to my ties to the land have only bound me tighter, once again the chained dog being dragged back into captivity.

I just want my freedom.

Oh, God. Where do I start with JaNi? How do I get free of MacGregor?


Walk in Jamy's footsteps as he ends his journey in


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Copyright © 2005 Choices Made.  All rights reserved. Revised: August 18, 2012 .