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Dangerous Debutant E 20

In the last episode: Mark Masters was brought by Celia to the home of the De La Croixes and into the library. Sunni was there and appeared to be disheveled. Lt. Steve Sherman, seemingly in an off-duty capacity, was there with her. Gina Franklin and Tina Majors joined Celia to escort Mark. Sherman, Gina and Celia tried to get Sunni to admit there was more that she was not telling. She continued to deny it and somehow convinced them. Sunni and Mark agreed to forget this incident happened if the others would trust them and leave them alone. Tina offered to take Mark home. She also promised him information that he needed to know.

“Because of all the nonsense, you probably didn’t notice that most of my time was spent listening and observing,” Tina sits cross-legged in the back of her chauffeur driven vehicle.

Mark finds it hard to relax, “What did you learn?”

“Nothing about Monica’s death or whatever was or was not in that library safe, but I did learn a lot about you.”

“What could you learn except that I am easily fooled and confused? Because that’s what I felt.”

“I wouldn’t say you’re easily fooled. You may be overly trusting of people,” Tina begins to dig into her purse.

“Overly trusting? I’m not sure I trust any of you right now.”

“Yet, here you are in my car pretty certain I’m taking you home as I said I would,” Tina finds a nail file and begins filing a nail.

“So, where are you taking me?”

“Home. Eventually. Unless you insist that I take you straight home. I’d like to show you something you’ve never seen before.”

Mark is so ready to be home, but something tugs at him to pursue this invitation.

“Now, I’ve made you curious. I knew I would.” Tina leans forward and places her hand on the driver’s shoulder, “Take us to Ritter’s Park, please.”

“Ritter’s Park? What can I see at Ritter’s Park that I haven’t seen before,” Mark’s curiosity rises but seasoned somewhat with caution.

“Let me rephrase. I want to give you a different perspective.”

In the few minutes it takes to travel to Ritter’s Park, Mark tries to speculate what Tina might show him. By the time they arrive, he still has no clue.

Tina tells the driver to stay seated. She, then, opens her door, “You’ll need to follow me,” Tina pulls on Mark’s sleeve.

Mark follows Tina. Ritter’s Park rests on one of the highest hills of the city just a quarter mile from the city limits. Tina leads Mark to a section of the park where you can look down and see most of the city.

“Here it is,” Tina waves her hand in a melodramatic manner.

“Yes, I’ve admired this view of the city many times,” Mark stuffs his hands into his pants’ pockets.

“I would like for you to use your imagination, Professor.”

“What am I imaging?”

“Imagine yourself with the authority to really make a difference down there,” Tina puts her arm around Mark’s shoulder and points to the city.

Mark throws back his head and laughs, “I think your imagination has run amok. I’m too trusting and too curious. Remember?”

“You could do more for this community than the De La Croix Foundation ever could with someone to guide you.”

“Someone like you, Tina?”

“Well, definitely not any of the De La Croix people.”

“How about you start helping me now, then,” Mark stuffs his hands into his pant pockets.

“So how may I help you now? What is it you need?”

“I need to know what that little gathering was all about at the De La Croix home. I wasn’t feeling the love back there from you, Celia or Gina or especially not Lt. Sherman.”

“Celia and Gina thought it might be Sunni… or you that had Monica killed so you could share whatever was in that safe,” Tina’s voice is calm.

“So, you don’t think Blake or his army killed Monica? But you believe Sunni might.”

“I now don’t believe she did. There are those who believe Sunni is as dangerous as Reuben and Monica,” Tina begins to head back to the car.

Mark naturally turns to follow but then stops, “What makes the De La Croixes dangerous?”

“It’s hard to explain. I think it is their independence from the powerful people in the community.”

“Powerful people like you, Tina? So, this trip out here was to lure me away from the power of the De La Croixes into yours. Is that it?”

The driver opens the back door for Tina who folds herself lady-like inside. The driver stands holding the door open. Mark hesitates absorbing Tina’s last words but then scampers to the car not wishing to walk the couple of miles to his house.

Mark climbs inside and as the car begins to pull away, “My involvement with Sunni started by a chance meeting.”

“Are you sure it was by chance?,” Tina turns from gazing out the window to peer at Mark, “What about my offer?”

“Are you referring to your offer to guide me? This black man is powerless without the help of some white woman. Is that it, Tina?”

Tina has no more to say and remains quiet and distant for the rest of the ride to Mark’s home.

“You could have done a lot for this community,” Tina turns to face Mark as they pull into his driveway.

Mark climbs out of the car and as soon as he closes the door, the vehicle pulls away.

Inside his home, Mark shuts his front door behind him. Then, leaning against it for a second, he ponders his conversation with Tina.

Mark allows his head to fall back and rest against the door. With his eyes closed and his face to the ceiling, he thinks about the chance meeting. His dear mother always told him that very little happens by chance. Then, she always slips God into the conversation.

Since Kate’s accident or whatever it was, he hasn’t spent much time with God, the Bible or prayer. His dear mother when they are talking about or if he helps with the work at the Foundation, she tries to season their conversation with godly talk, scripture or the like. Otherwise, Mark rarely thinks about God.

“I’m so confused. I don’t even know what to say or ask,” Mark opens his eyes and all he sees is ceiling.

There’s no epiphany. There’s no writing on the wall. Mark listens but there is no wee small voice.

Categories: Author Confession

Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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