Story told by tarskeewee08
"Leotie?" Evangeline said frowning. The name didnít sound familiar. Elu smiled at her confusion. "I gave you that name, would you like to know what it means?"
Evangeline looked at him then around the room. It was dawning on her that this man was a stranger. Should she trust him? Pulling the blanket closer she remembered the fact that she was exposed and vulnerable to him. If he wanted to hurt her he would have done so by now. "Yes please, what does it mean?"
"Itís Cherokee for "A flower in the prairie" Elu said placing the bowl with the salve on the nightstand next to her.
"Thatís pretty but I donít get the meaning"
Elu nodded "When I plucked you out of that car I was struck by your beauty amidst the horror of that accident. As a young man with my grandpap I experienced the same euphoria while in the Montana prairie." Taking her hand in his he stared in her eyes.
"We hunted for our food then, and during a hunt I got lost. I wandered and wandered for hours. The openness of the prairie with the tall green grass made me feel small and helpless. Then I came across a single flower. Standing proud and alone, with no one to depend on for comfort or shelter, its beauty bright as the yellow and orange petals hanging from it. A flower in the prairie. That flower was a sense of hope. If he could survive then so could I. I found my grandpap an hour later using that flower as my compass. Knowing now that you are here alone with no friends and support not sure of who you are. You became ĎLeotieí "
Evangeline gaped at him in wonder. His words and honesty were hypnotizing. She didnít know much but she knew that this man was one of great kindness and strength.
"What does your name mean?"
Smiling he blushed "Elu means ĎFull of Graceí"
Evangeline smiled "Wow that describes you perfectly"
Elu stood up "Donít worry about not knowing who you are. Iím going to town and will find your cabin. I will gather your things, Iím sure your identification and stuff will be a good starting point."
"Thank you" she said holding the blanket to her chest "Can I ask what you did with my clothing?"
Elu looked at her sheepishly. He hadnít had a woman in his place in over 3 years. Maybe he did go too far in removing her bra, but he had good reason "I will get them for you, afterwards I will leave and collect your belongings"
"I appreciate everything Elu"
Evangeline pulled herself up and watched him leave the room. "Leotie, I like that name, I think it describes me well"
"Natalie? What are you doing here today? You were supposed to stay home" he said looking up concerned
"I couldnít plus I needed to get my desk back in order I start back at work next week, plus I feel safe when I am closer to you."
John nodded and tossed the football in the air
Natalie sat the files down "How about some lunch?"
"I have a lot of work to do, but you can order some for us" he said smiling
Before she could say more Nora walked in. "JohnÖ..oh excuse me"
"Hi, Nora" Natalie said smiling and gloating.
"Hello Natalie, you recovered fast"
"Well, Iím getting extra special care from a special guy now" she said turning and smiling at John
Nora looked at John who blushed and looked away "Well good for you Natalie. Do you mind Iíd like to speak with John?"
"Sure" Natalie said then walked around the desk and put her arms around Johnís neck. Frozen in her grip John allowed her to kiss him fully on the mouth in front of Nora. Natalie rose and looked Nora in her face then wiped her lips before bouncing out.
Nora folded her arms and glared at John
"What?" he asked avoiding her eyes.
"Boy you are some piece of work"
"Nora please what? Hey forget it. Iím not here for that. I need to close the Killing Club case so your report is long over do, I want it on my desk before the end of the day" Turning she headed for the door.
Stopping she looked back at him "Yes"
"How is she?"
"Sheís doing wellÖshould be back tomorrow if you cared."
"Where did she go?"
"Well she took a sabbatical, and I hope when she returns she is free of whatever held you to her heart, because she has to come to this station and I donít want her hurt by scenes like the one I witnessed in here with you and your child bride" Nora hissed them slammed out.
John blew out his breath. His heart skipped a beat knowing that Evangeline would be back soon, it made the nagging feeling lessen. He was growing more and more agitated. If he was honest with himself he would see that the heartburn he felt wasnít indigestion. It was over letting go his lady love.
The Rental Cabin ~
"So what say you Pete is this where the pretty black lady was staying?"
"Yeah, itís the Jefferson rental. She handled the reservation with him over the phone, you know he left for Iraq to do some contracting work."
"Did he leave any contact information or leasing agreement for her?" Elu ask walking up the steps.
"Nope, she just rolled up and went straight in"
Elu checked the door finding it locked "Open it"
"I canít do that! You know the rules"
"Pete just open the door!" Elu said loosing patience. He didnít want to disclose to anyone about the accident. He would wait until she was better before people descended upon her. Besides he liked the idea of having her with him.
Pete rolled his eyes and walked up the steps to open the door "If anything goes missing this is on you! Iím leaving! I want no parts of this."
Elu walked in confronted by the lilac smell of her perfume. Walking across the room he saw papers on the floor. Picking them up he noticed they seemed to be some kind of legal documents.
Elu gathered them into a nice pile not noticing the picture of a couple that slid under the bed. Sticking her papers in her briefcase, he searched for anything with her name on it. Finding nothing he packed her bags. Her purse must have been in the car with her identification. Looking on the nightstand he saw her Journal.
Elu walked over picking it up. Staring at in wonder he fingered the pink ribbon that held it closed. Something about it made him long to open it. Knowing it was personal he fought the urge to read it and put it with the rest of her belongings.
Elu walked out the cabin holding her bags. The journal not securely in the zipper slipped back out onto the cabin floor. Elu didnít notice before he closed the door. Going to his truck he whistled for Champ to jump in.
"I guess the mystery will be solved soon" he sighed somewhat disappointed that sheíll be gone before he really got to know her.
Evangeline slowly moved off the bed. The yellow lacoste shirt she wore had been washed of bloodstains and she was grateful that Elu was kind. The sight of her own blood would make her faint. Funny how she just knew that about herself.
Walking slowly toward the kitchen with her mug she was hopeful to get some more tea. It helped the raw burning in her chest. Going to the counter her eyes focused on a bag of Lays potato chips. The word stood out more than anything
Something was oddly familiar about it. Concentrating she got nothing. Her head starting to ache she let go of the effort.
Maybe she just liked Lays potato chips?
Fixing some water she saw Elu pull up with Champ. Watching him from the window coming with her things she admired the strength of his muscled arms that flexed under his lumberjack shirt. The man looked like he cut down Redwoods for a living. The jeans on him showed the expanse of thighs and the athletic form of his legs. Evangeline wondered what he would look like naked. Blushing she lowered her eyes.
"Hey" he said surprised to see her standing in the kitchen "You shouldnít be up"
Champ ran into the kitchen and jumped up on her thigh panting. Evangeline winced from the force of him rushing her but patted his white and black head smiling.
"Champ enough!" Elu said calling him off her
"Nope, you are still recovering and Champ will be all over you if you let him" he said smiling.
Evangeline put the mug in the sink and looked at the bags "Is that my stuff?"
Elu smiled. "It sure is"
Evangeline held her hand to her stomach as she moved toward him. The sight of the bags was comforting. She felt like they were familiar.
Elu saw her struggling to walk while wheezing softly and went to her. Stopping her he scooped her up
"What are you doing?" she asked surprised at his abrupt manner
"You shouldnít be out of bed" he said carrying her to the couch in front of the fire place.
Evangeline put her arm around his neck and stared in his face as he lowered her to the couch. "Thank you" she said softly
Winking at her he went back to the door and got her bags bringing them to her.
Evangeline spent the next 20 minutes going through everything in silence.
Elu sat in his big mahogany colored leather chair watching her intently. Champ had his head in his lap. He stroked the dogs head and waited for Leotie to respond.
Evangeline looking at her paperwork and documents saw nothing. "Is this all? What about a purse or wallet?"
Elu shrugged "There was nothing like that there"
Evangeline frowned "I came to town with no identification?"
"The car you were in exploded, Iím sure it was in there"
"Oh god what am I going to do?"
"Leotie, we will figure this out"
Hearing his name for her she softened "Youíve been so kind I canít impose."
"Consider it a favor. I would enjoy the company. Besides that head wound will heal soon and your memory will return"
Evangeline nodded "Okay"
Elu smiled "So what would you like for dinner?"
"Hey, I donít even remember my name, sure donít know what I like to eat"
Elu laughed. "Fair enough. I will make us something special"
2 days later in Llanview ~
Layla walked into the station looking at Natalie she rolled her eyes and went to Johnís office.
"I need to talk to you!" she said
John looked up "Okay"
Natalie coming around her desk to see why Layla went in unannounced got the door slammed in her face by Layla before she could enter.
John frowned "What can I do for you?"
"Where the hell is my sister?"
John rolled his eyes "What do you mean? I havenítÖ.."
"She was supposed to be back yesterday. I spoke to Nora before she left for court and she hasnít heard from her. She hasnít answered her cell or called my mom, now where is she!"
John sat up alarmed "The hell if I knowÖ"
The Cabin ~
Evangeline came out on the porch to sit with Elu and Champ. The past two days had been great. She was now able to move around without loosing her breath and the head wound had stop requiring that icky salve. Best of all was Elu, he was so attentive and comforting. He hadnít left her side since he came back with her things. He told her of his childhood and why he moved to these mountains. Marrying his bestfriends sister sheíd owned the land out here and he built this cabin for her.
She died from leukemia 2 years into their marriage. Not believing in conventual medicine he had done everything to keep her alive. Nothing kept death from her. He worked with a contractor in town with cutting down lumber for the paper mill 50 miles outside of town and helped old man Nate at the general store.
Hearing him talk helped soothe her fears. No memories came since the one with the potato chips. She was more frustrated than ever. Champ came over and licked her hand detecting her sadness. She rubbed behind his ear.
Looking at the sunset she felt a longing in her. Like something was missing. Someone was missing. She couldnít pinpoint it. Elu noticing her change in mood rose from his rocking chair and went to sit next to her on the swinging chair. Evangeline feeling him put his arm around her snuggled closer and put her head under his arm. Elu started humming a soft chant as they swung looking at the setting sun. The sound was so comforting she began to drift into a comfortable nap on his chest.
Elu noticing her drift away in his arms reached his hand up and stroked her hair. She was becoming apart of him. He noticed that her journal was not with her things when he gave them to her two days ago. Not mentioning it he considered it fate that he lost it. Looking at the sun he thanked the god for sending him Leotie.