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The Rebel

The Rebel

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They all said she was cut from the same cloth as her mother..well, they weren’t even close.

Ivy is yearning for an escape, a life that’s not living in the shadow of her mother's free spirit. But as she contemplates abandoning the life she’s always known, an unexpected beacon of understanding appears in the form of Quinn.

He understood how people judged others; he had a past he couldn’t outrun.

Quinn knows he should keep his distance and protect Ivy from the backlash of his past, but his heart whispers of a different path.

Main Tropes

  • Grumpy Hero
  • Forgiveness
  • Women Friendship

Synopsis

They all said she was cut from the same cloth as her mother..well, they weren’t even close.In the past year Inheritance Bay lost a light of the town, Ivy’s mother, a free spirited florist. Ivy has spent the last year laboring in her mother's floral shop, surrounded by the memories of a woman who danced with life, Yet, Ivy's hands are more deadly than nurturing to plants, her sneezes more frequent than her smiles, her mother's legacy more a shackle than a gift.Ivy is yearning for an escape, a life that’s not living in the shadow of her mother's free spirit. But as she contemplates abandoning the life she’s always known, an unexpected beacon of understanding appears in the form of Quinn.He understood how people judged others; he had a past he couldn’t outrun.Quinn carries his own burdens, an ex-convict seeking redemption from the weight of societal judgment. He’s returned to Inheritance Bay to lay to rest the only mother he’s ever known, a goodbye he thought he'd weather alone. His sole intent: to keep his tainted past away from his foster brothers, a promise that grows complicated when Ivy tumbles into their lives.Quinn knows he should keep his distance and protect Ivy from the backlash of his past, but his heart whispers of a different path.Don't miss this touching exploration of second chances, identity, and the transformative power of love.

Intro into Chapter One

Prologue
– 5 years ago outside of Calaway Prison

The
doors slammed shut behind him.

Quinn
Chance didn’t move. He knew he was free, but still, he waited, like he had
waited for the last two years. He’d waited to be told to move or sit. His mind
knew the truth, but the muscle memory of obedience hadn’t quite left him. He
didn’t know how much of his humanity had survived the cell he was in. He’d kept
to himself but there were still times when keeping to yourself only made you a
target. During his stay, he’d been to the infirmary twice. The first had been a
yard fight but the last one had been deadly.

He
shook off those memories and saw his brother Vincent waiting for him. Quinn
looked around hoping the afternoon sun was somehow blocking his view of his
wife. However, there was no one there but Vincent. He took small ginger steps
toward Vincent. Each step an exercise in discipline. He wanted to run from this
place, or at the very least pick up his speed to make sure no one came back out
to put him back in. When he finally made it to Vincent it took all of his
willpower not to look back.

Vincent
was standing in front of a limousine. The limousine driver came out and opened
the door.

Quinn
looked at the car and then at Vincent.

“You
could have come in a rental.”

Vincent
shook his head.

“To
bring my brother home after all of the crap they put you through. Nope. We may
have all started out at a foster home but you’re just like my blood. I wouldn’t
travel in a rental anymore and neither will you,” Vince said indicating for him
to get into the limo.

Quinn
slid into the limo and relished how soft the leather seats were. When the
chauffer closed the door Quinn jumped. He let out a deep breath and then sat
back in his seat. When Vincent got in he noticed Quinn was off right away.

“What’s
wrong?”

As
the CEO Quinn was sure Vincent’s attention to detail was a gold mine but right
now he needed space.

Quinn
shook his head and waved off Vincent.

“Nothing.
Just getting used to being free.”

“Well,
that we can do. Tomorrow we go looking for a place for you.”

“Vincent
–“

Vincent
held up his hand. Quinn knew somethings never changed. It seemed like it had
been forever. However, Quinn knew that when Vincent got an idea in his head,
there was no changing it. It was funny, the things that a person could remember
after they had been away from people that they cared about. Quinn didn't
remember Vincent being quite as short as he was. Also, Vincent's hair had
little speckles of Gray in it that hadn't been there before. While he was in
prison, he had seen some of the stories about his brother Vincent and the women
that he had went through. Saying that he had had a couple of relationships
would have been being kind.

“Listen.
Now that you're out, there's nothing I want you to want for.” Vincent said.
Quinn understood the sentiment, but he didn't want to be a burden to anyone either.

“I
want to make sure that I can get myself on my feet. I appreciate the place. The
only requirement that I have is that it has a place for me to be able to put my
own Zen garden.”

“A
Zen garden.?”

“I
know it sounds odd, but it was one of the things that I learned and it kept me
sane. Of course I had one on a large, smaller scale, but the premise was good
enough.”

“Whatever
you want, Quinn. I'll be there for you and we'll make sure that you get it.”

For
the rest of the ride, Vincent didn't say anything to Quinn. Quinn appreciated
the time just to be sitting in the car and watching the scenery go by. He had
longed for this day and now that it was here, nothing was as he had imagined
it. His wife or he should say his ex-wife Lucinda was gone. His construction
business was in limbo. With his reputation he was sure no one wanted to deal
with him. Even a vindicated man isn’t truly free. He had to think on that as
well. He had a lot of thinking to do and for once he would be able to do it
with both eyes closed while lying down in a bed, not a cot but a bed.

The
further away from the prison they went the easier he breathed. The more
apparent it was to him that only his brothers through foster care were really
there for him. Quinn didn’t think he would ever be able to trust another woman
after this ordeal. He had learned some business skills and knew he had great
focus. From now on he’d look out for his family and theirs. He would never open
his heart again to the pain his ex had inflicted.

Quinn
had left his physical prison but he wasn’t sure when he would leave his
invisible one, if ever.

 

Chapter One

The
plant was dead. Like really dead no amount of chemicals could even perk it up.

Fortunately,
this wasn’t Ivy Corsell’s first rodeo on hiding a dead plant. She had her handy
black garbage bag to rid the apartment of the evidence. She grabbed the other wrappers
on the floor and looked at the very healthy African violet. The businessman who
had contracted her to watch the plants wasn’t very attentive. Once when he had
come back when she was in the apartment doing “plant care” he had looked at one
of his other plants and congratulated her on being able to prune a plant. Ivy
smiled and looked at the plant. Yes, it was smaller because it was a new plant.
She had been sure that he was going to fire her, but then he came back into the
living room as he gave her a check for caring for his plants and smiled.

“You
know I was thinking about doing an herb garden. Do you know how to dry herbs?”

Ivy
wanted to shout yes. It’s like killing them but in a nice way.

“Would
you be looking to care for the herbs yourself or do you just want drying?”

He
let out a sigh. “My girlfriend grows tons of herbs and I think its just a waste
to see her throw them away.”

“It’s
great to have a green thumb.” Internally Ivy had let out a deep breath because
there was no way she could grow herbs.

“I’m
sure you know what’s it like to have such a green thumb that everything you
touch just gets out of control. I hear you inherited your touch from your
mother,” he says with a smile.

“Well
no one could be my mother, not even me,” Ivy says with a smile. I turned from
him to gather my things. Ivy couldn’t stand to be caught in a condo with
another person who knew of or had heard of her mother. When it came to the
plants in the shop Ivy had a very nice teen come in and tend the plants. It was
infinitely better than her doing it. In fact she Ivy knew she had to find
something else to do because this wasn’t for her. She t she could do it after
all the years she had spent watching her mother but she was wrong. After her
mother passed it was like all the joy of gardening had gone out of her and
instead of having a steady hand in the garden it had turned into the hand of
death to any living thing. Ivy was ashamed to admit she had even killed cactus.

It
was odd how when you lived in a town all of your life that people saw what they
wanted. Ivy wasn’t her mother Basil. She didn’t like the color green, she
preferred blue. The town folk of Inheritance Bay would say it was just like the
water to feed the plants. No one could ever recall her growing a plant from see
but when they saw her next to a plant they would smile and nod. Ivy would hear
comments whispered behind her back, ‘Just like her mother.’

There
was something Ivy loved to do and it was sort of related to flowers. She loved
to draw flowers in all of their stages. She knew she’d never have a green thumb
but she did have a way of showing the strength, beauty, resilience and
transitory nature of plants. She admired their ability to adapt and her
drawings were getting some acclaim beyond the town of Inheritance Bay. Her
friend Jack Danvers had seen her work in the flower shop and convinced her to
show in the amateur shows. He was her best friend and supporter. She couldn’t
wait for him and his wife Kathy to see her work. It had taken Kathy a bit to
work up to the experience but she would come with Jack and they would stay in
the back out of the crowd but it made Ivy feel great having him come.

As
Ivy closes the shop for the day her mind has already wandered to the gallery.
It was all setup she just needed to arrive.

“Ivy!”

Ivy
stopped confused and then her name was called again. When she turned she saw it
was Jack.

“I
didn’t need a ride to the venue but thanks.” Ivy is completely confused when
Jack begins to wave his hands. His brown eyes are bright and Ivy can tell that
he has recently come from working his food truck because his apron is still on.

“Look
at me. Like I would ever embarrass you by showing up to the venue like this. No
I wanted to catch you because Kathy and I won’t be there to keep you in the corner
tonight. We’re going upstate.”

“Upstate?
Is Reid and everyone okay?”

Jack
smiled and waved her off. “Everyone is fine.”

Ivy
gave it another thought and then wiggled her eyebrows. “Is someone else having
a surprise wedding?”

Ivy
had to admit that the Chance brothers were just as apt to have a full out town
wedding as they were to fly the wedding party to a surprise location on a
minute’s notice.

“No,
not that.”

Ivy
shrugged. “I’m all out of ideas Jack. Help me out.”

Jack
continues to smile as if he is one step away from crazy.

“Our
fur baby arrived today,” He confesses.

For
a moment Ivy doesn’t register what Jack has said but a moment later it clicks.

“What?
Today?” Ivy knew they had been waiting on the golden standard poodle but she
hadn’t been tracking the time obviously.

“Oh
my goodness, where is it?”

Jack
laughs. “It’s sitting in its mama’s arms as we speak.”

Ivy’s
joy for them is barely containable. For a very long time, Ivy knew that Kathy
was having problems leaving the house. Jack had confessed to her that they were
going to think about getting a fur baby so that Kathy would be able to leave. A
brand-new puppy would give Kathy the incentive to make small journeys outside
of the house. I really thought they had just had that conversation a couple of
days ago and now the fur baby had already arrived.

Ivy
went from frustration to happiness in less than 5 seconds. She reached out and
pulled Jack into her embrace, so happy that they had finally found their puppy.

“I'm
so happy for you, Jack!”

“I
am so happy for us too, Ivy."

Ivy
laughs at his sarcastic answer and still pulled him back into her embrace.

“You
have got to let me know when I can come and see the new baby.”

Jack
sighed. “I wanted to let you know. You were the one who originally suggested
this and Kathy was a little on the fence, but now that the puppy has arrived
she can’t even remember why she hesitated.”

“Again.
I am so happy for the both of you, and I'll make sure to go get some items
right away.” It was hard for Ivy to conceive of the idea that now Kathy and
Jack would be parents. “Have you all picked a name? Have you found a vet and a
trainer? I’m sorry I’m sure you’ve done all of these things and so much more.”

Jack
nodded and laughed as Ivy rattled off questions. Then as Ivy was trying to
figure out how to see Kathy in her schedule Jack tapped her on the shoulder.

“Venue
Carmines the place showing your work?”

Ivy
jumped as she remembered that Jack was right.

“You
need to be on your way. I don’t want to deal with an unhappy Kathy. How would I
be able to tell her that I came to tell you the news and you were late for your
own showing? We wanted you to know what we were doing first.”

“I
can’t tell you how honored I am that you decided to tell me first,” Ivy says.
“You two are so special in my life. I’ve been able to be myself with you two
from the beginning and you don’t know how much of a relief it has been to have
a safe haven. Let me know if you want me to house sit.”

“I
can’t wait until I give you that call as well,” Jack said with a big sigh. Then
his expression changed and he asked. 
“You know a lot about standard poodle?”

Ivy
waved him off. “Don’t you know if I can’t do something I am resourceful enough
to figure it out.”

Jack
gave her one last hug and then left. Ivy is still on cloud nine as she goes to
the venue. Carmines is a new local restaurant. It used to host wine and paint
night. Then it became paint night. In an attempt to still monetize the space
Carmine Postelli turned the back room of the restaurant into a mini art gallery
for local talent. Of course there were two master potters in Inheritance Bay
and sometimes they showcased items at Carmines. However, most of the time it was
for new artists.

Ivy
thought about the new fur baby and already she wanted to go over to do some
preliminary drawings of the new addition. She was so wrapped up in her musings
of the new picture she would create that she almost missed her phone vibrating
in her bag. She brought her car to Carmine’s parking lot and then took a look
at her watch. She didn’t have a lot of time but curiosity was a fault she
couldn’t shake.

“Hello?”
Ivy asked hoping there was a person on the other side.

“Hello,”
a deep voice answers. A man’s voice that could make money with that voice but
was definitely not a machine.

“Um,
yes,” Ivy says thrown off by the older voice. “I’m sorry the number came up as
unknown. Who is this?””

“Is
this Basil Corsell?” The man on the other end asks. Ivy closes her eyes. When
her mother passed on she took over her mother’s number. Ivy didn’t have a lot
of friends that would miss her on her old phone. At the time it made so much
sense because her mother did so much business on her personal phone. However,
once in a while someone would call looking for the vivacious woman who passed
almost 3 years ago.

“No,
it’s not Basil. This is her daughter,” I reply. “I’m sorry can you please let
me know who you are?”

The
man on the other end sounds disappointed and Ivy gives him time to gather his
thoughts and prepares to hear the condolences that every one offers up. Instead
of condolences he clears his throat. “My name is Thomas Langdon.” Ivy nods and
waits for him to keep going on. When it turns out that he’s not going to go
forward with the expected speech Ivy glances at her watch and then clears her
throat.

“Well,
I’m happy for you but I don’t have time to play 20 questions.”

“This
is why I’m here. You don’t know me?” he asks.

“No,
but like I said I have to go and –“

“Basil
is your mom?”

“Yes.”

“How
old are you?”

“Excuse
me?”

“You
heard me girl, how old are you?”

“Listen
Mr. Lang, I don’t see how that is?”

“It’s
Langdon and if you are in your late thirties, then I might be your dad,” he
ground out.

Ivy
just stopped in the car. Her father? Her mind couldn’t even begin to wrap her
head around the idea. Her father had always been a forbidden subject or at the
very least a topic that was evaded at all costs.

“Did
you hang up?”

“No,”
Ivy whispered. “ I didn’t hang up.”

“You’ve
got Basil’s phone. Is she around. I’m sure she’ll have a lot to say to me when
she hears how I dropped this news.”

“My
mother is dead.”

“What?
Well, this is inconvenient. Are you in that little town Basil came from?”

“Inheritance
Bay?”

“Yes,
that’s it. Is my sister Alicia still in the town?”

Alicia?
My aunt Alicia? This just couldn’t be. Ivy thought.

“Alicia
Hall?”

“Yes
that would be her. I see she still has our mother’s maiden name. I’m going to
be coming to town. Clear your schedule and we will meet up. I need to see you.”

Ivy
thought about how her and her aunt Alicia had stopped talking when her mother
died. It turned out Ivy wasn’t alone but Alicia never said a thing. That was
also something else she wasn’t ready to deal with.

“Clear
my schedule?” Ivy echoed back lost in thought.

“Yes
I’ll be arriving soon. Where can we meet?”

“I’ll
be at Carmines. We can meet there?”

“Oh
my goodness tell me you are not a waitress,” he said in a low voice.

Ivy
shook her head and thought how silly that was. He couldn’t see her.

“No
I have a art showing tonight, ugh like now so I an see you there.”

“Oh
you have some creativity? “he prodded.

“I
paint flowers and stills. Ask anyone in the Bay where Carmines is. It’s a nice
place.”

“Yes,
I remember the place. I could drive through it and miss it,” he muttered.

“I’ll
see you there. I have blond hair.”

“Blonde?  Are you really a blonde?”

“What?”

“Never
mind. Bottle or born doesn’t really matter. I’ll be there.”

Ivy
held the dead phone away from her ears. She wasn’t sure how she felt but what
she knew was she was going to meet her father. The infamous man who could bring
her mother to a stop and make her forget about flowers. His voice was deep.
Would he be tall?  Would he look like
her? Trying to put a face to the voice and the dreams that she had secretly
held about her prince charming father coming to save her. What was that comment
about creativity? Ivy bustles inside the restaurant. Carmine greets her with
open arms and then ushers her to the back of the restaurant.

I
walk into the back room and see a bunch of people who are dressed business
casual. Ivy didn’t really have business casual since she had been working in
the flower shop for all of her life. What she had was a clean white shirt and
dark pants. People nodded towards her but didn’t engage. Ivy walked among them
and now she felt the loss of Jack and Kathy more than she had expected. Would
her father see her and see her as a plain Jane?

As
Ivy walked by each piece and talked about her inspiration she was looking
around the room for a man who might be her father. Had she known that she was
going to meet her father she would have sent a better collection. Fall was a
good collection but this wasn’t her best work. 
Ivy had to take a deep breath and calm herself. Why was her father here?
It was clear that he didn’t keep in contact with her mother. Or her aunt, which
was going to take some getting used to.

It
was then that she heard someone clear their throat and she turned to see a
crowd behind her waiting for her to speak on her inspiration. Ivy had to get
through the showings and then she would speculate all she wanted.  After giving her speech the piece is
purchased right away. The money is welcome. As Ivy discovered she doesn’t have
her mother’s green thumb her painting has picked up the extra money she needed
to pay bills and keep the store open. Every day on bill day she wondered if she
was doing the right thing. If she didn’t run the store what would she do? Where
would she go when Inheritance Bay was the only home she knew? Right?

During
the break I go to Carmine.

“I’m
sorry Carmine but I have a guest arriving to see me after the show.

Carmine
smiles. “It’s about time you had a nice young man see you –“

Ivy
cuts him off. “Its family, not fun.”

Carmine’s
face drops but he nods his agreeance. As Ivy is walking away Carmine calls out.

“Ivy”

“Yes,”
Ivy replies and doesn’t even turn around.

“We’re
almost out of paintings. Everyone sold. The second half of this show is a
tease. There are no more pieces to buy.”

Ivy
was thrilled that her pieces had sold tonight there were some requests for
flowers that she needed to pre-pay. The story was only a passing thought before
she found herself looking online for her dad. He said he was in the arts, maybe
there was something on him. However, Ivy found very little. It said he was an
actor who had done some iconic shows but nothing lately. When Ivy looks at the
shows they are referring to his face comes to her memory.

There
is a thrill that runs through her. Thomas Langdon is a part of her. She’s not
so alone anymore. I’m standing in front of one of the sold paintings when I see
Carmine wave and mouth to me.

“He’s
here.”

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