Free Write Wednesdays–An Alternate Start

So, I had a wonderful conversation with a reader about Sean, Nicole, and Bobby. After that chat, it gave me courage to write an alternate scene/start that has been rolling around in my head. I rushed home and started this scene. 

Free writes are the exploration stage in creating the book. It is meant to be captured quickly, answer questions of “What if…?” or “Let’s say…”. I love this stage. It is the beginning of the process of compiling the outline and identifying plot twists.  All of this free write madness results in a book that hopefully will have you on the edge of your seat and quickly turning the next page. 

Will Nicole “come home”?  I guess we’ll find out when I get to the point of launching book five!  In the meantime, enjoy the many confusing twist and turns of the free write!

  

Washington, DC—White House Oval Office

President Bobby Jenkins was sitting at the Resolute Desk looking over the daily briefing reports. Later in the day, he had a meeting scheduled with FBI Director Kevin Thompson, the Attorney General Pitts, and CIA Director McGuffey. He was anxious to hear about the intelligence they had received from the French DST and what the counterintelligence plan would be. He set a report aside just as Chris, his secretary, knocked on the door. 

Chris opened the door and walked up to the desk. He extended his hand that contained an unopened envelope. “It’s for you addressed with your private password. It’s from Nikki,” he said as he watched Jenkins’s face brightened at the sound of her name. 

Jenkins face then reflected his confusion. “Nikki has never written me before,” he said, snatching the envelope from Chris. Jenkins looked at the envelope. “I told her to use this password months ago. I wonder what is wrong.” 

“Only one way to find out, sir,” Chris responded with a smile on his face. “I’ll leave you to do just that.”

Jenkins returned the smile. “Thank you, Chris.” 

As Chris left, Jenkins tore open the envelope. He pushed his chair away from the desk, turned his back to his office. He glanced out the window. He smirked at the thought that this gave him privacy in his very public office. For some reason, he didn’t want to be the president at that very moment. He unfolded the letter with much anticipation and trepidation. Was Nicole writing to him to tell him she and Sean had married? The thought made Jenkins pause. If that were the case, it would be a clear signal that he should move on in his personal life. The only problem he saw with that was he hadn’t found anyone who stirred him the way Nicole did. She had touched him on so many levels that any relationship with another woman seemed shallow and, frankly, too much work to maintain. He turned his gaze to the handwritten letter. 

It read:

Dearest Bobby,

I find myself in a quandary. There is a part of me that knows I shouldn’t bother you with my personal life and another part of me that believes I have nowhere else to turn. If Carol were alive, I could turn to my best friend. I don’t trust anyone in the embassies here. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone. 

I suppose I’m being a little silly. Hopefully, you’ll endure my ramblings as I felt I need to get this off my chest. Where to start so that you don’t become judgmental is the question. I have enough of that going on in my head that I don’t need you to do that. So, I’m asking that you receive what I’m about to write to you with an open mind.

When I was in Washington, selling my condo, you sensed that my relationship with Sean is tense. His nightmares had returned as you suspected and at the time I didn’t know why. He kept the reason to himself, and when I returned from Washington, a woman KGB agent had undergone plastic surgery to alter his face to look like Sarah. I had never seen a picture of Sarah. As I entered Sean’s office upon my return, I caught them in an intimate moment. It was quite unsettling. 

I found out later that she was the cause of Sean’s nightmare and when Sean was visiting you in Belgium, I, shall we say, took care of it. I got her to say the General Valesky had her placed here, but I didn’t think to ask her why. It was to spy on us. It also played with Sean’s mind. I had the guards put her outside the embassy gates, where she was killed. I’m sure Sean told you none of this. At the time I was with you in Washington, he was keeping this secret from me. Since then, I have been wondering whether he slept with the imposter while I was gone. If I bring up the topic, he becomes very defensive. 

Our visit with Jack Kensington after the Royal Wedding was not a pleasant one. It was made very clear that I’m to not interfere in embassy business. I can’t help but wonder what secrets Sean is keeping from me now. I feel isolated. Don’t get the impression that Sean doesn’t trust me. He does. But it is a very fine line we are walking. It was made clear to Sean that he can’t keep me in the loop. We both know that Sean does what he pleases when it comes to his job, but I can’t help but wonder what else is being kept from me since I never received a straight answer about whether he was with the imposter during my absence. 

The nightmares have subsided. I am thankful for that. But after London, there remains a distance between us. I think we both feel like we are walking on eggshells. I feel I need to know if something happened between the imposter and Sean. Then, I ask myself what I would do if I knew? Could I leave him? Where would I go? This is agony! If only I could get my mind to stop this torture. 

Please keep this in the strictest of confidence. I just needed to talk with a friend who would understand. 

Sincerely,

Nicole

Jenkins lowered the letter to his lap and looked out the window. His first thought was to call Nicole. He knew that she wrote to him because it was more private than a phone call. He knew Sean wasn’t intentionally isolating her, but he also knew the life of an intelligence agent was dangerous. He knew that eventually there would be situations that would isolate Nicole, possibly even hurt her. He respected her choice to be with Sean, even though he still loved her. Jenkins wondered if Sean was over his first wife. He wondered what he was supposed to do now. What did Nicole want from him?

He read the letter one more time before he folded it and placed in the pocket of his suit jacket that was on the back of his leather chair. He spun the chair back around, determined to finish the briefings that were waiting on his desk. After a few seconds, he realized he was not able to concentrate on the briefings. His mind kept repeating two words: Come home

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