Okay, so begins the story of our beloved Matty, all growed up!
Tell me what you think!
"When are you going to grow up and come to your senses? You should be at home, with a wife and children by now!" the melodious voice almost screamed over the phone.
"I have enough time to find a wife and settle down, Grandmother. I am only twenty-six," Matthew defended as his grandmother continued to rant. When he had arrived in Egypt, he found a voicemail demanding that he call, and he should have known that any phone call to his grandmother would go this way. She had been bothering him since he turned twenty to find a wife.
"You may have plenty time, Matthew, but I lack it. I want to hold my great-grandchildren, right now."
"Grandma," he said in a smooth voice. "You know that I love you and I will do anything in my power to get you what you want, but I am not going to marry the first girl that crosses my path!" Matthew watched as the people walked by outside the airport. It was his tenth time in Egypt, and this time he was sure he would find something on his dig.
"I am not suggesting that you marry just anyone. There are many lovely ladies living here in Maine. You should come out for a visit and meet some of them. You never know what could happen."
"I refuse to see and/or talk to Maryann Kathleen Pemberton ever again, Grandmother. No matter how many times you try to match me with her, it isn't going to happen." The girl was horrendous. Her claws sank into him the first time they met and she was loathe to let him and his money escape from her. His grandmother believed it a match made in heaven.
"I want you to think about Maryann, dear. She's a lovely girl."
"If you like snakes," he muttered.
"Matthew Preston!" she gasped.
"Darlene Preston," he gasped back, eliciting another strangled gasp from her.
"I need to call your mother. How did you grow up without any manners? I made it clear to her that a boy should be taught to respect his elders." She continued to mutter across the line, forcing a laugh from Matthew.
"I have perfect manners, Grandma. I just choose when to use them. Why don't you call my lovely cousin, Alexandra, and see how she's doing? She's been married for a few months. Bug her for great-grandkids."
"Well, I have never been spoken to in such a way, Matthew. I am calling your mother."
"Feel free, Grandma. What can she do to me? I'm across the world, in Egypt."
"I know where you are, young man. Your mother will set you straight."
"I love you, Grandma. Tell Mom 'hello' for me."
"I love you too, rascal. Your mother will soon be calling you."
Matthew shoved his intercontinental cell phone into the pocket of his jeans and hiked his duffle bag up on his shoulder. He only had a few weeks at this dig before he had to return to Southern California to fine tune his lectures for his anthropology class before school started. As he stepped out of the airport and into the sweltering heat, he felt himself collide with another body. The impact made him lose his duffel bag and sent the smaller body to the ground. Matthew immediately helped the girl to her feet. She turned to look at him and he realized that she wasn't a girl, but a woman. Her fire-red hair was curly and free, floating around her head. She stared up at him with large brown eyes that reminded him of a doe, an angry doe with eyes full of flames. The petite woman was angry.
"Will you watch where you're going?" she asked with a soft voice.
"I'm sorry," Matthew apologized, trying to pat the dust off her shoulder. She moved away from him and gazed up into his face.
"Well, be more careful next time," she snapped and pushed past him to grab her bag, which had also fallen to the ground. Matthew shook his head as he grabbed his duffle bag from the floor and resettled it on his shoulder. He watched the redheaded vixen march away and shook his head again. Turning, he found one of his associates from Los Angeles, Ronald Helwin, waiting for him.
"Hey Ron," he called, sauntering over with a friendly smile.
"Matt," Ron nodded, extending his hand to shake the younger man's. Matthew ran a hand through his black hair, pushing it out of his eyes.
"Everytime I come here, I forget how hot it is. I should always get a haircut before setting foot in Egypt."
"Matt, I have bad news," Ron was never one to mince words. He always jumped right in.
"Alright, give it to me." Matthew was never one to shy away from things. He faced them head on.
"The government revoked our right to the dig site," Ron seemed to choke on the words as he spit them out.
"What?" Matthew closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them to stare at Ron.
"I was just informed. The Egyptian government thinks we may have stumbled upon an old burial chamber, and they want their own team in there. They kicked us out this morning."
"They can't do that, we have a permit." Matthew reached for the zipper on his duffle bag with the intention of pulling out his copy of the permit to excavate.
"They can revoke permits, Matthew." The older man's grey eyes showed the sorrow and the pity he shared with Matthew.
"We've been planning this for months! We had their agreement, it isn't right for them to take it back." Matthew wanted to fling his bag to the ground and pace, but he kept still.
"There will be other digs, Matt." Ron didn't look any more thrilled by the reassurance than Matthew.
"They couldn't have revoked it when I was still in LA? Before I flew all the way here?" He scowled and reached for his phone to text his assistant. Jillian was going to fly in two days to meet him at the dig.
"We found pieces of a jar this morning, Matt. It was hand painted with hieroglyphics. The spy they sent to work with us, AckBek called the artifact in and the next thing I knew we were being escorted off the side."
"How old was it?" Matthew asked, walking to a bench and setting down his duffle bag. He unzipped it and looked inside.
"I don't know, I didn't get a good look at it. Lucy found it, and the rat took it away the minute I turned to examine it. It had to have been old, otherwise we would still be on that site." Matthew didn't respond. He was rifling through the duffle bag. Suddenly, he turned and scanned the surrounding people. "What's wrong?"
"Did you see that woman I ran into? The one with the red hair?" he asked, scanning the people again.
"Yes, why?" Ron turned to gaze at the people surrounding them.
"Do you see her?" Matthew stepped away from the duffle bag and Ron noticed the contents. Not a laptop, or any paperwork. It was clothes, pink and pale blue clothes.
"This isn't your duffle bag."
"No really," Matthew snapped. He turned back and began to look through the bag again.
"The Egyptian government has purchased us tickets in first class to fly home in less than an hour," Ron informed softly. "You have that long to find the woman and then you have to be on that flight."
"They don't want us finding whatever they are trying to hide," Ron murmured with gravity.
"That's preposterous! We had rights," Matthew shouted, angry that he couldn't see the redheaded vixen with his bag. He dug through the bag, finding nothing to identify the woman.
"Matthew, it's the government, you can't fight them." Ron patted Matthew on the back and shrugged.
"Ah-ha!" Matthew exclaimed, pulling a thick leather-bound book from the depths of the bag. He opened it and found the woman's name written in flowing letters across the page declaring it her journal. "Her name is Jamie Rosamund Hill," Matthew said, gritting his teeth in frustration when the pages gave no phone number, nor way to identify the woman.
"At least you have her name," Ron commented. "You can find her now, with the help of a private investigator."
"If she even lives in America," Matthew muttered, zipping up the bag and slinging it over his shoulder.
"True, but she did speak English without an accent, that's a start."
"This would happen to me," Matthew growled as they walked into the airport and toward the security gates.
Jamie fell into her seat on the airplane with a sigh. It had taken her twice as long to get through security than it normally did, almost making her late for her flight. They had run her duffle through the scanner three times and searched the inside before they were content that she carried nothing dangerous. She shoved the duffle bag under the seat in front of her, scowling when it resisted the normal beating she gave it. She rolled her shoulders and leaned back in her chair. She didn't have an issue with flying, but she was getting sick of it. The problem with having parents that loved to travel was that eventually they found the one place they thought they belonged, and then they settled down. This was the fourth time they had "settled" down in another country. They would stay in Egypt for a few months and then, just before they gained their citizenship, they would pick up roots and flee to another country. Jamie couldn't blame them, seeing as they waited until their seven children were grown before beginning their sojourn for their personal holy land.
Jamie rubbed her shoulder, where she had landed after running into that man in the airport. She felt a flush come to her cheeks at her sharp remarks to him. She wasn't normally so bold, but that fall had hurt. She remembered the kind look in the man's blue eyes and felt worse for her words. She had never seen eyes like those, deep blue with a ring around the center of a paler shade. Attach those magical eyes to that face and she could fantasize forever. The toss of black hair that fell over his eyes just added a rakish hint to his charming face. Jamie shook her head and closed her eyes, the man was a handsome thing, and something had told her that he knew it. Maybe it was in the arrogant rise of his eyebrows when she scowled at him, maybe it was in the way that he didn't look back after she walked away, and instead sauntered through the doors to greet another man. She had to tell herself that she didn't care. It wasn't likely that she would ever see the man again, so there was no use in thinking on him. She hoped that she wouldn't spend the next sixteen hours of the flight pondering him, as the plane taxied down the lane and began to pick up speed for the ascent. She closed her eyes and felt the exhaustion of the past few days take over.
Jamie woke to near darkness in the plane. Only reading lights lit the cabin. The television in the seat before her claimed they were three hours into the flight. She sighed, feeling greatly rejuvenated but wishing she had slept through more of the flight. Stretching her cramped limbs, she reached for her duffle bag. As she pulled it onto her lap, she muttered about how heavy it seemed. The zipper unzipped halfway and then stuck. Jamie silently cursed and struggled to open the bag the rest of the way. When the zipper finally slid along its course freely, she opened the bag and looked inside. Dismay washed across her. This was not her bag. Inside were not her clothes and journal, but a laptop, papers, a pair of jeans, and a few black shirts. She rifled through the contents and then pulled out the laptop. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching her, she pushed the bag back under the seat, laid down her tray and opened the laptop. As it whizzed to life, her eyes danced around with worry. Someone would be able to tell that this wasn't her laptop, that she was snooping for some sign of who the owner was. The computer loaded the home screen, shocking Jamie. She had expected a password. She suddenly wondered what kind of person didn't put a password on his laptop. Someone with nothing to hide, she qualified as a picture filled the desktop. It was the man, with three other dark haired people. The older woman with green eyes and black hair had to be his mother, Jamie could see bits and pieces of the woman in her assailant's face. The older man had given his son the blue eyes that mesmerized, and the broad shoulders and narrow waist that caused Jamie to fantasize. Next to her assailant was a young girl who possessed her mother's soft features and eyes, but her father's hair. All four had the same smile of pure happiness on their faces. Jamie had to smile. Any man that had such a wonderful looking family couldn't be that bad, even if he had accidentally run into her. She moved her finger across the fingerpad and clicked on the menu. At the top of the bar was his name, Matthew Preston. Somehow it fit him.
And, so...YAY! A Matty Story! I"m still thinking about an Eric Story, but for now we will work with the Matty story. What do you think of it so far? Hmmmm???