Antiquarian's Precious Find

Antiquarian's Precious Find

By:  Kristen Lee  Completed
Language: English
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“Tis better to have loved and lost…” is utter balderdash. Losing love is devastating.When a horror-movie nightmare became real, it turned everything in Teri Munroe’s life on end, costing her all the relationships she held dear in one fell swoop, including with the one man she truly loved, Jim Erickson. The only option left to the sensitive and reserved IT security specialist was to rewrite the code of her life. Abandoning her childhood home and Jim, she made a life of contract work to provide for their child, the daughter Jim doesn’t know he has. But when random chance leads Teri to a lucrative contract in Jim’s hometown, she finds herself face to face with him again and the love she thought was lost. Can they find a way to restore it? And when Teri's nightmare comes full circle again, can they survive it this time together?

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Victoria Krechting
epic and amazing story can't wait ro read part 2
2020-10-30 01:43:59
31 Chapters
[1] Discovery
Teri tucked the last of her daughter’s lunch into her lunchbox, glancing at the time on her cellphone. Seven-twenty-four. “Zoe! Get your stuff together! We’re late!” It wasn’t true, but usually it was the only way to get her perpetually tardy daughter to school on time.Touching the email icon on her phone’s menu, she leaned against the kitchen counter, sipping her coffee as it loaded. Down the hall came a thundering ruckus, terminating when Zoe stormed into the kitchen, frustratedly tossing her dangling backpack onto one shoulder only to have it slip and fall down her arm again.“I’m getting my shoes!” Zoe snapped moodily, dropping her backpack to the floor with a heavy thunk and taking a seat at the table.Unperturbed, Teri ignored the behavior, carrying the lunchbox to the table as she skimmed the new email contacts from her website. T
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[2] Remote Sensing
A few weeks later, Teri flew into the Canyonlands Field airport eighteen miles north of Moab to discover, much to her chagrin, she’d arrived during the annual event, Jeep Week.Appalled to find the small city glutted with all manner of 4x4 vehicles there for the series of day long trail rides along the canyons and rims, she nearly declined to revise her bid for the generous contract that instant, regardless of the outcome of her additional testing. If this was any indication of how summer tourism expanded the city’s population, she worried about camps and care for her daughter while she was working.But when she reached the medical campus, the hospital staff assured her the city would return to its typical idyllic demeanor after the end of the yearly off-road festival and that even though summer tourism did increase the population, it wasn’t the same crowd as for the 4x4 challenges.
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[3] A Monumental Finding
They departed for Moab in the RV the week after school let out for summer. Arriving to find the temperatures warmer than home, Teri and Zoe had immediately taken advantage of the weather, visiting Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park and the Nature Conservancy's Matheson Wetlands Preserve the week after they arrived. The RV resort was positioned to offer astonishing views of the unique rock formations set alongside the Colorado River and was a perfect spot for a surprising variety of outdoor activities.Since their arrival at the RV resort for the summer, the tourist traffic into the city had increased steadily, particularly on weekends. Visitors funneled in, drawn by opportunities to visit the local national parks, or participate in another of the myriad activities in eastern Utah’s scenic Grand County.This week in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, the influx of travelers and vehicles had multi
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[4] Provenance
Though just past noon, the bright sun in the clear blue sky getting baking hot as they reversed their earlier path, waiting in the limited shade in the bakery’s parking lot until their online order was ready. Teri dashed inside to collect their food, then drove them home, grateful for the RV’s air conditioned interior and the tall cottonwoods that shaded their pad by mid-afternoon and into the evening.Beneath the kitchen table, Evie slept at their feet as mother and daughter ate and talked over lunch. Teri’s first day of work was rapidly approaching. Zoe had yet to choose a day camp for that week but was inclined towards one of the programs offered at the dinosaur museum, which was part of the impetus for their forthcoming visit.She’s growing so fast, Teri thought, listening to her daughter easily read the detailed descriptions of several week-long camps at the dinosaur museum as she cleane
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[5] Catastrophes
“Zoe! Get your lunch and your pack together and get your shoes on!” Annoyed, Teri tossed her daughter’s shoes from the bathroom where she’d spent the last half hour stumbling over them as she readied for work. Pulling her blouse over her head, she finger-combed her hair into place and hurried into the bedroom for her own shoes.“Don’t wear the boxy black ones!” Zoe ordered bossily from the table as Teri emerged.“What’s wrong with them?” Her eyes skimmed over the very shoes, already in hand.Tucking her lunchbox into her pack, Zoe zipped it then hoisted it onto one shoulder, raising her brows in an expression she’d learned from her mother. “They make you look like those old women from that movie – with the monsters and the kids with weird powers. The women that could control time and turn into birds.”
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[6] Surface Survey
Teri slept little, tossing and turning and ruminating the long night’s hours about the biker on the ridge and wishing she had a glass of wine to slow her thoughts.Jim is in Moab, she forced her mind to acknowledge, staring into the nebulous shadows of her bedroom. What are the odds he just happened to be biking about and spotted me from the ridge on the only evening I’ve been at the pool?That’s ridiculous. I’m being paranoid. What reason could he possibly have for seeking me out? He didn’t want me, or Zoe, years ago. Besides, that real estate agent was right. He probably has plenty of women chasing him, he doesn’t need me.Still, the old ache of Jim’s loss throbbed at the thought.It was early morning, as the sounds of crickets faded and birdsong began, when she’d finally decided she was making a mountain out of a mol
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[7] Sampling
Though the entire evening had been a concentrated exercise in body and voice modulation, the sheer magnitude of her accomplishment—sitting and talking politely, even managing to eat, mere inches from the sole man on earth who turned her mind to mush and irresistibly lured her seditious body like the Pied Piper—didn’t become apparent until Teri was mindlessly zipping northbound along Main Street towards the secluded sanctuary of her RV home.Once there, all the provoked and pent-up primal brain instincts surged to the forefront, vehemently denying further suppression, even now that the dangerous threat Jim’s mere proximity presented was removed.“The primal brain controls our innate and spontaneous self-preserving behaviors, which ensures our survival and that of our species,” she remembered with sudden clarity from a college biology lecture. “These are often sum
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[8] Excavating the Overburden
“Sooo,” Mark drawled, when he arrived at work the next morning. Setting a cup of coffee from his favorite coffee house on the desk for Teri, he waggled his brows. “Some pretty intense stuff was going on between you and Erikson last night. He was walking on air leaving the restaurant. Spill already!”Teri’s eyes flicked up briefly from her coding, fixing Mark where he stood. “I thought you said he stands you up all the time.”At the hint of annoyance in her tone, Mark’s brows shot up. Though most of what he knew of Jim was from Carla, in his gut he’d been positive he and Teri would hit it off.While it certainly wasn’t his place to say, between the single-minded devotion to her daughter and the significant investment in at least this work project, Teri left herself little time for a life outside either. With someone as brilliant and
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[9] Physical Anthropology
Evie barked and leapt off the bed, racing into the RV’s family area. Emerging reticently from the blissful haze of heavy dreamless sleep, Teri sat up groggily, a vague impression of noise in her head, though Evie now was quiet.Yawning, she rubbed her fingertips in gentle circles at her temples. At least her earlier headache was reduced to a weak dull pressure and the nausea she’d felt during lunch with Johansen was gone.Still wandering dazedly at the edge of dreamland, Teri gave a startled cry to a knock at the outer door that sent Evie erupting into another brief frenzied round of barking from the other room. Outside, she heard a voice call her name.Jim.An unadulterated confusing mélange of thrilled pleasure and raw fear bubbled up inside her.What was I thinking? Why? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I text him? M
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[10] Early Artifacts
“So how’s this work?” Jim stowed their headsets carefully, then led Teri to the hangar’s secured door, his warm hand dizzingly distracting in the small of her back. “What do you need from me to help with dinner?”“I’ll need to drop by the grocer.”“Okay. I usually shop at the co-op near my house. Will that work?”“That should do just fine.”With twilight’s shadows lengthening fast through the winding red canyons, the warmth of the day was evaporating quickly and in Jim’s Jeep, Teri felt the cool air creeping in much faster than she might have in the Meep. It sensitized her skin, left it prickling faintly, and entirely too aware of Jim’s presence through the warmth of his hand on her thigh. Once returned to the city proper, the paved streets and clustered buildings retained
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