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Are you ready for more romance? A satisfying ending? A little magic? Read the rest of The Vessel, my free, off-the-top-of-my-head short story, written with blog followers in mind. If you’re not already following, sign up and be the first to know when new stories, freebies, and new book releases happen.

The Vessel is a two-part story. The first part can be read here.

Part Two follows. It’s about 1200 words and should take you about 6-7 minutes to read.

the vesselThe Vessel (Part 2 of 2)
by Patricia Green

© Copyright 2015 Patricia Green
All rights reserved.

Gill left Lorelei at her lodgings and they agreed to meet again in an hour. She desperately needed a shower and a change of clothes, and he claimed to need one too. Lorelei thought he was exaggerating his own discomfort so that she’d feel less awkward, but so long as he showed up again, she didn’t care.

Dinner was at a trendy bistro, not far from the heart of Cairo. Either Gill had a standing reservation, or his name and money got them in the door, bypassing the line of diners awaiting a table. It was nice to have some clout. She’d never been to the place before, simply because it didn’t fit her budget or her sense of time—she didn’t like to waste it standing in line, if she could avoid it.

The vessel was stashed in her purse. She wasn’t about to leave it behind anywhere. It was unorthodox to remove it from the site, but Lorelei just couldn’t make herself leave it behind for any scavenger to steal.

They settled at the white-linen-draped table and ordered their food. Lorelei felt a bit tongue-tied, faced with the amazing Gill Quinn, and at first, she stuttered her responses to his questions. They chatted about how they’d come to love archaeology and the quest for rare objects.

“So, are you going to give the vessel to the Egyptians?” he asked with a smirk. They both knew she was. Lorelei was not the kind of person to steal something so valuable.

“Of course. And I’ll write quite a paper on it. I only wish I’d found it myself. As it is, I really don’t know what led you to that particular spot in the tomb. I thought I’d looked there already.”

He shrugged. Lorelei got a feeling of secretiveness from him, a sudden unwillingness to share information. It disturbed her.

“What do you know, that I don’t know, Gill?”

“Nothing. You probably were focused on finding something else, and overlooked the jar.”

“Maybe. But you knew exactly where to find it. How did you do it?”

“I don’t know. I kind of have a sixth sense, I guess. I picture an object—in this case, I suspected there was a matching jar to the one in the Cairo museum—and then I have a mental picture of where to find it.”


A small frown formed between his brows. “It’s not something I describe in white papers or answer interview questions about.”

Lorelei rested her back against the back of her chair. “Then why tell me?”

“You seem sincere, and, who’s going to believe you if you pass on the information?”

Who indeed? She wasn’t going to write a tell-all article about her dinner with Gill Quinn. That would be tacky and her mama had taught her better. There was little she could say in response to his question, so she finished her wine and watched him over the rim of her glass. His face had cleared of its frown and he picked up his beer and took a sip. As he put the glass down, his eyes locked on hers and he gave her a smile that said he was interested in more than dinner conversation.

The question was, was she interested in more as well? She felt her cheeks heat even as her middle got hot.

“You know you want to,” he surprised her by saying, a smile turning up his lips.

How did he know that? That rumor that he was prescient came back, but maybe she was just showing herself somehow.

“I don’t know that at all,” she lied.

He closed his eyes for a moment, and his smile got wider. When his eyes opened, they looked straight at hers. “I guess you’ll have to take my word for it.”

Butterflies skittered through her, and her core burned. Her interest was clear, and she stopped trying to deny it. “I guess I will,” she whispered.

“That a yes?”

She nodded, feeling the stain of embarrassment move over her face and neck.

“Come on. My place is in the Heliopolis district.”

Second thoughts? Where were her second thoughts? Why was she so sure this was right? But she was, so she took his hand and they went to his mansion in the affluent neighborhood. She’d never been in this part of town before, and she drank it all in, soaking up the luxury as though it was a dream she’d awaken from at any moment.

It was not a dream. It was all too real, and minutes later she lay naked in his arms. They made love rapidly, coupling breathlessly. She’d never felt such urgency before. A little while later, they did it again, far more slowly, but it was every bit as fulfilling.

“I have to back to my place,” Lorelei told him a few hours later. I need to get some sleep before I get back to the dig. There will be a huge hoopla over the find.”

She felt him nod, as a movement under where she rested her head on his chest.

“I’ll call a taxi.”

“No, I’ll take you.”

There was an awkward moment, but Lorelei tried to make it funny. “Well, I sure can’t walk. Not in those heels!”

His chest rumbled with a laugh, and she parted from him. As she dressed, he did too, but she felt his eyes on her. She wondered if this one encounter would—could—lead to more. But it was best if she made no plans. This was Gill Quinn and he could have his pick of women.

They drove to her place in silence. Lorelei was sure it was over, and that hurt. But, she also knew that what her mama had told her was true: why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? She’d already given him any advantage she might have when she spent the night with him.

Her tiny suite was dusty and lonely when she got inside. Gill had declined her offer to come in. Saying goodbye, knowing it was final, was painful, but his smile was gentle. This situation was clear, why belabor it or go with an undignified snit?

The day, however, had not been a disaster, far from it. She had the vessel in her purse and the memory of a few hours with a wonderful man. After she dressed for bed, she wanted to take one more look at the vessel, just to reassure herself that it was all true.

She opened her purse and looked inside. The vessel lay there, shiny and beautiful, but next to it was an ancient golden comb and a pair of hand-wrought golden earrings that had clearly been part of the bounty of her dig. Astounded, she touched the objects reverently. Where had they come from? How had they gotten into her bag? They were going to make her career!

Next to them, was a folded slip of paper bearing a few letters and numbers. It said, “Call me. –G-” and his phone number.

Lorelei sat down fast. The man was magical. Her life had taken on a lustre she could never have imagined the day before. The vessel was only the beginning.

The End

There will be more in this series of short stories, though Gill and Lorelei’s story is over. I’ll consult the next prompt and see what I can come up with. Thank you for coming by!

short stories in five minutes

the vesselHi, everyone. I decided to start a new series of serial short stories. These are written to a writing prompt, which is a kind of one-sentence plot idea. I’m getting them from Seventh Sanctum, but the point is to take the prompt and make it your own. With that in mind, I’m sharing the first short story segment with you today. It is the beginning of the Short Storied in Five Minutes series here.

This short story can end here or continue on for one or two more serial installments, but I’m leaving it up to you. Want me to add on to this story? Want me to move on to the next prompt? Give me your vote and I’ll go with the majority of opinions.

The Vessel is a purely romantic story, leaving a promise at the end. It is Safe For Work. You’ll find it about 1000 words long, so it should take you five minutes or less to read it.


The Vessel (Part 1? You tell me.)
by Patricia Green

© Copyright 2015 Patricia Green
All rights reserved.

“What are you doing?”

The man looked at the small gold vessel in his hand, but said nothing.

Lorelei stalked up to him and poked him in the chest. It was a broad chest, and his shirt was stuck to it slightly, outlining some really intimidating muscles. No matter, he was a grave robber, and this was her dig. “You have no business being here, and now you’ve messed up my dig! The Egyptians take a very dim view of grave robbers.”

He looked at her finger, pushed it gently to the side and, without a word, progressed up the ancient stone steps to the surface of the tomb.

“Hey! You can’t just do that! Bring that back!”

Finally, he spoke, throwing the words over his back like darts. “You can’t stop me, sweetheart, so just get back to your little dig.”

Lorelei ran to catch up with him as he approached the jeep he’d hidden on the backside of the tomb. “At least let me see it!”

“It matches the one in the Cairo museum.”

Panic raced through her. If this was part of a set, she’d have been famous for finding it. “It is? Let me see it.”

Stopping next to his jeep, the man looked at the simple vessel again, and shrugged his shoulders. “That important to you, eh?”

“Yes! I’ve been digging here for months. Where did you find it?”

“Next to the canopic jar at the far side of the tomb. Look, if it’s a make-or-break your career thing, you can have it. I was going to give it to the Cairo museum anyway, but you can do it as well as I.”

Eyes narrowed, Lorelei gave him a level stare. “Who are you?”

“Gill Quinn,” he replied, handing over the small jar. It shone in Lorelei’s hands, even through its layers of dust.

“Can I see some ID?” He nodded and showed her his English passport. So this was Gill Quinn. He had quite a reputation as a finder of missing objects. Some said he was prescient, which was a bunch of hogwash, of course. He was just good at puzzles. Or, that’s what Lorelei liked to believe. Mumbo jumbo didn’t impress her. Gill Quinn, now, he impressed her. She’d read a few of his papers. He was uncanny in his ability to look for and find specifically important bits and pieces. He went to sites, and knew right where to go to get what he was looking for. They said he didn’t touch anything else but the item of his search. They also said he was wildly rich and didn’t need the money from his finds, so he gave them away.

Interesting man, Gill Quinn. In other circumstances, Lorelei would have liked to meet him. And, truth to tell, this was a pretty good opportunity to pick his brain.

As she stared at the object and ruminated over whether to be mad at him or not, he turned to his jeep and got in.

“I’m Lorelei Chatsworth,” she said, deciding that she’d won the encounter. She offered her hand. He took it and gave her a 100 watt smile. Lorelei’s breath halted, as she looked at that smile and the deep blue eyes that locked on hers.

“You already know my name,” he pointed out. “I’ll leave you to your dig. Where are the other workers, by the way? The Egyptians usually have supervisors on these sites. You shouldn’t be out here alone.”

It was true that it wasn’t exactly safe for her. “This isn’t an important dig—or it wasn’t; they got called to a different find for a few hours. How did you know to look for this here?” She held up the golden jar.

“I have my ways.”

“Look, if you’d like to stick around, maybe we can talk. Maybe you can give me some insights. I’ve only been at this for three years.”

He seemed to consider this as his gaze traveled over her face. At least he had the good grace not to measure her figure, though, for once, Lorelei would have liked such an attractive man to give her an interested look. Of course, she was dirty and sweaty from crawling around in the tomb in the desert heat all day.

“Why don’t we talk over dinner? It’s going to be dark in about two hours. You can knock off for the day.”

Dinner with Gill Quinn! Oh gosh would her colleagues be jealous. Especially the female ones. How could she say no? And why in blazes would she want to?

Lorelei gave him her best smile, and to her delight, he smiled right back. “Okay. I’ll get my backpack.”

“You can follow me in your Rover.”

She felt a little foolish saying, “Um…no transportation. Like I said, the crew will be back soon.”

His look fell into a frown. “You really have a longing for danger.”

“I’m safe enough.”

“Not really, but climb in and we’ll get back to town.”

Dinner with Gill Quinn! Lorelei looked at him from under her eyelashes as she gathered up her stuff and left a note for the rest of the workers. He was gorgeous, and she was going to make a friend of him. Maybe a good friend. At least she was going to try. And, she told herself, it was only professional interest…it really was. Truly. She took at his tanned arms and face once more, and realized that she was fooling herself. There was more than friendship to shoot for this time. This time, there was something that made her bones tingle. And the fact that he’d asked her to dinner suggested that he had some interest in her, too. Otherwise, why would he?

It was going to be an interesting evening and, hopefully, the start of something good.

Part 2 is here.

short stories in five minutes