Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
The next morning, Walker slipped out of the bed and studied the peace
in Roya's face knowing it wasn't inside her soul. He hoped that peace would
reign there following the story's completion. Walker knew there was no
sexual intent. Roya came to his bed seeking security and removal of her
lonesomeness. The last thing Walker wanted on his conscious was to take
advantage of a young woman scared and who believed he was her only hope.
An hour later, Roya came downstairs. She stepped into the library and
asked, "Would you like breakfast?" Roya added before Walker could
answer, "I hope you don't mind about last night."
"Last night was fine. For breakfast . . . anything will be OK with
Roya turned toward the kitchen. As she entered it, she feared her imagination
would cause her to feel love for Wes Walker while knowing he was old enough
to be her father. The man was attractive, intelligent, articulate, gracious,
concerned, protective, and for Roya; the list went on until it rolled off
the Scottish Hills. With her thoughts twirling about a fateful decision,
Roya tried to bring her mind back to reality.
Later, with breakfast prepared, Roya walked to enter the library. Walker
turned his interest from the laptop to her. Roya asked, "Are you ready
"You bet." Walker pushed away from the desk, stepped to Roya,
placed an arm around her, and walked to the breakfast area with its view
opening the west entrance of the property.
Later and finished with the dishes, Roya ascended the stairs to her
room and dressed in a lightweight, adirondack, hooded jacket and pant outfit
she purchased in Edinburgh. She returned to the library where Walker was
writing. Walker had gone back to writing without taking a further break
from the laptop's constricted keyboard. She reentered the library and said,
"I think I'll go for a walk. Is it OK?"
Walker turned to her and said, "It might be best to go to the east
and avoid the highway."
"I'll see you in a couple of hours. I need to get out."
"Don't wander too far. The woods should give you solitude. Go upstairs
and get my jacket. The wind can get colder than you expect."
Roya asked with a demure smile, "Do I hear the tone of a father?"
"I want you to stay healthy. Did you redress your knee?"
"Yes. It's much better. I'll live."
"Off with you. I'll be here."
Roya left the room to go upstairs to get Walker's jacket. As she slipped
it on, she inhaled the scent of his cologne. She had inhaled it sleeping
with her head on his shoulder on the flight out of Tel Aviv and in his
bed last night.
Roya left the house by the back patio. To the southeast, the hills were
green and undulating as they rose and dipped into shadows. As Roya walked
to the southern tip of the woods, she inhaled the fresh, cold air. It was
a different world than she knew in Israel.
Roya walked no further than the rise of the first hill. There, she sat
in a growth of heather and looked toward the house. As she sat in thought
her life passed before her. She saw it as though the green of the country
around her served as a backdrop to her thoughts. She lay back and stared
at the sky. Seemingly, the peace of the world was around her. Roya closed
her eyes, fell asleep, and dreamed of America.
She returned to the home five hours later. Roya knew the short hike
and sleep refreshed both her body and spirit. Entering the house, she wished
she could stay in it forever. Entering the home's library, Roya saw Walker
still sitting at the desk. As she watched him work, she marveled at his
inner drive and passion while she wondered if her desire to join the Carmelites
was as strong. She said, "Hi, how's it going?"
Walker looked in Roya's direction and noticing how the cool day brought
color to her face. Her complexion was rosy and he imagined the touch of
her cool skin. He said, "If I can do thirty pages a day, and get a
rough draft written, we shouldn't have to be here for more than a month
Roya didn't react to the words. She checked the time on her wristwatch
and asked, "It's nearly four . . . would you like a late lunch or
"Roya, anything you fix will be OK with me. You're a very good
cook. Did you learn from your mother?"
"I experimented with things after my mother's stroke. I tried to
cook things she might eat. In the last months, she gave up. It became more
difficult to please her. I now think it was her way of pushing me away.
She didn't want to be a burden by holding me back."
"That's very commendable."
Roya gave a sad look, leaned against the doorframe, and said, "Something
happened in Tehran that changed my mother. She never said what happened
except that she endured an accident and suffered a concussion. After dinner,
I want you to read part of the letter she wrote me. I believe there was
something she left out and didn't tell either my father or me. I don't
believe it's in the letter."
"Maybe she did it to protect you."
"No. It was more than that. It was as if something happened. The
memory of it pained her."
"Well, you're safe, and I'll do what I can to give your mother
her story. She deserves it."
"Thank you. Now, back to lunch or dinner. What would you like?"
"There are lamp chops. They'll be fine."
Roya left the library. She entered the kitchen and stepped to the fridge.
As she did, Roya was certain the coming night would be a long one. They
would all be long nights until Walker had the story on paper. Now, Roya's
thoughts returned to Lewis, and she wondered what he did today.
When Roya called Walker to dinner, he entered the dining room, and saw
Roya's chair again setting to the left of his. Walker was glad it was there.
Talking from end to end of a table didn't make for ideal conversation.
Roya stepped beside him and said, "I hope you like it."
"It looks divine. So do you."
Roya had gone upstairs to change out of the jacket and pants and into
a green, mid-thigh dress of cotton jersey. The color enhanced her eyes.
Roya had also applied makeup and looked as though as fresh as a new day.
She said, "I changed. There's no use being drab around here."
Walker gave Roya a hug. Roya surprised him by giving Wes a quick kiss
on the right side of his face. He said, "You didn't have to do that."
Roya answered matter-of-factly. "I know. I wanted to. I don't know
what's going on with me, Mr. Walker, but I feel completely comfortable
At the completion of dinner, Walker returned to the library. He wanted
to write another ten pages before retiring for the evening. Roya returned
to the kitchen and went through the effort of cleaning up. Afterward, she
took part of her mother's letter to Walker then went upstairs. There, Roya
showered and changed into a silk housecoat. She lay on the bed of the bedroom
Three hours later, Roya left her bedroom to go to Walker's. She slipped
into his bed at eleven. Walker had read part of the letter Laleh had written
to Roya. The letter shed further light on Laleh Sanders' days in Tehran.
Walker didn't know Roya was waiting for him to come to bed.
After getting into bed, Roya rested her head on his shoulder. Roya asked,
"Mr. Walker, do you believe that there are times in our lives when
God sends someone to be with us. He does it even if it might be for a short
time. Do you think God sends others to get us through a particular time
of despair and hardship?"
Walker felt Roya's body against him knowing she filled part of the emptiness
in him. As he stared at a dark ceiling Walker said, "I don't know,
Roya. I know that I am older than you are, and that you could easily believe
you are falling in love with me. As for me, it's the price I pay for writing.
I spend so much time with fictional characters the loneliness compounds
itself to being unbearable at times. You're a very lovely and attractive
young woman, but I'm old enough to be your father."
"How old is that?"
"Fifty. That makes me much too old for you."
"How old was Sally?"
"She was twenty-five."
"And my age makes me young enough to be your daughter?"
Roya moved to bring her mouth to Walker's and his kiss was sweet and
reassuring. Roya broke it and asked, "Does that make me old enough
Walker said a firm, "No."
Roya again kissed Walker with passion. Wes turned to his side to hold
Roya thankful she was there. He thought about how the girl's father fist
came to him. Walker could imagine what Fred Southgate would think if he
were alive and knew that he was in bed with his daughter. He said, "Roya,
I'll sleep in the same bed with you. I'll hold to you but the issue of
sex is off limits. Your father first contacted me. Remember that."
Roya asked, "Do you think I've already forgotten because of what
he did to my mother. I'm not in bed with you to get back at him. Don't
allow your writer's mind to flatter you. It's false." Roya again kissed
Walker, but this time it was a fleeting kiss. She snuggled tighter beside
him. Five minutes later they were both sleeping.
But, it was a weary and worried sleep for Walker. It was a sleep with
nerves alive for sensing possible danger. For Roya, it was a sleep of feeling
safe. They were in lower Scotland and no one knew about the house. Roya's
sense of safety was wrong.>>>
Go to Chapter Forty-Five
is important to us.
to "Conspiracy at Desert One" main index