In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Chapter Three

Okay, because it’s been so long, here’s to catch you up! Because if you’re like me you have no idea anymore what has happened so far.


Ben: British, rich, has a Butler (Newerth), a potbellied pig (Elvis) and MANPAIN
Alannah: free spirit with tragic past, landscape gardener, has a pot plant and commitment issues


Alannah shows up every spring (and has done so the past four years), stays with Ben for a while, then disappears again. Ben wants her to stay for good but is afraid to scare her away with the proposition. They already had sexy times, now they’re about to have THE TALK.

Good. That’s about it so far. Onwards to Chapter Three!

Alannah is working in the garden, which is blooming and blossoming and sounds a bit like a twelve year old’s dream [there’s a cherub fountain]. When Elvis prods her for treats, Alannah starts thinking about Ben (who is also always prodding her for treats? I don’t know and I’m not sure I want to). Alannah is convinced that this was going to be her last trip to see Ben because she just can’t settle down, even though with Ben she might want to.

Alannah cuddles Elvis and thinks about how well Elvis and Ben fit together because Ben is so neat and pigs are not, when she sees Ben who is inside on the phone. Cue memory lane:

Ben had been unlike any other man she’d met before. His crisp, English accent teased her ears. His hot gaze made her open like a daylily under the warm rays of the sun. [I get that a gardener is probably more prone to flower analogies than other people but that? Is too much.] His self-possessed nature compelled her to make him lose all control. His unconditional acceptance of her made her want to plant her own roots in the soil of his love [sugar overdose!] and stay forever, even though they both knew that she couldn’t. [Why? Has she been sentenced to travel around the US in an eternal loop by some imaginative judge?]

Alannah thinks about the question Ben asked her that morning – how long she was going to stay this time. She thinks that she’s not good enough for Ben, that he deserves somebody more worthy of his love who can give him children. Because she never wants to have children for fear that they’d inherit her father’s illness (which is not further explained).

I wonder if she ever asked Ben whether he actually wants to have kids? And I wonder why she doesn’t think that Ben can decide on his own who he wants to be with. But anyway.

Suddenly Ben is there and tells her that she should take Elvis with her when she leaves this time – because suddenly (after three years) there’s no pigs allowed in the neighborhood.

“So far I’ve been able to convince Mrs. Kindridge that Elvis is a rare breed of dog. But one of these days she’s going to have those cataracts removed and get a closer look. I don’t want to be responsible for her having a coronary.”
[I admit it, that made me smile.]

If it wasn’t the direct Ben Alannah was talking to, she would have been convinced that this was game to make her stay. But it’s Ben and his integrity talking so the thought alone is impossible. Alannah is flabbergasted and manages to choke out, “I can’t.”

His eyes narrowed. “Can’t what, Alannah? Take Elvis?” She watched his thick throat work around a swallow. “Or leave?”

If Ben actually was that direct, wouldn’t he just tell Alannah, “Look, I like you, I would like to make this work, can you please at least consider staying?” Instead it’s obvious that he is manipulating her and that she’s too blind to at least notice that Ben is capable of that doesn’t bode well for their relationship.

Also, apparently Alannah’s father was an alcoholic which is now so hereditary that it makes having children a non-option. O_o

And that’s Chapter Three!


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