In high school, Faith Wyatt was the envy of every girl in town. Reticent, broken and defeated a decade later, she returns to her hometown to confront the specters of days past.
Faith’s journey to redemption is announced by a flight attendant when a mysterious traveler offers his first-class seat. It continues in prophesy by an enchanting, almost blind young pledge to Club Etienne named Trinity.
Juxtapositions pave the path to Faith’s salvation as Trinity’s foresight leads her to discover what really happened before she left Larden—a truth that leads Faith to the true love of Hector Santoro. But as true as their love may be, Faith realizes her actuality lies in Philosophy of Etienne, a fact Hector must come to accept.
With the shroud of deceit lifted, Faith meets Marita, a young impetuous designer with dreams much like her own. With the help of friends and lovers, often one in the same, Faith undertakes the greatest challenge of her life—saving her younger sister.
Joining Club Etienne together, the girls form the closest of bonds and offer the passion of Etienne’s promise to the Masculine Order as the Triad of Faith, Trinity and Marita.
Faith Wyatt sat in the terminal at Pittsburgh Airport, trying not to sob as she brushed through emails on her phone. Grimacing, she deleted the last message her former employer would ever send, then the final one from her fiancé, Manfred. With no new messages to scroll through, she pretended, trying to avoid making eye-contact with the ogling traveler in a cheap business suit sitting across from her. Nearby, a woman with three children sat, apparently numbed by the complaints and whines of her offspring. The children stomped around and pushed each other, bumping and brushing Faith’s knees each time they passed. One of them stood in front of the cheesy travelling man and sneezed.
“Hey,” barked the husky boor. “You got a green eleven under your nose. Go have your mom wipe it.”
Faith handed a tissue to the woman with bags under her eyes, offering a short but pleasant smile through watery eyes and asking, “Going home for the holidays?”
“Bringin’ ’em to stay with my sister,” replied the woman in a crackly, unsure voice. “It’s a long story.”
“Well,” answered Faith in the cheeriest voice she could muster, “if they’d hurry up and board us we just might be able to beat the storm.”
Looking out the terminal window at the blowing snow, Faith watched as a Chandler Air Freight jet taxied past after landing, barely visible in close to whiteout conditions. Peering into the gray gloom, she sensed an uncomfortable presence and caught a whiff of cheap cologne as the unwelcome business traveler sat next to her. Faith sighed with relief as her phone chimed.
“Excuse me,” she begged, standing and tugging her powder-blue business skirt in place over her white stockings. “Hi, Mom,” Faith answered, leaning her tall, thin form wearily against the concrete wall of the terminal. “I’ve been waiting three hours.”
“Well, tell them to hurry, dear,” replied her mother, Lillian. “The news said the storm’s getting worse.”
“I can’t tell them to hurry, Mom. I’ll wind up getting groped by the TSA.”
“Aren’t you wearing the wedding ring Dad and I bought you for travelling?”
Wiggling her finger, Faith looked to see the obstinate travelling man smiling. “Yes, Mom,” she replied. “But it won’t stop the TSA...heck, it doesn’t even keep soap salesman away.”
“Speaking of persistent, dear, Owen must have called five times in the past few days. He’s dying to see you.”
“Ugh!” groaned Faith, stomping her foot, then wincing from the pain it caused. “I don’t want to talk to Owen.”
“Why ever not, dear? He was your sweetheart until only a few short years ago. You two were the king and queen of the prom. Everyone wanted to be you.”
“Ten years, Mom. And everyone wanted to be what they thought we were. Anyone with any sense grew out of that and got out of Larden...Wait. Please tell me you’re not feeding him information about me.”
“Of course not, dear, but Owen makes a good living.”
“He digs quahogs, and he takes illegal ones.”
“Well, your father still plays golf with him.”
“It was sixty-five degrees last week. You know the weather here...and you know your father. He’s proud of the woman you’ve become. Not many dads in this town can say their beautiful, blonde prom queen daughter grew up to be a successful designing manager for Zelia’s Fashions. And speaking of that...”
“Oh no!” she argued, stomping again. “I am not...repeat not...doing a talk for the Larden Ladies’ Club.”
“Next Wednesday night, dear.”
“Mom! I said—”
“And sweetie, your father and I insist you stay here, in your own room. You can visit your friends, but why impose on them?”
Just then, the call for Faith’s flight came over the intercom. “Listen, mom,” she urged, cupping her free hand over the phone, “I gotta go. My flight’s boarding.”
“Call me from the plane, dear.”
“I can’t, Mom. They don’t allow—” Faith squealed as the heel of her shoe wobbled. She staggered sideways, almost going down, save for the fact that she fell against the rugged chest of another traveler boarding the plane. Leaning awkwardly backward, Faith tried to straighten up, but again the heel gave way. Luckily, the man’s strong arm wrapped around her as she fell back.
Looking down over her powder-blue suit jacket, Faith’s attention was drawn to the ring on his finger¬—a round black sapphire with a capital “V” inscribed in a circle with the letters “C” and “E” in smaller form on each side of a shining star.
“Are you okay?” asked the brown-haired man, clad in casual but clean attire.
“Yes...thank you,” she replied with more than a hint of embarrassment. “I guess I damaged my shoe.”
“Probably when you stomped your foot,” he replied. “I gather you were talking to your mother. May I help you to your seat?”
Faith took in a breath and checked her balance, then ended the call with her mother’s voice still squawking through the speaker. “Thanks,” she acknowledged. “I’m okay.”
Smiling, the man went on his way, boarding the plane before her.
Slinging her carry-on over one shoulder, Faith held the seats on both sides of the single aisle on the 757, making her way on the wobbly heel past the crowded-in passengers. The turbulence sucks behind the wing, she thought to herself. Trudging toward the back of the plane, she scanned from side-to-side, wondering who she’d be sitting next to.
Faith found the answer, but wished she hadn’t. Smiling and patting the seat next to him, apparently the only one left, was the determined frump from the terminal.