The Cha-Cha Babes Series Part 1

The piercing sound of the phone startled Celia Ewing awake.
With a feeling of dread, she fumbled for her cell on the night table.
“Celia.” A female voice squeaked like a trapped mouse.
“Marcy? What’s going on?” Celia propped herself up on an elbow
and checked the clock on her nightstand. It was nearly 3:00 a.m.
“Um, big problem here. I need help.” Marcy’s voice sounded
squished.
Celia heard a wheezing intake of breath, and a guttural outtake.
“Marcy, honey, should I call 911?”
“No, no. Please. Just get over here. Just … but …” Then a hissing
sound. “Not home.”
Celia rubbed her half-closed eyes, then blinked them wide open.
“Where are you?”
“Get Deb. Come to Melvin’s office. Door lock … broken …
something blocking.” Marcy started her sentences like a fully inflated
balloon, slowly diminishing till the air rushed out in a big whoosh.
“Both … push door. Can’t get up.”
“Should I get help? A security guard? I don’t think …”
“No help, damn it! No outsiders. Don’t think! Get here pronto.”
Celia heard a loud grunt before Marcy hung up.
What in the world had Marcy gotten herself into, Celia wondered.
This wasn’t her beloved, vivacious friend’s first call for help,
but Marcy had never sounded this dire. Celia speed-dialed their
friend Deb, jumped up, and switched on the light above her queen sized
bed. No answer from Deb, who suffered from full-blown rheumatoid
arthritis and took sleeping pills every night. Deb and Marcy
were the only good friends she’d made in Boca Pelicano Palms,
Florida, the fifty-five-and-over retirement community where she’d
moved two years ago. The longest street was Pelican Way, which they
all lived on.


Struggling to organize her thoughts, Celia put on jeans and
an oversized T-shirt. If the urgency in Marcy’s voice hadn’t terrified
her, she would have laughed. Some of Marcy’s past antics had
caused eyes to roll among a small cluster of gossipy neighbors who
had nothing better to do with their time than judge what people
wore or said. She first met Marcy Worthmire and Deb Castor at a
cha-cha dance lesson. They’d connected from the get-go, and what
Celia loved most was their honesty and lack of pretense. Although
their three personalities ran the spectrum from conventional to
ornery to sexpot, her new friends had her back and she theirs.
When her husband, Gabe, had died three years ago, she had
felt grief but also a rush of freedom that she’d rarely ever experienced.
The village of Boca Pelicano Palms sat in the middle of the
town of Boca Pelicano in Florida. The Sunshine State seemed to
offer Celia a new life, but she soon realized she didn’t fit in. But
three months after arriving, she met Marcy and Deb. They became
her village, her tribe, her family. She’d do anything for them, especially
since they had saved her life. She didn’t want to think about
that near catastrophe now.

The piercing sound of the phone startled Celia Ewing awake.
With a feeling of dread, she fumbled for her cell on the night table.
“Celia.” A female voice squeaked like a trapped mouse.
“Marcy? What’s going on?” Celia propped herself up on an elbow
and checked the clock on her nightstand. It was nearly 3:00 a.m.
“Um, big problem here. I need help.” Marcy’s voice sounded
squished.
Celia heard a wheezing intake of breath, and a guttural outtake.
“Marcy, honey, should I call 911?”
“No, no. Please. Just get over here. Just … but …” Then a hissing
sound. “Not home.”
Celia rubbed her half-closed eyes, then blinked them wide open.
“Where are you?”
“Get Deb. Come to Melvin’s office. Door lock … broken …
something blocking.” Marcy started her sentences like a fully inflated
balloon, slowly diminishing till the air rushed out in a big whoosh.
“Both … push door. Can’t get up.”
“Should I get help? A security guard? I don’t think …”
“No help, damn it! No outsiders. Don’t think! Get here pronto.”
Celia heard a loud grunt before Marcy hung up.
What in the world had Marcy gotten herself into, Celia wondered.
This wasn’t her beloved, vivacious friend’s first call for help,
but Marcy had never sounded this dire. Celia speed-dialed their
friend Deb, jumped up, and switched on the light above her queen sized
bed. No answer from Deb, who suffered from full-blown rheumatoid
arthritis and took sleeping pills every night. Deb and Marcy
were the only good friends she’d made in Boca Pelicano Palms,
Florida, the fifty-five-and-over retirement community where she’d
moved two years ago. The longest street was Pelican Way, which they
all lived on.
Struggling to organize her thoughts, Celia put on jeans and
an oversized T-shirt. If the urgency in Marcy’s voice hadn’t terrified
her, she would have laughed. Some of Marcy’s past antics had
caused eyes to roll among a small cluster of gossipy neighbors who
had nothing better to do with their time than judge what people
wore or said. She first met Marcy Worthmire and Deb Castor at a
cha-cha dance lesson. They’d connected from the get-go, and what
Celia loved most was their honesty and lack of pretense. Although
their three personalities ran the spectrum from conventional to
ornery to sexpot, her new friends had her back and she theirs.
When her husband, Gabe, had died three years ago, she had
felt grief but also a rush of freedom that she’d rarely ever experienced.
The village of Boca Pelicano Palms sat in the middle of the
town of Boca Pelicano in Florida. The Sunshine State seemed to
offer Celia a new life, but she soon realized she didn’t fit in. But
three months after arriving, she met Marcy and Deb. They became
her village, her tribe, her family. She’d do anything for them, especially
since they had saved her life. She didn’t want to think about
that near catastrophe now.

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