Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 53

Phillip turned to the woman working the counter. “Sandra, we’ll be in my office. If you need any help, just hit the buzzer. Thanks.”
Ana smiled at the woman Phillip had called Sandra. She was the same woman who had fainted the day before when Phillip had his allergic reaction. She grabbed Ana’s arm as she tried to walk by.
“Thank you for yesterday,” said Sandra. “I’ve worked for Phillip a long time and I should have known what to do. I feel like such an idiot.” She gave Ana a sly smile. “Secretly, I’m glad you’re not on the floor, Lord knows you could out sell me in a second.”
Ana shook her head and returned the smile. “I highly doubt that.”
“Coming?” asked Phillip as he poked his head out of the door leading to the back of the store.
“Yes, just getting to know my co-worker,” said Ana, giving Sandra a gentle pat on her hand and hurried to meet up with Phillip.
“Sorry,” said Phillip. “Guess I should’ve made introductions.”
Ana followed Phillip into a small office and was instantly greeted by Tess.
“Well, hello there, girl,” Ana cooed as she rubbed Tess’s head. “Are you keeping the boss man company today?”
“My aunt informed me that Tessy would not run away if I paid more attention to her,” explained Phillip. “So hopefully, she’ll behave.”
“Of course she will,” said Ana, giving Tess a final pat before sitting across from Phillip’s modest desk. She pulled out her notebook where she had started taking notes the day before. “So where were we?”
“Well,” said Phillip, clearing his throat. “I have to tell you about something first.”
“Okay,” Ana said slowly.
“I called around about you yesterday evening,” said Phillip.
Ana could feel her heart sinking. Who had he called and what had they said?
“Do you know a woman named …” He looked at his paper, then shook his head in disbelief. “Tweet?”
Ana sighed. “I do.”
Phillip let out a low whistle. “She does not like you.”
“I’m sure she doesn’t,” said Ana, sitting taller. “She doesn’t like anyone who would stand up to her. But I do know she’s told everyone on the East Coast that I am a thief. I am not. I never took one sketch out of that dank room they called a design studio. But I will understand if you don’t want my help.”
Phillip laughed. “Quite the contrary. She called me after hearing through the grapevine that I was calling around about you. It was the most intrusive thing I’d ever seen. I didn’t ask for her opinion, but she wanted to make sure I knew it. She sounded like a jealous twit … or should I say tweet?”
Ana couldn’t help but laugh with him.
He let out a happy sigh. “I called a half dozen people yesterday and besides this Tweethead they all had glowing recommendations, especially when it came to your organizing fundraisers and social functions. You would have thought that had been your primary job instead of shoe designer.”
“Well,” said Ana, clearing her throat. “It was usually my mother who volunteered to organize the events, but truth be told, she wasn’t really into the …,” Ana bit her lip. “Well, the work of it, so she’d pass it on to me.”
“But took all the credit,” stated Phillip.
Ana cocked her head. “Exactly.”
“That is exactly what Elizabeth Windsor told me,” said Phillip. He smiled at the thought. “Man, I love that woman. She is a breath of fresh air. I bet we talked for an hour and I just couldn’t get enough of her southern charm. She also told me you were the best shoe designer she’d ever met and Beauxpieds were fools to fire you over the claims of Robin, which I’m guessing is Tweet.”
Ana felt the warmth seep back into her heart. Mrs. Windsor had not only stood up for her with Beauxpieds, but with her mother. The glowing recommendation made her want to cry on the spot.

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