Friday, May 6, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 60

“Sally’s just messing around,” said Phillip. “I usually eat alone.”
Ana pursed her lips. “That’s kind of sad.”
“Not really,” said Phillip, taking a sip of his coke. “Sally comes out to chat and I know almost all the waitstaff by their first names. I sometimes bring books or work on sketches.”
“Sketches?” asked Ana, her ears perking up.
“I dabble in shoe design,” said Phillip. “Nothing like what you’ve done at Beauxpieds.”
“Will you show them to me?” asked Ana.
“Never,” said Phillip with a laugh.
“What?” Ana grabbed a fry. “I would be nice.”
“I know you would,” said Phillip. “That would be worse than you just being honest. I’d rather have no compliment than a pity compliment.”
“I don’t give pity compliments,” said Ana. “I learned quickly in fashion school that constructive criticism is a lot more helpful than false praise. Before I knew it, I was the most popular person in class to get feedback from, because everyone knew they could count on me to be honest, yet not mean.”
Phillip shook his head. “Doesn’t matter, I own a shoe store. I am not a shoe designer.”
“No reason why you can’t do both.”
“Let’s change the subject, I should probably warn you about Vincent’s art,” said Phillip. “And his mouth.”
“What’s wrong with his art? And his mouth?” Ana waived him off. “No, wait, I’m not letting you off that easy. Either you show me your shoe designs or I won’t design any collars and leashes.”
“Are you really in a position to blackmail me?” asked Phillip, a smile tugging at his lips. “I’m your boss and I could just fire you.”
“We both know you can’t,” said Ana. “You need me.”
“You’re right, I do,” said Phillip.
He sat for a minute and gave her a look that made Ana feel as if he didn’t mean just for organizing the ball.
“I tell you what,” said Phillip. “You give me five new designs by the end of the day and promise me you’ll ignore Vincent’s mouth … and his art … and I’ll show you some of my shoe designs.”
“Deal,” said Ana. “So Vincent cusses?”
“He does love a good ‘f’ word,” said Phillip with a bit of a cringe.
“And his art?”
“Well …,” Phillip looked at the ceiling as if trying to find the right words. “I was trying to think of something nice to say about it, but it’s just awful.”
“Art is subjective,” said Ana.
The waitress stopped by the table and gave Phillip his check for his food and handed Ana a to-go bag. “Sally figured you’d want to take this home. She said to warm it for about 15 seconds in the microwave and it will be good to go.”
Phillip looked his check. “I can’t believe she’s actually comping your food, but making me pay.”
Ana gave him a wink. “If it makes you feel better, just believe that she’s comping your food and you’re buying me lunch. After all we had the same thing.”

“You know,” said Phillip, standing. “That does make me feel better.”

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