Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 64

“Anastasia.” Brett sighed, causing Ana to stop talking. “Since I picked you up, you’ve done nothing but talk about this Phillip guy and your day. I’m not sure I like you talking about another man so much. I’m not accustomed to feeling jealous.”
“Jealous?” Ana cocked her head. “Brett, he’s my boss and we spent the whole day together working. Hard not to talk about him.”
“Let’s just talk about something else,” said Brett.
“Fine,” said Ana, swallow her urge to apologize. She had no reason to apologize for being excited about her day, she knew that, but Brett’s tone had made her feel as if she’d done something wrong. “How was your day?”
Brett’s smile returned. “It was quite interesting. There was no bacon to die for, but we’ve been in negotiations to buy this little chain of surf shops called, Big Wave.”
“Why would you want to buy a surf shop?” asked Ana, before taking a drink of her water.
As Brett started to discuss why Big Wave was a good investment, Ana felt her mind wandering. She wanted to pay attention to Brett and what he was saying, but the more he talked about the inner workings of his business, the more she started to zone out.
She grabbed a crayon and began to doodle on the paper tablecloth.
“Anastasia, am I boring you?” asked Brett, eyeing the crayon.
Ana shook her head and smiled as she looked at Brett. “No, I’ve found I can actually listen better when I’m doing something with my hands. You should see my notebooks from college, doodles in all the margins and I aced every class.”
Brett nodded. “Yes, I think I read a study on that.”
“Please, continue,” said Ana, but she knew she wasn’t really listening.
She continued to draw and when the waitress came over to get their orders, she realized she hadn’t even glanced at the menu. She looked down and saw she had been drawing all kinds of leashes and collars.
“Ana?”
Ana looked up to see Brett raising his eyebrows at her. She turned to the waitress who let out a low sigh. They had been talking to Ana and she had been so engrossed in her designs she hadn’t heard any of it.
She looked at the designs again, all drawn in crayon and a rush flooded her body.
She looked back at Brett. “I’m sorry, I have to go.”
“What? Why?” asked Brett.
Ana stood and tore her section of the tablecloth off and started to fold it. “I just have to design. I’m sorry, I know it seems weird, but I just have too.” 
She hurried out of the restaurant and then stopped in the parking lot. She had no idea how she was going to get home. Just then Brett’s car pulled up and his driver stepped out.
“Ms. Davis, Mr. Morrow has asked me to drive you home,” he said, opening her door.
“Is he coming?” asked Ana, getting into the car.

“No, ma’am, I’m to return after dropping you off to retrieve him,” said the driver, shutting the door.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 63

“No worries,” said Phillip before Ana could respond. “Another time, but don’t be surprised to find that bacon you left in the fridge gone tomorrow.” He gave her a wink.
“Oh, it better be right where I left it, mister,” said Ana, grabbing her purse and playing along. “Or I’ll sic Sally on you.”
 Phillip held up his hands. “Fine, it’ll be there in the morning, but I don’t think you understand how torturous it is to have it so close and not be able to eat it.”
“Well, I might share it with you tomorrow,” said Ana. “Goodnight, Phillip.”
“Goodnight, Ana.”
After a quick text to Jeffery, letting him know she didn’t need a ride home. Ana made her way out of the store and was instantly greeted by Brett standing by his car.
He walked to her and kissed her on the cheek. “You look lovely.”
“Thank you,” said Ana, expecting to feel the same kind of rush she had with Phillip, but didn’t. “But I do hope we’re not going anywhere too fancy, since I didn’t have time to go home and change.”
“I think the place I have in mind will suit both of us perfectly,” said Brett, opening the car door for her. “It’s not at all fancy, but they have the best seafood alfredo in town as far as I’m concerned.”
“Sound wonderful,” said Ana, as they entered the car. “I’m starving. I can’t remember the last time I left work feeling so fulfilled.”
Ana told Brett about her day as they drove to the restaurant. She found herself giggling and smiling so much that her cheeks hurt.
“We’re here,” said Brett and he opened the door for her.
Ana got out and was surprised to see they were at a family restaurant. Brett ushered her in and as they were seated by the hostess, Ana couldn’t help but notice there was a paper tablecloth and cup of crayons on the table.
“Well, I am surprised,” said Ana. “I would have never guessed you’d step foot in a family restaurant such as this. You seem so uptown.”
“Usually, I am,” said Brett. “But my sister has two kids under the age of six, so we come here. I love the food, the kids get to color, and my sister gets to enjoy an adult conversation. I probably would’ve never tried this place if not for her, as you said, I am more uptown.”
“You should really try this little café that Phillip took me to this afternoon, they have bacon to die for,” said Ana. “It was spicy, yet sweet, with a hint of …”
“Anastasia.” Brett sighed, causing Ana to stop talking. “Since I picked you up, you’ve done nothing but talk about this Phillip guy and your day. I’m not sure I like you talking about another man so much. I’m not accustomed to feeling jealous.”
“Jealous?” Ana cocked her head. “Brett, he’s my boss and we spent the whole day together working. Hard not to talk about him.”
“Let’s just talk about something else,” said Brett.

“Fine,” said Ana, swallow her urge to apologize. She had no reason to apologize for being excited about her day, she knew that, but Brett’s tone had made her feel as if she’d done something wrong. “How was your day?”

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 62

Her mind turned back to Phillip’s kiss and before she knew what she was doing, she had drawn a light pink leash, with tiny three-dimensional hearts on it.
“Oh Ana, it was only a peck on the cheek,” she whispered to herself. “You’ve got to snap out of it.”
“Snap out of what?” asked Phillip, peeking his head in the door.
“Nothing,” Ana squeaked hating the uptick in her voice that boasted her lie. “Well, I’m just having trouble with the sketches. Like I said, I’m a shoe designer, not a pet accessories designer. I’m not sure these read sophistication.”
“Here, let me see,” said Phillip, coming over to the table.
Ana slid the pink leash with hearts to the bottom of the pile and handed them over to Phillip. “We really should seek out a professional designer.”
Phillip looked through the sketches. “These are great. We just need to bling them up a bit. Maybe add heart-shaped pink gemstones to this one.” He showed her the pink leash with 3D hearts, causing Ana to advert her eyes. Then he flipped to a collar with a diamond pattern. “And we can do this whole pattern in crystal. Our donors will eat it up, practical but screams, ‘My dog is richer than your dog’.”
Ana couldn’t help but laugh at Phillip’s joke. “You really think so?”
“Do I think so?” Phillip mocked hurt feelings. “I know so. In fact, I’m going to call my manufacturer right now and see if we can get some prototypes made up this week.”
“Really?” Ana could feel her grin growing larger.
“Really,” said Phillip. He lay the papers down. “Ana, you’re extremely good at this. I can see at least three designs here that I would almost skip the prototype and go straight to our website.”
“Oh Phillip, thanks so much and thanks for pushing me to do this,” said Ana. “It felt good to design again.”
“I have a feeling you’ll be back in the design business before you know it,” said Phillip. “Ana there will be a lot of influential people at this ball. I don’t see you being my event coordinator for long. I’m already bracing myself for when you come in and tell me you’ve been offered your dream job.”
Ana’s heart panged a little at the thought of leaving. Her phone dinged and she looked down to see a text from Brett. Phillip had picked up her sketches and was once again going through them, so Ana took the opportunity to read the text: Dinner? If you’re ready I can pick you up now.
Ana looked at the clock, it was just before six. “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll call it a day.”
“Of course,” said Phillip. “I’m going to send these to the manufacture and then help Sandra close up the store.” He bit his lip. “If you want to wait around, I’ll buy you dinner.”
“I’m sorry,” said Ana, holding up her phone showing the text she had just sent back to Brett accepting his dinner invitation, “but I just made plans.”
Phillip nodded and Ana couldn’t help but see the disappointment on his face. She had a sudden urge to cancel her plans with Brett.
“No worries,” said Phillip before Ana could respond. “Another time, but don’t be surprised to find that bacon you left in the fridge gone tomorrow.” He gave her a wink.
“Oh it better be right where I left it, mister,” said Ana, grabbing her purse and playing along. “Or I’ll sic Sally on you.”
 Phillip held up his hands. “Fine, it’ll be there in the morning, but I don’t think you understand how torturous it is to have it so close and not be able to eat it.”
“Well, I might share it with you tomorrow,” said Ana. “Goodnight, Phillip.”

“Goodnight, Ana.”

Friday, May 20, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 61

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.”

Chapter 11


“I told you so,” said Phillip with a bit of a cringe as they reentered the shoe store after looking at the art studio.
“You did,” said Ana. “But you have to admit he uses cussing like an art form. Half the time I didn’t realize he was cussing.”
“It’s his Italian accent,” said Phillip. “All the women fall for it. Now his art … well can’t blame that on the accent.”
“It wasn’t too bad,” said Ana.
“Okay,” said Phillip, “Now you’re just being pity nice.”
Ana cocked her head from side to side. “Maybe, it was pretty bad, but at least it’s abstract.”
“How does that help?” asked Phillip.
Ana giggled. “Well, when you warned me about his art, I was afraid I was going to be dealing with dogs playing poker or naked women. Plus, he uses a lot of soft colors, which will lend itself to the atmosphere.”
“You know, I haven’t known you for very long, but I think that’s my favorite thing about you,” said Phillip, as they walked to the back of the store. He stopped in front of the door that lead to the back of the shop.
“What is?” asked Ana, pausing with her hand on the door knob.
“You’re so optimistic,” said Phillip.
Ana could feel herself blushing. “I’m really not.”
“Of course you are,” said Phillip. “You see Vinnie’s horrible art as atmosphere and flew across the country to start a new life. There is no way that’s not optimism.”
He gave her a small kiss on the cheek and Ana causing warmth to flow through Ana’s body.
“I’m going to go check in with Sandra.” He turned and made his way back to the front of the store.
Ana touched her cheek that still tingled from the kiss. It was such a small gesture, but she found herself frozen, not wanting the feeling of warmth to go away.
She shook herself out of it and forced herself to go through the back door leading to the staff lounge. As she walked she couldn’t help but wonder what the kiss meant.
“It meant nothing,” Ana mumbled to herself as she put her things away. “It was just an act of kindness.”
She thought back to the movies she had seen where people greeted each other with a kiss on each cheek. It was probably nothing out of the ordinary for him; a simple thank you for not being offended by Vinnie and making the art studio work, since they really had no other choice.
Ana sat at the table and pulled her sketch pad towards her. She had to stop over analyzing the kiss and get some collar and leash designs on paper. She started to think about Vinnie’s art and the long wisps of soft colors. Although some of his color combinations were questionable, the overall flow wasn’t bad.
Starting with light blue, she sketched a long leash and then started to add texture and pattern. Her hands moved across the page, without not only efficiency, but for love of what she was doing. It felt so good to design again. She hadn’t picked up her sketch pad since the debacle with Tweets.
Her mind turned back to Phillip’s kiss and before she knew what she was doing, she had drawn a light pink leash, with tiny three-dimensional hearts on it.
“Oh Ana, it was only a peck on the cheek,” she whispered to herself. “You’ve got to snap out of it.”

“Snap out of what?” asked Phillip, peeking his head in the door.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Only a Kiss




Only a Kiss will be back on Tuesday, May 20th. Thank you.

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.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Only a Kiss ~ Part 59

“We’re good friends with mutual benefiting addictions, mine is to her sweet and spicy bacon, hers is to my shoes,” said Phillip, grabbing his sandwich. He took a bit and Ana thought she could hear his taste buds celebrating.
She grabbed her own sandwich and took a bite. She instantly felt her own taste buds explode as the sweet, yet salty with a kick of jalapeno at the end, flavors danced on her tongue.
“Oh my heavens,” Ana sighs as she finished her bite. “What is that? That is not normal bacon. Normal bacon is awesome, but this is like made from stardust and the laughter of angels awesome.”
Phillip laughed. “I couldn’t have said that better myself.”
“Me neither,” said a raspy voice from behind.
Ana turned to see a red-headed woman leaning on the side of the booth, her arms folded in a triumphant pose.
“Ana, I would like for you to meet Sally,” said Phillip. “Sally this is Anastasia Durrant, my new event coordinator.”
Sally laughed and Ana couldn’t help but laugh with her, even though she had no idea why they were laughing. Sally just had the kind of laugh that was contagious.
“Oh honey, he roped you into helping with that dog charity thing didn’t he?” Sally shook her head. “Your meal is on me. You’re gonna need the nourishment to put up with this mess.”
Phillip clasped his heart in mock hurt. “Sally, you wound me. Are you gonna comp my meal too?”
“Absolutely not,” said Sally. “I’m gonna go out on a limb and say nothing’s done for the doggie ball next month.”
Phillip hung his head. “You’d be right.”
Sally gave Ana a pat on the shoulder. “Like I said, you’re gonna need the nourishment. I’ll bring you some extra bacon.”
“Wow, she never gives anyone extra bacon,” said Phillip, looking genuinely astonished.
“I’m honored,” said Ana. “It is the absolutely best bacon I’ve ever had, care to share your secret?”
Sally cocked her head. “Basically, we fry it with jalapenos and maple syrup to lock in the sweet and spicy and then by itself to get it crispy.”
“But there’s something else, isn’t there,” said Ana. “I can taste it, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.”
Now it was Sally’s turn to look astonished. “Nothing, gets by you. Yes, there is one more thing but it’s a secret.”
“Well then,” said Ana, looking at Phillip. “I won’t push, a good chef must have her secrets.”
“I like her,” said Sally with another laugh. “You better not let this one go, like you have all the other nice girls, Phillip.”
Ana gave Phillip a curious look.
“Well, I’ll let you all enjoy your meal,” said Sally, before Ana could enquire more about the ‘other nice girls’. “I’ll have that extra bacon out in two shakes of a lamb’s tale.”
“So other nice girls, huh?” Ana gave Phillip a wry smile as Sally walked back to the kitchen.
“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. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Birthstone

It Is May!!
If you were born this month, you are an 
Exotic Emerald ~



Emerald" The Stone Of Divine Love "

I guard your heart's essence. I compel you to function at your highest level ensuring that you walk an illuminated path with the brilliance of love as your guide.