Suzi’s Birthday Gift – 2018

As some of you know, a friend of mine and I like to play a little with writing on the spot. Suzanne Carey’s character is a fairy by the name of Suzi. I play a witch that lives in the forest. We take turns writing pieces of the story. The fun part is she is on the other side of the continent from me. We don’t Skype or talk about what is going to happen next as we write. We see what the other has written and go from there. There is an entire story around these two that still has to be finish at some point. In the meantime, we have these little surprise visits. Here is this year’s birthday party Suzi is surprising me with.

 

Suzi’s Birthday Gift

 

Waking up to the sound of the chirping birds, Suzi gave a loud yawn and a big stretch. Not very fairy like, but no one could hear her in the hole of the tree she called home. Conveniently located in Heidi’s back yard. Filled with excitement, Suzi jumped out of bed and began to plan for her favorite day. Heidi’s birthday!!

Now last year she admittedly went a little too far, but not on purpose. When Suzi tried to do good things it somehow managed to get out of hand. But this year was going to be different. This year Suzi was going to be very low key and have complete control. That was the plan anyway.

Sitting at the entrance of her cubbyhole, Suzi tapped her chin, thinking… thinking… thinking. All the sudden she leaped up excitedly, bumping her head as she jumped.

“Ouch!” she exclaimed as she rubbed the top of her head. Shaking it off, she fluttered to the nearest branch and scanned the yard. Finally seeing what she was looking for, she took off in full flight until she caught up to her prey.

A beautiful monarch butterfly was fluttering around the garden, looking for food when it rudely knocked over by an out of control fairy. Landing on the ground, the butterfly righted herself then turned to Suzi.

“What in the world is wrong with you!” she sputtered in an indignant voice.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean too. I just wanted to talk to you.”

“What could you possibly want to speak to me about?” she asked with a slight sneer in her voice.

“Well,” Suzi nervously asked. “Would you be willing to call a few of your friends to help celebrate Heidi’s birthday with me? I want to keep it low key and not to flashy this year. And I think maybe 10 or 20 of your closest friends would be just right.” Suzi was so busy chatting away about how mellow a few butterflies would be, she didn’t notice how insulted Madame Monarch was getting.

“So,” She fumed. “This Little nit witted fairy doesn’t think we aren’t beautiful enough to cause a great stir?! Well, we will see about that!!” Interrupting Suzi’s excited chatter with a loud clearing of her voice, the butterfly asked, “Time and Place?”

“Oh! Wonderful!” Suzi squealed. “Right by this big tree at noon! Thank you so much!” But Madame Monarch was already gone. Oh, ok Suzi thought. I’ll just get the rest of the party decorations ready.

Taking out her wand, she went about setting up a long table filled with all the foods she knew Heidi liked. Over to the left she created a huge dolphin sculpture made of ice. She loved how it sparked in the sun! She liked it so much she also added a mermaid ice sculpture and a lobster one for good measure. Over to the right she set up a champagne fountain with hundreds of the finest crystal glasses. So sparkly!! And everyone knows how much fairies love sparkly things.

Inside the house:

Peace and quiet. Such a wonderful thing. Yet it felt…wrong. I hadn’t had peace and quiet on my birthday in years.

A flash of concern went through my mind that something had terrible had happened to Suzi, but then I dismissed it. She was perfectly fine when I had seen her last night fluttering into her house. So why was it so quiet this morning?

Not entirely sure I should, I cracked an eye open. Nothing. Sitting up in bed, I looked around thinking maybe movement would trigger whatever ‘surprise’ Suzi had cooked up this year. Nope. Nothing. Not a dragon, or deluge or exploding volcano. No natives running for the hills, no out of control animals, the house was still standing – miracle in itself – nothing. Nada. Zip. Now I was worried.

Climbing out of bed, I raced into the living room. Not a dust mote out of place. Was I really going to have a birthday without some sort of earth shattering catastrophe? I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved or upset. Although the day was still young.

Now I was terrified.

Taking calming breaths, berating myself for my vivid imagination, I decided maybe I should take advantage of the quiet and enjoy a nice soothing bath.

Outside:

Almost done, Suzi thought.

Looking at the sky Suzi could see by the position of the sun that it was almost noon, so needing to add a final touch before the main show showed up, she lifted her wand and added a few hundred balloons, making them suspended in midair.

Viewing her creation, she was almost satisfied when she noticed there was no cake, so with a flick of her wand she added a six-tiered cake, decorated with edible flowers and shiny jewels. Finally satisfied she flew into the open window in search of Heidi.

Spotting her in the bathroom taking a nice warm bubble bath, ear plugs in her ears, eyes closed, listening to her favorite music. Wanting to get Heidi’s attention she pulled out one of her earbuds and yelled, “Heidi!!” in her ear. Heidi nearly jumped out of her skin, she was so startled, sending water all over the bathroom floor.

“What the hell!!!” Heidi sputtered.

Wiping the water out of her eyes, then shaking off, Suzi replied, “Hurry up! I have a surprise for you!!!”

 Grumbling in irritation, Heidi yelled, “Get out of my bathroom!! Now!!”

“But…”

“NOW!!!!”

Dropping her head Suzi fluttered away dejectedly, and landed on the food table, picking candy off the cake and eating it.

About 15 minutes later Heidi came out of the house and found Suzi sadly eating stuff off the cake. Realizing she might have been a little too rough on the little fairy she said, “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but to be fair you should know by now that I don’t react well to loud sudden noises in the quiet. How many times have I almost singed your wings in retaliation to what I thought was an attack?”

“I know,” Suzi muttered. “I just wanted to surprise you. Look what I did!”

I looked around, amazed not only by the beauty of the ice sculptures and the cake, but by the calmness of it all. Maybe this time would be different, peaceful, non-traumatic.

“It’s very beautiful, Suzi. You’ve outdone yourself this year.” Smiling, I wandered over to the sculpture of the mermaid, marveling at the detail. The dolphin was just as lifelike. The lobster I wasn’t sure what to make of, but the detailing was no less. “When did you learn to ice sculpt?”

Noticeably happier, and feeling the beginnings of too much sugar, Suzi exclaimed, “Oh, ice sculpting is a simple flick of the wrist! I can even animate the sculptures! Watch!”

And so, with a flick of her wand, all the sculptures came to life, water everywhere. Unfortunately, just as the water started spraying a cloud of thousands of butterflies came glittering in. Butterflies hate water. The ensuing panic was epic. Thousands of butterflies swarmed all over the place, knocking down the decorations, getting tangled in the balloon strings, smashing into the cake. The scene was pure pandemonium.

Wiping water out of my eyes, careful not to crush any of the butterflies in the process, I smiled. Now this was a Suzi surprise. Sighing, I looked around me, trying to figure out what was missing. Deluge, check; mayhem, check; out of control animals, check. What was missing?

Then it hit me.

Finding Suzi trying to wrangle in the butterflies with her wet wings making it difficult to fly, I caught her eye. She looked so dejected. I was about to fix that. With a smirk that she did not understand, I raised my right hand and snapped my fingers. Instantly my house caught on fire.

“There. That’s better.”

Smelling the smoke Suzi looked over at the house.

“OMG! How… I didn’t… Oh lord!”

The fire started sparking, causing the balloons that were filled with helium to explode, causing the sky in the back yard to be filled with fire. The poor butterflies were dropping to the ground like charred pieces of paper. Searching for Heidi, Suzi was visibly terrified. Waving her wand, Suzi shot a bolt of electricity into the sky causing billowing clouds to gather, then with a massive clap of thunder the clouds let loose a torrent of water.

Laughing, I put my arms out and turned into a circle as the ground turned into a muddy mess at my feet. Slipping, I fell hard on my ass. Blinking at the sudden jarring, I looked around at all the charred butterflies.

“Well, that won’t do.”

Snapping my fingers again, my wand appeared in my hand. Frowning as I sifted through the multitude of spells in my head, I settle on one and lifted my wand. Chanting under my breath, I flicked my wand and the carcasses disappeared. Satisfied knowing they were alive and well some place safe, I tried to push to my feet only to slip back down in the mud, my clothes dragging me down.

Seeing Heidi struggle, on her birthday no less, Suzi flicked her wand and shut off the clouds. As the rain stopped the clouds parted and the sun once again shone through, and miracles of miracles a big beautiful rainbow arched itself over the smoky, chaired remains of the house. With a delicate shrug of her shoulders, a soggy Suzi flutter over to Heidi, landing on her shoulder.

“Happy birthday Heidi!”

“Oh, the fun isn’t over yet.” With a mischievous grin and another flick of my wrist, Suzi was sitting in the mud next to me, the same size minus the wings. “Wouldn’t want to damage something so delicate,” I explain to the bewildered looking fairy.

Pushing myself to my feet, leaving Suzi sitting in the mud, I stumbled over to the cake that somehow made it through the carnage relatively unscathed. Taking a knife, I cut a piece and put it on a plate. Picking up a fork, I took a generous bite and groan at the decadent taste of chocolate in my mouth.

“My favorite,” I groan.

Now unsure I want to go through with my plan, I decide to zap the top layer to a safe place for later enjoyment. On second thought, I zapped the next layer for good measure. Then, just as Suzi was managing to gain her unsteady footing, I scoop out a rather large handful of cake and launch it at her, hitting her just to the left of her nose. Smirking I wait.

Hmmm, Suzi thought. Okay…

Slipping and sliding over to the cake table, Suzi took out her wand and with a steady hand pointed at the cake, levitating it off the plate, directing it about a foot over Heidi’s head and snap…down it dropped, landing on top of her. The look on Heidi’s face was priceless and Suzi couldn’t contain her laughter. She laughed so hard she lost her balance, falling down into the mud. But she didn’t care, because in her opinion this was the best birthday ever.

 Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes & Suzanne Carey

Suz’s WP site is suzannevcarey.wordpress.com

Word Bank Prompt

A word bank. I love to write to word banks. One came to me just now. No prompting, just appeared. I know they are usually only four or five words, but I have seven.

tea, spark, wind, time, anything, nothing, empty

Use them all or only a few. I am interested to see what you may come up with. I will see what comes to me and post.

Have a wonderful day.

Heidi

Deceptions – Short Story

Spoiler Alert!!!!

If you haven’t read my Obsession series this excerpt is could be considered a spoiler alert. The character Pete, one of my favorites, has been yelling to be heard over all the editing I need to be doing on Fated to Be, which is a completely different series. Very annoying. So I decided to give him a chance to speak. Then maybe he will leave me alone. Highly doubtful because he knows he is a favorite, even after everything I put him through, therefore takes every advantage he can to let me know he is still alive and well. Brat!

So without further ado, here is a short story from Pete’s point of view on a scene that was never in the books and he is has just recently decided to tell me. This particular one took place sometime in the third book Deceptions. I hope you enjoy it, and again…..

Spoiler Alert!!!!

 

 

 

“Be with me, be my wife. Never leave me and the one you love will remained unharmed.” Those were the conditions, those were the bars around their gilded cage. A cage that was slowly suffocating them all.

Pete stood in the doorway unsure of what he should do. He could see the pain Kirsten was in, understood it better than most, but Alex was sitting a few feet away at his desk engrossed in some report with Brett. So comforting her the way she deserved, the way he craved, as if she were something precious, was out of the question. Not if he wanted to live.

It was not that Alex ignored her. Earlier he had noticed that something was upsetting her and asked multiple times if she was all right. Even took time out of his extremely busy schedule to have lunch with her on the beach where he made sure she had his undivided attention. But Pete knew the truth. No matter how much time Alex spent with Kirsten, or how much he told her he loved her, Kirsten would never love him in the same way. She did not even want to be here, trapped in a marriage that was not her choice on an island somewhere in the Pacific, basically selling her body to keep everyone she loves safe. Something Alex knew but refused to look at to closely, because if he did it would mean he had to admit he had become the monster they had all accused him of being.

If there was any chance of success, or survival, Pete would break Kristen out if her gilded cage and find somewhere they could live in peace. Where no one forced them to live a lie and maybe find some semblance of happiness. Unfortunately that was a dream that could never come true.

In the corporate world of money and power, Alex was at the top of the food chain. What he wanted he could have with a snap of his fingers. The Tremmel name had always been respected, even feared. With the exception of betrayal, which was dealt with quickly and violently, Alexei Tremmel had built on the respect his family held and was considered a fair even-keeled individual. Until Kirsten Tivon walked into his classroom. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had broken every rule of conduct he had made for himself. The result was the nightmare they were all being forced to live.

No, the only escape for Kirsten, for any of them, was either Alex’s death, or her own. Something Pete would give his life to make sure never happened.

It was also why Kirsten had never tried to escape. She would never put any of their lives at risk to save her own  Especially Jeremy, the one her heart truly belonged to. To say Pete never had a moment of jealousy for what Jeremy at times seemed to take for granted would have been a lie. Kirsten was everything Pete wanted in a woman. Smart, brave, funny, witty. The fact she was beautiful was lost on her. There were many times she had asked him what Alex saw in her. Born and raised on a farm, she was the farthest thing from type of women who inhabited Alex’s world of money and power. Yet Alex had yanked her out of her world and dragged her unwilling into his because he claimed to love her.

The tragedy of this love story was that both Jeremy and Alex were so caught up in the fight over who deserved Kirsten that they seldom saw what the constant tension was doing to her, or the baby.

Their was another chess piece in the game that wore on Pete’s fraying sanity. One he did not want to think about or he just may lose it and let Alex know exactly how he felt about him, about this mess they were in, and how he truly felt about Kirsten. The last thing Pete was was suicidal. Especially if it meant leaving Kirsten alone with those two idiots.

“Was there something you needed, Pete?” Alex asked.

Slowly blinking as he came back into the present, Pete tried to recall why he had come. “Uh….,” he floundered. When Alex raised an eyebrow, his eyes sliding to Emma who was now frowning at him, Pete knew he needed to get his shit together or it would get ugly really fast. “Sorry,” he smiled. “Too much on my mind with the new shipment. You wanted to know when Callahan and the new hire and that package you were waiting for arrived.”

The suspicious expression disappeared from Alex’s eyes. Even though he said he trusted his inner circle with Emma’s life, Alex’s jealousy was such that he still was distrustful of everyone around her. So much so that no one on the island would befriend her. Aside from the core group, and even they had to be watchful, Emma had no one in the island she could call friend.

Brett turned so Alex could not see his face and frowned disapprovingly at Pete before slipping his glare to Kirsten who had gone back to her reading. Everyone aside from Alex knew how Pete really felt about Kirsten, and spent most of their time covering anything Alex may walk in on that might be suspicious, like a hug that might last a little too long, or a disapproving outburst on Alex latest scheme to break Kirsten and Jeremy apart. But Brett was the only one who showed outright hostility when they were around each other. Pete was not exactly sure why, but he had his suspicions. It was another worry that Pete decided to ignore for now. They had rarely seen eye to eye on anything, so why would Kirsten be any different.

Refusing to give Brett the satisfaction of responding, which would piss him off even more- Bonus! – Pete kept his attention on Alex.

“Where is it?” Alex asked excitedly, rising from his seat.

“With the others,” Pete answered evasively knowing Alex wanted to surprise Kirsten. To be honest, Pete was excited to see Kirsten’s face when she saw what the package was too.

“I think we are done for the day,”  Alex announced walking around his desk straight for Kirsten.

“But…the presentation!” Brett sputtered.

“It can wait,” Alex answered holding out his hand to Kirsten. Hesitantly she put her hand in his as she set aside her reading, her eyes wary as they started between Alex and Pete.

“What a are you up too?” she asked as Alex pulled her to her feet.

“You’ll see,” he grin mischievously.

Kirsten turned her attention to Pete, her expression questioning.

“Don’t look at me,” he quickly answered innocently putting his hands in the air as if surrendering. “I’m just the delivery boy.”

Kirsten snorted. “When it comes to mischief you are never innocent.”

“Where that may be true on most occasions,” he agreed stepping aside so they could pass then following, “this time I had nothing to do with it.”

“Alex!” Brett called in one last ditch effort to bring him back to the office.

“Later!” Alex called over his shoulder. “Right now I have more important things to do. Why don’t you and Pete take the new hires on a tour and give them their assignments.”

The disappointment that shot through Pete was painful. “Can’t it wait until tomorrow? It’s been a long day for all of us,” Pete suggested from where he stopped in the hallway.

“No, it can’t,” Alex snapped turning to frown disapprovingly at Pete who carefully schooled his features to neutral. “I leave in the morning and I want both of them to come with me. I also want to talk to…what is the young one’s name?” he asked looking at Brett who was standing in the doorway of the study still glowering.

“Robert,” he answered tersely.

“I want to talk to Robert before I leave.”

“What about?” Pete asked. Ever since that young eager boy stepped foot on the island Pete had a bad feeling about him. He was far younger and obviously vastly inexperienced than the usual hires Alex brought to the island. You had to earn the right to be allowed into Alex’s inner-domain. Callahan had many times over. Robert definitely had not.

Alex’s eyes narrowed on Pete. “Nothing that concerns you,” he snapped.

Another thing that had changed since they brought Kirsten to the island. Alex kept information, possible important information, from the inner circle, his closest friends. Yeah, no trust issues here.

Again Pete raised his hands in surrender. “Just asking a question,” he griped. “If I’m going to work with the little twerp then I thought it would be nice to know what the hell he was doing here.”

“Are you questioning my judgment?” Alex growled taking a menacing step towards Pete.

God he was tired of these mood swings. One minute happy and calm, the next ready to kill someone. One day Alex was going to snap and Kirsten would be right in the middle of it. Putting his hands down, Pete glared back. It was well known that Alex, even as good as he was, was no match for Pete in a fight. And even though one had been brewing for a long time, the only reason Pete stayed where he was was because Kirsten still had a firm grip on Alex’s hand holding him where he was. The last thing Pete would ever do was intentionally put Kirsten in harm’s way. Still, the question had been asked and Pete was going to answer it. Alex had to see at some point what his insanity was doing to all of them.

“Lately? Yes,” Pete answered angrily.

When Kirsten quietly said Alex’s name, sliding her hand up his arm as she moved to stand in front of him, speaking to him in soothing tones, Pete froze. It was not the safest place to be in the mood Alex was in, an obstacle between the wolf and it’s prey, yet time and time again it was the one place Kirsten seemed to be. As Alex’s features soften under Kirsten’s gentle touches and words, Pete wondered, not for the first time, why was it always Kirsten who risked her life to save theirs? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? After all, they were the reason she was here. Pete took a step forward, intending to pull Kirsten behind him and out of harm’s way.

“Don’t,” Brett hissed behind him.

Unfortunately the harsh warning to remember his place was not low enough and Alex heard. Stiffening, his eyes narrowed on Pete over Kirsten’s shoulder. Pete did not try to hide his anger when he heard Kirsten’s stifled whimper when Alex’s hands tightened on her waist, his fingers digging into her skin.

“Pete!” Cody’s voice called sharply in the ensuing silence. Startled, Pete’s eyes shot behind Alex to the front door where Cody stood, slowly shaking his head in warning. “I need your help outside.” When Pete’s defiant eyes moved back to Alex who had pulled Kirsten firmly into his arms and was murmuring apologies in her ear, Cody snapped, “Now!”

Grinding his teeth, Pete brushed passed Alex and Kirsten, striding out the door with a sense of angry purpose that was not lost on anyone in the hallway. He was not happy about leaving Kirsten alone with Alex. Unfortunately, because of his lack of control on his feelings, he would now have to stay away from her until Alex cooled down. God only knew how long that would take and it would be torture not to be near her to see for himself she was safe.

“What the hell was that all about?” Cody snapped once he slammed the door shut and they were out of earshot.

“He was hurting her again,” Pete growled turning on Cody. “How long are we supposed to standby while he plays his little games of whose dick is bigger with Jeremy? Do you see what it’s doing to Kirsten? It’s killing her.”

“I’m not blind, Pete, and neither are the others. And you know running is out of the question,” Cody sighed. “He will just find us and then she would truly be alone because we would not survive that particular encounter.”

“So we just sit by and watch as she slowly fades away,” Pete snapped. “I can’t do that. Not after,” he stopped before he voiced a dark period that no one in their inner circle wanted to remember. Against his will, flashes of that  horror filled day filled his mind making him visible pale. Pete was not an easy man to rattle, but that day…. It was the only reason Alex tolerated Pete’s protective outbursts. He had been helpless to save Kirsten on that day, he would be damned if he allowed her to be hurt like that again. By anyone. Including Alex.

A warm hand on his arm, steadying him, brought him back to the present where he was safe and he knew Kirsten was safe. Well as safe as they could be.

“Maybe you won’t have to,” Cody said after a moment, his voice carefully quiet. Saying these words outloud were tantamount to signing his death warrant, but it had it’s desired effect. Pete was suddenly calm and thinking clearly. Any ideas on how to escape the hell they were in he would listen too.

“What are you talking about?”

Looking around to see if anyone was watching, Cody motioned Pete to follow. “Come with me and I will tell you everything.”

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

If you want to know more about my series Obsession you can find them on Amazon.com in paperback and on  the Kindle.

Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

 

 

Is it Love? – A Piece of Flash Fiction

From the moment she saw him, Keisha knew he would be trouble, but did she listen to herself. No. The vow she would fall for no man’s charms, that she would keep her strength of mind and stay her course failed the moment she looked at him. Damn him! This was not in her plan. Not after that self-centered cheating son-of-bitch she had been all ready to marry had torn her heart out and stomped all over it. Yet here she was again. Falling for another man. If she thought about it, which she tried not to, she really had no choice in the matter. Those long lean legs, a body any man would kill for, dark hair that fell artfully stopping just before it touched his shoulders, the chiseled features, and the eyes. God those eyes. They looked into hers and burned a path straight to her heart and things lower. Smoldering smoky hazel eyes that laid her bare.

Nope. She had no chance at all and now she was stuck. Stuck with all that six foot of yumminess for a dinner date and possibly a movie. They would see where the night took them. Considering the day had been beyond gorgeous, and nothing had gone wrong at work unlike it usually did. In fact, it was pretty darn perfect. Just like him. They were too perfect. There had to be something evil waiting in the shadows ready to pounce and rain all over what had been a beautiful parade. Yep, tonight she would find out that all that yummy packaging held a monster ready to pounce on his next victim. Well, she would see about that. She was no kitten cowering in the corner. No, she was a tigress with her own claws and teeth. Bring it on! She would show him what a real woman was made of. Make an example of him for others of his kind to see.

Smiling into the mirror, she thought she was dressed perfectly for the trap. Her blonde hair pulled up in a messy bun with tendrils falling around her face, dark red lipstick, shadowy eyes makeup (two could play at that game) making her vibrant light blue eyes pop. The perfect little black dress that length barely reached her fingertips, and her stilettos. Her feet would be killing her in the end but if all went as she knew it would, it would all be worth it.

Once again smiling that evil smile that sent her friends and family running for cover, she grabbed her clutch and walked out her apartment door, ready for battle.

————–

Chad gave the keys to the valet and walked purposely into the restaurant where he was to meet the woman who had haunted his dreams for the last week. Keisha Belmont. All of five foot nine, most of it legs he had dreamt of wrapping around him more times than he wished, with blonde hair and blue eyes that trapped him in their snare the moment they locked onto his. A body he wanted to know more about in a way that was not healthy. Having just come out of a bad relationship, he was not looking for another anytime soon, but from the first moment he had seen her, heard her laughter, he was entranced.  When he had asked around about her, he was surprised to find she was unattached. Someone that beautiful had to have men waiting in the wings. But like him, her relationship had ended recently and badly. Neither one of them was ready for another relationship. Something that she made very clear when she had first refused his offer to take her out to dinner. But he was anything if not persistent, and by the end of the evening he had his date.

Keisha. Such a beautiful name for a beautiful lady. But he vowed he would not let her beauty sway him. This entire week he went back and forth, first wanting the date then not wanting it yet never cancelling. He had even tried a few times. Had his phone in his hand with her number on the screen, but he just could not hit the little green button that would dial her number. And now was the night that would reveal all. Would they end the night by walking away nothing more than acquaintances, or would there be more?

God, he so did not this kind of complication right now. He was just getting his life back together from the last catastrophe that almost broke him in more ways than one. He did not need to make matters worse by adding to his already shambles of a life. First he needed to get his business back on track, then, maybe, he could think of a relationship.

The maître d` took his coat and lead him to the table he had reserved. This was the most posh restraint in the city and he was almost embarrassed to admit he was a regular. Luckily he had squirreled money away for a rainy day. Far from poor, actually he was pretty damn rich, he still had to be careful. One wrong move and he could lose everything. Something he was not ready to do.

After ordering his favorite wine, he sat down and once again started second guessing the wisdom of this date. Then she walked in the doorway and all thought of any kind slipped right out of his head. He watched with what he knew had to be a dumbfounded expression as she talked to the maître d` who pointed her to his table. With a smile that would melt the Artic, she thanked the man then began walking towards him, her expression one of fierce determination.

When Chad slowly rose to his feet, his eyes never leaving hers, he thought he saw her step falter. He definitely saw her eyes go from his head to his feet and back taking in every inch of him. He knew he looked good in his black Armani suit, but it did no justice to what she was wearing. Once she reached him all he could do was stare into those beautiful blue eyes. It took the waiter three times to clear his throat before either of them realized he was trying to get their attention.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Chad stuttered. “Please. Sit down.”

Keisha could only manage a nod and a shy smile before she practically fell into her chair. It was a miracle she kept her knees from buckling when she saw him sitting at the table, and he seemed just as enthralled with her as she was with him. When he finally sat down across from her the waiter again had to clear his throat to get their attention.

“Yes, wine please,” Chad once again stuttered glancing sheepishly at the waiter than back to her. “You? Want wine I mean?” Great. Now he sounded like a complete idiot. To his surprise Keisha only smiled warmly at him.

“Yes. Please,” she said shyly.

As the waiter poured the wine, both of then thought if there was such a thing as love at first sight, this had to be it.

~ © 2014 Heidi Barnes