Cold Feet/C17 Chapter 17
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Cold Feet/C17 Chapter 17
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C17 Chapter 17

VIOLA

“Oh, my goodness! Viola! It’s so good to see you! I had no idea that you were in town. How long have you been back?”

As she speaks to me, the penny drops. Amber. I went to school with her. We graduated in the same year. I never expected to find her here after all this time.

“Amber,” I reply, surprised. She steps forward and hugs me as if we are best friends. “I never thought I’d see you here.”

“Well, it is me. I never left,” she smiles.

I’m surprised to hear her say it. As far as I can recall, Amber had big plans which included leaving the town where we grew up as soon as possible.

“Why don’t you finish your shopping and then we can meet at the coffee shop just over there?” Amber says pointing to the coffee shop just outside the entrance of Danzer’s.

“Sure. Why not?” I reply. I have no inspiration to rush home to the empty house. Dust bunnies aren’t the most social creatures. On the contrary, they love to make me sneeze. Besides, I can do with some company right now.

I finish my shopping and twenty minutes later I enter the coffee shop and find Amber seated at a table by the window.

Her face lights up when she sees me. I get the feeling that she might be just as starved for company as I am. Then I remember how popular she was in high school and I tell myself I’m wrong. I’m sure she’s just as popular now as she was then.

We order latte’s and start talking. Amber tells me she never left. She had plans to study at Yale but then her father died from a heart attack and with no income she had to give up her dream of studying to be a doctor and leaving to work in a big city. She watched all her friends leave to go and study and lost contact with them over the years although some of them return occasionally to visit their parents.

Amber asks me what I’ve been up to and I tell her. I make the history brief and don’t go into the details of what caused the demise of my wedding planner business. I expected that she would know but it seems that the news from the big cities doesn’t always reach the small towns. That or people here just aren’t bothered to read about what happens in the big world. Either way, I feel relieved at not having to go into the details of what happened.

Amber asks me what I’m doing now and I tell her I’m going to have to look for a job. She tells me she waitresses and offers to put in a word for me at the restaurant. I thank her and tell her I’m interested. At least the income will help me save what little money I have until I figure out what I want to do next. Being a wedding planner here does not hold much promise. I think a funeral parlor is a more lucrative business here. I’m not being nasty but most of the people I see are older and retired. Their children have moved away and the town is slowly dying. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s on a major trucking route, it might have died long ago.

We have an enjoyable chat and Amber tells me that she’s leaving tomorrow for a few days as she has a job interview in Los Angeles. I wish her well for the interview despite the disappointment I feel inside. If she gets the job, I’ll be alone here and I was just getting used to the thought of having an old friend around.

After our latte’s and catching up, we swap numbers and leave. I feel happy to have met an old friend even though she might not be around much longer. I go home to the dust bunnies feeling a lot better.

RICK

I leave the office at seven. It’s Friday evening. It seems that I’m not the only one who worked later than usual. I ride the elevator to the ground floor with one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I am surprised I have never seen her in the building before. I would have noticed her for sure.

Me and every other hot-blooded male in the building, I tell myself.

She’s a killer. Her perfume takes over the elevator like a humidifier working overtime. It’s a nice perfume and I inhale deeply without making it obvious.

I can’t let her go without at least trying my luck. “Excuse me. Do you work in the building?”

She looks at me, her gaze assessing me, and then, deciding she likes what she sees, smiles at me. Her smile exudes confidence and, when combined with her power perfume and killer outfit, I lose the ability to think and act rationally. She’s out of your league, my subconscious tells me. It’s no use. The negative self-speak of my subconscious is swept away. There’s no stopping me with this babe.

“Oh no,” she shakes her head. “I just had an appointment with a client.”

I nod. “That explains it. I was sure I hadn’t seen you in the building before.”

“And that would matter why?” she asks curiously.

“Well, I am sure I would have noticed a woman as indescribably beautiful as you.”

She blushes. It’s not the answer she expected. “Thank you,” she says hesitantly.

“I hate to be so forward but could I perhaps ask you if we could have a drink before you head off where you’re going?”

“Um…” she hesitates and I think she is trying to think of a way to decline taking up my offer.

I speak quickly, capitalizing on her hesitation. “There’s a bar around the corner from the building. They serve coffee and drinks. I’ll buy. Just one and then you can leave if you want.”

She blushes and then seems to decide that to decline would be rude.

“Okay,” she says.

“Great,” I smile and offer my hand. “I’m Rick by the way.”

“Christine,” she says as she tucks her long blond hair behind her ear and shakes my hand.

We step out of the lift and exit the building. I steer her to the bar and we step inside. I find us a table and head off to the bar to order our drinks after she tells me she’ll have whiskey just like me.

I return to the table a short while later with our drinks and she thanks me.

“Forgive me, Rick. I don’t normally have drinks with men who I’ve just met.”

“And I don’t normally ask a woman in the elevator to join me for a drink,” I smile.

She laughs and the ice is broken. She begins to relax.

“What is it that you do?”

“I’m a wedding planner.”

“Really?” I ask. Are all wedding planners this hot? I make a mental note to consider fishing in the pool of wedding planners for conquests. I can’t believe my luck at running into another wedding planner who is almost as beautiful as Viola.

“Really,” she smiles. “You seem surprised.”

“No, it’s just that I met a wedding planner at a wedding the other day. We had a long chat. I can’t believe that I’ve met another wedding planner so soon.”

“Perhaps the universe is telling you something,” she smiles as she sips her drink.

“Such as?”

“That you’re going to find the woman of your dreams and get married soon,” Christine says.

“I don’t think so. I’m not one to work that fast. Besides, I have no interested ladies on the horizon that I know of. If I were to get married soon it would have to be a whirlwind relationship or a shotgun wedding.”

Christine smiles and manages to swallow her drink before she bursts out laughing. “You are funny,” she says at last as I wait for her to tell me what is so amusing.

“Something amuses you?” I prompt.

“Well,” she says as she places her glass on the counter, “You certainly won’t have any ladies beating a path to your door unless you communicate more diplomatically.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” I say.

“Well, I would hope that the fact that I agreed to have a drink with a stranger I met in the lift tells you that I am an interested lady. However, I do suggest that while being in court may require you to be direct, I don’t think you should adopt that same attitude outside the courtroom. The mention of a ‘shotgun wedding’ is a passion killer for anyone.”

I nod. “You are right.” Recovering quickly, I add, “Does that mean that I’ve just killed your passion?”

Christine giggles. “I have many passions, Rick. Which one do you think you might have killed?”

“Hopefully none at all.”

“The quick lawyer comeback,” she smiles then continues, “You’re in luck. You haven’t killed any passions yet.”

“That’s good to know,” I say heaving a silent sigh of relief.

She changes the subject. “Who was the wedding planner? Maybe I know her?”

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