#BlogBattle 50 “Pure” continuing from
Lord of the Lollipops genre: drama-romance
Where we left off last week:
“Let me take you to dinner,” Luke said. Before she could protest he added, “At least hear me out.”
Terry pursed her lips as he slipped his hands into the pockets of his trousers and rocked back on his heels. She debated how to answer him before settling on a hesitant response.
“As long as Scott won’t be there.”
Terry watched Luke’s face, searching for a sign that he was up to something. Luke Blaine had come into her life like a blazing meteor, so hot and bright had he shone. He was smart, handsome, outgoing, and could charm the pants off a homeless man, but Terry had learned the hard way not to fall for a shooting star. A gorgeous man with winsome ways didn’t always look to see what he was smashing in his path.
Yet here he stood, in her shop, practically begging her for a favor. Something about it made her stand a little taller. Terry hoped the dull throb at the back of her head had nothing to do with the doubt she felt in the pit of her stomach and was only left over from her cupboard-head-smacking incidents.
Luke stepped forward and placed his business card on the top of the glass display. “Here’s my card. I don’t know if you still have my number.”
Terry crossed her arms and looked from the card back to Luke. “I think you’re in the phone book, Mr. Blaine.”
“That’s my personal number, Teresa,” he said and pushed the card forward with one finger. “I’ll pick you up at seven.”
Terry’s mouth dropped open when he had the audacity to wink at Bella before sauntering out of the shop and into the back seat of his waiting town car.
“The nerve,” she said in a mumbled huff of exasperation mingling with an excitement she’d rather deny.
In a giddy bundle of giggles, Bella and the shop girl Melanie both grabbed Terry’s arm’s and shook her a bit. Bella reached for the card he’d left on the glass and fanned herself with it.
“Terry! You’ve been holding out on us. You never mentioned you knew, like really knew,” she paused to take a deep breath, “Luke Blaine. The Luke Blaine. I could just die. And did you see the way he was looking at you? I bet he thought you were a piece of candy–”
“Oh, now hold it right there, Bella. Pure fiction. You’ve gone too far.” Terry swiped the card from her hand and resisted giving the sleek paper more than a glance. “Luke Blaine was my former boss’s brother and that’s all. I barely knew him . . . except in passing.”
Bella and Melanie’s continued giggles brought Terry’s wandering mind back to reality and dragged her attention away from the door where she stared after him, picturing his warm smile and laughing eyes.
“You’re lying, Ter-eeee-sa,” Bella teased. “He totally knew you, and you acted like he was some stranger. I’m not buying it. Spill.”
Bella and Melanie crossed their arms over their chests and nodded to each other in silent agreement before looking back at Terry. It was ridiculous and tempting at the same time to give in, but she decided against it as she was overcome with a mischievous desire to taunt them. Make them suffer, she thought.
“You’ll never hear a peep from me. It’s all secret candy business. And until you’re fully initiated into the ultra secret, pure confectionery, ultra ancient, top-secret order of confectioners you’ll never know.” She added a flourish and exaggerated raising of her brows to complete the effect.
It wasn’t the comedic masterpiece she’d hoped for as both girls looked at her with pursed lips and tipped hips. “Nice try, worst-joker-boss-lady of the century.”
Terry’s mouth dropped open for a second, but if nothing else, she found her creative refusal to answer their curiosity to be quite amusing. She grinned and said, “Terrible joker or not, I’m the one going on a date with the Luke Blaine.”
It was meant to be a teasing remark but came out a little too sincere, even to her ears. Both the girls looked at her with surprise and a little envy written across their faces, but Bella conceded that Terry had won that round.
“But don’t expect us to give up so easily tomorrow. We’ll want to hear all about this date of yours, miss high and mighty.”
“My lips are sealed. I’m a tomb, an ancient–I’m not ancient. I’m not twenty any more, but . . .” Terry let the sentence hang. She was forever saying things and promptly wanting to stick her foot in her mouth. How was this thing, whatever it was, going to go with Luke?
With the fear of looming disaster now lingering in her mind, she lost some of the excitement of the moment and didn’t even pay attention to where she was when she turned around. In one swift movement–crack— she came nose-to-molding with the door frame.
“Ouch! Dang it!” She grabbed her face, and Bella ran up behind her.
Melanie was right on her tail with a wad of napkins on hand. Terry could hear both their intakes of breath and small murmurs of sympathy. Maybe some of it was empathy. The look on Bella’s face said she felt Terry’s pain, but Terry also noticed a hint of amusement behind the concern.
“Terry, are you okay?”
Bella took the napkins from Melanie and held them out to her. Terry was holding her nose and could feel blood seeping out between her fingers. Her nose bled so easy it was ridiculous. She grabbed for the napkins and pressed them to her face, pinching her nasal bridge with her free hand.
“Yeah,” she said, sounding like a clown with a too-tight red ball on her nose. “It happens.”
Bella’s look of concern melted all the way into a one of friendly amusement. “You are pure something, Terry, but it’s no secret anything.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means, boss, that you are pure accident prone. Honestly, I’m surprised you haven’t done something worse by now.”
Without intending to Bella hit a nerve. Terry knew she was joking, but if she’d known the horrible thing Terry had accidentally done when still employed by Scott Blaine, Luke’s younger brother, she might never have made an offhand joke about Terry’s less-than-stellar coordination.
She pushed off from the wall and walked into the back of the store. “I’m going to go get cleaned up. Close up shop for me, ladies. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It wouldn’t do any good to resurrect the past, but with Luke Blaine showing up at her door, it was an inevitability that something would stir the dust. She only hoped she’d not have to face his brother ever again. Maybe this whole dinner-to-talk-business-date-thing wasn’t such a good idea after all.