Segment Five: Reunion of Yin and Yang
“I…” Her voice cracked. She cleared her throat. “It’s just that I’d like us to know a bit more about each other before I agree.”
“But I know all I need. You, and you alone, answered the ad. You are interested in adventure and magic. As for who you are personally, I know that rain makes you unaccountably anxious, and yet you braved the torrential downpour to stand at my front stoop. You adore strawberries. You like milk in your tea.” He ran his hand over his lips in an attempt to mask his amusement. “You have a small purple star located on your left....”
“What!” Dropping her cup onto the saucer with a clatter, Katherine shoved back her chair and stood. Her skin flushed. He’d overstepped a boundary. The flirting words had somehow escaped his lips. She gripped the edge of the table. Her knuckles whitened. He’d file that away-give no revealing information. Time to salvage the situation.
“Forgive me.” He projected his most soothing tone of voice. “I didn’t realize the decorative mark was a sensitive subject. I noticed it when I took your coat. Your sweater had slipped off your shoulder.” He gestured to the exact location. “Please, sit.”
A gust of wind blasted the building and the windows rattled in response. She glanced down at her clothing, smoothed her skirt, and rechecked her oversized sweater. The chair scraped the wood floor as she sat and scooted closer to the table. Cropped layers of straight brunette hair swung forward, shielding her eyes and chin. She reached up and swept the strands behind one ear. The coquettish gesture teased his senses.
“Mr. Stone, I’m the one who must apologize. I’ve been nervous since I read the ad. I guess I shouldn’t hide the fact that I really need this job-ah, partnership. If you’re willing to put up with my lack of business experience, I guess I’m willing to pledge my confidence in you.”
“Good.” Beneath the table, he waved his hand discretely and produced a briefcase he set before him. “I’ve drawn up a contract which will allow me to divulge more information once it’s signed.” The brass locks on the leather case snapped open. He withdrew the papers. “There is a bit of urgency so I hope you don’t mind that I took the liberty of filling in the pertinent information. You’ll just need to sign here.” He pointed to a short black line and shrugged. “I knew you’d be the only one interested.”
“Yes, well it is a small town.” Her eyes shifted slowly between the paper and his face. “I expect you locals memorize every detail of any newcomer, however I remain at a disadvantage since there are more of you to get to know.”He inserted his finger under his tie and tugged to loosen the noose. Best to let her believe what she wanted.
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