Today’s episode by Christine Johnson.
Installments appear on Thursday and Friday, ending on Valentine’s Day. For previous episodes, click on the shoe or the links in the sidebar.
Remember him? The man asked if she remembered him. How could she forget Jean-Pierre? Nancy shook her head. This wasn’t possible. She hadn’t thought of him since… No. She couldn’t go there.
Besides, Jean-Pierre didn’t have black hair. His thick locks were streaked surfer blond, which perfectly matched his tan, the muscular shoulders and endearing lopsided grin. His aftershave and deep baritone washed over her like a lazy ocean swell. She eased her right foot out of the three-inch high-heeled shoe and tapped around until her toes landed on his foot. Classic boat shoes, Jean-Pierre’s footwear of choice. It had to be him. Or a very good impersonation.
“Well?” Mrs. Cannoli asked. “Who do you think your Secret Valentine is?”
“They’re all so handsome," Shanna added before Mrs. Cannoli shushed her.
“I-I don’t know,” Nancy stammered, overwhelmed by the whole turn of events. A contest? Three men vying to be her Secret Valentine? “You’re telling me I have three secret admirers?”
“Isn’t it exciting?” Shanna gushed. “I never dreamed when I entered your name in the contest that this would happen.”
Mrs. Cannoli cleared her throat. “Now that you’ve met the men, Miss Hart, you need to pick your Secret Valentine.”
Nancy panicked. What if she picked the wrong one? She'd been burned before. “I can’t.”
“Think it through logically,” Mr. Willowby suggested, finally giving her some useful advice. “Examine all the clues before making a decision.”
Clues? Nancy’s head was spinning, and it wasn’t due to the silk blindfold covering her eyes. This whole chase after a secret admirer had left her unsettled. Now she had to choose one of three men sight unseen. It was impossible.
"Take a deep breath," Mr. Willowby counseled.
She took several and thought over the events since the first gift arrived. The only clues were the man’s height and hair color, but then the B&B’s doorman admitted he’d placed the gifts around town. That eliminated both clues and put blond-haired Jean-Pierre back in the running.
Nancy scrambled through the other alternatives. Paul had joined her for a great tour of Atlanta and picnic, but then he’d jetted off to another city. Denver? Des Moines? She couldn’t quite recall, except that he was an airline pilot and always on the move. One special day couldn’t inspire lasting love, could it?
Then there was Jason. He did take her to the theatre to Gone with the Wind, but so had Brad. Besides, she and Jason had agreed afterwards that there wasn’t a spark between them. Why would he come to Cupid’s Corners now? Unless this man wasn’t Jason.
Nancy tugged at her hair in frustration, and the blindfold slipped just a bit. That gave her an idea. If she could just get a peek at the men…
To be continued next Thursday, February 13, 2014
Coming in July 2014: Groom by Design, Book 1 of The Dressmaker’s Daughters series.Visit Christine at http://christineelizabethjohnson.com
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