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Velvet and Fire (2), Post #84 - Laura Wise

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December 21st, 2015

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06:56 pm - Velvet and Fire (2), Post #84
The turn to record-hot temperature is coming, but for now it's still cool enough to bake. So let me just finish off this Christmas-week cinnamon roll, and then I'll post.

By the way, in the world of "Velvet and Fire" it's a proper St Augustine December, with appropriate weather. Just cool enough to send a chill up one's spine, perhaps...

Okay, last installment Ramon picked up Vanessa for their date. Onward!

The disaster didn’t happen at dinner, at least.

Holding onto her so that she didn’t fall on the uneven paving, Ramon took Vanessa to a small tapas restaurant in the old quarter. They had a reserved table in the back garden, where it was quiet and green. They drank a Pinot Noir she loved and shared their tapas. After dinner while they sipped their coffees, they held hands. They talked of her library and his new bookshop, of favorite paintings and songs. They didn’t talk about either of their pasts.

(She knew enough to satisfy her, anyway. He had lived in San Francisco and Miami before moving to St Augustine last summer. There was a grown son he had once mentioned but didn’t talk about, and an absence in the story regarding the son’s mother, but otherwise he was gently charming, slightly argumentative in the best way, and open. Or so she thought)

Only once during dinner did she hear the mysterious rustle of the world, see the streetlamps and the candleflames in their hurricane glass houses shimmer. Ramon had checked his watch and said quietly, as if to himself, “Eight o’clock, and all’s well.” But the moment passed so quickly that she decided she was imagining things.

After the check was paid, he put the shawl around her shoulders and leaned in. The velvet of his jacket brushed her arms again, and she closed her eyes, she didn’t know why. His hands went to her elbows, pulling her close. The world was dark for a moment, plush and peppermint and coffee, even before he kissed her.

That wasn’t the disaster, either. No disaster in his lips at all. Which was why when he asked if she’d like to go to his bookshop and look at his new acquisition, a rare 18th-century book of St Augustine history, she said yes without hesitation.

The walk along the old quarter streets weren’t a problem either. She held onto that velvet-wrapped arm and felt herself steady, even as they passed through shadows and heard from a block away the local ghost-tour leader’s voice talking about specters and haunts.

But as they approached the shop, she felt him tense. “Ramon?”

“Stay with me no matter what. I’ve miscalculated somewhere,” he said, his voice roughened by anxiety.

“Miscalculated?“ she said --

As a small black dog leapt, snarling, out of the shadows at them.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
Oh, nicely done!
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you, A! Hugs and cheer to you.
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 09:59 am (UTC)
Loving it.
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, mate! Hugs!
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC)
I do love me a good cliff-hanger!
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, ALH, and hugs and cheers to you!

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