Manifesting Love Club – ‘call’ prompt

This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather and Brian found each other, even though Heather didn’t expect to fall for a full-time clown. Leaving them all lovey-dovey and snuggled up together, we’re jumping ahead in the story to Corecia. It’s time for her to have some fun and find a little love.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘call.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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“Not at a club. He came into the office for a meeting with my boss. He’s a sports writer.”

“That’s outside your usual style.” Juliette held up her wine glass in salute.

“I know, huh? He doesn’t even like going to the clubs. Now, I ask you, how can such a fine man not enjoy a good night out at the club?” Corecia heaved a huge sigh. “Guess I can learn to live without the clubs though…he’s got so much going for him.”

“Sounds like it’s getting pretty serious. Tell us more.” Tracey was still curious.

“Wellllll….” Corecia paused before continuing. “It’s going to get serious. So far we’ve only had two dates. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be tied down in a relationship. But other than that, he’s perfect. So, like Heather says, I’m going to manifest us into a relationship.”

“Whoa!” Heather held up her hands in dismay. “I’m all for preaching about manifesting and creating a life you want. But you can’t try to bring a specific person into your life.”

“It worked for you,” Corecia disputed. “Look at how you brought Brian into your life. Now you’re so crazy in love it isn’t funny. I want that too.”

“Brian did enter my life. And, yes, we are madly in love. But I didn’t say all my affirmations to bring Brian into my life. Where does that leave any free will for him? I merely keep repeating what kind of relationship I wanted in my life. Then I let the universe set about finding someone that meshed with what I wanted.”

“But…I want Noah.”

“You can’t put in an order for Noah. That may not be what he wants. You have to be clear about what you want in a love, and also what you won’t tolerate. When you’re clear on those parameters, then you’ll see who meets your needs and who won’t. It may be Noah. It may be someone else.”

“I’m with Heather,” Tracey said. “When I was younger, I was wildly, madly in love with Scott. He was the most perfect man on the planet. I wanted him something bad. I would have done anything to get him. He made it clear that he didn’t want me. Then I met Luke and fell in love with him. Luke and I had almost thirty-five glorious years together. He was a gentle, kind man with a heart of gold. When I ran into Scott at our high school reunion, he was on wife number four. He was rude, opinionated and arrogant. That night I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t able to conjure any magic or call on any God’s to give him to me. I would have ended up in a disastrous marriage.”

pouring wineJuliette refilled her wine glass and held up the bottle in silent question. Tracey held a hand over her glass. Heather was still scurrying around the kitchen in preparation for dinner and didn’t notice. Corecia, in typical Corecia style, had drained her glass and held up the empty vessel for a refill. As Juliette poured amber nectar, she continued her line of questions. “Tell us about Noah. What does he like to do? What kind of man is he? How does he spend his spare time?”

“Ummmmm…well….” Corecia stammered and her chocolate skin deepened with an invisible blush. “It’s not like we’ve had a lot of time to chat.”

Juliette prodded. “But you’re the one that said he liked to talk. He must have given some clues about himself with all this discussion you’ve had.”

“He does like to talk. Kind of. Mostly I meant I could listen to him talk. He’s got this delicious Jamaican accent going on. Kind of Bob Marley style. But talking about sports instead of music. I could just eat him all up listening to the man. And whoooheee! Can he kiss!”

 

Manifesting Love – paper

This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather and Brian found each other, even though Heather didn’t expect to fall for a full-time clown. Leaving them all lovey-dovey and snuggled up together, we’re jumping ahead in the story to Corecia. It’s time for her to have some fun and find a little love.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘paper.

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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Corecia stood in front of the bathroom mirror, makeup brush in hand, scrutinizing her face for any visible flaws she could conceal. She glanced down at her phone laying on the counter next to her and gasped. Where did the time go? I’m going to be late. No way can I get to Heather’s in ten minutes.

A few brushes and dabs later, with a quick dusting of silvery sparkle across her eyelids, she deemed herself ready for the girls night out. When Heather answered the door, Corecia breezed into the room like a summertime windstorm stirring up everything in its path. “I know…I know. I’m late.” She scurried around the kitchen passing out hugs and air kisses.

“As usual. We know if Corecia’s coming, the party’s starting late,” Juliette joked.

“What can I say? Just cuz I’m not a follow-the-rules, punch-the-clock fuddy-duddy like y’all are.”

Tracey fought back a smirk. “So…what does your boss say about your punctuality?”

Waving a hand in the air as if her boss’s opinion didn’t matter, Corecia had a handy retort. “Doesn’t matter. I’m so good, they want to keep me on board. Even if I can’t get there at eight on the dot.”

“Humble, too.” Heather patted Corecia’s arm to show she was jesting.

“Damn straight. Not gonna hide my light under a bushel.” She grabbed a green olive off the relish tray sitting on the counter and popped it in her mouth. “So, girlfriend, what’cha got planned for us tonight? Not that I need it. Your affirmation thingy’s hooked me a live one.”

Heather pulled a pair of salad tongs out of a drawer and tossed the mixed greens waiting in a large, clear bowl as she answered. “Candle spells.”

“Spells? As in witchcraft?” A horrified look settled on Tracey’s face, making it clear what she thought of the idea.

Heather stirred the salad a bit more vigorously than she needed to. “No. No witchcraft involved, dear. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. We’re going to use the affirmations we worked on last month, and just add a little punch with some candle power.”

“No circles and stirring brew and potions? But I came all prepared to learn some new magic.” Juliette looked amused.

Heather mouthed a silent thank you across the room.

Corecia laughed and motioned a floor to ceiling wave in front of Juliette. “But girl…you came dressed for the occasion. Look at you, dressed all in black, head to toe.”

Tracey’s mouth remained taunt, but she managed to join in the frivolity of the others. “Outfit’s complete. You’re just missing a witch’s hat.”

Juliette ran her hands down her sides. “Yeah. Couldn’t bring it tonight. It’s out at the tailor’s getting some black Belgian lace sewn on the brim.”

Heather passed through the kitchen carrying the salad bowl, which she sat in the middle of the dining room table. Returning to the kitchen she moved next to Corecia, who had placed herself in front of the appetizer tray and was doing her best to consume much of it. Heather bumped her hip up against Corecia. “Excuse me hon’. I need to get the plates out of here.”

tt_noahSnatching up a celery stick before she scooted away, Corecia said, “That’s why I come here to eat. Real china. Not like the paper plates I use at home.”

“Speaking of home,” Tracey said, “tell us about your new guy. Who is he? Where’d you meet him? How’s it going?”

Corecia lit up like a light bulb. “Noah! He’s a dreamboat too. Tall, ebony man, over six foot. Manners. And mmmmm – can he talk. I could listen to him all night.” She rubbed her hands together in glee.

“Talk? That’s what you call in now?” Juliette didn’t look convinced. “So what club did you meet him at? You know he won’t last. Club men are all players. Seems you should have figured that one out by now.”

 

Manifesting Love Club – spider

This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather is the first of the group that finds love – with someone unexpected. Brian’s a clown. A real life clown. His humor is the spark that Heather needs in her life at the moment.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘spider’. We’ve jumped ahead a bit in the story.

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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After barreling down the dirt road for about a mile, gravel and dust spewing behind them, Brian slowed to a near stop. Heather looked at him, curiosity in her eyes, as he turned into a barely discernible driveway. “With all the weeds and growth, you can’t even tell this was here. You’ve evidently been here before.”

A small smile crossed his face, but it didn’t make it to his eyes. A hint of sadness lingered in the depths. He started to speak, but choked up and no words came out.

Heather turned her head and searched his face for clues. “Brian? You okay?”

He swallowed and paused before answering. “Yeah…I’ve been here a time or two.” He inched the minivan through the waist high growth, trying to stay in the ruts carved from long ago visits. “This was my grandparents place. I spent most of my summers out here, running around through their fields.”

Heather placed a hand on the back of his neck, caressing the taunt muscles. “Sounds like there’s lots of happy memories here. Which makes it a sad place to visit, doesn’t it? I take it they’re gone?”

“Yes. About ten years now. Grandma went first. Grandpa right behind. He didn’t last more than a few months after she left. Don’t think he wanted to live life without her.”

“I’ve heard of that happening. Couples dying with weeks, sometimes days of each other. Especially if they’ve been together for a long time.”

“Almost fifty years. They didn’t quite make that anniversary. Short by a year or two.”

“I’m sorry, honey.” She kept stroking the back of his neck, sending reassurance and comfort through the tips of her fingers.

TT_old farmhouse2Brian rounded a curve and the old farmhouse stood before them. Barely stood. The porch roof threatened to spill down across the turned posts that tried vainly to support it. A back corner of the house had already given up the fight, with boards and shingles scattered over the ground as evidence to the battle that had taken place over the past few years.

“So…I’m guessing that no one lives here anymore.”

He pulled up beside what appeared to be a side door and turned off the ignition. He chuckled when he answered. “You’d be right about that. Maybe a few spiders and snakes. Possibly a mouse or two. Or twenty.”

“Who owns the land now?”

“I do. They left it to me. The house was already falling apart by then. I didn’t have the money, or the time, to try to keep it up. But I still try to make it up here once or twice a year. I usually camp out for a few days. Check on the place. Regroup. Remember the good times here.”

“You said you brought lunch with you?”

“Yes, ma’am, I did. A mighty tasty one too, if I say so myself. A fine, delicious feast for my maiden.” He glanced at Heather, but his eyes kept returning to the dilapidated structure in front of them.

“Then why don’t we stay here for lunch? We can see Turner Falls another day.”

“You’d do that? Even without any amenities?”

“Of course I would. This place is special to you. I’m pleased that you wanted to share it with me. Let’s spend more time here, to connect with your grandparents. You can share your memories with me. I believe they’ll be listening over our shoulders, delighted to hear them.”

Brian leaned over, wrapped his arms around her and squeezed tight. “You know…I wanted to tell you something today. At lunch by the falls. But I need to tell you now…before my heart explodes with happiness.”

He loosened his arms and took one hand to tip Heather’s chin up. Leaning in close, he touched his nose to hers and looked directly into her eyes. “Heather McKinney…you have stolen my soul and my heart. I love you beyond measure. And right now…I think I love you even more than that.”

Manifesting Love – picture prompt

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This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather is the first of the group that finds love – with someone unexpected. Brian’s a clown. A real life clown. His humor is the spark that Heather needs in her life at the moment.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. These snippets are short. Only 300 words. We’re jumping ahead a bit in the story for this prompt.

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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“Being the nature girl you are, I’m surprised you’ve never been to Turner Falls.”

“My friend, Tracey’s talked about it. She and her husband used to go camping there before he died. I’ve never been though.”

“Then you, my dear, are in for a treat today. They have the largest waterfall in Oklahoma. Seventy seven feet tall. The scenery there is amazing. But, I want to make a quick stop first, to show you my favorite peaceful retreat. This is where I come when I need to get away and recharge.” He slowed the minivan to a crawl and turned onto a dirt road.

Heather gasped when she saw the view. “Look at the sunlight streaming across the road. It’s almost like it’s anointed with serenity.”

Brian eased to a stop, giving her time to enjoy the peaceful, rural scene in front of them.

He stepped on the gas to continue the journey and a serenade of small bits of gravel hit the undercarriage. Heather glanced at the cloud of swirling dust behind them, enveloping the road in its murky plume. “I see why you didn’t want to drive your Corvette today.”

“That’s why. You get the Clown-mobile today. Hope you don’t mind.”

She grinned in response. “Not at all. I can live with your offbeat transportation for some occasions.”

“I hope so. Because despite the unconventional ride today, I’m hoping to make it a special day for you.”

“It’s always special with you. I’ve laughed more you than I ever have before.” She patted his hand resting on the console and giggled. “I think I’m even used to you wearing your clown nose in public.”

“You’ll be proud of me. I left it at home. Today I only brought a secret arsenal of tempting items for our lunch.”

Manifesting Love – fan

This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Earlier, Heather introduced her idea of affirmations to manifest love. When her path crosses a handsome fellow – wearing a clown nose in public – she couldn’t be less interested. Even if he is the brother of a work associate across the hall. But he’s persistent, although a little hesitant when Heather brings up her date idea – yoga on the beach.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘fan.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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Not as much conversation filled the car on the drive back to Heather’s. A huge, dark void had appeared between the two of them. Heather knew where her fears and insecurities came from. She’d only had one serious relationship since her cancer scare and when he found out about how the treatments had left her, he walked out without a backward glance. “I can’t be with someone that’s not a whole woman,” was his leaving retort. The first few months after that she’d been an emotional wreck. Since then, she’d done a lot of internal work and now lived in a good emotional place. But now, as she stood on the brink of meeting another possible rejection, dread crept into her soul and tightened up her heart with fear.

She didn’t know what Brian was thinking. He was quiet and more solemn than she’d ever seen him. She didn’t know if she’d already damaged their budding relationship by not being up front about her concerns.

When they pulled in the driveway, Brian turned off the motor and turned towards her. “I’m not sure what’s going on. There’s definitely something between us right now. And I’m not sure what. I don’t want to leave and have this hanging between us. I’d like to come in and talk about it…see what’s wrong…know if I’ve done anything to upset you…”

“It’s not you…”

A wry smile crept across his face. “Yeah…that’s what they always say. ‘It’s not you. It’s me.’ Am I wrong?”

Heather laughed softly. “Yep, that’s it. I’ve heard that line a time or two myself. But in this case, it’s nothing like that. Although it truly is me. My own demons that I’m wrestling with. And we do need to talk about something…as hard as it will be for me. I’m not a fan of sweeping difficult situations under the carpet. They don’t disappear there. Only fester.” She took a deep breath and grasped his hand, squeezing it tight. “Come in for a drink and a chat?”

He pulled the keys from the ignition. “Let’s go, Joe.”

Inside, Heather flipped on the kitchen lights, filling the room with a brightness she wasn’t sure she wanted right then. “Coffee? Or wine?”

“I have a feeling this is a glass of wine conversation.”

pouring wineShe pulled two sparkling wine glasses from the cupboard and retrieved a partial bottle of Chablis from the refrigerator. After filling the glasses she handed one to Brian. “Let’s go in the living room. It’s cozier in there.” She led the way to the darkened room, lit only by the small light on the foyer table. She sat on the sofa and looked up when she saw Brian hesitating, uncertain, between the sofa and loveseat.

Heather patted the sofa, beside her. “I told you about my battle with cancer?”

“Yes…” He pursed his lips, looking confused. “It hasn’t returned, has it?”

“No. No.” She quickly shook her head to emphasis her denial. “No, I’m healthy as a horse now. And I intend to remain that way. But there’s one thing…” She trailed off, uncertain how to proceed.

Brian took her hand and clasped it between his large palms. He simply looked her in the eyes, without comment, waiting for her to continue.

Heather plunged in before she lost her nerve. “I don’t remember how detailed I got with my story. It was breast cancer. The treatments weren’t successful. We had to go a step further. If I wanted to live…” She paused and took a deep breath. “To live longer, I had to continue without my…” With her free hand she motioned across her chest.

Brian’s face remained calm, his expression not changing a whit. “Okay. So what’s the bad news?”

“That’s it.”

“So…what…I’m supposed to stop seeing you because of it?”

“It’s happened before.”

He lifted a hand and ran a finger down the length of her nose. “Then he was a fool. If he couldn’t see what a jewel he missed out on, just because of a little missing flesh.”

A slight smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “I thought this was something you needed to know ahead of time. You know…not something you’d want to find out in the heat of the moment…like…surprise!”

“Well, darlin’, then on this you’ve seriously misjudged me. Although…” His eyes twinkled with his current thought and they dropped to survey her cleavage. “You sure have everyone fooled. You know, the ‘girls’ here look awfully real.”

“Padding. It’s amazing what bras can do nowadays. Get up. Brush my hair. Put in my contacts. Put on the girls. We’re ready to go.”

A serious look replaced the jesting joviality that usually filled his face. The laughter in his eyes dimmed as he looked deep within her eyes, holding her gaze with an intense, magnetic stare. He cupped her face in the palms of his hands and spoke slowly and deliberately. “I’m glad you shared with me. I suppose you’re right, knowing ahead of time might avoid a potentially awkward moment later on. But just to clarify…I’m spending time with you because I like being around you. I love your heart, your spirit and your gentle soul. I have fun with you. I enjoy our time together. I like seeing how you look at the world and how you always – almost always – look on the bright side and see the positive side in every situation.”

Heather started to open her mouth to speak. He gently placed a finger across her lips. “Please, let me finish. But as to this…” He slowly slid his hand lower, tracing one finger down her cheek, down her neck and slowly trailed it lower, towards where the black lacy bra peeked from the scooped neckline. “You, my dear, look scrumptious. Just how you are. And as to what’s underneath here – or not underneath here as the case may be – I don’t really care. I don’t care if you’re hiding a tail under that sexy, flowing skirt you have on. Or if you have a third arm or leg you keep tucked away.”

Heather giggled at the thought of that.

He grinned and added, “Although, that might be a little weird, but I’d learn to deal with it.” His fingertips brushed across the edge of the top’s neckline, tracing it from one side to the other.”

A soft moan slid between Heather’s lips as a rush of warmth flooded her body. Any thought she wanted to mention vanished into the Netherlands.

Brian swallowed and moistened his lips, trying hard to retain his own composure. “I just want to be with you, wherever I can, whenever I can. Even if it means doing yoga on the beach with you. Even if I have to leave off my clown nose in public. And I don’t give a flying flip about any of the equipment either of us is hiding under our clothes. Because when we come together…” He bent his head and whispered his next words with a hot breath in her ear. “When we move to the next step, I will cherish and adore each inch of your body with a kiss. I’ll be thankful that you survived your battle so that you’re here now for me to love in any way I can.”

New Beginnings, by Iris Blobel

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The story is set in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the most southern state in Australia. A most beautiful place. I went there a few years back and imagined how it would be to live in this city, how to adapt as a “non-local”, and bit by bit I wrote the story of two sisters moving there.

Obviously, I added a little romance into the story as well – so I added Mark and Zach.

This is the second edition of NEW BEGINNINGS.

The story is now a bit sexier and has also received another edit.

Literary Chanteuse’s review: “This author has a way of endearing her characters and it is easy to fall in love with them. An intriguing story with emotion, love and hope.”

Sharon’s review: “This was a very enjoyable read and it left me wanting just a little bit more. I highly recommend it.”

“Other people have to fight battles in their life as well.”

~~  New Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2a1BSJ7

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/29FTb4B

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2a9yKgW

♥♦♥ SYNOPSIS ♥♦♥

new beginnings 3D.pngThe chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

♥♦♥ EXCERPT ♥♦♥

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

Only a week earlier, Sophie had received the call from Mr. O’Connor telling her about an inheritance. Initially, she’d thought it had been a horrible joke when he’d given her details on where to pick up airplane tickets to Hobart. It was important for her to come, he’d explained. Some legality she hadn’t understood. Something about her having to sign documents for the transfer of ownership of some assets. It’d sounded too farfetched at the start, but after some research on the firm with the help of a friend, it sounded valid, and she’d hoped her life was finally turning around for the better.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

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Manifesting Love #18

This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Earlier, Heather introduced her idea of affirmations to manifest love. When her path crosses a handsome fellow – wearing a clown nose in public – she couldn’t be less interested. Even if he is the brother of a work associate across the hall. But he’s persistent, although a little hesitant when Heather brings up her date idea – yoga on the beach.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘catch.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.

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Brian burst into laughter. He laughed so hard tears started to well at the corner of his eyes. “Nope…remembering the look on your face when I turned around and you saw me standing there with that red clown nose…no, ma’am…you definitely did not appear to be someone that ran around with anyone of the clown persuasion.”

“And here I am. Sitting here with you now.” A devious look appeared out of nowhere. “Despite my better judgement, I now keep company with clowns.”

“Well then, there we have it. I don’t suppose I’ll suffer from one morning of yoga on the beach. If you can hang with me and be out of your usual environment, then I can too.” He lifted his glass in a toast. “To us and unforeseen adventures.”

As Heather raised her glass, she looked up and her eyes met Brian’s steady look. date night.jpg

Unwavering, they each sat there, neither of them wanting to be the first to look away and break what felt like a magical tuning into each other.

Their server interrupted the moment for them. A clattering of plates announced a third party standing at the table, waiting for their attention before sitting the hot plates in front of them.

Conversation slowed as they ate, but neither one attacked their dish with much relish. Brian took a few bites of his steak, but spent more time gazing at his dinner companion. Heather nibbled at her salad, but spent more time pushing green leafy bits around on the plate, looking up occasionally to find her date watching her intently.

Brian finally asked. “Not hungry? Everything all right?”

She rolled a cherry tomato back and forth before looking up and offering a bashful grin. “Guess I’m just having problems focusing. My mind keeps wandering.”

“Work problems?”

“No…not work at all. More like…” She took a deep breath and plunged on, thrusting the words in between them before she chickened out. “…more like picturing what you’d look like on the beach in shorts doing yoga poses.”

He grinned in response and flexed an arm as if representing a strong, muscled man. “Ah ha! That’s it. It’s my body. And here I thought it was my sense of humor you loved. It’s my manly physique, isn’t it?”

“That’s it. Good catch. You found me out. You know all my deep dark secrets now.”

All of them?”

“Well…maybe not all of them. I might still have one or two things you don’t know about.” Her smile dimmed and her face grew serious. Although she knew the conversation was joking in nature, she thought of her double mastectomy from years back. She doubted that had ever come up in conversation. A deep seated worry nagged at her as she wondered if it would make a difference to him.

Brian reached across the table and laid his hand on top of hers. “Hey sweetkins…you want to finish dinner? Or do you want to go ahead and go? Maybe talk more at your house, where it’s more private?”