Today’s snippet is part of a new WIP, tentatively titled ‘Starting Over’.
The story of Victoria and her antique shop in Oak Grove Square continues. Earlier in the tale, Victoria purchased a trunk full of old items from a handsome, but seemingly cold and uncaring, man. He enters Victoria’s life again, coming with an odd and surprising gift, a packet of old love letters. His appearance in her life leaves her full of conflicting emotions.
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Sleet fell all night matching the cold ache wrapped around Victoria’s heart. In the morning a pristine icy, white veneer covered the neighborhood. Pretty – but oh so dangerous to drive in. This California girl wasn’t going to risk it. She wasn’t going anywhere. Even the Texans, and the other ‘transplants’ that lived on her street weren’t chancing it. No vehicles passed the house until two days later when a bright winter sun rose to warm the frosty shell.
At least the ice storm had stilled the construction at the end of the block. “Take that Mr. Burdett, Mr. Cold Hearted Developer,” she spoke aloud. She laughed softly to herself, picturing the shiny blue BMW Roadster he drove attempting to navigate the icy roads.
A few hours later, the crunch of tires advancing slowly down the street announced the eminent return of ‘normal life’. The ringing cell phone a little later seconded that motion, even if it was just Heather from City Hall, calling to postpone the first merchant’s meeting until the weather cleared.
The following day all that remained of the winter interlude were remnant patches of icy in the shady spots. Cars sported filthy, muddy films from driving on the sanded roads. And of course, the news – and Facebook – was covered with all the jokes about a little ice or snow can shut down the entire state of Texas.
After a few lazy days camped out at home, it was nice to be headed back to Serendipity and Oak Grove Square. Victoria felt relaxed and refreshed. But after tallying her checkbooks in her down time, she desperately needed some customers and a nice trickle of revenue. Hopefully this new merchants association that was holding its first meeting would help her, and the other business owners in the square.
It must be nice to be Mr. Developer with all of his money and a lucrative business, she thought. Damn! Why did he keep sneaking into her mind like this? She’d only seen him twice and was not impressed with him. He was arrogant, cold, and unfeeling. So, why did his face keep popping up at the oddest moments? Damn him!
Trying to banish the unasked for images in her mind, Victoria pulled into her parking space behind the businesses. She was surprised to see so many vehicles already filling up the small lot. Walking over to City Hall she surveyed the sleepy little town. No one appeared to be open yet, except for Java Time.
When she walked into the city’s meeting room she knew why. Almost all the seats were already taken. She spotted an empty spot next to Marie, from Three Tarts Bakery and made a dash for it. On her way past, she spotted Hank and Jacqueline, heads tipped close together in intent conversation. Her curiosity almost got the best of her as she halfway wished there was an empty chair there, just so she could observe the two for amusement. She did hesitate a little as she passed by, but they were talking so low she couldn’t overhear any of their conversation.
She slipped into her seat just as Holly approached the front of the room.
Marie leaned over and whispered, “I’m glad you made it. I was I’d see you here today. There’s something I’d like to ask you after the meeting.”