Thyme for Love – TT Bloom

Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

Sally and Izzy’s relationship was heating up, until she got a little snippy on their last phone call. This week we’re writing to the prompt, ‘bloom’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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The rest of the day was a blur: vendor dilemmas, a no-show or two, getting speakers and demonstrators to the stage area in time, fielding questions from the milling throng of attendees. Stores owners in town kept catching Sally to gush over the successful event. “I’ve never seen so many people in Oak Grove Square!” was oft repeated phrase of the day.

By the end of the day, as the last vendor pulled away, Sally did a quick walk around the square to make sure that the city’s maintenance crew had everything cleaned up and restored to its usual tidy appearance. Luckily they’d done a good job as she doubted she had the mental resources or energy to try to follow through with one more task.

She arrived home without knowing how she’d gotten there. The entire ride was a foggy blur. She stumbled in, too tired to even eat.

Marmalade was on her own. Fortunately the kitty bowl was full of crunchies because she evidently wasn’t getting any soft treats for dinner tonight. Sally had collapsed across the bed, clothes and all.

It would be dawn before her eyelids flickered open. And at that, all she did was get up to make a quick trip to the restroom and headed back to bed, peeling off clothing as she went. Stripped bare, she pulled the covers back and crawled in between the sheets. Her eyes were closed before she got the comforter pulled up and was back asleep, spending most of Sunday in bed.

She awoke, ravenous, and was standing in front of the refrigerator scanning the contents for what she could fix that was easy…and fast… when Izzy called.

“Just making sure we’re still on for tomorrow.”

“Yes we are. I’m yours the entire day.”

“Great. Pick you up at eight? Breakfast at Waffle House first?”

“That sounds good. I’ve never eaten there.”

CNJ_hash browns“Never? You can’t call yourself a proper Texan if you’ve never eaten at Waffle House!”

“Then I guess you’ll remedy that situation for me tomorrow.” She propped the phone between her ear and shoulder, moving containers as she continued her search through the long ignored substances, some of them turning green and threatening to walk out on their own power.

The two chatted for a few minutes while Sally filled a plate with the Chinese leftovers she settled on for her meal.

Izzy heard the dinging microwave in the background. “I’ll see you in the morning. Wear comfy clothes, we’ll be walking a bit.”

“Okaaaay. What are we doing?”

“Not gonna say. You’ll find out tomorrow.”

She was curious. But the hot teriyaki aroma drifting her way had the stronger pull. She seemed to eat her way through the rest of the evening, making up for not eating since the day before. And then, her pillow called her back to bed for early slumber and she didn’t wonder about the mysterious Monday plans until the next morning when she had to choose what to wear.

Jeans and t-shirt. Can’t get much comfier than that, she mumbled to herself. She started to reach for her favorite wear-almost-every-day sandals when she remembered Izzy’s mention of walking. She rummaged under the edge of the bed to dredge up her broken in tennies.

By the time the doorbell announced Izzy’s arrival, Sally was ready and feeling refreshed and vitalized for the first time in several weeks. She opened the door and rushed into his arms, delighted to see his smiling face standing on her doorstep.

Izzy laughed and hugged her with all his might. “Well, if this isn’t a pleasant surprise,” he drawled.

She cupped his face in her hands and slathered him with kisses, up one side and down the other. He slid his hands up behind her head and the two were soon embraced in a long overdue passionate kiss. A car horn tooting as it passed by brought them back to reality.

“Guess we’re giving your neighbors a show,” Izzy chuckled.

A slightly flushed woman, breathing heavier than she had for a long time, answered back. “You want to come in? Or did you want to go ahead and go?”

“Let’s head on out.” He paused. “If you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. I’ll grab my purse and meet you in the car.”

They chattered the whole way to their breakfast destination. “I can’t believe you’ve never eaten here,” Izzy said as he found an empty parking spot in an otherwise full parking lot. “Every self-respecting southerner loves a good ‘ole Waffle House meal. Any time of the day.”

They had to wait a few minutes for a seat. “I guess it is a popular place,” Sally conceded.

Once seated, they kept talking so much that they’d never looked at the menu. The poor waitress had to return three times before they were ready to order. When the food arrived Sally didn’t say another word as she shoveled food in, one bite quickly following the one before it.

“You’re hungry.” Izzy leaned back in the booth and watched her admiringly. “Good. You’ll need the sustenance.”

“So…where was it you said we were going?” Sally quizzed him.

“Um. Like, I didn’t say where we were going.” He took another bite of his smothered, covered, and capped hash browns before he continued. “If I recall, I thought it was a surprise. But good one. You get points for trying.”

When the waitress brought the check, Sally knew it wasn’t much from the low prices on the menus. When she saw the size of the tip Izzy left, her admiration went up another notch. She didn’t like cheapskates. Men that were cheap in one area of life were often just as stingy in all other aspects of a relationship.

CNJ_speedwayBoth of them were full and content when they pulled back onto the highway, so the ride was quieter on this segment of the trip. Sally watched the countryside. She recognized Texas Motor Speedway as they passed by, and then they were passing through Rhome. She sat there taking mental notes, but didn’t ask any questions because she knew they wouldn’t be answered. Boyd was familiar. She’d been to the big cat rescue there before. But when Izzy turned down a dirt road a few miles down, she totally lost her bearings.

She looked at Izzy with a puzzled expression.

He just grinned and puckered up his lips to blow her a kiss across the seat. And kept driving as the dust whirled around the truck, threatening to envelop them.

“What’s back here?” She couldn’t contain her inquisitiveness.

He didn’t answer until he pulled up and parked in front of a small farmhouse, sitting under a canopy of towering post oaks. “I’m going to share my world with you today.”

He got out and moved around to Sally’s door while she was sitting there scanning the fields lining the horizon. Opening the door, he held out his hand to help her out. “Shall we go see what’s in bloom today?”

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