There’s a new story for the new year. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met and fell in love last year. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Sally, a devoted business woman and owner of Crafter’s Cottage, just met an organic farmer interested in being a vendor at the upcoming herb festival.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘ruthless’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.
Once inside Crafters Cottage, Sally headed behind the counter. Keeping her back turned on the hunk of masculinity that followed her in, she composed herself while she shuffled through a stack of papers. She turned and handed him an envelope. “Here’s the vendor packet for the herb festival. You can look it over and mail it back if you’re interested in being a vendor.”
“Oh, I want to be a vendor.”
She stifled a laugh. “You don’t even know what the entry fee is. That may put you off.”
“No. You’re right. It’s pretty reasonable, depending on the size space you want.”
“Mind if I look it over here and get it right back to you?” His caramel colored eyes gazed up at her, making her feel distinctly uncomfortable, in a pleasant unsettled kind of way.
As he leaned over the counter, scanning through the pages, Sally kept sneaking peeks. He’d absentmindedly tuck a strand of long hair behind his ear as he read. The unconscious gesture caused soft fluttery feelings in the pit of her stomach.
He finished looking through the pages and nodded. “Have a pen?”
As he started filling the form out, Sally’s curiosity got the best of her. Adept at reading upside down, after all the years of dealing with her craft vendors, she squinted to see his name. “Izzy?” she questioned.
He nodded and kept writing. “Yes ma’am. Izzy. A nick name I got in school. Short for Isaiah.” He kept filling out the form while Sally watched each pen stroke on the page.
Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer. “So, how’d you get into farming?” she blurted out. “You don’t look like what I picture a Texas farmer looking like.”
“I was going to school down in Austin. I started out to be an accountant. But I couldn’t stand the thought of being locked into an office or a cubicle all day long. I got into organic foods when I was there and it took off from there. I decided I wanted to farm and work with nature and the outdoors, using organic and responsible methods. There’s so much we could … But don’t pay attention to me. I could get on a soapbox all day long about what we’re doing to our planet with our toxic practices and the chemicals and pesticides we’re using. And, don’t even get me going on the local fracking.”
Sally was taken back at first. He was so intense when he got going on a streak. Still, he was awfully cute though. She chuckled softly. “You could almost be a hippie if you weren’t wearing that good ole’ cowboy hat.”
He returned the laugh. “Yeah, I have an inner hippie I channel a lot. The herbs and vegetables seem to like it.”
“So … how’d you get from Austin to up here?”
“I wanted to stay down there. But land is more expensive and the organic competition is ruthless. I got a farm here three times the acreage than what I could have afforded in Austin or San Antonio. I just have to work a little harder to get my products out there. That’s why I was so excited to hear about the herb festival here. Nice and close; I like that.”
“Well, Oak Grove Square is excited that you’re excited. We’re happy that you’ll be one of our vendors in what we hope will be an annual event. So … for events like this … do you have helpers for the day … employees … or a wife?”