Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Love Me Knot
Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site.
The air was unusually warm for March. Snow was melting quickly, leaving puddles on the street and sidewalk. Strong green shoots of hyacinths and crocus pushed through the hard soil around the trees planted along the store fronts. Shopkeepers were preparing their store fronts for the day and were taking advantage of the mild weather.
He stepped out of an apartment located over the local shops. Walking along the sidewalk with determination in his step, his flannel shirt fluttered open.
"Well if it isn't Robbie Mac Donnell." The pub owner stopped sweeping the porch to lean against his broom. "Good to see you back, lad."
"It's good to be back, Mr. Murphy.
"Off to the coffee shop to see a particular young lady on this glorious morning?" The older man winked.
"Maybe," Robbie smiled, "I'll stop in for lunch."
"Maybe," Mr. Murphy laughed. "We'll see."
Robbie continued walking, smiling to himself. Life was good and could only get better; he was sure of it.
"Hey, Robbie, my boy! Think quick!"
He turned just in time to catch an apple that had been tossed in his direction from the grocer. Mr. Jennings came out of his door with a bin of fresh fruit to display in an effort to attract customers.
"Good to see you home, son!" Mr. Jennings put the bin down to clasp Robbie's shoulder.
"Thanks, good to be home." Wincing a bit from the rough grip on his shoulder where a wound from his adventure lay under his shirt.
"What's in the fancy box? A little gift for a little lady?"
"Maybe," he smiled and continued walking.
"Hey there, Robbie," boomed a large voice from a small woman fussing over a pot of polar pansies outside the book shop. "The book you ordered on Irish castles came in while you were gone."
"Thanks, Mrs. Stork." Robbie stopped to give the woman a kiss on her cheek. "It's a gift for my mom. I'll pick it up later."
"Off to the coffee shop, dear?" Mrs. Stork's eyes sparkled a brilliant blue.
"Good. That's very good." She muttered to herself as she adjusted her worn sweater and turned her attention back to her plants.
Stepping around several women patiently waiting for the craft store to open and begin a quilting class, Robbie flashed a smile at them. He loved traveling but home was were his heart would always remain. During the last month spent in Ireland, he had plenty of time to look closely at his life. As a marine investigator, he enjoyed beautiful beaches around the world and women where ever he went. It was high time he settled down with a good woman and he knew exactly who she was.
Without pausing, he flung open the door to the coffee shop. Rows of tea nestled on shelves with various muffins made with dried fruits. The odor of fresh brewed coffee permeated the air. A couple sat huddled in intimate conversation next to the crackling fireplace. A little girl lay cuddled next to her mother on a couch. Several others focused on the morning paper or had their noses in a laptop. Mimi Cates owned the coffee shop where people enjoyed gathering. He felt himself smile, thinking of the petite spitfire of a woman.
Cory was standing behind the counter filling a customer's order. Tattooed with many piercings, Cory was popular around town not only for his friendly demeanor but his talent for writing folk songs.
"Hey, dude!" Robbie fisted Cory. "Where's your ole boss lady?"
"Shit man, if she hears you call her that, she'll cream you." Cory and the customer both laughed. "She's upstairs working on a painting. It's from one of those postcards you sent."
"Thanks," taking a cup of coffee from the young man, Robbie walked past the counter to a door that led to the stairs.
Mimi put her mug down and reached for a paint brush to add the finishing touches to the fantasy landscape. Several postcards from Robbie hung by clothespins on a line against the wall next to her table. She rarely left town but traveled vicariously through him. Combining the lovely scenes he picked out for her and a imagination full of folklore, she created fanciful works that not only filled the walls of the shop but also pulled in extra cash.
Touching the silver chain around her neck and fingering the tiny shamrock charm, her thoughts went to her neighbor who had given it to her. After years of friendship, she wondered if it would be possible to take their relationship to a different level. However, at thirty-four she was a homebody and needed stability; he just a couple years older suffered wanderlust and thrived on the unknown.
Satisfied with her work, she set her brush down and picked at some green paint left on a fingernail. A draft swooshed up the stairs as a door below was opened. Mimi recognized the heavy footsteps and turned just as Robbie entered the room.
"Well... you're a sight for sore eyes!" Mimi grinned.
Dressed in black jeans, black boots, black tank under a plaid shirt with hunky muscles peeking out. His reddish blonde hair was its usual mess as if he just crawled out of bed. Dark brows arched over beautiful green eyes and those lips...so kissable.
Without saying a word, Robbie placed the box he was carrying onto the table and walked towards her. His hand slipped under her hair to cup the base of her head, while his other arm circled around her. When his lips came down on hers, Mimi had to grab onto him to keep from falling over in surprise. With a tilt of his head, Robbie took the kiss deeper. The scent of milled soap and masculinity made her heady. Robbie slowly pulled away, tugging at her lip with his teeth as he did.
"Ah... welcome home?" She choked on the words.