Here's the next section from George Talbot in our Round Robin Short Story, "A Delicious Dalliance."
Read along and let us know what you think, readers!
She slid her thumb across the display and placed the device to her ear. "Hello?"
“Seven?” Her stomach flipped. Alex.
A Delicious Dalliance, continued...
“I just saw you walking by -- It’s been two years, but not a day goes by I don’t think about you and returning your pen,” he said. “I hope you’re not upset I called.”
“This is Alex Laurent. We met in Chicago. You loaned me your pen to write down your number. I don’t blame you for not remembering me, but your favorite fountain pen -- that’s a different story. How was Paris?”
Between the background noise of Chauncey’s and La Belle Epoque, Seven and Alex struggled to capsule their past two years. She did leave for an extended stay in Paris the week after their interlude. He’d recently returned from a year in Barcelona, where he mastered the creation of Spanish tapas. In the past eighteen months he’d been voted best chef three times by Food and Wine. Another “Alex darling” came through from Ms. Stiletto Heels’ collagen enhanced lips.
“You sound busy,” Seven said.
“I’m in a cuisine-crisis-central. My boss owns four restaurants. His daughter is managing the newest to open, and tonight she has an absentee head chef.”
“Alex -- Ricky is screwing up the Foie Gras!”
“I’ve got to go save the kitchen. How about lunch on Sunday?”
“Sure. I’m off to see my parents for the weekend, but I’ll be back in town Sunday morning,”
“Sev,” Lacey whispered. “Who’s on the phone?”
“Would a call on Saturday be convenient to set a time and place? In all honesty -- my favorite restaurant on one of my rare days-off is Ernie’s, a greasy dive at the beach with the best chili cheese hot dogs in North America,” Alex said.
“Sounds fine. Call me Saturday.”
“Seven --Who was that?”
“Chill Lacey. I lost my favorite pen, and somebody I know found it. No big deal, I’ll get it back Sunday.”
Seven’s ideal think-things-out getaway was her parents’ cottage in the country. After thirty-five years they were more in love than the day they met. Her father was a captaine in the French army, her mother a lead dancer in Paris’ Moulin Rouge. A year of foreign military duty passed before he was able to see her again.
Saturday morning, there was a knock on Seven’s bedroom door. “Bèbè, do you want to go fishing with your papa?”
“You bet I do.”
The rowboat had a fresh coat of paint as it did every spring. Her father was amused when his daughter checked her phone after each ring with teenager tension, but ignoring the calls, three from Brad and two from Lady Lacey. “Is it me, or does my menue Sev have more fish on the line than she wants?”
Her rod took a hit, but the fish didn’t hook. “That’s a big one mon bèbè -- don’t lose it again. Back off the drag. This one needs space -- an award winner, si très bon!”
The fish hit a second time and hooked. The phone rang. Alex. Seven struggled to manage the rod, the irritated fish and her phone, but the rod, fish, phone and the chance to enjoy one of Alex’s favorite hot dogs were already on the bottom of Martelle Pond.
“Fichu!” her father said.
“Shit -- I’ve lost him again.”
To be continued...
Thanks, George! Readers - Have At It! Let us know what you think. Up next is Jan McSwane. The next section will be posted on Tuesday, Feb 21st.