Hello Dear Readers!
I’m putting the finishing touches to ‘Maid in Space‘ and thought I would share about a new story I’ve started. The premise is simple.
A Seattle Billionaire Bachelor
A Struggling Dance Studio Owner
A slow dance that never ends…
~ 1 ~
It was a Thursday. Three p.m. and as usual, I was having a mid-afternoon coffee before heading back to the office.
Today was therapy day.
For a near-year, I’d been seeing a counselor. I’d leave for lunch at one and take the next two hours, mid-day to do something that was only about me.
Not about my family.
Nor our business.
No, just something for me.
I’d forget about my responsibilities and take a breather. The coffee shop was the place where I sat and percolated over the conversation with my therapist. Giving my mind a chance to shift gears from the deeply personal to the everyday and public.
Besides, there was a perk. A plus to my weekly therapy routine.
As usual, she was dressed in red. And at the moment, her elegant leg was stretched up, resting atop a ballet bar in her dance studio. She was doing a stretching routine along with her dance students. Sometimes, her mane of wavy black hair was loose and free, tumbling around her face. Other times, such as today, it was up in a bun, revealing her graceful neck.
Truth was, without her I wasn’t even sure I’d still be going to therapy. But having the chance to watch and observe her each week had kept me motivated. Motivated to have a real, bona-fide reason to keep going to therapy and have my alone time coffee, afterwards.
Simple enough, right?
One would think.
But today was different. She’d come up in my therapy session. This mysterious stranger I admired from afar. I’d brought her up a few times. I was doing what my therapist said I would do eventually.
Move on. Heal. Mend.
No longer be the broken man I’d been when I’d first entered my therapist’s office a year earlier.
Life can be unfair to anyone. I’d learned that at an early age. But it was my service time in the military that had proven it so. Being a POW left scars and wounds that no one could see. The type of damage that isn’t visible to the eye.
The worst sorts of wounds.
But I’d survived. After closing myself off and isolating, despite my family’s immense wealth, fortune and power. I was the heir. The sole heir.
And that was what had gotten me into trouble to begin with. Somehow, the enemy of the U.S. had figured out I was a soldier. And I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The enemy wanted money.
They always do.
And my family was loaded to the gills with it.
The barista was sweeping the floor, in the area around the table that I sat at. “She’s lovely, non?” She said, tilting her head in the direction of where my gaze rested.
I shifted, caught off guard and embarrassed. “Um, yes – she is.”
The barista’s smile spoke volumes, “Her name is Gabriella. Everyone calls her Gabby. She comes in here every morning to order a London fog. She’s a wonderful woman. Very nice and easy to get to know.”
“What’s a London fog?”
“It’s earl grey tea steamed into a latte. Very yummy. Would you like to buy her one? Go over there and say hello, perhaps?” The friendly barista suggested.
“Maybe another time, not today,” I said, embarrassed and off guard.
“Okay, but nothing like seizing the day. Carpe diem.”
I took a sip of my coffee. It was time to head back in to the office, to work. “I trust you’ll keep my crush, secret?”
The barista winked. “Yes, for now. But eventually, you have to go after what you want. Life is too short.”
I smiled at the barista. She’d been making me coffee for a year now. She’d paid attention. Been watching the observer. I had already tipped her at the register, but I felt compelled to leave another tip on the table.
I stood, gathering my coat and putting it on. “I trust this stays between you and I?”
She nodded knowingly. “Of course sir, I understand.”
Out into the crisp, rainy weather of Seattle I went. The last part of my therapy afternoon was the walk I would make to the steel and emerald-blue high-rise that my family owned. Allowing my thoughts to switch back to what the day required of me.
What life expected of me.
More responsibility than I’d ever really wanted, to begin with.