The alarm sounds promptly at 8:00am. I hit the snooze button. My eyes popped open, that is not part of my normal routine, I never hit the snooze. Nor is the unbelievably gorgeous man staring at me from the pillow next to mine part of my normal routine. So going to be running late to the shop again today.
“ Now this is the way to wake up in the morning, Sophie.” Pete says as he rains kisses along my jaw and down my throat.
“Ah yes I could not agree with you more.” I answer as I kiss his forehead.
He pulls me close as we roll to our sides limbs intertwined. He looks down at me. “I know the real world has to start soon just two more minutes of bliss with my lady is all I ask.” Pete says as he kisses me tenderly. We get about thirty seconds before his cell starts to ring. Pete rolls his eyes as he hops from the bed and digs through his clothes that lay forgotten on the floor for his phone.
“Detective Shaw.” He answers his phone. I get the great pleasure of watching one of the best naked butts I have ever seen as officer Shaw makes his way, with yesterdays clothes and phone in hand to the bathroom in the hall.
Once the door to the bathroom closes behind him I make a dash to my bathroom. I look a hot mess, but well loved hot mess. I smile at my reflexion in the mirror as I turn to the shower. Quick shower in and out in under five minutes and I am wrapped in a towel heading to my room closet.
I am standing in the middle of my room closet when Pete walks in still wet from his shower towel secured at his hips. What a very distracting sight he is.
“You Mr. towel man just keep your distance. I have to get the shop opened on time and I cannot have any towel clad cops distracting me.” I say as I quickly close the distance myself.
“Excuse me, but who is approaching who?” Pete says as he kisses my nose, and gives my towel a tug causing it to start to slip south..
Fifteen minutes later as I lay on the floor of my closet my head on the chest that just about 24 hours ago seemed so inviting. I realize oh yeah I am going to be late again, but this time, it is going to be so worth it.
Later we leave for our perspective days. He gets to go enjoy his day off, and I need to get to work without a ticket. There is no awkwardness between us. No is he going to call. I feel a connection to Pete, like I have found the other half of me. My future.
I arrive at the shop without incident, yeah me. I take care of the alarm and go through all the chores needed to open for business and prepare for the day. My morning is very busy which is normal for a Saturday in spring. People are shopping for last winter steals and picking up cheery sun dresses and summer wear hoping for sun. Good luck with that I think to myself. In April in Oregon they can hope all they want but the fact is, it is going to rain, a lot.
Before I know it, the door buzzer sounds and in walks Lindsey. Dressed in a mystical looking skirt and peasant style blouse, a silk scarf wrapped round her hair holding it away from her face. Combat boots complete the look. She looks like she should be in the back of a gypsy wagon with a crystal ball not in my dress shop. Yet for some reason the look works for her. She smiles and nods to customers as she walks across the shop, with a look of determination in her eyes. Lindsey walks round the counter stores her personal belongings behind the counter, sets her Starbucks on the counter and turns her full attention to me. Uhhh ohhh.
“Details, I need details every sigh, every look, leave nothing out.” She flops into the chair and stares at me expecting full disclosure.
“What? We went to dinner, nice conversation. He brought me home, end of story.” I smile turn a heavenly pink and look away.
“ Ohhh hell no. I have been waiting for ...” She seems to ponder something, “some time, for you to have a date. You are giving up better girl talk then that.”
“Well, He took me to Joe’s Crab Shack, great conversation through dinner, his family is from Chicago. I think that bout wraps it up.”
“Sophie that was like listening to the evening news, not at all what I need. I want the good stuff, and details.”
Thank goodness for shoppers. Right then a customer approaches the counter looking for a scarf to compliment her new blouse and I have to go assist her. I am busy with the lady when the buzzer sounds announcing the entrance of another customer, or not! He is over 6 feet tall and has these incredible green eyes, he is scanning the shop. Dressed in a suit and tie Pete looks like anything but a cop, a GQ model perhaps but definitely not a detective. I glance over to the counter and watch Lindsey light up like fireworks on the fourth. She knows I cannot leave my customer, so she has the advantage and she steps from behind the counter and approaches the smokin’ new customer.
“ Good afternoon sir, are you looking for anything in particular?” Lindsey says.
“Oh no miss I am waiting for Sophie. I need to speak to her for a second.”
“I am Lindsey, her assistant, is there anything I can help you with?” She gives Pete one of her best smiles, perhaps including some eyelash batting.
“No thanks Lindsey, it is a personal matter.” Pete smiles politely at Lindsey. I watch as she blushes like a junior high school girl. I laugh quietly to myself.
My customer decides on a scarf and I return to the counter where Lindsey and Pete are standing. I finish with my sale and turn to Pete as the customer makes her way to the front door, noticing Pete she glances back to check out the goods from behind, oh yeah they are some mighty nice goods.
“Good morning.” I say to Pete. “Lindsey Porter, meet Pete Shaw.” I watch Lindsey for a reaction.
“You’re Pete!. Oh my god, really? Sophie mentioned her ticket yesterday and I saw the flowers but, I, well, I um, did not think you could possibly be a cop you dress too well.” Lindsey is tongue tied, I do believe for the first time in her life.
Pete steps over to me and kisses me lightly. He looks to Lindsey. “Nice to meet you.” He looks back at me. “Do you have time for some coffee?”
I smiled at him. “”Lindsey would you mind watching the shop for a few minutes?” He smiles at Lindsey.
“No not at all you two kids take your time. I got your back Sophie.” Lindsey says as I grab my purse and head to the front door with Pete.
“Thanks Lindsey. I will bring you back your regular if you want?” I say over my shoulder as I cross the shop.
“Oh you know I want, I will be finished with my first one by the time you get back.” Lindsey answers. I smile back at her as Pete holds the door for me. Lindsey has two thumbs up for me and a goofy smile.
“There is a coffee shop just down the block.” I tell Pete. He takes my hand and we hold hands as we walk the short distance to the coffee shop. In Portland you cannot throw a rock without hitting a food cart or a coffee shop. It is one of the things that makes the city so awesome.
We order our coffee’s and take a seat at a table by the window. We are looking out on the Pearl district foot traffic as people with dogs, bicyclists, strollers, and Saturday shoppers all compete for space in the busy NW neighborhood.
“So what’s with the suit? I thought you were enjoying your day off?”
“That was the plan, but you see criminals they don’t care about my days off.
Pete takes a sip of his drink. He is looking at me seriously now. ““I actually do have something to talk to you about that is important. I don’t want you to be alarmed but you could be involved in a case I am working. In an official capacity. You fit our profile as a potential victim.” I look at him quizzically. “Its your car.”
“My car? What about it?”
“Well its on a high risk list. There has been a sharp increase in violent car- jackings in Portland. The car-jackers are actually targeting high performance rare, and classic cars. Your car fits the profile of car they would be interested in. We have formed a strike force that are working the cases, but so far we are just one step behind them. The crimes all have the same MO. We are pretty certain someone from out of town is calling the shots. I just want you to be aware. Keep your doors locked. Keep your car garaged. Just keep a low profile.”
“Pete, you have seen Flicka. Nothing about her is low profile.”
The one eyebrow goes up as he looks across the table. “Flicka?”
“Yes. Flicka. She is a wild Mustang, that cannot be broken, only tamed by the one she loves, and the name of my car. You ran my plates yesterday, remember?”
“I was distracted, I hardly even notice your plates.” Not a lie but she does not need to know I thought she was a nut. “ Anyways not many cars are going to attract attention the way... Flicka does. Especially when you are in it.” He smiles at me and takes my hand. He brings it to his lips and kisses it lightly. “I do not want you to be scared. I just want you to be aware of where you are.”
“ I am scared. Flicka she is my baby. I would hate to go to jail for beating the crap out of someone for trying to steal her.” I smile at him. I am shaken by the news but I figure the odds of the car-jackers getting me were not very good. I am not out cruising around in my car. It is back and forth to work and that is about it.
Pete shakes his head. He glances out the window at the crowds going by. Then refocuses his attention on me. “I should have expected something like that from you. I do believe you would be a formidable opponent in a good old fashioned wrestling match.” He wiggles his eye brows at me effectively breaking the serious mood. We enjoy small talk as we finish our coffees. I return to the counter and order Lindsey’s coffee to go.
Pete walks me back to the shop. “Tomorrow morning do you work?”
“Nope Lindsey covers the shop for me it is my one day off.”
“I am off too, so long as the criminals behave. We are going to do something out of the ordinary. Prepare yourself.” He gives me a quick kiss good bye as his phone rings and he is off.
I head back into the shop. Lindsey is with a customer when I return so I drop her coffee behind the counter and head back to the store room and my cubby office. I spend the next hour returning emails, ordering products online, and attempting to clear my desk of paperwork. I am looking through an online purchasing catalog when Lindsey makes her way back to the office.
I look up and laugh. Lindsey has the most ridiculous look on her face.
“What is that look for?”
“This is my what the hell look. My holy crap look. It is my wow look.”
“Okay I think I get the picture, what are you having a fit about?”
“Pete is one very, very um... nice looking man. You so did not elaborate appropriately on your description. He is beautiful.”
I smile at Lindsey. “Yes. Yes he is. I am a very lucky girl. See crime does pay.”
Lindsey looks at me and laughs. “Good one. If you had not been speeding, breaking the law, you never would of met him.”
“Exactly. Now come over here and look at these collections we need to start planning for fall, what do you think will be all the rage?”
Lindsey and I spend the next two hours between helping customers and planning the fall line for the shop. Before either of us realize it is seven O’clock and time to close and head home for the day.
We gather our things, close the shop down and walk out together to our cars. As we drive off neither of us notice the man once again hidden in the shadows watching us as we leave. The man ignores Lindsey’s Subaru Outback. However, he never takes his eyes off my Flicka.
I am starving as I enter the house. I head to the kitchen. Linus meets me near the refrigerator. He is ready for dinner too. He is winding his way in and out of my legs meowing madly his distress at the level of kibble in his dish. His bowl is never empty, god forbid. Linus has his food to his imaginary line in the dish or there is hell to pay. I take care of Linus before I make another move.
Dinner tonight for me is a Healthy Choice microwave meal, a far cry from the Crab Shack. I am drinking a diet Pepsi and watching some show on the existence of Aliens when my phone rings. It is Pete.
“What do you say to a drive to the beach tomorrow. Maybe we could go to Cannon Beach do some window shopping and have some lunch?”
“ That sounds fantastic, I am in. What time do you want to go?”
“Ten O’clock too early for you?”
“Not at all. You want to take Flicka? You need to learn to appreciate my baby.”
“Yes lets do it. I always wanted to drive a Mustang.” Sarcasm is dripping from Pete’s voice.
“Who said anything about you driving my girl? You own a Chevy, she probably will not even start with you in the driver’s seat”
“You are such a Ford chick.”
“Yes. Yes I am.”
Pete and I talk for about a half an hour about nothing in particular. His favorite color is green his birthday is in March, just missed it. He does not have any pets. My favorite color is blue and my birthday is in January. I tell him about Linus’s obsession with his food dish. He tells me about Reid Davis and his wife’s battle with cancer. About ten thirty we hang up and I pick up the house and head up to bed. Tomorrow is destined to be yet another step towards having great things to post on Facebook, perhaps even a picture too.