11. How Was Last Night For You: Talise at the Farmer’s Market


Read Chapter 10 here.

Chapter 11: Talise at The Farmer’s Market

Nina was delighted to have John take her to the farmer’s market. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the popular market which provided farm-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods, as well as handmade speciality goods. A modest-sized warehouse with murals of oceanic scenes, was home for the market during the Winter months in Adare. In the late spring, the market moved outdoors so people could bask in the sunshine as they shopped.

The quick drive downtown, however, was silent. Nina was busy worrying about Rianne and her broken arm as well as her  confrontation with Talise. John was distant and brooding as he drove his Mercedes and parked a few blocks away from the market.

The aroma of fresh produce, sweet and inviting, met Nina as she walked into the crowded warehouse. The smell of fresh bread made both Nina and John inhale and smile at each other. Nina shoved her worries to the back of her mind. She immediately began talking to some of the merchants she knew, tugging John’s hands. Nina went to a few different tables she knew would be promising to find the best price for some vegetables. At different tables Nina bought an array of lush organic vegetables.

She was drawn to a table which sold spice blends called Cumin and See.  The company had spice mixtures, seasonings, and recipes for food. Nina purchased their special Caesar salad spice, a sweet cinnamony spice for apple cider, and a mixture of spices for a warm cheesy dip which would taste superb with crackers or chips. Nina wasn’t only buying for supper, she was thinking some down time would be a good idea soon.

Nina browsed along the tables where handcrafted jewelry was displayed. She gently held a fine 14k gold chain with a lustrous pearl and a tiny charm that read ‘beloved.’ John noticed Nina eyeing the necklace before she reached out and ran her finger over the pearl pendant and charm. John smiled at the cheerful merchant selling homemade jewelry at her booth and asked the lady how much for the necklace Nina was admiring.

” Oh don’t, it’s fine John. It’s $229.00 for this little chain. It’s not worth it.” Nina whispered to John.

“But you love it, right?” John said.”You’re worth it to me.”

Nina blushed at John’s praise and nodded her head. She did love the necklace,  it was classic. John ran his hand through Nina’s soft hair playfully before paying for the necklace with a swipe of his Visa. John carefully opened the fine necklace and clasped it around Nina’s neck. She loved the necklace and John’s gesture of buying her something. Nina adored that gesture a great deal.

“Thank you John,” Nina said sincerely, leaning up to kiss John on the lips.”Pay you back with some dessert sometime.” The kiss deepened and some people were openly gawking.

John smirked at Nina, aware he’d put on a show and held Nina’s hand as she went to a table that offered baked goods and bought an aromatic delicious apple pie for dinner. ” I love apple pie” John murmured to Nina, “Apple pie is more then enough in exchange for the necklace. Not that you had to get me anything.”They shared a warm companionable and heated gaze before Nina was distracted by more goods being sold.

Nina let go of John’s hand and went to browse among the tables of items.  She wasn’t often able to make it to the market in the winter time; work often meant overtime. Nina browsed aware John was worried some awful event might happen if they remained at the market long.

John had been looking at some homemade red wine, drinking a coffee when Nina last saw him. But when she turned around, John had disappeared into the crowd. Nina wasn’t too worried. John had his Samsung on him and she had her Iphone. The market wasn’t huge and it wouldn’t be impossible for Nina to find John in ten minutes or so while she shopped. Nina’s eyes immediately admired a baby pink scarf made of silk and light as air, hanging on rack of scarves beside a table.

A carefully manicured hand with sea green nail polish touched the delicate pink scarf and held it up so Nina could see how delicate and pretty the scarf was. Nina didn’t look up at the vendor because she was memorized by the way light hit the scarf. John could have bought her this scarf she thought, but she truly loved the gold necklace. She would purchase the scarf herself, Nina decided.

” Do you like it?” a girly voice asked Nina. Nina was to busy admiring the scarf, but then the voice said: “This would look wonderful on you Nina. It is exactly the right color of pink for your skin.” Nina knew the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Talise in a floaty silk blue blouse and leggings, behind the table.

“Oh” Nina said, “Talise, I didn’t know you had a booth here. Your scarves are gorgeous.” Talise smiled.

“It’s my friends booth. She’s the artist. I’m only filling in for her today. But she did tell me I could have any scarf of my choice. I would like for you to have my scarf. Take the light pink scarf Nina it suits you.” Nina was surprised, touched, and a suspicious of Talise’s gift. But she didn’t want to appear ungracious, even though she loved the pink scarf. She wrapped the silk perfection around her neck.

” That’s nice of you Talise. I didn’t think we were off to a friendly start at the fundraiser. You were judgemental of John and his past. How’s Malcolm?”

“Oh, he’s fine. He’s watching the Broncos play football,  while I do this. He loves sports. As for John, I’m only concerned about your safety with John, Nina. I don’t think he’s a reputable guy from my own experiences. For some reason, I always felt accidents and bad things occurred around John. Maybe, I’m only imagining these events, but I think you can do better than John.”

“It wasn’t your friend who John and his brothers laughed at when you said your friend loved  John, was it?  It was you?” Nina asked Talise in a flash of realization. Talise’s jewel green eyes shed a tear and then went blank.

“Yes, it was me,” she said. “I loved him and he talked about me behind my back. I wasn’t valuable to him. It was onto the next girl with John.”

Nina let her breath out nervously stroking the soft silk scarf Talise had given her. She felt wrong accepting the scarf now. Nina felt as if by wearing it she somehow agreed with Talise’s opinion of John now, that he was still a womanizer and a selfish man.

Nina felt she couldn’t give the scarf back to Talise, because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with her. She clutched the necklace John had bought her, hidden under the scarf. The necklace gave her hope and courage to defend John once again.

Please Read Chapter 12 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

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7. How Was Last Night for You: Screams


Read Chapter 6 here.

Chapter 7: Screams

Nina sat beside John at a table with some of his friends and clients while dinner was served. She had seen Rianne sitting beside Jasper at another table earlier but when she looked again she couldn’t find her anywhere.

Before dessert, Nina told John she needed to find Rianne. John whispered sweet nothings in her ear before she left him. Nina blushed feeling that magnetic pull she had with John. He made her feel fantastic inside and out. Wistfully, Nina left John to his conversations. She walked around the Country club searching for Rianne.

As she looked, Nina almost tripped over a shorter version of John who was half-drunk and holding onto a petite pretty black woman for balance. When he looked at Nina his eyes went big, “You must be Nina,” John told me about you.”But damn. He didn’t say how fine you looked.” He turned back to his date, “Not as pretty as you Carissa.” Then Jordan smiled at Nina and offered her his hand. “I’m Jordan the youngest Eric brother. I’m glad you came. John doesn’t often bring a woman around to work functions, especially with his issues.”

Nina bit her lip. “Well actually, I’ve only known him a little over a week. This is our third date.”

“Only third?” Jordan smiled and kissed Carissa’s cheek. “He needs to keep you. If you can put up with his untimely accidents and break his curse why not? He cares for you he says. He hasn’t cared for a woman since Tia. You never know you could make our lives normal again.” Jordan said barely conscious of Carissa who knew nothing of John’s problems.

“Good to know.” Nina said. Carissa hummed in agitation over Jordan.

“You better slow down Jordan. You look as if you’re going to pass out.” She used the back of her hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. She smiled at Nina and said, “We’re trying to find Jasper and the lovely tall girl he was with tonight but we can’t seem to find them.”

Nina laughed. “Yeah, Jasper is with my friend Rianne. I was looking for them too.”

Jordan laughed. “Well maybe Jasper is getting some if you know what I mean. You’ve got to date again sometime. . . or even be with a woman, in his case.”

Carissa laughed and shook her head. “I’m sure they’re fine Jordan. But let’s help Nina find her friend Rianne. ” Nina was touched.

The three of them walked back into the large venue where the fundraiser was occurring. The band was singing “American Pie” while Silent Auction items were up for bid. Nina spied box tickets to several sports teams in the area. There were priceless paintings and nights out with local celebrities. There were also Ski or Snowboard trips to Banff and Whistler. The crowning item was a luxury trip to Las Vegas staying in the Pent House at the Cosmopolitan. Nina kept searching for Rianne as she looked at the various items up for bid. She should probably go find John as well.

Nina ran into John talking with some women who were editors and writers for  one of Mergers top selling fashion magazinesJohn put his arm around Nina and kissed her hair. He introduced her to the two women and they started to tell her about their latest articles that had been published. The magazine was a women’s magazine and their topics were on the latest looks for Spring and a feminist article on the state of women in the twenty-first century. Nina was intrigued but she wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise.

Suddenly, Nina heard a woman scream and she felt sick to her stomach. Nina was sure it was Rianne screaming. It sounded like her.

John grasped her arm quickly and they made their way to the large patio doors along one wall of the venue. Nina found Jasper and Rianne on the grass beneath the patio. Jordan and Carissa had also found Jasper when Rianne screamed.

Rianne was sitting on the grass holding her arm close to her chest. Her arm looked badly broken. It was bent at a weird angle. Jasper was trying to get her to stand up on the grass but Rianne was in a lot of pain. She had fallen off the balcony — a result of John’s curse, Nina thought sadly. It wasn’t a long drop from the patio. But the fall was enough to break Rianne’s arm badly.

Nina took her high heels off and slipped off the balcony edge onto the grass.”Rianne, are you okay?”

“Fine, I just broke me arm. I haven’t broken anything in a long time Nina.” Rianne was gritting her teeth.

“Yeah last time was when you stopped playing Volleyball in University. I remember Rianne. Can you get up so we can take you to a Medicentre?” Rianne arose slowly holding her broken arm gently and taking Nina’s arm with her other hand. There were some stairs around the balcony and Nina helped Rianne up the stairs. Jasper anxiously looked on and grabbed onto Rianne’s uninjured arm when she had reached the top of the stairs. “Rianne needs to go to a Medicenter Jasper. Her arms broken,” Nina said. Jasper nodded looking at the odd angle of Rianne’s right arm with alarm.

“I’ll drive,” he said to Nina. “Is that okay with you Rianne?” Rianne smiled and whispered to Nina:

“Don’t come Nina.” She winked and moved her body carefully into Jaspers.

“But you’re hurt,” Nina said.

” I want to be alone with Jasper,” Rianne whispered to Nina and winked again.

“Oh, I see. You’re sure you’ll be fine?”

“Yes Nina.”

Nina followed the group as Jasper tucked Rianne inside his fancy red Mercedes. After, Nina took ahold of John’s hand. She looked into his bright eyes and said: “How are you doing with this. I’m feeling a little scared because my bestfriend just broke her arm. It looked bad.”  John shook his head.

“Of all the things that could have happened, this isn’t the worst. But it’s not the best either.” John said distractedly.

“She could have been being clutzy.” Nina said. “She’s broken bones before doing much worse things.” John considered what she said and shook his head. “You know it wasn’t only an accident. It was my curse. Bad things are happening more often when your around Nina.”

” I don’t understand why,” said Nina. “But Rianne’s with Jasper. She wanted be alone with him, she told me. Rianne is fine. Everything is okay.” John nodded at Nina trying to look more cheerful.

” So, do you like our fundraiser?” John asked changing the topic. “Did you bid on anything?”

“Haha” Nina laughed. ” I don’t have that kind of cash floating around to bid on most of those prizes.”

John smiled. “But I do. What do you want to bid on?” Nina tapped her finger against her lip.

” I think an NHL hockey game would be cool. Maybe a Canuck’s game. I saw they were playing Edmonton one night. I haven’t been to an NHL game since I was twelve-years-old.”

John grinned at her, ” Good choice. You a Canuck’s fan?”

“No, I’m an Edmonton fan actually. My Dad was around in the days Gretzky and Messier played and won all those Stanley cups.”

John grimaced. “Edmonton, really?”

“Yeah I know. They haven’t done anything since 2006.”

John patted her arm as if he felt her pain and they went to bid on the box seats for the Canuck’s game. John could have easily procured tickets for Nina and himself but he chose to bid a large sum of money instead. He wanted to give a sizeable donation to the charities this event was held for. Nina gasped at the number he wrote down on the bid sheet. John only smiled and pulled Nina close to him. He kissed her lips hungrily.

“Let’s go have dessert” John murmured against her lips. Nina smiled.

” I hope it’s chocolate.”

Please Read Chapter 8 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.