8. How Was Last Night For You: A Strange Woman


Read chapter 7 here.

Chapter 8: The Stranger and a Fire.

Nina sat beside John as representatives from both Habitat for Humanity and the Children’s Reading program from Mergers, both gave speeches thanking the company and it’s CEO’s  (Jasper, John, and Jordan) for holding this fundraiser. The crowd was assured the money raised by the Silent Auction and ticket sales, would be put to good use.

Dessert was a lavish affair. Tables were set up with tartes, cakes, pies, squares, cookies, and fruit. Many of the cakes and squares were chocolate. Nina looked from the Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes to the German Chocolate Cake. She wasn’t sure which dessert should join the fruit on her plate. She asked John’s opinion.

John patted her back and said to her: ” You have as much dessert as you like. Splurge and have both desserts if you want. Tonight doesn’t count.” Nina looked at John dubiously and shook her head.

“You’re not good for my waistline John.” He patted her tummy fondly in response.

“Okay, tonight and only tonight — I am going to have a Chocolate Ganache Cupcake and German Chocolate Cake. I wish the pieces were smaller.” Nina muttered and filled her plate. John filled his plate with a few desserts and they went back to their table.

While John was in a discussion with a Board Member about one of the well known authors Mergers worked with, Nina devoured her fruit and both chocolate desserts. She felt full afterwards. Then Nina felt guilty because Rianne was at the Medicenter having her broken arm x-rayed, while Nina could eat all the chocolate she dreamed of. At least Rianne was with Jasper.

Nina wondered if anything permanent would happen with Jasper and Rianne. Rianne found few men who could appreciate her drive to have her  company someday. Jasper also had two little boys. Rianne had never wanted kids. She had grown up an only child and didn’t mind being alone. Nina had seen pictures of Jasper’s sons though and they were  adorable.

Nina blinked and looked up to see John staring at her. “You ate all the chocolate?” John said. “I didn’t even get one bite.”

“You had your own,” Nina told John. “My relationship with chocolate is separate from you and I.”

John smiled,”I’ll try to remember that,” he said and wiped a bit of chocolate off her cheek then he grimaced. “Nina” he said quietly, “you’ve got some chocolate icing on your dress.” Nina frowned as John pointed to the icing on the middle of her chest.

“Damn, it’s a new dress too. I better go to the washroom and see if I can clean some of the chocolate out and make it less noticeable.”

John grinned widely.” It makes me notice a very noticeable place. I don’t mind having my eyes drawn there.” Nina looked at him aghast.

“It looks horrible! I hope it comes out.”

” You are beautiful Nina. Despite everything I’ve told you and that has happened, you’re here with me tonight. You even got my brother Jasper interested in a woman again. Rianne’s a first since his wife died. You’re amazing.”

Nina smiled and catching John’s hand before she left, went to remove the chocolate stain off her dress. She was falling for John hard and fast. It was no wonder so many women had slept with him if this is how he treated them when they were together. But maybe, Nina was special to John and he was her John, just as he had called her his Nina.

Dubiously, Nina looked at her dress. Maybe a bit of soap and water would help her. She would try a wet wipe first.

In the Lady’s washroom were charming details of eighteenth-century decor. Nina headed for the twenty-first century sinks and ran straight into a young woman with funky jade coloured glasses’ frames.

The young woman was taller than Nina but had the same white blond hair. The  young woman’s hair was wavy. Big jewel green eyes stared back at Nina from a pretty face. The young woman cleared her throat and waited for Nina to move out of her way. Nina looked at the young woman again. She couldn’t recall if she’d seen her before but she seemed a bit familiar. The young woman had money it was clear. She was dressed in a silky blue-green ombré dress which swept the floor. Definitely a couture piece.

“I’m so sorry.” Nina said moving out the woman’s way, “I got chocolate on my dress and I’m trying to get it off before anyone else notices the big stain on my chest.”

The woman smiled. Her voice was youthful and melodic. “Oh it’s no problem, hon. I’ve had my share of beauty mishaps too. Try not to make the stain any bigger or it will really show up. Such a shame your dress looks fab on you. I hope it doesn’t stain for good, you’ll have to dry clean it tomorrow.”

Nina removed a wet wipe from her purse and began to work the chocolate stain from her hot pink dress. “Yeah, I will have to dry clean it for sure. This icing must have been loaded with cocoa it’s not coming out well. Oh, and thanks for the compliment I love your dress, especially the ombré.”

The woman smiled girlishly.” Everyone says I look good in this colour. Malcolm my boyfriend says I look hot and sophisticated.”

“You can’t be more then twenty-five. I should think.” Nina said making the woman laugh.

“I’m twenty-three-years old, although people often think I’m older. I must look wise. Would you like me to help you get that stain out?”

Nina who was bent over the sink smiled. “That would be awesome. Nothing I do seems to work.” The young woman rubbed at the stain and murmured something under her breath. Nina looked down and the chocolate stain was gone.”How did you do that?”

The woman smiled. “It’s my secret. My Grandmother taught me how to battle laundry stains. Let’s say with a little magic anything can be done.”

Nina thought what the young woman said was terribly funny considering John’s situation. She was half ready to get the woman to use her magic to reverse John’s curse.

Nina and the woman left the washroom together. Nina put a hand out when the young woman started to walk away, “Do I know you from somewhere? Do you work for a company that deals with Wilus Accounting or are you in Marketing? Maybe you know the guy I’m seeing, John Eric. He’s a CEO of Mergers.” The young woman’s face went pale.

Please Read Chapter 9 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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.