Getting back into the swing of things with my work in progress Climbing Heartbreak Hill. (If you’ve read Hauntings of the Heart, Minnie is the heroine from that story. This takes place about three years before.) Happy Reading!
Charles had settled on the futon with his feet on Leslie’s body pillow for an afternoon nap. He’d been doing it everyday after the lunch rush. Despite all his disparaging of the futon, he certainly made use of it. Not in the way he insinuated to Tara, but he’d logged more time there than Leslie had.
Tara closed the door to the break room to block Charles’ snoring and scurried back to her desk. She had twenty minutes to tackle the pile on her desk before he woke up and started demanding she run errands for his latest minuscule cravings. Weird cream cheese, chocolate covered raisins, and supermint breath fresheners. Each time he only wanted one thing and he always rolled a shiny new twenty off that stack of his. At least, he wasn’t trying to expense all that junk. He’d probably send her on another errand as soon as he woke up, but right now she had a stack of 1040s to enter into the computer system.
She opened the first file and tapped away at the keypad. Before she made it halfway through their income statements, the door jangled and Minnie blew in. The gust of wind thumped the door shut behind her. Tara winced, hoping the cacophony didn’t wake Charles from his beauty sleep.
Minnie smoothed her hair and plopped into the seat next to Tara’s desk, “How’s it going?”
Tara flipped the folder closed and punched the save keys on the computer, knowing her twenty minutes of free time were gone. “Not too bad. We’re staying on top of things.” It wasn’t completely false as long as she referred to herself in the royal we.
“I was just up to visit Leslie. She’s doing really well. May even be able to go home this afternoon.” Minnie pulled a compact out of her purse and checked her hair. “This wind did a number on my hairdo. I don’t know how they’ll ever get it straightened out for the pictures.”
“That’s great news about Leslie. I suppose she will still be on bed rest for the duration.”
“That’d be my guess too. Speaking of pictures—do you know where I can find a dunk tank?”
Tara had no idea how Minnie connected pictures to a dunk tank—although Flashdance popped into her mind. She hoped that wasn’t the connection Minnie was making. “Doesn’t the high school have one?”
“Thank you. I didn’t even think of that. I need to arrange one for the library charity event.”
“Isn’t that supposed to be a black tie event?”
Minnie looked at her like she’d just questioned the wisdom of putting peanut butter with jelly on a sandwich. Alrighty-then. It’d go well with the mechanical bull that Bubba’s Demolition was sponsoring. Leslie had sponsored the drinks, figuring that was an easy way to get people to add a zero or two to their checks.
“The dry cleaner wants to do a ‘Dunk a Hunk.’ They want the men in tuxes. Maybe they’re hoping for a two-fer and getting their suits too.” She screwed up her mouth as if contemplating the business sense of that. “I promised I’d help rope in some hunks. What’s this Charles look like?”
Tara wrinkled her nose.
“Oh well. Yvonne thought Ryan would do it.”
The picture of Ryan all wet that jumped into Tara’s mind was definitely not safe for work. Although the thoughts incited by the image of Ryan in a tuxedo probably weren’t either. Too bad whipping a baseball at him and knocking the woe is me out of him had almost as much appeal. She wasn’t going to let him feel sorry for himself and her fastball hurtling toward his head just might jog him out of his funk.
“Well, I better be off. We’re all due at the photographer at one. Have a good afternoon.” Minnie disappeared out the door as quickly as the wind blew her in.
Tara grabbed her files, refusing to contemplate the mystery that was Minnie when she had work to do.
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