Charlie Ann was so excited, she couldn’t wait to tell her aunt about the garden shop. She drove back to the bed and breakfast, all the while thinking of things she wanted to do to the shop. Just as she closed her car door and was about turn toward the shop, Charlie Ann noticed Jasper sitting in the porch swing.
It had been a busy week for Charlie Ann. She had to learn everything about the shop quickly and was on the verge of information overload! She was caught in a whirlwind of ordering flowers, meeting vendors, legal documents and starting the renovations.
In a typical gesture, Aunt Shug threw a little dinner party the night before Charlie Ann moved into the apartment over the flower shop. Miss Caroline came over and, for some reason, Aunt Shug invited Rick Taylor and Thomas Shawcross, the two developers.
She moved away ever so slightly as she gained her composure from the shock and what she could only consider at this point forwardness of this man whom she hardly knew. Having no intention of rectifying that situation, she looked him coolly in the eye and cooed, “Oh, that would be much too much to pay for these mixed up thoughts of mine!
Charlie Ann’s hands trembled. She and Bennett filled most of the picture, laughing happily as they flung each other around in their extrovert wedding dance. Dollar bills of every denomination could be seen stuffed up her sleeves, peeping from her cleavage, sticking out of Bennett’s waistband and falling from his pockets. Oh, my! She had been so happy that night, and so was he. How had things gone so wrong between them?
Charlie Ann breathed in sharply. She hadn’t expected she’d have to talk to Bennett herself.
“Let him go!”
Charlie Ann straightened her tousled hair and picked up her cell phone, having finally come to a decision. Aunt Shug wouldn’t like it.
Let’s freeze it right here for a moment. You know, it just occurred to me that I hadn’t properly introduced myself to you. My name is Norman. I’m Charlie Ann’s guardian angel.
Charlie Ann stuffed the money in her pocket and ran out back.
“In spite of what you think, Charlie Ann, I was very close to your aunt – almost family, in fact – but I don’t suppose you believe me.”
Charlie Ann was devastated by the revelation that she shared blood with the smug Artie. Instantly, she was overcome with a strange feeling. Nausea? Dizziness? Anxiety? Perhaps a combination of each.
Screeching to a stop, Selwyn Moss glanced over his shoulder in time to catch the annoyed gaze from the driver in the next lane. He snapped his head forward, attempting to avoid eye contact with the man.