For those of you who’ve read my new release The Choice. Running Late is a short story when Marcie and Dan met.
Marcie frowned as she hurried to stuff the last of the rosemary in a small plastic bag. Scribbling a price on a white, sticky tag, pasting it to the bag, and arranging it with the other herbs displayed on the small rectangular table at this Saturday’s Farmers Market, this early spring morning. She brushed her fingers lightly over the three dozen small bags of herbs that only filled half the table. She was late, she’d forgotten the peppermint, the lemongrass her homemade soap; her biggest sellers. “Well crap.” She closed her eyes for a second picturing the full dark blue Tupperware container, sitting beside the door. She cursed under her breath and shuffled around the sparse table. Her Granny would’ve made sure she’d brought everything. She was an organized woman, who’d protected Marcie, loved her, and raised her. But it’d been a little over a month since she’d buried her Granny, which sucked Marcie into her head, to relive her agonizing loss over and over.
Shivering, she yanked on her Granny’s light brown sweater, over her green cotton dress just as her handwritten sign was picked up by a sudden breeze. Her wooden sign was at home, most likely beside the box of herbs, all forgotten, as she’d raced late to the morning ferry that shuttled her from her Island home, Las Seta, to the mainland.
“Oh no, what else could possibly go wrong?” She darted after the hand written sign as it fluttered across the dirt path over to the lettuce lady who decorated her table with a bright red and orange tablecloth. That was just one more thing forgotten, her blue checkered tablecloth. “Stop it.” She swept back her long wavy hair that blew in her face. Could today get any worse?
So focused on that sign and her self-consuming frustration Marcie didn’t see the long, lanky legs step in front of her just as she bumped into the solid thigh with the top of her head. She landed on her bum in the dirt, and for a minute, she’d swear she saw stars.
“Are you okay?” He was in her face. She blinked. And he had the most spectacular hazel eyes. She felt her face heat as his dimpled smile widened over his perfectly straight white teeth. He was a magnificent looking man, just as she’d remembered. Dan McKenzie ran his hands over her shoulder and grasped her elbow, as he pulled her up. Oh crap was he tall. And looking up at him, she was sucked in by this nice wave of comfort. There was something so surreal about him that sent all those butterflies pounding in her stomach. And man he smelled good.
She brushed her hand over her swirly green dress, and looked down at her bare toes that popped out of her red flip-flops. She wanted to hide her dingy feet, as she looked around at all the other gorgeous women, with their painted, pedicured and manicured fingernails and toes.
“I’m good. I’m so sorry; I can’t believe what a klutz I am. I didn’t see you. I was ... oh my sign.” Her face was burning. She wanted to hide.
Dan looked behind him, and bent over so elegantly, picking up her paper sign stuck under the lettuce ladies table. He brushed the dirt smudged over the childlike handwriting. His fingers brushed her hand as he handed it back. And this time when he looked at her, she’d swear he could read her every thought. And for a second, it was almost a comfort not having to speak.
But then it happened again, her face heated, she knew damn well she was blushing. Every day she prayed she’d be able to shed this awkward stage of blushing at the drop of a hat.
Dan chuckled and glanced away, before giving her his entire focus. He stepped closer and touched her arm in such a kind tender way. “Marcie right?” This time when his caring eyes washed over her, they were filled with such gentle support as if he was preparing to be her knight in shining armor.
He always was a charmer; so nice. She’d remembered him from High School. They never hung out, but he was always the King of his people, but that was ten years ago. All the kids flocked to him. But even then, he was the life of a party. Everyone wanted him around. So did Marcie. She’d always worshipped him from afar, never fitting in to his circle.
“Yah.” Marcie turned to walk away.
“So I didn’t know you had a table here? What do you sell?”
He was following her. He seemed interested. He was so close she could feel his warmth. But how could he be interested in someone as unsophisticated and boring as her? She was nothing like the gorgeous blondes she’d always seen draped around him.
She scurried behind her table. Safe at last, now she could focus on her herbs. “I sell herbs, rosemary, oregano, sage, lavender. I’ve even bottled some essential oils. I’m sorry it’s so sparse today. I just wasn’t organized this morning, and I almost missed the ferry. And I forgot the peppermint, lemongrass... and I’m rambling. I’m sorry.” She didn’t know where the giggle came from. She covered her mouth, as Dan crossed his solid arms over his broad chest. His short reddish hair seemed to glow under the glistening sun. And this time she saw humor shine down from his mesmerizing eyes, not in a ridiculing way, but in a supportive captivating loving way.
“Well Miss Marcie. It was good to see you. I’ll be seeing you around I think.”
|Now Available ~ Book 2 of the Walk the Right Road Series ~ Lost and Found|