Click on the author's name to go to the blog where the rest of the story begun here resides:
I don't have to work Saturday or Sunday, which is a Godsend if there ever was one. I could use a little break, and a nap. Sunday though I got up earlier than I normally would on a day off so I could primp myself for church.
Kathleen Tighe Ball
Running around her apartment, trying to pack at the last minute, Randi Summers mentally went over her to do list. Filling in for her coworker Tammi didn’t bother her, it was the short notice that did.
Deck sat in the coffee shop across from the travel agency. The girl working the phones wasn't the main travel agent, only the agent's assistant. She knew too much to be a normal assistant though.
Esmerelda Rodriguez boarded the number 6 train at 110th Street. It was only four stops to 77th Street and her job at East of Manhattan Travel.
Victoria Crenshaw couldn't believe her ears. She stood so quickly she knocked her chair over.
"What do you mean, the artifact is missing?"
Click here for the first 9 chapters of Mint Chip
Clint moved the last of his boxes into Nina’s house. She helped him organize his clothes in the closet and drawers. When they were done, they sat down to coffee, neither spoke.“We’re closing in on the end of the play,” Clint said. “Good as we’ve only got three weeks left before you go back…”
“There isn’t much time. I have to finish before school starts again but us…about us after school starts…are you going back to the city?”
She shook her head.
“I usually spend half of September here.”
Before Clint could speak the phone rang.
“Just a minute, who’s calling, please,” he asked holding the landline to his ear.
He covered the mouthpiece with his large hand and whispered to Nina,
“It’s Janice…your travel agent?”
She nodded and took the phone from him.
“I’m calling to confirm your New England cruise in September…”
“Oh,” Nina said.
“The one you’re taking with Norman Fallon?”
“I see. Well, I’m not certain…”
“You have 30 days to cancel, Nina. Why don’t you think it over and call me back.”
“Sure. Will do,” Nina said and hung up the phone.
“Travel agent? Are you going somewhere you haven’t told me about?”
A slight flush crept up Nina’s cheek. She picked up her coffee mug and went out on the deck. Clint followed her.
“Well?” he asked, putting his hand on her upper arm.
“I forgot that I had planned a trip…a cruise, through New England.”
“Sounds like fun. Were you going alone?”
She shook her head and averted her gaze from his face.
“I made these plans long ago, before I even met you…”
“Now I don’t want to go…but I told Norman…I suppose I could cancel…”
“Don’t cancel on my account,” he said in a frosty tone, dropping his hand from her arm.
“Clint, please. This isn’t about us. It’s only a stupid plan I made…I can…I will cancel it,” she said, reaching for the phone.
Clint stopped her with his hand.
“If you want to travel with this guy, I can’t stop you.”
“You aren’t stopping me…I’m stopping me. I don’t want to travel with him, I want to be with you. I’ll call him right now.”
Clint sat back on the loveseat while Nina took the phone. She dialed Norman first.
“Norman, Nina, yes. You sound wonderful. Darling I have to cancel our plans for the Boston cruise,” she said.
Clint sat bolt upright.
“Why, baby?” Norman said.
“A play. A play’s come up.”
“I’m a muse…can you imagine, a muse at my age?” she laughed.
“Honey I can imagine more than that,” Norman said.
Nina’s cheeks reddened. Though she turned away from Clint he noticed.
“Darling the play is wonderful. Fabulous. I’m helping the playwright...not writing the actually writing the play…helping.”
“Sleeping with this guy?”
Nina’s cheeks got redder.
“The point is, he wants me to star in it. The part is perfect for me and I love it. I love the play, too. I want you to read it.”
“Fine. Have dinner with me and bring it along.”
“You'll read it?”
“Of course…a long dinner.”
“You’re not mad about the cruise?”
“Forget it. I can find a substitute.”
“Thanks a lot!”
“You’re the one bowing out, not me.”
“So you’ll bring the play when we have…uh…dinner?”
“Good. Wear that red dress, the low-cut one. I love that dress on you…and then on the floor,” he chuckled.
“Norman,” Nina protested.
“When will this Shakespearean masterpiece be ready?”
“In three weeks.”
“I’ve got my calendar out…that means dinner and…whatever on September 15. That’s the closest date I can make.”
“Wonderful, darling. Done. I’ll dinner on the fifteenth…and thank you, Norman,” Nina cooed before she hung up the phone.
When the phone hit the cradle, Clint’s face turned beet red.
“Darling? Darling?” He shouted.
“I’ve known Norman for ages, Clint.”
“So? Do you have to call him, darling?”
“You’re jealous! Calm yourself.”
“Why should I?”
“Because I’m taking your play to be read by Norman Fallon, the Broadway producer,” she said, sitting back in her armchair, a smug smile on her face.
“Norman Fallon? That was Norman Fallon?”
“You know him?”
“I used to be an actress, Clint. I know some people in the theater. I know Norman is going to love it. It’s a great play, sweetheart,” she said, rising from her chair and approaching him.
“How can I thank you, Nina?”
“Make sure I play the mother…and kiss me,” she said, sinking down on the loveseat next to him.
Clint pulled her to him for a passionate kiss. Nina wound her arms around his neck and moved closer to him. Clint buried his face in her neck, leaving small kisses up and down the sensitive column of her throat.
“You’re having dinner with him?”
“Um hmm,” she murmured, her eyes closed.
“You’re going to sleep with him?”
“Um hm,” she said, nodding.
Clint sat up and moved away from her.
“Are you going to sleep with him to get the play produced?
“Of course not. Not if I don’t have to.”
“Norman and I are…uh…old friends. We’ve been
“Norman and I are…uh…old friends. We’ve been
lovers on and off since Henry died.”
“Not anymore,” Clint stated.
“Of course not. I won’t have to. The play can stand on its own.”
“Damn right it can. I don’t want you sleeping with this guy, no matter who he is.”
“But just once…if…”
“You belong to me. And I don’t share,” he said, crushing her to him.
Nina sank into his embrace, reveling in his warmth the sweet scent of his skin and the clean smell of his freshly ironed shirt. She was exactly where she wanted to be. A deep contentment swept over her.
“Did I say something wrong?” He asked softly.
“Something just right,” she whispered back.
Clint closed his mouth down on hers in a possessive kiss. Nina responded fully, opening her lips to his tongue and melting against him. When they broke, she went to the kitchen to prepare lunch and another pot of coffee. Clint went to the computer and began to write, read the dialogue aloud and edit. Soon they were side by side at the long kitchen table writing, reading the lines, arguing and making changes. Time seemed to fly by as they progressed through the last scenes of Act II.
When the clock chimed ten, Nina yawned, stood up and took Clint’s hand.
“I have to work.”
“It’s our first night together in my house with you living here. Work can wait.”
He shot her a wicked grin and stood up, then followed her up the stairs. Once in the bedroom, Nina peeled off her shirt and shorts and turned on the small light on the nightstand. Clint had his shirt off when she went over to wind her arms around his waist.
“Welcome,” she said, kissing his chest.
He snapped open her bra, watched it fall to the floor and reached out with his foot to close the bedroom door.