“So, tell me about yourself,” she said as they rounded a corner and the Bourbon House came into view. “What do you do for a living?”
“I sell vacuums.” He led her onto the covered porch of the bar.
“Vacuums?” Sam raised an eyebrow at him as she took a seat in the chair he pulled out for her.
“Well, not really vacuums, just those small belts that turn the duster bar.” His eyes sparkled, and the merriment in them contrasted with his matter-of-fact tone.
“What’s your name?”
“Ilia.” A frown followed his admission as if he hadn’t meant to actually tell her his name. He studied her closely then as if trying to puzzle something out.
“And do you have a surname, Ilia?”
“Don’t we all? You still haven’t told me your name.”
Evasiveness. Great, you are probably on a date with a serial killer. Wait, is this a date?
“Sam.” She extended a hand to him in mock formality. “My name is Samantha, but all the lazy people call me Sam.”
“Well, Samantha,” He took her outstretched hand, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” And with that, he bent down and placed a gentle kiss on the back of her hand before releasing it.
Butterflies swarmed up, through her stomach, fanning her heartbeat into a fever pitch.
Oh for goodness sake, it was just a peck on the hand, don’t lose your composure. He’s clearly hiding something from you. You should take that as a cue to get out of here.
“I hope you will pardon me, I need to use the restroom.” Sam tried not to blush at the admission.
Standing abruptly, she knocked a glass of water, sending it careening toward Ilia. It splashed across his chest even as he leaped backward in an attempt to avoid the cold liquid.
“Oh my gosh.” Sam grabbed a napkin and began dabbing the wet blotch across his chest. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, I’m good.” Laughter edged his smooth voice, adding a bit of grit to the deeper syllables. “I’m soaking from the rain anyway. You go ahead and use the restroom. I’ll get the rest of this mess cleaned up.”
Sam nodded and dashed into the converted Victorian house, making her way through the bar to find the bathrooms in the back. In the dim light of the girl’s bathroom, she carefully pulled the wallet she had taken from Ilia’s coat and set it on the counter with a shaky hand. Once, a while back, she had read an intriguing book in which a feisty female protagonist had learned to pickpocket to survive on the streets. Impulsively, Sam had decided that pickpocketing was a skill she needed and had set to work learning the craft. Why she would ever need to pickpocket someone was not clear, but it was imperative that she know how, just in case.
Normal women take up scrapbooking or knitting, not pickpocketing.
“But it came in handy,” she declared to the girl in the mirror. “Scrapbooking definitely would not have helped me here.”
I fail to see how this helped. You stole a complete stranger’s wallet, a stranger you are pretty sure is hiding something. You should just leave.
Sam reached out and flipped open the wallet. Ilia’s square face and prominent nose stared back at her, but the name on the driver’s license said Leiv Novikov.
Great, now what are you going to do?
I was challenged by a friend to write a story about a dull woman who becomes interesting. I hope you enjoyed the fruits of this challenge. I will continue adding to this story until it is complete.