I put that ad image up because it exemplifies to perfection why I just love Nell Newberry. The fact she has impulse control issues is my favorite thing about her. She’s a lot like me in that regard. Says whatever pops into her mind without thinking first. Love that! In this scene she’s just come to Charlie’s apartment for the first time for dinner.
He was waiting for me at his apartment door after I’d checked in with the doorman. A lifetime of watching my mother be a guest and hostess had instilled certain behaviors in me, not the least of which was to always bring along a gift whenever I was invited to someone’s home. I carried a bottle of white wine in one hand, a pastry box filled with cupcakes I’d stopped to buy in Penn Station in my other.
“You didn’t have to bring anything,” Charlie said after closing the door behind me. He took both items from my outstretched hands than bent to give me a quick kiss on the mouth, like an old friend would.
My pulse tripled when his lips met mine.
“I wanted to make sure we got a real dessert this time,” I said, deadpan.
I almost tripped in my flat shoes while standing in place when his fabulous lips curled upward and the corners of his eyes narrowed into two devilish slits.
“We, or you?” he asked.
I simply smiled.
With a shake of his head he turned and, over his shoulder, said, “Come on back”
His apartment was in one of the historical, 1940’s brick structures you see all the time displayed in architecture magazines. Ten-foot ceilings with windows that ran from floor to crown molding across entire walls, and spacious rooms that over looked the upper west side of Manhattan.
“You’ve got a great view of the Park,” I said as I passed what had to be the living room. From twenty stories up I could see clear across Central Park to the East side. The trees were lushly leaved and in full bloom, and the perfect early twilit sky shimmered across the horizon. “Beats my view of the Hudson River any day of the week.”
I made my way into the kitchen, where I stopped dead in my tracks.
The building may have been old, but Charlie’s kitchen was anything but. Light gunmetal in color, the fixtures and appliances were all steel, shiny, and sparkling clean. A center island with comfortable looking barstools underneath it held a platter of cut fruit and vegetables on a serving dish, tiny plates next to it.
“Are you expecting more people for dinner?” I asked.
From the refrigerator he turned and cocked his head, a quizzical look on his face. “No. It’s just us. Why?”
I pointed to the platter. “This is my fiber allotment for the month.”
Even though he hadn’t opened the wine yet, I got drunk on the sound of his laugh: full bodied, deep, and rich, it filled my senses and had my girlie bits pulsing like a Quartz timepiece.
“You know how it is with crudité.” His lopsided grin peeked through his beard. “One carrot can look like an entire bunch when it’s cut. The same for apples and peppers.” He moved to the range and stirred something in a saucepan that smelled like Heaven and made my taste buds stand at attention. Then, he placed the spoon down on the counter, lifted the wine bottle and an opener.
He had a dishtowel tucked into the waistband of his pants and a sudden flash of him naked, with just that little piece of cloth covering him from hipbones to the tops of his thighs blew across my mind. I was glad his concentration was centered on his task because my face heated to what had to be lobster red at the thought and I didn’t want to have to explain the reason for the blush.
Intrigued? Well, you can read the rest of the book here: IT’S A TRUST THING.
Until next time ~ Peg