Every once in a while, one of my flash fiction stories just seems to need a little more, so I hope you will enjoy the second part of Love and Chocolate.
Photo by Thalia Ruiz on Unsplash
Love and Chocolate Part 2
Sonnet’s cell phone rang as she slid into the driver’s seat of her car. She didn’t recognize the number and decided to let it go to voice mail. She buckled her seat belt, then started the engine just as her phone rang again – same number. She tapped to answer. “Hello?”
“Sonnet. This is Armand, from The Everything Chocolate Café and Bakery.”
“Oh, yes. Armand, hi.”
“Hi. We are going to have live music this Friday night at the café/bakery. A female duo, one plays cello and one plays the flute and the violin. They’re mostly instrumental, but also sing a few songs. They call themselves ‘Class Act’. They’ll be performing from seven to nine. I get off at eight and thought I could join you for the last hour.”
Sonnet smiled. “That sounds great. I’ll see you Friday.”
She hung up the phone, still smiling. She pictured Armand in her mind – his chocolate brown work t-shirt revealing his firm pectoral muscles, his biceps straining the sleeve openings, wavy hair the color of caramel, and those slate-gray eyes. She sighed and shoved her phone into her purse, then pulled her car out of its space, and headed for the parking garage exit.
Friday, Sonnet, distracted at work, watched the clock, waiting for quitting time. At three o’clock, Marcy, her secretary, buzzed over the intercom. “Ms. Warren, Brindenburg’s mayor is on line one.”
The mayor? Sonnet lifted the receiver, held it to her ear, and hit the button for line one. “Good afternoon, Mayor. What can I do for you?”
“I know this is short notice as Christmas is just over two months away, but Brindenburg’s Christmas sales were down last year. I would like you to plan a couple events that will bring in some tourists and boost our shops’ sales.”
“I’m sure I can come up with some ideas. Let me brainstorm with my assistant, and I’ll get back to you Monday. Does that work for you?”
“That will be fine. Thank you.”
Sonnet grabbed a pen and tablet and rushed over to Chad’s office. She told him about the phone call and they began sharing ideas, Sonnet writing down the best ones.
She didn’t notice when five o’clock arrived, but glanced at the clock at five fifteen. “Oh, I’ve gotta run. Let’s meet early Monday – seven a.m.? That will give us an hour or two to come up with more before I call the mayor.”
A short time later, Sonnet walked into The Everything Chocolate Café and Bakery. She stepped to the counter.
Armand looked up and smiled. “Good evening, Sonnet. What can I get for you?”
“I’d like a white hot chocolate, please.”
“You got it. I’ll bring it to your table in just a couple minutes.”
Sonnet sat at a table for two along the wall where she had a good view of Class Act setting up their equipment.
Armand brought her cup of hot chocolate and a plate with a cupcake on it. He placed both in front of her.
She looked up at him. “I didn’t order a cupcake.”
“I know. It’s a bittersweet chocolate cupcake with cherry fruit filling and white chocolate frosting.” He winked at her.
“You are going to spoil me.”
“That’s part of my plan.” He grinned. “I’ll join you soon.”
She smiled as she watched him walk back behind the counter. She savored the cupcake, one bite at a time, and sipped her white hot chocolate while enjoying Class Act’s music. Soon Armand moved the other chair beside her, giving him a better view of Class Act, as they stopped for a ten minute break.
“So, how was the cupcake?”
“It was delicious, and so is this white hot chocolate.”
“I’m glad you liked them. How did you get the name Sonnet?”
“My mother loves Shakespeare, especially his sonnets, and she and dad wanted an unusual and artsy name for me.”
“I see. I like it. It’s very unique, and it fits you well.” He smiled.
“Would you like to know my full name?”
“Sonnet Monet Warren. My father is a painter, and Monet is his favorite watercolor painter.”
Sonnet quirked an eyebrow at him. “Wow, what?”
“Wow, what a great name. Just like I said before, a beautiful name for a beautiful lady.”
Sonnet’s cheeks grew warm and she covered them with her hands, hoping Armand wouldn’t see her blush.
Class Act returned and resumed their performance, so their conversation stopped. About halfway through this set, Armand reached over and took Sonnet’s hand in his. She liked the way her hand fit in his and how he held hers in a firm but gentle grip. A couple times he caressed the back of her hand with his thumb.
When the performance ended, Armand locked eyes with Sonnet. “I don’t have to work tomorrow. How would you like to visit our arts district with me?”
“I’d love to.”
He smiled, they rose, and he walked her to her car. “May I pick you up at ten in the morning?”
She turned to face him, her back to her car. “That would be fine. I’m four blocks down, left on Duncan Street, number 312. The front of the house is yellow with sky blue shutters.”
They stood looking at each other a moment, and just as the silence between them started to become uncomfortable, Armand leaned toward her and lowered his head. He pressed his lips to hers and gave her a soft, brief kiss. As he began to pull back, she leaned toward him, reached up and, with a gentle pull, brought his head down so that their lips met again. This time the kiss lingered, lips pressing more firmly before parting.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” she spoke in a near whisper.
“I look forward to it.” He reached and opened the car door for her.
As she drove away, she kept her eyes on him, in her rearview mirror, until he faded into the darkness.