“Don’t buy anything,” Elly warned. She had already cautioned her grandmother against purchasing from the other sellers and reminded her that the purpose of all their work was to clear out unnecessary stuff, not bring home more. Granny just smiled and waved as she headed off in the direction of yet another overloaded table. Elly hoped she didn’t spy any teapots. Her collection had already taken over an entire bookcase, with the porcelain and china containers lined up three deep on the shelves.
“Hi.” A deep voice shook Elly out of her musings. “You must be Mrs. Macauley’s granddaughter.”
Elly looked up—and up some more—to see a tall, brown-haired man approaching the table. His shoulders filled out a faded chambray shirt in a way that promised firm muscles underneath. He had his hand extended, and his even white teeth flashed a friendly smile.
Elly stared, remembering the sweet-as-molasses voice and the buff body.
“Uh, hi. Yes, I am.” She extended her hand and shook his. The rough texture of his fingers told of hard work, yet when she looked down, she saw clean fingernails. A Band-Aid encircled his thumb.
“I’m Derek White. I take care of the grounds around here.” He motioned to the landscaped garden outside the center’s front windows. “And your name is …?”
“Oh, sorry. I’m Elly. I’m helping my grandma today.”
The man looked as good as she’d remembered. Tall, dark, and handsome with a delicious Southern drawl—a modern day Rhett Butler.
“Well, I’m pleased to finally meet you. Your grandmother has told me a lot about you.” He paused and resettled a Dallas Cowboys cap on his head.
Uh-oh.Elly could just imagine what Granny had said to the man.
So our hero and heroine have officially met. Next week we’ll continue with the story.