Day 19. Desperate Measures

Day 19: Write a story that includes: a gingerbread house, a stolen key, and a surprising phone message.

Borrowed from the Cottage Market
Borrowed from the Cottage Market

The bell on the door chimed as it opened. In walked a tall mocha flavoured woman in her early thirties dressed in a form-fitting grey skirt suit with a white blouse and nude pumps; her hair Au-natural and held back in a headband. As she strut into the bakery, Jonathon glanced up from his frosting and lost track of his pattern, botching the icing on the cake he was decorating. He gazed up at the attractive business woman walking purposefully into his shop.

“Hi,” the woman said smiling at Jonathon.

“Ah . . . Hi, are you lost?” Jonathon asked assuming this lovely young lady must be in the wrong place and just needed directions.

“No. I know where I am, this is Mary Brown’s Bakery. I’ve heard a lot about this place. What do you have for tasting?” The young lady asked enthusiastically leaning against the counter. Shit, he thought.

“I’m sorry, what we have available right now is what’s in the showcase, pastries.” Jonathon began rocking between his feet nervously. This woman is serious, he thought. He wondered if he should go get Johanna to deal with her when she leaned forward to peer into the showcase. He scratched his beard as he admired the view.

“Ah, excuse me?” He said grabbing her attention. She stood up and came to the counter in front of him. “Hi, how are you? My name is Jonathon.” He leaned onto the counter and found his face a foot away from hers and since she was short, even in heels, he stared down into her big brown eyes. “I . . . own this bakery, with my sister of course. What can I do for you?” He smiled seductively.

“Jonathon?” Johanna exclaimed as she stood in the doorway from the kitchen to store front with a boxed cake in her hand and a gaping mouth. “I never!” She shook her head as Jonathon straightened up and backed off the counter.

“Johanna, my sister,” he raised his hand toward Johanna as she placed the box on the counter next to him. “I’m sorry, you are?” He asked the woman.

“I’m Elizabeth -”

“Elizabeth” Jonathon breathed eyeing her intently.

She smiled sideways at Jonathon as she turned to Johanna. “I’m from Smith Eeze Publishing. We’re having an event in a couple of days and we want a specialty cake. Something I haven’t been able to find, and I’m hoping you guys can do it.” She looked expectantly between the two.

“What kind of cake is it?” Johanna asked.

Elizabeth opened her mouth to start but hesitated. “A gingerbread house?” She shrugged at the two.

“So-” Johanna started.

“Shh Jo, I got this. So . . . Elizabeth, ah . . . ” He leaned onto the counter and Johanna pinched him in the ribs. “Ow, woman.” He hissed at his sister.

“Ok, how big and when would you want it?” Johanna asked Elizabeth.

“Nice!” She clapped her hands excitedly. “The event is the 30th so that gives you a week. As for how big,” she pulled a folded paper from her jacket pocket and unfolded it on the counter. “That’s our new publishing house, we want an exact replica of it.” She frowned.

Johanna examined the picture and showed Jonathon who was still daydreaming about Elizabeth.

They discussed the finer details of the order with much flirtation from Jonathon. Elizabeth left her contact info with Johanna and bid them farewell.

“Wow.” Jonathon exhaled as Elizabeth left the store.

“What is wrong with you?” Johanna asked. “She is a client.”

“So?” He shrugged returning to the frosting of his cake.

“So, he says.” Johanna said rolling her eyes at him.

The following week, Johanna and Jonathon built the gingerbread house and prepared it for delivery on the 30th.

Jonathon paid special attention to his appearance that day eager for his second encounter with the lovely Elizabeth. Johanna could do nothing but shake her head at her love-struck brother.

When they arrived at the Publishing House, they were both taken back by the extravagant detail in the events’ decorations. This will be the party of the year, Johanna thought. They went up to the front door and rang the door bell. A tall muscular man in the familiar secret-service suit, black suit and tie, opened the door.

“Mary Brown’s Bakery” Johanna identified them to the gentleman.

“Come this way.” He nodded and the two followed. He led them through the office’s interior and into the kitchen where Elizabeth was instructing several serving girls. She was dressed in a black strapless dress, her hair in a high ballerina’s bun. Johanna glanced sideways at Jonathan and watched as he panted at the sight of Elizabeth.

“Oh hi guys. Thank you so much again for this.” Elizabeth said as she turned from the girls and addressed them both.

“You look beautiful.” Jonathon breathed making Elizabeth blush.

“Here it is.” Johanna placed the cake on the kitchen counter and opened the box for Elizabeth to examine.

“Oh this is amazing.” She gaped at the gingerbread house made to look like the Publishing house in which they stood. “The detail . . . wow! We surely cant eat this now.” She gushed. Johanna smiled at her handy work, well, hers and Jonathon’s. Elizabeth went to a drawer in the counter and withdrew an envelope and handed it to Johanna.

“Thank you” Johanna shook Elizabeth’s hand.

“I have something for you.” Jonathon whispered to Elizabeth who was caught by surprise at this. He pulled a small white box from the inside pocket of his jacket, and handed it to Elizabeth. She looked up at him hesitantly.

“What’s this?” She asked.

“Open it.” He encouraged her like an anxious thirteen year old. She smiled sheepishly and pulled the bow on the box gently, then lifted the lid off and gasped at what she saw inside.

“How did you . . .?” She started. “I’ve been looking everywhere for this.” She made her way over to Jonathon and flung her arms around his neck. He was obviously surprised by this favourable response as he reluctantly wrapped his arms around her waist. “Thank you.” She breathed into his left ear and he grinned from ear to ear.

Johanna stood watching the scene unfold before her, but because Elizabeth was no longer a client, she could do nothing or say nothing to Jonathon about his . . . efforts. She leaned against the kitchen counter arms crossed and waited, impatiently.

Elizabeth eased herself away from Jonathon as she adjusted her dress. “Thank you again,” she mouthed to Jonathon as she left the room; Johanna rolled her eyes.

“So what was that about?” Johanna asked as they exited the house.

“I was just returning her keys.” Jonathon replied.

“Her keys? What were you doing with her keys?” Johanna asked.

“Do you really want to know?” He asked.

“Ah, that is why I asked.”

“She left them on the counter last week when she came in. I . . . kinda hid them while we were talking, hoping she would come back looking for them.”

Johanna gasped. “You stole her keys so you could give them back to her?” She asked incredulously.

Stole is such a strong word, don’t you think?.” Jonathan smirked.

“I cannot believe the measures you would stoop to.” She admonished.

“Relax baby sis, she got them back, didn’t she?”

“Oh yes, I caught an eye-full, thank you very much.” Johanna fumed as they journeyed back to the bakery.

That night, much to his delight, Jonathon got a surprise message from Elizabeth asking him out for dinner.

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