A scene from Book of Love:
Robin and Janice took the time to write up the proposal for the restoration of the books in the basement, to get rid of the rats by an exterminator, and to install a climate-controlled environment. Janice had looked over the rooms within the library itself, and found that there was sufficient space in the Mining conference room. The Centennial conference room would be used for the computers they were planning to purchase within the next year.
Janice finally asked Robin, “How do you think Chris would vote on this?”
“Well, he’s a conservative. He may vote against it. What we would need to do is explain the circumstances as they are now, and what will happen in the future if these requests are not met. Even then, I’m not sure what he would say.”
“Do you think I should approach him before the meeting to talk to him about it?”
Robin thought for a few minutes. “You should call him and ask him to come over, and show him the basement, and explain what you want to accomplish. He just might go for that.”
“Okay, I can do that. Thank you, Robin.”
“Oh, you’re welcome.”
Janice took both the report and the proposal to the mayor’s office and gave it to his secretary to put on the agenda to discuss at their next Wednesday meeting.
Janice saw in the special events section of the town’s newspaper that there was an art show coming up in June, and she told Robin, “We should talk to Barb Wickman and see if we can get in that show to sell some of the paperback books we have and to raffle off some of the other books. Maybe we can even muster up some money to buy an e-reader to raffle off. When we can get people to buy books and support the library, we will get a lot of money that way.”
“That’s a great idea. I would be willing to work the show with you,” Robin replied.
Carly happened to be walking by and heard the conversation. “I’ll help too,” she offered.
Janice called Barb Wickman and made an appointment to have lunch with her the next day.
Later that day Janice called Chris’s shop.
“Colstrip Auto Care,” Chris said into the phone.
“Hello, Chris. This is Janice.” There was silence on the other end. “I was wondering if I could get you to stop by the library. I’d like to talk to you about something.”
“Well, is it really necessary?” he asked.
“It’s important, I think,” she replied.
“Okay, I’ll stop by after I get out of work today, about five. Is that okay?”
“Yes, that would be fine. Thanks, Chris.” She hung up the phone.
He sounded like he did not want to meet with me or talk to me. She knew she’d made a vow that she wouldn’t bother him again, but this was important to her and she needed to get him to vote for her proposals.
She had butterflies in her stomach as five o’clock came and Chris arrived at the library.
“Hi, Chris,” Janice said.
“Hello. What’s this all about?” he asked pensively.
“I wanted to take you downstairs to the basement and show you something,” she said.
They walked down the stairs, Chris following Janice. When she turned on the light a rat slithered across the floor, and she let out a shriek. Chris looked around the room.
“We have all these books here,” Janice said. She lifted one of the old books and opened it to the pages and within where some were eaten away. “The vermin and bugs have been attacking these, and in some cases, the books have disintegrated. See here? This is a book about Colstrip back in the 1800s and we can’t even open the book to read it because it has totally disintegrated inside. Some of these books are real gems. This is one of a first edition, Samuel Clemens, do you know of him?” she asked.
“His pen name is Mark Twain. He wrote Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.”
“Oh,” Chris replied.
“Look at his book. It’s totally destroyed, and it would have been worth a lot of money now, if it had survived.”
Janice went over to the ladder and stepped up on it to show Chris the books on the top shelf. The ladder gave way, and she came crashing down. Chris caught her before she fell to the floor.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concern in his tone.
“Um, yeah, I think so.” She put her feet on the floor and turned, facing Chris, her breasts against his chest. His arms were around her waist, holding her tightly. His breath mingled with hers, and he was looking down at her lips.
Oh, she wanted him to kiss her. Please, please kiss me. The sweet, intoxicating musk of his body overwhelmed her. He bent slightly toward her, and his lips touched hers softly. She kissed him back, lingering, savoring every moment. She felt the kiss all the way through her body as she put her arms around him. A loud rustling noise broke their kiss with a start.
Chris looked around and saw that there were rats in the corner rattling paper. He turned back to her. “Are we finished here?”
“Yes, I think we are.” Janice hoped she had convinced him that there was work to be done in the basement.
When they went upstairs, he turned around and asked her huskily, “What was the purpose of our little meeting, Janice?”
Janice thought about how she should answer the question then said, “I submitted the request to the mayor’s office for several things, and I heard that you would probably be the one person that would oppose spending any money for the project I’m suggesting, so I wanted to show you the benefit of my proposal and the problems we are faced with currently.”
Chris had a gentle smile on his face as he looked at her. “Good persuasion, Janice. Does that include the kiss too?”
Janice looked down at her feet, embarrassed. “No, the kiss was not part of the persuasion. At least, not on my part.”
He put a finger under her chin and brought her face up to look at him. “You’ll probably get what you want, but I’d also include in your proposal to have an exterminator come in and get rid of the termites,” he said, with a slight smile. He turned and walked out.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-of-love-constance-bretes/1120901348?ean=2940150079243
Beachwalk Press at http://www.beachwalkpress.com/book-of-love
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