A Simple Heart
A Cupid Falls' Novella
These Three Words
Words of the Heart #2
Carry Her Heart
Words of the Heart #1
Short Stories for the Overworked & Under-Read:
Maid in LA Series Bundle
includes the entire
four book series
Miracle on Thirty-fourth Street meets The Brothers Grimm
in this mad-capped adventure in fairy legalities and love!
Nick Aaronson is a lawyer who doesn't believe in fairy-tale romance. He doesn't even believe in fairies, but they believe in him! Myrtle, Fern and Blossom are back, and they have one last Aaronson to find a happily-ever-after mate. And they're determined Nick is going to be happy...whether he wants to be or not.
Glory Chambers thought she was leading the perfect life until she discovers it was a fairytale she'd invented for herself. When a mysterious aunt leaves her a diner in Erie, Pennsylvania, Glory's ready for a new start. But she hadn't planned on Myrtle, Fern and Blossom—they're more adventure than anyone is ready for, even a disgruntled ex-corporate executive. Glory unwittingly hires them and finds that her life is turned upside down when her fairy employees are sued. Who do you hire to represent three fairies in a civil suit? Nick Aaronson, of course!
Thrown together in the fairy-trial of the century, Glory and Nick draw closer, despite their misgivings. A man who doesn't believe in love, a woman looking for independence, and three fairy godmothers determined matchmake the couple make a dangerous mix. Will Myrtle, Fern and Blossom be able to convince Glory and Nick that they can live happily-ever-after, or will they learn that even magic can't guarantee a...Miracle for Nick.
A Holly Jacobs' Classic Dear Fairy Godmother Series
Mad About Max
Magic for Joy
Miracles for Nick
"Ms. Fuhrmann delivers endearing characters with a joyful sense of fun." 4 STARS!! ~Romantic Times
"Holly Fuhrmann delivers another slap-stick comedy that will keep you laughing as you read the final episode of her fairy godmother trilogy...there is no way you can read this trilogy and not have a lift to your spirit and a smile on your face." ~Carol Carter, Reviewer, Romance Reviews Today, Under The Covers , Member RIO (Reviewers International Organization)
"This third book of the Fairy Godmother series is every bit as hilarious as the other two (Mad for Max and Magic for Joy). Ms. Fuhrman’s classic sense of humor, engaging characters, and bizarre situations will leave readers rolling in the aisles. I recommend Miracles for Nick for anyone looking for a light and comic romance to brighten an otherwise dreary day. It should work miracles!" ~ Leslie Tramposch - Copyright © 2001 For PNR Reviews
Miracles for Nick
by Holly Fuhrmann
"Ooh, la, la, what a handsome man you are, Cheri," the winsome blonde whispered in his ear.
Nick Aaronson smiled as he caressed her cheek reveling in the smooth contrast to his own callused hands. Life didn’t get any better than this. "And just think, I'm all yours for tonight...and for as many nights as you want."
"Oh, but Nicky, it's not me you want." The buxom, French blonde had vanished and in her place sat an elderly blonde woman smiling indulgently at him—at least she was smiling until Nick stood up in shock, dumping her from his lap.
"You know, young man, that wasn't very gentlemanly of you." The blonde stood and rubbed her rather well padded posterior.
"Who are you, and what have you done with Lola?"
"Your dream woman's a fake blonde whose bust is larger than her IQ, and to add insult to injury, her name is Lola? That shows rather a lack of imagination, don't you think, Nicky?"
"Who are you?"
"I'm just a dream. You'll hardly remember me in the morning."
"I don't think I could forget you."
"Funny, most men we've worked with say the same thing." The blonde didn’t look very happy at the thought.
"We?" Nick looked around the room, a small French bistro he'd visited about fifteen years ago when he and a bunch of college buddies had spent a summer abroad. There was no one in the dream room but him and the blonde.
"Wrongo," came another voice behind him.
Nick turned and saw two more elderly women sitting on the bar wearing can-can outfits.
"I told you we'd get to wear these again," the redhead said.
"Oh, I'm so glad. I don't know why Gracey finds them so offensive," said a brunette wearing a particularly grassy shade of green outfit.
"Who are you, and what are the three of you doing in my dream? I want Lola back."
"No you don't," said the brunette.
"You just think you do," said the blonde who had joined the other two on the bar and, he noticed, was wearing an outfit similar to the other two except for its color.
"What you want is your own-true-love, and we're here to help you find her. We're your fairy godmothers, you see," said the redhead whose red outfit clashed horrendously with her hair. She glanced down at her outfit and sighed. "I know they say redheads should avoid the color red, but I can't help myself, I do adore the color."
"You could let your hair go back to its natural shade," said the blonde.
"Now, Blossom, you know I was born a redhead, and I plan to die a redhead."
"Fairies don't die, Myrtle. And you and I both know your hair was as brown as dirt, just like Fern’s."
"Hey, my hair isn't a dirty brown, but yours would be if you didn't bleach it on a monthly basis, Blossom," the woman in green said.
"Why, Fern that's so unkind. I would never mention—"
Nick would never know what Blossom would never mention because the redhead, Myrtle, shouted, "Girls, I've told you time and time again to let me handle the introductions. The two of you babbling away is enough to confuse anyone."
Confused. Now that word aptly described the way Nick was feeling. This was just a dream—how he knew that he wasn't sure, but he did. And if it was a dream, he should be able to wake up.
Wake up, he commanded himself to no avail. The three strange women still sat on the bar in their can-can outfits, watching him.
"Now, Myrtle, how can you say we're confusing Nick?" the blonde, whose name was obviously Blossom, said.
Fern, the brunette, piped in, "You're arguing just as much as we are."
"Why, I never," Myrtle said.
"That's what you say about dyeing your hair, and we all know that's a lie," Fern said.
"Fairies don't lie," Myrtle practically shouted.
"Except maybe about dyeing their hair," Blossom said, patting her bleached curls.
"Um, ladies, I'm not sure why you're in my dream, but since I don't seem to be able to wake up, maybe you could take your argument elsewhere and bring Lola back? We were just getting to the good part."
"Oh, no you weren't," Myrtle said. "We're here to bring you to the good part, though."
"And what part would that be?" Nick asked.
"The part where you meet your own-true-love and find your happily-ever-after," Myrtle said.
"I don't want love. And I'm happy enough right now—at least I will be if you bring Lola back."
"Sorry, no can do," Blossom said, though she didn't sound the least bit sorry. "Lola's history and Glo--"
Fern nudged the talkative blonde. "Blossom, don't spill the beans."
The blonde looked crest-fallen. "Sorry."
"Now, Nick, you'll probably forget most of this by morning, but we just wanted to drop in and introduce ourselves," Myrtle said. "You'll be seeing a lot of us in the weeks to come."
"In my dreams?"
"Oh, no dear," the blonde started. "You'll see us—"
Blossom sighed. "You'll see us when you see us."
"Good night, Nick," the three said in unison.
"Sweet dreams," the redhead, Myrtle whispered.
Osborn Nicholas Aaronson woke up with a start. What a crazy night. He vaguely remember three old—well, not old maybe, but certainly no spring chickens—three middle-aged ladies waving at him and dancing on a bar? No, that couldn't be right. He was dreaming about Lola, the woman he'd met when he was twenty in France. Three women such as these wouldn't be a dream, they'd be a nightmare.
Nick put all thoughts of disturbing dream ladies aside and glanced at his clock. He was awake twenty minutes early. Since it was useless to go back to sleep now, Nick got up. For once he'd get an early start.
Anxious to get an early start on the road, Glory Chambers placed her last business suit into the garment bag and zipped it with more gusto than zipping a bag should require.
There. That was it.
She looked around her empty penthouse apartment. She'd saved packing her business suits until last. Maybe it was symbolic. She was packing away her old way of life and getting ready to start a new chapter...a better chapter, she hoped.
Glory Chambers, vice-president of Michaelson's International, a woman with her future charted out to the Nth degree, was gone. Taking her place was Glory Chambers, restauranteur. This new Glory was foot-loose and fancy-free. She was going to learn to relax and take life easy as she built her little restaurant empire.
She was tossing out her antacids and her jumbo bottle of aspirin. Life was going to be good and sweet. The fact she knew absolutely nothing about running a restaurant wasn’t going to deter her. She'd been ready to make a change when an aunt she never knew existed bequeathed her the restaurant. Who was she to turn her nose up at fate?
The old Glory might have been inclined to say that fate was only what you made of it, but this new Glory? No, this new Glory was ready to spread her wings and try new things. She might fail, but at least she would have tried.
Once upon a time she thought she'd had the answers to everything in her life, that was, until she found her husband in her bed with a blonde named Cynthia whose bra size was probably larger than her IQ. That was the moment she discovered the marriage she thought was forever was over; the moment she discovered the man she thought she knew was a total mystery. That was the moment the old Glory was packed away and the new Glory emerged—this new Glory who was going to take risks and learn to relax.
She picked up the garment bag and took one last look at the penthouse that represented all the things she used to be. Then Glory Chambers turned her back on that old life, and marched her blue jean clad legs toward the U-Haul van that was taking her to her brand new life.
Glory Chambers surveyed her morning's work as she reached for her umpteenth cup of coffee. Her back might tell her she'd made some clearing out debris, but her eyes told her she'd made the merest dent. The Coffee House was still a...she sighed, unable to think of even the slightest kind description for the small restaurant she'd inherited. The truth of the matter was The Coffee House was a wreck.
The small bit of progress she had made was barely noticeable amongst that mess. Booths unscrewed from the floor and lying on their sides, benches with ripped upholstery, and what serving ware remained whole was covered with a decade of dust and grime.
The attorney who handled her aunt's estate told her it had been eight years that The Coffee House had sat vacant for years. At the rate she was going, it was going to take Glory at least that long to get it back up and running.
Eight years and probably most of her savings.
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
She took another sip of coffee and dangled her feet from the edge of the counter. She brushed an unruly curl back from her face and surveyed her kingdom. What a mess.
"What a mess," a voice echoed.
Glory swung around and saw three tiny women standing in the doorway, smiling at her expectantly. They were that nondescript age that women reach—not quite ready for retirement, but certainly not just out of college. None of them could be over four and a half feet tall, but it wasn't their size that made them stand out, it was...it was just about everything about them. One had crayon red hair and wore a pant suit of almost the exact same shade. The one next to her had yellow—not blonde—yellow hair and was wearing a bright yellow dress that flowed loosely over her well padded body. The third was the tallest and had hair that didn't look as if it came from a bottle. Her worst offense was the puce green wind suit she was wearing.
They were an odd trio, Glory mused. "Sorry, we're closed."
"Of course you are, deary," said the redhead.
"But you won't be for long," added the blonde.
"Not with us around," finished up the brunette.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand."
"We're the answer to your wish," the redhead assured her. "I'm Myrtle, by the way. And these are my sisters, Blossom," the blonde nodded, "and Fern," the brunette followed course. "And we're here for the jobs."
"The ones you advertised for."
Myrtle thrust a section of newspaper in Glory's hand and pointed to a circled want ad. "Wanted, a cook, a waitress and a busboy for a new restaurant. See Glory Chambers, proprietor," Glory read slowly. She handed the paper back to the redhead, Myrtle. "I don't know anything about this."
"You are Glory Chambers?" Myrtle asked.
"And this is your restaurant?"
"Sort of, but maybe not for long. I was just thinking it might be wise to simply level this place and put the lot on the market."
"Oh, no, that won't do." The blonde, Blossom, looked on the verge of tears. "After all the time and effort we put into this—"
"You put into this," Myrtle corrected quickly. "After all your work you can't just give up now."
"Listen, Ladies, I've been cleaning for two days and haven't made a dent. And that's just with the cleaning. This place needs new wiring, the gas line needs connected, the sink in the kitchen drips and—"
"Little things, and now that we're here, they'll be cleared up in a moment," Fern said.
"Not quite a moment," Myrtle added. "Now, if my two talkative sisters will be quiet and let me finish." The two other women hushed right down and Myrtle cleared her throat. "Now, Ms. Chambers, my sisters and I would like to apply for the positions, as advertised in the paper. Fern will be cook—"
"But, Myrtle," was all the brunette said, but there was a wealth of argument in those two words.
"--Blossom here will be the dishwasher, assistant cook and busboy," Myrtle continued as if she hadn't heard her sister's protest.
"Bus fair...um, buswoman," Blossom said.
"And, you and I, Glory dear, will wait the tables. We'll get red uniforms, of course, to go with our red hair, and—"
"Ladies, I do appreciate the offer, but you see, most of my money is sunk into the restaurant. I can't afford to hire help. I don't know how this could have gotten into the paper. I didn't place the ad."
"Now, don't you worry about ads and money. We'll pitch in cleaning this place up and stick with you the first few weeks you're open. If, after that, things don’t work out we'll leave without a word. But, I suspect this place is going to be busier than you anticipate, and things are going to work out just right. You've got a prime location and I'm sure all those courthouse employees will be over all the time."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Glory muttered.
"Never mind." Courthouses were full of attorneys, and after the ugly divorce her husband and his attorney put her through, Glory had pretty much had enough of the entire species. The fact that the restaurant was across the street from whole court rooms of attorneys definitely was not in its favor.
"Listen, ladies, it's a sweet offer, but the three of you can't afford to put all the time and effort into getting this place running and take a chance of not getting paid."
"Oh, sweetheart, the money isn't why we want to work here," Blossom said.
"We're financially independent," Fern added.
A phrase from a long ago Economics class flashed through Glory's mind—there is no such thing as a free lunch. She doubted there was any such thing as free employees either. There was always a catch. "Really ladies—"
"You can't afford to say no," Myrtle said.
"But can I afford to say yes?" Glory had a sinking feeling as she watched the three women watching her expectantly.
"What could possibly be wrong with free help?" Fern asked.
"I can think of a few things," Glory said.
Before she could begin a list, Myrtle jumped in. "Let's just play this by ear. We'll pitch in today, and if you don't like our work, you can fire us."
"And if it does work out?"
"Then we'll be back tomorrow."
Something told Glory she was probably going to regret her decision. The old Glory might have shown more caution, but this new Glory decided to throw caution to the wind. She extended her hand to Myrtle, who was obviously the ringleader of the three. "Deal."
"Deal," Nick said, standing and shaking hands with the opposing council. "We appreciate your willingness to settle."
Grudgingly the gray-haired attorney took Nick's hand and shook it. "It wasn't exactly willingness. You had us over a barrel and you knew it."
"All's fair in love and war."
"And this certainly wasn't love, and last I heard courtrooms weren't exactly war zones."
Nick took no pleasure in winning this particular case, especially when the attorney he was facing was Bill Richards. Bill had offered Nick his first job, and had been a close friend since. Disappointing Bill shouldn’t have bothered Nick—he was just serving his client’s best interest after all, and that was what he was paid to do. But, telling himself that did little to make him feel better. "Can you think of a more apt description for them?"
"Halls of justice, heavy emphasis on the justice, Nick. Do you really think justice was served here today?"
"Serving my client is what I'm here for. Your client caused him irreparable harm and seeing him compensated was justice in my book."
"There's not going to be a trial, so you can save your summations. You and I both know that justice was not served here today."
"If you're not happy with our deal we could still take it in front of a jury."
"Like I said, you had us over a barrel."
Nick watched as Bill walked from the small meeting room. He'd never admit it to Bill, but he didn't feel quite right about how things had worked out either. But, he was an attorney, his job was to represent his client to the best of his ability. There was nothing that said he had to like his client, or even approve of their actions, just that he had to do his best.
Bill’s client’s car had hit Nick’s client. Of course, Nick’s client had been inebriated, but Bill couldn’t prove it. Hell, Nick couldn’t prove it, but he knew it and so did everyone else involved in the case. But, Nick’s client would walk with a permanent limp because of the accident. And for that he would be compensated—royally compensated. Whether or not he deserved it.
The entire case left Nick feeling like a stereotypical ambulance chasing attorney. Well, he'd done his best this time, and if it left a bad taste in his mouth, then he'd just have to...
That was just it, Nick didn't know what to do about it. He loved the law, but recently there had been something missing. He wasn't quite sure when it had started—a brief image of old women in can-can outfits flitted through his mind, but Nick ignored it, just as he planned to ignore the feelings that were plaguing him.
He was an attorney. Not the judge nor the jury. His job was simply to serve his client’s best interest. That would have to be enough, he sternly warned himself.
But, a small voice inside him whispered, as he left the courthouse, he wished he could recapture his old enthusiasm, that old driving belief that he was making a difference.
He wished he could have a case that he could really care about and a client he could really believe in.
"Believe me, I can handle this," Myrtle—wearing a hot red jumpsuit and scrunched behind the gigantic old stove with a wrench in her hand—hollered.
"Myrtle, I think we should just wait for the gas man to come back and take care of this." Glory's three new employees had been hard at work all week. They'd scrubbed with enthusiasm
...after Glory had showed them the ins and outs of a scrub brush.
Somehow Blossom had restored the booths and benches to almost pristine condition one afternoon while Glory was at the health department arranging for an inspection so they could open for business.
They'd all painted the restaurant in bright, primary colors...green, yellow and red, much to Myrtle, Fern and Blossom’s delight. Glory had to admit the colors really made a difference, bringing the old diner back to life. They’d kept the fifties look, since most of the diner already looked like it was out of that era. Thank goodness retro was in. Paint and elbow grease had made all the difference.
At the rate they were going they could have the doors open within days.
At least they could if Myrtle didn't blow them up. "Really, Myrtle, let's just wait for the gas man to come back."
"Believe me, I know what I'm doing," Myrtle said, showing no indication of waiting.
"I don't feel good about this," Fern said, backing away from the stove.
"How hard can it be?" Myrtle plunged her hand behind the stove and twisted the little knob on the pipe. "You just turn the gas on and then—"
Blossom rushed breathlessly into the room, a lamp in hand. "Look, this hurricane lamp was in perfect condition I just lit it—"
A small ball of fire erupted from the stove's burners and ignited the paper bag that had been sitting on top of the stove.
"Fire," Blossom wailed, running from the room.
"Where's the fire extinguisher?" Glory shouted, frantically pawing through a pile of stuff on the counter. "Someone call 911."
"911!" Blossom shouted.
"I told you I didn't have a good feeling about this," Fern said, backing toward the door.
"911!" Blossom shouted even louder.
Something in the burning bag gave a small pop, as if it had exploded.
"On the phone, Blossom. Call 911 on the phone." Glory snagged the small fire extinguisher and ran back to the counter as she pointed the hose. Nothing happened. "How the hell—"
"Glory, we don't approve of swearing," Myrtle said primly from her safely distant corner.
"Here let me," a male voice said, taking the extinguisher from Glory's hands and removing a little peg from the trigger. He deftly pointed the hose and extinguished the bag and it's contents within moments. Her fireman turned and Glory caught her first glimpse of him.
"Thank you," she managed, pleased any words escaped her rather constricted throat. Her rescuer wasn't just handsome. He was a hunk—a bone-rattling, heart-stopping, pulse-racing, palms-sweating hunk. Dark hair perfectly styled, a suit that had never known a rack, and a smile that probably had women falling all over themselves to do his bidding were just the beginnings of his hunkiness.
"You're welcome. I hope you weren't experimenting with dishes you plan to serve." The gleam in his dark eyes told her that he was kidding. "I was looking forward to having the restaurant open. It will be convenient to work."
"You work around here?" Glory ventured.
"Well, my office is on State Street, but I'm at the courthouse so often that I might as well live here."
Damn. Though she was pretty sure she knew the answer, Glory asked, "You're an attorney?"
"Last time I checked." He shot her another thousand watt smile, but this time it did nothing for Glory. She knew that first and foremost attorneys were actors able to slap a smile in place as easily as other people slapped a fly. Their surface was all gloss and underneath hid a barracuda. Her divorce had been messy—very messy—and she blamed it on both attorneys turning every little decision into a battle, and her attorney-husband who was determined to draw blood.
The gorgeous fire-fighting attorney thrust his hand out. "Nick. Nick Aaronson."
"Glory Chambers." She ignored his extended hand.
"Glory, aren't you going to introduce us?" Myrtle asked.
"Oh, so sorry. Nick, let me introduce Myrtle, Fern and Blossom." Each nodded in turn.
But Nick didn't nod, didn't extend his hand again. Instead, much to Glory's amazement, his face lost all its color, and he looked as if he was going to bolt out the door. He stood staring at her employees as if he was seeing ghosts.
"Nick, are you okay?" Glory asked, concerned despite her animosity toward the entire attorney-race.
"Oh, Nicky, maybe you're suffering from smoke inhalation," Myrtle said.
"I could do mouth-to-mouth." Blossom didn't sound as if she'd mind mouthing Nick.
"No," Nick croaked, sounding very much as if he'd mind. "I mean, I'm fine. It's just I've got to go."
"Well, thank you again, Mr. Aaronson," Glory said.
"Your welcome," he shouted as he practically sprinted from the store.
"What an odd man," Glory mused.
"You think so?" Myrtle asked, her tone saying she didn't agree.
"Don't you?" Glory asked her three employees.
"I thought he was cute," Fern said with a sigh. "And brave. Look at the way he charged in and saved our lives. Why he didn't even ask for a reward. Any descent hero would have at least asked for a kiss for a reward."
"He didn't even want mouth-to-mouth." Blossom looked disappointed.
"Well, he's gone." Glory didn't add, thank goodness, but she certainly thought it. She didn't need any attractive attorneys hanging around. She'd had enough of attorneys in the last year to last her a lifetime.
It was too bad that Nick had chosen this particular profession, because Fern was right. He was cute, and brave. Glory shook her head. No, she wasn’t going to give her cute fire-fighting attorney another thought. Right now she had to concentrate on getting her business off the ground.
Trying to sound as if cute attorneys were the last thing on her mind, Glory said, "Now that the fire's out let's go back to work."
"I'll just see about the stove," Myrtle offered.
"No," Glory practically shouted.
When the small redhead's face fell, Glory regretted being so abrupt. Oh, not bad enough to let Myrtle work on the stove, but bad enough to try and salve her feelings. "Maybe you could...um, go see about the sign outside. I thought we should probably spruce up the paint."
"Let's just toss the sign," Myrtle said, visibly brightening. "The place needs a classier name than The Coffee House."
"How 'bout Glory's?" Fern suggested.
"Or The Courthouse Restaurant?" Blossom said.
"The Courthouse—it makes sense to play on that," Myrtle, ever the boss, mused. "How about The Judge's Chamber."
"No, no, better yet, how about Glory's Chambers," Blossom said.
Glory tried to reign in her three employees, though a week's experience had taught her that they didn't reign easily. "I don't think—"
"It's perfect," Myrtle pronounced, as if that was that. "Glory's Chambers. It plays on your name and the fact we're located right across from the courthouse and a bunch of judges’ chambers. They might run things over there, but you run things here."
Glory credited her former corporate life with her ability to keep a straight face. She was the boss? Certainly no one ever told Myrtle that.
"Glory's Chamber it is," her other two employees agreed.
Glory was outnumbered. And it looked as if she was the owner of a restaurant named Glory’s Chambers.
Nick Aaronson was a logical man. He stood in a long courthouse hall and stared out the window across the street at the small restaurant. What had happened there earlier this afternoon wasn't logical in the least. It was plain crazy.
He believed in what he could see, what he could touch. He did not believe that dreams come true.
He'd met those three women before. Oh, not the redheaded owner—her he would have enjoyed meeting. But the other three. Yes, he'd met them in his dreams. And that didn't make an ounce of sense.
Sure, he dreamed about Lola, a woman he'd met in his teens, but he'd met her and then dreamed about her. She’d been one of the most passionate women he’d ever met—passionate enough that he’d dreamed about her more than once since they’re brief fling.
That made sense. It didn't make sense to dream about someone, or rather someones, and then meet them.
No, that didn't make sense at all.
Maybe the pressure of work was getting to him? That was certainly a plausible explanation. This last case had produced more than a little stress. Nick liked feeling like the good guy, protector of the weak, defender of the innocent. His client had been neither weak, nor innocent. Defending him was mistake. Nick wished he never had taken the case. He tried to choose his clients with care, but this time he hadn’t exercised enough caution.
Seeing Bill Richard’s disappointment hadn’t helped his anxiety.
Stress. That’s what it was.
He hadn't dreamed the women he just met. He simply imagined he had because he was so stressed.
His cell phone rang, and Nick plucked it out of his pocket and flipped it open without even thinking.
"Hello?" he said absently, still staring at the restaurant.
"Nick. Do I have good news for you." Good news, at least when it was coming from his mother, was never good and always involved a woman...a woman she was hoping would be the perfect match for Nick.
"Mother, the last time you had good news, I had to get a restraining order."
Finding a woman for Nick had become a bit of an obsession for his mother. He was outnumbered since his two siblings had married and started producing grandchildren. He couldn't compete.
Truth of the matter was he didn't want to compete, not that his wants mattered. Oh, his mother wanted him to be happy, but she couldn’t believe he could be happy without a wife.
She was wrong.
His mother chattered merrily on the phone, totally ignoring his lack of enthusiasm. "Oh, Nick you'll just love her. Grace says she can speak three languages. Think how handy that could be."
Nick turned from the window and walked down the hall. He juggled the cell phone into his other hand and opened the door. "Since I'm not planning any trips abroad, I think I'm pretty safe with just plain old English."
There was an audible sigh on the other end of the phone. "Friday night, Nicky."
"No." Nick stepped outside, closed the door, and inhaled deeply. Erie's autumn weather had arrived and the air was crisp and helped wipe away the stench of his day.
"Nick, how many favors do I ask for?"
"Well, there was the stewardess last month. She invited me to join the Mile High Club, by the way."
Realizing he’d been standing and just staring at the restaurant for far too long, he walked down the marble stairs. "Or how about Serenity, who was anything but serene. Or, Nancy's friend, Helen's daughter, and Bertha who used to be a Bert before that little operation...Shall I go on?"
"But maybe Francine is different," his mother offered.
Miriam Aaronson liked to pretend she was tough. She claimed she never cried at movies, and she had a black belt which she proudly displayed whenever she could. But the truth her entire family had realized years ago was that Miriam was a closet romantic who believed in happily-ever-afters. With two of her three children happily married, Nick was her last project. And one other thing about his mother—she was single-minded when she set her mind to anything. Right now, marrying Nick off was her project.
"I can almost guarantee Francine is different and that I'm not interested." There, he’d made himself perfectly clear.
"Mother, I'm perfectly capable of finding my own dates."
"But I want you to have more than a date. I want you to have what your father and I have, what Max and Joy have found."
"When have I ever fit into a mold, Mother?" He crossed Sixth Street, walking toward Peach Street and the parking ramp where his BMW was parked.. "Actually, think of it, when have any of us fit into any mold? When the time is right for me to fall in love—if the time is ever right—I'll know it. In the meantime I'll find my own dates."
"If you're sure?" His mother left the sentence hang a moment, as if she hoped he'd change his mind.
"Positive." He stood directly outside the restaurant that had almost burned earlier. No flames were present now, but a new sign was.
"Glory's Chambers," he muttered. Cute.
"What did you say?" his mother asked.
"Nothing. Not a thing other than no, I don’t want a date." He glanced in the window, but no one was visible. What a relief. He was going to have to find a new parking spot, because he planned to avoid Glory's Chambers and his three dream women whenever possible.
"I’ll talk to you later." He snapped the phone shut and hurried past the restaurant before anyone inside saw him.
Nick Aaronson’s life was perfect, and he didn’t need match-making mothers or fairy godmothers from his dreams finding him happily-ever-after. He was perfectly happy on his own.
He didn’t let himself think about his earlier sense of dissatisfaction, or the sense that something was missing in his life. It was just stress. He was perfectly happy.
Copyright 2003 by Holly Jacobs
Copyright 2015 by Holly Jacobs. All rights reserved.