The story of the Spinster house: The House, The Couple, Another meeting, The Shop, Anna's last year, The Disastrous Betrayal and Hope's Journal.
In the two weeks following, Anna became settled in her new life. She spent most days at the shop learning the business. It was less and less painful to be there in the presence of her aunt's life work and best friend, Zoe. Zoe ceased to be tearful each time she time she picked up something Hope had once also picked up, which made the atmosphere relaxed and fun.
Anna was on the sliding ladder arranging part of the new shipment onto the top shelves when the bell above the door chimed. Anna leaned to put the last book onto the shelf with the other assortments of coffee table books about owls. She looked to the door to see Kade enter the room. At that moment, she leaned a little too far to the side and lost her balance.
It wasn't a far distance to the floor, but even still Anna braced herself for the jarring land. She was surprised to feel two hands grab her by the arms before she made contact and she landed relatively softly compared to what she thought was going to happen.
"I always seem to be finding you about to injure yourself. Have you noticed that?"
Anna stared up at Kade who hadn't released her arms yet. "That is true. However, there are numerous times a day you aren't around that I also end up injured, so it might not be you. Percentage wise, most interactions with me are about saving me from myself." She backed up and dusted her pants needlessly from invisable specks of dust. "I do appreciate the help on that one though. My ankles also thank you."
"Any time." Kade stood back, hands in his pockets and looked at Anna. It became uncomfortable rather quickly and Anna searched her mind for something to say.
"So, can I help you with anything? Books by Russian novelists? A statue of a cowboy?" she rambled.
Kade laughed. "Actually I'm here to fix the light fixture in the back room. Zoe called to say it wasn't working well. But, I'm flattered you think I would understand Russian novels. Not so flattered you think I decorate in cowboy."
"Oh! The light. Yeah, it's being very strange. Sometimes it turns on, sometimes it doesn't. I haven't figured out why, but I'm hoping it's something electrical and not something that can't be fixed."
Anna led the way to the back room and left Kade to his work. When she got back to the front, Zoe had appeared from wherever she had been hiding. She had a mischievous grin on her face.
"You saw Kane? I asked him here."
"Yes, I saw him. He's fixing the light in the back room."
"No. He' not. Well, he will try, but there is no fixing that light. It's our ghost, George. Sometimes he wants a light on. Sometimes he doesn't." Zoe continued, "I brought Kane here so you can get to know him. So you can date him. Hope wanted you to have someone nice."
Anna paused a moment. Zoe did not know about her disastrous relationship and the real reason she left the firm. "I'm not really looking for anything right now, Zoe. And, I'm sure, Kade isn't interested."
"He will be! You're wonderful. You will be just fine. Hope and I talked about it once. You don't need a man, I know, but they are handy to have around." Zoe winked and Anna shuddered a little at the thought of how Zoe and Hope would find a man handy. They were both too much like a mom for that thought to sit well.
Kane came out from the back with a tool box Anna had not noticed before. "I tried my best to fix that light. It seems to be working fine though. If it causes any more trouble, feel free to call again."
"Kane, you should take Anna out for lunch. It is almost lunch time. Don't you think you would both like to have lunch?" Zoe had very little in the way of tact. Anna cringed inwardly.
"Zoe! You can't just boss Kade around like that! I'm sure he has plans. Or better things to do. Right?" Anna looked beseechingly at Kade to help avoid the completely conspicuous attempt at matchmaking.
"Actually, I have nothing planned and would be happy to have you join me for lunch. Let me put these tools away and I will take you over to Stucky's. My treat. What a great idea, Zoe. Will you join us?" Kade winked at Zoe, letting her know he was on to her plan.
Zoe was not fazed at all. "I couldn't possibly. I have much to do. You two go and have a wonderful time." Kade nodded and took the tools out to his truck.
"What did you do, Zoe?" Anna asked, surrendered. "What did you do?"
Zoe just smiled her mischievous smile.
Next: Considering the possibilities