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“Darn it, Jo! Sometimes you drive me insane!”
Millie was hunched over the broken flower pot, shards of which still bore stains from my sweaty fingertips. Soil and petals were strewn across my feet and smeared on Millie’s floral apron.
“What am I going to do with you…?” she muttered, shaking her head as she went to fetch a broom and dustpan.
The cat, Crème, strutted past me, her milky-colored tail flicking back and forth like a pendulum. Once, before she disappeared into the next room, I felt it brush the crook of my right knee, which then buckled slightly.
I didn’t wait for Millie to return.
Donned in a hooded cloak, I hurried out of the property and into the blaring daylight. No one took a second glance as I strode by; they even attempted to avert their eyes from me entirely. The only man who dared look upon me that day was Tomas, who greeted me with open arms and sparklingly blue eyes. (I was always slightly intimidated by his calm attitude around me.)
“My, Josephine… you are even more beautiful than you were yesterday.” Tomas bent down on one knee and I held out the back of my hand, which he pressed his warm lips to.
“You have not been waiting, I hope?” It took a bit of effort to keep my cheeks from flushing a bright pink.
Tomas smiled as he released my hand and stood up. “Ah, but when I wait for you, it is never a burden.” His head moved slightly, exerting just enough force to cause his smooth, dark brown hair to be thrown out of his eyes. I couldn’t help but smile back. He was so charming but amusing at the same time. The boy had no idea what I was up to but I knew what his motives: Tomas wanted me.
I could hear the gate squeak several yards off but my vision was limited as a topiary of a horse blocked my view. Not wanting to take any chances with whoever entered Tomas’s property, I grabbed his wrist and looked straight into his aqua irises.
“Could we go inside?” I suggested quickly, “It’s swelteringly hot out here.”
Tomas looked mildly taken aback by my sudden movement but shook it off and grinned. “Of course. Follow me, darling….”
I hurried after him, not daring to glance behind me in case I found something I did not want to see.