Picture Perfect 11
Victoria tugged on an emerald dress and zipped it with finality. Not sparing her figure a look in the mirror, she turned to the mess on her bed. All the dresses she owned were scattered on her bed. To think she’d ended up with the dress she’d picked first. Her phone buzzed and she jumped. Glancing at the clock, Victoria sighed when she saw the time.
It was only ten minutes to six. Eric had promised to show up at six thirty. Her phone buzzed again and she pushed dresses aside to find it on the bed. She smiled when she saw her older brother’s name. Answering the call, she reached for a brush from her vanity table.
“What’s up?” she asked in greeting.
“Open the door,” Clifford answered.
“I’m standing outside your door.”
Hurrying out of her bedroom, Victoria went to open the front door. Clifford stood leaning on the balcony railing, relaxed in faded blue jeans and t-shirt. He held up her car keys.
“I’m sure you’ve been dying for these,” he said with a wide smile.
Victoria returned the smile and held out her hand for the keys. “Thanks Cliff, you’re a lifesaver.”
Clifford’s fingers closed over the keys, his gaze thoughtful as he took in her dress. “Going out?”
Victoria’s smile faltered.
“Uh…yeah,” she said with a wince. She wasn’t ready to tell Clifford about Eric just yet. “Just for dinner, you know, out on the town.”
“Olive’s working tonight,” Clifford said speculatively. “Is Grace here? I’ve missed her.”
Victoria scowled. “I go out with other people too, you know.”
Clifford pushed off the railing and moved to open her apartment door. He removed his leather sandals, as he entered her living room.
“I’m thirsty, Vicky,” Clifford said as he settled on her comfortable pale green couch. He reached for the remote on the coffee table and turned on the television. “Make it cold juice, li’l sis; it’s too hot out there.”
Victoria groaned, just what she needed, an overprotective brother while she got ready for a date. She stormed into the kitchen and opened the fridge. She was quite aware of what Clifford was doing. He’d scared away most of her potential boyfriends when they’d been growing up. She almost over-filled the juice just imagining how he’d treat Eric.
Returning the carton of orange juice into the fridge, she took the glass to her brother wondering what would get him out of her apartment faster.
Clifford took the glass with a small knowing smile.
“We broke up,” she said sitting in the armchair across him. She put her phone on the coffee table and continued brushing her hair. “Aren’t you working tonight?”
“Nope,” Clifford answered stretching his legs out on the couch. “I have two days off. I wanted to get your car fixed, and I need to pick-up supplies for Dad.”
“Supplies?” she asked with a frown.
“Yeah, he’s redoing the perimeter fence. He asked me to help him get sand.”
“That sounds involved,” Victoria said getting up to go clip her hair.
A knock came on the door, and her gaze flew to Clifford. He kept his gaze on the television. Rolling her eyes because it was obvious he was going to be stubborn, she went to open the door.
“Hey,” Eric said with a wide smile.
Before she could speak, Clifford grabbed the door from her and tugged it open. Eric’s eyes widened and Victoria found herself stepping outside to take Eric’s hand.
“This is my big brother, Clifford,” she said. “He brought my car for me.”
Eric stepped back from her.
“Vicky, finish getting dressed,” Clifford said placing strong hands on her shoulders and pushed her back into the house.
Afraid of what he might say or do to Eric, Victoria ran to her bedroom. She grabbed the hair clip she’d set on the vanity table. Moving in fast motions, she finished with her hair, grabbed her purse. Visions of Clifford beating on his chest as if he was king-kong in the jungle had her jamming her feet into green sandals. She was in the living room when she remembered she’d left her cell phone in the bedroom. Running back with a groan, she got the phone and hurried out of the house.
Clifford and Eric had gone downstairs. Locking the house, she hurried down the stairs, only to find Clifford and Eric laughing by Eric’s car.
She stopped in surprise.
“What are you doing?” Clifford asked pushing off the car. He opened the back passenger door of Eric’s car. “You’re getting late for your date, Vicky.”
Victoria frowned when Eric opened the front passenger door for her. She slid into the car confused. Eric and Clifford chatted about football as they drove out of the parking lot. When they hit Argwings Kodhek road, Eric stopped the car and Clifford came out.
“Vicky,” Clifford said. “See you on Sunday at the parents’?”
“Sure,” Victoria said as her brother closed the door and hurried off to the bus stop.
Victoria turned to find Eric grinning.
“What did you say to him?” Victoria asked.
Eric shrugged. “I have younger sisters too, that’s all I’ll say.”
“Come on,” Victoria scoffed. “Tell me.”
“Nope,” Eric said as he joined traffic heading toward town. “You look beautiful, Victoria. Makes me think I should take you out dancing.”
“I don’t think you can dance.”
“Now you’re just challenging me.”
Victoria laughed and settled back in her seat. “Fine, it’s a challenge.”
“What do I win if I prove you wrong?”
Victoria glanced at him, “I’ll buy dinner.”
Eric laughed this time.
He did dance…to salsa…Victoria couldn’t laugh as he managed to tag her along with him. They weren’t very good at it, but she had a good time, and he paid for dinner anyway. And so…their love story began…
To be continued….thank you for reading and your patience ^_^