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Fanfic: To My Valentine

Chapter 4: Workday

The day was like any other, filled with chatting, flirting, dusting, and a few sales. Ryan took her to lunch at 11:20, and they went out to a bistro they had never been to together. They sat talking and enjoying one another's company well past the time when the rest of the Valentine's Day lunchers had gone.

On the way back to the shop, Ryan detoured to the beach. Once they were there, they walked along, enjoying the view, and one another's company, until they got to an art gallery, where Ryan wanted to go in and see what they had.

It was a wonderful showing, of landscapes, still-lifes, and abstract painting of plated food, and they spent quite some time there, enjoying the art, and the view of the water from the front windows of the gallery.

After they left the gallery, they walked along the streets, and Ryan insisted they stop in at another bistro, this time for coffee.

They sat and talked for over an hour, drinking coffee, listening to the nearby jazz, and playing the board games left out for customers. Whereupon Micki found out that Ryan was obnoxiously good at not only Pictionary, but at Trivial Pursuit.

"Who knew you, of all people, was a trivia nerd?!"

Ryan laughed as Micki threw down the card in mock aggravation. "Hey," he said, looking smug, "I prefer to be called a trivia mastermind, thank you very much."

She laughed and finished what was left of her coffee. Then she looked down at her watch, "Wow, after six already? We should be getting back to the shop. Jack..."

Ryan cut her off with a smile, "Jack is wining and dining that woman, Lillian, he met at the shop a few weeks ago. Which means, he won't be back until late. Besides, I have another surprise for you. C'mon, let's go!"

Micki eyed him suspiciously as she stood and took her coat. She was never a huge fan of surprises, particularly after her life with Lloyd, so she wasn't sure what to think.

Still, a part of her was excited, and an even bigger part of her was just happy to be spending the evening with Ryan.

When they started back in the direction of the gallery, Micki's curiosity got the better of her and she asked him almost half-a-dozen times where they were going.

Ryan just laughed and held her close, "You'll just have to wait and see."

When they finally stopped, they were standing in front of the art gallery, now dark and empty since it had been closed for the night.

Before Micki had a chance to ask what was happening, Ryan walked up to the door and knocked, leaving Micki looking completely confused.

After several minutes the door opened and a nicely dressed man bowed to their entrance.


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