The Obsession Page 91

“Xander stayed with you?”

“He stayed.”

“All right. We’re not going to think about it right now. It’s all anyone’s talking about when they catch a breath, but we’re not going to think about it.”

“You’re awfully busy.”

“Tour package.” Jenny took a satisfied and slightly calculating glance around the shop. “We’ve got two busloads in town for the day. The town planner worked the deal months ago. So we’re very carefully not mentioning what you and I aren’t thinking about in front of tourists. Or trying not to mention.”

She bent down to pick up the box again. “I want to show these to Krista. Come with me. She just went in the back, and we’re covered out here for a few minutes.”

“You’re really busy,” Naomi reminded her, but Jenny was already nudging her along.

Jenny skirted around tables, displays, all bright chatter, and reminded Naomi of a pretty bird singing as it flitted from branch to branch.

She skirted around a counter and through a door into a storeroom/office area where a woman with streaky brown hair bundled up and held in place with a pair of jeweled chopsticks sat at a computer.

“Tracked the shipment—it’s out for delivery, praise Jesus.”

“I’ve got some potential stock and Naomi Carson for you, Krista.”

Krista swiveled on her chair and slid off a pair of purple cheaters. She had a good face with wide brown eyes, a long, full mouth—and the glint of a tiny ruby stud on the left side of her nose.

“I’m so happy to meet you. Pretend there’s a seat I can offer you. I really like your work,” she added. “I’ve combed your website several times, and nagged Jenny to get you in here.”

“I love your shop—which I’ve avoided because I’m weak. I’ve already picked out candle stands, and I probably can’t leave without that oval wall mirror with the antiqued bronze frame.”

“Jenny’s piece.”

“Flea market rehab,” Jenny confirmed. “Naomi brought us some photos.” Jenny set the box on the crowded desk. “I resisted pawing through myself.”

“It’s good to remember the pecking order around here.” Pushing off the chair, Krista opened the box, then put the cheaters back on to take a close look.

She’d gone with small prints, wildflower studies, a series of four of the inlet, one of the marina, another set of nurse logs.

“They’re beautifully matted and framed. You do that yourself?”

“Part of the process, yes.”

“I can sell these.” She propped a pair against the box, stepped back, nodded. “Yes, we can sell these. In fact, with the tour, we can sell some of these as soon as we get them on the floor.”

She took off the cheaters again, tapped them against her hand. Then named her price point. “Standard sixty-forty,” she added.

“That works for me.”

“Good, because I really want them. And I can take more, especially of local flora and fauna, local water scenes, town scenes. I can sell them as unframed prints, too. We can think about that. I’d love the inlet and marina shots as postcards.”

“I can do postcards.”

Turning, Krista wrapped an arm around Jenny’s shoulders in an easy, unstudied way that told Naomi they were good friends. “She can do postcards. Do you know how long I’ve wanted classy postcards?”

Jenny grinned, slid her arm around Krista’s waist. “Since you opened.”

“Since I opened. I’ll take two dozen postcards right off, as soon as you can get them to me. No, three. Three dozen. I can sell a dozen to the B-and-B in a flash.”

“A variety of shots?”

“Dealer’s choice,” Krista confirmed. “Jen, get these priced and out on the floor. Pick your spot. She’s my right hand,” she told Naomi. “Even if she’s planning to leave me in the lurch.”

“Not for months yet. I know just where to put these.” Jenny stacked them back in the box, hefted it.

“If you’ve got a few minutes, Naomi, I’ll print out the contract for what we’re taking.”


“Don’t leave without seeing me,” Jenny said, and went out to work on the display.

“I’m going to do an order sheet for the postcards while I’m at it. How’s work going up on the bluff?”

“Really well, which is why I need those candle stands, the sinuous ones. They need to be in my library. I think the mirror’s for the foyer. But . . . it needs to be in there somewhere. And whatever smells so damn good out there.”

“That’s mock orange in our diffusers today.”

“I’m told I need those—the plants. I think I need them in the diffusers, too.”

“Tell Jenny you get one—on the house. We’re going to make some money together, Naomi.”

She left with more than she’d taken in, justified the purchases. The house needed things, and Krista was right. They’d make some money together. No question of it, as four of the framed prints sold before Jenny rang her up.

“We’ve got work to do, Tag.”

She clipped the leash on him when he was too distracted with joy to object, loaded her purchases in, got her camera and backpack out.

“Let’s take that walk and make some postcards.”

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