Although Joy and Nathan aren’t the main love interest in this novel, the other two already know one another. This is a first meeting for Joy and Nathan, so I decided to include it. Nathan is an actor, who is staring in a TV show with Carl. Joy is the younger sister of Carl’s son-in-law. It’s Carl’s birthday, and they are all going out to dinner.
“Join us for dinner?” Autumn invited Nathan.
“If it’s not an imposition, thank you.”
“Not at all,” Ernie replied. “Auntie Joy will be joining us,” he told Mimi.
“Yay, Auntie Joy!” she hopped up and down.
“My sister,” Ernie explained. “She couldn’t get to the game, so she invited us to dinner after.”
“She won’t mind?”
Ernie’s eyes traveled from the top of Nathan’s head to his feet, then back up to his face. “Nope.”
“I hope Auntie Joy is single,” he replied.
“She is. And a fan. She’ll love meeting you.”
“I look forward to it.”
Dinner was across town at a blues club called Charlie’s Tavern. An unprepossessing building from the outside, it had hosted blues bands from around the world. Fantastic music poured forth from the open doors and windows. The parking lot was jammed full. Luckily, the business next door was closed for the day, and allowed after hours parking. They were able to find places next to one another.
Auntie Joy was waiting on the porch, waving at her family. Her eyes nearly popped from her head when she saw Nathan.
“Ohmigod! When Ernie said someone was joining us, I didn’t know—I wasn’t expecting! Oh, Wow! Mr. Crocker, I’m such a huge fan!” She took his hand in both of hers. “Such—a huge—!”
“Not so huge,” he corrected with a dazzling smile. “You’re a little, bitty thing.”
“Devoted,” she whispered. “Wow.”
“Let’s not stand on the porch all night,” Ernie prompted. “I guess the rest of us don’t rate a welcome? We haven’t seen you in six months, Sis.”
She gave enthusiastic hugs and kisses all around, doing her best not to gape at Nathan again.
“I’m so sorry. I know I’m acting like a star struck tween. I’ve been a fan since I was one.”
“So, five years?” he teased.
“We share a birthday,” she gasped.
“No kidding? I never met a birthday twin before. Surely you’re younger.”
Joy shook her head, auburn curls bouncing in counterpoint. “Same year. Were you born here?”
“No. A little town in Texas, called Dripping Springs, in the Hill Country.”
“I want to hear all about it.”
© 2020 Dellani Oakes