Taking Chances Page-11

Taking Chances

The davis twins series

a bohemian skirt flowing around her. In typical Annie fashion, she was wearing turquoise Converse high-tops. The combination would not be flattering on most, but somehow she made it work. She looked so hopeful that I hated to disappoint her by telling her about my less than stellar date with Marcus. I decided it would be best to rip the bandage off quickly. “It’s a no-go,” I said. “Not even one more date?” she tried. To her credit, when I shook my head, she let it drop immediately. “No worries,” she said as she breezed past me. “Plenty of sardines in the can.” I chuckled at the motto she had chosen, as unique as Annie herself. Annie had become like a second mother to me when my own mother had passed away. She had been there to help me through the complete devastation of the loss of my parents, and the crumbling of my marriage in a way that only a mother could. She knew that the money from my inheritance made it so that I didn’t need to work for financial reasons. I needed to work for my sanity, though, and she insisted on paying me. On the sly, I set aside almost all of the money I earned from working into a mutual fund for Courtney or Annie, should they ever need it. It felt good to know that the two women I cared most about would never have to worry about monetary problems. I began turning on the myriad of twinkle lights that dotted the store as Annie propped the bright purple front door open, jingling the bells on the handle and yelling down the sidewalk, “Tchotchkes! Get your one-of–a￾kind artsy-fartsy treasures here!” As usual, people couldn’t resist Annie’s magnetic charm, and it wasn’t long until the store was bustling with activity. I liked being busy and helping people find the perfect gift for a loved one or a special souvenir. It was terrific getting to see people when they were at their most relaxed and happy. I smiled as I watched Annie open a huge cardboard box that contained the new teapot line we would be carrying. The ceramic teapots were animal shaped, and they were beautiful. Annie exclaimed over each one like a