After an exhausting day at the nursery Wendy relaxed at home, ate dinner, cleaned up and changed into a pair of navy-blue slacks and tucked in a beige blouse she rarely wore. She finished it off with a navy belt. She looked in the mirror definitely a more casual look than her business attire and a little more in-style, a better fit for Hoffman’s.
Of all the days at Hoffman’s, Wendy thoroughly enjoyed Sundays, well the few she’d been to. The upbeat crowd moved about with lots of conversations and laughter. People seemed so laid back. Cindy and Wendy worked their way up front, and Cindy grabbed a seat at the piano bar as a man left. Wendy moved to the side being uncomfortable with the encroachment of so many people in front. Brad paid a lot of attention to Cindy as well as another woman near Wendy.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” a man asked as he appeared next to Wendy.
Wendy turned and found herself face-to-face with a very friendly smile. “Yes, I do, but it’s pretty hard to talk in here.”
Wendy turned to watch Brad.
“My name is Marty.”
She turned back to him. “Hi, I’m Wendy.” They both watched Brad. Marty crossed his arms. “He has a good voice.”
“He sure does.” Marty leaned into Wendy. “I must admit when he sings ballads his voice makes me feel pretty relaxed. His fast songs are great fun.”
Marty seemed to appreciate Brad’s talent.
Brad started a break. “Could I interest you in talking on the deck?”
Wendy liked his attitude and his appreciation of Brad. He was about five foot six inches and nice looking with brown, curly hair, dark brown eyes and a slender build. “Okay.”
They walked out to the deck surrounded by plexiglass to keep people safe. They stared down at the dark waters of the Goodman Canal. “I’ve seen you here before. You’re a friend of Cindy’s, right?”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“I pay attention. No, seriously, I talked to her briefly a couple of times. Cindy and Brad have a thing goin’, huh?”
Before she could tell him, it wasn’t anything she’d talk about, he said, “You come here to keep her company, right?”
“Actually, I do, and I like the music.” Wendy thought Marty looked out of place on a Sunday with a blue suit, white shirt, and tie. He went on to tell her he graduated from Stanford Law School and had lived in West Los Angeles for the past three years. Wendy told him she went to UCLA and lived in Mar Vista.
“I know I look a bit odd for this place,” he said as he fiddled with his tie, “but I just came from a business meeting.
“A business meeting on a Sunday?”
“Unfortunately, yes. I work for Hilstrom Corporation and, once in a while, one of the big wigs from New York comes to town and we work around his schedule.”
“That makes sense. What’s Hilstrom Corporation?”
“It builds and runs restaurants around the country.”
Wendy wasn’t sure how to continue the conversation. “Finally, is it interesting work?”
“It is. I enjoy the legal end.”
“You’re their lawyer?”
“Well, one of them, they have quite a few.”
A breeze came up. “I’m sorry. Could we go back inside? It’s getting chilly.”
They returned from the observation deck and moved toward the piano bar. “Thought you two forgot us,” Brad announced over the microphone. Marty smiled at Brad and glanced at Wendy. She tried hard to hide her embarrassment at being spotlighted. Seemed like Brad knew Marty, or he wouldn’t have said anything. It was the first time Brad had acknowledged her out loud. Wendy liked the attention, even though uncomfortable with it. Wendy enjoyed visiting with Marty. Before he left, Marty asked for her phone number and with a flushed face she gave it to him. What attracted him to her she had no idea, but quite a compliment from such a nice-looking guy. The next day Wendy received the list from Jim on ideas of how to manage the business and make it a success. First on the list, keep track of inventory so she’d know when to re-order. Jim told her she needed to contact her accountant periodically to determine how much money she had to work with. She needed to figure out where were the best areas in the nursery to invest the most money. She immediately considered the pond and stream. The gazebo came to mind too.
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