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   Chapter 7 Brownie Oxford and the Barren Woods Blunder

Brownie Oxford and the Barren Woods Blunder: Brownie Bk 3 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9849

Updated: 2018-03-13 10:30

Chapter 7

Because of the fainting couch, Ricky drove slower than I did, letting me reach the apartment building first.

"Even if I do drive like a paranoid Granny, " I said to myself before sliding out of the car. Steve Wallace and whatever belongings he was bringing in were nowhere in evidence. "Either he finished quickly or hasn't started." I shrugged. Either was good for me.

Ricky arrived a few minutes later and together we managed to get the couch out of the truck and into the elevator. Alec remained in the truck texting on his phone. When the two of us and the couch were all in the elevator, the doors safely closed I looked over to Ricky.

"Who exactly is Alec?"

Ricky sighed and rolled his eyes. "Alec is the club owner's new… toy, " Ricky said. "He's some sort of body builder slash model or something to that effect. He heard talk about your designs from a couple of people at the club and knew I was coming to see you. I told him it was to pick up a couch, but he decided he wanted to come anyway. Apparently, he isn't impressed with your taste and now thinks this was a waste of his time."

We both looked at the fainting couch. The top layer of fabric was some sort of blue corduroy I couldn't imagine someone thinking was a good idea. It had several rips in it and showed a primarily fuchsia floral fabric underneath.

"Not exactly stunning, " I confessed. "I don't know who chose the corduroy. Anyone fainting on this would have lines pressed into their face when they woke up."

"Not very attractive, " Ricky agreed.

The elevator dinged and we eased the fainting couch out of the confines of the metal box and into the hallway. Slowly, we trudged to my apartment, me walking backwards. I heard a door open and close, but couldn't see who it was. I could see Ricky tense though and had the suspicion Steve just left Noah's old apartment.

"Well, it looks like I'm not the only one moving things, " he said. I froze for a moment, recognizing the voice now that I wasn't looking at him. I carefully did not think about my recognition as I smiled and turned my head.

"Unplanned purchase, " I said. Steve nodded and backed away so we could get to my door. Ricky and I set the couch down and I fished my keys out of my coat pocket. "Ricky, this is Steve, my new neighbor. Steve this is Ricky, " I said providing introductions as I unlocked my door.

They exchanged 'nice to meet you's' and with the door open, Ricky and I picked the couch back up and took it into my apartment as Steve continued on his way. We put the couch down in the living room and I closed the door to my apartment, heaving a sigh of relief for multiple reasons.

"Remind me to find out how heavy something is before I decide to buy it, " I told Ricky, shoving the other reasons for relief aside for the moment. Ricky placed a hand to his forehead and fell gracefully against the couch.

"Well worth the sweat, my dear

t puts him in an entirely different category."

"Well, regardless of category, he'd be a fool to let you go, " I told Ricky as we left the elevator and crossed the lobby to the front doors. Alec was leaning on the horn. When he saw us he stopped and flopped back in his seat.

"Yeah, " Ricky said. "Unfortunately, Nathan has been quite foolish lately."

"Well, I wouldn't want to delay Alec. Give me a call when you want to talk design or anything else. I promise not to talk to Miranda, even if she shows up as Bernard." I looked towards the truck. "And if you want to bring Alec with you, I'll put something fabulous on Martha, my dressmaker's dummy, for him to stare at while we work."

"Thanks, " He told me. Ricky gave me a quick hug, and then joined Alec in the truck. I waved to them as he pulled out of the parking lot. I turned to walk towards my car as I still had to run to the fabric store to pick up material for projects.

"What was that all about?" I jumped as I heard Steve's voice, since I didn't know he was standing there. I turned to face him and hoped my smile looked rueful instead of pained.

"Ricky is trying to score points with his boss by helping out his friend. Unfortunately, said friend isn't the patient sort. Sorry about the honking. Usually my friends are more polite."

"At least it wasn't after midnight, " Steve replied.

"True, " I answered. "Of course if it was I'd probably drop something heavy out of the window myself in an effort to get him to stop. I need my eight hours." I noticed Steve was carrying two duffle bags. "And I should let you get on with the moving in. See you later." I turned and walked towards my car as Steve nodded and continued inside.

"Don't think about it, " I said to myself as I sild behind the wheel and again backed out of my parking space, this time heading towards the other side of town and my favorite fabric store. "I'll just think about Steve when I get back."

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