Get your copy of Finding Love’s Magic before Valentine’s Day. Go here for the first part of Maribelle’s Magic by Mary Marvella.
Anthologies are perfect for busy folks! These short stories in Finding Love’s Magic are not like the ones you didn’t want to read in school. Each of the nine authors spins a tale of happily after all with wonderful Southern touches and twists.Contemporary stories mingle with paranormal stories you won’t want to end! Cupid’s Bow, Georgia might just become your favorite place to visit.
Go here for the beginning of Maribelle’s Magic and a free short story by Mary Marvella. https://pinkfuzzyslippersauthors.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/9-delightful-love-stories-for-valentines-day/
After she filled the orders she made a special arrangement to deliver to an attorney. Taking a single red tipped silver rose, she went to lunch at Sadie’s Diner, the place she knew she could get the most gossip and likely see her next lawyer victims.
Sadie’s diner always had a crowd from the Cupid’s Bow courthouse. There were plenty of cases tried in the old building in the middle of the town square. Civil cases nearly always put Jasmine and Seth on opposite sides as opposing counsel. The diner served the best soups and chili around. A person could order breakfast any time of day, and the sandwiches were as legendary as Sadie, who must be in her mid-forties.
The minute Maribelle entered the diner the pungent smell of chili spices and bacon made her stomach growl. Her coffee and grapefruit breakfast had worn off long ago. Even a goddess had to watch her weight when she lived in the world of humans. Her hips and waist couldn’t afford her favorite breakfast of eggs, bacon, grits, and biscuits every day. The lunch crowd had thinned, so Sadie should have time to chat with the diners, which suited Maribelle perfectly.
“Booth or table.” Jackie grabbed a menu and pasted on her hostess smile.
“Booth, please.” Maribelle smiled at the tall, slender woman as she followed the bouncing platinum ponytail and swaying backside in skin tight red jeans. She looked like a cheap, older version of Venus, in a way.
“Water with lemon and a Coke?” Jackie placed the plastic one page menu on the dark wooden table.
“You got it.” Maribelle would miss Cokes when she returned home, unless she could work some magic and get the gods and goddesses to allow that human drink in their kingdom.
Jackie returned with two glasses and placed them in front of Maribelle. “The usual?” she asked.
“Open-face shrimp sandwich, easy on the mayo, and sweet potato chips. And I’d love to speak with Sadie, if she has time, of course.”
“Sure thing, skinny flat bread.” She didn’t wait for a response. “I’ll bring your sandwich and send Sadie over.”
By the time Sadie slid onto the bench across from Maribelle half of the sandwich had disappeared with more than half of the chips.
“How’s it goin’?” Sadie grinned, showing her gold eyetooth. She looked as though she had just stepped from a magazine cover for senior citizens. Her silver-streaked hair had been pulled into a tight bun, and she wore antique pearl strands. A demigoddess could tell the real from fake, and those pearls were real.
“I got three orders on my way to work.” After she took a bite of her sandwich and chewed she asked causally, “What can you tell me about Jasmine and Seth? Have they always hated each other?”
Sadie narrowed her brown eyes. “You don’t plan to involve them in your match making, do you?”
“Sure, why not?” Everyone knew she made matches, they just didn’t know why she did it or that she had no choice.
Sadie shook her head and signaled for Jackie to bring her a cup of coffee, a good sign. That meant she planned to talk about Seth and Jasmine or share gossip about someone else. Either way, Maribelle would gain information she might need now or later.
Once Sadie got her coffee and added enough cream and sugar to make it look like doctored milk, she leaned toward Maribelle and spoke in a low voice one might use to share a state secret. “Those two were in each other’s hip pockets all through high school.”
Maribelle had read about that online, but she nodded to keep Sadie talking. “Really?”
“They planned to go to Mercer Law in Macon. Jasmine got accepted immediately, since her daddy graduated from Mercer and her grades and SAT scores were high enough to get into any school. That girl was smart as a whip, even in grade school.”
I poked chips into my mouth as I listened, wondering what had pulled those kids apart.
“And Seth’s grades and scores were as good as Jasmine’s, but he had no relatives who went to college at all, much less Mercer Law. He had a scholarship that would help him and planned to work while he was in college.”
Angry voices made Sadie and Maribelle stop talking and look toward the door.
Tall and handsome, Seth held the door open while Jasmine sailed through. “You are so wrong!” Jasmine enunciated. Venom laced each word.
His hand brushed her back in a move that looked a lot like a caress. “You know I always stop here to eat after a court appearance.” His voice held humor, as though they had this conversation daily.
“I would not follow you if you had the key to the gates of Heaven.”
He grinned. “You once said I did.”
Jasmine turned red. “In your dreams, counselor.”
“Every night.” His low voice would have melted Venus’s thong, if she had one.
“Well,” Jasmine drew herself up to her 5′ 5″ height. “I have stopped here since Daddy and I had lunch together after his cases.”
“That’s true,” Sadie muttered to Maribelle.
“You win. Our stops here all through high school mean nothing against your visits with Daddy.” Seth turned on his heel and strode out.
Sadie waved to Jackie to bring Jasmine over to the booth she and Maribelle occupied. She slid over to make room for the slender lawyer. “Join us?”
“Sure, Sadie.” Her pleasant Southern lady smile lacked the warmth of her argument with Seth. “Good afternoon, Maribelle, how have you been? Guess you’ve been busy with Valentine’s Day less than a week away.”
“I have, which is good.”
“That Seth can be a real jerk, when he chooses to be,” Sadie said in her just-between-us-girls manner.
Jasmine’s eyes widened in that affronted manner women used to warn a speaker to say no more. “I wouldn’t call him a jerk, exactly. He’s just opinionated and stubborn.” She ran a hand through her bobbed blonde hair.
“You two have been at odds since I moved here. Why?” Maribelle asked. She didn’t expect the real answer, but she needed ammunition to help her plot.
Jackie brought a glass of iced tea with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon. “My usual.” Jasmine waited for the waitress to leave before she continued. “Just things, you know.” She tore a leaf off the sprig and crushed it between her thumb and forefinger. “People grow apart.” She tore off another leaf. “They grow up. They change.”
“Time was when everyone thought you and Seth would marry after law school and set up a practice here.” Sadie primed the pump.
Jasmine’s wistful look made Maribelle think Jasmine had expected the same thing at one time.
“He didn’t want to settle here with Daddy and me.”
And therein lay the problem. Jasmine must have put her daddy first, over Seth. Maribelle would give everything to be able to be with the man she loved, while these two mortals wasted their time fighting over an old issue.
A plan began to develop in Maribelle’s mind. The lawyers needed some alone time to cool off, and she knew just the place. She dared not ask more questions today, so she grabbed her ticket. “Back to work for me.” She grinned. Reaching beside her on the bench, she picked up the flower she’d brought for Sadie. “For you, my friend.” She waved the bloom toward Jasmine and then handed it to Sadie.
“You didn’t have to, but you’re not getting it back.” Sadie grinned so wide her eyetooth winked. She closed her eyes, sniffed, then opened them again. “Divine! Better than gardenias.”
Jasmine leaned toward the flower and took a long whiff as Maribelle had hoped she would.
Maribelle left the two women chatting while she gave her check and money to the cashier at a register that had to be thirty years old, at least.
By the time she arrived at her shop she had formulated her plan. She needed to get two lawyers here at the same time one night, like tomorrow night.
Two customers she recognized as repeats chatted with Cassandra as they pointed to different kinds of candy. They looked so in love they couldn’t need the magic of the candy or Maribelle’s flowers again. They made their own magic by returning here each year to renew their vows in one of the three chapels in town.
A glance at her phone startled her. She slipped into her office to read the message that came with Venus’s message tone. Sadie’s name stood out in bold print. “Not funny, Venus!” she muttered. “I need two names.”
Keep your eyes open if you want to get your delicious man back. If you don’t figure it out, I get to keep Jayus.
Not on your life! The words appeared on the screen as Maribelle thought them.
Cassandra called from the office doorway, startling Maribelle. “This couple wants the arrangement you left in the front this morning. There was no name on it, so I figured it would be for sale. Tomorrow is their first anniversary. How much?”
She knew the lawyers would need a different arrangement, a potent one. She nodded and wrote a price on a pad and handed it to Cassandra.
“Not high enough.” Cassandra shook her head. “They could never find anything that beautiful anywhere else. And besides, they can….
Now you need to read the book if you want to know how this story ends.
HOWEVER: I will still give any commenter a copy of one of my novellas!
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab