Lora & Petrona Volume 1: Blind Date

Lora checked the thin gold watch that wrapped delicately around her wrist. Only three minutes early. She might as well be late. Hopefully her date wouldn’t mind.

Her date. A novel idea, if nothing else — it had been at least three years since she’d gone out with someone as anything other than friends. Touring as part of a chamber ensemble was great for seeing the sights and eating her way around the globe, but it was hell on everyone’s love lives. At least she wasn’t continually abandoning a partner at home the way some of her colleagues did.

She took a deep breath and smoothed her hands across the front of her rose-colored blouse. It was silk, an uncommon luxury in both texture and color for someone who spent most of her life in blacks and whites, linens and cottons and wrinkle-resistant wool blends. The small restaurant in front of her was bustling, heart-shaped lights hanging in the windows and happy couples drinking wine and eating, forks and mouths moving in a silent cacophony through the window glass.

A blind date on Valentine’s Day. What had she been thinking when she agreed to let Navid set her up like this?

That you either need a date or a new toy, she thought wryly, her lips twisting with inner amusement.

A woman pushed past to grab the door handle to the restaurant entrance. She was shorter than Lora, a rush of red hair and perfume and impressive curves poured into a fuchsia dress that fit like a second skin. She was stunning, her warm brown eyes flashing as she elbowed past, tossing a quick wink over her shoulder.

“Sorry,” she laughed, wrapping a strong, tanned hand around the brass door pull. “Running late for a blind date! You understand.”

I do, Lora thought, and followed her in.