R .  Mac Wheeler Multi - Genre Author Suspense Urban Fantasy Fantasy Dystopian
Waiting   for   her   to   decide,   he   took   in   the   dark   ambiance   of   the   restaurant,   the   prints on the wall of colorful Parisian cafes and window boxes filled with flowers. His   eyes   drifted   to   the   couple   sitting   at   the   next   table.   The   young   man’s   harsh clothes   and   close-clipped   hair   implied   a   man   of   labor   and   few   means,   less   ready   to   pay Le Petit’s prices than Jacob. She   was   a   thin,   attractive   thing,   wearing   a   simple   white   cotton   blouse   with   long sleeves,   hair   curled   tightly,   reminded   Jacob   of   pictures   he’d   seen   of   his   grandmother from the forties. The two sat stiffly erect, their hands in their laps. The    waiter    arrived    and    poured    him    and    Belinda    a    taste    of    the    wine    the    house pushed   that   evening.   It   was   tasty,   but   Jacob   opted   for   iced   tea.   The   difference   paid   an installment    of    his    school    loans.    He    smiled    when    Belinda    ordered    the    same.    The kicker—she topped it by ordering the Penne a la Monegasque. She was a keeper. After   the   waiter   left   they   fell   into   small   talk.   Jacob   forced   his   eyes   off   Belinda’s   for   a moment.   He   didn’t   want   to   look   like   a   crazed   stalker.   He   glanced   at   the   other   couple again. His   first   impression   had   been   faulty.   They   were   about   the   same   age   as   him   and Belinda.   Though   dressed   conservatively,   they   didn’t   sit   like   two   first-time   daters.   They leaned forward, hands outstretched, his folded over hers. Belinda   brought   Jacob   back   to   the   table   with   a   comment   about   the   office,   a   safe subject.   His   best   friend   had   warned   him   not   to   go   on   about   himself.   His   second   warning was not to bring up sports. Evidently, the office was safe territory. The   waiter   brought   a   basket   of   bread,   which   prompted   danger-free   conversation   for another couple minutes. A   clink   from   the   next   table   made   Jacob   look   back   at   their   neighbors.   They   held   wine glasses   up   as   though   they   had   just   toasted.   A   sparkle   of   light   drew   Jacob’s   eyes   to   the woman’s hand. A modest solitaire graced it. Jacob   worked   to   shrug   off   his   poor   observation   skills.   Her   hair   no   longer   spun   in tight   curls,   the   front   of   her   white   blouse   coursed   with   a   flurry   of   ruffled   trim.   He   wore   a proper suit, his hair no longer buzzed above his ears. Belinda    spoke    of    the    project    they    worked    on,    bringing    him    back    again.    Jacob imagined   how   she   would   change   as   the   years   passed.   She   would   always   be   beautiful.   He loved the sound of her voice, confident and comforting. She   looked   down   at   the   table   in   thought,   and   Jacob   hurried   another   glance   at   his couple.   An   embellished   band   joined   the   woman’s   solitaire.   On   the   next   finger   rested   a dinner   ring   of   diamonds   and   rubies.   Her   silk   blouse   fell   open   seductively,   a   diamond pendent   swaying   above   a   generous   bosom.   Her   husband   leaned   toward   her,   a   gentle smile creasing his face, a contented expression, eyes locked onto hers. Jacob   was   back   before   Belinda   looked   up   again.   A   shiver   of   excitement   rushed   into his   chest,   as   he   imagined   a   solitaire   like   the   woman’s,   gracing   Belinda’s   hand,   maybe one day. Belinda’s smile changed, one brow dipping in query. “What?” “I’ll bet your mother is drop-dead gorgeous,” Jacob answered. “Why do you say that?” “Because you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met in my life.” Belinda’s   snowy   cheeks   hued   rose.   Her   lashes   trembled   and   she   studied   the   linen   of the table cloth. “You’re supposed to hold things like that until the second date, I think.” “I’m sorry. Not up on the protocol.” She smiled. The   waiter   brought   their   meals.   Jacob   didn’t   look   back   at   the   other   table   again   until the couple rose to leave. The   woman   now   wore   a   flowing,   blush-colored   gown,   elegantly   bare   shoulders   she covered   with   a   chiffon   wrap.   He   donned   a   tux.   Gray   monopolized   the   color   of   their   hair, hers   cut   short   up   the   sides   and   back,   sexily   tousled   on   top.   He   held   out   his   arm   and   she wrapped   hers   within   it.   They   clung   together,   making   their   way   slowly   from   the   dining room. Everyone in the room turned to take the couple in, ghosts from another time. © R. Mac Wheeler 2017
SCI FI
First Date T he     column     to     the     right     of     the     entrees     contained numbers   in   the   thirties   and   higher.   It   was   going   to   be   an expensive     meal.     But     the     point     was     to     make     an impression.   The   trick   was   not   to   spill   his   drink,   drench himself in sauce, or otherwise be a bore. Jacob   decided   on   the   quiche,   the   cheapest   item   on   the menu.   If   Belinda   selected   the   duck,   on   the   opposite   end of the scale, the magic would be shattered.
R .  Mac Wheeler Multi - Genre Author
First Date T he    column    to    the    right    of    the    entrees    contained numbers   in   the   thirties   and   higher.   It   was   going   to   be an   expensive   meal.   But   the   point   was   to   make   an impression.    The    trick    was    not    to    spill    his    drink, drench himself in sauce, or otherwise be a bore. Jacob   decided   on   the   quiche,   the   cheapest   item on   the   menu.   If   Belinda   selected   the   duck,   on   the opposite    end    of    the    scale,    the    magic    would    be shattered. Waiting   for   her   to   decide,   he   took   in   the   dark ambiance   of   the   restaurant,   the   prints   on   the   wall   of colorful   Parisian   cafes   and   window   boxes   filled   with flowers. His   eyes   drifted   to   the   couple   sitting   at   the   next table.    The    young    man’s    harsh    clothes    and    close- clipped   hair   implied   a   man   of   labor   and   few   means, less ready to pay Le Petit’s prices than Jacob. She   was   a   thin,   attractive   thing,   wearing   a   simple white    cotton    blouse    with    long    sleeves,    hair    curled tightly,   reminded   Jacob   of   pictures   he’d   seen   of   his grandmother    from    the    forties.    The    two    sat    stiffly erect, their hands in their laps. The   waiter   arrived   and   poured   him   and   Belinda a   taste   of   the   wine   the   house   pushed   that   evening.   It was     tasty,     but     Jacob     opted     for     iced     tea.     The difference   paid   an   installment   of   his   school   loans.   He smiled     when     Belinda     ordered     the     same.     The kicker—she    topped    it    by    ordering    the    Penne    a    la Monegasque. She was a keeper. After    the    waiter    left    they    fell    into    small    talk. Jacob   forced   his   eyes   off   Belinda’s   for   a   moment.   He didn’t   want   to   look   like   a   crazed   stalker.   He   glanced at the other couple again. His   first   impression   had   been   faulty.   They   were about    the    same    age    as    him    and    Belinda.    Though dressed   conservatively,   they   didn’t   sit   like   two   first- time       daters.       They       leaned       forward,       hands outstretched, his folded over hers. Belinda   brought   Jacob   back   to   the   table   with   a comment   about   the   office,   a   safe   subject.   His   best friend   had   warned   him   not   to   go   on   about   himself. His    second    warning    was    not    to    bring    up    sports. Evidently, the office was safe territory. The    waiter    brought    a    basket    of    bread,    which prompted     danger-free     conversation     for     another couple minutes. A   clink   from   the   next   table   made   Jacob   look   back at    their    neighbors.    They    held    wine    glasses    up    as though   they   had   just   toasted.   A   sparkle   of   light   drew Jacob’s   eyes   to   the   woman’s   hand.   A   modest   solitaire graced it. Jacob   worked   to   shrug   off   his   poor   observation skills.   Her   hair   no   longer   spun   in   tight   curls,   the   front of   her   white   blouse   coursed   with   a   flurry   of   ruffled trim.    He    wore    a    proper    suit,    his    hair    no    longer buzzed above his ears. Belinda    spoke    of    the    project    they    worked    on, bringing   him   back   again.   Jacob   imagined   how   she would   change   as   the   years   passed.   She   would   always be    beautiful.    He    loved    the    sound    of    her    voice, confident and comforting. She    looked    down    at    the    table    in    thought,    and Jacob    hurried    another    glance    at    his    couple.    An embellished   band   joined   the   woman’s   solitaire.   On the   next   finger   rested   a   dinner   ring   of   diamonds   and rubies.     Her     silk     blouse     fell     open     seductively,     a diamond   pendent   swaying   above   a   generous   bosom. Her    husband    leaned    toward    her,    a    gentle    smile creasing   his   face,   a   contented   expression,   eyes   locked onto hers. Jacob   was   back   before   Belinda   looked   up   again. A   shiver   of   excitement   rushed   into   his   chest,   as   he imagined     a     solitaire     like     the     woman’s,     gracing Belinda’s hand, maybe one day. Belinda’s    smile    changed,    one    brow    dipping    in query. “What?” “I’ll    bet    your    mother    is    drop-dead    gorgeous,” Jacob answered. “Why do you say that?” “Because   you’re   the   most   beautiful   woman   I’ve ever met in my life.” Belinda’s    snowy    cheeks    hued    rose.    Her    lashes trembled   and   she   studied   the   linen   of   the   table   cloth. “You’re   supposed   to   hold   things   like   that   until   the second date, I think.” “I’m sorry. Not up on the protocol.” She smiled. The    waiter    brought    their    meals.    Jacob    didn’t look   back   at   the   other   table   again   until   the   couple rose to leave. The   woman   now   wore   a   flowing,   blush-colored gown,   elegantly   bare   shoulders   she   covered   with   a chiffon   wrap.   He   donned   a   tux.   Gray   monopolized the   color   of   their   hair,   hers   cut   short   up   the   sides   and back,   sexily   tousled   on   top.   He   held   out   his   arm   and she    wrapped    hers    within    it.    They    clung    together, making their way slowly from the dining room. Everyone   in   the   room   turned   to   take   the   couple in, ghosts from another time. © R. Mac Wheeler 2017