First Page Saturday – Unpublished Contemporary
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The Closet From Hell.
It deserved either a pizza with extra cheese or a thick hamburger with pickles and relish.
Olivia Carter decided to go for broke as she headed for the kitchen.
To hell with the calories. It also deserved a Triple Fudge Brownie with ice cream to round it all off.
Those were the only things that would restore the brain cells that had been expended fixing The Closet From Hell.
Simone Bessemer, wife of communications tycoon, Franklin Bessemer, had paid Olivia an arm and a leg to restyle the gigantic walk-in closet that she and her husband shared in their sprawling mansion estate.
The Closet From Hell was the size of Olivia’s living room and Simone had filled it until it was bursting at the seams. Franklin had given his wife the ultimatum. Either hire a professional organizer to fix it…or a divorce was going to be a distinct possibility.
Simone put Olivia’s name on speed dial.
It had taken Liv three mind-numbing days of wanting to stab her own eardrums with sharp, pointy things.
Three days of poking, prodding and arm-twisting to steer Simone into allowing The Closet From Hell to be reshaped into something that you didn’t need a compass and guide dog to wade through.
As a professional organizer running her own business aptly named Life In Order, she’d received more challenging assignments. Like the time she had to help a couple rearrange their ‘shoebox condo’. It was a nightmare trying to shove their young, urban professional lifestyle into 325 square feet of living space.
But this was her second toughest assignment since Simone literally broke into tears every time Liv pulled out an item to discard.
A pair of Jimmy Choo shoes couldn’t be tossed even though the heels were beyond repair, since they reminded Simone of the lovely time she and Franklin had on their third honeymoon. A moth-eaten scarf given to her fifteen years ago and worn three times couldn’t be pitched in the trash because it was a sentimental present from a neighbour she hadn’t laid eyes on in ten years.
With a migraine starting to tap its way into her head, Liv was nearly tempted to go for a pizza topped with a hamburger.
She rummaged through the freezer trying to decide when she heard the car pull up.
By the time she got to the front door to check, a man was getting out of his car and pulling out a hefty looking cardboard box from his front seat. It gave her a start. Along with an icy shiver down her spine.
But only for just a second.
That was progress, she thought. This time last year she’d be keeping her door shut and bolted before reaching for the phone to dial 911. Even now there were some days she wondered if she should buy a gun.
Just in case.
But she relaxed and told herself this man wasn’t trouble.
Until he straightened and headed for her front door with a scowl on his face.
Those eyes were the first thing that caught her attention. Sharp blue that contrasted with his coppery tan. Obviously he never heard of the phrase “SPF 75”. His face was made up of angles and edges and his dark brown hair was carelessly mussed by the wind. Scruffy face enhanced by dark stubble. A tall body encased in worn jeans and an expensive looking black jacket stretched over broad shoulders. He was carrying that large cardboard box, perched on one hip as he walked to her. Sexy walk.
Sexy and dangerous.
Dangerous she could do without.
When he got close enough, he called out. “Are you Olivia Carter?”
The dangerous thing he had going for him looked even more dangerous close up. She was almost tempted to call back, ‘No. No Olivia Carter here. Try 50 miles down the road…. and keep walking’.
“Yes, I am. What can I do for you…Mr…?”
“Jordan Locksbridge.” His voice was a smooth baritone, tinged with irritation. “My sister gave me this thing. She said you could help me.”
He shoved ‘this thing’ at her with one hand while he balanced the box on his hip. When she looked down at the paper he handed her, her mouth lifted in a smile. “Oh, your sister gave you a gift certificate for Life In Order. That was nice of her.”
“Yeah.” He nodded to the box. “So, if I give you my stuff, you sort it out for me? That’s how it works, right?”
Poor guy. He didn’t realize it was time for a dose of reality.