Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spellbound excerpt Five


As promised, here is the final installment of Chapter One of Spellbound:

You can purchase a copy of Spellbound here.


I glance over at him and he is now on the phone, deep in conversation, his attention focused completely on his screen. I look back at Joe and he looks a little like he’s just asked me if I can help him keep one of his limbs.
“Of course you can have some honey,” I say, putting him out of his misery. “I can’t drink a whole bottle of anything on my own, let alone liquid gold.” I smile, hoping I miraculously show more confidence than I feel.
Joe leans forward and expertly pours the wine into the two long stemmed crystal glasses.
“Beautiful glasses Joe,” I murmur.
“Waterford. I picked them up while I was out as well. Greta is organizing us a cheese plate.”
The bowls are a third filled and I inwardly giggle at the glass half empty metaphor. Joe carefully lifts my glass and hands it to me. “Don’t touch the bowl. Your hand will overheat the wine. Sniff it first.”
I sink my nose into the glass just as Joe is doing and my sinuses flood with the rich scent of spicy wine. Joe looks like he’s in heaven, but it’s all a little lost on me. I smile at him.
“Wow,” I say.
Greta arrives with a large block of wood that has three cheeses and a selection of plain biscuits on it. She stares at Joe’s wine and he tells her to grab a glass form behind the bar because it is good for her job that she have a taste. Joe turns to me and with a one, two, three we take our first sip of Grange Hermitage.
I’m stunned.
Even I can tell it is an incredible wine. It’s smooth, and the taste of spices, berries and what seems to almost be vanilla explode in my mouth. It goes down very easily, almost as if it evaporated on my tongue, and I immediately want another sip.
“Take is slow,” says Joe. “Savor it. It’s your wine. It’s so precious.”
I take another sip, wondering when he will go so I can just get back to reading and drinking.
I look up at Mr. Briefcase and he has paused. He’s sitting back in his chair again, watching me with that boyish smile, that intense unwavering gaze. He looks like he’s enjoying the private joke and I can see he loves the surprise he’s pulled on me.
I raise my glass with a smile. He arches his brow and raises his whiskey back. Then, in an act of inspired cheek, I down the entire contents of my glass in a swift swallow that nearly kills me, but I hope looks incredibly cool.
“Oh my god - don’t disrespect the wine,” Joe squeals shaking his free hand. “You have to savor it. This wine will never ever be back in the world again.”
I glance over at my host and he’s smiling - thank god. He tilts his head to the side and I watch the smile fade as I feel the heat of his gaze travel the length of my body again.
I put my glass down and Joe pours with a stern lecture about taking it slow, and something about not being allowed to get drunk on wine like this. I’m starting to wonder if I can re-cork it and trade it for some cash. The wine I’ve had is mixing pleasantly into my blood and I grow fearless. With a gift like this, maybe I have made a really solid first impression. Maybe I can be bold enough to go and chat to the man. After all, he thinks I’m pretty.
No! Beautiful. He said beautiful.
With two wines under my belt, I can ask him over to share a glass surely? That’s the least I can do.
I resolve to approach him and ask him to join us.

But when I look up again, his chair is empty and Jack Sinclair has gone.

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