Missionary Position(9)

By: Daisy Prescott


“Hanky-panky.”

“Heynkay-peynkay.”

“Your accent is stronger when you say that. It’s adorable.”

“Adorable?” He arched an eyebrow. “Really? Kittens and baby bunnies are adorable. Bankers and number crunchers are ‘boring stiffs’ I think is what you said.”

“Fine. Not every number crunching banker is a boring stiff. Neither are all Gerhards.” I smiled at him.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Honestly, I’ve had a wonderful evening. Much better than spending it at some café with backpackers.”

“You don’t seem the type to hang out with backpackers and stoners.”

“Maybe twenty years ago, but not now.”

He subtly worked his jaw side to side. “Twenty years ago I was fifteen.”

Well, that answered that question.

“Twenty years ago I was twenty-three,” I stated, holding his gaze to gauge his reaction.

He blinked, but didn’t react or make a joke about older women. “Then we’re both too old for silly things like disco clubs and sleeping on trains.”

I raised my nearly empty wine glass for a toast. “To being too old for silly things.”

He clinked my glass and said, “But doing them anyway.”

I laughed in response and tapped his glass with mine a second time.

Funny how if I thought I’d never see someone again, I acted more myself, more free than at home where I might run into them at the store in my saggy yoga pants and Sunday sports bra.

I said yes when he asked me out for dinner the next night.

And the one after.

Amsterdam became more interesting than old paintings, canals, and the possibility of death by bell-ringing bicycles.





“MMM, GERHARD.”

I squirmed and fisted the pillow, cracking open my eyes. Early morning light sliced along the edges of the blinds in my hotel room.

The things that man could do with his hands.

Too bad it was only a dream. He made the perfect pirate, all Norse God and fair. I let my mind wander through the images of my dream. Each one could be a scene in one of my nom de plume romance novels.

Thor on the high seas. Breeches unlaced, broad, hairless Scandinavian chest bared under a faded and tattered uniform jacket, and legs for days ending in boots, big boots, very big boots covering his very big feet.

After a quick debate, I grabbed BOB instead of my notebook. The scene could be saved for later.

Damn Amsterdam and its Dutch charm.

I fell backward into the pillows, letting my hands wander as I mentally thanked Betty for adding batteries to the bag the other day.

Where was I? Right, Norse Gods. Pirates.

Gerhard.



I STOOD AGAINST the back wall in the auction room—my favorite spot to watch the bidding. Some people liked to sit up front, but serious bidders preferred to be in the rear or side of the room to observe their competition. Not that I intended to bid—the estimates were beyond my price range—but I was happy to observe.

Martha gave me a little wave from her position on the right side of the room, near the banks of phone bidders. I cautiously waved at her, making sure the auctioneer didn’t take my gesture for a bid.

The energy in the room simmered and heated up occasionally, but it never reached anything close to the bidding wars of contemporary or modern art auctions. Today’s auctioneer charmed and worked the partially full room the best he could.

My phone rang. The man next to me scowled despite speaking loudly in German on his own phone. Returning his scowl, I silenced the ringer and dashed out of the room to answer it.

“Morning, Selah,” a man’s voice greeted me. I glanced at the screen where Gerhard’s name was displayed

My mouth fought to resist breaking into a schoolgirl’s grin.

“Morning. I’m at the auction,” I explained, even though he didn’t ask what I was doing.

“I know. Look behind you.”

I glanced behind me, and then returned to the auction room, scanning the crowd until I located his familiar sand colored hair sitting in the last row on the far side. Today’s suit was gray and stretched across his broad shoulders, accenting them in a way that shouldn’t be allowed in polite company.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, standing still and making eye contact with him.

“Come sit with me,” he whispered.

I didn’t move from my spot.

“Come. Sit.” He patted the empty seat next to him and ended the call.

My feet obediently followed his command until I sat next to him.

“Hi.” His tone was hushed.

“Hi—” Enthusiasm made my voice too loud.

“Shhh!” an octogenarian in the row in front of us turned and hissed. The thin, bony finger she held to her lips ended in the sharp point of her blood red nail.

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