EXTRACT FROM THE CUPID BUSINESS (NOVEL)
The following is a short, edited extract from my forthcoming novel, The Cupid Business.
On a trip to Toronto, Kate meets Jake and gets more than she bargains for ….
Afterwards, I tucked into the first of several of Jake’s excellent pancakes. They were so fluffy and light to the touch.
“Jake, these are gorgeous and the maple syrup is so delicious. How do you make them?”
“Ah, an old family recipe,” he responded, tapping the end of his nose.
Jake was cute and he did make exceedingly good pancakes. He was tall and slim with long, glossy, dark hair; shiny black jacket and black cords. And there was something very appealing about that Canadian accent.
Jake kept his earlier promise and hauled me all over Toronto. We had such fun. There was an exhibition of painted fibreglass moose in town. And, wherever we went, there was an appropriately painted and attired moose. So, in front of the law courts, there was a lawyer moose, and in front of the art gallery, an artist moose, and even:
“Doctor and Nurse Moose,” I shouted excitedly, at the pair in front of the Toronto General hospital.
And, to top it all, Jake insisted that I join him on a sightseeing coach tour of the city but not just any coach tour: a Moose Tour. I howled with laughter when I realised that we had to wear special cardboard moose antlers for the whole of the trip.
“And if you get called up before the law while you’re in Toronto,” warned the guide, “Whatever you do, don’t turn up in court wearing your moose antlers.”
After the tour was over, Jake said: “Come on, Kate, there’s still more moose to come,” and he led me to a health and juice bar in Bloor Street.
“Now here’s where they do the best moose of all,” he announced with glee, “Chocolate mousse.”
And he was right. As I tucked into a huge bowl of creamy, mocha chocolate mousse, I realised that Toronto had quite a lot to offer. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice Jake’s hand coming towards me.
“Kate, you’ve got a mousse-tache!”
And with that, he dragged his forefinger across my lip. And then, to my surprise, placed the mousse-covered finger in his mouth and licked it seductively.
“Glad you came?” he asked, suggestively.
And I laughed. Truly, if I hadn’t already been attached, I could have seen myself falling for Jake in a big way. He seemed such a nice guy and so charming. He was a freelance artist, he told me. He’d even had a go at designing one of the fibreglass moose himself.
“But to tell you the truth, Kate, I couldn’t bear the thought of giving it away. They were all being donated to charity which is great but I got a bit attached to the one I designed. So I bought it myself and it’s sitting in my mom’s backyard instead.”
“What kind of a moose was it?” I asked, curious.
“Oh, a fruity one with lots of oranges, apples and bananas painted on it. And, of course, grapefruit.
“Grapefruit?” I asked.
“Yes, well, in French Canada, they’re called Pamplemousse. And my mum lives in Montreal, so I figured Monsieur Moose would be very much at home there.”
He was so funny, I just couldn’t help laughing. I was almost going to be sorry when it was time to head home – although not quite as, of course, I couldn’t wait to get back to see my partner.
“You know, I have a best friend called Suzie,” I told him with a grin. “You’d like her and I know she’d like you. You should come over and meet her. I think you two would really get on.”
And then, he stopped laughing and looked serious.
“Kate, I’m sure that she’s great but, to be honest, there’s someone I’m much more interested in right now.” And he looked at me intently.
And there in the middle of the Bloor Street Health and Juice Bar, and in front of all the mousse eaters, he kissed me.
Of course, I was absolutely appalled. This was all so wrong. My partner away on the other side of the Atlantic and me here with a stranger in a strange land.
Well, maybe this was how things were done in the land of the moose but not how things were done in London. Well, not my part of London anyway.
I pulled away. “I think,” I said firmly, “That there’s been some sort of moose-take!” …
Extract from The Cupid Business by Julie H. Rosenfield to be published on Amazon and Kindle later this year.