Chapter Thirty-Two

Marah waltzed into Company and quickly scanned the room’s occupants.  Not seeing Michelle she let out a grateful sigh.  They were supposed to meet for lunch but Marah’s meeting at the Beacon had run over and she hated the idea of Michelle waiting long for her to arrive.  Thankful that the lunch rush wasn’t yet in full force Marah quickly chose a table in the back.  She had just ordered an iced tea when she noticed Michelle enter.

“Hope you haven’t been waiting long.” Michelle placed baby Danielle’s carrier on the table before ordering her own drink from the passing waitress.

Marah noted the look of strain on the other woman’s face.  Clearly Michelle wasn’t having a good day. “No I just got here.  Is something wrong?”

Michelle laughed half-heartedly, “That obvious huh?  Today has been frustrating that’s all.  Hope’s old day care doesn’t accept infants and since my maternity leave from the clinic is almost over I need to find a suitable daycare for Danielle.”  She paused to sip her water, “I interviewed three people today and each one was worse than the other.”

As if she sensed she was the topic of discussion Danielle began to kick her feet.  Marah grinned and captured the tiny foot in her hand and jiggled it playfully.  “And she’s such a good baby too.  Have you tried that new place I think it’s called Tiny Steps or Baby Steps, something along those lines?  I think that’s where Lizzie took Jackson after he was born. ”

Michelle sat back and smiled, “What would I do without you?  I completely forgot all about First Steps!  Lizzie even mentioned it at the baby shower but I was too busy crying to pay any attention.  Marah Lewis you are a lifesaver I swear.  I will make an appointment tomorrow.”  She picked up the menu and opened it with a flourish, “Now let’s eat while Danielle isn’t screaming the walls down.”

***

Michelle dipped her french fries in ketchup and Marah nearly choked on her tea when the other woman moaned in pure delight.  Seeing the wide-eyed look on Marah’s face Michelle raised an eyebrow,”What?”

How Michelle could manage that innocent look was a mystery, “Oh I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because you just let out a bedroom moan right here in the middle of Company.”

“Did not.”

They were both laughing now, “You did so!”

“I can’t help it.  I got down to pre-baby weight in record time and can indulge myself.  And these fries are too good to pass up.”  Michelle picked up another fry, and after giving it the same treatment as the last one, let out an exaggerated moan that even caught the attention of the people at the next table. “Besides, how would you know my bedroom moans anyways?”

Marah was laughing so hard her side hurt, “I don’t know your bedroom moans specifically, but I know a bedroom moan when I hear one.”

Michelle’s grin was full of wicked delight, like she knew a dirty secret and couldn’t wait to tell someone. “I see.  So I assume things are going well at the carriage house.”

Marah couldn’t stop herself from blushing, “Yeah everything is great on that front.”

“But?”

“It’s just been an adjustment.  We haven’t been living together that long and are still learning how to mesh our lives together.”  She paused to take a drink of her tea, “I mean how hard is it to remember to throw your socks in the laundry hamper?  He gets them within two feet but can’t manage to open the lid and put them inside.”

Michelle threw her head back and laughed loudly, “Oh Marah if I had a dollar for every time I asked that question I’d be a millionaire.  Danny and I married the first time almost thirteen years ago and he still can’t manage to get his socks into the hamper.  Of course now I think he does it more to annoy me than simply forgetting.”

Noting the sappy grin on her friend’s face Marah had to ask, “Judging by the look on your face right now you like that he tries to annoy you.”

“Oh course I do.”  When Marah still looked confused Michelle went on to explain, “We’re not one of those disgustingly happy all the time couples.  We fight and we argue at times but the making up is so good.”

“Okay I have to hand it to you, you do have a point.”

Grabbing another fry Michelle just scoffed, “Of course I do.  Just wait till you’re married and you’ll see.”

With reminded Marah why she had invited Michelle to lunch in the first place, “About that.  I know the wedding isn’t until next year but I wanted to know if you could recommend a young gorgeous woman who could be my matron of honor?”

Hearing her own words from long ago come back at her Michelle laughed and jumped up to embrace her friend, “Yes! I would be honored.”

Michelle was so excited that she could barely sit still in her chair, “So have you two made any plans yet?”

“Not really.  It’s been one thing after another these past few months.  With the house and both of us opening businesses we’re lucky if we have a couple of hours together.  And trust me, wedding talk is the last thing that comes to mind.”

“Sounds like business is good, congratulations.”

Marah was proud, Marah on Main had only been opened a short while and so far she had a steady steam of clients, no doubt all due to her mother. “Well having my mom as my assistant doesn’t hurt.  She is about as subtle as dynamite.  Yesterday she walked into the Beacon told Olivia that it could use a little updating and lo and behold who calls me today?  Olivia Spencer.”

That sounded like Reva, “Well do you have any projects scheduled around December?”

Marah searched her mental calendar but didn’t think she had anything major planned, “Not that I know of.  Why do you ask?”

“Because Danny and I want to hire you to decorate the new house.”

While she was touched by the gesture Marah didn’t want Michelle thinking she had to hire her to decorate because they were almost family.  “I am flattered but you don’t have to do that Michelle.  I mean, if you do need help for some reason I would be happy to.  But I could never charge you for that.”

Michelle looked at her like she was crazy, “Nonsense.  You’d be doing us a favor really.  Danny is going to be busy opening Infierno with Tony, I will be working at the clinic, and with the three kids and their various activities I don’t know when I’d have the time to plan color schemes and match fabric.  You love it and did such an amazing job on the carriage house it makes sense.  Don’t eve try to tell me no, I forbid it.”

Marah could see the determination in Michelle’s eyes and knew that any resistance would prove futile, “Well when you put it that way-”

“Good.” Michelle interrupted.  She reached into her purse and pulled out a small notebook, “Alright let’s plan a wedding!”

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