Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 5 – Art Show Set-up

“Are we all set for Saturday?” was the first question Lucas asked when Glory picked him up at the airport on Thursday afternoon.

“We are, indeed, my dear.” Glory answered, stretching up to give him a quick kiss on the lips. She remembered too late what Lucas had said about always being recognized in airports and pulled back.

“Come on.” he said for her ears only. “Let’s get out of here so I can kiss you properly.” He put his hand on the small of her back and guided her towards the doors.

Even in the garage, they were shy to kiss in case there was someone watching, but Lucas had his hand over hers on the gear shift and the feeling of his fingers stroking hers was very erotic!

Which is why, once they had closed the door of her apartment, they fell into each other’s arms and let their lips and hands ignite the passion that had been lurking just below the surface.

A half an hour later, as they lay breathless and sated in Glory’s bed, Lucas said, “I’m just glad you don’t live any further from the airport than this.”

Glory giggled. “We might have set my car on fire.” she said in a seductive voice.

Lucas laughed. “You should still check the seats for scorch marks.” he said, jokingly. He gathered her into his arms, rhythmically stroking her back.

“So you told your family about us?” he asked.

“Just that you were coming to town this weekend and what you were doing at the art show.” Glory said, gently stroking one finger down the slope of his pec.

“I was very surprised to hear that you hadn’t told anyone about me, about our sexual relationship, about our friendship, even. Most girls can’t wait to tell everyone they know that they’ve slept with me.” Lucas said, quietly.

Glory shrugged. “It’s pretty cliché to say, but I’m not like most girls. It felt nice to have this thing with you that I didn’t have to share with anyone else. That was at first, anyway. But then, as time went on, it became harder and harder to tell people…” she said, letting her voice trail off.

“And have we kept in touch since November? What did you tell your family?” Lucas asked. If he was playing a role on Saturday, he wanted all the pieces of the character.

“I said we’d been in touch a few times…the odd text, a couple of phone calls…but that was it until this weekend.” Glory said. “I’m sorry…I shouldn’t ask you to lie. I should come clean with everyone and have done with it.”

“Don’t worry about it. I just want to make sure I don’t put my foot in it on Saturday.” Lucas said, still stroking her back.

Glory mulled this over for a few minutes, letting his soft caresses sooth her mind. “The hard part is that I’m not even sure what this is…makes it hard to tell people about you…”

“I’d call it dating…nothing serious yet, but definitely two people who are interested in each other.” Lucas offered. Glory was quiet for a long time, thinking about how best to deal with her family.

When Lucas’ stomach gave a loud and insistent grumble, Glory said, “We should get you fed. Didn’t you eat on the plane?”

“Yeah, but that was a while ago, and airplane food is usually pretty bad.” Lucas said.

So they went and pulled together dinner. They lingered a long time over the wine, laughing and chatting about everything from painting to art to music to current affairs. Afterwards, they cuddled on the couch watching some mindless TV and still talking until Glory started to yawn.

“I’m sorry, babe.” Lucas said, shaking his head. “I wasn’t thinking…I’m still on west coast time, but you must be beat!”

“I’m okay.” Glory lied, stifling another yawn.

“Come on.” he said, standing and offering her a hand up. “I could sleep and you should.”

Glory smiled up at him and took his hand, wondering how she had gotten so lucky.

 

Glory had taken the next day off work so that she could prepare for the show. She had the prints to pick up and they could go in and set up her booth that afternoon. Desirée had almost lost her mind when Glory told her about Lucas and his idea to raise funds for their chosen charity.

“You know Lucas Wolfe? Matt Hunter-Special Branch-super soldier, Lucas Wolfe?” she had said, in a forced whisper so as not to be overheard.

“Yes.” Glory said with a shrug, as if it was no big deal.

“And you never told me? How long have you known him?” She and Desirée were pretty close for co-workers…Glory should have told her back in November.

“We met in November…remember that girl’s night out I did with my cousin…her first night out after the baby?” Desirée nodded. “That weekend.”

“And have you seen him since? Are you guys a thing?” she wanted to know.

“No, nothing like that.” Glory lied. “Just friends, but I think he’s interested. It’s tough with him in LA and me here.”

“True. Well, that will be so cool! Did you get the prints ordered yet? We can put a table in front of your booth, maybe. We can look at the logistics on Friday when you come to set up.” Desirée said, making changes to her floor plan in her head as she spoke.

After that, Glory had spoken to Marion, her mentor. Marion had recommended her printer and Glory was able to get the prints ordered. She would have to bring the original painting in that night, Tuesday, but he seemed confident that he could have them done by Friday afternoon.

Glory was up early and she left Lucas sleeping in bed while she took care of a few jobs that she had brought home from work to finish up. She had figured that she’d at least have the morning free.

Lucas came out an hour and a half later looking for her. He was wearing just his boxers. He stood behind her at the computer, watching her as she worked. “This is what a commercial artist does?” he asked.

Glory was working on a job where she had to do revisions to a package; moving the copy around, making the image smaller, changing the colour of the warning copy…it was pretty exacting work, but it was definitely tedious and boring.

“Sometimes there’s more artistic stuff, but, yeah, for the most part it’s stuff like this. I’m almost finished if you want to wait a minute and we can grab a shower…” she said, tilting her head back so that he could kiss her.

“Sure.” he said, and wandering into the kitchen to pour himself a coffee from the pot Glory had made earlier.

Glory finished the revisions and did a quick check of her work order to make sure she hadn’t missed anything before uploading the file to the server at work and signing off.

Lucas was standing at the counter looking over the newspaper that Glory had left there. She didn’t usually read it front to back, just perused the headlines while she made coffee, so she had left it in the kitchen.

“Ready?” she asked.

‘Absolutely.” he said, following her into the bathroom.

Shower sex was always fun with Lucas! His strength made almost any position they tried easy! And holding his body against hers under the streaming water afterwards was a perfect way to start a day, Glory thought, breathing deeply of the steamy air and trying to catch her breath.

She had everything ready to make omelettes for them like last time, so in no time at all, they were sitting down to a delicious breakfast.

“So, what’s our agenda for today?” Lucas asked, sipping a glass of juice.

“Well, we have to load up my car with the paintings that I’m going to display and then make a stop at the printers to pick up the prints. By then, we should be able to get into the yacht club to start setting up.” she said, counting off on her fingers. “The prints should be ready by noon, so we can go there anytime, and Desirée said she’d be at the yacht club setting up all afternoon.”

“Cool. I brought lots of Sharpies…” Lucas said with a smile.

Glory laughed. “That takes care of your part of it, anyway! I’ve got a cash box and I picked up some change for a float from the bank. I’ve done up some posters on my computer…I’m going to load them onto a stick and see if the printer can print them on 12 by 18 stock for me.” She was still going over what she needed in her mind.

“I never realized how much would go into an art show.” Lucas said. “You let me know what you need me to do to help out.” He raised an eyebrow at her until she nodded, then he finished his coffee and said, “Are your paintings ready to go out to the car now? I could start taking them down.”

Glory took him over to the stack of paintings she had leaning against the wall. She had already wrapped them each in burlap to protect them on the drive down, so Lucas started taking them down to her car as she cleaned up the kitchen. She pulled out the cash box which had the name plates and pricing for each of the paintings in it and went to change.

The prints were ready when they arrived at the printers, and the original was wrapped in burlap ready to go as well. It took only a few minutes for them to print the posters and they were on their way.

Desirée was waiting to open the gates of the yacht club for them and met them at the car to help them move the paintings into the building. Glory hadn’t been sure what to expect from Desirée when she met Lucas, but she was so overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done before the next day that she only took a moment to shake his hand before moving on to the next crisis.

The space that had been set up for them was bigger than Glory had expected, but she used the scaffolding to hang the paintings up, and she had invested in a few spot lights to highlight her best pieces. The main one being highlighted the next day would be her Matt Hunter piece. In the end, she did have a few paintings that she didn’t put up and kept in reserve. If she sold something that was up, she would have another one to take its place.

There was a table in front and slightly to the side where Lucas could sit and sign, and Holly had agreed to come and take care of the money side of things for them. They had put the Captain Hunter original above him and the poster advertising the pricing for the personally signed prints would go there, too.

Lucas himself was enlisted to help with some of the heavy lifting that Desirée had needed done, so he wasn’t there when Holly showed up to help.

“Where is he?” was Holly’s first question.

Glory looked around and saw him outside helping to bring in cases of wine from Desirée’s truck. She pointed out the window and Holly took a long look.

“So, just friends, eh?” she said to her sister, sceptically.

Glory sighed. It was the moment of truth and she wasn’t really sure what to do.

Lucas saved the day, though. He had come in and came up behind Holly. “For now.” he said, giving Glory a tender look.

Holly’s eyes grew wide when she realized that Lucas was behind her. But she recovered quickly and turned to shake his hand.

“Nice to see you again, Lucas.” she said.

“You, too, Holly. Greg says hi.” Lucas said with a smile.

“Really?” Holly said, giving Lucas her biggest fangirl smile.

“Yeah. He said that was a fun night. He usually doesn’t get recognized, especially when he’s with me, so he’ll remember you guys for a while.”  Lucas said with a little chuckle.

“Wow!” Holly said. “Well, tell him we had fun, too.”  Then she excused herself to go and see if Desirée needed any help with anything.

Lucas watched Holly go before turning to Glory. “Still playing it cool?” he asked.

“For now, anyway.” she said, looking up at him. Suddenly, all she wanted to do was feel those wonderfully soft lips on hers. She reached up and caressed his beard, which surprised him.

She was thinking and thinking hard. She didn’t like hiding, especially with her sister. If she took flack for this relationship, then she’d rather take it now than later.

“Fuck it.” she said under her breath and pulled him down for a quick, but thorough kiss.

As Lucas pulled away, he was smiling. “Um…okay.” he said, still resting his hand on her hip.

“It’s time.” she said. “I don’t like hiding things from my sister.”

Holly had come back in just in time to see the kiss and she was shooting daggers at her sister with her eyes.

Glory sighed. “You want to go and help Desirée while I explain things to Holly?” she said, looking up adoringly into his beautiful blue eyes.

“I can stay, if you need moral support.” he said, reluctantly.

“No, better just me.” Glory said and gave him a little push towards the door. She could see that Desirée was waiting for him by the truck with a couple more cases of wine.

“Just friends, eh? That looked like more than just friends.” Holly sneered as she came up behind her sister.

“Okay, so we’re more than just friends. I went back to the hotel that night and we played cards, then we slept together, then we made love. I stayed the weekend, and it was wonderful. We’ve kept in touch and he had a stop over here in January and we spent the night together. And he is staying at my place this weekend.” Glory spoke quickly before she lost her nerve.

“So, is he your boyfriend or something?” Holly asked. “Not saying that wouldn’t be really cool.”

“No…maybe…I don’t think so. I think I’m just his Toronto girl. We haven’t talked about being exclusive or anything like that, so I’m not deluding myself that I’m his only girl.” Glory said, stumbling over her words a little bit.

“What kind of relationship can you hope to have with a guy like that? Long distance to be sure. His Toronto girl? Come on Glor…you’re better than that.” Holly said, pleadingly.

Glory thought about that for a minute. “I am.  And when I’m ready to have another serious relationship, I’m sure whatever this is won’t be enough. But after Brad, I’m ready to take a break and be really casual for a while.” she said, flicking on the spots to make sure that they all worked and starting to place them on the scaffolding, carefully aiming them.

Holly bit her lip as she looked at her sister, then outside at Lucas. “He is pretty cute.” she said, quietly.

Glory smiled and followed Holly’s eye out the window. “He’s sweet and fun to be with, too.” she said with a tender look out the window.

Holly turned back to Glory and gave her a hug. “Just be careful, eh? Don’t let him stomp on your heart or anything. And be safe.”

Glory smiled at her little sister. Why was it that she so often felt like the younger one in their relationship? “I’m always careful and safe is my middle name. Don’t worry about me.” She pulled Holly in for another hug. It was such a relief to have one person in the world to be able to talk to about Lucas!

“You coming to mom’s for dinner tonight?” Holly asked, helping Glory mount the lights on the scaffolding.

“I begged off because Lucas is here. I’m not sure I’m ready for dinner with the family, yet.” Glory said, handing Holly another light and pointing at a picture to aim it at. “Right now, you’re the only one who knows the extent of this, and I’d like to keep it that way for now. I don’t really want to have to deal with the world knowing…at least until there’s something to know.”

“Makes sense. My lips are sealed.” Holly said.

Lucas came over to help them with the higher lights. Holly seemed a little tongue-tied around him at first, but that didn’t last.

“So you’re going to sign these prints of Glory’s picture of you? I love that picture. It captures the complexity of the character.” Holly said.

“You’ve never even seen the Matt Hunter films.” Glory said from behind the scaffolding.

“I have so!” Holly said. “My boyfriend is a big fan. He’ll be thrilled to see you here tomorrow.”

Glory poked her head around the scaffolding. “Here, put this sign up.” she said to Lucas, handing him the poster for over his table. Holly held one end of the poster up while Lucas secured the other end.

Glory came out of the booth to survey the total effect.

“Mom’s not going to be happy that you’re not coming for dinner tonight, you know?” Holly said, joining her sister to survey the booth. Glory looked at her and shrugged.

“She’s always so negative about all of the guys I date. I’m just not ready to take her flack over Lucas until I’m sure there’s something to take flack over.” Glory was speaking quietly so that Lucas couldn’t hear her.

Lucas sat down under the banner to make sure it was at the right height. “Is that high enough or should I put it higher?” he asked.

“I think it’s okay.” Glory said, looking over at Holly.

“Yup, it’s perfect. You’d think you’d done this before or something.” Holly said.

Lucas came around the table to join the girls and check out their booth. “Na…everything is usually all set up for me when I do signings.” He closed his eyes as he thought about how elitist that sounded. “It’s kinda fun to help with the set up. There’s lots of wine for tomorrow. Does this turn into a drunk later?” he asked Glory with a little smile.

“There’s lots of turn over, so no one but the artists end up hanging all day…I promise, I’ll pace myself.” she said with a little laugh in her voice.

“Do I have to?” Lucas asked, jokingly. He had one arm around her back and he pulled her in close to him. He was glad that at least Holly knew that they were intimate. Being platonic with her was proving to be a little difficult.

“Hey, it’s your image. You do what you want, baby!” Glory said.

Once her booth was set up, Desirée seemed to have everything under control, so Glory and Lucas took their leave, waving to Holly in the parking lot. “See you tomorrow!” Holly said, and Glory nodded as she got into the car.

“So what do you want to do for dinner tonight?” Lucas asked. It was already 4 pm. The day had gone by way too quickly!

Glory thought for a second. She didn’t think she was ready to be seen out and about with Lucas Wolfe, so she suggested take out.

“There’s this great Chinese food place on the way back to my place. It’s tiny and a little grubby looking, but they have the best food!” she said.

“Grubby Chinese sounds perfect.” Lucas said. Glory leaned over to give him a quick kiss before putting the car in gear and heading out of the parking lot.

 

 

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