Glory was up early the next morning, but she didn’t get up. She was nervous and anxious and what she needed was the slow, sensual lovemaking that Lucas was so good at. When they were done and he had her cradled in his arms, she felt like she owned the world!
There wasn’t much to do until they got to the yacht club, so they took their time over breakfast, eating and then doing the dishes together. Then they had a long, hot shower, full of further explorations.
Glory had an image that she liked to project of herself when she was ‘playing’ the artist at her shows. She put on a pair of tights and a filmy, multi-layered top in shades of aqua and green and she finished the outfit with a long vest. The colours and the flow of the fabric made her feel connected and grounded and in the perfect frame of mind to talk to people about her art.
“Wow! That outfit is great…you really look the part of an artist!” Lucas said, coming in and putting his arms around her.
“It’s got a nice flow to it; let’s me feel free to express myself more easily.” Glory said, stroking his beard and kissing him sweetly before turning away to put on some make-up. She never wore much make-up and she didn’t make exceptions for art shows.
Lucas was dressed simply in a sweater and jeans and looked spectacular! But then again, she thought he looked that good no matter what he had on.
With Lucas coming to the art show, Glory was even more anxious than usual before a show. She sat down cross-legged on the floor to try to still her mind for a few minutes. She opened her eyes to see that Lucas was doing the same thing.
He gave her a self-deprecating smile and said, “Hey, I’m nervous, too. Meeting all of your friends and family, and signings don’t put me at ease, either.”
“Do you have any mantras that you use to meditate to? I usually let the energy flow through the chakras until it’s flowing unimpeded.” Glory said. She wasn’t sure if he did yoga or not, but she had read somewhere that he did meditate.
“I usually sit quietly and let go of the noise in my head.” he said. “You’ll have to teach me about chakras.”
So Glory talked about the chakras as they sat together; the position of each, what systems in the body they affected, and what they felt like when they were open. Lucas found her voice mesmerizing as she spoke and was focusing more on the sound than on her words. They sat quietly after she stopped talking for some time settling their minds and getting to a point of ease with the tasks ahead.
Glory brought her hands up to prayer position and softly said, “Namaste.”
Lucas responded in kind and stretched out his neck before standing and offering Glory a hand up.
“Thanks.” she said. “Do you do yoga? We should do it together.”
“No, no yoga.” Lucas said. “I’ve always wanted to try it, but never have. So, yes, I’d love to do it with you.”
“Tomorrow.” Glory said. “Today, we have to do some art. Are you ready?”
“Absolutely!” he said. They grabbed jackets and Glory’s purse and they were out the door.
Desirée met them at the yacht club and they went around and met the rest of the artists. Marion had her booth set up next to Glory’s and came over to meet Lucas and chat with Glory about her set up. Glory ended up moving a couple of paintings at Marion’s suggestion and Lucas had to admit that the changes were for the better.
Several of the artists and other organizers came over to get their signed print before the doors opened and to take pictures with Lucas. Glory had a good eye for photography, so she took the pictures.
Finally, Miguel, who was a photographer, sent Glory in to stand near Lucas for a few shots. They sat together talking for a couple of shots, then Lucas stood up behind Glory with his hands on her shoulders and leaned in as if to listen to something she said. After that, Lucas pulled Glory out from behind the table and put his arms around her as though they were dancing. He held her mesmerized with his piercing blue gaze. When Miguel stopped shooting, Lucas gave Glory a quick squeeze before going to see what the pictures looked like.
“Those are spectacular!” Lucas said.
“You’re a natural in front of the camera,” Miguel said. “and so is Glory. You guys made it easy. I just had to point and shoot!”
“Well, I’ve had lots of practise.” Lucas said, flipping through the pictures again. “Can I get you to blow this one up for me and mount it?” he asked, showing Miguel one of the dancing pictures.
“Of course! I’d love to add that one to my collection, if I can get you guys to sign releases.” he said.
“Let’s talk afterwards.” Lucas said. He could see the look of concern on Glory’s face around having her picture up on display in Miguel’s collection.
Glory came up and put her arm around Lucas and said, “You are a natural. You seem so at ease in front of the camera.”
“Like I said, lots of practise. It gets easy after a while. It was fun to call the shots, though. I don’t get to do that very often. That dancing picture will look great up in my house in LA.” Lucas said. “You know, if you’re not comfortable with Miguel adding it to his collection, maybe he could blur the faces. That would definitely give it more of an artistic feel.”
Glory thought about that for a moment. “We’ll talk to him after the show and see what his intentions are around that one. Looks like the doors are about to open. Are you ready?” Glory said.
Lucas held up a handful of Sharpies and smiled. Holly came over then and hugged Glory and shook Lucas’ hand. “Mom’s on a bit of a warpath about you not bringing Lucas to dinner last night.” Holly said.
“You didn’t tell her anything, did you?” Glory asked.
“No…just that he was here to see you.” Holly said.
“Well, that much is true.” Glory said, looking concerned. “Hopefully, she won’t make a scene here.”
And that was the last they were able to talk as the doors opened and crowds of people made a bee-line to see Lucas. Desirée had been very canny in how she had set things up, though. As people were waiting to meet Lucas, there were booths all the way around that they could go into.
Glory watched Lucas as he greeted people, laughing and chatting comfortably with everyone. He put his focus on each person, making them feel special for that moment in time that they had with him. He was a joy to watch work.
Glory didn’t have a great deal of time to stand around watching him, though, as many people were being drawn into her booth and she was busy with customers and potential customers. Holly was doing a great job handling the cash for both Lucas and herself.
Lucas sensed Holly’s tension as she saw a two women coming towards their booth. She called to Glory over her shoulder, but Glory was with a customer and couldn’t come out to the front of the booth before the women got there.
“Hi, mom; Aunt Claire.” Holly said. “This is Lucas Wolfe. You remember us talking about meeting him before Christmas.” Lucas gave a little wave as he was still talking to a couple of other people.
When he was done, he stood up and shook hands with both women and greeted them properly.
“Hi Claire…” He shook Glory’s aunt’s hand and then realized that he didn’t know her mom’s name! “and Mrs. Campbell.” He extended his hand to shake Glory’s mom’s hand.
“So formal!” she said, with a smile. “You can call me Beth.” She shook his hand firmly. “These prints turned out really well!” Beth had picked up one of the prints from the table and held it up to compare it with the original.
“They did.” Glory said, coming up behind her mom and giving her a hug. “Marion’s printer is pretty well respected, and I can see why.”
“Are they selling well?” Claire asked.
“Like hotcakes!” Holly said. “Lucas’ autograph is a big selling point!”
Lucas shrugged and said, “All for a good cause.” and turned to greet another group of people coming up to the table.
Beth pulled out her wallet to give Holly money for a couple of prints for her and her sister and they chatted with Glory for a minute until Lucas was free to sign them.
“Don’t go away!” Glory said and scooted out of the booth to go and see if she could get Miguel to come and take a couple of family shots for them.
It took a minute to clear everyone from in front of the table, but they managed to get several great shots of all 4 of them with Lucas. In all of them, Glory was next to Lucas and Miguel could see a very nice bond there. The little touches, fond looks, and caring attitude came through in all of the pictures.
“I’ll send these to you, Glory. You can let me know if you want any of them blown up or fixed up, okay?” Miguel said before heading back to his booth.
After Lucas signed the prints for Beth and Claire, Claire moved on and Beth stayed to chat with Glory. Lucas had been a little worried because of what Holly had said, but the conversation seemed amiable.
As Beth was leaving, she stopped and leaned in to Lucas, saying, “I hope you don’t have any plans for tonight because I’d like to take you all out for dinner. Diana will be here with Mitch and Kelsey a little later and it’ll be nice to get the family together.”
Lucas smiled and said, “That sounds great. As long as Glory’s in, so am I.”
“Great! We’re going to wander, so I’ll see you later.” Beth said and moved on to Marion’s booth.
Lucas looked over at Glory, but she was busy with another customer. He could see that several of her smaller paintings were gone from the scaffolding and he smiled. A good day all around! Then another group of people came for autographs and he lost himself in the job of signing and promoting Glory’s work.
The afternoon passed quickly. Towards the end of the show, Lucas noticed that the crowds seemed to be thinning and there were fewer people coming to him for autographs.
A glass of white wine appeared next to him and he looked up to see Glory standing there with her own glass. “You looked like you could use it.” she said, and held her glass out to him to toast.
Lucas took a sip and closed his eyes to savour the taste. It wasn’t the best wine, but it wasn’t bad either…like he was any kind of wine connoisseur! It was wet and had alcohol in it…that’s all that mattered to him at that moment.
Glory reached over and pulled the Sharpie out of his hand. “Doors are closed. You’re off duty.”
Lucas smiled at her and stretched out his hand. “I signed a lot of prints. How did we do, Holly?” he asked, looking over at Holly, who was counting money.
“Well, we had 200 prints and it looks like we’ve only got about 50 left. And Glory, you sold 5 paintings! That’s great!” Holly said.
“And I’ve got a buyer interested in that one.” Glory said, pointing to one of her bigger pieces. “He didn’t want to take it with him today, but I’ve got his number, so I’ll connect with him next week.”
“So a very successful afternoon.” Lucas said and held his glass up again to toast the two ladies.
“So, yeah, we made $4,500 on the prints, and that’s all going to the charity, and Glory you pulled in $450, and if you sell that one, that’s another $450…not bad.” Holly said.
“Not bad! That’s the most I’ve sold at a show! I usually have lots of browsers.” Glory said.
Lucas smiled up at her. What he wanted to do is to take her in his arms and kiss her, but he could see her mom and aunt still talking to Desirée, so he restrained himself. But he did stand up and give her a hug.
“Thank you so much for doing this, Lucas. You probably drew a lot of people in that wouldn’t have otherwise come.” Glory said, not letting him go.
“Glad I could help.” he said, pulling away and looking her in the eye. Holly had moved off to let Desirée know how much they had raised with the prints.
“I want to kiss you.” Lucas whispered and brought his hand up to stroke Glory’s cheek.
“I know. Me, too.” Glory whispered back. “We can catch it up later.”
Beth came up then and claimed Glory for a hug. “Congratulations, darling! You did so well!” Beth looked up to see that the Matt Hunter painting was still there. “You didn’t sell this one? I thought I heard someone asking about it.”
Glory looked at the painting nervously. She didn’t want to sell that one…it had special meaning for her, but could she say that without giving away their relationship?
“That one’s mine.” Lucas said, quickly. “I don’t have a spot for it, yet, so I’m leaving it with Glory until I do.”
“Oh. I didn’t realize.” Beth said, looking back at Glory, who shrugged it off.
“He told me he wanted it as soon as he saw it.” she said. “You don’t say no to Captain Hunter.”
Holly had already started pulling the paintings down off of the scaffolding and wrapping them up, so Glory and Lucas went into the booth to help her. All the rest of the artists were doing the same thing.
After a few minutes, Lucas excused himself to go over and talk to Miguel about their pictures. Miguel had loaded the photos onto his computer so that they could look at them in detail. They chatted about a few of them and Lucas settled with him on the shot he wanted, then he waved Glory over.
Miguel had started playing with the shot to mask the faces a little bit and by the time Glory came over, her face was almost fully in shadow and Lucas’ face was in profile but still visible.
“How’s that look?” Miguel asked Glory. “If you think we need to blur it as well, I can do that, but all you can see now is the edge of your jawline.”
Glory looked at the picture. It was a very good picture. The way Lucas was looking down at her made her heart skip a beat.
“What do you think, Miguel?” Glory asked. “I don’t want to screw up your shot…I’m just not sure I want my face up at all of your exhibits.”
“I like it with the shadow.” Miguel said. “Lucas’ face is well known, but to have his dance partner be a mystery works well for me.”
“But the one I’m getting will show her face, right?” Lucas clarified.
“Of course.” Miguel said. “Here, let me revert to the original shot.” He clicked a few buttons in Photoshop to bring back the original picture and Glory gasped when it came up. It wasn’t only Lucas’ look that was breathtaking, but hers as well!
“See why I don’t want you blurred out?” Lucas said, softly.
“Can I get a copy of that, too?” Glory asked.
“Same size?” Lucas asked Glory.
“No, I think that an 8×10 would be big enough for my place.” Glory said.
“Same mounting,” Lucas said to Miguel, “and on my bill.”
“No…you don’t have to do that.” Glory protested.
“I already did.” Lucas said and put his finger across her mouth when she started to protest again. “Don’t argue with Captain Hunter, remember?”
She smiled and kissed his finger before he pulled it away. “Let’s go and get everything packed up. Diana just got here, so we’ll be going for dinner soon.” Glory said.
It didn’t take them long to pack up. Diana came over with Kelsey, who she gladly relinquished to Lucas when he reached for her. He seemed very comfortable holding a baby and Kelsey seemed to like him, too. She was a pretty good baby, but she did tend to get fussy when she was passed to strangers, but not Lucas!
“I’m still a kid myself.” Lucas said in explanation. “Babies seem to sense that about me, I guess.” He turned back to Kelsey and started making faces at her.
Diana and Mitch helped with the final tear-down and they were soon on their way to dinner.
On the way to the restaurant, Lucas said, “If you want to drink tonight, I can be the DD and drive us back to your place.”
“Let’s see how things go.” Glory said. “I may need to keep my wits about me, but thank you. That’s really sweet of you.”
“No problem, babe.” he said, settling back for the ride. “It’s the least I could do. Today was a lot of fun.”
Glory smiled. It had been a wonderful day. That seemed to be how all of her days with Lucas went. “Always, when you’re around.” she said, quietly.
“I guess I’ll have to see about being around more often, then.” he said, squeezing her hand on the gear shift.
“That would be nice.” She was at a red light, so she looked over at him and he leaned over to give her a quick kiss. The restaurant parking lot was just past the light, so Glory pulled in next to her mom’s car and squeezed Lucas’ hand saying, “Here goes nothing…”
He smiled at her and got out of the car. Parents and babies he could usually handle.