To set up the scene, Mark has accidentally broken Riley's front door knob and is going to get a new one. Riley is concerned that the new knob matches the style of the home. Enjoy!
Without batting an eyelash, she asked, “Who is the designer credited for Americanizing the Craftsman style?”
She took advantage of his silence. “Gustav Stickley. 1856 to 1942. Furniture designer and architect. See that rocking chair over there?”
He glanced at an old square rocker in the corner next to the fireplace. Oak.
“It’s a Stickley,” she said. “Someone was throwing it out! You don’t throw out an old Stickley just because it’s a little beat up. You bring it home and polish it up and put it in a Craftsman style home that maybe you’re only renting but would someday like to buy if you finally decide to stay in one place longer than twelve months, that’s what you do.”
He blinked again. “Would you . . . like to come help pick it out?” She was out of her freaking mind.
She marched over to the front door and swung it shut. It bounced, shuddered, and slowly swung open again. “Somebody broke my front door. I have to stay and protect the Stickley, among other things.”
He rubbed his face. This was not the morning he had planned. He glanced around the room. “With your baseball bat?”
She gave him a hard look, but only said, “Send me a pic from the store.”
“I’m not your mother.”
He covered a smile. “No, ma’am.”
She growled and put her hands on her hips. “You’ll need my number.”
“Yes I will. Riley.”
She paused, looking up at him. In that brief moment, with the banter stopped, he found it hard to breathe. Then just like that, Riley Madigan was standing close to him, her hair threatening to poke him in the eye, putting her phone number into his phone.
She gave it back to him, and he detected a little shake in her hand. “There. I didn’t mean to be so bossy. I tend to go a little nuts over old things.” She looked up at him, her freckles clear now in the light streaming through the window. “I’m sorry.”
“Your eyes are the color of moss you see in the woods,” he said. “It’s a cool, soothing color.”
She blinked and looked away, now her cheeks blushing pink.
“It’s deceiving,” he said. “You’re not very soothing at all.”
He watched her eyes open wide.
“You . . .”
He chuckled and made for the door.
“You . . .” she repeated.
He waved goodbye and made it off the porch.
“You . . . are no Gustav Stickley!” she called from the open door.