The Cog & Sprocket has only been my shop for a short while. I inherited it from my grandfather, Thomas Clagan. I got the horology gene from him, and spending summers in Orchard with he and my grandmother helped it bloom. He didn’t want me to call him Grandpa in the shop, so I called him G.T., Grandpa Thom. We’d had a rift before he died, so I’m working hard to make it up to him now, by taking good care of the shop, his widow Caroline, and the shop cat Bezel.
All of which made being late all the worse. Pat Reed was waiting for me to wind the clocks in the shop. It was our Saturday ritual. Coffee from the Sleeping Latte, the shop his daughter Moira ran. Baked goods from his wife Nancy waiting for us once we were done. Coffee getting cold? Sweet buns waiting? I needed to get a grip.
I ran down the stairs, excuses at the ready. The shop was empty, and I heard keys rattling at the door. I threw the door open, hoping to surprise Pat. Instead, I was surprised by my handsome neighbor, Ben Clover.
“We’re waiting for you, Ruth,” he said. At least I think that’s what he said. With his dreamy blue eyes, sandy hair that fell down over his brow just so, perfectly fit jeans it was tough to focus on words. Especially before I had coffee.
“We’re having a business owners meeting over at the barbershop, remember? We need to talk about your idea for the loyalty cards—”
“Right, right. Let me grab my coat.”
“It’s only next door. Take mine.”
Swoon. I threw his coat over my shoulders, grabbed my notebook, and ran out the door. Not only was I late, I almost missed a meeting for a project that was my idea.
“By the way,” Ben said while he waited for me to lock up. “Guess what happens when you’re late?”
“What?” I asked.
“You get to chair the committee. Come on, there’s a room full of people who are waiting to hear what you need them to do.” Ben smiled, and rubbed his hands over his arms. I followed him off the porch, and down the side alley between our shops.
I really needed to start being on time.
Are you always late? Do you get everywhere early? Are you a just-in-timer? Let me know in the comments!
Cozy Up To Summer with a Killer Character Giveaway, I am offering a commenter (include your name and email in the comment) a copy of Just Killing Time, the first in the series. The second book, Clock and Dagger, comes out August 2. Check back on August 20th, and I'll offer a copy of that as well.
Julianne Holmes is thrilled to be joining the Killer Characters blog the 20th of every month. She also blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors, and on Live to Write/Write to Live. Join on her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well.