Our hero goes shopping – another excerpt from The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups
…That same morning Ian watched the news, munching on one of his death by microwave breakfasts. He was reaching to turn the television off and leave for work, when a commercial grabbed his full attention. Accustomed to acting on his intuition without hesitation, he tugged on his paint-splattered boots then set off for the jewelry store he had seen on TV.
He parked by the side of the store, and once inside, a balding man in a less than flattering suit swooped down upon him like a hawk on a field mouse. The man stepped directly into Ian’s path, looked down his nose–no mean feat since Ian was at least eight inches taller–and asked in a lofty voice, “Excuse me, sir…may I help you?”
“Just as soon as I find what I’m looking for,” Ian replied absently, stepping around him and heading toward the nearest display case.
The clerk trotted closely behind. “Was there something specific you were looking for?”
“I’ll know it when I see it. I’ll call if I need you.”
“No.” Ian kept walking.
“Were you looking for jewelry specifically or something from our gift line?” the man asked.
Ian gritted his teeth. “What I’d like is some space. Do you think maybe I could have a bit of that?”
The clerk drew up short. “Let me know if I can be of assistance,” he said, sounding peeved. He resumed following Ian again, but at a more respectable distance.
Ian circled the empty store twice and felt himself being pulled back to the display case containing diamond necklaces. He surveyed the contents of the case and pointed to the one in the center. “That one.”
The clerk puffed up with importance. “That, sir, is a full carat diamond solitaire pendant and it’s very expensive. Might I suggest something from a different line?”
Ian nearly laughed, realizing what a picture he must be in his faded work clothes. Still, he couldn’t help being more than just a wee bit offended by the snobbish little man. “No. That one,” he said stubbornly, pointing to the same necklace.
With an exaggerated sigh, the clerk unlocked the case, brought out the necklace and draped it on a velvet presentation cloth. Ian picked it up and looked closely at the stone. “May I use your loupe?” he asked. The older man seemed shocked by the request, but handed him the magnifier. Ian peered at the necklace again but put it down almost at once. “Between you and me, I’m fair certain you’ve got better quality stones than this somewhere in this store. I don’t want to see anything less than a VVS One or Two. Off you go, now.” Ian took a perverse enjoyment in the clerk’s complete disconcertion as the man turned on his heel and disappeared through a door into the back of the showroom.
Moments later, the salesman returned with a leather bound jewel casket bearing the ornate Gallia Diamond Corporation insignia. After perusing the contents, Ian chose a diamond solitaire pendant. He held it up to the light and viewed it from the bottom and the top with the loupe. The stone was exquisite. He imagined seeing the beautiful diamond snuggled in the valley between Lily’s beautiful breasts and was completely undone.
“I’ll take it,” he said immediately.
The clerk started to protest, but pulled out forms from behind the counter. “You’ll need to fill these out.” He sighed.
“Just to buy a necklace?” he asked.
“No, sir, it’s the application for credit.”
That was the final straw. Reaching into his wallet, Ian yanked out his driver’s license and credit card then threw them down on the counter hard enough to bounce. “I’m not applying for anything. Feel free to call that in to verify I haven’t stolen it,” he said icily.
The card came to a rest near the diamond case and the horrified clerk recoiled at the matching insignias. With a trembling hand, he picked up the license and upon reading the name blanched. “Ian…Kelly? Of the Gall…oh, dear…”