Ellie meets Brian.
When the bell above the door tinkled, Ellie didn’t look up.
“Be right with you!”
“Take your time,” a pleasantly deep male voice replied.
The proprietress of Ellie’s Encyclopedias Etc. glanced up while puffing a wisp of hair from her eyes. They widened as she took in the fascinating looking man. She laid down her red pencil.
“What can I help you with, Mr…?”
Ellie blushed to the roots of her hair.
“Can I help you with something in particular, Brian?”
“I need a favor.”
“What kind?” she asked.
Fascinated, she watched him turned red.
“It’s embarrassing, but I’m desperate!”
Ellie waited for the punchline.
“I’ve just arrived. As a portrait artist, I’m always on the look-out for unique people and backgrounds. That’s where you come in.”
“I’m afraid being an artist’s model would be beyond me. Does this look like a body that would look good nude?” she asked as she stepped out from behind the cash to show him.
“The famous painters of the Renaissance liked their models anything but skinny! My portraits are from shoulders up. I prefer faces to bodies in my art.”
Ellie looked at him skeptically.
“Look, I have an agent coming to see my work tomorrow. I want him to see at least one local in the bunch. How about it? I pay well!”
She nodded agreement and signed a waiver, gasping at what he would pay.
“Where should I sit?”
“If you have a tall stool, I know just where I’d put it!”
Ellie indicated the cash desk. He brought it out, placing it in front of a wall of jumbled shelves. She sat still. Brian sketched rapidly. Then held it up.
“So are you,” he said.
That was the beginning of a lot more favoritism!