Feather Light (Knead Me)

BOOK: Feather Light (Knead Me)
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Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Feather Light

By

Lorenz Font

First published by The Writer’s Coffee Shop, 2013

Copyright © Lorenz Font, 2013

The right of Lorenz Font to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her under the
Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000

This work is copyrighted. All rights are reserved. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced, copied, scanned, stored in a retrieval system, recorded or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

All characters and events in this Book – even those sharing the same name as (or based upon) real people – are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead …
or undead
… is purely coincidental. No person, brand or corporation mentioned in this Book should be taken to have endorsed this Book nor should the events surrounding them be considered in any way factual.

This Book is a work of fiction and should be read as such.

The Writer’s Coffee Shop

(Australia)
 
PO Box 447 Cherrybrook NSW 2126

(USA)
 
PO Box 2116 Waxahachie TX 75168

Paperback ISBN- 978-1-61213-129-0

E-book ISBN- 978-1-61213-130-6

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the US Congress Library.

Cover Image - © Branislav Ostojic | Dreamstime.com
Cover Artist - Claudia Trapp/Phantasy Graphic Design phantasygraphicdesign.wordpress.com

www.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/lfont

To Elise,

who will rise above every challenge that comes her way

Chapter 1

“What do I always say on Mondays?” Parker called out as soon as he walked into his Los Angeles branch of Knead Me.

“Lie down and allow me to ease your troubles away,” a chorus of masseuses, masseurs, and excited front office girls answered in unison.

Slaps of good-natured appreciation landed on his back, as Webster, his loyal assistant, pressed a half-filled, steaming, and lidded cup of Sumatra coffee into his palm.

“Three steps and the chair is to your left,” she whispered in his ear. “Glad to see you bright and early, boss.”

“Thanks. Happy to be back, Webbie. I missed this place.” Parker set the cup on the conference table and sat on the chair she had directed him to. “Got another one for my baby bro?”

“Of course. Here’s your decaf, Cork.” The crisp sound of a cup exchanging hands followed.
 

“Thanks, Webbie,” Cork answered from his left.

“Okay, folks, listen up.” Parker raised a hand to silence the people in the room. Through his hazy eyesight, he saw a blur of figures taking their seats, and also heard the scratching of shoes on the carpet, signaling that everyone was settling down. 

He took a quick sip of his coffee before he spoke. “Well, NYC is doing great. Thanks to our loyal customers and word of mouth, our New York branch has kicked off with a strong first month. I’m going to accept applications for transfers in the next five days. Anyone interested in trying out the cold, wet winter weather and hot as fuck summer, pardon my French, is welcome to give me their application, beginning today.”

Laughter echoed throughout the room, letting Parker know everyone was in high spirits. Heck, he could practically smell their delight. Happy employees meant increased productivity, which, of course, would lead to satisfied clients. Bottom line—business had nowhere to go but up.

The southern California branch of Knead Me, his very first, had opened its doors three years ago, right when he’d been at the height of his confusion over this terrible disease. Then had come the San Francisco branch six months ago, which had been a huge hit, too. With the success of their expanded locations, Parker had hoped that he could find some free time. Boy, had he been mistaken. Although his major clientele were happy with his massage therapists’ work, they still clamored for
him
, which left little to no time for himself. To continue to be successful, his diminishing sight, along with the desire for some much-needed downtime, would have to take a backseat to running the business.

Enter Cork Davis, his younger brother. Cork had quit his full-time job as a high school football coach to work for Knead Me. Single and still very much into himself, his brother helped in managing the entire operation, and had also acted as Parker’s chauffeur and go-to guy. Cork had never divulged his reasons for leaving coaching to work for Parker, and he hadn’t bothered asking. Sometimes family and work didn’t go together, but in Parker and Cork’s case, it worked just fine as long as they stayed out of each other’s personal business.

“Webbie, I can sense your indecision, so I’ll give you an all-expense paid vacation to Tahiti if you just promise me you’ll stay here and keep my chair warm.”

Webster’s distinct melodious voice rose above the din of chuckles and giggles. “Aw, do I stink that much, boss?”
 

Parker could almost picture her pout. He flashed a broad smile in her direction.
 

“Fine, I’ll stay. Just make sure I fly first class and my return ticket is open.” Good-natured banter and light conversation had been the secret of their success as a unit.
 

“My dear Webster, curse your father for giving such a gorgeous woman an outdated name. If I didn’t know you were a woman, I wouldn’t even give you a second glance.” He laughed.
 

“But you know I’m
very
female.” More giggles exploded around him, as well as some throat clearing.
 

“And what’s this about an open return? Are you going to leave me to fend for myself?”
 

“I’m happy here. I just have to rattle you from time to time so I can feel I’m still needed.”

“You’re always needed as far as I’m concerned, Webbie.” Turning his attention to the group, he added, “Get your asses ready. Our ten o’clocks are going to pound our door in . . . five, four, three, two . . . one. Happy Monday to all! And please, knead their hearts out!”

“And knead we shall,” Andy, another high-demand masseur, said from the door. Snorts and chortles followed him out as everyone spilled from the room.

Once the sound of the departing footsteps faded, Parker breathed a deep sigh and turned to Webster. “Who’s my ten today?”

“New client. The name’s Madame Baba. Does it ring a bell?”
 

“Hmm . . . no. But we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?” He waggled his eyebrows in her direction and saw, through his dot-sized vision, her head fall back in laughter.

“I’m sure we will. I have room 101 set up for you. I also placed all the invoices on your desk at the two o’clock position. All they need is your John Hancock, and they’re all set.”

Efficient, quick-witted, and attractive, Webster had been a trouper from day one and a valuable asset to his staff, considering the pounding his schedule and his personal challenges posed for her. She had taken on the role of his personal assistant with a fresh outlook and one giggle at a time.

“Thanks. If you find an opening in my schedule this week, keep it open. I’m dying to go out and try the new, remodeled track at Road Runners.”

Parker clicked his tongue, trying to remind himself to call Andrew, his running partner, before the day was over. He was adept in sighted-guide techniques and formulated ways to help Parker jog and run outside without the fear of falling and hurting himself.
 

“I’ll make sure you get some running time, boss. If you’re set, your client just walked in—raven hair, screaming figure . . . wait, beautiful, too.” Webster grabbed the cup and handed it to him before she followed him to the door.

He had started counting his steps, so he knew Webster didn’t expect a response from him. Multitasking in his head, he thought about the “beautiful” and “screaming figure” comments. He stopped and turned around. “You’re joshing me, right?”

Her laughter answered for her, but before he could start counting again, she added, “Well, the humongous glasses are hiding most of her face. Hard to tell.”

“You’re still messing with me.” He pulled her into a friendly hug before she stiffened.

“No more joshing. Hurry up. You don’t want to keep a client who ordered a Monday Delight waiting, right?”

“Fine. Then stop distracting me.” Parker turned around and resumed his descent to the first floor, where the majority of the massage rooms were located. The second floor was dedicated to holistic treatments, such as meditation and relaxation.

Counting had become necessary when his field of vision had deteriorated to dismal proportions. Parker’s left eye recognized shapes, but in his advanced stage, his central vision had been affected. His right eye registered blurry objects. It had been a year since he had been declared legally blind—a politically correct term used to make affected individuals feel good about their new reality. Retinitis pigmentosa had now gotten the best of him. It was a degenerative disease without any known cure, so he was fucked.

For Parker Davis, his prognosis had ruled out the possibility of him ever driving a car. The disease had also ended his ability to read materials fully sighted people could, and most of all, it had terminated his visual appreciation of anything beautiful. On his good days, he saw specific shapes, but facial expressions and other small details were lost to him. Despite all that, he was never bitter. He was too busy to dwell on the things he couldn’t do. He needed to concentrate on honing his remaining senses.
 

He reached room 101 and readied himself before knocking on the door. After his knock was answered with a soft and very feminine response, he walked in and smiled. “Good morning, Madame Baba.”

Hers was such an odd name, but Parker knew better than to ask. These days, people seemed to run in weird circles. Maybe she was just looking for mystery and the added excitement of being on his table. He guessed he’d soon find out.

“Hello, Mr. Davis.” The voice didn’t live up to the image he had in his head, sounding more timid than his initial expectation.

Parker smiled at the tiny form sitting on the chair next to the massage table—tiny in the sense that his vision procured small images. “How about we dispense with the formalities? Call me Parker.”

The ruffling sound of cloth was the only response. Parker suspected she had shrugged, but he wasn’t sure, since little movements tended to escape his notice. Most people didn’t realize the extent of his blindness, which, in a way, had been good for his ego. He still felt like a big part of the sighted world.

“Let’s start you off with a full body massage, and then we’ll move down the rest of the menu. There’s a white robe for you on the table. I’ll move over to the other room while you get ready for me. Strip down to whatever makes you feel comfortable and remove all jewelry, navel ring included, and lie face down. Say ‘woo-rah’ when you’re done.”

BOOK: Feather Light (Knead Me)
12.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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