Authors: J.A. DeRouen
Tags: #Wings Over Poppies
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Wings Over Poppies
Copyright © 2015 by J.A. DeRouen
Cover Design by Regina Wamba at
Mae I Design and Photography
All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, bands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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Table of Contents
HER FOUR-INCH STILETTO heels click, echoing throughout the gallery with every step on the parquet floors. I’m beginning to wonder if today is a museum outing for the impeccably dressed trophy wife, or if she actually plans on purchasing anything. She’s made at least three laps around the showroom and outlasted all the other patrons, yet she’s expressed no particular interest in any piece.
“This painting is absolutely stunning,” she croons, standing in front of one of my newer works,
. I may have spoken too soon.
“Thank you.” I stay a respectable distance behind her, allowing her time to fully take in the painting.
“Are they meant to be angel’s wings?” She continues to examine the painting, facing away from me.
“Possibly,” I say noncommittally. “My focus while painting this piece stayed solely on the idea of flight. Wings outstretched. Soaring. I didn’t give any thought to who the wings belonged to … they could belong to anyone, given the right circumstances.”
Her expression makes it clear that she’s unsatisfied with my answer, but she lets it go. She steps closer, examining each brush stroke as her hand skims delicately across the canvas, without ever actually touching it. The action seems almost reverent, and I swell with pride. I may not need the validation of others when it comes to my artwork, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel good.
She leans forward to examine it more closely and turns to me with a confused look. I know her question before she opens her mouth.
“Why is this feather broken? Come to think of it, there’s something like this in each of your paintings. Why would you deliberately put flaws in your work?”
Her question feels curious without malice, which is the only reason I answer. If she didn’t like my previous answer, she’s sure to loathe this one. Her perfectly coifed hair, expertly applied makeup, and designer clothes assure me of that fact.
“Nothing in this world worth having is perfect.”
She laughs softly and raises her eyebrows. “Oh, I don’t know, Ms. Fontaine. Perfection has served me well in my life.”
A sad smile plays on my lips as I tell her the only truth that I know with any amount of certainty. “It’s been my experience that perfection is forgettable … expendable.”
I see equal parts pity and irritation in her eyes before she turns her attention back to the painting. I didn’t mean to offend her. However, while I appreciate the respect of others when it comes to my artwork, I won’t lie to achieve it.
She doesn’t cast a glance in my direction as she reaches in her clutch and produces a credit card. Never taking her eyes off the painting, she dismissively hands me the card.
“I’ll take it.”
” by Taylor Swift
MY LIPS TURN up in an uncontrollable grin the second my toes hit the dew-covered grass. I steal a quick look over my shoulder, making sure Momma doesn’t see me making a break for it.
A lady should never leave home without looking her absolute best. Lipstick, Alexandra—never leave home without it.
Whatever! She would just die if she saw me running down the fairway barefoot and in my nightgown. I tuck my sketchpad and pencils under my arm, pushing her antiquated notions to the back of my mind.