Love, Tilly©

Free Online Short Love Story

Written by American Author Sky Taylor

"You what!"  

Sara refused to display any weakness where her twin brother was concerned. It was past time for him to get over his unsavory history of one disaster after another with women. Time to move forward. And she felt that Tilly Johnni Jones presented the perfect solution to her brother’s continuous tangle with Cupid.

But oh, she certainly wasn’t going to announce her intentions. As far as her brother was concerned, he need only to believe that Tilly was his temporary housekeeper and cook. Well that… well as that Tilly was male.

"Calm down," she told him as she shuffled through the paperwork in preparation for his signature. "It’s only temporary. And with the annual barbeque around the corner, a cook and housekeeper will certainly ease your current workload. Remember last year? A total disaster. I’d be surprised if you have any guests to speak of this year."

Sam drew his lips into a bow and squinted his eyes at his twin sister. Something wasn’t quite right. She was hiding something - he could read her like a little black book. After all, they were twins.

However, she was spot-on about needing help with the barbeque.  

"Wasn’t my fault that the catering service went belly-up just before the event last year," he decided to defend. "The impromptu ‘grilled hot dog menu’ worked out just fine. And I don’t need a housekeeper - or a cook."

Sara leaned over and with a beautifully manicured pink nail wrote REALLY? in the dust overlaying the coffee table in front of the sofa.  

Sam’s dark eyes flinched and his mouth went into the bow thing again, Sara satisfied that she’d made her point - quite well at that.

"Johnni will arrive later this morning," she continued to inform, deliberately using Tilly’s middle name. "After stopping by the market first to replenish your cupboard," she tacked onto the uncomfortable silence. "Now if you‘ll just sign the paperwork, I‘ll drop this off at your attorney‘s office before collecting your niece from her dance class. I feel a headache coming on - need to get home and take a nice soak." 

She nodded her dark head towards the papers and in a nonchalant tone apprised, "Just the regular legal jargon. Contracts for the ranch’s operating needs. Nothing that would warrant your attention."

Sam choose to ignore her face and concentrated on signing the paperwork before him. He was in a rotten mood and if not for her impending headache he would have mocked her over the attorney remark. Marrying attorney Will Mills had been the wisest decision his sister had ever made.

He might have also inquired about Penny’s progress in her dance class. Such a cute kid - all of six years old now. Seemed like only yesterday that she’d entered this wonderful, and also at times too-cruel world.

Every time he gazed into her large dark eyes it made him regret not having children of his own. It wasn’t that he wasn’t willing - it was the ‘finding the soul mate’ that was the issue.

"Johnni? So, the housekeeper and cook is male," he drawled seeking confirmation, quickly applying his signature to the last sheet, his sister snatching-up the documents like some ancient ninja and stuffing them into a case which she had Bedazzled.

Rather than answering, Sara carefully commented, "This is the new age, Sam. Male chefs are all the rage these days. They’ve completely ousted women from the kitchen." Well, it was true, she silently justified.

"One would be hard-pressed to beat mom’s banana cake," Sam told his sister in fond recollection.

"Johnni might equal mom’s perfection," Sara assured. "Took the county fair ribbon a dozen years in a row."  

Sam’s eyes widened, his tanned face taking on a shocked expression which made Sara giggle as he eased out in a stunned tone, "A man - entering a cooking contest? Now I‘ve heard everything." Then after a thoughtful pause, "Well, seeing as how the cook is male and that he is temporary - you said three months, right?"

Sara nodded, avoiding her brother’s dark eyes as she was aware he would discover her white lie.

Upon his closer inspection she drew the back of one palm across her forehead and eased out with a deep sigh, "Oh dear, my head is starting to pound now. Will hates it when I had headaches."

Sam narrowed his dark eyes at her silently deciding that Will and he both hated her headaches for totally different reasons.

Sara smiled to herself; she had managed to bamboozle her brother and it had been much easier than she’d thought.

As to Tilly Johnni Jones was every inch a woman - one of the prettiest that Sara had ever met. And although she had told her brother that the position was temporary, he had just signed a one-year contract with the beautiful Tilly.

To think that she had only met her earlier this morning as she’d dropped by the coffee and pastry shop for a cup of joe. She had just told the clerk, "Vanilla, skim milk and two shots of sweetener," when the owner of the store had rudely exited the side office with a desperate-looking Tilly in tow, his stubby hand gripped around her elbow as he led her out and threatened, "Don’t come back begging again! There is no job here for you - now or ever!"

The owner had nodded towards Sara, delivered a tight - rather fake smile, then had re-entered his office.  

Tilly has quickly exited and was stationed outside the coffee shop, leaning against the lamppost in front, rubbing her arm.  

"Anything else?" the clerk had asked.

Sara told him, "Another coffee prepared the same and two cheese Danish. Please be quick; I’m in a hurry."

She had handed Tilly a Danish and coffee then had nodded to the side wing of the coffee shop where a small alcove was situated containing an assortment of black wrought-iron chairs and tiny matching tables.

"Oh no - you don’t have to do this," Tilly told her, but Sara had only smiled and led her towards one of the tables where they settled in.

"How’s the arm?" Sara had asked.

"Not too bad. Cranky old guy," Tilly had eased out. "Thank you for the coffee and Danish."

"You’re welcome. I take it that you’re seeking employment?"  

"Why yes! Do you have a lead for me? You know of someone who requires help? I can cook like nobody’s business," Tilly assured, leaning over and gazing intently at Sara with her big blue eyes, her face very pale and accentuated by the beautiful blond hair which hung freely about her heart-shaped face.

"Oh my - you can cook?"

"Took the county fair ribbon a dozen years in a row with my banana cake creations," Tilly assured, Sara flinching in the process. Her brother Sam was the only person on the planet who loved bananas more than primates. In fact, as a child she had nicknamed him Cheetah. That had abruptly ended when he had nicknamed her Simba.

"Tell me a bit more about yourself…."

"Tilly - Ms. Tilly Johnni Jones," she had introduced. "Single, no children - but hopefully one day."

"Sara Ann Mills-"  

"Attorney Will Mill’s wife?"

Sara nodded.

"Oh…I see. Then…I don’t see how my limited skills could be put to use at an attorney’s office, although amid my rather dire circumstances I had considered putting in an application there." She paused and before Sara could she respond, she eased out, "Unless - do you require a housekeeper Mrs. Mills?"

"Please - it’s Sara," she told her. "My brother does. He would never admit such, but I know best. My twin," she elaborated with a twisted smile. Then, "He has an annual barbeque with about two-hundred and fifty guests in attendance that is scheduled for a month from now. Hasn‘t done a thing - and I‘m not about to help him this year. Let him flounder on his own. As to the bananas - I swear the man is part primate. His favorite food on the planet," as Sara silently smiled to herself, the movie ‘Planet of the Apes’ popping into her thoughts.



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