Romance Fiction posted December 10, 2017 Chapters:  ...54 55 -56- 57... 

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The party.

A chapter in the book Perennials of War

Chapter Siebzehn part drei

by barbara.wilkey

Is Anderson a gallant knight? Can he recover Shana's family's stolen relics and heal the wounds of genocide?
ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST: "I'm willing to pay for it to be returned." Anderson leaned back in his chair.

"No! I can't let you do that." Shana's eyes met his.

"I'm pretty sure Kuznetsov won't accept that either. It seems for some reason he really wants that painting. Any idea why it's so special?" asked Maxwell.

"Not really. Bruno Schmidt completed the painting in 1914. He used ornamental gold leaf as a flat two-dimensional Byzantine mosaic." Shana fidgeted with her hands.

"When I checked it out at the museum, there was a man trying to get really close. He had something small in his hand. I couldn't tell what." Anderson took a sip of coffee. "A security guard told him to step back before he could complete his task."

"That's interesting. I'll have some detectives sit on the painting for a few days and see if anything happens." Gaines finished his coffee and stood. "I need to research some things and I'll get back to you." He turned toward Shana. "Please contact your grandma as soon as possible." He paused. "Can she fax us copies of all the letters?"

"I'll have my brother help. They'll be faxed immediately; probably later today or Monday at the latest."

Maxwell Gaines shook their hands. On his way out, the cuckoo clock chimed eleven times. He stopped, watched the dancers move to Edelweiss, and turned to Anderson. "This is an antique German clock, right?"

"Yes, it is. My uncle willed it to me."

"Very nice." Mr. Gaines turned to leave but gave one more glance back at the clock. "Interesting."

After Maxwell left, Shana frowned. "I expected more."


Chapter 17 part 3

It was 8:05 P.M. when Shana saw her reflection in the mirror and released a deep breath. I can't believe this is me. She held up her hands and smiled. "I've never had my nails professionally done. It's a soft pink, but I'm sure Grandma wouldn't approve." She smoothed the front of the dress and then looked down at the heels. "I'm glad they aren't really high. I'd fall." She stiffened and glanced at Romeo as the doorknob turned.

"Miss Shana, hurry. You're going to miss everything." Emily rushed up to her and took her hand.

Jane was right behind. "Sorry, Shana, patience isn't her strongest quality." She grabbed the child's hand. "You need to knock before you enter a room."

"It's fine. I doubt any five-year-old has patience, especially on party night. How do I look?"

"You look beautiful." Jane smiled.

"You're better than beautiful." Emily tugged at her hand. "Let's go. We're missing the party."

As they readied to open the patio door, Anderson walked up, removed a small velvet box from his pocket, and offered it to Shana. "I think your outfit needs one more accessory."

"Goody, I like surprises." Emily bounced.

"I can't accept anything else, the dress, necklace, and shoes are already too much." Shana shook her head and didn't reach for the box.

Anderson opened the box, revealing two pearl and diamond earrings.

Shana's hand covered her mouth. "They're gorgeous, but I can't accept them."

"Then I guess I need to put them on you." Anderson removed one from the box. He took off the back and gently brushed her hair aside as he attached the earring to her lobe. Then he repeated the same on the other side.

Standing back, he gazed at her and smiled. "You look amazing."

A pink tinge caressed Shana's cheeks. "Thank you," she whispered.

"I guess we'd better greet the guests." He took her hand and led her onto the patio. "I heard a rumor dinner will be served in about twenty minutes."

Soon after dinner, the music began. Shana helped Emily dance twice before she led her to her bedroom, read three bedtime stories, and then sat beside Emily's bed until she fell asleep.

Shana left the door cracked open before heading toward her room. As she passed the patio, Anderson walked up. "Is Emily asleep?"

"Yes, she was so excited, it took three stories." Shana smiled.

"I noticed you danced with her. Thank you."

"She wanted to dance so badly. I couldn't let her down. It was fun."

"I tried to get to her but got trapped talking with Joe about business."

"I'm sure Emily understands."

"She shouldn't have to." Anderson paused and then reached out for her hand. "Shall we return?"

"I think I'll go to my room. There's no reason for me to attend."

After brief intermission, the band began playing.

Anderson glanced toward the patio and then asked, "Could I have this dance?"

Shana took his hand and a made sure comfortable distance remained between them. He placed his hand at her waist and with his other held her hand. After the song had played for a few moments, Shana rested her head against his chest.

Just before the song ended, Shana stepped away. "This isn't right?" She hurried toward her room.

"Wait. Why isn't it?"

She paused. "I'm middle class, and you're upper class."

Anderson took a step toward her and reached out his hand. "We can work around that. It shouldn't matter."

"You're Gentile, and I'm Jewish. We can't work around that." Shana continued to her room.

Anderson went into his den and slammed the door.

*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria


Thank you Google Images for an image of a couple dancing in the moonlight. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

Last week I was forced, because of circumstances, to do a home visit to one of my students. I am asking for prayer for all children living in poverty.
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