Blog loved Valentineâ€™s Day. A day dedicated to expressing deep emotions to the current love of your life offered so many wonderful opportunities to spread misery. He could sleep late and still fill his dayâ€™s quota of misfortune by noon. If he met or exceeded quota for long enough, he might even manage promotion from hurt feelings to bad weather, and eventually all the way to cataclysmic events. Then heâ€™d only have to work once a century or so, and could spend the rest of his time hanging with the important misery sprites..
Heâ€™d started out well enough, managing to break up several young teen romances before noon with only a suggestion of boyfriends talking to the wrong girl, or saying something stupid. Making teenage boys say something stupid was so easy it only qualified for half points, and Blog was out for the big score. This meant groundwork and preparation, which heâ€™d been working on for several months. His cast of characters was impeccable.
Gretchen, a plump blonde somewhat past the first bloom of youth, was obsessed about her weight but couldnâ€™t pass up extra whipped cream on her non-fat mochas. Blog had amused himself this past month or more by directing stylishly slender women past Gretchenâ€™s desk at the small publishing house, then arranging an introduction to Phillip, a handsome nature writer. He could practically see disgusting little hearts dancing around their heads while they discussed cover art and sell throughs, and only the thought of his master plan could keep Blog from spewing.
Not to put all his angsts in one bucket, Blog had also been nurturing a liaison between Andrea, whose insecurities were only exceeded by her fascination with esoteric trivia. Really, who cared what sort of weapons the Amazons carried or how the Assyrians baked their bread? Blog had encouraged Andreaâ€™s romantic inclinations for Dylan, a serious new editor, recently hired from the English department of a prestigious university. Even better, Dylan had suffered through an ugly divorce from his childhood sweetheart, who had cheated on him whenever possible. Blog liked the fact heâ€™d helped that divorce along.
All these machinations had started several months ago, and been left to fester while Blog entertained himself with encouraging parents to leave their children behind at a rest stop. After today, the publishing house would be sunken in hurt feelings and broken hearts, which would probably throw off production schedules, even more bonus points. Other than checking on his victims, Blog hadnâ€™t spent much time at their place of business – success always unsettled his spirits.
He settled himself on the wall above the cute little sidewalk restaurant waiting for all his plans to come to fruition. Right on time, the victims gathered. The two men came from different directions, nodded to each other, and decided on a table in a sunny corner of the sidewalk, where they waited with every appearance of patience. Blog frowned. This was not right. These men were not supposed to know each other, and no modern man understood patience.
Before he could initiate a disagreement, Andrea and Gretchen came into sight, chattering happily, oblivious to the ruin he was about to visit upon them. With perfect timing, Blog sent a ravishingly lovely waitress to lean over Dylan while she quoted the dayâ€™s specials, and at the same time, Andrea was swept into the arms of a blonde man whose jeans seemed pasted on his body. Gretchen hesitated as she realized what a perfect couple the delicate waitress would make next to Dylanâ€™s patrician good looks.
Blog rubbed his hands together, building mischief forces and pushing them toward the tableau below. Any moment now, they would over react with predictable hormone enhanced emotions, and his day would be complete.
Gretchen turned to Andrea with a quiet question, then advanced alone toward the table. Taking a deep breath, she spoke first to Dylan.
“It looks like one of Andreaâ€™s cousins got into town early, she said sheâ€™ll be just a minute.”
Her quiet words took the tension out of Dylanâ€™s face, and he nodded his head in thanks. Before she could say anything else, Philip held up his hand, effectively halting the sultry voiced recitation of coffee styles and sandwich choices.
“Give us a minute, please. This is a special occasion, we might want to take our time ordering.”
Andrea rushed over, her cheeks stained bright red, apologies stumbling from her mouth. Dylan pulled out the chair next to his, and quieted her with a smile. After they were all seated, they exchanged serious looks.
“That could have been really awkward,” Gretchen began.
“Really. If ever a moment possessed a potential for disaster, we just experienced it,” Andrea said.
“Isnâ€™t it fortunate,” Dylan said, smiling wryly. “In preparation for the new line of womenâ€™s fiction, weâ€™ve all been exposed to discussions of plot contrivances and misconceptions leading to tragic misunderstandings?”
The tension around the table erupted in relieved laughter.
Blog lost control, lost his hold on the side of the building, and nearly lost control of his body structure.
Damn Romance Writers. This was the WORST Valentineâ€™s Day EVER.