Interview with Dorian Drake, Co-owner of
It was one of those bright, hot late summer days that kept the temperature hovering around ninety when I pulled into Ruthorford, Georgia. Even so, the town was as quaint as any I could have imagined. A fountain sprayed cool water high into the air, its mist touching me and giving back the slight curl that I’d worked so hard to get rid of this morning.
The sign, The Shoppe of Spells, rose above the shop, almost as a dare. The sun glinted off crystals nestled among bottles positioned just so, making the windows sparkle. As I opened the door, a bell tinkled over my head. No one was there to greet me.
“Hello,” I called.
I heard a muttered, “damn,” a slight woof followed by “no,” and a door slam in the back.
I looked in that direction. My breath caught as I faced a six-foot-plus shirtless male, muscles glistening and moving as he swung the shirt up, around, and thrust his arms into the sleeves, and I felt my mouth water. Suddenly conscious of the cougar factor and hating the ten pounds I’d added over the summer, I offered a half smile.
“You must be Shanon Grey,” he walked forward and I watched each button he closed, hiding his perfectly toned body. I nodded.
I saw ice blue eyes crinkle. He stuck out his hand, “Hi, I’m Dorian Drake.” As our hands met, I felt a slight tingle go up my arm. He pulled back his hand and offered a warm smile.
He had me. I’d follow him anywhere, which happened to be into the kitchen/workroom in the back. I eased into the chair he held out and watched as he brought glasses and a pitcher of southern sweet tea to the table. I don’t think I’d yet made an intelligible sound.
As he sat across from me, pouring a glass of tea and adding a fresh sprig of mint from a small vase on the table, I saw a slight scar line form on the side of his lip as he smiled. Perfect white teeth were moving. He was speaking. The fragrance of the mint snapped me back. I decided it would be prudent and professional to say something–other than, “I think I want you!”
I cleared my brain and my throat. “Thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I know the people who read the blog are looking forward to seeing…I mean hearing…more about you.”
He took a sip of tea and leaned back in the chair. “Sorry for the disarray. I was in the back and lost track of time. What can I tell you?”
I figured I better get the uncomfortable over first. “I want to offer my condolences…”
“It’s okay,” he interrupted, “I’m healing.” However, I saw sadness pass over his blue eyes. His “parents/guardians” had been killed in an accident.
“Have you lived in Ruthorford all your life?”
“Yes. Well, the part that I can remember. You see, the Kilravens raised me. I don’t know much about my biological family, if there is one.”
“What do you do around here for fun?” I rushed on.
“Well, I have the shop and the gardens. I generally go on down to the B & B a couple nights a week for dinner and to visit with friends.”
“B & B. You mean that huge Victorian down the road?”
“The very same. That and The Shoppe of Spells are the oldest buildings in Ruthorford.”
“The name, The Shoppe of Spells, sounds rather…,” I searched for a word.
“Magical?” he offered, his eyes flashing in merriment.
I could have sworn the crystals began to glow a little.
“Yes,” I stammered, watching him stretch out one long leg. My temperature rose.
“It was named by a proclaimed witch who fled to Ruthorford after being accused of casting a spell over a town muckety-muck.” He leaned forward.
I swallowed. “Did she?”
His voice grew low and soft, “What do you think?”
At that point, I would have believed anything he told me and wondered if he was a direct descendent of the witch.
He laughed. His voice washed over me like liquid gold. I could have sworn his eyes grew darker.
I heard the bell over the door tickle as it opened. “Yoohoo,” a voice twittered, “Dorian.”
“In the kitchen, Miss Grace,” he called over his shoulder, winked at me and stood.
A little bird of a woman traipsed into the room. She moved with a small bounce in her step, balancing a large ceramic dish. “I made a peach pie.”
“Miss Grace, this is Shanon Grey. She’s here to do an interview with me.”
The older woman’s smile faded and she turned toward Dorian. He reached out and gently placed a hand on her shoulder. She turned and I watched as her expression changed and she beamed with pleasure. “That’s so nice, dear.” She set the pie on the table, right under my nose. “Why don’t you have some pie while you chat?” she chortled.
Thank you, but I just had lunch,” I said. As I inhaled, the aroma fairly entrapped my senses. “Maybe later,” I added and hoped I wouldn’t dive head first into the plate.
“Dorian, you make sure she takes a piece home with her,” she smiled up to the tall man-God towering over her.
“Don’t worry, Miss Grace, I have every intention of giving her what she wants.”
The both stood there, looking at me and grinning.
I jumped up, grabbed my purse, mentioned something about a forgotten appointment, and raced to the door. “Thank you for the interview,” I stammered, not sure why I was fleeing.
As I pulled out, I glanced back at the two standing on the steps of The Shoppe of Spells. I could swear I could hear them laugh as I drove off.
Well, readers, I have to admit: What is in Ruthorford, stays in Ruthorford, at least for the moment. Join me in The Shoppe of Spells and find out more about Dorian, Morgan and the very special descendants in Ruthorford.