“Oh yeah. Definitely. Want me to check in with you, too, every thirty minutes when I’m out on a date?”
Her green eyes, the same shade as mine, sparkle. “I would. Speaking of checking in, did Grams make it to the auction?”
I check my phone, nodding. “She says she’s enjoying the view.” I stare at her. “Your mom is a dirty bird.”
I like to imagine my life in montage moments.
If this were a movie, I’d get to skip the lazy slug of traffic I’m stuck in and magically appear at my destination.
Admittedly, I could have made a better effort to get to the car auction on time, but I’d been distracted when I left my South Beach hotel and spotted a pack of flamingos on the beach. Naturally, I had to take photos of them for my business partner and for my collection.
Of flamingo photos.
Yes, I have one now, because I like to snap pictures of cool things, pretty things, and weird things, and birds that stand on one leg qualify on all counts. Plus, I suspect the pic is about to become a business expense, since Lulu’s unicorn avatar is flashing on my screen. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not set her avatar. She did. Everyone else just gets a name. Lulu gets a magical horse, and it’s blinking at me, so I swipe my thumb across the screen and chat hands-free.
“Cameron!” Lulu greets me in exclamation points.
“I have an idea. Wait for it . . .” Pretty sure I know what’s coming. “Flamingo-shaped chocolate.”
I nod as I tap the gas, nudging the car forward. “Go ahead. Call me brilliant. Call me a fortune-teller.”
“You are, but why would I call you a fortune-teller?”
“I knew that was what you were going to say.”
“And how do I know you knew that?”
I smile. “You’ll just have to trust me.”
“But seriously. It’s a great idea, and since you’re in town working on the deal . . .”
“You want me to see if the chichi hotel near the Fontainebleau would carry them?”
“It’s like we share a brain.”
“That, and I’ve been working on a deal with them for the last week.”
“We should definitely make the flamingo ones for them, don’t you think?”
“A better idea there has never been.”
“What if we do quirky animal-shaped chocolates that are themed for the different cities where you strike distribution deals?”
“Aren’t animal crackers proof that animal-shaped food is, one, awesome, and two, profitable?”
She laughs. “Okay, I’ve convinced you, and you’ve convinced me. Let’s do it.”
“How about you make some samples, fly down here, and come with me to meet with them in person on Monday?”
“Fine, fine, twist my arm. I’ll book a ticket for tonight.”
“And we’ll pitch them together tomorrow.”
I say goodbye and will the traffic to move faster. Eventually it does, and I make it on time to the junkyard, where I park my rental and head over to say hello to Uncle Joe, who’s studying a folder of papers while leaning against an old school bus. I fist-bump the man. “Silver Fox. What’s up?”
He drops the papers to his side, giving me a stern stare. “It’s about time. I’m not sure I’m going to save the old beat-up Ferrari for you anymore.”
My eyes bulge. “You have a Ferrari today?”
His sky-blue eyes sparkle, crinkling at the corners, well-worn from the years. “Don’t you want to know.”
“Seriously? Are you messing with me?”
“What would you even do with a Ferrari? You live in Manhattan. You’re only here a few times a year, yet you keep coming back to the junkyard like you’re really going to buy some sweet, hot sports car and drive it down the Keys.”
I square my shoulders as if I’ve truly taken offense to his comment. “I might very well do that someday.”
He scoffs. “I bet on you not doing that.”
“A man can dream, and I dream of buying a Ferrari and cruising over the Seven Mile Bridge to the edge of the Keys.”
“I’m calling your bluff.”
“Why don’t you step on my dreams a little more?” I stick out my polished black wing tip and crush the toe against the ground like I’m squashing a bug. “Then maybe a little further. Just dig into my dream and destroy it.”
He laughs, eyeing me up and down. “When you ditch those New York suits in favor of some Miami Vice duds to match that whole blue-eyed-blond thing, that’s when I believe you’ll buy one of the cars I’m auctioning, rather than only coming here to window-shop.”
I shudder. “Salmon, puce, pink, and I do not get along. Also, nice to see you too.”
A smile spreads nice and wide on his face, and he yanks me in for a big hug. My mom’s older brother was integral to my life growing up here in Florida. I love the guy madly. “You have no idea how fun it is to give you a hard time.”