Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Samanthe Beck | It’s in the Bag

October 21, 2014

Samanthe BeckLIGHT HER FIREMy wardrobe doesn’t get a lot of attention. Being a writer barely requires me to wear clothes at all, much less nice ones, but I have fun dressing my characters. An item of clothing or an accessory can speak volumes about the person wearing it.

My friend C, on the other hand, is very fashionable. Her enthusiasm reaches a pinnacle when it comes to purses. She’s the proud owner of a number of “statement handbags.”  I borrowed one a while back for a special occasion. What follows is a rundown of the statement I made.

The occasion was my birthday. It was a milestone, and my sweet, romantic, long-suffering husband planned a special evening. His instructions consisted of, “Wear something pretty. We’ll be gone all night.” Woo-hoo! I bought a wrap dress, splurged on new underwear, and borrowed C’s Gucci purse.

I’d been having back pain and I didn’t want to risk a flare up that night, so I tossed my prescription painkillers in the purse. On our way out the door I stopped to get the mail. I received cards (with checks!) from my mom, my in-laws, and my aunt. Three personal checks into the borrowed Gucci. Boom. Boom. Boom.

Hubs drove to a fancy hotel in Beverly Hills. We checked in to a gorgeous room, with the kind of mini-bar that makes the Hallelujah chorus echo in your mind when you open it. Drinks were served. I was in the middle of some serious fantasies involving the bathtub—yep, just me and the bathtub—when Hubs said it was time to go downstairs.  I grabbed the Gucci and accompanied him to the bar, where, surprise, some friends were waiting. Drinks were served.

One of our friends who shares my husband’s Kentucky roots gave me a travel size bottle of bourbon as a joke. Too funny. Into the purse it went. We took a short walk to AOC, which is my second-favorite restaurant in the entire world, right behind Jack in the Box. The advantage goes to Jack in the Box because we can actually afford to eat there more than once a year. Plus the drive-thru, but whatever. AOC is the far better choice for a birthday. We dined on delicacies such as bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with artisanal cheese and basted with angels’ tears. Magnificent. Drinks were served.

My sexy new underwear started to bug me on the walk back to the hotel. Once we were all re-settled in the bar and our drink order placed, because…hello…priorities…I excused myself and slipped off to the ladies room. Should I have to put up with uncomfortable undies on my birthday? Nope. I shoved them into the purse.

When I returned to the bar our server brought out a cake. Happy birthday was sung. Cake distributed. Drinks served. The evening gets kind of fuzzy from there, but I’m pretty sure it was the best birthday ever.

The next morning at 6:00 a.m. (all right, maybe more like noon), a knock sounded at our door. Since my head rolled off my shoulders and into the toilet the moment I sat up, Hubs answered. It was a bellboy from the hotel, holding “my” purse, which I’d apparently left in the bar the night before. Hubs thanked him profusely and generously, and handed the bag to me. I looked inside to see if my wallet and cell phone were still there, which of course they were, and in the process realized someone at the hotel must have also looked in the purse, found my ID, and checked it against the guest registry to track me down.

Some unknown person had formed an impression of me based on the purse and its contents. Hmm. Big, splashy Gucci bag containing a wallet, a cell phone…a bottle of Vicodin, three crumpled checks, bourbon and a pair of underwear. Yikes. I lined everything up on the desk and told my husband this prestigious hotel had the wrong idea about who I am. He looked at the items, rolled his eyes, and said, “That’s exactly who you are.”

Melody Merritt, my heroine in my latest Brazen, LIGHT HER FIRE, makes an initially unintentional personal statement with her wardrobe when she dons a pink dress, purse and heels for my hero, the hot new fire chief, Josh Bradley. He’s pegged her as a prim and proper southern belle, but he soon finds out pink isn’t always sweet and innocent…and neither is Melody.  😉

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