Day 2: Milly
Milly smiled at the vintage teddy bear. She picked it up and ran her thumb over its red and green bowtie.
“Can I help you?” the store clerk asked.
Blushing, Milly quickly put the stuffed animal back where she had found it. “Eh, hi,” she said, “I’m looking for a gift?”
The woman gestured at the tables around them “You’ve come to the right place!”
Milly chuckled. “Right, because I’m at a gift shop.”
The clerk’s smile was wide and infectious. Her dark curls bounced on her shoulders as she said, “That you are.”
“I’m not very good at this,” Milly admitted, loosening her wool scarf.
“I sort of guessed,” the woman winked. The red and green lights of the Christmas decorations gave her cheeks a warm glow.
Milly grinned back at her. “You probably could tell the moment I stepped inside?”
“Yes,” the clerk agreed. “I saw you peering through that window and knew you needed help.”
“Oh, dear,” Milly laughed, “Did I look that lost?”
“You still do,” the woman said, her brown eyes twinkling.
“I guess you’ll have to save me from myself,” Milly replied smoothly. She only realized it sounded a bit flirty once she had said it.
The clerk’s eyes narrowed a little. “Damsels in distress are my specialty.”
“Drat,” Milly thought, “I got myself into trouble again.” She quickly tried to correct course by saying, “I’m looking for something for my girlfriend? Something cute.”
If the store clerk was surprised or disappointed, she didn’t show it. “Cute how?”
Milly took in the shop with her hands on her sides. The small antique store had a somewhat eclectic collection of items. She spotted several other vintage stuffed animals, a row of snow globes and even a taxidermy bird or two.
None of these things had made her come inside, though. It was the item in the shop window that had piqued her interest. She walked to the front of the store and leaned over the panel of the window display.
“I was thinking of something like this?” Milly said and pointed at the object that stood next to some fragile, glass Christmas ornaments.
“Aha,” the woman replied, standing on the tips of her toes next to Milly. “I think I underestimated you. You are *very* good at this after all.”