By Jeffra Hays

Copyright 2011 Jeffra Hays

Smashwords Edition

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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



Charlie, dressmaker, kneeled down on the floor of his sewing room neither to pray nor to give thanks for the bounty his coterie of customers enabled him to enjoy. No, Charlie was on his knees because his newest client’s outseam, waist to ankle, was longer than his cutting table.

Sharpened shears beside him, Charlie leaned over to measure the fabric again, and perspired. How, after decades of evening gowns, could he have failed to calculate Ms. Borden’s prodigious height? Failed to unfold and cursorily drape the fabric over her long, long, long torso? He closed his eyes and imagined Ms. Borden lying there on her fabric, but with or against the grain she wouldn’t fit. Charlie pushed and pulled her; he heard her procrustean squeal and opened his eyes to squint at his trouble, to squeeze a few more inches before applying his shears.

Ms. Borden, a basketball professional who, Charlie knew, could well afford his towering fees, had ordered a gown to be worn at the Championship Awards Dinner the following Sunday night. She had sorted through his exquisite, exclusive fabric collection, and chose, with Charlie’s vehement approval, a dun-drab arabesque-acanthus-leaf cut velvet. The subtle color, did she see? framed her complexion in quiet earth tones, while the opulent sheen shimmered like her dazzling eyes.

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