The Writer's Princess Muse - Cover

The Writer's Princess Muse

Copyright© 2023 by George H. McVey

Chapter 5

Aurora parked her eight-year-old Subaru Outback in the employee parking at the Cassidy Heritage Museum and grabbed her security ball cap, placing it on her head. Despite not being on the clock, she always wore it while on site in case someone required help and to establish her as part of the Museum staff. Aurora smiled and waved at some coworkers, most of whom didn’t know her because she worked the night shift, but they recognized the hat and waved back. She made her way back into the employee only area and knocked on Mrs. Cassidy’s office door frame. The kind, grandmotherly lady looked up and waved her in. She looked stressed.

“Aurora, thank you for coming in so quickly. I don’t know how to say this other than to just spit it out, you know that I’ve been talking to the insurance people about our coverage of the exhibits here.”

This didn’t sound good. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, they informed us yesterday that there will be no exemption. If we want the coverage, we have no choice but to install one of those state-of-the-art monitoring systems. One that includes fire, smoke, and burglary protection. I can’t afford to have that system installed and continue to employ four security personnel. Since your job will be redundant with the system, I’m going to have to let you go.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

The older woman came around from behind the desk. “We don’t want to, but we have to do what the insurance people demand. And that means that we have no need for a night watch here at the Cassidy anymore. The new system is being installed as we speak. It will be fully functional before we close today.”

She handed Aurora an envelope. “This is your pay. I gave you two extra weeks as severance and a letter of recommendation. I really wish we could keep you on, Aurora, but we can’t.”

Aurora took the envelope and stood. “I understand, Mrs. Cassidy. It will suck not working here. I hope everything works out for you all.”

She took her hat off and left it on the chair that she just vacated. What was she going to do now? Daddy let her stay in the apartment rent free, but she had to pay her own internet and cable bill and contribute to the electric bill. Not to mention gas for her car and insurance, her cell phone bill, and groceries. This final pay would give her some wiggle room, but she needed to find another job, and fast.

She swung by Java Cupid, grabbed a newspaper, and what might be her last Cinnamon Caramel Latte for a while. Afterwards, she’d go home and search through the want ads. If she could have a couple of interviews lined up or several places to apply, then at least her daddy would be less upset. Now she had even more reason to hope that Rob was right, and she could make money off her books.

Thinking of Rob as she pulled into the Java Cupid parking lot, she thought she would call him. He’d told her to. Maybe he’d have an idea for her. At least now, she wouldn’t have to go home and take a nap.

She got out of her car and went inside. She couldn’t help but be cheered up when she heard Charlie call out to her. “Hello, Princess Aurora.”

She smiled at the man. “Hey, Prince Charlie. Are you keeping the kingdom of Java Cupid clean?”

He nodded. “I pick up the dirty stuff and wipe tables like Dad, and Mister Carl, tell me to.”

“I can see that, and a wonderful job you do.”

Charlie smiled and took his tub of dishes back to the kitchen. She grabbed a drink and paper and sat at her table. Then she pulled out her phone and texted Rob. “Hey, I’m at the Java Cupid. Can you come join me?

Sure, give me ten minutes. Are you okay?

No, I’ll tell you about it when you get here.

On my way, Princess.”

She smiled when she saw that last text. Then she turned to the classifieds and started looking for a job while she waited for her knight in tight jeans to arrive.


Rob pulled into the Java Cupid. He knew something was wrong. Aurora’s text had none of the playfulness of the last two days in it. The only thing he could think of was she’d gotten into trouble with her boss. It made him just a little mad that her dad had spent years destroying her dreams. Telling her and her sisters to be sensible, to work toward long-term financial security.

His time spent with Grace after Aurora left had been eye opening. Now he wanted to help her learn to dream again. He wanted to encourage her to reach for the stars and make them her own.

He decided he’d do whatever it took to get her books published and people reading them. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to nurture her, protect her from everything and everyone, including her father, and well, he knew he wanted her in his bed. That part was obvious, and not just to him. It had been the last thing Grace had said to him before he left.

“Anyone who sees you two together can’t help but see the attraction between you and Aurora. Please remember that she doesn’t think she is worthy of her dreams. She will always orient to stability and security, because that is what her father has drummed into her as important. I don’t want to see you stir up her dreams and passions, only to leave her in a more broken condition than she is now.”

Rob nodded and looked Grace in the eye. “Mrs. Wright, all joking aside. I don’t know where this thing with Aurora is going. I know, until now, I never really believed in soulmates and love at first sight. They were just silly fantasies that helped me sell lots of books. However, after yesterday afternoon, I have had to change my mind. I think both of us want to see where this is going, so I am going to spend as much time with her as she will allow.” He smiled a cautious smile and ran his hands through his hair. “I will promise you not to do anything but try to encourage her to be all that she can be, both as a woman and as an author.”

Aurora’s mother reached out and patted his arm. “That’s all I can ask.” Then she stood and started cleaning. “Now you run along, and don’t forget Friday is book club, and the ladies are expecting a special guest.”

Rob laughed. “I’ll be here with gifts.”

“Well, come early and I’ll make my famous lasagna rolls.”

“I will do my best, Mrs. Wright. I have to go to Denver tonight for a friend’s book launch event. She has an event tomorrow evening and then a reading and book signing at a retailer in the morning, and has asked me to sign with her at both. With the next Phantom Horse book coming out soon, I can’t say no.”

“We wouldn’t want you to not fulfill your obligations to your fellow authors and fans. So, if you make it back in time to eat, then you do. If you don’t, I’ll send some lasagna rolls home with you after the meeting.”

Rob ducked his head in acknowledgement. “Sounds like a deal. I shall see you Friday.”

Then his phone showed he had a text from Aurora, and that led him to the Java Cupid. He’d just arrived. He felt worried but thrilled that Aurora had called him instead of her mom, dad, sisters, or friends. She’d called him, and that was a good sign. Maybe she felt their connection, just as strong as he did.

Rob got out of his jeep and started for the door when his attention was drawn to a heavyset, red-haired woman heading his way. On top of her head was a hat made of tinfoil. With two silver horns, the headgear resembled a Viking helmet.

She called out to him, “Where is your brain shield? You need to put one on before they read your thoughts.”

He tried to step around her, but she followed along beside him.

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