He found Ally’s pics and paintings without any trouble, and he knew before he looked at the name they were her’s. He’d seen enough in her studio to recognise her work.
She was good, mostly black and white photographs, largely of landscapes and flowers. But her paintings had so many colours in them, a total turn about. Here she painted people; just like those she’d given him and the others. But where as their portraits had been in charcoals these ones were done in water colours, chalks and even by the look of it pencils.
There was one of a woman, and if he looked closely it looked like it could be ….. Holy hell it was Ally! It was of a woman, standing in a field surrounded by sunflowers, her face turned away, but Tico knew that body intimately and that was Al! The woman was naked except for the flowers covering her modesty, damn!
David walked up, ‘Your girlfriend is quite the artist isn’t she. She’s even got pottery and wood carvings over there.’ He nodded towards a small corner, he’d seen a lovely statue of an owl, he wanted it, and it looked so alive you could almost see it ruffle its feathers. If he could get Hugh out of the way he could talk to Mandy about buying it, he was certain if he asked Ally to buy it, she’d try to give it him.
‘Yeah she certainly is!’ There was no way in hell this painting was going with anyone else but him, he needed to talk to Liz, now!
The two men head for their targets, Ally was busy answering the phone, good!
Jon still had hold of Liz, keeping her close; he looked up and saw Teek bearing down on them, huh oh what had happened.
‘Jon, bro I need to talk to your lady here, so let her go please.’
‘Not gonna happen, sorry.’ He grinned at Teek.
‘Ok then how about I tell my angel about that surprise that’s due in tomo…..’ That’s as far as he got, Jon let go of Liz and held his hands up.
‘What’s arriving?’ Liz didn’t like the sound of that.
‘Nothing querido, I just need you to do something for me, now!’ He took her arm and steered her away from Jon, who shrugged and decided to check out the place.
Tico quickly filled her in on what he wanted and told her not to tell Ally who’d brought it. He asked her if he was right, was it a self portrait. She’d nodded and told him it had took her weeks to realise who it was, he smiled and said to someone who didn’t know her, they wouldn’t guess.
Liz promised a sold sticker would go on it as soon as they left. Tico gave her his Florida address and he wrote a cheque then and there and swore Liz that she’d cash it. She told him it would go in that nights banking. He kissed her and thanked her. Liz grinned, he’d not batted an eyelash at the price, the one she’d put on it when Al had left, she’d just added a few more noughts on the tag. The price Al had put on it was, well, pitiful! Liz usually went around and changed the prices after Al had gone; she never noticed the change, artists! When she did it was usually way after the money had gone into her account and she was going through the receipts. Al and Liz had fought over this, but as Liz pointed out, she was in the store way more than Al and she’d do what she felt was right.
Al had given in at the end, she’d tried changing them back, but they always sold for more than she’d asked for. Liz was just plain sneaky!
Meanwhile David and done the exact same thing with Mandy, but because he stood at the till, he’d paid with his credit card, so she didn’t have to fend off Ally when she found out.
Al came out and shouted to the guys it was time they went shopping to restock, seeing as they’d eaten her out of house and home.
Then guys laughed, but agreed, they could be worse than a plague of locusts!
Before they left Jon made sure Liz would come to dinner with them later, after a slight battle, she’d agreed. Jon told her if she didn’t show he’d sit outside her door all night singing off key. Liz just rolled her eyes, Richie piped up saying he’d do it too!
Unbeknown to the others Hugh asked Mandy to join them, shyly she’d agreed and he’d told her they’d pick her up, making sure he got her address, home phone number and her cell number. She’d laughed saying both Liz and Alice knew where she lived, he’d just grinned.
‘Ok rabble time to shop!’ Al grinned and kissed Liz and Mandy, telling the former she’d see her later, Mandy just smiled.
Then the boys got in on the act and each woman received a kiss, Jon lingered more on Liz’s kiss, and while the others chuckled at that, Hugh lent over and kissed the shit out of Mandy, leaving her breathless and wanting to jump him!
Laughing Al finally shooed them out the door, they all waved as the walked passed the window, mugging for the two women in the store.