November 29, 2010


Inspired by Stripping Agnes or Start here, Reeling in Agnes
He had been in Paris for two years now and was thoroughly content with his apartment in the Latin District, with it's small businesses, intermixed with apartments upstairs, and so many wonderful little shops on the street level. One shop he particularly favored was a small corner patisserie where he would have his morning coffee and read the papers. It had become his custom for the past few months, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. He was infatuated with the neighborhood and the wonderful mix of people, of all ages and backgrounds.

He had gotten to know the shopkeeper and the staff quite well, and had become a bit of a fixture, sitting back in the corner by himself each day, quiet, respectful, but also very curious about all of the people who would come and go. He would greet most people with a nod and gesture as they entered, and might exchange a word or two with those who he had become acquainted with, or perhaps strangers, those who caught his fancy. Admittedly the ones who caught his eye tended to be the younger girls, or the women out doing some shopping early in the day.

One Saturday he noticed an attractive young girl who came in, sat down and ordered a coffee and an almond croissant. She sat quietly a distance away, and seemed to be absorbed in herself and watching the traffic out the window. After watching her for a while he returned to his papers and forgot about her, until she got up to leave. He noticed her manner of dress, plain but attractive, perhaps even frugal. He guessed she must be a clerk in one of the shops in the area, or maybe even an au pair or house girl for some local family. He made note of her and watched her walk off down the street, smiling to himself. A very quiet and solitary girl, he liked that, he made a mental note to watch for her again.

Sure enough, on the following Saturday, late morning, there she was again. He sat down his paper, leaned on an elbow and studied her as she went about her coffee and croissant. She had a natural charm about her, delectable, and he was entertained by the pleasure she took in her meal. As she took her last sip of coffee and looked up, he gave her a big smile and said, "It is good?"

"Delicious," she replied, and added, "I only have one of these a week. I don't make a habit of it."

He gave her a slight nod and returned to his coffee. When he looked up again, she was leaving. He watched her leave, smiled to himself, she will be back next Saturday. He did not want to be too obvious and tip his hand so early on into the game.

Sure enough, the following Saturday there she was. As he was just getting settle and ordering his coffee, she walked in. He looked up and caught her eye. "Bonjour," she offered him, with a lovely smile.

"Bonjour mademoiselle," he returned. "Another croissant for you, today?" When she did not answer, he called out to the shopkeeper, "Two almond croissants, please; one black coffee and one coffee with milk." He paid for the food and ushered her towards a little table by the window. She followed his lead and sat down.

"What is your name?"


"I am Frederick. And, you live in the neighbourhood?"

"Yes. But, I'm new to Paris. I love it here. The city is so exciting. There is so much to see and do."

He continued to smile at her, nodding in encouragement, saying nothing but spurring her on as she told him about her Parisian discoveries. When the food arrived, he continued to offer reassurance and made sure she had everything she needed. They sat and talked as they drank coffee and ate their croissants.  He continued to encourage her to talk about her new life in Paris.  As she was finishing her coffee and setting her plate aside, he suddenly stood up and said, "Come with me and I shall show you where I live. It is a lovely view of Paris from the balcony."

She stood up too, but seemed to be struck with indecision. Before she could say yes or no, he stepped around the table, took hold of her wrist and started to guide her out. She picked up her purse and followed him out the door. Just as he had hoped, his swift and decisive movement, and authority, had captured her attention, and she was with him now. He walked up the street, turned into his building, and pausing a moment to be sure she was still with him, ushered her toward the stairway to his apartment. As he followed her up the stairs, he made note of her trim ankles, the shape of her calves, and musculature of the backs of her thighs. When they reached his landing he led her to the balcony outside of his kitchen.

"There it is. The rooftops of Paris." he said, and smiled at her, reengaging with her, standing close, touching his hand to the back of her arm. As she looked out over the rooftops, he stared at her, drinking her in.

"Ohhhhhh, how beautiful. How fortunate you are to wake up to this every morning." She turned and looked at him, then again back out over the view, and then suddenly she was saying, "Thank you, Frederick. But, I must go. I have so many errands to do today."

He looked at her face, turned slightly away from him, and recognized that fear in her. She seemed confused and disturbed. He decided not to hold her there, but showed her down the stairs again and out to the street. He said, "I hope I will see you at the patisserie again soon." They said their goodbyes, and she turned and walked off. He watched her as she went up the street, back the way they had come.

Next weekend he waited for her at the patisserie but she did not come in. He wondered if she had been scared off by his actions. He had been quite abrupt in inviting her to his apartment, perhaps she had feared something about him in that situation. Perhaps he had read her wrong? He wondered, and reviewed his approach in his mind, thinking he might need to adjust his pace with her if there was another opportunity. After a while he returned to his papers and let Agnes drift out of his mind.

Thursday evening he was doing his shopping for dinner in the market when he turned a corner, there was Agnes standing at the cheese cooler. He stepped up behind her, leaned forward to her ear and said, "Are you going to tell me that you only eat Camembert cheese once a week, as well?"

She was startled and pulled away. But then she turned her head, saw who it was and said hello to him. She turned around to face him and smiled. He said, "Hello Agnes, I am very pleased to see you again, I was afraid I had lost you." She looked at him but when she looked into his eyes, she quickly lowered her head, and said, "I am sorry for the way I acted at your apartment, but I was uncomfortable for some reason. I am glad we are meeting again."

He looked into her basket and saw that it contained just a single baguette.  He had already selected a nice bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and various produce for a large salad. "Would you like to join me for dinner?"

She did not respond immediately, but looked at his basket, then at her own, and finally said, "For dinner?"


  1. Ohh Im loving the beginning of this story...patiently waiting for more....very intriguing start and wondering where it will lead.....thank you

  2. I agree with vesta. It's all so awfully manipulated/manipulating. Who knew?

  3. Oh my .. what a wonderfully teasing beginning you've given!
    Of course I'm coming back for more.. whenever you write.

  4. I'm enjoying your story and look forward to see you post more.