Jane Sydney was an eye-catching woman.
The first thing that Daniel noticed was her flaming red hair: he imagined that’s what drew most people’s notice. Even smoothed back and rolled demurely into a chignon, there was something wild about it. He reckoned it was natural: she had the sort of translucent skin that spoke of Irish ancestry, although it surprised him that she didn’t appear to have a single freckle. Odd, for a woman living on the coast, even such a rainy one as Oregon’s. But then again, she was wearing what he’d swear was a dress from the 1940s or ‘50s: pale blue fabric fitted through the sleeves and bodice, but swinging out wide from the hips. It came down past her knees, but was short enough to reveal a pair of shapely calves, which tapered down into feet wearing a pair of peep-toe heels, perfectly matched to the bright red of her lipstick. She might just be the sort of woman who wore big hats and carried a parasol.
And damned if there wasn’t a string of pearls around her neck.
She was engaged in what appeared to be a somewhat intense conversation with an absolutely ancient gentleman, so Daniel turned his attention to the art. Several different artists had work on display, so far as he could tell, but every piece was somehow nautically-themed. Appropriate, for a seaside gallery. He leaned in to more closely examine a miniature watercolor of a small boat dancing on a shimmering violet ocean.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” Her voice was a pleasant contralto, and when Daniel turned to face her, he saw that her smile reached the corners of her dark gray eyes. He smiled back.
“I certainly hope so. I was told you run this gallery?”
“Yes,” she said, and he thought he heard a touch of wariness creep into her voice. “I own the Storm’s Edge. Were you interested in making a purchase?”