She could feel her heart beat pick up its pace. A bead of sweat formed at the hairline just above her brow. She quickly wiped it away with stealth and swift.
The first word didn’t sound as sure as she had hoped. It sounded weak and wanting. Think about being mysterious, she told herself. Remember what you learned in voice over class—lower your voice. She concentrated on the next set of consonants and vowels that come out of her mouth.
"Of course, I came.” Each syllable pronounced and emphasized.
She stepped forward and over the threshold of the hotel room door. He stepped back and out of her way, scooping his arm up and out in the direction of the room’s living room. It was a comfortable elegant room, covered in shades of blue and green. Past the furniture, TV and coffee table hunkered down with an ice bucket and bottle of champagne was a view of the city that she had to soak in. Every pore of her body yearned to move toward the big open window before her.
The hotel was situated on a hill overlooking the city. Every light sparkled in the Valley below like stars in a clear sky. She wanted to reach out and hold them in her hand.
“Great view, huh?”
"Oh, it’s amazing. The room must have cost a fortune.”
“It’s all on the company’s tab. Here, let me take your jacket.”
Electricity traveled down her arms as he placed his hands upon her shoulders, sliding her dark blue coat off and past her wrists. Having his touch so close, let off a small scream of excitement deep inside her brain. No matter how much she liked him being close, she would not anticipate anything later in the evening. This time she would remain in control. After all, she had a great guy in her life. She didn’t need Rory. This visit was just out of curiosity. Plus, they had decided they would remain friends; they were only friends. It was courtesy to see friends when they came into town. A satisfied smile stretched across her face, pleased with the explanation she gave herself.
She stared out the window, trying not to look at his reflection. She closed her eyes, then opened them with resolution, deriving her strength from within. She turned around in time to him walking toward her.
“So, how long did you say you were in town?”
“Only a few days.”
“Is it a convention or something?”
She made her way to couch. Look casual. She sat down, pulled a magazine off the coffee table, crossed her legs and began to flip through the glossy book.
“No. I am here to talk to a couple of companies, looking at their machinery.”
“Interesting.” Turning pages while they talked.
“Not really. But, I got to see you,” he took a deep breath and sat down on the arm of the couch, next to where she sat. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t think you would come.”
“Oh, of course,” she let a light giggle escape, lilted on a bubble of nervousness. “It’s nice to see you too.”
He just gazed at her, contentment on his face. The room was quiet except for the baritone whir of the air conditioner. For the first time she noticed the cool, neutral scent of the hotel room. Why do hotel rooms always smell like nothing?
“Where are we going for dinner?” she killed the silence. Her abruptness surprised her so she switched her attention to the flounce of her skirt, tracing its hem with her fingertip.
“Well, I was thinking we could go to that little Italian restaurant you took me to the first time I came out here to see you.”
“Rosa’s? That sounds nice. I haven’t been there in a long time.”
Rosa’s had the best food, but it also had the most romantic atmosphere. The small climbing-rose covered patio, candles, the sound of the ocean just on the other side of the low patio wall. She lulled into the memory of their last visit to Rosa’s. Long glances at one another as their ruby glasses of wine shimmered in the flickering light. His eyes sparkled at her that night and his lips had pleaded for hers to meet them when he enveloped her hands in his. She hadn’t even taken Cody to Rosa’s yet. In her mind, she had always saved such a place for special occasions. She and Cody hadn’t even been together for a year yet. And, she just couldn’t picture him in such a place.
“So, Beth, what do you think about going out dancing afterwards?”
His question alerted her back to reality and it took her a few moments to get back to her senses.
“I was listing off things we could do after dinner and I thought dancing might be fun. I always enjoy dancing with you. Do you want to do that?”
“That sounds fine.” She started to get up. She wanted to keep her body moving so she could remain aware of his every move. She didn’t want to let her guard down with him. It was too easy for her to give into his charms.
1 month ago