Chapter Thirteen

“I like the idea.”
“You haven’t heard any of the other proposals.”
“Don’t need to. The flow of the initial proposal works well with the day care and I feel it will make the most impact.”
“Its your commercial.” I said with the shrug of my shoulders.

“Speaking of which why wasn’t your friend part of this meeting?”
“Who, Ralph?”
“No, Santa Claus.”
“I told you he doesn’t work for my company.”
“Oh so its your company now?”
“I meant the company. Stop teasing me.”
“You’re an easy person to tease.”
“And you’re a-“
“Don’t finish that sentence. Not if you wanna keep your balls.”
“You have no idea what my response was going to be.”
“Its always the B word.”
“Beautiful?”
She rolled her eyes and mumbled “Bastard.”
“Oh. I thought you meant bitch.”
“…I walked into that, didn’t I?”

Shaking my head I laughed and picked up my drink- rum and coke. She sipped on hers- a mojito- and joined the laughter. She then continued to do something she had been doing all night; steadily moving closer to me.

The night began in a little booth off to the corner of a lounge in Brooklyn, my choice. I sat alone with my drink and had a woman who could very easily be my mother’s age buy me a round from her seat at the bar. I refused it. She didn’t seem mad. Or disappointed. I’m probably wrong. She reminded me too much of my mother. That image alone squashed any possibility of a sexual liaison.

Fifteen minutes and two beers later in walks Sofia. Her dress was black and tight. Too tight. Her curves reminded me of the German autobahn.

She placed a soft kiss on my cheek. Her rosy lips can still be felt. We exchanged small talk before moving on to business. But with each laugh that I apparently brought out of her, she moved just a bit closer.

With the night almost concluded she was practically kissing my neck. The thought of a neck kiss from Sofia was surprisingly strong. I needed another drink. She needed to back off. What did I do to have my space invaded in such a sexual manner?

I find her attractive, it’s no secret its mutual either. This is unprofessional. I shouldn’t allow such behavior to occur whilst a business meeting and working relationship is present. Yet, I have a strong desire to throw morals out of the window.

Sofia smiles and sips her drink. Did she choose the first proposal to ensure all business conversation ceased? I gave her what’s called “the side eye.” She gave no indication that business talk was over yet none was taking place.

“May I ask a question?”
“You just did.” According to Ralph I have a knack for biting sarcasm. I hardly noticed. She rolled her eyes while playfully nudging me. She placed her “serious” face back on, staring into my eyes.

“You’re attracted to me, yes?” Second time in the same day I was asked that question; once in its actual form and then there was Wendy’s…

“This is not the time to be asking me such a question.”
“Sure it is. You’ve been drinking. A drunk mind speaks sober thoughts.”
“I actually have a sober tongue regardless of inebriation level.”
“Then you should have no trouble-“
“Not while you’re my client and there’s a working relationship in progress.”
“So is that a yes?”

I hesitated. She caught me. I couldn’t allow her to know though.

“More like a non-answer.”
“Sounded like a confession to me.”
“You’re not a priest.”
“And you’re no choir boy, Johnny. I can tell there’s a bad boy hidden deep within that stiff exterior.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“You’re always so proper. Don’t get me wrong I find it completely attractive that you fail to speak like the majority of men your age.”
“My age…”
“But you have got to lighten up. So what if I’m a client. The night at the bar I wasn’t, and there were clear signs of attraction.”
“But you didn’t-“
“Give you my number, yes I know.”
“Great. Now that that’s been established-“
“I think about you occasionally.”

I gulped down my drink. “I don’t know why. I barely know you, but, there’s something about you that I’m drawn to.”
“I-“
“Oh don’t tell me you can’t comment on your emotions because of a silly little thing like you working on my commercial. What’s that gonna take to make, huh? Two, three weeks?”
“If you know so much why don’t you do it yourself.”
“Because I couldn’t work with you then.”

Her hand caressed my cheek, played with my hair. I didn’t want any of this to happen. All work-related subjects aside, I just didn’t want to complicate my life with the misgivings of emotions brought on by a woman. I do not need them in my life. Yet, somehow, this woman…

Her lips brushed against mine. Then, my phone buzzed in my pants. We both looked down at it and laughed. Sofia’s was of disappointment. Mine was of relief. Yet I somehow felt a twinge of disappointment, too.

“The irony in the situation.” She said. “What do you mean?”
She laughed and waved a hand at me as I pulled my phone from my pocket.

It was Ralph. I answered it just before it went to voicemail. “Dude, what’s this about a Broadway play tomorrow?”

I sent him a message on MySpace detailing the conversation Wendy and I had. At least he opened with an inquiry pertaining to work.

“Can you make it?”
“I can, but I’m surprised you came up with such a plan. Its so-“
“You?” I chuckled.
“Yea I guess you’ve rubbed off on me over the years.”
“I’m touched. Do I need a date?”
“This isn’t a personal event we’re attending. I don’t want any distractions.”
“You mean besides-“
“Yes.”
“How are you gonna-“
“I haven’t a clue.”
“Pick you up at five tomorrow?”
“Of course.”
“I’ll look extra cute for you.”
“Looking forward to it.”

I hung up the phone, awkwardly smiling at Sofia as I placed it back in my pocket. “Pressing matters?” She asked. I looked into her eyes. She was hurt. At least I believe so. Pretty sure.

“That was Ralph. We’re scouting what could be the female lead in our movie.” “Your what?”

The waitress came around with a drink I forgot I had ordered. She set it down and as I took a sip I noticed Sofia staring at me with her eyes bulging from their sockets. Not literally of course. Had I not mentioned this to her…

I ran it down for her anyway. I wanted no part in any conversation that may lead up to us almost kissing again. It did. In fact, we resumed small talk almost as if the night had begun. Soon enough it ended.

Sofia got in a cab for home but not without one more attempt at getting close enough to kiss me.

Lucky for me she hadn’t gotten as close as she did in the bar. Or am I unlucky for not kissing her…?

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