His face turned serious. “If I tell you that, then I’ll have to kill you.” My mouth dropped open in horror. “Jesus, Mia, lighten up; it was a joke. Yes, all of it is false.” He laughed. I didn’t find it funny.
Mmmh, the questioning began. “Why do you want to date me? I mean you can obviously snap your fingers and have any woman you want. I just don’t get it.”
Melanie came over with our drinks and placed them before us with shaky hands. Marcus had ordered water and I’d ordered wine. He had known me for three days, and each day I’d been drinking. Surely he must have thought I was an alcoholic by then. We quickly chose something from the menu, and she hurried off.
“I like you,” he simply answered while taking a sip of his water.
“You don’t know me, what could you possibly like?”
He leaned in closer and his smile faded. His eyebrows creased together, and his eyes grew serious. “That night in the club when I saw you sitting there alone, I knew you were out of your element. You looked so innocent and pure. Then when I walked over and saw you up close and you looked up at me with those long lashes and beautiful eyes, it was like a breath of fresh air. You’re something I’ve needed for a very long time. You seemed honest and humble.”
He reached over, placing the palm of his hand on top of mine. “You see, Mia, for a long time I haven’t had anything like that: honesty, innocence, and pureness. After seeing it through your eyes, I never wanted or needed it more in my life. Then when I took you home that night, after placing the covers over you, you looked up at me and said something like you were used to being alone. Then your eyes watered, but you held back the tears. Your eyes were filled with sorrow, sadness, and emptiness. I thought to myself, how could she be this sad? I wanted to lie down next to you, hold you, and take away all your pain.”
My mind was scrambling to find the right thing to say, but I couldn’t think of anything. I was breathless, unable to think or speak. What do you say to that? He held my hand a moment longer, and then I retrieved it and put it in my lap, but he didn’t move. “Marcus, I am an honest person, yes, but I am not innocent or pure. I’m emotionally messed up. Do you understand that?”
“Please just give me a chance. I don’t know what it’s like to date, but I want to try.”
Looking away for a moment, I tried to focus on anything but those eyes. “My heart is telling me to give you a chance, but my head is telling me that you’re dangerous and I’ll end up hurt.” I finally met his eyes again.
He momentarily looked down as if there were some truth to what I said. “I wouldn’t hurt you, Mia.” Then his sincere eyes stared back into mine. It took me a few minutes to process those words. I thought of how I’d felt with him the night before. This could work. I just couldn’t get emotionally involved, so if it didn’t work out, I could just simply walk away.
Taking a deep breath, I nodded my head. “Okay, I’ll give whatever this is a shot.” A relieved grin spread across his face.
Melanie brought out our hot meals, and we dug right in. The more I thought of Marcus and me as a potential item, the better I felt. I didn’t know where it would go, but for the last few years, I’d held back and sacrificed so much. Maybe I should do this for me. I deserved to have a little fun even if it was just a summer fling. I would just have to stay emotionally shut down. I couldn’t fall for him, or I’d never be able to live it down.
Marcus interrupted my thoughts, “What are you doing this weekend?”
“Ah, I really don’t have any plans. Why?”
“Come away with me for the weekend. I have a shore house in the Bahamas. It’s on a private beach. We can have the entire weekend to spend time with each other—get to know each other better. We can leave tomorrow morning.”
Surprised by his boldness, I took a minute to let what he said sink in. “Marcus, I don’t know; isn’t it too soon to go away somewhere with each other?”
“No, I have a six-bedroom shore house. You can sleep in a room on a different floor from me with the doors locked if that will make you feel better.” He joked.
“I can’t. I have my interview tomorrow.” I shrugged apologetically.
His smile returned. “It’s done, I told Lisa that I met you at Club21 and that I gave you the interview already. She was shocked, of course, but you start Monday morning.” He reached for my hand. “Come on, Mia, the moment you feel uncomfortable I will drive you to the airport myself.” He gave me a reassuring smile, flashing that adorable dimple.
I couldn’t believe I was considering this. “Okay, what time should I be ready?”
He sat back in his chair with his shoulders straight and a sign of triumph in his eyes. “The plane leaves at 10 a.m. I’ll pick you up at 9 a.m.”
“Don’t we have to be at the airport two hours before the plane departs and go through baggage claim and security?”
He slightly tilted his head amused. “My firm has a private plane; we don’t have to go through all that hassle.”
Of course he had a private plane! I wanted to roll my eyes but refrained from doing so. Instead I settled for a simple nod. The rest of the lunch ended pretty well. I tried to pay for it, but he refused. I didn’t argue with him; he was too aggressive about it and shoved his credit card at Melanie before I could reach for my bag.
Before we went our separate ways, he embraced me in a hug; this time I hugged back and kissed him on the cheek. I figured I should play with him and have a little fun. “I’m off to do some shopping. After all I have to make myself simply irresistible for this weekend.” I blew him a kiss and walked away.
I didn’t turn when I heard him yell. “You’re killing me, Mia!” I giggled.
I had an hour to spare and went to a few shops. I purchased a couple bikinis, dresses, and lingerie. Even though I wasn’t sure if I’d be using any of them, I thought having a few sexy undies wouldn’t hurt. Right? Reaching my car with seconds to spare before the meter ran out, I jumped in and noticed an officer a foot away. I quickly pulled out and decided to go to the spa. I was in a desperate need of a manicure, pedicure, and wax.
Feeling the massage chair vibrate against my back and thighs was very soothing. Every girl should always enjoy a spa day at least twice a month. I rested my head back as my feet were scrubbed and massaged and my toenails polished with a bright pink color. After my nails were done, I walked back to the waxing station. Embarrassed by my lack of grooming, I lay there.