Chapter 9 – Walking on Clouds
The next morning … oh the next morning is wonderful. I wake up at noon feeling like I slept on cloud nine. Jim might as well change his name to Prince Charming because he certainly acted the part last night. New Year’s Eve was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time. It was so romantic! Exciting! A whirlwind! The closer midnight drew near the more I found myself dreading the conclusion of the night.
I sigh loudly while waiting for fresh java to brew, the aroma intoxicates my senses. I close my eyes and recall how Jim felt against me when we danced and my breath catches when I remember the kiss. The midnight kiss. We are counting down the last ten seconds of the year excitedly (and tipsily), he pulls me close, dips me back in slow motion, one of his hands on my back and the other cradling my head, and then he kisses me softly. We rise oh so slowly.
Wow … I realize I’m puckering my lips just remembering the exact moment.
I lean against the counter feeling like a remnant from the Cinderella fairytale. I’m so lost in thought that the hammering knock on my apartment door startles me. I tie my cherry blossom silk robe and check the peep-hole.
Flowers! I fling the door open smiling like an absolute fool.
“Hi, are you Lucy Post?” The indifferent uniformed man asks.
I squeal. “Oh. Sorry. Yes, that’s me!”
The flower delivery guy maintains his look of boredom. He must hear a lot of shrieking and crying. “Sign here please.”
“How many people hug you?” I have to ask.
“Ohh a lot.” He murmurs, his eyes wide. He obviously doesn’t understand.
I swiftly sign for the flowers and hand the tablet back. He hands me the flowers and is gone in a hurry.
A beautiful bouquet of joyful daisies! I set them on the kitchen counter and read the message attached:
Good morning, Lucy. I had the most wonderful time with you last night. Thank you for bringing in the new year with me. Would love to see you again. Dinner? Wednesday? ~Jim~
I am a true female. Holding the note to my heart I sink down into my couch grinning. The look on my face must be ridiculous but I don’t care. I could be falling in love! Who cares about how silly it is? I’m so ready to feel that rush again. It’s been far too long but my heart hasn’t forgotten the way.
Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Even though our office is closed today Karma and I are still meeting for our Monday morning coffee chat. Of course this time we have so much more to gush about.
Our New Year’s Eve dates. Both of us are completely smitten.
“I told you, Lucy. Patrick is the one.” She clasps her hands together.
“I’m overjoyed for you, Karma. It’s been a long time coming.”
“Definitely. The tricky part is making it last.”
“If it’s meant to be then it will last, my friend.”
“I want to see him every minute of every day, Luce. I cannot stop thinking about him!”
“Aww. When are you going to see him again?”
“Hey me too! I mean, I’m not seeing Patrick but Jim is taking me to dinner.”
“Oh very nice. Jim is so handsome. I’m sure you two look hot together.”
“Lucky us huh? We are starting the year off right.” Karma holds up her coffee. “Cheers, darling.”
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Jim stands before me holding the most breathtaking red roses.
Hmm. First he brings me white daisies symbolizing simplicity and humility. And now we’re speeding right along to the heavy stuff: red roses that represent love and passion.
“You deserve flowers every day.” He kisses me on the cheek.
“Good answer mister.” That kiss alone makes the apartment seem a little warmer. Okay, a lot warmer.
“Are you blushing?” He cocks his head to one side.
“What? No. I’m just a little flushed from blow drying my hair.” After taking care of my roses I grab my divine new animal print Eryn Carlo clutch and follow Jim out the door.
“Okay, if you insist.”
“What are you in the mood for?” I have to change the subject.
He angles his eyebrow.
“For dinner. I’m thinking dinner.” I wink.
“Oh dinner. Right. I have a place in mind. Nice quaint restaurant by the beach.” He rubs my arms while we wait for the elevator.
“Sounds wonderful. Seafood?”
“But of course.”
“It’s my favorite word.”
“I kind of picked that up.”
“Well, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.” I stop. “Is it?”
“No, not a truly horrible thing. But here are some alternates. Amazing. Terrific…”
I place a finger on his lips. “Read a thesaurus lately?”
He removes my finger from his silky lips and kisses it. The very breath I’m drawing in catches in my throat. “No.” He trails kisses down my hand, my wrist, my forearm. They are the warmest, lightest kisses that make me dizzy beyond belief.
There we stand in the hallway of my apartment building, staring at each other, need in our eyes. It’s just like a Harlequin novel! Except much less cornier.
He wraps my arms around his neck and I finally exhale. (Good thing I just brushed my teeth before he arrived.) Pulling my face closer he plants kisses on my cheeks and then my neck. “How are you?” He asks.
“You are what?” His mouth hovers by my bare shoulder. This strapless dress seems to weigh heavy on me all of a sudden. The door to my apartment is so close yet so far away and my will is weakening rapidly. Where is that elevator?
Meaning to give a small laugh I whimper instead. Control, Lucy! I reprimand myself for allowing this to continue, for even considering giving in to him, but it just feels so damn incredible. “I am awesome.”
“You are something.” His hands now rest on my cheeks.
A moment passes while his thumbs caress my cheeks.
What is wrong with me? I’m about to practically hand him nookie on a silver platter. I should make him wait.
My three-date rule is flying out the window in a hurry but I just can’t say no. How could I? Call me weak and easy if you will but in my defense – his scent of man, that cool cologne, his confident demeanor, those clothes that accentuated his assets just right … there was no fighting it. So you see, it’s not my fault.
“Oh for Heaven’s sake, would you kiss me already?” I blurt out.
And he does. He kisses me very well. So well that we don’t make it to the intimate dinner on the water. So well that my favorite spot by the windows facing the ocean are our reserved spot for the night.
Jim. Me. Take-out. A few bottles of wine. And one hell of a busy night.
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Fortunately for Karma and I today is a slow workday. Both of our heads are high up in the clouds, both of us infatuated with our guys.
I delve into my “Me & Eryn Carlo” blog so my brain can focus elsewhere.
Today’s post will be based off of an Eryn Carlo email I received yesterday. It introduces the exhilarating arrival of new super-cute soft sweaters in bold shades. The featured sweater is a divine flamingo pink. I have the perfect lipgloss to match that shade of pink, too.
Unable to stop thinking about my white knight, I send him an email saying hello and also add a ‘p.s.’ asking if he’s heard anything back on my fashion column request. I do this so he can see that I am capable of mixing business with pleasure. It’s not that difficult, is it?
Suffering from an acute dose of optimism I only expect good news regarding my sample article. So I start working on a new one titled “Are Polka-Dots a Spotty Fashion Trend?” I’m so deep in concentration that the ring of my telephone scares the life out of me.
“Hello, Lucy Post.” I answer quickly.
I know that voice. “Jim?”
“But of course. Who else has a voice this sexy?” I can hear the grin in his voice.
“Only you.” I whisper.
“Okay ego-maniac.” I joke.
“So, I checked on your article this morning.”
“Annnnd?” I tense up and cross my fingers. Please be good news.
“They need more time.”
“Oh. More time? Okay. Did they say why?”
“Yes. They expect to set their full attention on your idea in February.”
“But that’s a month away.” I feel so discouraged but I try not to come across as whiny.
“Look, don’t get upset, Lucy. The fact that they’re even considering it is a huge deal. Be happy with that for now. If we don’t hear anything substantial in February then we’ll push forward.”
“Don’t worry, okay? We still have a chance to push this through.”
“Yeah. You’re right.”
“One more thing. I have to go out of town this weekend. I’m actually leaving tomorrow morning but I’d love to see you next week.”
“Really? Where you headed to?” So I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ask him where he’s going since technically we’re not in an official relationship but I did it anyways.
“Just visiting some family, it being a new year and all. I figured I’d squeeze a visit in since I didn’t see them too much during the holidays.”
“Sounds really nice. I hope you have a great time. Safe travels and all that fun stuff.”
“Thank you, Lucy.”
“You’re welcome, Jim.”
Enter awkward silence.
“Lucy, are you okay?”
“Yeah. Just a little disheartened.”
“Over the article? Sweetheart, stuff like this takes time. Trust me.”
“Sweetheart?” I smile.
“Yes. You don’t like that?”
“Are you kidding? I love it. You can call me sweetheart anytime.”
“Alright then, sweetheart. I have a lot to finish up today but I can’t wait to see you again next week. Monday?”
“Monday is perfect. I’m already looking forward to it with great anticipation.”
“Me too. Okay. Until then.”
“Until then. Bye Jim.”
As I hang up the phone I sigh like a lovesick teenager. And I can feel Karma’s eyes burning into me. Spinning around I see her smiling. “He’s so into you.” She says.
“And how would you know that?”
“Uh only because you have your headset volume set to D-E-A-F Con 1 and I hear everything.”
“Oh my gosh, you are so corny, Karma. D-E-A-F Con? Real funny.”
“I’ll be playing here all week.”
“Anyway. Yeah. I really like him.”
“I see that. You’re blushing.”
“He has that effect on me.” I rub my cheeks and it just makes them more red as I remember last night in the hallway. “I’m afraid, though.”
“Well look at him? He’s so attractive and successful. He’s practically a walking target. I’m sure women flock to him waiting for the opportune moment to tranquilize and tag him.”
“You can’t think like that. Even though the visual I just had of tranquilizing and tagging Jim was enjoyable.”
“I know, right? Back to the subject – it’s hard not to think like that you know?”
“What’d you misplace your confidence?” She grabs my hand. “Now stop acting a girl.”
“Oh real nice heart-to-heart, Karma.”
“You can always count on me. Anyways, he’ll only be gone for the weekend right?”
“Yes, just a couple of days. He’s leaving tomorrow to visit family.”
“So I heard. Want to hang with me and Patrick? Let’s do dinner and drinks. I really want you to meet him.”
“Are you sure? I don’t know. I’d feel like a third wheel.”
“Well you wouldn’t be. Come on. I’ll set it up. He’s looking forward to meeting you finally. I talk about you all the time.”
“You do not!”
“Sadly I do! You’re my best friend. Of course I talk about you.”
“Don’t you worry, I said all good things.” Karma shoves a box at me. “Here, have an iced lemon donut. You’ll feel better.”
“You and your donuts…”