IT’S GANDY TIME
Hey guys here is an update on the Gandy FanFiction, sorry it took so long and thanks for following the story.
My head felt heavy, like a mountain of bricks had taken residency inside of it. My eyelids felt swollen and refused to open. I pressed against the hard surface my body was laying on, and the hard surface moved.
I forced my eyes open, and tilted my head up to find David serving as my mattress. My upper body was sprawled on top of his, my cheek had been buried in his muscular chest just a second ago, while his right arm rested heavily on my hip.
“Good morning.” He said in a sleepy, groggy tone as his heavily hooded eyes found mine and a tiny smile tugged on his lips.
Heat swamped my cheeks. I pushed on his chest and away from him. To the opposite side of the couch.
He sat straighter on the couch. His shirt was wrinkled, and the top button lose, showing more of his golden skin. His hair was slightly rumpled and disheveled but even in the morning he looked good, indecently good.
Nervously I adjusted my dress which had slightly shifted to the side and the hem had risen dangerously high. The tiny straps of the dress were no longer on my shoulders, they dangled by my arms, exposing a lot of my breast area. It was practically just covering the nipple, I quickly fixed myself.
My heart began to beat faster and my mind was too groggy to comprehend what was happening.
“What… What happened?” I sounded apprehensive, almost panicky, and I was sure my face reflected the same emotion.
I tried searching my memory from last night but I couldn’t access it. Everything was a big fog. Why were we sleeping in each other’s arms?
“Relax love, nothing happened.” He said calmly as he stretched his arms behind his head, my eyes immediately followed the action, lingering on the muscles flexing in his forearms, my stomach tightened in response. His voice was compose and an octave deeper than usual, probably from sleep making it all the more sexy. Realizing I was inappropriately staring at him I quickly shifted my eyes. He chuckled softly, a barely audible sound but it had the intended effect as color began making it’s way to my face, he missed nothing.
I looked at his calm, seemingly happy expression and I had to ask.
“We, hum…” Oh god. “We didn’t hum..you know.” my breathing was now shallow as I tried to articulate what it was I was trying to say, while my eyes shifted nervously. I was so inexperienced when it came to this kind of things, my confidence level had not evenly distributed, because when it came to men, or sexual references, I was really out of my depth.
David’s eyebrows shot up with understanding and a knowing smile graced his lips.
that smile wasn’t reassuring me. “You were drunk Summer, do you honestly believe I would have taken advantage of that.”
I blinked several times and felt relief along with guilt wash over me. Now I was blushing deeper.
I relaxed my shoulders and let my body slumped against the couch.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply something like that, I’m just a little out of it.” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed. I really should’ve have known better, David was a gentleman.
his heavily lidded eyes soften and he nodded in understanding.
“why were we sleeping on the couch and why are you here though?”
He got to his feet and stretched his long, lean body, making other muscles noticeable under his shirt, my goodness this man was sexy, his body was perfection, masculine and hard. I had just used that body as a personal pillow, i practically felt him up, too bad I had been unconscious.
“Spring wasn’t here yet when we came back and I didn’t want to leave you alone.”
His voice interrupted my fantasies. I had to concentrate to think about what he was telling me. Came back?… Oh yeah, I vaguely remember the club and drinking way too much and laughing way too much, but truth be told i didn’t remember much of anything.
I tugged my messy hair behind my ears.
“You really didn’t have to, I’m so embarrassed, I don’t typically behave like this, I don’t even drink!”
I dropped my eyes to the floor feeling flustered and uncomfortable .
“Hey, hey” David sat by me again and lifted my chin to look at him.
His face was open and judgement free, the way it always was.
“You have no reason to apologize or be embarrassed, we’ve all being there, trust me.”
I looked into his eyes, they were bright in the morning, the bluest blue and I had a crazy yearning to wake up to those eyes looking at me for the rest of my life. I shook the thought away just as fast, and smiled at him, feeling the blood rushing to my face, I sighed.
“I still can’t believe I was so drunk that i can’t remember anything, I’ve never even been tipsy in my entire life.”
“You said that yesterday, and I’m glad I was your first”
“My eyes snapped to his face with surprise, not missing his blunt innuendo.”
he laughed at my regard and lifted his hands in a surrendering gesture.
“You said that to me last night by the way, I’m only quoting you.”
my mouth was hanging open, oh dear. I buried my face in my hands.
“what other preposterous things did I say? Do I even want to know?”
“Sure you do.” He mused. “Everyone gets drunk, at least once in their life.” I looked at him through my fingers.
“When I was at the University I had one of those drunken nights, where you wake up in a different city, in the back of a pink volkswagen beetle, wearing nothing but red lipstick, women’s knickers and having no idea how you I got there.”
I let my hands slid down my face and a smile slowly spread across my mouth.
his laughing eyes fixed on me gauging my reaction.
I raised my eyebrows.
he said raising his hands again. I let out a short laugh, imagining what he’d said.
I exhaled uncovering my face completely. “Thank you for…for everything I guess, for going with me and for getting me home safe.”
He smiled warmly and nodded, his long fingers combed through his hair, pushing back the disheveled strands of silky black. It was something that I fantasized about doing. My fingers begged to feel the smooth, raven locks of his hair, his chiseled jaw usually clean shaven except for his groomed goatee now sported a five o’clock shadow and if it was at all possible this man had no bad side, all his sides were perfect and sexy.
I heard him clear his throat and I realized I had been staring like an idiot again. I averted my gaze and got to my feet lowering my dress. I must have gotten up too fast though because my head spun uncomfortably. I closed my eyes and regained my balance.
getting drunk sucked, I wondered if I…Oh no!
I turned to face him with wide eyes, ” I didn’t throw up, did I?” I asked horrified.
He smiled and shook his head. “No but I think you did drool on my shirt.”
he mused pulling at the fabric of his shirt as if looking for imaginary spots, I narrowed my eyes.
“ha ha, very funny.”
he grinned, pushing his hair back again and every time he did, it was like I was getting hypnotize by the action.
“Do you mind if I use your facilities?” I told him where the restroom was and he walked past me.
“By the way, you did call me Zoolander.” he said with a wicked smirk on his lips and then disappeared into the bathroom.
I closed my eyes and shook my head, I did not want to see alcohol again for a long time. Evidently my inclination to ramble on and spit out everything that came to my mind was enhanced by the drink and my thin filtering system would just go poof and disappear altogether.
I walked over Spring’s bedroom to use her bathroom. Now that I thought about it, why hadn’t she woken us up when she came in?I know she likes to play her little dubious games but seriously letting David have an uncomfortable night in a couch with me half on top of him, was pushing it.
I entered the room ready to yell at her but it was empty, her bed made, was she awake already, that wasn’t like Spring, especially after a night of partying. I looked over at the bedside table and the clock read eight-eleven in the morning, way too early for her to be up. I felt a trickle of unease.
Maybe she was in the restroom. I hasten towards the door and pushed it open. Empty.
She wasn’t here, she hadn’t come home. The unease was now taking complete residence in the pit of my stomach as unwanted memories assaulted my mind.
I exited her room and practically ran to mine, hoping that maybe for some unknown reason she’d be there, but it too was empty.
I went back to the living-room and David was just exiting the restroom, i slightly glanced his way noticing his black hair was now wet and pushed back and his face looked freshen.
“Is everything alright?” he asked noticing my agitated expression.
“Spring didn’t come home.” my voice shook and I tried my best to remain calm but i was sure the panic I felt rising was evident on my face.
I looked for my phone, which I had no idea where it could be, lifting the pillows on the couch, the ottoman, I searched frantically for it. Nothing, Damn it.
“Can I help you look for something?”
I stood still and tried to regain control, breathing in and out. “Yeah” my voice was breathy.
“Have you seen my phone?”
he remained calm but serious as he took in my shift in mood, god I hope I didn’t look like a crazy person, i had to calm down, I just needed my phone to get a hold of Spring.
“It’s in your purse, I hung it over by the coat closet.” he said pointing at the little clutch hanging on the doorknob.
I practically ran to it and snagged my phone out, as soon as it lit up there was a message from Spring.
-Don’t wait up sis, getting lucky ;-).
I sagged against the door, feeling the air returned to my lungs. she was ok. Memories of our childhood plagued my mind.
David carefully observed me from across the room, his expression was that of concerned.
We sat in the kitchen, me perched on a stool by the island counter and David leaning over it with his elbows and forearms supporting his weight.
He handed a cup of coffee and I smiled tentatively.
“Thank you, although I feel as though I should have been the one making coffee for us, since this is my sister’s place and all, I guess that makes you my guest.”
he dismissed that with a hand gesture and a quick smile.
“Believe me, I might not be able to cook gourmet dishes of south american food but i can make one mean cup of coffee.”
I smiled, remembering what I had said about cooking.
“oh that’s right I told you about my nana.” when he mentioned it the memory seemed to just pop back into my head. He nodded.
I let the heat of the cup penetrate my frigid skin.
“I’m sorry I acted like such a spas, I just worry a little too much about her sometimes.”
“I noticed.” he said and it wasn’t judgmental, his tone was just matter of fact. I pursed my lips and concentrated on drinking my coffee.
“Did something happen to her, when you were kids maybe?” My eyes snapped back to his face with surprise, how could he possibly know that.
His expression was pensive and sympathetic. I nodded.
“It’s not something I like to talk about.”
He nodded and his eyes remained soft, he didn’t push for more information, but I wanted to tell him, I wanted to tell him everything which was so odd, I never felt this inclined to share so much with anyone.
I took a long sip of my coffee, it was really good. I needed the caffeine to help my muddle-head, This is why I didn’t like alcohol. It messed with the head. I sighed.
“It happened when she was ten years old, you know the time when the younger sibling wants to follow the older sibling everywhere.” I explained.
he made a gesture of understanding. “Well, I was thirteen and I was used to making trips to the library by myself, I enjoyed it that way, we lived in a very good neighborhood and the library was just a few blocks away so It wasn’t a problem.” I explained.
“Spring had gotten into the habit of following me and usually I would let her come along but that day I just wasn’t in the mood, Spring has always been eccentric and chatty, I just wanted some alone time, so I told her to stay, she was upset but I didn’t pay it much attention, she would get over it, she always did.” I exhaled and took another sip of the delicious coffee.
“Well two hours later when i got back home around seven, I didn’t get the usual Spring bombarding, I was used to but I figured she was up in her room, doing her thing, painting her nails or something, anyways my parents had just gotten home so we got to talking and they were surprised that Spring hadn’t come down to say hi. We went looking for her, she wasn’t in her room, we looked around the house, and she was nowhere to be found. I had a feeling that perhaps she had follow me out and I told my parents, we went looking for her outside thinking maybe she had stopped at the ice cream place or the park but she wasn’t anywhere. then my parents got the call, she was in the hospital, a car hit her crossing the street and she had been unconscious since she’d been brought to the hospital.”
David was quietly taking it all in, his face gave nothing away, except perhaps his eyes seemed softer somehow.
I felt slightly breathless, as I spoke perhaps it was the thickness that was slowly forming in my throat.
“she had two broken ribs, a broken femur, a bruised tailbone, her eyes were bruised and there was a cut on her cheek near her mouth. Her head was wrapped in a white bandage, the doctor’s said she her brain seemed to be ok but the impact of the hit caused bruising and a mild concussion.
I felt stinging in the back of my eyes and I breathed in and out to stop the emotions building in my chest.
“Her little body was one giant bruise.” I said remembering that very clear image, that will never leave my mind. “according to the doctors her organs were all fine and her brain was healing but she was in a coma for two days. Those were the worse two days of my life, I could never put into words what it felt like to see my tiny, happy sister in that hospital bed, broken and bandaged, unable to talk to me and follow me around and show me the new color of nail polish she had chosen that day, because she would paint her nails every day a different color.”
The memories were a lot for me to talk about, they tugged at my heart, and I couldn’t help the moisture forming in my eyes but I managed to hold back the tears.
I let out a sound that was half a laugh and a sigh. David never interrupted he just listened patiently and with sympathy in his eyes.
“I know it wasn’t my fault that’s what everyone tells you right? But it still felt like it was, no matter how much I wanted to believe otherwise. She woke on the third day, couldn’t remember what had happened, but she was still her happy self, chatty and animated, even though she must have been in an awful lot of pain.”
I sniffled and exhaled, needing the control of my breathing to focus on not crying.
“she was happy because her nails were a different color, I had painted them every day that she’d been unconscious.”
there was a few seconds of silence before neither of us spoke.
“I’m sorry that happened to her, and to you, I can’t imagine it’s something easy for any child to have to go through, or any parent.”
his eyes were soft as he spoke, the sound of his languid voice was calming.
I tried to smile but it seemed force so I just gave a small nod.
“thank you for sharing that with me, I can see that it’s something very personal and emotional for you.”
I felt his warm hand on top of mine and he softly squeeze it the way he had on the flight, it was such a simple gesture but it had the intended effect, it was comforting.
“Thank you, I don’t usually let it affect me but it’s been a long time since i’ve lived with Spring, her absence took me by surprise and it triggered memories.”
his lips went up a notch.
“You don’t have to explain that Summer, it’s completely understanding, If something like that would have happened to my sister, I don’t think I could ever let her out of my sight again.”
I smiled, overprotective brother David was entirely endearing.
“Thank you for the coffee, it’s really good by the way.”
He nodded, licked his lips, which it was something he seemed to do without thought and gave me a David smile, that’s what I was calling it, because only David could manage a smile that was sexy, masculine and mischievous all at the same time. It was the kind of smile that’s full of mystery and secrets, a smile that makes your heart beat frantically and squeeze tight, almost painfully inside your chest. A smile that makes your knees weak and causes your breath to hitch, and since I had never experienced anything like that with anyone else before I was calling It the David smile.
“I guess I do owe you dinner after this.” I said lifting the cup of coffee.
“You absolutely do, I’ll hold you to that.” he teased, but there was a serious undercurrent to his tone.
David left shortly after that, it was saturday the day of the Gala and he was getting phone calls non stop.
Guess he had a busy day ahead of him, I apologized again for him having to stay the night, in such an uncomfortable manner, but he dismissed the apology.
“I slept like a baby. Waking up every hour.” he joked, I chuckled but I couldn’t shake the feeling guilt over it.
“You really should have gone home, I would have been fine.”
he licked his lips and one side went up in that sexy half smile- the David smile -and shook his head.
“I wouldn’t have, not knowing that you were alone and would probably wake up feeling disoriented.”
I smiled shyly and felt my heart swell in my chest.
“I will be back to collect you around six, lovely.” he said in a softer tone.
I watched him turn and begin to walk away, his jacket swinging from one hand, where he held it instead of putting it back on.
“David?” I said, getting his attention. He turned to look at me.
“Summer?” he answered, with a grin. In return my lips did the same.
“Did you really get so drunk that you woke up with nothing but women’s underwear on?”
he stared at me with amusement dancing behind his turquoise eyes and a slow wolfish smile spread across his face.
“You better believe it.” he mused winking, I laughed and shook my head. “That is one disturbing image you know.”
“I know.” he tilt his chin down staring at me through those impossibly long lashes.
“And I bet you wont stop thinking about it.”
I arched my eyebrows and crossed my arms, defiantly.
“You sir should really be going.”
“And you lovely should really stop thinking about me half naked.” He started to walk again but stopped suddenly. “Actually don’t.” He deadpanned with that wicked gleam in his eyes.
My mouth was hanging open at his bluntness, I felt heat crawl up and lick my skin. He chuckled, clearly satisfied by my reaction.
“Bye David.” I said through an unavoidable smile, I was clearly in over my head.
I took a much needed shower to wash away the grime and bar smell from my body and by the time I got out Spring had returned. She was half laying on top of the couch with her legs up on the coffee table, shoes still on. I shook my head and smiled.
“Hey sis.” she raised her hand lazily and waved it at me, she looked exhausted, with dark circles under her eyes and her strawberry color hair going in every direction. I sat next to her and removed her shoes.
“Will you ever learned.” she smiled keeping her eyes closed. “Not while I live by myself, didn’t I get enough reprimand while living at home?”
“Evidently not enough, you’re going to damage the furniture.”
After I got her to drink a nice hot cup of coffee and composed herself, she went on about what a night she’d had and I listened intently, at some points i more or less wanted to cut off my ears and use them as a choking device but Spring was always Spring, there would be no changing that, I had learned to nod along and offer the occasional comment or advice at the appropriate moments.
She asked about my night and I scolded at her for standing me up of course, avoiding the whole getting drunk and passing out on top of David. That might have called for a breaking news! blow out.
I sighed, feeling jittery and tired at the same time.
I couldn’t believe I was about to ask my sister for this, but I did need the help. I was in a strange city and I hadn’t the slightest clue where to go to get what I needed for tonight.
she huh-my way, not really paying attention, her eyes remained closed and her head against the back of the couch.
“I kinda need your help with something.” That seem to get her attention, she snapped her eyes towards me.
I rolled my eyes and cringe at having to ask my younger sister for help. “I need a dress for tonight.”
I went on to tell her about the charity event tonight and of course the excitement got her up and fully awake, she quickly started planning the whole thing.
“Don’t worry your pretty smart brains about a thing, by the time i’m done with you, you’ll be the bell of the ball.”
I was instinctually aware that tonight would be a pivotal point for me and David, so far everything about us-whatever us was- had been private, on my terms and my side of the tracks. He had shared plenty about himself with me but I hadn’t really been introduced to his world yet, this was that day. Today I would be introduced to his world of the rich and famous and even though I was more than used to fancy galas, charity events and the high end society, I knew this would be different and I had to admit I was mildly nervous, ok I was really nervous that I wouldn’t play the part that I wouldn’t fit in. Where would that leave us? The lines were a blur, friendship no longer sounded like the accurate term to describe us but there wasn’t an inbetween, dating wasn’t it, a relationship was laughable, what were we? I hadn’t the slightest clue and I think that’s the part I was most nervous about.
I walked back and forth in my room, every so often catching a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, Spring had spent half the day making sure I looked “the part,” but what was the part? David’s date for a charity event, just helping out a friend right. I don’t think you’ve ever taken so much effort to look so good for a friend. said that insidious little voice in my head, I quickly ordered it to shut up and bud out.
I decided to take one final look, facing the mirror straight on. My hair was artfully pinned to one side with soft,loose curls framing my face and neck. The makeup as I insisted was minimal and classy; I like makeup but I don’t like to look like a mask, so it had to be tasteful. My eyes looked long and I guess sexy was a good word for it and the lashes curled almost all the way to my eyebrows. My cheeks were prominent and stood out high, making my face appear sculptured and refined, the lipstick was subtle, just a touch of rosy shimmer. Then there was the dress, a deep royal blue with a tight bodice flaring out at the hips in a soft cascade of chiffon and silk, it wasn’t what you would call provocative, except for the long cut from thigh to floor, but it was tasteful, the slit could easily blend in with the flow of the skirt, only visible when I walked.
Overall I liked what I saw, most importantly I felt like myself. The dress accentuated my body perfectly, and it was a well balanced blend of elegance with a touch of sexy, the color was my favorite part, as soon as I saw it I knew it was the one. The reason behind my sudden take to blue I was not so willing or inclined to acknowledge.
A soft knock at the front door sent my heart into a frenzy and I was afraid the entire building was gonna be able to hear it. Oh god, did I look ok, was I gonna fit in. I had no idea and even if I did, since rationally speaking I had attended plenty of elegant events with my parents and I was more than accustomed to that environment, I was unable to take comfort in that, evidently the rational part of my mind had decided to take a vacation because all I could do at this moment was freak out.
Ok just breath, breath Summer, you can do this. I’m the logical one in the family, Spring is the eccentric diva, my mom could be the lead in a soap opera and dad just goes along with anything, me, I keep it together I don’t lose it. That’s what law school had taught me, to be tactful and observant and above all use logic, so why couldn’t I apply it now, god why was is so easy to understand books, lectures and cases but when it came to men, I felt clueless, like a fish out of water, it wasn’t fair.
I talked myself into coming out of the room. My sister’s laugh echoed through the hallway setting my nerves on edge, I stopped midway breathed in deeply and continued to the living room where David stood seeming calm and composed as always. He monopolized the room, looking too much like the male model he was.
He stood there in the center of the living room with legs slightly apart and his hands in the pockets of his three piece dark charcoal suit. My sister kept him engage in conversation, probably embarrassing conversation that I didn’t want to know about.
Those intense eye of his found me and held me in place, I stopped mid step feeling the weight of those eyes take me in.
I felt as if I was in one of those fair rides that turns everything upside down and your stomach flips around but in a very good way. I didn’t like having this reaction to him, but it was like my body was dominating my brain, I couldn’t think clearly with his intense gaze fixed on me that way.
David was a friend that’s all a friend, my reaction to him was nonsensical. But could anyone really blame me, he was a gorgeous specimen of a man, he wasn’t pretty, he was more manly, his entire body exudes masculinity and a refined ruggedness that was too entirely sexy. I think any woman with a heart rate and ovaries would be affected by him. I let that thought reassure me that I wasn’t a total hormonal wack job.
He walked towards me, in a slow, almost predatory manner, his eyes never leaving my face until he was situated right in front of me, both breathing the same air. Why did he have to get this close? This made the thinking thing and the self control so much harder. I had a distinct feeling he did it on purpose. Very deliberately those eyes roamed my body inch by inch, and it felt as if tiny sparks of flame were licking away at me, prickling at my skin. Then the side of his lip curled up in a half smile, oh dear…He grabbed my hand bringing it to his mouth and softly kissing the top, his lips lingered on the sensitive and his breath created a strange warming, shivery sensation to go down my entire body. He moved closer, the only thing between us was our hands. I couldn’t look away, I was trapped in those eyes.
“You look stunning” He finally said, in a deep tremble that seemed to have a direct link to some of my more private areas.
I swallowed and begged my crazed hormones to behave. Clearing my throat, I found my voice.
“Thank you, you don’t look too bad yourself.”
I still sounded exasperated, as if I had run a marathon. He did look breathtaking though, the picture of sophistication and elegance and sexy and Oh my god. The suit he wore was tailored perfectly to fit his lean, muscled body and the black shirt underneath made an astonishing contrast with his hair and bright, blue eyes and I needed to stop gawking at him.
My eyes shifted back to his face.
His smile widened with secret understanding. Then he placed my arm through his own.
“Ready?” As I’ll ever be.
“Ready” I confirmed.
We said our goodbyes to Spring as she jumped with glee and a bit too much enthusiasm.
Once outside David opened the door of his Jaguar for me and helped with the train of my dress as I maneuvered my way in. He got in the driver’s side and we were on our way. I was acutely aware of David, I could almost feel him.
“So no Tuxedo?” I asked trying to get back some of our easy banter, banter and casual conversation I was good at, this strange tension I was feeling between us not so much.
He glanced at me sideways, grin in place.
“Never did like the monkey suit. I much rather wear a suit and tight.”
“Really?… I would think you and monkey suit would like two sides of a coin, attached, like peas in a pot, you know hand in hand.”
“Sorry to disappoint you lovely.I know you must have fantasized endlessly about me in a tux but I only wear it if the occasion absolutely requires it.” he was teasing me now and I couldn’t help but be smitten by it. “That dress on the other hand seems to have been to fit your body, you are absolutely breath taking.”
And what was I supposed to say to something like that, well that is after the blood stopped sizzling inside my veins.
“Thank you…Spring helped me pick it, she is the fashionista in the family.”
I tried for casual and deflective which tended to be my escape route most times. Thats what I do, I deflect uncomfortable and unable to deal with circumstances.
The rest of the ride we chattered about trivial things mostly, he asked way too many questions as he usually did and I fired away answers non stop like a possessed person unable to stop myself.
He laughed often at my american sayings and I blushed back at his subtle but very real innuendos, which seemed to be happening more often than not. I tried not to read too much into that.
We arrived at our destination about twenty five minutes after we left my place. David drove into the drop off area of a large, elegantly architectured building, The Ritz.
He rounded the car and stopped at the entrance where other cars were arriving as well. A
valet person approached us hastily and opened my door, placing a hand in front of me for support.
I gratefully took it and exited the car, making sure the trail of the dress wasn’t caught on anything.
David was already next to me, claiming my hand and placing it in inside his arm.
Immediately I noticed a lot and I mean a lot of eyes on us, I looked up at David who seemed relaxed and unaware of the attention we were getting, thats when the first flash caught me by surprise almost blinding me. Cameras started flashing away, taking our picture by the bucket loads and a tangled of voices erupted, all around us. I couldn’t understand half of what was said as the swarm of paparazzi engulfed us, taking photos and asking a million nonsensical questions. I did catch several times the question of who his date was. David kept a protective arm around my waist as he guided me through the mad crowd. He avoided the reporters as if they weren’t even there right on his face, shoving cameras and microphones his way. He just kept a polite smile as he moved us along. For a second I had forgotten who David was, a famous supermodel, it all still felt kind of surreal to me.
The mob of photographers kept up with us until we reached the entrance where they were turned away by the security people, it hadn’t been scary it was more like watching animal planet, a pack of wolves surrounding their prey ready to pounce, or in this case ready for the latest gossip.
We made it inside the lobby as the doors of the entrance slid closed, shutting off most of the noise from outside. I let out a breath I had been suppressing and felt my body relax.
Immediately David turn to look at me, his eyes searched my face,which probably didn’t inspire much confidence given the concerned look on his.
“Are you ok?” I blinked several times trying to see through the thousands of fireflies dancing behind my eyelids. “I’ll let you know when I can see again, wow that’s gotta be a form of torture somewhere I’m sure.” I couldn’t stop blinking, I was seeing spots everywhere.
David chuckle as his thumbs traced the skin in my arms, as if trying to soothe me but I don’t think it was having the intended effect, more like it was causing tiny sparks of heat to spread along my arms. I held back a shiver, the blinding spots already forgotten.
“I’m sorry I’m so accustomed to that madness, I didn’t realize I should have warned you.”
I laughed softly and shook my head, dismissing his unnecessary apology.
“That was actually entertaining, unexpected but… interesting. I keep forgetting you are this famous “supermodel”.
I teased, making air quotes.
He smiled, relief taking over his features.
“You know what lovely… You absolutely do wonders for my ego”
He pointed out. I rolled my eyes.
“Well somebody has to keep you grounded, and trust me your ego doesn’t need any more stroking”
He narrowed his blue eyes at me in a playful glare.
“According to whom?”
At that I had to laugh out loud. “Ah…I think the entire population of breathing females would agree with me and I’m sure some of the men as well.”
I tapped my lips with my index finger in a thoughtful gesture. His eyes took on that serious, mischievous look, focused solely on me. Then he proceeded to grab the hand that was on my lips and his large fingers massaged each one of mine, before placing a scorching hot, slow kiss on them. The action felt all too intimate and the joking manner of my tone quickly disappeared with his touch and sure my heart had jumped into hyperdrive inside my chest.
“Well then, I’m glad I have you to keep me grounded.” He said close to my ear, in a deep, sexy tone.
I had take in a big gulp of air, he really didn’t play fair.
“You ok?” He asked again, but I could tell he knew exactly what he was doing and the effect it was having on me.
I composed my face and smiled confidently refusing to give in to his flirtatious approaches.
“I’m great.” he kept that little knowing smirk on on his lips though.
“Good, I was worried you were going to faint on me again.”
I groaned and rolled my eyes.
“Am I ever going to live that down?”
he leaned closer.
“Not while I’m around.”
I grumbled. He snickered.
“Come on, lets make our grand entrance.”
I held on to his arm and raised my chin in a mocking gesture that made him laugh and crinkle his eyes. I loved that expression on him, it was so carefree, so normal.
We entered the grand ballroom hand in hand. The place was amazing, decorated impeccably, with just enough glamour and sophistication but not at all overwhelming . Large crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling reflecting and deflecting light in whimsical patterns. The colors of the room and decor were perfectly balanced, soft beige and espresso with deep, blues, eye popping whites, with a few touches of silver here and there In the China and napkin holders, just to name a few.
As my eyes took in the large room I noticed there must be at least twenty round tables each one fitting about ten guests.
“The place looks amazing David.” I admonished.
“Thank you, I must admit the event planners out did themselves this year, it is quite spectacular.”
“So let me ask you something, how much were the tickets selling for?” I asked truly curious, the place did seem quite extravagant even for the British.
“About $700 pounds each.” a short laugh escaped my lips and I raised my brows in astonishment. That was a lot of money.
“It’s for a good cause, we usually end up raising a lot of money.”
“Did you have to pay for our tickets?”
“It is a charity event, it wouldn’t be right not to.” he confirmed. I was about to offer to pay for at least half of it, but he was quicker than me. “It’s worth it lovely, I do it every year and I invited you as my date, you don’t need to worry about it.”
“But…” He gave me a look and raised his hand to stop me “No buts, you’re my guest, you don’t have to worry about anything else tonight other than enjoying yourself.” It was like he had a direct line into my brain. I let it go but I had to do something, seven hundred pounds was a lot of money for a date.
“David I have to at least make a donation.” He shook his head. “All you have to do is have fun and well… there is a price for tonight actually.” He trailed off and his eyes took on that -up to no good-gleam again, oh boy.
I narrowed my eyes. “Oh yeah…and what’s that?” I asked skeptically. He came closer. “You have to dance with me.” He whispered into my ear. I couldn’t hold back the shiver his warm breath and sultry voice coerced out of me. He lingered there, and I sensed the smile on his perfect lips. He then did something that completely reduced me to a puddle of evaporating water on a hot Texas day. He inhaled my scent, breathed me in, slowly and with precision. I closed my eyes.
“Oh yes, you must dance with me.” he whispered and his voice took on that languid, lazy tone.
We were approached by several people, some I vaguely recognized from movies and television, others that honest to god I had never seen in my life but still worked in the business. I smiled and exchanged pleasantries, I was used to all of this, for some people civility and mingling was intimidating for me it was familiar and a part of my life since I was a kid. My parents were always attending glamorous Galas, charity events and company parties and unlike regular parents that would just leave their kids with the nanny or a babysitter oh no our parents would take us every single time, they insisted it helped to build character.
David was ever the gentleman, he made sure to introduce me to everyone we spoke to as his date, I didn’t want to read too much into the meaning of that. But the way he remained so close by me, his hand either at the small of my back or around my waist, carefully steering me along, I didn’t know what to make of that. It was gallant and protective and if I was being honest, I loved it. No one had ever treated me with such care and chivalry, it’s something I imagined couples would do, not friends and certainly not in such a public place, filled cameras that would forever hold an image for everyone to see. The rational part of my brain argued that it was just him being polite, British man were certainly different, chivalry was still something that existed outside of fairy tales, then again it might just be all David, he existed in a whole different world to me.
It must have been about half an hour since we arrived and already we had mingled and spoken to at least two dozen people, everyone was nice, talkative and friendly for the most part. I had no trouble keeping up with conversation and at times I felt David’s gaze on me, as I spoke and laughed with the guests, the expression on his face seemed sort of like pride or wonder, I couldn’t be sure, but every time he did look at me like that I felt the blood rush to my face and other parts of my body.
The master of ceremonies took the stage and made an announcement for everyone to take their seats for dinner. David and I made our way to one of the tables closest to the front where some of the guests were already seated. David pulled my chair out and held on to my hand as I sat and he followed by taking the chair next to mine. With one hand he unbuttoned his suit jacket and for some inexplicable reason I found that simple action incredibly sexy, perhaps it was his grace or the finesse in which he carried himself or maybe it was just everything about him I found mesmerizing.
The service staff approached the tables simultaneously almost in a dance formation and served water and champagne all around.
David graciously handed me the elegant menu. The list of delicacies was quite extensive and to say that I didn’t understand half of it was an understatement. I have had my share of gourmet food, but a lot of these entrees were in french and my second language was Spanish or well some Spanish, minimal really.
I settled for the first thing I was able to understand.
TANDOORI SPICE RUBBED RED SNAPPER, SAFFRON PISTACHIO BASMATI RICE,
GREEN CHILI COCONUT SUNDAL, MASALA BROCCOLINI, POMEGRANATE RAITA
It sounded delicious and just thinking about it was making my stomach growl with hunger, I had been so preoccupied all day with tonight that I had forgotten to eat, I was famished.
“Hungry?” I turned to look at him, feeling mildly embarrassed that he had probably heard my stomach protesting.
“Very.” I smiled and clutched my stomach for emphasis. He laughed.
“Aren’t you? or do supermodels not get hungry.” He narrowed his eyes at me and tilted his head slightly to one side assessing me.
“Oh, I’m very hungry indeed.” he confirmed in a tone that implied something more.
Once everyone made their food choices the master of ceremonies took the stage and went over the items being auctioned.
“This is a one of a kind fully restored silver 1955 190SL Mercedes benz brought to it’s former glory and donated by our host Mr. David Gandy.”
Everyone applauded and David stood bowing gracefully. I couldn’t help the the smile on my face as well.
“That is one magnificent machine. Did you really restore it?” I asked as he took his seat.
Placing his left hand on the back of my chair he leaned back in a casual way. “You sound surprised lovely?” I gave him a half speculative smile. “What? You don’t think a model is capable of working on complex machines?” He teased and I liked that he was capable to joking at his own expense, he didn’t buy into his own appeal and that was very appealing.
“I’m starting to believe you models can do just about anything actually.” I felt his fingers at the nape of my neck, tracing slow patterns on my skin. I stiffened as an electric shock slither down my body.
“I wouldn’t say all models, I’d like to think I’m different.” I swallowed, feeling my throat go dry and unable to concentrate much on anything with the feel of his fingers on my skin.
“That you are!” I said in a shaky voice. He continued tracing my skin, softly, purposefully. I picked up my champagne flute for something to do and took a sip before speaking.
“It was very kind of you… to just give it away like that.” I was talking but I wasn’t sure of what I was saying, for all I knew I could very well be reciting the national anthem.
“Kind is my middle name lovely.” he whispered in my ear then chuckled. My heart flipped a few times in my chest. “Be careful with that champagne by the way, I want you to remember this evening.” he mused and I sent a death glare his way. “Don’t remind me.” He laughed, leaning back on his chair. I really was quite partial to that laugh.
“Oh young love, there is nothing like it. How long have you two lovebirds been together?” The lady next to David suddenly spoke, dragging me out of my David induced haze and I jumped in surprise.
I almost spit out my champagne, which would have been a whole lot of embarrassing, more so than the remark she’d made. I set my cup down.
“Oh no, no. It’s not like that, we aren’t together like that I mean.” I glanced at David who was quietly observing me, his expression one of amusement. “We’re just friends.” I quickly corrected her error, feeling the blood rushing to my face and neck. David remained quiet and relaxed by my side. Great, he was no help.
“Oh…” she muttered, knitting her delicate eyebrows, awesome now I made her feel uncomfortable.
“Pay her no attention, we’re just having a fight.” David added and then he turned to me and winked. My shocked expression must have been something because he laughed out loud.
“Relax love, is just a bit of fun.” He said in close range, only for me to hear. I glared at him, but of course he was utterly unaffected by it.
The lady laughed exuberantly at my expense. “Don’t mind this old bird, I always say to much anyways, comes with age dear.” I smile liking her sincerity even though I’m at the end of it.
“I’m Margaret by the way, this is quite a gala dear, I admire seeing people like you giving back to the community.” She was addressing David now.
“It’s my pleasure mrs. Margaret and thank for contributing by attending.” She leaned forward with a big smile on her lips that made her aging face crinkle. “Well not much to do at my age when you’re alone and with too much money, might as well support a good cause right.” I smiled kindly, feeling sympathy from her words. I gathered by the wedding band she still wore that she was a widower.
“Good philosophy” said David and Margaret smiled at his compliment. “This enchanting lady next to me is Summer.” He gestured to me, placing his hand slightly on my back. I smiled at her in acknowledgment but felt the blush of David’s comment color my cheeks. “I’m David.”
“Lovely to meet you both.”
A few minutes later we were all enjoying the delicious food, David ordered a risotto which was amazing since he insisted I taste it.
“You know if you keep letting me taste your food, there isn’t gonna be much left for you to eat.”
He smiled. “Please.” he moved his dish an inch towards me. “It will be my pleasure to starve at your expense.” He mused. “Do have some more.”
“Do you want my dress to snap at the seams? Stop feeding me, it’s going straight to my arse.” I mocked. He threw his head back and shook with laughter. “I’m not kidding I already have too much junk in the trunk, you’re going to fatten me up.” That just made him laugh harder.
“Oh lovely, you do keep things interesting.” I glared at him. “Well i’m glad I amuse you.” My glares were ineffective on him.
“By the way I’m quite partial to your arse.” He said in a sultry voice and I think my arse was going to swallow my heart. I blushed profusely.
David was approached by a few people and he excused himself momentarily, but he didn’t go far, just a few feet away from the table.
Margaret pulled her chair closer to me. “It’s a shame you two are only friends.” I snapped my eyes to her face, slightly taken aback by her comment. I smiled politely.
“What do you mean?” she crossed her arms and resting the elbows on the table. “Well, he seems quite taken with you, I mean you can practically cut the sexual tension with a fork dear.” I thought about her words. Was that what this was, this strange energy between David and me. Sexual tension?
“You know my husband and I were best friends since junior high, he was the love of my life, my only love really. We had quite a journey together.” She seemed lost in the happy memory a gleeful haze took over her expression. “There is a fine line between friendship and love you know and I think, if I might be so bold to say, that you two are dancing right on top of it.” I blinked feeling a bit speechless, was that true?
I gave her a look of disbelief. “I…I don’t think that’s the case, David well, he can have any girl he wants.” she gave me a knowing smile. “Seems to me like he wants you dear, the man hasn’t stopped looking at you, even at a distance his eyes seek you out.” I glanced in David’s direction and sure enough our eyes collide, he was looking at me out of the corner of his eyes, it was a sexy smolder, i felt the blood color my face and his smile widen, as he simultaneously continued his conversation.
I looked away, flustered and suddenly aware of the possibility of more between us. Could he really feel that way about me, I mean he did flirt with me but I just assumed it was playful flirting, something he did with anyone, seeing it from a different angle was slightly baffling, I didn’t know what to think.
Was I on glue or something, because it seemed that even an old bird like Margaret sensed something happening between David and me.
“Miss me?” My heart stuttered at the low, caress of his voice near my ear. David took his seat next to me keeping his hand perched on the back of my chair. I felt completely flustered and unsure about a million things, him topping the list of course. I smiled shyly, fiddling nervously with the fabric of my dress, my eyes flittered to Margaret who had a wolfish grin on her lips.
The auction part of the evening went by in a blur, since I was sort of lost in thought and feeling rather flustered and anxious. My stomach heaved and pulled at me uncomfortably. It felt like tiny but thousands of little flapping things were fluttering away inside of me. I was willing to blame the suggestive remarks made by margaret and the way David kept looking at me as if expecting what? I couldn’t be sure. I absently conversed with other guests that either approached the table or were already sitting there but I can’t say I remember much of what was discussed, I really couldn’t focus on anything at the moment.
“Everything alright lovely?” I snapped out of my reverie. “What? Oh yes, yes I’m fine.” It didn’t sound very convincing but I tried my best smile, gaining one in return. I tucked a strand of loose curl behind my ear.
“We have a surprise for the ladies tonight, stay tune for the announcement later this evening, and thank you all for your wonderful contributions to this well worth it cause and now a few words from tonight’s host mr. David Gandy.”
Applause erupted from the crowd and David smiled politely as he stood up glancing down at me he winked before walking to the stage. I couldn’t help the big smile on my face as I observed him stand on stage and take the microphone.
“Thank you. I liked to thank you all for attending tonight and of course for contributing to this cause.” He absently scratched his chin and lowered his gaze before he spoke again. He was timid, I saw it in his gestures. The realization of that tiny flaw made me practically laugh out loud and feel almost giddy. He was right, the man would parade himself wearing nothing but a small underwear and have his picture plastered in the middle of times square in a giant billboard with no problems at all, but now observing him say a few words in front of a crowd I saw his confidence falter, and maybe it wasn’t something anyone else could see but I could and it was strangely adorable. Like I needed another reason to like him even more.
“That was quite enlightening Mr. Gandy.” I mused as he took his seat again. He had kept his acknowledgements short, eloquent and to the point. “Whatever do you mean lovely?” he retorted with a bemused look on his face.
I couldn’t keep the amusement from mine.
“What?…” He asked dubiously. “Oh nothing” I said placing my elbows on the table and resting my chin on my hands. he narrowed his eyes.”That was a nice little speech you gave. Did I sense a tiny degree of shyness from the great Gandy?” He laughed. “I told you that public speaking wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.” he pretended to hold a cup while he said that. I giggled. “Was it that bad though?” he cocked an eyebrow. I looked at him silently for a few seconds, then smiled.
“Not at all.” I reassured him and for some reason my voice sounded proud, almost admiring. I cleared my throat before he would too much into that.
“I see.” he responded with an amused smile tugging at his lips. “Maybe you can give me some pointers. I laughed. “I think you’re doing just fine.”
The band took the stage playing a slow, melodic instrumental piece that allowed for the food to settle peacefully.
In between the laughing and odd British jokes, David was approached several times and talked to about business and the behind the scenes, I sensed he was staying close by for my benefit and I felt badly about that, he needed to take care of things and he was postponing it because of me. I liked the idea of David refusing to leave my side in fact the thought alone was making my stomach do that fluttering thing but I couldn’t be self centered.
I whispered close to his ear so that only he could hear.
He turned his full attention to me in an instant. He stared at me expectantly. I blinked several times.
“If you need to go and take care of some things, please do.”
I offered. He stared at me with a confused expression on his face. “That’s not necessary lovely.”
Just then another person came to talk to him and then another, he really did need to handle things and I was keeping him.
When he turned to look at me again I gave him a dubious look, raising my brows.
“You were saying?” His expression was apologetic. “I apologize, this is…” I waved my hand dismissing what he was saying. He smiled but it was strained. “I hate to leave you alone, I asked you to come here with me, it’s not right to leave you alone.” I rolled my eyes.
“David, I’m not five years old.” He laughed.
“It’s ok really, I’ll mingle.” I said feeling confident in my ability to hold my own in a party.
“Besides I have Margaret to keep me company.” I added conveying reassurance, he didn’t seem convinced though. He exhaled and shook his head
” David really, this is all familiar, I’ll be fine my parents always dragged my sister and I to charity events and company parties, I’m used to it.”
He seemed to deliberate what his next course of action should be, and I could see in those brilliant eyes of his that he knew just like I did that even if only for a little while he needed to make his rounds.
“Alright” He finally agreed reluctantly so.
“I’ll find you as soon as I’m able to get away.” I nodded, smiling as I did.
He returned the smile and got to his feet, my eyes followed and then taking me by surprise when he suddenly leaned over keeping me encase between his arms, one on the back of my chair and the other on the table. I gasped at his proximity.
“Thank you.” He whispered. “I won’t be long.” With a quick flick of his fingers on my chin and a smirk on those tempting lips he walked away. I stayed glued to the chair, staring after him and suddenly feeling breathless.
I heard Margaret’s laughter and turn to look at her. “You’re in trouble dear.” she mused and I smiled sheepishly. She wasn’t wrong there.
I mingled and talked to a few groups that either approached me or I did them, I sure didn’t want to seat at my table and be a social leper besides I was honestly having a good time, every now and then I felt eyes on me and sure enough David would be looking in my direction, his eyes were on me more often than not, I had to wonder if he was even paying attention to the people talking to him but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I liked his eyes on me, it was strangely accelerating.
I excused myself from the small group I was in which consisted of a small older gentleman with a very pronounced french accent, a lady that looked like the queen of England, down to the hat and gloves and a girl about my age that was very quiet, she mainly nodded along and laughed at key points in the conversation.
I smiled and nodded at some familiar faces as i made my way out of the ballroom and into the restroom.
“He must amazing in bed.”
I heard multiple voices laugh at once. Three women by the sounds of it. I was inside a bathroom stall and by the conversation being carried by the women that had just walked in they thought they must’ve thought they were alone.
“I intend to find out if is the last thing I do.”
“Wow he’s really gotten under your skin, Mil.”
“Yeah and I want under him, it’s only a matter of time, he is a man after all, they only think with one organ.” I remained quietly listening to the women discuss their sex fantasies. I felt like a peeping tom but how embarrassing would it be to go out there now after listening to all that.
“Seems like you have your work cut out for you though, did you see her yet.?”
“Of course I did, she hasn’t left his side the entire evening, like a clingy lost puppy.”
laughter ensued. I remained as quiet as possible in my hiding spot.
who were they talking about?
“Do you think she a model or an actress?” One of them laughed a short sarcastic laugh.
“Not with those hips besides the girl is a shrimp, she can’t possibly be any taller than maybe five/four tops.”
My heart began to hammer against my rib-cage, I had an instinctual feeling I knew exactly who they were talking about.
They all laughed in synchronization, making the hairs on my neck stand.
“Well according to Lydia, he is presenting her as his date and like you said, he hasn’t left her side all evening.”
I tried to remember If I had met a Lydia, searching my memory of the evening I couldn’t recollect a Lydia but then again I had met so many people.
“Oh please , she is just his new charity case, besides she is an american.” If I had needed any more confirmation that they were talking about me that last bit certainly confirmed it.
The heavily accented woman made the fact that I was american sound dirty and unwelcome.
A charity case… I felt my blood begin to boil under my skin and my ears begin to ring. They all giggled in unison, like a barber’s quartet, except there were three of them.
“The girl is not even his usual long legged blonde model and by the looks of it I think she still has a curfew, she looks awfully young. Mark my words she probably just won some contest or what not..oh shoot I left my compact in the car, let me borrow yours.”
I felt like a trapped rat in here, being dissected and picked at by vultures. Was this everyone’s opinion of me, that I was just a contest winner, that I couldn’t possibly attain someone like David on my own. Did he only date supermodels? I really hadn’t the slightest idea. I didn’t know much about his personal life let alone his love life.
“But she is pretty.”
I heard another one say and I thought she hadn’t spoken much, her tone implied a more subtle personality, maybe she was the nice one, although I doubt it. These women thrived in putting others down, like a clique, there was always a queen bee and the rest just followed along. But I was an adult and things like that were left behind long ago in high school years and even then I was never in the receiving end of it.
“she is a nuisance, irrelevant and forgettable and I’m gonna make sure she knows it. This isn’t her scene and David is not with her. Like I said she is just a charity case.”
I heard more giggles, shuffling of stiletto heels and a door slamming shut, then silence I was alone. Feeling a little numb and a whole lot of pissed off I exited the stall and walked to the lavish sink placing my hands on the counter for support. Brown, wide eyes stared back at me, I breathed in and out, trying to control my outraged emotions.
what had I stepped into? Evidently David had groupies, and they were conniving snakes, the worse part was that these women were not just merely crazed fans that dreamed about meeting him one day, these women knew him on the same level, they were a part of his world. I exhaled loudly.
I wasn’t a lost puppy and I sure as hell wasn’t anyone’s charity case, but an insidious voice nagged at the back of my mind. I had to wonder why I was here why David being the god he so evidently is would bother with a girl like me, don’t get me, not that I have low self esteem issues but realistically speaking who wouldn’t feel like a fish out of water when it came to David, aside from the fact that he is gorgeous, sexy and confident, he is a freaking supermodel, used to all kinds all beautiful women throwing themselves at him, what were my chances with a man like him, a man that could have his pick of the liter. I didn’t think I was being unreasonable in my doubts, they had validation.
My fingers ticked against the cold granite of the sink methodically, as i gaze at my at my own reflection. My cheeks looked too pink and my lips too tight.
I groaned internally, I needed to get my head of out the gutter, dwelling on what anyone thought of me was a useless emotion. I didn’t know these women, heck I didn’t really know half the people in this place and their opinion certainly didn’t matter, besides David was free to do whatever he wanted. We were friends, that’s all, that was all there could ever be, and I had no reason to believe that he was using me, there is no grounds for it and no motive unless he is trying to make someone jealous. No no I had to stop that train of thought before it got the best of me. I would give David the benefit of a doubt, he had done nothing wrong by me, he deserved my trust at least as my friend. That fact didn’t make me feel better if I was being honest it left a bad taste in my mouth and a pressing weight in my heart.
I was tempted to splash some cold water in my face but that would definitely ruined my makeup.
I breathed in and out slowly, trying to calm my nerves. I let out a short humorless laugh. I decided it was best to just forget about the whole thing. If there was something I could be positive about was that no matter what my relationship with David was like, my intellect I was most certainly proud of and I didn’t need anyone to take pity on me or give me anything. My family is very well off and I had never lacked anything in my life and I sure as hell didn’t let people look down on me in any way.
I exited the restroom with my head high and went straight for my table, I think some champagne would be nice right about now.
There was only Margaret and another couple seated at the table and they seemed deep in conversation so I was free to gather my thoughts.
“Well, well this is a pleasant surprise.” said a vaguely familiar voice. I turned to the sound of it and Hugh was standing behind me with a glass of champagne in his hand and a boyish smile on his face. “Now, this party just got a whole lot more interesting,” he mused assessing me.
“Hugh, hi!” I greeted him, as he took the seat next to me, David’s seat. “What a small world this is.” I said matter of fact and I gave him a dubious look. “Or maybe you’re just following me, should I be worried?” I joked and he laughed.
“So how are you enjoying London so far Summer?” He asked after taking a sip of his champagne and handing me the other one.
“It’s actually been wonderful, this is a quite a city.” I say to him. “It’s nice to see you again.”
Coincidentally enough, Hugh attends multiple charities annually, this being one of them. We talked easily and I found that Hugh was pretty charming and funny, in a more boyish way, it was easy talking to him, almost like talking to a childhood friend or a sibling.
“By the way, are you ever going to take me up on that dinner offer?” Oh no, here came the awkward part. Why couldn’t Hugh just be a funny, charming gay guy. Things would play out much simpler if that were the case.
I gave him a tentative smile and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “Hum..Hugh, that’s, well I don’t know I mean, I’m flattered but…” he interrupted before I had a chance to keep rambling.
“How about you don’t give me an answer just yet, how about you ponder it over and let me know later.” he countered, giving me a full on white teeth smile.
I pressed my lips together, knowing that my answer wouldn’t change whether it be now or later.
“Yeah, take thirty minutes even.” He joked and I laughed, again why couldn’t he just be a gay guy that I could easily be friends with. Every girl needs a gay guy friend.
“Well aren’t you British accommodating.” I said in a sarcastic tone.
“Well more so when it comes to beautiful american girls, such as you.” he says flirtatiously curling a strand of my hair in his finger. I feel my cheeks redden at his compliment, but it feels different than when David does it, more awkward and un call for. Like an uncomfortable situation you want to avoid. I lower my head to avoid eye contact and there is a moment of uncomfortable silence.
“Hey I’ve got a joke for you.” He finally says, nudging my arm.
“Okay.” I brace myself, thankful for the change of topic. “shoot.”
“Why wasn’t Jesus born in England?” He asked.
“Why?” I answered dubiously, narrowing my eyes.
“He couldn’t find 3 wise men or a virgin.” He finished and I broke into a fit of giggles. That one had been funny, or maybe the champagne was getting to me. I had to hold onto Hugh’s arm for support as I slightly bent over with laughter and my chair moved a bit.
I looked up at Hugh who was giving me a big cheeky smile, pleased that I had found the joke amusing.
“Summer.” I felt a pleasant tingling sensation spread along my skin, just by hearing that familiar voice. David was at my side and both Hugh and I stood at the same time.
“Hi.” I said, feeling my eyes brighten and a silly smile spread across my lips. Those amazing eyes stared back at me as he smiled warmly at me, before wrapping an arm around my waist. I had to concentrate on breathing after that. In a matter of seconds just by meeting his gaze, it felt as if the whole world disappeared around us and it was just him and me and his eyes gazing at me with a reverence and intensity that were difficult to grasp.
“David.” Hugh’s voice broke the spell bringing me back to the present. David turn his attention to Hugh and I could have sworn I saw annoyance in his expression.
“Hugh, I see you’ve met my Summer.” I glanced up at him, did he just referred to me as his.
“Your Summer?” Hugh questioned staring back at David with a dubious smirk on his lips. David kept an unflinching gaze on him.
“Yes, I have met her. She is truly enchanting.”
“That, she is.” Was I on glue or was there a dick measuring contest going on? David smiled down at me causing my heart to stutter, and I returned the smile but it felt more forced than anything. I didn’t like what was happening here, they obviously knew each other and there was animosity between the two I was merely a piece in their little game and being thought of as property was not something I was keen on.
“I would have never guessed she was with you since she’s been alone half the night.” Hugh antagonized, and I didn’t miss the sudden tension rolling off of David.
“Well, David invited me. So technically I am his date for the evening, but he does have some responsibilities as a host and I understand that.” I intervened before a referee was needed.
“If you were my date, dear Summer, I wouldn’t leave you alone for a second.” I felt David’s arm tightened on my waist, and sensed the tension rolling of his body.
“I’am sorry, lovely.” David said close to my ear, ignoring Hugh’s comment, his low seductive tone made me blush like a sixteen year old.
“Well now that your date has returned, I’ll let you enjoy the rest of your evening. Don’t forget to think about my proposition.”
Hugh confidently grabbed my hand and placed a kissed on it. This was so weird, I could feel the tension around us as Hugh held on to my hand for longer than necessary and I think he was doing it on purpose to irritate David. I felt extremely flustered. He finally let go and shifted his eyes towards David who was visibly irritated by now.
“David, always a pleasure.”
“Hugh.” said David, in a clipped tone.
Hugh smirked and winked at me before turning away, in a slow deliberate swagger. Well that had been interesting.
“What kind of proposition was he speaking of?” David turned and asked in a stern tone. I blinked several times, unprepared for the seriousness in his voice. David seemed to realize my unease and his expression quickly soften.
I exhaled, feeling a bit frazzled by all of this. “Do you really want to know?” I finally said. He nodded keeping eye contact with me.
“He asked me out to dinner.” I stared at him, waiting for his reaction, he seemed…stunned?
“David?” I studied his face and gave his arm a small squeeze. He blinked and his jaw ticked.
“Did he now.” he said, but it was more to himself and there was something else there in his tone, almost a mocking. Did he think the idea of someone like Hugh taking an interest in me funny.
“Are you planning on taking him up on his…proposition?” I narrowed my eyes, not liking his tone.
“I hardly know him David, but he lives in Spring’s building, so who knows maybe we’ll get to know each other better.” I responded with a shrug.
“Hugh lives in your building.” it was more a statement than an actual question and his tone went up an octave. What was up with David, it seemed the mere mention of Hugh put him on edge, I couldn’t understand it. But I didn’t want to have this negative cloud over us, not tonight.
I smiled reassuringly. “I only met him one time, he helped me carry a few bags of groceries. As a matter of fact I was very surprised to see him here, how do you two know each other?” I inquired, curious to know.
David’s eyes soften, and he seemed to regain his cool demeanor. Whatever had been eating away at him, I guess was at bay now.
He smiled-a half playful smile-at me and guided us back to our table, without saying a word. once we sat down, David slid a glass of champagne in my direction and took a glass for himself.
I grabbed my glass and took a small sip, the bubbly was delicious as it went down my throat, warming my body. David did the same, and we both kept eye contact. It was a little accelerating, I didn’t know what it was, perhaps the way he was looking at me. There was a determination in his eyes, a gleam of mischief there and it seemed to radiate towards me like a living thing, dancing along my skin, and spiking at my pulse.
“So are you going to tell me how you know him?” I persisted.
He grinned, looking at me. “Through a mutual friend and we’ve had business dealings in the past.” Hum?…Maybe one of those deals had gone wrong, was that the problem I was sensing between the two.
“Did something go wrong, business wise? Seems you two have…” How should I say this. “…Some animosity.”
David chuckled, lowering his gaze, then settling again on my face. This time he moved his chair closer, his knee touching my thigh.
“Not quite lovely.” he answered, placing a hand casually on top of mine and tapping his index finger on my skin. My eyes landed where our hands touched and I could feel the blood pulsing, rising to the surface and well to other places. I wanted to close my eyes and let the sweet sensation of his touch wrap around me. God what was wrong with me, he was barely touching me, correction he was barely touching my hand, how could my body react so strongly, it was so animalistic. I forced my brain to think through the haze of his touch and slowly, almost painfully I slid my hand away.
After a few seconds of silence I spoke. “I see, well I think i knew an evasive answer when I hear one.” I said with a shrug, he chuckled. ” Is that so.” He mused. “I’m in law school remember, evasive answers is kind of our specialty?” I took a sip of my champagne, looking away from him.
“Lovely.” He said my name like a caress and I hate it the direct link it held to my heart. I turned to look at him just as he leaned towards me, our faces came inches apart and I felt my breath get stuck in my throat, as his gaze held mine. “I want to tell you everything and anything you ever want to know. But not here and not now.” Ok, I could live with that. “There is however something else I liked to speak to you about…something.” There was something like excitement or maybe nervousness in his tone but I couldn’t be sure.
Before I had a chance to ask we were interrupted by master of ceremonies who pulled David aside. I felt the strange tension that had built up between us ease slowly out of my body and I exhaled, gathering my thoughts and glad for the time alone. I walked to the dessert table in need of something sweet. Between my unexpected eavesdropping- which my crazy, hormonal brain had chosen to forget, well I seemed to forget just about everything when I was around David, it was lucky I still remembered my name-in the restroom. Hugh’s sudden encounter and invitation and David’s strange behavior. Lets just say I was more than a little overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to make out of any of it, and now David wanted to ask me something, but what?
“Hello there, I don’t believe we’ve met.”
That heavy accent was way too familiar and not in a good way, I knew that voice. I turned around and faced the woman to whom it belonged to, surely enough she was one of the snakes from the bathroom.
“I’m Mildred George a close friend of David’s.” she elongated the word close as if it held a deeper meaning. I tried my best fake smile but I didn’t do fake very well, it was just not me.
“Hi, Summer.” I retorted, deciding to keep it on a first name basis. “Summer, how cute.” Her tone super sweet but I could hear the mocking behind it.
two more girls appeared at her side, great it was charlie’s angels, the bitchy edition. They introduced themselves, but I can’t say I’d remembered what their names were.
They all wore fake, plastic smiles on puffy lips as they studied me up close, the charity case.
“You’re an american right?”
questioned the red-head, with the high pitch voice that reminded me of barbie.
I swallowed back my anger and decided to play nice, nice would be my middle name since I didn’t have one, besides I have class, I wouldn’t stoop to their level. Diplomacy was mandatory in my chosen career after all.
“Yes, I’m here for the summer visiting my sister.” I answered smiling, as graciously as I could manage.
I could see Mildred roaming every inch of my body, practically sneering, her less than subtle dislike for me was almost laughable, and I had to wonder if perhaps she had been scorn by David or just refused by him, or maybe she just had a stick up her ass. The possibilities were truly endless. Was this the type of women David liked? Tall, thin- almost unhealthy so- perfectly coiffed with not a single golden lock of hair out of place and the deepest shade of red marring lips that seemed too puffy for such a slender figure. It was sort of unnatural, maybe it was?
They all smiled in unison and I sensed the animosity that radiated off their bodies. My god I’ve never in my life felt this kind of contempt towards me, not even in middle school when the sole purpose of kids is to make someone else’s life miserable. It was a little unnerving. I was surrounded by vultures ready to pick apart their meal but I wasn’t about to become one. I might not have a lot of experience with men, and flirting but catty women I can handle.
“Was this your first time leaving America, how do you like it here?”
I wanted to glare at her, but I resisted, I would get through this mean girls little game and I would do it with my head held high.
“I’ve actually traveled a lot, but this is my first time in London. It’s really something though and David has been nice enough to take me pretty much everywhere.”
I threw that last bit of information there to gauge a reaction from Mildred.
I saw her press her lips together but the rest of her porcelain face remained composed.
“Yes…well David is quite accommodating isn’t he, trust me I know.” Her implication didn’t escape me. The other two glanced dubiously at each other.
“It”s Summer right?” asked the girl to the right of Mildred- before I had a chance to reply to her little snark insinuation-she had been quiet.
I glanced at the girl and her face was just as perfect as the other two, but her blue eyes didn’t hold that judgmental, hateful haze.
“Yes…I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name?” I said politely trying my best to give her a sincere smile.
“Oh it’s Charlotte, you can call me charlie though, everyone does.” I smiled and nodded. There was something about Charlie that wasn’t all bad, she was just being lured in by the other two.
“That’s a beautiful dress, the color is stunning.” My smile widen at her compliment, it didn’t sound dishonest.
I saw the redhead to the left of Mildred give her a dirty look.
“Oh I agree, but I would have accompanied it with a Cartier sapphire necklace.” She touched her chest with the tip of her fingers as she said that. “It would have just been the perfect touch, of course the simplicity that you opted for, it’s also…fetching” she gushed. I swear that this woman was so plastic she was about to break, she was trying to insult me with fake compliments, it would be amusing if she didn’t irritate me so.
“Who’s is it.?” asked the redhead. Who’s is it? It’s mine.
The nice one, Charlotte pinched the fabric with her fingers.
“Looks like Armani or Versace.”
“I don’t think so. Trust me, I know a Versace original when I see one.” sneered Mildred, lifting an arch eyebrow.
I shrugged a shoulder. “I’m not sure, my sister picked it out, but I do like the color.” I tried to keep my tone polite and unaffected by Mildred’s constant undermine.
“Well, this must be all very overwhelming for you, meeting someone like David, attending such an elegant event, it’s kind of a once in a lifetime deal right. What contest did you win?”
Wow, she was really quite tenacious in her endeavor to make me feel inferior and out of place. I wanted to burst out in laughter.
Mildred kept her cunning eyes on me, daring me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Charlie lower her head and look away. At Least she had the decency of seeming embarrassed by her friend’s blunt and demeaning remark.
I let out a short scoff of a laugh, and arched my brows.
“No honey I didn’t win any contest.” I say through a chuckle, she had brought the “honey” out of me, that was code word for stupid in my vocabulary. If she thought I was going to elaborate on the status of my relationship to David she had something else coming. I was going to let her wreck her pretty brains at the possibilities of what David and I were.
“Well he certainly is the type to surprise a girl, trust me I know from personal experience.” she said that with a wink, as if we were just exchanging information about a recipe. I was honestly getting pissed off with her constant implications about her and David. I hated playing cat games, if she had something to say to me I much rather she’d just say it.
“I guess I’ll take your word for it, you seem to be the authority in all things David after all.” I kept eye contact as I spoke. Mildred’s jaw ticked, the tension palpable on her face but she only smiled and narrowed her eyes in a sarcastic mock.
“So, what do you do Summer?” asked Charlotte after a few seconds of awkward silence.
“I’m in law school, Harvard, going on my fourth year actually.” they all looked at me with a semi surprise expressions on their faces.
“Law school, wow! that’s something and here we thought you were a model or an actress, I mean you certainly have the looks.” replied Mildred but I didn’t miss the sarcastic under-tone of her voice. She had been the first one to call me a shrimp in the bathroom and now she was putting on the best performance of her life. And the Oscar goes to…
“No, no I’ll leave the modeling and acting to you beautiful people, but, if you ever need a lawyer I’m definitely your girl, although I’m not sure you can afford me.” I winked playfully and her icy blue eyes narrowed, guess she didn’t find my little insinuation funny. Even the redhead-mean girl groupie-chuckled at my remark.
“Well I would hate to think that’s the reason a man like David has you around, for legal advice. I mean I’m sure he can afford a real attorney.”
“Mildred!” exclaimed Charlotte, seeming appalled, her fair skin turned red. My comment might have had some bite to it but it was a clear joke, Mildred’s comment was anything but, it had been a direct hit of insult to my character. Guess she abandoned her intent to keep a facade of civility. I felt anger rise inside my chest and this time it was extremely hard to contain it. Her implications and negative remarks to my person had already crossed several lines. This woman had no scruples when it came to what she wanted and it was quite evident that she wanted to squash me, The girl that couldn’t possibly attain someone like David.
“Good evening ladies.”
David appeared next to me, interrupting the suddenly tense atmosphere. His eyes took in my hard expression and he too seemed to tense.
“David darling, you’ve been a busy boy, I haven’t seen you all evening.”
Mildred gushed, wasting no time and kissing David in both cheeks, I could see the twinkle in her eye as she spoke to him with that fake voice that feign class and refinement, she didn’t fool me and by the look on David’s face, he wasn’t what you would say ecstatic to see her, I had to wonder what had transpire between the two.
“Mildred… I didn’t know you’d be here.” His tone was tight, surprised, and maybe even a little apprehensive.
“Of course, I wouldn’t miss it for the world, you know me darling.” her flirty tone was dripping with innuendo and I was sure it was for my benefit. I did my best to contain my raging anger because honestly it wasn’t worth my time and she definitely had a knack for irritating me.
He didn’t respond, and I could tell his smile was more out of civility than actual delight. I wanted to feel good about that but it only left more unanswered questions about their relationship. Yeah putting them-in the same sentence in any type of a relationship was making my skin crawl.
I was so lost in thought I had totally missed the greetings from Charlotte and the redhead.
David’s hand wrapped around my waist securing me to his side and I felt my traitorous heart skip a few beats, the way it always did when he touched me now, it seemed.
I dare a quick peek at him and he looked back at me out of the corner of his eye. It felt sort of like a secret exchange, I just didn’t know what the exchange was.
“We were just talking about you.” said Mildred, while bumping her non existent hip against David flirtatiously, and batting her long eyelashes like a bat out of hell. I felt him tense beside me. Did he want to turn on his heel and walk away from this woman as badly as I did?
“Oh, oh, I hope only good things.” Mildred laughed, like she was being tickled. I suppressed the urge to roll my eyes and give her a cat scan. She was ignoring the fact that I was here as David’s date, right by his side. I didn’t like catty females that were so willing to step on other women just to get the attention of a man, I found that behavior low and extremely disgusting.
“Actually Summer here was just about to tell us how you two know each other.” she motioned with her hand between me and David. I wasn’t about to tell her shit, and I hated being coerced into things by force, besides she had already filled my patience quota, with her snarky, mean girl routine.
I stared right at her and before my brain caught up with my mouth I had the worse case of verbal diarrhea.
“Oh, we’re sleeping together.” I deadpanned in my most casual tone, and I had the pleasure of seeing her eyes just about pop out of their socket. The redhead coughed out her champagne and the nice one had a smile tugging at her lips. Well if anything it had the intended effect. Shock.
I didn’t dare look at David, for fear that I’d lose my nerve. He didn’t correct me though.
Mildred seemed to have lost the ability to speak as I stared at her defiantly with a tiny smirk lifting at the side of my lips. What? no snarky, remarks now.
I leaned forward invading her personal space and startling her.
“And by the way you’re right, he is amazing in bed.” I said in what I hoped was a sexy, confident voice. Now she knew I had heard every word she had spat out in that bathroom.
The woman was stunned silent, good because I didn’t want to hear another word out of her venomous mouth.
I smiled politely, keeping my chin high as my eyes landed on each one of them.
“It’s been a pleasure ladies, excuse me.”
I turned on my heel and grabbed a glass of champagne from a waiter that was passing by, I didn’t stop, I walked until the double doors of the ballroom came into view and I pushed them open stepping into the wide, marble floored hallway. Oh god, oh god, what had I just done. The realization of what I’d said started sinking in like the dam titanic. I pressed my back against the wall parallel to the doors and placed the flute on the small decorative table at my side. I took a much needed deep breath.
David was in front of me before I had a chance to blink. I stared at him feeling the color slowly rising to my face.
He didn’t speak, he just stared at me and the silence was freaking deafening. I covered my face, feeling humiliation washing over me.
“David, I’m so sorry, that was completely out of line, I shouldn’t have said those things” I look up at him, trying to gauge his reaction. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this embarrassed in my entire life. “That woman had been antagonizing me all night and I overheard her saying some…unpleasant things about me in the restroom and well I know that doesn’t give me an excuse to say the things I said but I..I just lost it, I’m sorry.” I cover my eyes, feeling mortified. I couldn’t look at him, not without remembering what I had just implied about us to a bunch of complete strangers and right in front of him.
He chuckled and grabbed my hands firmly, lowering them from my red face. My heart stuttered frantically.
“Relax love, I don’t care, you have nothing to apologize for.”
He said earnestly, still holding onto my clammy hands, and stepping into my space.
“I..I just don’t know what came over me, the implications I made about you and me, that was…” I shook my head trying to shake away the memory of my inappropriate words, this was so embarrassing. I still couldn’t maintain eye contact with him. “I’m very sorry if I offended you.” I said finally looking up at him.
His thick eyebrows creased in a questioning gesture.
“Offend me?” He mused, gazing into my frantic eyes, his churned brightly. David lifted his hand to my cheek and slightly caressed it with his knuckles, leaving a trail of electric sparks in its wake. I was so tempted to lean into that touch. Instead I closed my eyes.
“That was actually rather sexy.” He said in low chuckle. My eyes snapped to his face, taking in the bright blue of his eyes and a deliberate, predatory grin lift the corner of his lips.
“You surprised me lovely.” The languid, alluring tone of his voice was completely unexpected and I was sure my face was now crimson red. I didn’t know what to say to that. Besides I couldn’t really hear my thoughts with my heart beating so loudly. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” his grin widen and it was so dam sexy. Oh boy. I lowered my face and stared intently at our toe to toe shoes. His thumb and forefinger pinched my chin, lifting it. “It was a very good thing.” He said looking right into my eyes. I couldn’t help the blush on my cheeks or the tiny, triumphant smile lifting at the corner of my lips, my heart was fluttering away inside my chest, threatening to rip right through.
“I’m sorry Mildred aggravated you, she is…” he made a sound that was a cross between a laugh and an exhale. “Well, she can be quite intolerable and I’m sure there was grounds for your actions.” His voice was soft and soothing, just as his hands were, as he tenderly caressed my face. I was beginning to think his hands held some type of magic because the simple touch of his fingers elicited the most crazy reactions out of me, it was both soothing and igniting. He was an enigma to me, something that my logic riddled brain was unable to decipher but my hormonal body most certainly liked.
I stared up at him and that was a big mistake, I was ensnared in the depths of his ocean blue eyes. Completely at his mercy, lost in his soft touch. What were we talking about? Who knew. What i did know was that he was looking at me with a deep, earth shattering intent in his brilliant eyes and I couldn’t look away.
“Did I tell you how unbelievably gorgeous you look tonight.” He uttered in that deep, husky tone that caused a delicious ache to burn low in my tummy. What was he doing to me. I couldn’t think, there was only sensation, that was the only cognitive sense working in my body, as his minty, intoxicating breath blew over my face and scattered any rational thought I could conjured.
Our lips were just inches apart, one tiny move and we’d be kissing, adrenaline coursed through my body and something like butterflies assaulted the walls of my stomach, although it felt more like elephants.
In the distance I heard his name being called, he didn’t seem to notice though.
My heart was a freight train in my chest and I wondered if he could hear it, then, if it were even possible he moved closer, his hard masculine body pressed deliciously against me causing my lips to part and my breath to whoosh. I heard his name again but it was muffled by the ringing in my ears and the tingling on my skin.
“David?” This time it was me calling out his name, it came out breathy and my voice was barely a whisper.
He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.
“Your scent drives me mad, did you know that?” he whispered in a grave tone. I swallowed, feeling feverish.
His name was called again louder this time. “Bugger” he scowled and his eyebrows pinched together, in a frown.
David exhaled, but he didn’t kiss me, instead he rested his forehead against mine as his quickening breaths blew across my face in short puffs making me feel dizzy.
He pushed back just a few inches, enough to allow some oxygen back in my lungs, those intense azure eyes of his pierced me with regard and a ghost of a smile lifted at the corner of his lips, almost as if he knew something I didn’t.
His thumb caressed my jaw, moving in slow torturous circles until it found my lower lip, he pulled on it slightly and my breath caught in my throat his eyes dipped to where his thumb touched me and his expression was that of desire? it made my own need for him seemed like a living thing, pulsing in inside of me, demanding to be let loose.
His name was called again, like a ticking bomb. He exhaled loudly and dropped his hand, slowly sliding it down my arm until he reached my hand, entangling our fingers together.
“I’ll be right back love, don’t go anywhere. We do need to speak.” I swallowed dryly, feeling way too keyed up, and nodded. He wanted to talk. was it the incident with Mildred-which he found sexy- I didn’t think so, but what then. My stomach churned at the possibilities.
He smirked, then reluctantly let go of my hand and walked away, swiftly disappearing around the corner of the hall and into the main ballroom. Leaving me paralyzed against the wall.
My body felt shaky and I think I was panting. What was happening, the lines I had carefully drawn between us were a big blur, actually the lines were invisible. I couldn’t even see them. David had almost kissed me. He could have but he didn’t, that fact brought a sense of deja vu, and the memory of the night before struck me. I had wanted to kiss him then, I had been waiting for that kiss like the very air I needed to breath, I was prepared to surrender to it. But he hadn’t kissed me, he had unravel my senses and scrambled my thoughts just like he did now but he didn’t kiss me then and he hadn’t kiss me now. A sudden pang of anger coursed through me, irrational and hot and inexplicable. This man was driving me crazy, I hated the way he made me feel, the way my body reacted to him as if i had no control what-so-ever. I could handle a friendship with him no problem, but this…his flirting, his games, pinning me against a wall or a damn door whenever he felt like it, eliciting all kinds of crazy emotions out of me, emotions that left me breathless, then turning away leaving me with a deep unsatisfied longing and confused, This I could not handle. I closed my eyes tight and threw my head back trying to control my breathing. God this was such a mess.
I willed my shaky legs to move forward and I entered the ballroom finding my table in a near haze. I exhaled loudly and sat, unaware of my surroundings.
I looked up to the stage and David was standing there, center staged in all his glorious self. His facial expression seemed slightly amused but there was a hardness to the edge of his jaw, a slow tick that signaled at a discomfort.
He stood tall and relaxed, with his hands inside the pockets of his perfectly tailored pantsuit, it was such male stance. I let my eyes examined him freely, without restraint, he was something extraordinary to look at. Tall, lean frame with wide shoulders and intense eyes that held the brightest blue I had ever seen. His face wasn’t pretty, it was more than that, it was timeless, handsome and masculine, in a way you only read about in books. No one could pull off a goutie the way David did, it was perfect, he was perfect. I felt my cheeks turning pink and I mentally kicked myself in the tit, I was making myself blush now, this was ridiculous.
“Alright ladies, do I hear a thousand?” I was so deep in my own thoughts that I guess I completely missed what was happening, as the man on stage spoke into the microphone startling me.
My eyebrows pinched together, what was happening? I looked around taking in my surroundings. Women all over the room were shouting out numbers and had big flirty smiles on their faces. Women of all ages I might add.
I leaned over to Margaret who seemed to be quite delighted and entertained with the current activity of the evening.
“Margaret, what’s going on?” she looked at me with a big, distracted smile on her aged face.
“Oh honey, where have you been. They announced it a few minutes ago, your man is being auctioned off for a date. It’s the culmination of the evening.” she elbowed me softly in a suggestive gesture. “I hope you’re not the jealous type, besides it’s for a good cause.” she mused, winking. I smiled at her and shook my head. Margaret was a very lively woman for her age, it was hard to resist.I didn’t bother correcting her about David being “my man” bit, it was pointless.
The entire room was exploding with the hollering and laughter of women shouting out their bids and hoping to get up close and personal with Adonis himself. A big, silly smile spread across my lips, I was so going to give him a hard time about this, it was too funny. That was until one woman in particular shouted her bid in a thick, already too familiar accent and my eyes instantly landed on her.
Mildred. Very deliberately she turned her face in my direction and a cynical smile pulled at her blood red, lips. She reminded me of someone from television but I couldn’t put my finger on it, but with her dramatic flare I’m sure it was a soap opera star. Her red head passie was next to her of course, cheering her on, but I didn’t see Charlotte anywhere, good for her.
I kept a poker face, unaffected by the dare in her eyes. I just applauded along with the other guests. Every time someone made a higher bid, applaud would ensue.
“Five thousand.” announced Mildred again, that was fifteen hundred over the last bid, which was a substantial number considering that most bids were in the vicinity of about two hundred between one another. I looked around the room waiting for more hormonal females to splurge their money for a hot date, but this time only one placed a bid.
Mildred once again shouted a higher number and her snake eyes flittered towards me.
Oh no, she couldn’t win, not her.
I narrowed my eyes, a feeling of acquisition surged through my veins, like a mamma bear, protecting her cubs. I didn’t have a problem with David being won for a date by anyone else except this woman, anyone but her. I couldn’t let it happen, it would be like a slap to my face. It wasn’t a jealousy thing, it was more a matter of principle. This woman had undermine everything about me, my family, my appearance, my intellect, and besides I couldn’t let my friend David be subjected to her evil claws right?… I argued with myself, seemed a compelling enough argument and I was gonna stick with it.
“Do we have any more takers?…right now is to the lady in the front for five thousand, going once, going twice.”
Before my overactive, over cautious brain had a chance to talk me out of this crazy idea I shouted out a number.
“Six thousand.” The entire turned in my direction, even David. I stared back at him and I thought I saw a tiny smirk pull at the corner of his lips, but it was too subtle for me to be sure.
“Alright, we have a new bidder, right now is to the young lady in blue at six thousand pounds.” The announcer proclaimed, gesturing with his hand in my general direction.
Everyone applauded, their attention fixed on me and I felt my cheeks flamed.
Mildred didn’t miss a beat, her higher bid reverberated firmly through the applause. “Sixty five hundred.” she turned her to stare blatantly at me and i swear I almost laughed.
Alright she was obviously baiting me, probably trying to call me out on a bluff. Well I was game.
“Seven thousand.” I said confidently and didn’t bother looking at her. The crowd ooh and ahh. I kept my eyes on David, who stared back at me with a peculiar expression on his face, it was a mixture of surprise and something more but I couldn’t be positive. I’m sure to anyone else he simply looked like his usual cool and collected self. But i had learned the subtle changes in his facial expressions. He didn’t appear completely relaxed, did he not want me to bid on him?
“Eight thousand.” The sound of her shrill voice got my attention and I broke eye contact with David.
I paused for a second uncertain of my next action, should I really be doing this? Something in David’s expression wasn’t right, he was no longer looking at me though, he wasn’t looking at anyone in particular and he seemed simply amused by the whole thing but there had been something there. I felt a twinge of something ugly crawl up my chest, maybe he just didn’t want me to win. Maybe i should stop before I make a bigger fool of myself.
“Do I hear eighty five hundred?”
This was insane, this wasn’t like me at all. Something else was driving me, not logic, it was something instinctual, the thought of letting this woman win was as unappealing as wearing a brand new pair of pumps for a marathon.
“I must hear a number or…”
“Nine thousand.” I shouted, impulsively. I shouldn’t be doing this. What the hell was I doing? What I should be doing is pressing both hands over my mouth and nose until I passed out.
The crowd was going wild, everyone at my table whistled and egged me on in support.
I let my eyes drift to Mildred who was staring at me practically seething, she had no reservations when it came to what she wanted, that much was obvious.
“Twelve thousand pounds.” she let out loudly, still keeping her pale eyes on me then blatantly giving a small, deliberate shake to her head and raising her eyebrows.
I was stunned my breath caught in my throat, she was no rookie and she had definitely brought the big guns. That’s when I realized that she had no intentions of losing, no matter what I did or how high the number was, she was out for the hunt and the more I thought about it, the more my conscious couldn’t justify spending this kind of money. I was more than happy to donate to charities but this, this was for all the wrong reasons.
I felt my heart beat faster and faster with every second that ticked away, I knew that no matter how much I didn’t want this woman to have David I couldn’t stop it. My parents trusted me to be a responsible and sensible person, but the two sides of my head were battling me, in one hand I wanted to show her that I could hold my own, that I wasn’t some poor little charity case, on the other hand I knew that it was all a game and I had been caught in it’s trap. I needed to listen to that side of my brain.
I suppressed my instinct to jump back into the race and it felt as heavy as trying to shoulder a building, crushing and unnatural but it was the best course of action I knew that. Spending that kind of money wouldn’t be right, my parents are very generous and I have my own trust fund, but it was not meant to be squandered or use selfishly. I exhaled in defeat and remained quiet, practically biting my tongue.
“Sold!- to the persistent lady in the front.” The entire ballroom exploded in deafening applause.
I applauded as well, keeping my chin up, even though I knew i was right about throwing in the towel, it still didn’t take away the sting of humiliation I was feeling right now. I had showed her off earlier and she wasn’t about to let that go, she was showing me off now, by taking David for herself and giving me the middle finger in the process. Defeat was not a pleasant feeling, I felt the blood pulsing in my veins and coloring my face, but I kept a smile on my lips and nodded along.
Mildred arrogantly walked up to the stage and wrapped her arm around Davids, claiming her prize. My heart constricted painfully in my chest.
Everyone applauded and Mildred played along with the crowd leaning into him and placing a long, probably wet kiss on his cheek whilst lifting her leg as if she were a princess kissing her prince charming. The crowd was loving it too. David smiled and nodded walking out of the stage with his companion in hand.
I breathed in and out feeling a tightening in my chest, shook my head, this was ridiculous why was I feeling this way anyway, it was completely irrational, nothing had changed, David and I were friends, nothing more.
“That was exciting dear, you gave that woman a run for her money.” I turned to address Margaret and smiled at her remark.
“Seems like you’ve got the attention of the entire room darling.” Tell me about it. I sigh…What the hell was I thinking, that I could really win David, like he would have me just because I was the highest bidder, It was truly laughable. The whole thing now felt like a bad joke and I was the center of it.
“Well I figured I could help raise the stakes a little.” I said, winking and patting myself in the shoulder. Nice safe.
“Well you certainly did managed that.” I turned to the sound of a familiar voice. Hugh was sitting casually on my other side with an inquisitive look of bemusement on his face. How long had he been sitting there.
“You got that woman to dispense twelve thousand pounds for a date with David Gandy. Are you some type of hussie?” he eyed me playfully. The reminder of what had just happened made my eyes shift towards the corner of the stage, I could just make out David speaking to another man and sure enough Mildred was still by his side clutching his arm like an octopus and a winning smile on her face. I narrowed my eyes and turned my attention back to Hugh. “You’ll never know.” I responded with a big smile, keeping in tune with the light hearted conversation. They all laughed.
“We should bring her to all of these events, it really gets the blood pumping.” I heard the lady -whose name I just remembered as Laurel-say. She was a middle aged lady-maybe ten years or so younger than Margaret- with big hips and big hair. If I remembered correctly she told me earlier in evening that she was Italian. Examining her closely I could see it in her dark brown hair and olive skin tone.
Hugh chuckled and I smiled as well. If anything I had managed one thing, and I was gonna roll with it. They all thought I was just playing along for the sake of raising the stakes, well that was just fine with me, better than the alternative.
“Would you mind horribly if I steal this beautiful lady for a dance?” Hugh Addressed the two women, in what I assumed was his most charming smile and of course they giggled and nodded, clearly enchanted. I guess even older gals had a hard time resisting the charm.
“Thank you ladies.” Hugh said, then he stood and offered me his hand. I hesitated, then unable to stop myself, my eyes drifted in the direction where I had last seen David. He wasn’t there now, in fact he was no where to be seen. He is probably backstage with his new appendage sucking face you idiot. I was really beginning to hate that voice inside my head. Why would I need enemies with that snarky bitch in there.
Well I wasn’t going to sit around and feel sorry for myself and I most certainly wasn’t going to wait around for David to remember he came here with me. A part of me knew I was being bitchy and touchy for no good reason but I told that part to shut up. Right now I really just wanted to be mad not logical. I cleared my throat and let smile spread across my face. Placing my hand on Hugh’s I got to my feet, accepting his invitation.
“Well I loved to kind sir.” I mocked in a poor British accent, he laughed boyishly.
“You kids have fun.” Margaret waved.
Hugh led me to the dance floor where several couples were already swaying to the rhythm of the jazz band. It was a catchy beat, easy to dance to.
“So did I miss anything while I was gone?” He asked. I pursed my lips, mulling over what he was trying to get at. “No, nothing of interest.”
He chuckled but didn’t contest it. He turned me a few times, claiming a large part of the dance floor, as he moved us in wide, steps. I had a feeling he was slightly showing off with his dancing skills. I suppressed a laugh.
“So how do you know David by the way?” I really didn’t want to talk or think about David right now but i guess there was no way around it. I exhaled.
“We met in the plane on my way here. I sort of have a slight fear of flying and he kept me distracted.” Remembering how nice he’d been to me, a total stranger, made me feel a sudden warmth, I quickly cleared my throat and focused on my feet.
“I see, and you are just friends?” Oh boy that was a loaded question. I didn’t know what we were anymore. He’d tried to kiss me twice now, yet he’d also refused me twice, this was so confusing. Solving a complex mathematical equation seemed like cake compare to the task of trying to understand a man’s head. I was getting a migraine just by thinking about it. Besides David had a million and one choices when it came to prospects, number one being stick figure with puffy lips and low scruples, and I just had to suck it up and be ok with that fact. I smiled trying to convey a casual expression.
“Yes of course.” I said, but I sounded way too eager. I mentally rolled my eyes. “I mean, we hardly know each other.” I backpedaled playing it cool.
He nodded and I lowered my head feeling self conscious with this conversation, David and I were a very tricky subject.
“So have you given any thought to what I asked earlier, I mean it’s been almost..” He made a show out of looking at his watch. “..an hour, that’s about thirty minutes more than I had promised.” He teased. I laughed.
This was also a little complicated because I did like Hugh, he was very nice and charming and easy to talk to and probably everything any girl would want in a man. But I didn’t feel any kind of spark with him not like I did with…
“May I cut in.” David’s smooth voice cut into my thoughts as he materialized in front of us, sending my heart into cardiac arrest. He stood there just inches from us, with that calm demeanor he carried so well and those intense blue eyes that made me lose all train of thought.
Hugh hesitated for a second but then something clicked in his face and he smiled. “Of course.” he pressed a leisurely kiss on my hand. “I’ll see you soon Beautiful.” I smiled, feeling a little uncomfortable as he handed me over to David.
They acknowledged each other in passing the way guys do, with a quick nod.
David quickly turned his attention to me, folding his arm smoothly around my waist, securing me to him and causing my heart to do a couple of flips. I blinked a few times, feeling my stomach in knots. My reaction to this man was laughable.
“I cant leave you alone for five minutes lovely.” I scowled. “It was more like thirty minutes.” I corrected, trying to sound sardonic, but my shaky voice betrayed me. His eyes soften though and he smiled apologetically, I smiled back, unable to stop myself.
“I do believe you promised me a dance.” He uttered with a sexy grin lifting the side of his mouth. I smiled shyly, dropping my head, obviously smitten. God how did he do that, just completely disarm me like this. Before I had a chance to respond, the sweet entrancing melody of the music carried our bodies, like waves along the shiny dance floor. I felt as if I was gliding, hovering in the air as David moved us with ease to the rhythm of the song. I could dance with him forever.
“Do you know that you’re commanding the attention of the entire room lovely.” I let my eyes roam the room and sure enough, there were a lot of people looking at us. I flushed and closed my eyes, trying to clear my head. The first image was one i really didn’t care to have a repeat of, Mildred draped over David’s arm. I pressed my lips into a hard line.
“Well I’m here with none other than David Gandy, I guess that sparks a curiosity.” he narrowed his eyes dubiously. I had never referred to him by his full name, I was being condescending on purpose and he knew it.
Leaning forward he spoke close to my ear. “I don’t think that’s it lovely.” he drawled out in a near whisper and moved our bodies in tune with the music.
Just breathe Summer, just Breathe and say something. I decided to go on the offensive.
“It’s alright Hugh kept me company, he is a nice friend.” I said and put on my best nonchalant expression.
“Friend ha..I believe it took me quite a few days to earn that title, I feel offended.” he mused and a tiny smile tugged at the corner of my lips but I refused to let him charm me. I was determined to hold my own against the Charming Gandy.
“Well what can I say, I guess he’s just nicer.” I teased trying to keep my expression serious. He placed his hand over his chest, spreading his long, fingers.
“You wound me lovely, that’s not very nice.” he gave me a sad look but that infuriating smirk was still obvious on his lips.
I kept my chin high and my will strong. David swiveled me around and my dress flared around my legs, like flowing water. Then he brought me back against his chest, I gasped at the sudden impact of our bodies. My god he moved with such confidence, his body was manly, yet graceful and the way he held me was… it was well, I couldn’t put it into words but it made feel things I had never felt before. That seemed to just tick me off more though, because my body might be more than willing to be a servant to it’s hormones, but I certainly wasn’t.
“Well he was nice enough to keep me company, after all you were very busy with your future date.”
As soon as I said those words I regretted them. David’s eyes grew brighter and he smiled that mischievous smile of his, the one that held a secret understanding to what I was really saying.
“If I didn’t know better lovely, I’d say you’re jealous.” I rolled my eyes. “Good thing you know better then.” I retorted but it sounded defensive, like a child that got her candy taken away, well in this case it would be my Gandy. Ohhh the way my mind would wonder, astounded me.
David was a great dancer, I had to give him that. Was there anything this man couldn’t do.
“Lovely?” he said in a softer tone as he reached for my chin lifting it. He looked straight into my eyes.
“I’m glad you didn’t win that auction, as flattered as I was, it was just too much money.”
Glad? he was glad, I felt the blood drain from my face as the confirmation of what I had feared stunned me, it was worse than being flat out slapped across the face. That look I had seen in his face earlier, it really was because he didn’t want me to participate, he didn’t want me to win. I felt a tightening in my chest and stupid, irrational tears stinging my eyes. The image of Mildred’s arm draped over his and her body pinned to his side was all I could think about. That image was burnt into my corneas and I was surprised by the intensity of my jealousy, because that’s exactly what it was, I was jealous, intensely so. It was the only explanation there was for all of my erratic, crazy behavior. I’ve never been the jealous type at least I didn’t think I was, but now the ugly feeling was eating me alive, overwhelming my thoughts, and I didn’t know how to handle it.
I stopped moving and took a step back from David.
“I…I need some air.” Before he had a chance to say anything I slipped away quickly, needing the space and the oxygen to clear my thoughts.
I maneuvered my way through the crowd, finding the exit, the tightness on my chest was suffocating, it sliced deep creating an ugly knot in the pit of my stomach.
I pushed the doors leading out into the back of the hotel, it was quiet out here, and I noticed I wasn’t exactly out doors, it was just a roofless terrace but it would do. I could feel the fresh air and the sound of rippling water from the small fountain placed in the center of the circular terrace. I closed my eyes and breathed in the air and let the soothing flow of the falling water calm me.
“Summer, are you alright?” David’s velvety voice interrupted my thoughts, making my heart jump and those stupid butterflies to flap away in my stomach.
I didn’t want to talk to him not only because I wasn’t myself but also because I couldn’t bare to look at him and not lose it. I hated feeling so confused so out of control.
“I’m… not feeling well.” I opted to say, coward that I was. He came closer but I turned my body to the other side. “I’ll take you home.” His voice was soft and full of concern for me. I closed my eyes tight and breathed in deeply then turn to look at him.
“That’s ok.” I tried on a smile that felt forced. “I think i’ll ask Hugh if he can give me a ride back.” David examined my face, seeming slightly stunned with what I’d said, as if he couldn’t comprehend my words, I thought they were clear enough.
“Thats not necessary, I brought you here, I will take you back.” He said firmly keeping a steady gaze on me. I shook my head, feeling edgy and worked up. All I could think about when I looked at him was the fact that I had made a fool of myself, first by losing it in front of Mildred and saying the preposterous things I said about me and David. Then my impulsive, reckless bidding on him. which evidently he didn’t care for at all. His words replayed in my mind, cutting me, confirming that he indeed didn’t want me.
“I don’t want you to take me David.” I saw him slightly flinch at the tone of my voice. I sighed. “Look, you’re busy, this is your party and I’m more than capable of finding my way home.” I retorted walking past him but his hand shot out and grabbed mine before I could escape. I was acting like a petulant child I knew that, but anger was easier to handle, easier than this convoluted mix of emotions rolling uncomfortably inside of me.
David didn’t seem too affected though, he simply looked at me with a quizzical expression on his frustratingly handsome face. His calm demeanor only angered me more.
“What?..” I said throwing my free hand in the air. “I’m sure you have better things to do than babysit me, besides you have someone waiting to for you to keep her company?” oh god stop, just stop, my inner more reserved side was screaming at me to stop, but it was too late, the flood gate had opened and I was letting it all out. “So go, Mildred is waiting for you.”
A knowing smile tugged at his lips and his eyes shone brightly in the low lid terrace. He was laughing at me, seriously? I glared at him, feeling the blood rushing to my face and neck.
“Do you really believe I want to be anywhere near Mildred?” He questioned.
I turned to look at him.
“I don’t know what you want, but it’s was obvious that you didn’t mind her company, after all it was fine for her to win a date with you, but not for me right?” I fumed, turning away from him. The rational part of me was floating right outside of my body, shaking her head in shame, begging me to shut up, but it was too late, the gates had opened and I was spilling it all out. Obviously staying quiet was not exactly my strong suit. I didn’t give him a chance to answer though, I was on a roll. “Look I just don’t want to get in the way of anything, like I said I’m sure Hugh can take me home.”
His seemingly calm expression shifted at the mention of Hugh, his blue eyes turned steely, visibly upset now, well so was I.
“First of all, he is not taking you anywhere, I will. Second, do you know why I said what I said? about being glad that you didn’t win.” I folded my arms, stubbornly. I knew why he said it, for the same reason he hadn’t kissed me yesterday or today and the same reason he didn’t want me to win the auction. He just didn’t want me that way and I had only made a fool of myself by even contemplating the alternative.
“I said it because you don’t need to win anything, you don’t need to spend that kind of money on something that’s already…”
“It was my money to spend.” I interrupted. “Besides how was that any different than you spending $700 dollars-pounds, whatever on a ticket for me?” Silence.
He sighs and I close my eyes trying to reign my temper in.
“What is this really about lovely? he asked in a much lower tone. I didn’t know what to say, because i couldn’t say how i truly felt. I pursed my lips. “I know you said otherwise, but it does sound like you are in fact jealous.” he countered staring me down, daring me to deny it. I rolled my eyes, annoyed by the fact that he wasn’t wrong, I was as transparent as a glass slipper.
“That woman insulted me, called me a charity case. It’s not about jealousy David, it’s about the fact that there is something obviously going on between you two, because she wouldn’t stop insinuating it and she went above and beyond the acceptable level of ridiculous to make sure I knew it.” I snapped back, needing to gain some ground.
“There is absolutely-nothing-going-on-with-me-and-Mildred.” He said each word firmly and clearly, leaving no room for argument. I pressed my lips into a hard line.
“I’m truly sorry about the things she said to you. You’re not a charity case to me Summer.” His voice was softer now, and it rang with sincerity. I felt a pang of guilt in my chest. This wasn’t like me, this crazy behavior. I sighed, feeling the anger leave my body, replaced by a sudden longing.
“David, you don’t own me an explanation. We’re friends and I have no reason to be jealous.” I did manage to sound more like myself, the reluctant smile on my face was a lot harder to pull off though.
His eyes narrowed and there was a hardness to the edge of his jaw.
“You’re very quick to dismiss us as just friends.”
“We are- just friends.” I reaffirmed and it hurt to say the words, it hurt more than I wanted them to, but it was the truth, I really had no right what-so-ever to be angry with him. I knew from the very beginning how things were. He is David Gandy, he has women everywhere and he is my friend, I had to be ok with that and I had to fix all the damage I’d done tonight to salvage that friendship, I needed to.
“David, I…I shouldn’t have…” He was in front of me before I could finish my sentence, towering over me.
“Do you ever listen to anything I say… friends?” his nostrils flared and the tension rollling of his body was palpable. Lowering his gaze, he shook his head and rubbed his index finger and thumb along his jawline. I just stood there unable to speak, anything else I’d say would probably just make things worse. He fixed his eyes on me and let out a short, laugh.
“You know what, I obviously haven’t been sufficiently clear in my intentions. I was hoping we could speak tonight but I think we’re beyond conversation at this point.” I didn’t like the sound of that, had I pushed him too far, was our friendship irreparable? My heart started racing inside my chest. I couldn’t bare the thought of not having David at least as a friend, but I wouldn’t blame him after tonight if he didn’t. “So I’m just going to have to be extra clear and show you instead.”
Before I could comprehend what was happening, David’s lips were on mine and his hands held my face. He was kissing me. David was actually kissing me. My initial reaction was shock, I was frozen in place, stunned. Then the warm feeling and slight pressure of his lips disarmed me, and I completely melted into the kiss. His lips were soft yet firm as they moved against mines slowly working them open and caressing my tongue with his, an electric current shot through every fiber of my body reaching down to my toes. I moaned from the sheer pleasure of it. He tasted like the sweetest champagne with a slight hint of mint, it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. Instinctively I latched my arms around his neck- pulling myself up onto the tiptoe of my stilettos -clutching him to me and demanding more. Strong arms wrapped firmly around my waist melding our bodies together. The kiss turned fierce as David devoured my mouth, tasting every surface. He wasn’t just kissing me, he was owning me, setting every inch of me on fire. I had never been kissed this way before, and I was sure I would never be kissed this way again. The giant nest of butterflies I mentioned earlier was now exploding in my stomach, wreaking havoc to my senses. Every rational thought had gone out the window.
We were both gasping and breathless by the time he pulled back, my lips felt swollen and tingly and missed his. David rested his forehead against mine, and for the next few moments the only noise was that of our heavy breathing and the gentle fall of water from the fountain.
“I’ve been dying to do that since the moment you swooned at the sight of me on that Plane.” he said in a deep, uneven tone as his hands once again cradled my face. His eyes were bright and sensual, I was lost in their depths.
“I didn’t swoon.” I managed to say between short gasps. He chuckled low and throaty placing a soft-feather like kiss on my lips, I leaned into it and reached up to stroke his face softly. “I should have done it a long time ago.” he mused.