Forget Him, Not!
Landing at LAX, a rush hits me as I prepare to deplane, rental car! I am excited to be behind the wheels of a car, top-down, and open road. Well, some open road, it is LA and traffic can put a damper to one’s race car driver daydreams.
No subways or taxis for two days! The tree hugger in me loves cities with efficient public transportation. The pedal to the medal girl in me misses having this much power and control in the palm of my hands.
The wedding is being held at Shutters on the beach. It doesn’t get any more romantic than a sunset wedding and dancing in the moonlight as the sounds of ocean waves crash onto the shore.
Los Angeles is a place where you can make any of your dreams come true, you just need enough money to do so. I can not wait to get my feet into the sand. To allow the sun to kiss my body as I relax by the pool, finally able to put my bikini to use.
I have been too busy at work to make it out to the Hamptons or Jersey Shores to show off my bikini body, plus to me, if I am going to spend two hours traveling anywhere, it will be to Miami Beach, not the Jersey Shores. Although without sunlight against my skin I am more blinding to the eye than the honey olive I am used to being. Although summers in San Francisco don’t allow much bikini weather, it is a hop skip and jumps from LA, Cabo, or Maui. I am truly grateful for my fishnets to hide my lack of color tonight.
When I arrive at valet the pearly white teeth of wannabe actors working as valet to earn real money catches my eyes. All the men in LA are so hot. A hot guy at the wedding should not be too hard to find. My back up plan may be one of these yummy men.
I know that Rachel has a lot of events planned for us, as all these destination weddings tend to do, I, however, play hooky and attempt to give my legs a little more color by the pool. Grateful to escape the humidity as well. Enough amazing tan bodies are floating about to give me a little distraction from Jake. Yet I find myself appreciating Jake’s body more as I scan the poolside only to find a bunch of man-children. Jake is a man and aside from Tommy and Nate, he has one of the better bodies I have ever seen.
Like the women here in LA, these men are skinny and hungry or steroid ripped. Maybe I should have taken Mr. Leather’s number when I had the chance. This would be the perfect rendezvous for two old fuck buddies. Now, he was a man, and the purr of his motorcycle between my thighs as we cruise along the coastline would be so ideal at this moment.
Okay Val, stop with the wistfulness and stay focused. You are here to relax, get your shimmery olive bronze back, and find the perfect diversion from Jake.
The wedding itself is stunning. It is so regal, Rachel was such a hippy chic in college, majoring in Englis Literature, we had several classes together and she was a solid study buddy. I did not expect such a Hollywood wedding. Nor did I expect her to marry an agent. Grateful, however for his rather great looking group of guy friends.
Mr. Malibu catches my eyes as I am waiting to be ushered to my seat. Arriving in a black Escalade like so many of the guests here. His amazing Malibu beach tan intensified by his white linen suit, rather casual in an appropriate way. Emily Post says that it is okay to wear white to a wedding as long as you do not show up the bride. But what if you show up the groom? WOW! He is dashing. I am sure he is someone I am supposed to recognize, everyone here is someone, but I don’t nor do I want to.
I stick a good distance between us, flirting with my eyes and actions, yet not letting him get close enough for me to know him. This keeps him hunting for me throughout the rooms, a lesson from my new friend Angel who is determined to teach me how to flirt. I realize that even a short time in New York City, my patience for the small things is wearing thin but Angel says that patience is the key to making a man chase me. New Yorkers move fast and manage to get the point across, kindly, or bluntly.
Time to let Mr. Malibu catch up to me, I am over the chit chat about plastic surgery and how often they all run the steps in Santa Monica or hike Runyon Canyon. Boring conversations about the new crazes; botox and spinning. Sorry, Angel, my pussy is out of patience.
“Are you friends of the bride or groom?” His voice and question predictable.
Really? Is that the best he can come up with? I need to get him naked before he ruins the mood by speaking too much.
“Do you want to go somewhere and fuck?” I ask, very matter of factly.
“Well then, no small talk needed.” He goes to call his driver.
“I have a car here and am sober to drive. Where are we heading?”
After the Emily Post acceptable amount of hours one needs to remain at a wedding, Mr. Malibu and I sneak out of the wedding and head for my car. I am not sure what I am looking forward to more, his gorgeous body naked and next to me or driving my car in the open air. Racing up the coast to his Malibu home. Mr. Malibu starts us off with his hands massaging my clit as I drive. The thrill of an oncoming orgasm mixed with the power of a Shelby GT under my feet is exhilarating.
Just as Mr. Malibu replaces his fingers with his tongue, at PCH and Webb Way, a couple of young boys driving their parents Audi attempt to challenge me in a race. Mr. Malibu looks up from between my thighs and says, “please don’t take this wrong but do you mind if we switch seats so I can spank these boys.”
“I think spanking boys is more of my thing,” I respond, shoving his head back down between my thighs and putting my car in gear. With a wink at the green light, I dust the sweet little boys. Gods I miss the freedom of speed.
A moonlit night of sex on the beach, Jake who? I wish, as fun as this weekend is, I still miss him. SHIT!
Well, at least I have a few hours in the sun tomorrow before I fly home. And maybe Jake has gone back to Paris. If there is one thing I am learning, time does heal. And if there is one man that helps me forget all other men is Nate. Who amazingly always insists on picking me up and dropping me off at the airport whenever he can.
“After losing my mom, I cherish every moment I can with those I love.” His Nate way of saying, in case your plane crashes I want you to know I love you.
As often as I have caught his face as I walk through the double doors leading to the baggage carousel, my breath still catches. Now, this is a man. Nate is luscious and alluring at first sight. Then he smiles and everyone in the room disappears. Not because he is all you see but because I am his nucleus.
As he sweeps me into his arms and draws me as close to him as he can, his way of saying that he is so happy the plane didn’t crash. So much about Nate has changed for the better since his mom passed and he has been seeing his grief counselor. I see life within is cosmo clearer when I am with him. He takes the time to count every star.
It must be a Scores night because he is dressed in his sleek black suit. “Get Nate a few suits for his birthday,” a note to self. I want to distract myself and chill with him at work tonight but it’s a school night. Back to the office tomorrow morning, so I take a rain check.
“It is nice to see your California color back, you were getting blinding,” Nate teases as we cruise along the beltway towards Brooklyn Heights.
“Yeah, not all of us can bake in the sun all day and work all night.”
“The life you lead is the one you make, you too could be basking on the roof of my building with me.”
He is right though, in this day and age I could easily work from home or in this case the rooftop of Nate’s building.
“When I move to a guest editor’s position I will be right by your side toe to toe for who can have the best tan.”
“I am going to hold you to that.”
My darling, Nate. I feel like Scarlet O’Hara aching for her Ashley Wilkes. And for a moment, I have forgotten about my Rhett Butler.
“Someone had a great weekend!” Sylvia exclaims as she enters my office, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches for us both in hand. “Love the I have just been fucked royal mixed with the gorgeous tan look you are wearing!”
This Monday morning is back to speed. Not that last Monday after Jake was so bad. I was just left with a strong urge to run to the farthest ends of the earth to avoid tragic love. This Monday I am sun-kissed and perfectly fucked. Left to relish in my pleasure without worries of running into the hot dog that loved on my buns.
“Shhh...come in and close the door behind you before the entire office gets wind of all my business.”
“Looks like you left all of your business back in LA! Who was the lucky man?”
“Is that his name or the beauty contest he won?”
“It’s all I chose to know of his identity. His body, however, I got to know very well.”
“Well, I have a new appreciation for Parkour, never tried it myself but I do love the body it gave Mr. Malibu, as well as the strength and stamina.”
“And did Mr. Malibu manage to get Mr. Jake out of your mind?”
“Great body and good sex did not seem to work as an antidote to that one. I guess there is more to Jake then I bargained for.”
“At least you tried and had a great time trying. You can always go back to working too much and never spending any time in that amazing apartment of yours. Or, you can give in to Jake and, oh I dunno, give him a shot?”
“Enough about me, how was your weekend?”
“Nice move to dodge my question. Well, remember the boys from Bungalow 8?”
“Since you and Jake have inspired me a bit, I am letting Justin take me out. Let’s see what dating one of these good old boys is like.”
“Well, Ms. Sylvia, I declare, are you becoming a romantic?”
“Don’t get too excited, this is just date number one. I may call you if it looks like death by boredom is on the horizon.”
So as we laugh, gossip, and enjoy our morning ritual, my inability to shake Jake dissipates from the frontal lobe of my left side brain. It is nice to have a girlfriend that is on the same wavelength as me. Sometimes I think I suppressed so much of me that I am now just gripping who I am. All my friends went from college to their dream jobs and looking for their dream man. I am of course, guilty as charged. I can thank Benji and my family for helping with the dream job half. Is Tommy to be blamed or thanked for the dream man portion?
The morning flies by as I return phone calls and reply to my several hundred emails. The invention of email has done one thing for me, open my eyes to how much life people are missing out on. Over two-thirds of the back and forth is completely not important enough to occur over a weekend when we should be enjoying life. And who hits “reply all” with every response? Those people should be fired on the spot. They should write a code that when you hit reply all an alarm goes off. And if you still send them we should have the option to hit a “fire the spot” button versus a reply button.
Just after lunch, another bouquet of peonies arrives with a note,
Join me in the Hamptons this weekend
From Jake of course.
I decide to send him a response via e-mail, attempting to make it seem professional. “Thank you for the flowers and tempting invitation. Unfortunately, I have to work all weekend. Enjoy and party enough for us both.”
“Does this mean Jake is back? Maybe he never left? Where has he been? Maybe he spent last week with another woman?” My mind fills with questions rapidly. “No, no, no, this is not good. Focus!”
“Oh come on Valentina, aren’t you the preacher of work isn’t allowed on weekends?” He responded immediately, “I am starting to think that you are avoiding me. Here I thought our last encounter was the kind that swept women off their feet. Instead, it has you sweeping me off your steps.”
“How dare he accuse me of avoiding him when he is the one that went radio silence.” Talking to myself again, ”yeah but you asked him to respect your space.”
I am even a smartass to myself, I need to work on that sarcasm.
“I can take a hint. But as I said before, I am determined.”
Something tells me that what is meant to discourage Jake will only up the stakes for him. I will surely receive his next stunt soon and it will most likely sweep me straight to La-La land.
Jake manages to not send any surprises for the rest of the week. A part of me is grateful because it makes my senseless attempt at shaking him easier, the other part of me is sad. After all, I worry that I may be playing too hard to get. Working the weekend is far from a lame excuse, it is honestly a necessity. My IT group manages to send me a new punch list Friday afternoon. As much as I appreciate these guys, just because they have no social life doesn’t mean we don’t get one too. I force Sylvia to enjoy her weekend and offer to work Saturday.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday, as I was about to throw in the towel and give my computer and I some distance from one another, a delivery shows up. A picnic basket with a note
Please take me to 18 East 83rd and tell the doorman you have a delivery for Jake
On the back of the card.
p.s. I am away from any form of communication so if you are answering me with a ‘no’, you will have to do so in person. Please hurry, I am starving!
Annoyingly brilliant, and as expected, he took things up a notch. It doesn’t help my cause that it tickles me pink that he has done so. How many times do you see a scenario in your mind that never happens? With Jake, it happens way better than my imagination could ever daydream.
Upon arrival, the doorman escorts me to the penthouse where I find Jake standing in the center of a rooftop garden, with several vases of peonies to add to the already intoxicating aromas that greet my nose. Yup, kicking it up several notches I would say. This is more along the lines of Nicholas Sparks’ imagination than mine. Soon Nicholas will be writing a crazy romantic novel about a silly girl that finds true love in Manhattan. As we all know, all his books have some catch that keeps the lovers apart. The only thing keeping Jake and I apart is me.
“Wow!” I exclaim as I walk around the very large roof-top garden.
“You like the view?”
“Did you rob a bank since I saw you last or is your place in Brooklyn just where you slum?”
“It belongs to a client of mine, he is in the Hamptons and offered me his place since we turned down his invitation to join him out there.”
“What is it that you do again that your client has the entire top floor of a building as their home, owing you favors?”
“Come here, you have to see the view from this corner of the roof.”
“Nice try!” I stand my ground, “I am not moving from this spot until you answer my question!”
“Sir,” saved by the butler, “your picnic lunch is all set up. If you will please follow me.”
Not wanting to make a scene in front of this perfectly nice stranger, I follow. Jake pulls out my chair and assists me in my seat. His chivalry is impeccable. The most beautiful and thoughtful meal is laid out before us.
“Is that Cioppino in a sourdough bread bowl and Crab Louis?”
“And for dessert, Ghiradelli chocolate. I almost included Dungeness Crab legs but thought that may be going overboard.”
“Did you cook all of this?”
“All but the bread bowls, Boudins shipped them overnight to me.”
“Please tell me you are kidding.”
“Nope, I even have extra for you to take home. I know how much you love your carbs. Everything here is to make you feel at home. Except for the wine. I believe we both agree that European wines are the only way to go. Let’s eat before our Cioppino gets cold and Crab Louis wilts.”
“Well I hate to disappoint you, but I am allergic to seafood. So unless you plan on a night in the ER?”
“Please tell me you are kidding?”
I couldn’t hold in the laughter after seeing the look of distress on his face.
“That is so uncool.”
“So is you consistently going over the top like this. It’s not playing fair.”
“I told you V, I will do whatever it takes to win you.”
“I know, but is this the real you?”
“Yes, this is the real me!”
On cue, the butler returns with Martinis. With a silent toast and nice gulp of my delicious dirty martini, I directed my attention to the beautifully set table. Food is one of the many ways I destress, along with the perfect martini. After we finish our martinis, the butler shows up with a bottle of wine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.
“French of course, how predictable.” I can feel the stress leave with every bite or sip. It is easy to be distracted by the multitude of flavors through a great meal. It’s a good thing I love to run as much as I love to eat.
“It is truly a treat to watch you eat, you make every bite so sensual.” I blush to realize I have an audience. “What I would give to be that Cioppino, the way you savor each spoonful. To have you enjoy the way I taste.”
“As my mouth recalls the taste of you…” I trail off as our butler returns to refill our wine.
“Well, my mouth misses the taste of you.” Jake picks up our conversation where we left off once the Butler walks away and his fingers lead my chin to his allowing his lips to explore mine.
How is it that I can get so lost his kiss? His sensation lingers on my lips even after he pulls away.
“Keep your eyes closed and open your mouth,” Jake commands.
From the seduction of his kiss I am left without control, I respond, following his instructions. Jake proceeds to feed me. Transitioning methodically and gracefully between bites of Crab Louis to a spoonful of Cioppino followed by sourdough bread soaked in broth.
I can sense him watching my movement and getting turned on by the pleasure this stirs in me. Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger have met their match. This is now my new sexy food scene my mind will access during alone time play. He even manages my wine without spilling a drop, the crisp refreshing coolness of the wine paints ease down my throat. His lips now back on mine. Punishing my mouth with playful madness. Not ever wanting our lips to part.
This time as he pulls away, I am grateful he is holding me up by my chin. Because every muscle in my body has relaxed to the point of tendering. If he were to let go of my chin my face would hit the floor. His eyes dare to dance in triumph. And why not, he has won me over completely.
“Sir, will you need anything else from me today.”
“No Charles, I think I can handle it from here.” Thankful for our sweet butler, yet grateful to be without an audience.
Once Charles leaves us, Jake and I clear the table and wash the dishes. Grateful for the break from our intensity. Sylvia will approve of his efforts to wine and dine me before bedding me. This domesticated moment with Jake feels easy, too easy.
But before I could put too much thought of it, he puts his hands up my shirt. My mind immediately stops thinking and I am once again on autopilot, responding to his every move. Gods I love this man behind me. I lean against his body, completely letting go of muscle control, I allow his body to absorb mine. For his kisses to wash away the stress of my week and take me to bliss.
The feel of his eagerness to excite me with the fantasy of all the ways we will play. His hands explored my body erotically. Not knowing where his touch starts or ends, leaving traces of pleasure as his hands moved about. Every kiss is erotic as Gustav Klimt’s Frau bei der Selbstbefriedigung. He the artist and I am his muse. I allow him full creative control, giving in an trusting him fully.
After a passionate night, Jake falls fast asleep. I sneak out so that I could cleanse the night in my cozy shower. I am still not ready to spend the night with Jake. Already I curse myself for taking such pleasure with him on a weekend where I am determined to avoid him.
I manage to hold myself up in my apartment Sunday to catch up on books I have been meaning to read and avoid running into Jake. Monday morning I head to work before the sun could rise. I am in no mood today to partake in elevator conversations. Avoiding Kristie’s update on her uncircumcised relationship or Angel’s miscellaneous weekend lover. Mostly not wanting to reveal my amazing Saturday with Jake. It is bad enough that I can’t get the memory out of my head, I do not need to repeat it to another soul. It makes it easier to pretend that nothing happened.
Sylvia knows me well enough that if my door is shut upon her arrival to please leave me be until I arise from my cave mood or if there is an emergency. So she startled me when she swung my door open.
“So sorry, it isn’t easy opening your door whilst holding a large package.” Sylvia apologizes as she hands me a beautifully wrapped and large box.
“Who is it from?”
“I have a feeling that someone saw Romeo this weekend?” Sylvia teases.
I open the box and as I pull out a beautiful bag, Sylvia squeals, “oh it’s a mini-break bag!”
“Oh, Valentina you do need to get out more. It’s an overnight bag, perfect for taking on a mini-break.” Sylvia is practically jumping up and down and clapping.
“This is so romantic, straight out of a romance novel. What does the note say?” I know that I should be as excited as Sylvia but I am freaking out.
If you are to work for a magazine that reports on travel, it’s time you took a trip. Pack for a weekend adventure, I am taking you away. You will need your passport.
Signed xx J
“Sylvia please send this back with a note saying ‘thank you but I can’t!’ as kindly as you can.”
“Don’t be silly, yes you can. And you will. Who gets chances like this? To be courted by an amazingly handsome and fabulous man?”
“It’s too much!”
“It’s what you deserve!” Sylvia pushes the bag back into my hands.
“There is a shopping list that should give you a hint to where he is taking you. Which means he has already booked the flights. I know how much you hate waste, you west coast recycle-happy weirdos. So you have to go, waste not, want not.”
“Sylvia you are too smart and cheeky to be my assistant.”
“That’s why you will bring me back a souvenir. Preferably jewelry or something in a size 6.” She winks and shows herself out.
Before I could sit down to email Jake, a message pops up on my inbox.
“Remember what happened when you turned down my Hampton invitation. Please don’t tempt me to go bigger on this. Say ‘yes’ to my offer to take you away. If after an amazing getaway you insist on still keeping me at arm’s length, I promise to leave you alone and let you set our pace to what is most comfortable with you.”
My reply, “yes.”