Man-eater (noun): a dominant woman who has many sexual partners.
Eva Thompson relaxed on one of the large chairs in the VIP airport lounge awaiting her flight back to New York from Atlanta. In a comfortable fit for travel, she wore a black graphic tee that read “QUEEN,” which she tied snug on the side of her waist, along with a pair of distressed mom jeans and fresh black Chucks. Her acrylic nails were still painted white from her friend Naomi’s wedding and her dark brown hair was secured in a tight bun. With a mostly bare face, she wore a natural color lipgloss.
Even with the informal appearance of her outfit and lack of makeup, Eva still looked anything but plain and on the small table beside her sat her drink of choice — a gin martini. A subtle smile on her face, Eva swiped through pictures of herself with her friends from Atlanta as she reminisced on the past week with them leading up to the wedding.
Eva’s fond memories were interrupted by a phone call from her sister Alexis.
“What’s up, sis?” she answered.
“Hey, how are you? How was your trip?”
“It was great! I’m so happy for Naomi! I mean, marriage isn’t my groove, but I still love going to weddings and seeing my friends celebrated as they deserve.”
“Oh, I know marriage isn’t your ‘groove.’ Eric still asks about you,” Alexis replied, a hint of disapproval in her tone.
“I can’t believe you still have him as your financial advisor...”
“And I can’t believe you rejected his proposal...”
“We were only dating for a year!” Eva whisper-yelled. It had been months since she rejected her now ex-boyfriend Eric’s marriage proposal, but her family still brought it up with her. “How the hell am I supposed to know that I want to spend my entire life with one, ONE man in that short of a time? Besides, we hadn’t even spent that much time together while we were dating. I was always in and out of New York.”
“People do it all the time. Your friend Naomi did it. And weren’t she and Sebastien Laurent long-distance for most of their relationship?”
“They were together for over a year. And yes, that’s great for her and all those other people. I can’t do that. Anyway, what’s up? I know you want something.”
“Damn,” Alexis groaned. “I can’t just check on my little sister?”
There was a long pause without Eva replying until she heard Alexis huff on the other side of the phone.
“Okay, I do need something,” Alexis confessed. “But I can’t talk about it over the phone. Can you please come over when you’re back?”
“I knew it,” Eva scoffed. “Fine... I’ll stop by tonight.”
“Please be here by eight! Thank you!” Alexis chimed before hanging up.
Eva shook her head and let out a deep sigh after getting off the phone with her sister. While they did have a positive relationship, ever since Alexis took over the family business — Thompson Luxe Group, a luxury goods holding company — most of their interactions had turned business-related with Eva providing counsel.
Eva was always a natural with the family business, but when the time came for her parents to retire, she refused to co-lead with Alexis. Growing up, Eva witnessed the type of stress her parents went through running Thompson Luxe and although she was happy to offer her input and guidance when she could, Eva didn’t like the idea of spending a good portion of her life under significant stress. She also knew that she didn’t have to since Alexis always dreamed of becoming CEO and had big ideas of her own for Thompson Luxe.
Just as Eva finished the final sip of her martini, another was placed on the table and she looked up at the server with a raised brow.
“From the gentleman over there,” he said, gesturing toward a man sitting at the bar of the lounge. He appeared to be in his mid- to late-thirties and looked over at Eva with a slight glimmer in his eyes.
She took the martini and held it up at him as if giving a toast while mouthing “thank you” before taking a sip of the drink. The stranger took her acceptance as an invitation and soon joined Eva at the chair next to hers.
“So, gin martini? That’s really your drink of choice?” he questioned skeptically as he settled in his seat.
“Why do you sound so surprised, mister...”
“Richards,” he replied. “Logan Richards. And no need to call me ‘mister.’”
“Well, Logan... Why are you so surprised that I like gin martinis?”
Logan was smirking while he unabashedly scanned over Eva as she got out her question and didn’t meet her eyes again until he was ready to answer.
“I’m not surprised, just intrigued.” He rested his elbows on his knees as he leaned in toward her.
Eva turned and looked at him with her chin on her knuckles and her eyes sharpened. She had a talent for reading people and as she measured him up, she took notice of his Brioni suit, freshly-cleaned Rolex, Salvatore Ferragamo oxfords, and Hermès tie. If she had to estimate the cost of everything he was wearing, she was sure it’d be north of $20,000. Analyzing his face, it was full of confidence. It was clear in his dark brown eyes that he was well aware that Eva was measuring him up and he was sure that her observations of him would be in his favor.
“So, what’s your read, beautiful?”
Eva let out an amused huff, unsurprised that he wanted to hear her first thoughts of him. “Let’s see... Businessman, probably in Atlanta for meetings and my guess is that you work in banking... investment banking to be exact. You can afford these very expensive brands that you’re wearing, but considering the mix, there’s no way you work in fashion or media. I also don’t take you as an athlete. And nothing about your demeanor says tech guy.”
“I’m impressed,” he said with a nod and pursed lips. “Also, a tad bit offended, but mostly impressed... So, what’s your name? And where are you off to?”
“It’s Eva,” she responded casually, relaxing back in her seat and stirring her martini. “I’m off to New York.”
“Eva... I like that name. So, are you traveling for business or pleasure?”
“You say that like the two must be mutually exclusive.”
“Ah, so Ms. Eva likes to mix her business with pleasure?”
“The two can go hand-in-hand if you’re creative enough—”
“Flight AA617 is now boarding... Flight AA617 is now boarding.”
She was interrupted by the announcement of her flight.
“Well, I guess that’s me— oops.” Eva’s phone fell as she stood from her seat and when she pretended to reach for it, Logan already picked it up for her. He turned the front of it toward her face and once the phone was unlocked, he put his number in it.
“Well, Ms. Eva... I tend to travel a lot, so I don’t see why we can’t cross paths again,” he said with a wink as he handed her phone to her.
She returned his gesture with a light sneer before she rolled her eyes and turned to walk away. “Someone’s an eager boy...”
Julian interpreted Eva’s words as a playful teasing when she was actually expressing her annoyance. He didn’t hide that he was staring at her backside the entire time she walked away, even with her loose-fitting jeans, he was able to admire her curvaceous form and the natural sway of her hips.
“Hey Ms. Eva,” he called before she was out of earshot. “You’re not the only one who can read people... take a look at my contact.”
Eva heard him, but kept walking anyway. It wasn’t until she knew he couldn’t see her anymore that she pulled up his contact details to delete his number. She paused when something in the notes caught her eye.
After seeing that one word, Eva hesitated and took a few seconds to weigh her options before ultimately deleting Julian’s number.