Valentine’s Day. The one day out of the year that women go nuts over and men go broke for. I don’t understand the hype. I may be single and correct me if I’m wrong, but if you really love someone shouldn’t you make it a point to show them every day and if you do, why do you need a holiday for it? The whole thing just seems pointless to me. Most people blame my way of thinking on the fact that I seem to be terminally unavailable.
I wasn’t always this way, I just have bigger priorities than love right now. Besides, in today’s world people don’t really go for women like me. You know, women of the heavier variety. I have been with two men and both of them moved on to other things. It wasn’t all negative because I gained my son through the first. Elijah is my number one priority and my hotel is second only to him. He is the reason I live and breathe, and the hotel is what keeps me on my toes.
“Come on Lexi. You never go out, let alone date. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for it,” Clare argued.
“I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day Clare, you know that.”
“I just thought maybe if you had someone to celebrate with you would change your mind.”
“I have all I need. A handsome, green-eyed angel by the name of Elijah.”
Did she just roll her eyes at me? Yes, she did. Clare has always been the type of female to go crazy over the holiday. Her husband John never disappoints her either. Every year he plans these overzealous and extravagant dates for her. The difference between John and most men is that he is head over heels in love with Clare and he goes out of his way to show her every day, with even the smallest of gestures.
“I meant with a man who has been through puberty.”
“Aunt Clare!” Elijah exclaimed.
“Sorry little dude. “
Elijah decided that Clare’s words were too embarrassing, gathered his school books and walked back to my office. Being a single parent wasn’t just taxing on me, it was stressful on him too. I can’t afford after school care so that leaves him forced to spend about an hour or two with me at work. He didn’t seem to mind it too much though. After his homework is done, he tends to go into the office and play on the computer.
“Great job, Clare. You scared my date away,” I teased.
“Oh please, he’s young. He’ll forget what I said before the computer finishes booting up.”
I probably shouldn’t have laughed, but Elijah did seem to be incapable of holding a grudge. I consider myself extremely blessed to have a child that rarely throws a tantrum. He even came out of the womb sleeping through the night.
“Are you sure you don’t want to meet Ty? He’s a good man.”
I love her for trying, but why can’t she understand that I will not put myself in that kind of situation again? She wouldn’t understand because she has always been beautiful, and the men have always been attracted to her. Me, I’m the type of girl that the guys either ignore or use for one night and then deny it later. Yes, that has actually happened to me, except when he didn’t get what he wanted, he decided to tell everyone in school that he did have sex with me and proceeded to fill in the gaps with derogatory remarks about my figure.
It was through that incident that I met Elijah’s father, Vince. Vince had won me over when he defended my honor by kicking the jerk’s ass. My high-school self had become instantly infatuated with Vince from that moment on and he had appeared to reciprocate it. Man did he make me feel like I was the only girl in the world. He always gave me the flower arrangements he made in his floriculture class and he showered me with affection. I just didn’t know that he had been showering other girls with the same affections. If you had asked me then I would have told you that I was in love with him and it would have been true. A part of me probably always will because we share a child, but there are ugly parts of our history that had driven me into years of therapy. He broke me and I don’t think I will ever trust a man enough to be intimate with one again.
“I’m good. Elijah and I are going to spend the evening together with a bag of popcorn and Netflix.”
“Ok. I tried,” she sighed before she leaned in to hug me.
Clare is my best friend. She has been since I hired her. She is loud, obnoxious, funny, and outgoing. In other words, she is the polar opposite of me. Everything about her is my opposite. From her sandy-blonde hair and her big, chestnut-colored eyes. She was sex in heels and men and women alike would stop to appreciate the view. Clare has always been a lover of all people, men and women. Most men fantasize about having multiple women in their beds and I know for a fact that Clare had given her husband just that, two birthdays ago. What I wouldn’t give to have the confidence to do something like that.
“Hey Mom! It’s five. Can we go home now?”
Elijah’s voice followed by a loud crash stole my attention. I turned around and found him face down on the floor, his books scattered throughout the lobby.
“Elijah are you ok?”
He pulled himself up to his knees before he nodded. I can see that he’s embarrassed. It’s always embarrassing to fall in public.
“We can go as soon as Jake gets here, ok?”
He said nothing, just nodded as he fought back the tears. The fall had hurt him, but he was too proud to show it. That’s my boy.
“Let’s get your books up.”
I begin gathering his books from the floor. Thankfully the lobby is empty. I’m sure it wouldn’t make a great first impression for the owner to be on her knees, on the lobby floor, with her butt half hanging out of her skirt.
“I’m missing my Social Studies book. Do you see it anywhere?”
My knees are already hurting from crawling around the marble flooring, but I sit on them and scan the expanse of the lobby for his missing book. There it is in front of the elevator. I begin the climb to my feet and a quick snap sent me barreling back to the floor, landing flat on my left knee.
“Shit, that hurt!”
“Allow me,” said an unfamiliar voice, followed by the hand of a stranger on my arm, helping me to my feet.
Here, standing in my lobby was the sexiest man I had ever seen, and he hasn’t removed his hand from my arm. Oh, no you don’t, Lexi Kincaid. Men like him will only bring you pain!
I pull my arm from his grasp as gently as I could. I didn’t want to pull too hard and offend him after he had just helped me, but his hand on my arm was too distracting.
“I-uh- thank you,” I said as I offered the stranger my hand.
“No problem. I believe this is yours,” he addressed Elijah as he held out the book I had been trying to get.
“Sweet. Thanks,” Elijah sighed.
My eyes roamed the stranger’s figure, taking note of every tattoo and bulge in sight, memorizing their exact locations. I was so going to be ringing the bell to his image tonight, of that I could be sure.
“My name’s Troy. I have a reservation.”
Oh duh! Snap out of it dummy.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m Lexi. I’m the owner. Let me hop behind the counter and I’ll get you settled in.”
My broken heel left me walking with a limp. As soon as I was safely behind the counter, I kicked them off. I was embarrassed enough and I’m not going to continue the embarrassment by walking like a hobbit.
“Ok, your last name Troy?”
He smiled, “Wilson. Troy Wilson.”
“Right. I found you. I just need your I.D. and credit card, please.”
The ripple of his chest as he fished in his back pocket for his wallet was enough to make me blush. I can see images of him underneath me, with those muscles contracting as I rode him.
His voice draws my attention back to him. I have got to stop doing that!
“Oh, I’m fine. Thank you. Just a little dazed,” I said, trying to brush off my inattentiveness.
I accepted his identification and credit card and began to enter his information into the computer. There at the bottom of the screen, in the little box titled, reservation notes, was enough information to put a damper on my infatuation. Jake’s brother. No way!
“You’re Jake’s brother?” The sound of my disbelief could be heard clearly in my voice and it drew a small laugh from his full lips. Those luscious, kissable lips.
“Yea, Jake’s my little brother.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to come off as rude. It’s just, you don’t look anything alike.”
He nodded, “We get that a lot. He looks like our Mother and I take after our Father.”
“He lies. He takes after the milk man,” Jake’s voice cut in.
Sneaky devil, I didn’t hear him come in.
Jake strutted himself over to the counter and rounded on Troy, “Don’t you even think about it. My Lexi here is off limits. She’s too good hearted for the likes of you anyway.”
That was the sweetest thing Jake had ever said about me. He’s a great employee and a dear friend to me too, but he usually comes across as bitchy on his finest days.
“Oh, please. You wouldn’t know what to do with a woman so why bother laying claim to one?” Troy replied.
“Just because I like dick doesn’t mean I can’t look out for my coochie toting friends.”
Coochie toting friend? Who says that?
“Really Jake. Really?”
“Ok. Ok,” Jake exclaimed as he dramatically waved his hands in the air. His wink told me that he’s was giving his brother a hard time. I fight back a chuckle. Jake has always been a character.
I turned my attention back to his brother, handing over the registration card for him to sign and the keys to his room.
“Alright, I just need your initials by the arrival and departure dates and your signature at the bottom, after you read the incidentals policy. Your room is on the fourth floor and the elevator is right behind you. We have a free breakfast in the morning, it begins at seven and ends at ten.”
He scribbled his signature on the line and passed the registration back to me. He turned to leave and quickly turned back.
“Would you like to have dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Do what? Did this sexy ass man just ask me to dinner? No way in hell would I eat in front of him!
“I’m flattered, but I don’t date guests. It doesn’t look very professional.”
There I said it with a straight face.
“Meaning she doesn’t date at all. You would have trouble just knocking the cobwebs off that thang,” Jake cut in.
“JAKE!” both Troy and I yelled simultaneously.
Troy gave me a look of apology for his Jake’s comment, “Maybe some other time then?”
I know I’ll never go through with it, but I don’t want to offend him, so I settle for, “I’ll think about it.”
I watch in stunned silence as he turned away and headed for the elevator, offering me a sly smile as he pushed the button for the fourth floor.
art writing here…