When I was done with the bedroom and came downstairs, he was in the kitchen. He was walking between the sink and kitchen island, making what looked like to be a mighty delicious sandwich. He was talking in a low tone on his phone, but stopped and looked up when he became aware of my presence.
“Hi,” he greeted me with a shy smile and a red blush, hanging up the phone. “I made you lunch.” He gestured one plate, before scratching the back of his neck, in a nervous manner, once again flexing his muscles. “If you’re – you know… Not too busy…”
“For food? NEVER!” I exclaimed and practically ran to the island. Now, don’t judge--- ok do! Because, let’s be honest: a normal human being would be cautious about accepting food – or anything for that matter! – from strangers. But not only was I so hungry at this point I didn’t care if it was poisoned, but there was also this strange--- pull I felt toward him. By just looking at him, I knew he was harmless, and I could trust him.
Strange, I agree, but that’s what it felt like nonetheless…
He flashed me a generous smile, that only made him look a million times hotter, and even behind the brown lenses, I notice his red eyes light up like a Christmas tree.
“I’m Lexi, by the way!” I said and stuck out my hand for him to shake. “Lexi Smith.”
“Landon Stone,” he replied, taking my hand in a firm grip. “And I’m very…”
“Stone?!” I instantly cut him off, embarrassed that I sound like a total fan-girl. “As in Stone Pharmaceutical’s?!”
“That would be my Dad,” he explained in a modest and humble tone--- the exact opposite from all the other daddy’s-money-play-boy millionaires I’d ever met (And yes, I’ve met a few! I worked cleaning penthouses, and apparently everyone thought that all the maid wanted was to jump their bone!) “I’m-I’m just running the company while he’s--- doing other things...?” he trailed off his words, sounding like he just realized, he was about to spill a secret that wasn’t his to spill. “Am I facing any sexual harassment lawsuits?” he instead blurted out, looking at me again.
“Trust me,” I grinned. “In your case, it wouldn’t be harassment!”
He looked away and smiled again while blushing equally as much as before. I couldn’t help but smile. Yeah, he was sort of awkward and shy, and he had a sort of kindness about him that made me think of him more of a child than a grown man. But there was also something else. Something unseen. I couldn’t explain it, but something told me that you didn’t get to live, crossing him the wrong way…
Strange. My sense of people had always been good. I could always tell about a character, just by looking at him. With Landon, however… I don’t know! My brain, eyes, and everything in between, was telling me he was completely harmless. Yet, my gut told me to be wary of him.
So, I asked myself. Why am I here having lunch with him instead of running away?
Truth was, that my gut was also telling me, that he wouldn’t hurt me. That I was safe--- Or perhaps my gut needed some food to think properly?
I pushed away my internal discussion and settled for looking at him, making another sandwich--- and that made me wonder if he’d ever done this with Amy…
And that’s, ladies and gentlemen! Is how the Dark Green Monster appeared…!
“You do this often?” I asked, unable to control myself. The jealously was burning inside my chest, ready to strike anyone who’s ever sat here before. He looked at me in question, raising his eyebrow slightly. “Do you often take girls to your apartment and make them lunch!”
“No,” he grinned--- making me instantly relax. “I work mostly and I--- I don’t date. Much… Ever actually.” I nodded, offering him a smile, that he seemed to appreciate. Sure, that wasn’t weird at all, I mentally slapped myself, when I realized what I’d just said. It was none of my business if he’d had girls here or not! It’s not like he was my boyfriend or anything – heck, I’m his maid!
Pull yourself together, Lexi! I scolded myself. Desperate, I looked around, seeing if there was anything, I could make conversation of. I noticed a greenhouse just outside the living room window. Considering this was the penthouse floor, it was actually really big and looked almost like a garden, high above the city.
“Nice garden,” I nodded towards the greenhouse.
“Thanks,” he grinned, and I could see his eyes light up. I don’t know if I was able to hide my surprise. OM***! His passion was flowers? Seriously?! But once he continued, it all made sense: “And it’s not really a garden, it’s an herbal greenhouse,” he explained, looking at me. “Most of what we make here starts in that ‘garden’.”
“Really?!” I said--- hoping I didn’t sound like a total idiot. “You don’t strike me as a botanist.”
“It’s more like a hobby really,” he confessed with an honest smile. A smile that could melt rocks, I might add. “I mean, I run the business and all, but my true passion is medicine…”
“Of course, it is,” I muttered under my breath and mentally rolled my eyes. He just had to be a saint as well! No way that a guy like that could ever see anything in a girl like me--- Oh! Hold your--- WHAT?!
I shook my head. Where did that come from?! Sure, he was hot and kind and considerate and… well, practically flawless! But I’d never been the person to… you know! It was to shallow! Superficial! And I wasn’t… I mean, sure it wasn’t just his looks, but that was beside the point, because… Because…?
Wait--- what am I talking about again?!
Confused, I shook those thoughts out of my head and took a bite out of the sandwich. And momma! If this was poisoned, I’d die happy. It tasted divine and I couldn’t contain a moan that left my mouth.
“Oh, mush and momma, this is so good,” I murmured, taking another bite.
“I take it it’s for your liking?” he asked before he offered me something to drink. I settled for a cup of orange juice.
“And it’s divine,” I told him honestly. “Who taught you how to cook?”
“I don’t think making a sandwich is considered cooking,” he said and blushed like he always did when he talked about himself. “But-but trust me, you’ve tasted nothing until you’ve tasted Grand Sally’s homemade lamb. She’s a goddess in the kitchen.”
He kissed the tip of his fingers, before folding them out in an explosion like motions like I’d seen French chefs do before.
“Grand Sally?” I asked while smiling at his joke.
“My Grandmother,” he explained. “We all just call her Grand Sally or Aunt Sally. She helped raised my Dad and trust me, you haven’t met wrath until you’re late for her Sunday dinner.”
I nodded--- and tried for anything I found holy NOT to drop my jaw. Oh my GOSLING! He’s a family guy? And talks to his grandmother?! What was he? A magazine cut out?!
“Ok, let me get this straight,” I asked, leaning over the table and eyed him suspiciously. “You’re hot, you’re nice, you cook, you’re smart and you’re rich? Where’s the misses?”
“Who?” he asked, staring at me in what looked like shock or fear.
“You’re wife?” I deadpanned. “Or fiancé or whatever you call it…”
“I-I…,” he shook his head, nervously scratching the back of his head again and laughed – still nervous. “I’m-I’m not engaged. Or-or otherwise… Occupied.”
My eyes went wide. Was this guy for real?!
“Really?” I asked again and he – again! – nodded. Surprised by myself, I was really relieved to hear that. In real life, there was a snowball’s chance in hell that a guy like this could even exist! And somehow, I’d run into him?
I was just about to cross-interrogate him more--- when I finally remembered my manners!
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I exclaimed, feeling a hot red blush rise to my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to attack you like that, it-it’s just…” I stuttered like an idiot and gulped. “You’re the nicest rich guy I’ve ever met.”
He seemed to eye me for a second – like he was having a conversation with someone else--- Which is crazy talk! Lexi, you got to get over how hot this guy is and get a hold of yourself!
“You’ve---erm…,” he suddenly said carefully, tilting his head a bit. “You’ve met a lot of--- rich guys?”
“I clean penthouses for a living,” I replied in a duh-like tone and flashed him a confident grin. “And I’ve only met one, who made me lunch.”
Somehow that made him smile. And I don’t mean that shy thing he did, that was totally adorable… I mean he flashed me that smile. That ‘Colgate commercial, making my heart jump out of my chest’-smile…
Yep! Definitely going to need some confessing after this…
“I-I hope you won’t get into any trouble because of this,” he stuttered, shaking off his smile and returning his gaze to me, full of concern.
“Nah,” I shrugged it off. “Edna can be a bitch, sure, but it’s not like she’ll fire me or anything. I’m her best girl.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” he smiled.
“Hey, don’t get me wrong,” I added – you know: for a ‘just in case he misunderstood me’-scenario: “I’m only doing this until I can earn enough money to go to college.”
“And do what?” he asked almost expectantly. Instantly his expression changed, and he asked in an almost frightened tone: “Did that come out wrong?”
“No,” I replied, getting used to his awkward self and the way he remained nervous about every little thing. I think he was just overthinking everything and overanalyzing. Too smart for his own good…, I concluded and continued: “It’s just not normal for a guy to be genially interested in me.”
“Why not? You’re gorgeous,” he instantly replied.
Now it was my turn to be surprised. Yeah, sure! I mean I’d gotten compliments before… You know: “You’re gorgeous! Wanna see my bedroom?” Yeah, that type of compliments, I was used to! But this guy…! He--- he… erm… I-I think he meant it…!
“That was more straight forward than I intended,” he quickly breathed, a pink blush rushed across his cheeks. “I’m sorry!”
I couldn’t help but smile. I mean… I don’t know what I mean actually, but I liked him! I couldn’t explain what was going on inside me or why I felt like this, but something about him just made me feel--- like this is the place I was supposed to be…
“Don’t apologize for complimenting a girl,” I replied, before – just to tease him! – quickly added: “Or do you perhaps what to take it back? Before you do, remember I also change your towels! You’ll never know what you’ll find in there in the future.”
He flashed me again that amazing grin.
“No, I meant it,” he said, and his red/brown eyes found mine. “I just don’t know if it was appreciated…”
“Who cares,” I joked. “You think I’m gorgeous? When’s our next date?”
“I’m free on Wednesday,” he replied – to a very, very stunned me.
“Huh?” I breathed, unable to make a coherent sentence. “I-I was…”
Because let’s face it! Guys like him, don’t date girls like me!
I mean, sure, I’m not horrible looking: dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and just about the size of an imp! My assets were non-existing, making me look more like a Chinese boy than a girl, although Amy had once said, that she’d kill to have an ‘ass like that’!
“Oh you---!” he gasped as his face lit up with red when he realized. “You were joking?”
“Yeah! I mean…” I frowned, not really knowing what I was going--- because I really, REALLY, wanted to go out on a date with him! He was fudging gorgeous! “You’re so hot, you can practically get any girl in town, why-why would you want to spend time with me?”
“Because you smell nice,” was his short reply.
I’d opened my mouth to reply when I realized what he said.
I smelled nice?!
I did not just confess that!
But she did! She smelled so amazing, both my beasts were howling and fighting for control to get to her. One of the reasons why I’d been stuttering and acting like an idiot all morning: two-thirds of my brain were constantly undressing her!
Not that the remaining third of my brain wasn’t interested. She was stunning! She was about average height – I think--- I’m 6”10 so most people are short compared to me – but her body is perfect in my eyes. My eyes keep traveling to the low cut in her uniform, showing off the soft top of her curves. Her dirty blond hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, showing off her perfectly oval-shaped face. Her piercing blue eyes made my heart flutter as she had bewitched it. Every time she smiled, they lit up, leaving me breathless. Wondering how this goddess of a woman still was in my kitchen. Because let’s face it: I’m not what you call “a natural flirt”. I see a girl and I’m scared white! Or whiter, taking into consideration I’d inherit my father’s pale-vampire complexion.
Goddess, she must think I’m such an idiot…
“I-I mean…,” I stutter on, franticly searching my mind for anything that can get me out of this situation. Oh, what the shit do I say to get out of this one?! “You-you seem nice!” I say in the end. She nods carefully, but her eyes remain skeptic. Well, I think it was a good save---!
I sigh and shake my head.
Get real, Landon! I scold myself and say what I should have said a long time ago: “If you want to leave and forget you ever met me, that’s fine too,” I lie to the best of my abilities.
Because I was never going to let Lexi Smith walk out of my life!
Just the thought of her leaving made my wolf growl furiously and my blood boil. My gums were hurting from keeping my fangs at bay. All I wanted to do, was to jump across the table, sink them into her gorgeous neck and claim her…
Wait--- what? Claim her?! Where did that come from? What…?!
“I mean,” I tried to shake off my confusing thoughts and somehow gather them back into something coherent. “You just met me, and I face planted the floor. I-I don’t think there’s a lot of girls out there who can claim they have that effect on men.”
I nervously laughed at my own joke. Oh, goddess why was I so awkward?
But to my relief, she laughed. Not forced or just some pressed air between her teeth, but full-blown laughter, that made her eyes sparkle and her beautiful smile reveal she had a dimple on the right side of her cheek. I felt my wolf happily wag his tail--- and if I was being honest: I’d be wagging mine too if I had one in human form!
“No, a date sounds nice,” she beams at me. “But only if you cook.”
I feel bewildered. And happy. And terrified… but I couldn’t stop smiling! Did she--- did she really agree to go on a date with me?
“It’s a date,” I replied, unable to stop the smile that takes over my whole body and I feel myself soaring on cloud nine.