“Everett?” The excitement in his assistant’s voice rings in his ears.
“What did you find, Macon?” He takes off his wire-framed reading glasses as he moves over to Macon’s side. Macon points to his computer screen which shows a profile picture of a beautiful woman with golden hair on a dating site. “Wow.” Everett feels disappointed as he puts his glasses back on to go back to writing. “I thought you were working, not looking for a date.”
“I am working.” Macon smiles toward him as a door closing echoes from the other room. “Jace gave me the assignment to find you a wife.”
“Dad!” Everett yells. An older man in a suit enters the room moments later. “I thought we were trying to finish this research by the end of the month. Why are you telling Macon to find me a wife?”
“You work too hard son, and I am getting old. I need grandchildren before I die.” Jace takes off his suit jacket and neatly lays it on the metal table. “The presentation went well, thanks for asking.”
Macon smiles as he watches the annoyed expression on Everett’s face. “Hey, how about this one?” He turns his computer screen toward Everett, so that the beautiful red head can be seen.
“Macon.” Everett briefly looks at him and shakes his head. “Work on the data calculations.”
“Yes sir, Dr. Blaskin.” Macon shrugs at the older Dr. Blaskin before he turns the screen back toward himself and begins his typical work.
“It wouldn’t hurt to just go on a couple of dates to make your mother happy.” Jace sits down in front of a computer and begins to type as he speaks. “I am tired of her telling me how sad you are.”
Everett laughs slightly as he responds, “I am far from sad dad.” His mother had been hassling him for the past three years to settle down with a successful woman and to produce her beautiful grand babies. He liked his bachelor lifestyle, filled with no demanding woman that nagged him all the time and required his attention. He was too focused on his career at this point in his life to deal with a woman. He was happy just as he was, alone. Free to pick up any woman he pleased for a one-night stand. Free to go to the weekly poker game with his buddies. And damn free to do what he wanted when he wanted.
“Well, try to convince your mother. Not me.” Jace briefly looks up at Everett as he talks. “You better tell her before tonight so she can cancel your date she has invited for dinner.”
Everett drops his notebook and glasses on the table dramatically and quickly turns around toward his dad to speak. “What a sneaky little eel! She told me it was a surprise party for your retirement so I couldn’t say no.” He feels the frustration build in his chest. His mother had attempted to set him up on seven different blind dates over the past three years. She had only succeeded twice at tricking Everett to meet the girls. They were both beautiful successful women, but Everette found fault with them immediately and managed to get out from having to date them after the first date. The other blind dates, he managed to find out beforehand that his mother had set him up and he bailed with fake excuses of illness and work needs.
“Well, now we both know the secrets of the evening.” Jace smiles towards him.
Everett cannot stand the agitation he feels growing stronger in his chest. He hates blind dates, especially when they are made by his mother. He tries to think of a way to get some alone time. He suddenly remembers he has not bought his dad a gift for the party, so he removes his lab coat and moves over to hang it on a hook by the door. He gets lost in his thoughts as he is walking through the door to leave, but Jace’s voice stops him. “Are you leaving?”
Everett sighs quietly trying to relieve himself of his feelings before he responds. “I will see you tonight. I have to get some air and pick my tux up from the cleaners.”
He spends the remainder of the afternoon trying to find his father the perfect gift. He spots some watches in a jewelry store and smiles thinking about his father’s remark about grandchildren before he dies. That would be the perfect gift so he can watch time tick and count the minutes until he gets his wish. Everett had every intention of getting married and having children, but it annoys him to be pressured. Eventually, he would find the perfect wife and have two children. Maybe next year when he finishes his current research study.
He is putting on his tux for the evening as he thinks about what his mystery date might be like. Will she be a doctor too, or perhaps a lawyer? His family’s expectations for success would never allow her to be much less. He looks in the mirror as he adjusts his black tie. He hates having to dress up so formally, but he knows his mother would scold him if he arrived in anything less. It is expected to show up to a Blaskin’s party in high fashion. Even as a child his mother forced him to wear these ridiculous things. He gives his bow tie a quick thump with his forefinger at the thought. He hears his limo driver, Caven, honk and it breaks him from his memory.
Everett feels more annoyed than nervous as Caven opens the car door for him to step out of the car. Caven must have noticed his annoyance, “Sir. If you need me to fake an emergency in a bit just text me.”
Everett laughs as he feels a bit less annoyed stepping out. “You are the best hire I ever made Caven.”
“I can’t say I regret it either sir.” Caven does not smile but then again, he never does.
“I may have to take you up on the offer depending on what qualified candidate for marriage my mother intends to force on me this evening.” Everett sighs heavily and buttons his jacket as he moves toward the entrance of the five-story brick home he grew up in. He notices the soft sound of music coming from the ballroom as he stops and smiles at the older man with a crooked back opening the door. “Hey Greg!” Greg had been the butler for as long as Everett was alive, and he always felt like family.
“Good evening sir.” Greg smiles back at him. “It has been a while since we have seen you. I sure miss our chess games.”
“Well, maybe I can sneak you out in a little while to play. You know how I hate these dull parties.” Everett winks at him, remembering all the times he was able to sneak out of his mother’s formal parties to play chess with Greg.
“Oh no sir!” Greg shakes his head. “Mrs. Blaskin has you...” Greg laughs inching closer to Everett’s ear. “You did not here this from me.” He looks behind them toward the ballroom to see if anyone is listening. “But you have a beautiful lady waiting to meet you.”
Everett sighs knowing there is no dodging his blind date. “So, I hear.” He knows he needs to think of an excuse to not date this girl quickly. If only it was not his father’s retirement party, he could skip the annoying evening all together.
Greg moves back and closes the door as he speaks, “I think you will like this one. She sure is a pretty thing.” Everett expected her to be nothing less. Next to success, his mother valued beauty and expected her grandchildren to have good looks.
“Thanks Greg.” Everett walks toward the music feeling cornered because he knows he cannot miss his dad’s retirement party. The last girl his mother tricked him into meeting was a firey red head and he could not get past how orange she appeared when she blushed.
“There you are!” His mom sounds mad as she looks around the room at the elegantly dressed crowds of people. “Why are you so late?”
He tries to hide his smile at her anger knowing he had made Caven play a few rounds of cards with him before he left home to slow his arrival. “I had forgotten to get dad a gift.” He holds up a small blue bag that she takes from him and places it on a gift table next to the door.
She leans toward him signifying she wanted a kiss on the cheek and Everett complies. Her words are less angry as she whispers in his ear. “You knew about this for a month now.”
He shrugs his shoulders hoping she does not hear the lie, “I know but I just forgot until I was on my way.”
She laces her arm in his and moves them toward a small crowd of people, who are getting drinks from the tray being held by a cute blonde-haired waitress. He cannot help but notice the waitress’s shy expression as her blue eyes fleetingly meet his. Her maid outfit is ridiculous, but he imagines she would look beautiful if she were dressed like everyone else in a formal gown. He takes a drink from the tray and hands it to his mother, who responds, “Thank you, dear.” He turns back to get a drink for himself from the cute waitress, but she is already moving away. He hears his mother continue as he watches the blonde bun of the waitress disappear through the crowd. “I would like you to meet Ms. Angela Hargis.” He turns back to meet the brown eyes of a beautiful brunette in a red formal gown. Her hair is perfection and no strand of hair out of place. “She is the CEO of Hargis Industries.”