Second Impressions

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Clumsy Mrs. Summer

"Now everything makes sense," Archibald chuckled. "You are an undercover agent from the IRS sent to investigate the Rothschild fortune," he said bewildered.

"Yes…and it smells like tax fraud in here" I narrowed my eyes suspiciously, making us both crack in laughter.

We've been talking for a while now, playing this flirtatious game.

"But really, tell me your story" he stared at my eyes, softening his face.

"Long story short? I am broke, single, and unemployed" I brought the champagne glass to my mouth and drank the whole thing.

"And I really don't know what the fuck I am doing here," I added while I opened both of my arms and shrugged my shoulders, doing a funny expression.

"How about finding out that your genetic father is actually your uncle," he said, turning his mouth in a U shape.

What he said was alarming, but he sounded so cool about it, just like a Floridian under a hurricane alert, probably he was joking.

"Scandalous," I said, not able to hide my surprise. "Does your father know?"

He shook his head in response. "How is it that it is easy to speak with you, Olivia?"

"I know, right? I am kind of awesome," I said, feeling a warmth in my chest. It has been a while since I felt so carefree and I felt so comfortable around him.

He smiled at me, and I smiled back. It felt like we'd known each other for years, already sharing our secrets.

"It's sealed now," I said in a rush.

"What is sealed?" he asked showing his sexy smirk.

"You and me, friends!" I said cheerfully.

"Ouch," he pulled his hand to his heart, faking pain, just like he received a bullet. "Friendzone, already? My answer is a solid, no."

"What? Why? You don't want to be friends with me?" I made my best puppy face impression.

He stared at me seriously, choosing carefully what to say, and then with incredible force, pulled my chair with a swift movement, dragging it effortlessly in front of him, closing any gap we had before, making our legs touch.

I swallowed hard as my mind went back in the bathroom with Darius.

Stop it, you fool, concentrate on what's in front of you.

"Do you picture your friends naked?" He asked, getting closer to me.

My heart was racing but not in the savage way it did with Darius; this was different, softer. Steady.

"Archibald!" I said, blushing and crunching into the back of my chair. I even turned my face away.

"I don't want to be your friend," he said sweetly, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. "How about I am your dance partner for the night?" He stood up, opening his palm with a dazzling smile.

How can I say no to that smile?

I reached for his hand, and we walked to the center of the ballroom where the party was buzzing. Some people were dancing and others were in deep conversations doing networking. I even recognized some media people at the party.

What are they doing here?

I quickly dismissed the thought when we arrived at the dance floor and I could see Anna talking and smiling in a corner. She looked straight back at me, making me stop on my feet.

Shit!

I was so busy flirting when Archibald offered me his hand that I forgot to mention a little detail, I’ve got two left feet.

“What’s wrong?” Archibald asked me while squeezing my hand.

I start shaking my head "Hmm, I don't know how to dance this," I mumbled.

"Hop on my feet," he said lightly.

"What?"

"Trust me. You are tiny; it won't hurt me" he took me by the waist and pulled me up like a doll, placing the tip of my sandals on top of his shoes.

I felt like a kid; only my father had done this when he was alive. Archibald was so sweet.

"Now, hang tight," he said, securing his arms around me before we started to move at the beat of the orchestra playing a Waltz.

Damn! He is freaking good at this.

His movements were long and elegant that I forgot about everything else and a goofy smile appeared while we swirled. I was having so much fun.

"Aren't you full of surprises," I said to Archibald.

Jesus! Is this guy for real?

"My turn" I heard a delicate voice on my back.

Oliver Rothschild was standing in the middle of us.

"Mr. Rothschild," Archibald greeted him, and he nodded in response.

"May I steal Olivia for a minute?" He asked politely.

I stared into Archibald's eyes, not wanting him to leave me.

"I'll come to find you later," Archibald whispered in my ear in a reassuring voice before leaving me alone.

Oliver opened his arms, inviting me to start dancing with a slight grin.

I can do this. It's just swirling around as I did with Archibald; just this time, I'll have to move my feet.

We started moving, and Oliver watched my awkward movements as he tried guiding me in the ballroom.

"So sorry," I mumbled as I stepped hard with my heel into his left foot.

"Ahh" He closed his eyes in pain as we continued dancing.

One two three one two three

I started counting the steps to do them correctly, but I was destined to fail again, stumbling again and stepping with force into Mr. Rothschild's feet. This time I couldn't get away from his disapproval.

"Lack of elegance, lack of refinement, lack of grace," he clicked, his tongue clearly irritated by me. "Tsk! Clumsy Mrs. Summer"

"I didn't mean to step on your feet" I apologize again.

"I am here not to dance with you, not that I believe you could." He paused for a second, watching me with a peculiar expression. "My brother is waiting for you at his studio. He said it is an urgent matter, I am afraid. You must attend immediately".

Urgent matter?

"I don't have all night, Olivia. Follow me," he said as I blinked.

"I…" I started mumbling but was left alone in the ballroom speaking to myself.

Should I follow him?

He stopped to look at me before exiting the event, and I followed him with a bad feeling in my gut.


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