Lies, Sacrifices, and Alibis

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Chapter 25

Two hours later, there was a knock on the door. I smoothed down the dress and checked the mirror. I fluffed the girls to make sure they were at attention before I opened the door.

Corey stood there in a black suit and tie holding a bouquet of roses in his hand. He blinked as he looked me over. That dress was skin tight. I didn’t wear any pantyhose and had on a pair of sandals that laced up my legs. The dress outlined every shape of my body. My hair was pulled up with side ringlets in front. I had just a touch of makeup on for the occasion. I had to admit it; I looked damn good! Tania did a great job beautifying me.

“Wow, you look… there are no words to describe how beautiful you are.” He just stared. “Roses pale in your beauty.”

I looked at him and blushed. “Daw, thanks!” I took the flowers and walked into the little kitchenette. “Let’s put these in some water before we leave.” He followed me in after closing the door. I grabbed one of the water glasses and filled it with water, putting the roses in, fluffing them out. I couldn’t remember the last time Mike bought me flowers, much less… roses. “This’ll work as well as any vase.”

“I’m torn between sharing you tonight and just keeping you here for myself and ripping that dress off. I think it will look just as good on the floor.”

I laughed, joining him at the door, lightly touching his nose. “Share me because I’m hungry. Besides, I’m lookin’ forward to seein’ your favorite restaurant an’ tastin’ this wine ya mentioned.”

He sighed. “Okay, but don’t be surprised if we call it an early evening.” He opened the door.

I walked out ahead of him. “Yes, dear. By the way, ya look really hot in that suit. Ya clean up pretty nicely for a surfer boy.” I winked as I looked over my shoulder.

“If I’m a surfer boy that makes you my surfer babe… so, does this mean I’m hot enough to not go out and eat, but stay in and ride the waves?”

“Very corny, but you’re still takin’ me out to eat.”

“Can’t blame a surfer boy for trying…”

He took me to the Sunrise Restaurant. There was low lighting, soft music, and it was a very romantic setting. The gentleman he was, he helped me sit down and scooted my chair in. I couldn’t remember the last time Mike did anything like that. He sat opposite me. “Usually, I come here by myself.”

“This place is wonderful!”

“Corey! No one told me you were in town.” The owner greeted us. He shook hands with him as he glanced at me with a look of approval. “I will have your regular order brought out right away. Ah, who is this lovely lady?”

“Joe, stop putting on an act. You know I called.” Corey smiled. “Alicia, I would like you to meet the owner of this fine establishment, Joseph Cantalina. He’s an old, dear friend of mine.”

“Alicia, I love your name! Just call me Joe.” He smiled. “It’s very nice to meet you. You’re the first woman he’s brought here in…” he paused, looking up at the ceiling before turning back to gaze into my eyes with a knowing smile. “Well, I don’t remember ever seeing a lady with him. You must be someone special.”

Corey cleared his throat. “That will be all, Joe.”

I laughed. “It’s very nice meetin’ you as well.”

Joe leaned down, whispering in my ear. “You couldn’t ask for a better man than Corey here.” He chuckled as Corey waved him off. He walked away to get our meal, but not before turning and winking at me.

Corey smiled, shaking his head. “He means well.”

I glanced around at the décor of the place. It was nice. It wasn’t bold or loud; everything about it was just the right touch of romance. “I love this place. How did ya find it?”

He took the bottle of wine, pouring us each a glass. “That’s a long story for another time. I hope you like the food I’ve had them prepare. I called ahead so it would be ready for us.”

“Oh, so fancy you are.” I picked up the glass and took a sip. It was the best wine I had in my life! It was like taking a strawberry off the vine, dipping it in some sugar, and eating it. It was that good. It had just the right amount of sweet for the tart. “Oh, now this is some good wine. It’s like bitin’ into a strawberry.”

“Only the best for you.”

The meal he had called about consisted of: lobster tails, fried scallops, shrimp, and a salad with some of the best tasting cheesy bread. He really knew how to make a girl feel wanted. His style of dating was something out of the history books; back when men used to know how to treat a woman.

“Wow, you really know how to wine an’ dine someone right.” I took my napkin and put it in my lap. “My mother told me I’d find what I was lookin’ for.” I smiled. “She must’ve had a vision of you.”

He paused, setting his glass back down after swallowing, looking at me. “Your mother has visions?”

I shrugged. “Well, she’s got ESP. She knows things are gonna happen before they do.”

When he nodded, I couldn’t tell if he believed in that or he was just nodding thinking I was crazy. “…and she said something about me?”

“Well, not in so many words. She did tell me I was gonna find what I was lookin’ for an’ I found you.”

He smiled, winking at me as he picked up his fork. “Careful with that or we’ll get this to go in a doggy bag.”

I laughed, shaking my head. “Oh no. You’re feedin’ me first, mister. This needs to be a real date.”

“A real date, huh? Okay. I can handle that.”

“So…” I winked at him as I picked up my fork, digging into the tail. “What is it you’re lookin’ for in a woman?”

“Oh, that’s easy. If you look in the mirror you can see her right away.” He winked before taking a bite of his lobster. “I know one thing I want…”

I took a bite, chewing slowly, watching him as he just paused. “What’s that?”

“Well, it’s not exactly something you bring up on the first date.”

Oh, now I had to hear it. “I’m curious. Besides, ya can’t start a sentence like that an’ not follow it through. It will stay in my mind all night an’ make me question what the hell you were thinkin’.”

“I want a houseful of children. The woman doesn’t have to be a beauty queen, like you, but she does have to love kids.” He paused, holding his fork and knife in his hand, staring at me. “What do you think of children?”

I sighed. Dipping a piece of the shrimp in the tartar sauce, I took a bite as if to stall my answer. Hearing him say the same thing Mike did, brought back so many dead memories. I tried to ignore them. “I love them. I feel the same way. I think happiness is the sound of children in the house.”

He smiled softly. “A woman after my own heart.” He took a bite of his bread, nodding at me. “What’s your favorite animal?”

That took me off guard. How did we go from talking about children to animals? “My favorite animal?”

He nodded.

“Well… let’s see…” He didn’t specify which group of animals, so I just threw them all out there. “I like hawks. I think they’re the most beautiful bird of all. They aren’t so regal an’ they just look adorable, but they have the ability to protect themselves an’ their loved ones with a ferocity. I love black panthers. They are the sleekest of the wild cats. Ya look into their green eyes an’ you know there is a killer in there just waitin’ to tear ya apart. I love wolves. I would own a hundred of ‘em if it was legal. I think they can be trained just like dogs an’ would make a mean guard dog. That’s about it.”

He nodded, smiling softly. “Those are all great animals and oddly enough my favorites as well.”

I didn’t believe him. “Really?” I smiled. I wasn’t sure if he said that to make the date better, or if he was my soul mate. If it was the latter, why was I just finding him now? “Which do ya like better; the dog or cat?”

“Hmm, now that’s a tough question.” He picked up his wine glass and took a sip, watching me. “I like both equally. I don’t think I could choose one or the other for a favorite.”

“I feel the same way. I love the dog because they’re loyal, lovin’, an’ trainable. I love the cat because they’re low maintenance, lovable, an’ also pretty trainable too… with a squirt gun.”

He laughed. “Yes. That’s how I usually get my point across as well.”

At dinner, we talked about the different pets we had. I found out he once had a turtle that he called Deputy Dawg, a cat that was called Mr. Hefferpuss, and a dog, Clementine, who saved him from a bear when he was younger.

After dinner, we went back to my hotel and baptized every spot in my suite. I knew I was falling in love, but I couldn’t stop myself and I really didn’t want to either.

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