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Oh my Gobstoppers

Minutes later I was once again faced with an impossible task of picking out clothes for dinner. There were gowns and short dresses that only a super model could possibly wear and I was left to just be in awe of the colors, shapes and cuts. I took a deep breath and searched. When I was about to give up I pulled out a beautiful deep green one shoulder dress just hemmed two inches below my knee with a silk like sheen overlaid with sparkling tulle with bead work embellishments that was divine.

“Perfect.”

I smile in glee looking at my ensemble at the mirror with my hair blown out, my make up minimal, and the dress, oh the dress. You clean up good.

“Now for a final touch” I say grabbing a beautiful pair of sky-high heels.

I take breath; grab my clutch and head out.

The hotel was lobby was buzzing as everyone in the hotel wanted to head out. I take one step slowly out of the elevator and search the room for Robert, but I don’t see him. I was finding myself somehow out of place as I pass by some people in the lobby who were in casual clothes. But as I go deeper in the lobby where the waiting lounges were the people seemed to be in the same clothes as I was less sparkly though but just the same. I stand and search but Robert was nowhere to be found, was he late or was I early. I check my phone and there were neither calls nor texts of cancellation.

A guy in a suite stood and was headed my way. He looks straight at me but my guess was his girlfriend was behind me so I ignored and continue on searching the room for signs of Robert.

“Good evening” He says and I was stunned

“I couldn’t help but notice you and I knew I had to meet you. Are you by any chance alone?” He asks in the most polite manner

“Oh, um no, I’m actually waiting for someone and I can’t seem to find him.”

“Just my luck. I’m Alistaire by the way.” He says putting out his hand

“Angela.” I say shaking his hand.

“Angela?” Roberts voice full of query

I turn and see Robert towering over me.

“Rob! Um this is Al-”

“Alistaire Grimaldi.” Robert reaches out to Alistaire and shakes his hand. He knows this guy?

“Robert Sleigh. So you’re the lucky bastard. I haven’t seen you in awhile, man how are you?” Alistaire says placing his hand over to Rob’s shoulder shaking him.

“I’m good. What are you doing in Paris?” Rob asks

“Business as usual. How about you? Where are you two heading” Alistaire says facing us both again.

“Were heading to dinner.” Rob says pulling me to his side shocking me in the process.

“Well, I best not hold you much longer since I am running late for my meeting. I got to go dude. You are one lucky guy, Sleigh. ” Alistaire says as he walks away from us.

“That I am.” Robert says still not letting go of me and leading me out the hotel into a luxurious black car.

The driver greeted us as he opened the door for us. I was about to head to the other side when Robert stopped me and let me in.

“Sorry force of habit.” I say with a nervous forced laugh.

“What is with you and other men? Why do we always run into them when I’m around.” He asks, as he looked straight at me. He looks really handsome in his suit and oh that scent of his is piercing right at me. I just want to cuddle up to him or hug him to death which ever comes first.

“They do not!” I protest

“Its just coincidence and if they do they might have thought of me as a concierge, because I do have a friendly persona.” I say explaining non-sense. God help me I’m too nervous.

“Angela no one could mistake you as a concierge in that outfit. You look gorgeous by the way.” He says in a deeper tone of voice. This complement sent tingles up my spine by the way he stares me down. So this is how it feels to be the girl he makes me plan for.

“Thanks. You don’t think it’s too much?” I ask hiding my embarrassment and I just really wanted to know if I could get in the restaurant.

“It’s just enough if not it’s simple. I have to tell you though I’m a bit disappointed, that bathrobe looked really nice.” He teases me

“I would have worn the bathrobe but I didn’t want to risk not getting in the restaurant. I mean come on there’s food waiting for me. I’d gladly dress up for that.” I say and he laughs and the awkwardness disappears.

A lively conversation later we arrive in front of the Eiffel Tower. Excitement has overwhelmed me that the only reaction I could muster up is a huge grin plastered on my face. Rob and got out of the car and at my awe I looked at the massive tower gleaming with lights. It was breathtaking and I couldn’t utter words to say. The symbol of hope, love and dreams, I stand unmoved as I moved at its architecture and its incredible beauty.

“Incredible isn’t it.” He says marveling at the tower and all I could do was nod.

“Come, let’s not keep your food waiting.” He continues on and leads me to the entrance with his hand at the small of my back keeping me close to him.

We enter the Le Jules Verne entrance and up the private elevator. We step in and immediately the elevator rises. The scenery was breath taking; I could not believe my eyes, the glinting lights of the city contrasting the crisscrossing of the iron was a sight to see.

“We’re so high up!” I say

“Yes, are you afraid of heights?” He asks

“A little bit, it is a bit uncomfortable.”

“Ok, whatever you do don’t look down.” He says and the moment he does I look down and I’m frozen in fear because I was standing on glass reflecting the pit of the tower. After a second of processing I clutch his arms as hard as I can.

“I told you not to look down.”

“Sssshhh” I silence him

We finally step off the elevator and the scenery of glinting lights greeted me and it looks really beautiful contrasting the rigidity of the iron around us, it was indeed incredible. Moments later a waiter receives us and leads us to our table. We sit and I am still at awe.

I looked around and there were few people as I expected.

“Is there something wrong?” He asks leaning towards me

“Uh no. It’s just that its dinner time and there are only a few couples here.” I shrugged

“Because the seats surrounding us are all reserved.” He simply says as the waiter pours light gold drink in the wine glass and leaves.

“Reserved?” I ask not quite getting what he meant and took a sip on the lemony fruit goodness of the wine

“I don’t like eating with lots of people around me who can eaves drop, why do you think I prefer a more secluded type of date?” He asks

“You mean you bought empty chairs food?” I ask almost choking on the wine.

“Yes.” He says and the waiter brings in the first course

“Wow, are we supposed to eat this? It looks like art.” I say admiring the plate

“It’s sea urchin and gold caviar.” He says as I gave him a look , asking him what in the world of food the plate was.

“Oooh, I remember eating these fresh way back when my grandpa would buy them from a vendor in a fishing trip we had gone to.”

“Fishing trip?”

“Yup. This is really good what’s the name of this wine?”

“Meursault – le limozin 2010, Jobard- Chabloz.” Ok, I may never taste this wine again cause I could not remember that name.

I dug in most of the dishes, as much as it pained me to eat the “Food Art” I was enjoying the new food. Various cheeses I never knew, truffles, sea bass, spiny artichokes cooked in sauces I never tasted before and cooked in a different way. Rich blue lobsters, scallops and lamb; my mouth was exploding with flavor, flavors that I never dreamed of tasting and now I will be dreaming of eating again, very soon.

“How’s the food?”

“Just as magical as this place. I think my taste buds are overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time. You have such great taste in food.” I say taking another bite of my meal.

We were silent as we took more bites. The only conversation we have was our note on how the food taste amazing. The silence was overcome with silent conversations and slow giggles.

“So who is Angela Morley?” Robert asks me

“Rob, I think after months of working with me you’d know me already, but then again you don’t handle my personal life.” I start and pause to think

“Well, go on. Before I loose you over dessert.” He says

“Well, I’m originally from London, but we moved to California when I was a kid cause my family was going through a hard time. Luckily my Uncle Sam was able to help my father land a job hence the move.” I start explaining

“Hence the slight English accent you give off.” He continues my sentence

“Yes, well I don’t really sound to Brit anymore, I guess cause I lived in the states far too long.”

“And who’s Jane?”

“Why do you know Jane?” I ask him wondering how he knew.

“Lina told me.”

“Well, despite my constant complaining and whining about her, I really don’t despise her, in fact I’m grateful to her well mostly to her family cause Uncle Sam is her father. She’s just really annoyingly brilliant and it’s hard for me to keep up.” I explain to him how I really feel about Jane.

“She and I were really close until puberty hit and something changed hence me having no girlfriends.” I explain further as he nods listening to every word I say or maybe he’s just nodding politely. Before I could open another topic before he dies of boredom he once again asks.

“So where does Luke fit in?” He asks really interested.

“Luke? Um – he, Jane and I were friends until she left us. Therefore Luke and I became best of friends. He’s been my confidant were really just friends.” I stressed

“Does he know that?”

“What does that snide comment mean?” I asked

“You do know he likes you right? Or maybe liked, but you did know that right?”

“You’re crazy, you know that. Enough about me, cause dessert is coming and I might not be able to taste every bit of goodness.” I say stirring away the attention from me.

“So do I get to know Robert Alexander Sleigh a bit better?” I ask hoping he’d take the bait and he laughs at me

“Don’t you already know everything about me? After all you are the President of my Fan Club.” He continues on giggling in his seat.

“Ok what’s up with that? Either you could read my mind and I’d have to quit or Maxine told you something.” I say

“So you talk about me to Maxine?”

“No. You know how she is.” I say defensively

“Ok. You talk in your sleep. Its really quite entertaining.” He says

“No I don’t and even if I do none of what I say is real.” I explain to hide my embarrassment. Dang it!

“Don’t worry I haven’t heard anything but President of my fan club.” He looks at me in a I-Know-Something-You-Don’t-Know-Look and it’s killing me from the inside.

“Stop stalling and turning the tables on me. It’s your turn to speak. Fast. Dessert is here.”

I say as the waiter placed a gorgeous wild strawberry tartlet with rose ice cream in front of me and a chocolate & passion fruit palet in front of me. Oh gosh, I could be over eager so I took sip of the Saint- Estephe 2004, Chateau Calon-Segur red wine before attacking the dessert like a hungry piranha.

“Ok, Paris is my favorite place because my mother used to bring us here in her final days. We’d go around the city and ride carousels and go to lock bridges and just roam around the city.

“That seems really special, I bet she was amazing.” I say to him imagining a younger Robert having fun and just letting go of his restraints

“Our family was close knit when my mother was around. Riley and I shared so much with her and my father was just happy. Completely and utterly happy.” He says with sincerity in his eyes that made my heart melt just how he describes her mother. His story was sweeter than the Chocolate & passion fruit palet that I was slowly devouring.

“Ever since she left, my father and our family hasn’t been the same.” He continues

“I’m really sorry, it must be still hard for you to share. Aunt Brenda warned me to never ask personal questions. I’m really sorry.” I apologize for my inappropriate snooping.

“Don’t worry Angela, I have come to accept it and every time I recall my mother its just a wonderful memory that she left. Helps me cope and just remember her just like what she waned to be remembered.” Robert says with a smile

“So did you enjoy the meal?” He continues

“Oh yes, I’m glad I wore this dress cause if I had to wear anything for fitting I think it would have explode.” I say as I take another spoonful of desserts.

“I’m glad you liked it. See, dinner dates aren’t so bad.” He says eating his own dessert

“Ok well the meal part is awesome. Thank you so much for the meal” I say in gratitude

“What other parts aren’t?” Robert asks in curiosity

“Well, since I plan out your dates, its just a bit too calculated I think the most spontaneous thing you’ve done was walk on the beach with that um red head-”

“Rachel.” Robert says

“Wow you remember their names? Do you have a black book or something?” I teased and once more his laugh is prominent. This evening is such a treat I get to see him laugh and he’s just so relax and I’m loving every minute.

“No, I don’t have a black book. I remember most of them who were worth remembering. Those others who were after me and my prestige, my money and everything that doesn’t matter I forget.” He says

“Oh so you do realize they don’t have anything up there.”

“Yes I do.” And he once more gleams at me.

After letting the wonderful sights of Paris sink in, Rob and I rode the elevator down and out the Eiffel Tower. Before I could think Robert took my hand and once again drags me, leaving me hastening my steps in heels, wishing I was in flats.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” He’s really getting use to pulling me. I think I need to exercise. Nah! Who am I kidding?

After a few steps he lets me face him making me nervous, then he stays behind me and covers my eyes.

“Is Mr. Sleigh trying to be spontaneous?”

“One tries to be.”

“Is this the part where you sell me to a mob as they sell me to the highest bidder and my family never finding me again?” I joked as we walked a few more steps.

“You are a bit paranoid aren’t you? You watch way to much kidnapping movies.” He comments.

We stop and Robert takes off his hand and my vision readjusts to blurred lights emitted from incandescent light bulbs which sent a rush of warmth through my body and my nerves just went all giddy.

“Oh my Gobstoppers.”

“Again, this is incredible!” I say in a high voice, I just could help myself. The carrousel was gleaming and the intricate design was incredibly made and the horses were going round. I spin around but Robert wasn’t there.

“Care to join me?” Robert calls out, he was on the steps of the carousel and I laugh nodding my head silly.

“Yes, I would.” Robert goes down the stopped carousel and gives me a hand up.

“A bit theatrical aren’t we Mr. Sleigh.” I say

“I’m a man of different sides Ms. Morley.” He says holding me by my waist.

“So what is your ride of choice? The noble stead or the carriage?” He asks in his theatrical voice

“The stead.” I say, trying to mount myself but my shoes where getting in the way so I took them off and tried again this time Robert helped me on.

“Thank you kind sir.” I say and he smiles at me.

“This is so cool.” I said once again.

He took the horse next to mine and yelled “Onwards horse!”

And I laughed so hard I could have fell down. It was epic. Robert was so childlike his closest friends wouldn’t know who this guy was. Then I thought maybe I don’t know much about him. I was seeing him differently and it was a sight to see. In the middle of the ride he goes down and rides on the carriage. He takes out his phone and snaps a photo of me.

“Hey! I didn’t sign a release for that!” I say flinging his own words at him

“Well sue me!”

“I’ll see you in court!” I say dramatically and we both laugh at our behavior, two grown-ups acting like children.

As the ride came to a stop I felt a bit light headed from all the spinning and laughter. Robert supported me as he let me sit on the edge of the carousel.

“That was fun. Thanks again.”

“Angela, you don’t have to thank me, this is a date after all, its I who should have thanked you for agreeing to do this. After all the stunt I pulled the pass months, I didn’t think you’d say yes.” He explains.

“You made it hard for me to say no. You tricked me all the way to Paris and you asked me in Versailles what girl would say no to that. I thought it was inspired after a few grumbling in my part.” I say looking right at him and for the first time I wasn’t ashamed to do so.

“I’m sorry about that, I just didn’t know how to ask you, after all Riley guards you like a hawk, how am I supposed to get to know you more if I didn’t whisk you away?”

“Well, don’t be sorry. It’s kind of sweet.” I say this time looking down cause the heat on my cheeks were getting intense.

“Sweet? Well, Speaking of sweets.” Robert stands and I survey him as he got two cones of ice cream form a vendor who wasn’t there last time I checked.

“This is a sweet treat form the best ice creams shop here in Paris, I had them come here to avoid another change of clothes.”

“Ha-ha, you did not. You’re crazy.”

“No, Angela, I had them bring the ice cream to you. I know the owner plus how are we supposed to converse in their shop when there’s too many people every single night.” He says.

“Oh my nuts and pies, you are one crazy dude.” I say not being able to stop myself, I never had a guy do that for me ever, I mean I couldn’t even compare it to any dates. The next guy to date me has such a high standard to follow. Man this guy is just a box full of treats.

“What was that?” He asks me smiling

“What?”

“That thing you just said.”

“Oh I like to replace the usual curse words and other expressions with food, any food that comes to mind. Since I was thinking your nuts then there you go.” I explain my bizarre ways.

“So what do you want to do next?” He asks me

“I don’t know. You have to decide I’ve done those decisions for quite sometime now. And no copying.” I say remembering all the planning that had to be done for his dates. I almost ran out of juice thinking about what happens next to let him seal the deal.

“Ok then, come.” He held my hand and the next thing I new I was back in the black car.

We arrived at the hotel and I didn’t like where we were headed, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt but if he’s going to try to pull something on me then he is in for some ass kicking. As we rode in the elevator he was smiling giddy and I was really getting hesitant from the moment he pressed the button to his floor. We reached his floor and he drags me behind him. We went in and he tags me along and opens his balcony doors and instantly the Paris setting made me sigh in awe. I just can’t believe my dreams were coming true.

“Ok. You weren’t kidding. This view is just breathe-taking. Worth every penny.” I say leaning closer to the railing and once again am looking right at him. Oh the gorgeousness, If I didn’t have any morals at all, I don’t know what I would have done to him. Right this moment.

“What?” he asks

“What?”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” I changed my tone as I realized I was seriously gawking at him. Lord Jesus why did you make such a person?

“I thought I saw something. Behind you.” I once again said before he could interject some ridiculous notion that will send me blushing. I was so trying to compose myself rather than laugh so hard at my crazy distraction technique. I just can’t do this.

As I said he looked at me funny and then he shrugged it off and looked back at the scene. There is just something in the air its so thick and I just cant handle this, our proximity is just too close. There’s so much, too much weird electricity all over the place its like Paris has created a different kind of air, air of romance and uncontrollable electric connection if I may. I have got to change this mood. I was about to change the topic when I heard an accordion playing what else but “La Vien Rose” and my heart soared it was so perfect. If only I had a compulsion of living at the moment.

“Did you just hire a street performer to do that?” I pointed at the guy playing it across the street. He musters up a small laugh and responds.

“I’d like to think I was that clever but no. I usually put on some music that is if I need to, I do think you could have done that.”

“Yes I would.”

“So before me your end would be music, maybe a little champagne or cocktails and chocolate strawberries?” I ask

“Ok classic guy I know, but let me tell you that I do need to work to get what I want. But lately I find myself not needing to.” He puts on a smug face and takes a step closer.

“What do you mean you don’t need to? Let me get this straight. You mean to tell me you got too good at seducing women? GROSS ” I made a face at him

“I didn’t say anything about seducing. Hey, I’m not the one planning my dates, so good that they couldn’t take their hands off me.” He raises his arms in defense

“You should be thanking me, it’s hard work to make a date perfect.” I say proud of what accomplishment that was and I thought of my resume. Special Skills: Plans incredible dates.

“My dates now usually are like clips from every romantic comedy. Tell me how long do you think you could keep it original and different from the rest?” He asks

“I have no idea maybe next you could fly her to the moon? Do you have NASA connections?” I ask

“Ok smarty pants.”

“Smarty pants? What are you nine?” I burst in laughter a guy in a crisp suit saying those words just is hilarious.

“Ok. Ok. I guess I have to thank you. You know its your fault, making me irresistible to every woman I date. I mean, we don’t even get pass the door without clawing –”

“No. no. no. Too much information.”

He just smiles and we both stare at each other and that apparent electricity that there is in the room when you both know something is going to happen and I had to get rid of that.

“Ok. So, we are still on a date right? I suggest you get to work.” I say moving towards the Dedon lounge chairs.

“Ms. Morley, I don’t know what you’re implicating but I’m not that kind of guy.” He says walking just behind me.

“Clearly Mr. Sleigh, I was merely suggesting you get drinks preferably hot to beat this cold and maybe some pillows and blankets.” I ordered him as I relaxed on the comfortable chair.

“Ok any specific drink? And what are we doing with pillows and blankets?” This moment is too precious, I get to let him do stuff for me.

“For a man who has a lot of experience with women you are clueless, jasmine tea if you have it and milk and as for the pillows you’ll have to see.” I say and he is as clueless as ever.

“Ms. Morley rumors tell women what a genius I am with the ladies, you should never believe what you read in the articles.” He says and walks away.

“Articles? What articles? ” I ask and he whisks his hands not taking any of my questions and disappears. What do they write about him? I’ve never read them; then again I have no time to read tabloids. Here I thought those magazine interviews were business.

I fight the urge to search these articles that he talks about but I don’t want to cause myself being awkward to what I’d find. Those articles are best kept in the dark. Minutes later he arrives with a silver tray with a gorgeous dainty tea set and placed it on the side table and runs back to grab the pillows.

“Did you burn yourself boiling the water?” I joke as he arrives with the fluffy pillow and blanket.

“Well no. This is pretty much my specialty, boiling water. So, what do we do with these?”

“Do what you don’t normally do with these Sit, look at stars and views and just talk.” I say taking a pillow and plumped it beside me.

“Curious, but sure.” He says and sits beside me and I gave him an intruder alert look.

“Since this is a date I am allowed to be in close proximity with you right?” He asks

“Yeah right, its our first date and I barely know you.” I say pushing him towards the edge

“No it isn’t, it’s our second date and what do you mean by barely know me. You know everything about me.” He fights my pushes and I don’t think I’m even making a dent.

“Location and wardrobe doesn’t count Mr. Sleigh, if that were true this would be our fourth date.” I debated

“Ok, I give up smarty pants, I’ll just stay here. Happy?” He says pushing the lounge chair and the side table close to my lounge chair leaving no space between the furnitures.

“You could say that.” I say

We looked at the night sky, telling each other stories, sipping warm tea and milk was extremely a perfect end to this first date. Our animated stories of embarrassing moments, life lessons and a bit personal topics made me feel so comfortable that I fought urges to transfer to his side and hug him as we both look up the stars and I listen to him talk all night, but its too soon.

“Are you ok? You kind of spaced out there for a bit. ” He looks at me and I feel myself flush because I was thinking of another us in my mind.

“Ye – yeah of course. Something just popped in my head a reminder.” I say

“You seem tired.”

“A bit, jet lag I guess.”

“I figured, if you want to rest, I’ll accompany you down to your suite.”

“Nope, I’m fine.” I say and he looks down at our refreshments.

“Ok. Do you want more of this?” He asks and I nod.

“Be right back.” He says and disappears back into the suite.

I sit back and stare at the dark sky with glinting diamonds just splayed out, the Eiffel tower glinting in the distance, clinging silver wear in the background and I close my eyes to the sounds of Paris and blissfully wait for Robert to get back.

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