Authors: Linnea May
We agree to meet the next day. For coffee.
, I try to remind myself. Yet I make all the preparations that I would usually do before a date that leaves the option for sex.
It wouldn't be the worst to happen, after all.
But it is not planned. I keep repeating that – to myself and to Yuka, who is displaying one of the broadest grins I have ever seen on her face when I get ready to leave.
"I won't wait up," she pipes as I am about to head out the door.
"It's an afternoon coffee, Yuka," I reassure. "Don't get too excited!"
She just shrugs and sends me off with a friendly wave.
I am surprised to find him waiting for me at the end of the stairs in front of our house when I rush through the door. Yuka is not the only one in our household who is always late. I am usually running when I leave the house, too.
He looks so dashingly handsome that it is intimidating. His clothes are more casual today, but still fancier and more dressed up than me. He is wearing a thin pullover in anthracite and blue dark jeans, both of which he clearly did not buy at a cheap retail store. His hair is gelled and looks more like it did on the picture in the article than it did on the night we met. I don't like it this way; it makes me want to ruffle through it. And I might just do that later on.
His appearance reminds me why I would usually shy away from too good looking men like him. They make me feel bad about myself. I feel scrubby and cheap next to him, even though I did put some effort into the way I look. I am wearing my favorite black skinny jeans and a colorful top in warm colors that go well with my dark brown hair – according to Yuka. I would consider these my best clothing items and yet I am sure that they must be nothing but low quality attempts at looking fancy from his perspective.
Also, my hair doesn't play along as usual. I keep trying my best at making it look somewhat nice, curled or straightened, but it never ends up the way I imagine.
"Are you stalking me?" I ask. "I thought we were meeting at the café?"
He smiles mischievously and shrugs. "I just wanted to make sure you find your way."
“How did you know where I live?” I want to know. “I never told you.”
“You told my driver,” he says.
That one was pretty obvious.
I walk down to the end of the stairs and come to a halt next to him. "What would you have done if I hadn't shown up?"
"Ring the bell?" he says. "Knock? There's many ways to make yourself be seen or heard."
"You don't know my last name, though, do you?"
He casts me a naughty smile and puts his arm around me to pull me closer. I am beginning to question my 'just coffee'-mantra as he pulls me in for a kiss.
He gently pecks my lips first, almost shy, before his tongue forces its way inside. He eagerly claims me, invading my mouth as if I was threatening to run away from him. I close my eyes and take him in, enjoying every moment of his sensual invasion. I am so taken in by him that even the noisy street sounds around us seem to diminish during our passionate kiss.
"Who knows," he whispers after our kiss ends. "I might have my ways to find out."
"You're just saying that to scare me," I say.
A little part of me is scared, though. He may just be joking – or not. Either way, I remind myself to be careful with him, despite that enticing kiss. Mesmerizing me like this might just be part of the game.
"You ready to go?" he asks, still holding me in his arms.
"Yes," I reply. "Coffee."
He smile down at me and gently caresses my left cheek with the tip of his finger. "Yes, coffee."
I hadn't even noticed the limousine that is double-parked behind us. He leads me to it and opens the door for me to get in before him. The perfect gentleman. I am rolling my eyes and grinning like a charmed girl at the same time.
The driver brings us to the café that we originally agreed upon as a meeting place and Evan orders me a cappuccino and a cake he insists I have to try despite my protests of not being hungry.
"You'll try it," he concludes after we are seated and our order is placed. "If you don't eat it – I will. But I'm pretty sure we'll have to fight over it."
"So, you decide what I am eating now, too?" I jokingly ask.
He smirks. "I would like that. But I know you're not ready for that."
The fact that he calls me "not ready" confuses me for a moment. Is that really something he would be into?
"You said we need to talk," he adds, looking at me with confident expectation. "What's on your chest?"
"Didn't you see the picture I sent you?" I ask.
He nods. "I did."
I am a bit perplexed at his calm and anticipatory demeanor. Shouldn't he be the one on the defense right now? Why do I need to give this conversation a head start if he is the one with the revealed secret?
"I had no idea," I stutter. "Who you are. One would think you'd mention something like this..."
"Something like what?" he asks. "And what does that mean – who I am? Who am I?"
"Well," I say. "You know... you are
. Someone who has articles written about himself, someone who has been named one of the hottest billionaire singles of the country, someone who –"
"And does any of that information mean anything to you?" he interrupts. "Would you have been impressed? Would I have been a more likeable person if I had put that information about myself out there right from the start?"
"Well, I mean –"
"Do you really think that's the way I should introduce myself to a girl like you?" he continues. He appears to be offended, angry even. Or hurt. It is hard to tell with his calm and shielded manner.
"A girl like me?" I ask. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You know very well what I mean," he says. "Look, all you need to know is: I didn't hide anything from you. I told you my name – and I was pleasantly surprised to see that you had no idea who I was, because in most cases, to women your age who are reasonably caught up on tabloid gossip, I am the ex-boyfriend of Sheila Buffay, that allegedly hot rich dude she used to date a while back."
He leans back and pauses for a moment as our cappuccinos and the cake are brought.
"I'm sorry," I say as my hands wander back and forth between him and the cake.
He doesn't say anything, but beckons me to try the cake by nodding toward it. "Try it."
"Yes, Sir," I whisper, just loudly enough for him to hear.
I look up at him to see his reaction as I fetch my fork and lean forward to follow his order. He casts me a satisfied smile.
"See," he says. "That is the part I would like to focus on when we are together."
"What part?" I ask with my mouth half full as I chew on the first little piece of the cake. What a classy lady I am. But damn, it tastes good.
He must be able to read the satisfaction in my face, because he smirks at me as if he caught me doing something naughty.
"Good, huh," he says.
I nod hastily. "Yes, very."
"The part I was talking about," he adds. "Is the unbelievable chemistry between us. I am good at reading people, so you don't have to tell me that you are feeling it, too. I can see it. So, just continue eating your cake, while I tell you what I want you to know, understand?"
I nod and obediently reply with another "Yes, Sir," before I stuff my face with another piece of that heavenly chocolate cake. Geez, I wonder what kind of drugs they add to this to make it taste this delicious.
"So far, you have nothing but a faint idea of what is possible between two people like us," he continues. "You might despise me for who I am or what I represent – though I hope to redeem that image in time – but that doesn't matter for now. All I would ask from you is to give us a chance to explore this chemistry. It is rare, very rare. And you have to trust me when I tell you that I haven't felt like this in a very long time."
"Since Sheila?" I ask.
"I don't want to talk about that now –"
"But I do," I interrupt. "Because there is something I need to clear up."
"Is that so," he says, sounding anything but happy.
"You have to admit," I continue. "That I bear a remarkable resemblance to her."
He shrugs. "Yes. So?"
"Could it be that you're just trying to replace her, because she dumped you and you cannot get over her?" I blatantly express. "I don't want to be a placeholder for some lost love that –"
"This is not about love," he interrupts me. "I should probably make that clear – and it should be obvious to you for many reasons. I am not looking for love. At least not in the traditional sense."
I narrow my eyes and look at him, slightly confused. "I'm sorry, I wasn't –"
"You and I are very different people," he interrupts again. "And I should emphasize to you that I am not looking for a co-pilot to navigate through life. For a partner who shares the everyday necessities and troubles with me. You know, the kind of thing a marriage would usually include. A true partnership in the traditional sense."
"Sure," I say and nod, even though I feel rather uncomfortable with the turn this conversation has taken.
I never even thought about all this seriousness he is suddenly addressing. I just wanted to know what his deal was...
And I guess I do know now. He doesn't want a normal relationship – and he doesn't want to talk about his past relationship, for whatever reason. Maybe it is because he really got hurt back then. And maybe today really wasn't the right day to talk about it. Not at this point.
"You do have a lot similarities with her," he admits, smiling at me. "But can't a guy have a specific taste? Why does it have to be something weird? Some unresolved issues?"
Because Yuka and I thought so
, my mind utters.
"I can give you a lot," he adds, observing me cautiously as I raise my eyebrows in doubt.
"What if I don't want what you can give me?" I ask, feeling as if he is trying to buy me now. Didn't he say himself that he knew his wealth could not impress me?
"Do you want more nights like the one we had together?" he asks. "More dominance? More pleasure?"
I blush while he looks at me with that stern unyielding face. He is so fucking handsome, and if anything, that expression only makes him even more irresistible.
"Yes, I think I do," I whisper. "I think I would love that."
A faint smile appears on his face. "Good. Very good."
We both sip from our cappuccinos and leave room for a little silence for a while. I am beginning to hope that this date goes further than just coffee – even though I would have to face Yuka's commentary upon my return home.
"Only nights like this," he adds. "I would want to take care of you, invite you, spoil you. Because I can and because it gives me pleasure to do so. Do you think you – and your conscience – can handle that?"
I smirk at him. "Well, would you at least allow me to pay for my coffee?"
It was meant to be a joke, but his response is earnest.
"No," he says, his face as stern as ever. "I want to take care of you. I know what I want – and I know how to make you give it to me. But it's not splitting monetary cost, just because you don't think you deserve to be treated like a princess when I –"
"That's not it," I interrupt, incited by the word 'princess.' "I just don't think I could be comfortable with this. You paying for everything."
"Then you must learn to be okay with it and not think anything of it," he simply says. "This is how I want to do things. And I would like to remind you of my favorite rule: No fights."
He winks at me and I lower my head with a sheepish smile. All right, even I have to admit that it is getting ridiculous to fight this any further. He is stupidly rich, it doesn't hurt him. If it makes him happy to pay, he shall pay.
"As long as you don't think I owe you anything," I carefully add.
He raises his eyebrows. "Oh, you'll owe me. But not in the way you think you will. I have another set of rules that will be implemented as time goes by – and you will step out of line again and again as you will learn slowly."
He leans forward and takes my face between his hands, gently stroking my cheeks with his thumbs as he forces me to look into his dark, mysterious eyes.
"There will be rewards and endless pleasure for you," he whispers. "And sweet punishments for every mistake you make. Do you understand?"
There it is again. That voice, that face. His soft and loving hands. My heart is racing and even my eyes appear to flutter as I open myself to his words.
I want him. I want to be with him. And at this moment, I couldn't care less about anything than is not directly related to this. To this tension between us and the endless possibilities that open up in front of my eyes.
What on earth made me think I could come out here and have '
' with this man?