Character List

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interview

I called Lukas as soon as I got home Sunday night.  He was relieved to know that I made it home safely.  It was evident that he was in the mood to talk but I wasn't and quickly rushed him off the phone.  At this point, all I wanted was to sleep!! My head was pounding and even though I was hungry, I felt I couldn't keep anything down.  It was a long time since I had been this hungover and I hated it!!!  I got in bed and pulled up the covers, determined to sleep my hangover away.

I spent the next two days focusing on my interview.  I practiced speaking in front of my full length mirror.  I have this terrible habit of talking with my hands and I didn't want that to be a distraction.  I tried on my outfits again with different shoes and boots, trying to look as profession as possible.  I went and got a manicure, my nails now short and painted in very pale pink. I was so nervous about this interview, my first one in over four years!!!  Tuesday night I finally settled on the charcoal gray skirt suit that I had purchased at Banana Republic last week with Christian Louboutin black pumps and a black Chanel flap bag.  I borrowed my dad's portfolio to store my resume, a notepad and a pen.  I made sure everything was laid out, virtually ensuring that I wouldn't have to run around like a chicken without its head the next morning.

I needed to have a good night's sleep to be ready and alert for my big interview so I took two zzz-quils around 9'ish.  I didn't think they would actually work but I was out cold.  I awoke  at 7 a.m. and quickly got ready.  There was no way I was going to be late.  Pretty soon I was headed to Penn Station on the 8:53 train; I opened my portfolio and was going over my resume and prospective questions in my head when I felt my phone vibrate.  I hated being distracted when I was focusing on something this important.  I glanced on my phone and saw a text message from Lukas.

"Just wanted to wish you the best of luck today, I know you'll kill this interview"  he wrote.

I smiled.  Lukas had been great and he had a lot more confidence in me than I had in myself.  "Thanks, I hope you're right:)" I texted back.

"You'll do great.  Let me know when you're done, maybe we can grab lunch or dinner."

I quickly texted "Thanks. I will."

By this time the train was pulling into Penn Station, I glanced at my watch - 9:20.  That was plenty of time for me to get to 26th Street and Madison.  I could have walked or taken the train but I wanted to make sure there weren't any unforeseen delays.  Instead I cabbed it.  By 9:40 I was strolling into the SIB building which was full of marble and artwork.  I approached the Visitors desk and waited as Security called my interviewer, John Goldstein, the head of Credit.  Security told me that someone will be down in a minute to escort me up.

John's secretary, Cara, escorted me to an empty conference room on the eight floor.  Cara was a pleasant, petite, middle aged woman with short, dark hair and glasses.  She asked if I needed anything and I shook my head politely.  Before leaving she mentioned that there was coffee, juice, water and refreshments on a table by the window and that I should help myself.  I made my way over to the table and was stopped in my tracks by the exquisite view of the Empire State Building.  It looked so close and beautiful from this vantage point.  I poured myself a cup of coffee and grabbed a small bottle of water and returned to my seat. I sat quietly and sipped on my coffee waiting for John to arrive.  I'm very impatient and hated waiting; with each passing minute I became increasingly nervous.  Finally, by 10:15 I heard a knock on the door and a tall man with black hair and glasses entered.  I looked like he was in his late 30s, early 40s at best.

I stood as he made his way over, "Elisabeth Lombardi?" he asked.

I nodded.  "I'm John Goldstein" he said shaking my hand "please have a seat" he said politely sitting across from me.

"It is very nice meeting you, John and I am grateful to have the opportunity to interview for a position here at SIB."

He smiled, "I've read your resume, it's quite impressive.  You've had many accomplishments at your previous place of employment and seemed like a valuable member of that team.  Why would you abruptly leave that position?"

Damn, I knew I would have to discuss my previous job but didn't expect that would be the first question. I was taken aback.  I clear my throat, "While I was grateful for the opportunities I had in Los Angeles, I feel that there was a limitation on how far I could actually get in my career. SIB is a world renowned investment bank that will allow me to reach my full potential and achieve all of my career goals.  In addition, I am originally from NY and I missed that aspect as well."

"You mentioned achieving your career goals, might you be able to further specify?" he asked intently.

"My immediate plan is to be a part of a company that I will be able to grow with.  SIB is the type of organization that can help my hone my skills and maximize my potential."

After that he asked me a few conceptual questions which thankfully I nailed.  He glanced at his watch.  "Do you have any questions for me?"

I had a couple but the one that really caught him by surprise was "If given the opportunity, what can I do to help you?"

"You know that's the first time someone asked me that question.  The main thing that I need is someone who is proactive, who I don't have to ask repeatedly to do something, someone who sees and issue at hand and tries to resolve it without being asked.  I need an employee that can handle our top tier clients and their persistence at times.  Overall I need an independent worker who can exceed expectation and can be self sufficient, all while being a team player."

I smiled confidently at him, "You more or less described me.  I believe in taking chances and being proactive. I think outside the box and will step in and help my colleagues when needed.  I feel that I have a great deal of knowledge, experience and drive to not only be an asset to your group but to SIB as a whole."

He nodded at me.  "I must apologize, today has unexpectedly turned out to be an very busy day.  Many unexpected fire drills.  I hate to cut this short but I have to head to an important meeting that starts in five minutes.  It was a pleasure meeting you" he said standing up.

I stood up and shook his hand, looking him in the eyes confidently, "Thank you for taking time out of your day to meet with me.  I know that if given the opportunity, I will be a great asset to your group."

He smiled and walked to the door, "I believe you are meeting with Rob and Matt jointly next.  If you need anything, please ask Cara.  She is seated right in front of the next conference room to your left."

"Thank you, John."

After he left I pulled out my phone and glanced at the time 11:22.  I quickly put my phone away.  I made me way out of the conference room and walked to Cara's desk, "Um, Cara, might you be able to show me where the restroom is?"  Cara was sweet enough to escort me to the bathroom and then waited til I was done. We walked quietly back to the conference room.

Around 11:45, Matt Harris and Rob Kelly showed up.  Matt Harris was gorgeous with piercing blue eyes, perfectly tanned skinned (he must have just gotten back from some exotic vacay because there was no way in hell he got that tan here in the North Pole...lol..I mean NYC), and dark brown hair.  He was wearing a fitted pinstriped suit that showed off his toned body.  He couldn't have been over 30 in my guesstimation. After what happened with Nate there was no way I would go after Matt, though he was oh so handsome.  Rob Kelly was older with salt and pepper hair and big friendly brown eyes.  Rob started "I know this must be weird for you, having a joint interview.  Here at SIB we like to take our potential candidates out of their comfort zone because our world is ever changing."

I quickly answered, "I like challenges and welcome change" smiling politely at both of them.

Rob and Matt's questions were basic and straight forward, nothing that stumped me or caught me off guard until we were closing up the interview and Matt asked, "I have a final question for you, why are the manhole covers round?"

I must have looked shocked or had a stupefied look on my face because the two of them exchanged a knowing smile.  "Um, I'm guessing that it makes it easier for someone to gain access to that area if the covering is round."

Matt shook his head, "This is actually a Microsoft interview question, we usually use it to stump our potential candidates to see how they think.  The correct answer is, a manhole cover is round because that is the only shape in which the cover will not fall through.  For example if you turn the cover sideways, it wouldn't fall into the hole."

I nodded, "That makes a lot of sense."

Matt responded "I bet you're going to tell your friends and family that you got asked the weirdest question during your interview."

"No not at all, you actually taught me something" I said smiling at him, while thinking that was the dumbest interview question ever.

I asked them both a couple more questions and thanked them for their time. As they escorted me out and Rob mentioned that I should hear back from them by the end of next week.  I was about to exit the building when I realized it was raining.  I stood in the lobby of the building and texted Lukas letting him know I was done.  He asked if I could meet him at his office on 57th Street and Madison.  I told him yes and rummaged through my bag for my compact leopard printed umbrella.  I opened it and walked to the subway.

I texted Lukas when I was in the lobby of his building, he quickly came down and escorted me up to his office.  His father had headquarters for their family business on the 39th floor of this glass building.  I filled Lukas on my interview and he told me that I shouldn't worry too much that it sounded like I did great.  When we exited on the 39th floor I drew in my breath, everything was white with sleek furniture. Like something you would see in a magazine.  He led me to his office.  "I have to take care of one more thing and then we can leave" he said leaving the office.  I took this time to call Mark and tell him about the interview.  He asked if I were still interested and I told him I most definitely was.

I was staring out of the window, watching the rain increase in intensity when Lukas came back.  He slipped his arms around me from behind, "Maybe we should order in since its so bad out?" he said as his lips kissed the side on my neck, while his hands brushed the sides of breasts.  I turned to face him, he lifted me so I was sitting more or less on the window sill.  His hands on my face as he kissed me more passionately.  I moaned as I felt his hands moving under my shirt and bra, his fingers teasing my nipples.  He pulled me forward and pushed up my skirt around my waist, his fingers moving inside my panties and teasing me, while never breaking our kiss.  He pulled away from me and I watched as he unzipped his pants.  He kissed me deeply this time, his tongue entwined with mine as I felt him slide into me.  I wrapped my legs around his waist as he moved inside me.  I wondered if the people in the next building could see us, the mere idea got me more excited.  I felt Lukas fingers stroking me as he started to move faster.  That was all it took for me to cum hard and little too loud.  Lukas covered my mouth with his hand to quiet me "Shh, we have to be quiet" he whispered never stopping the rhythm he established.  I felt his body tense and I knew he was close. I saw jaw clench and his eyes close as he came.  He leaned forward and kissed me, gently this time.  "I missed you so much Elisabeth" he said quietly.

I grinned at him like a love struck teenager before he helped me off the window sill.  I smoothed down my skirt and asked him where the bathroom was.  He told me has had his own private bathroom and pointed to a door on the right hand side.  I went inside and freshened up, fixing my clothes and makeup.  When I came out I found Lukas on the phone ordering food.  "I hope you're in the mood for Chinese" he said, his face glowing.

"Mmm, that sounds wonderful" I said sitting on his left leg and kissed his forehead.

Being with Lukas was very different from my relationship with Jason.  Lukas made me feel special.  I thoroughly enjoy every moment I've had with him, well except for getting sick after drinking too much.  Even then he was kind and took care of me.  Jason would've just bitched about my immaturity and went to sleep leaving me to fend for myself.  I jumped when Lukas said, "What are you thinking about? You seem so distracted?"

"I was thinking about how great you've been to me. Can we maybe hang out Friday or Saturday?  We can do anything you'd like" I said, trying to tempt him.

He was about to say something when the phone rang, it was his secretary letting him know our food had arrived.  Lukas went to collect our food.  When he came back, we sat on a couch in his office and ate, pretty much in silence because we were both starving.

Lukas leaned back.  "I would love to hang out with you this weekend but unfortunately I can't.  I have prior obligations that I cannot break. I hope you understand" he said softly.

Something about that response didn't sit right with me but maybe I was just over thinking and over analyzing. "I understand" I said quietly.

He kissed me gently but I pulled away.  "Lukas, I really think I should get going.  It's getting late."

Wrapping me in his arms, "You can always spend the night at my place if you want."

"I'm really tired, but thanks" I responded.  Truth is I wanted to spend the night at Lukas' and be with him but I was annoyed that he had 'prior obligations'.  What the hell did that mean?

Before I left Lukas showed me around his floor. Every detail was perfect. After that he walked me out and gave me a long kiss before turning back and heading in.  By then the rain had cleared but my mind was now clouded with all kinds of question marks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brunch and It's Aftermath

As I walked into Pranna and I was immediately greeted by music blasting from the DJ area as I checked my coat. I quickly scanned the room which was packed with 25-35 year olds sipping on their drinks and dancing along to the music. I spotted Melissa at a table in the back with two girls that I couldn't really place. As I approached the table, Melissa got up and gave me a hug.

"You remember Priya and Jessica" she said.  I nodded and said hello to the girls.  Truth is I was so wrapped up with Jason, that I hardly made time to hang out as much as I should have and had no clue who these two were.  Priya was an exotic, beautiful Indian girl with long black hair and big brown eyes.  She was well dressed in a black long sleeved lace dress with leggings and boots. Jessica was a tall, almost too thin brunette.  You know people say you can never be too rich or too thin, I beg to differ on the latter.  Jessica wore her hair up in a messy, top bun and wore an over sized button down shirt over her black skinny jeans.

Priya started talking right away, "Melissa was telling us that you just moved back from Los Angeles and you are more or less starting over."  Before I could answer she continued, "I totally know what that is like.  I grew up in Deer Park, Long Island but my family moved to LA when I was 16.  My dad had an awesome opportunity to be Director of Pediatrics at UCLA Medical.  I liked it in LA but it wasn't the same, I missed my hometown and friends. I ended up moving back to go to Columbia University.  When I graduated my parents insisted that I move back to LA and I did for a year while studying for the MCAT's but my heart will always belong in NYC.  Thankfully I got into NYC Medical School."  She took a breath.  I realized that she went to Columbia with Melissa and that's how they knew each other.

"That's awesome.  I hear that NYU has a great medical program" I said as cheerfully as I could.

She nodded, "I don't want to bug you with the details, it's not that fascinating."  She laughed.  "I like to have fun too."

Melissa quickly chimed in, "Back in college Priya was our "events coordinator."  She always knew which club or party we should hit.  I'm surprised she graduated with a 4.0 considering she was never studying." Priya playfully threw a napkin in her direction.  The three of them giggled and I couldn't help but join in.

Jessica who had been quiet til now turned to me, "So what are your plans now that you are back in NY?"

"I don't know. I'm looking for a job, a place in the city and just trying to get my life back to normal."

She nodded knowingly.  "I've been there" she said and smiled at me.

Priya chimed in "I might be able to help you with finding a place in the city."

Before I could ask her to elaborate, Britney was rushing her way to the table.  She greeted us and hailed a waiter before sitting down.  We ordered a round of Bellini's before Britney said "Oh my God, Elisabeth you are positively glowing.  I'm guessing you had a good time with Lukas."

All eyes were on me and I blushed, stammering I responded "It was fun."

The girls wanted details but all I disclosed was that I met Lukas at speed dating with Britney.  I said he seemed very nice and was smoking hot but I was still getting to know him. I was grateful when Melissa's cell phone pinged.  She pulled out her phone and muttered "fuck" under her breath.  "Is everything all right, Melissa?" I asked concerned.

"It's just that Ally can't come, she has a stomach virus."

"That sucks.  Tell her to stay hydrated and rest" Priya said.  Melissa put her phone away and looked around the table at all of us.

"I know Valentine's Day is usually about celebrating with the love of your life" she started raising her Mimosa "but I think Valentine's Day is about telling those who are important in your life how much you care.  You girls are my best friends and have been through it all with me. I love you all dearly.  That's why I invited you to brunch.  I wanted to do something special" she said all teary eyed.  We all clinked our glasses together.

We downed round after round Bellini's and Mimosa's and ate the most scrumptious pancakes with berries, crab cakes, mac and cheese.  After we finished eating, the waiters removed our table and brought us another round of drinks.  I realized quickly that Pranna morphed into a club like atmosphere after brunch.  I giggled at the thought of being at club.  I hadn't been to an actual club in years.  People all around were dancing and it wasn't long before Priya grabbed my hand and pulled me on the dance floor.  While dancing I said "I love this place, it's so loungey and comfortable."

"Yes, you haven't seen anything yet.  On Saturday nights it turns into a huge Bollywood party.  Oh my god, you should totally come with me.  You would love it" she said excitedly.

"I don't know much about Bollywood" I said skeptically.

"I'll teach you.  Come on, I promise it would be fun."

"I don't know about tonight, though."

"Girl, who said tonight" she said laughing "Let's make plans for when it's a little warmer."

I quickly agreed. When we got back to the table my head was spinning from all the alcohol I'd consumed and the music.  I chugged down a bottle of water, trying to sober up a little.  Britney pressed me for details about my night with Lukas but I was coy.  Truth is I had such a great night and I didn't want her throwing shade or causing me to second guess anything.  I quickly changed the subject, "So what happened with Tommy?"

Britney looked annoyed, "Tommy is such an ass.  We had dinner at Butter and were in a cab going back to my apartment when his phone rang. It was this girl he was dating, yes I said DATING."

"Wait, he has a girlfriend?"  I asked incredulously.

"Seems like it.  When we got my building he didn't even get out of the cab.  He just told me something came up and he was going to meet up with a "friend" as if I didn't hear his entire conversation.  WTF?!?!? I was so pissed.  I slammed the cab door and spend the rest of the night with Ben and Jerry. How could he do this to me?" she asked me.

"I'm not sure but I do know that you are a great person with a huge heart and deserve so much better."

She tried her best to smile at me.  "I'm so happy you are back, well not happy of the circumstances but that I have my best friend back."

I nodded and gave her a hug.  A short while later both Priya and Jessica came over to say goodbye.  Priya and I exchanged numbers and agreed to do Bollywood night soon.  Before leaving she said "Give me call when you're free, I have an apartment proposition for you."  I promised her I would.

After they left Britney said, "Priya is a lot of fun, you should hit the town with her.  She has connections at all of the exclusive clubs and restaurants and she knows a ton of hot guys."

I was grinning at her when Melissa came over.  She plopped down on the seat across from us.  "I'm so exhausted" she said, leaning back.

"Let's get out of here, the music is too fucking loud" Britney chimed.

"Where shall we go?" I asked.

"Let's go to my place and talk" Melissa said.

While sitting on the Melissa's hardwood floors in her living room, munching on popcorn, Melissa asked me about Lukas.  "So tell me about this guy."

"Well I met him at speed dating and we had this awesome first date.  He is so intense and I feel like he actually listens and cares about me and what I want" I said.

"And I hear he is awesome in bed" Britney quipped, winking at me.

"You had sex with him already" Melissa blurted out.

I nodded and she continued, "So soon.  You aren't suppose to have sex before monogamy."

"Oh my God, she is quoting the Millionaire Matchmaker" Britney said laughing.

"I dated Justin for five months before I had sex with him" Melissa said "I wanted to know him first before getting attached.  Fact is, once a woman has sex with a man, something happens that makes her feel connected to him."

"Maybe you are right" I said diplomatically "but I am coming out of a long term relationship and Lukas makes me feel special. I am happy with him.  I understand what you are saying but I'm confident with my decisions so far."

Britney added, "We shouldn't try to make Elisabeth feel bad.  We all move at different paces."

"Fine, just be careful" Melissa warned.

I nodded, "Okay mom," I said to her and she frowned.

After that the lightness of the day was gone and all I wanted to do was unwind and relax.  I remembered Lukas asking me to meet him for dinner and the idea seemed so perfect now.  I excused myself and went Melissa's bathroom. I took out my cell phone and texted Lukas "Still free for dinner tonight?"  I typed.  He immediately texted back, "I always have time for you."  We agreed to meet at Dos Caminos in an hour.  I fixed my makeup and hair walked into the living room.

"Girls, this has been wonderful but I have to get going" I said quickly.

Britney added, "Me too."

We both said goodbye to Melissa and headed out.  "I can't fucking stand her judgmental ass sometimes" Britney vented.

"Me too but she means well."

"It's not like she has this perfect relationship with Justin and is the authority.  I know you like Lukas and I admit I was worried about how fast you were moving but I haven't seen you this happy in a long time" she said genuinely.

I told her I was going to meet Lukas at Dos Caminos.  I decided to take the train; I would've cabbed it but I was spending a small fortune of cabs these past few days.  Maybe this wasn't the best idea as trains were running slow and there were all sorts of cancellations for track work that can only be done on weekends.  Ugh.  By the time I got Dos Caminos, Lukas was already at the bar, sipping on a yummy looking margarita.  He made his way over to me and gave me a hug and soft kiss on the lips.

Shortly after we were escorted to a table.  Lukas ordered a serving of guacamole and chips while we both sipped on our very strong margarita's.  "How was brunch?" he asked, before popping a chip in his mouth.

"It was great.  I made plans to go to Bollywood night with one of the girls when it gets warmer."

He laughed, "I went to a couple Indian weddings and they are very colorful and fun. I think you will have fun."

I smiled at him, "Maybe you can come along with me?"

He winked at me, "Possibly."

The waitress brought our appetizers and took our orders. I swear the guacamole here was better than any I'd ever had.  I looked at Lukas, "Why did you choose me, I mean at the speed dating thingy."

"Well that's an easy question.  Apart from being beautiful, you were different from the other girls there."

"Different, how so?"

"You were real and clearly you didn't want to be there," he laughed, "You reminded me of myself."

I smiled at him, "You're totally right, but I'm glad I let Britney force me into going otherwise I wouldn't have met you."

We started talking about our families.  Lukas has two sisters, one that is 35 and married with two kids and a younger sister, 28, who is in Paris working in the fashion industry.  I told him about my three older brothers and growing up on Long Island.  As the waitress brought our entrees and more margarita's I asked him  "So what made you start working for your parents?"

"My dad is getting up there in age and health.  Two years ago he had a mini stroke and while he is still extremely competent, I felt that he needed my help.  My parents never forced me into the family business, it was my decision.  I wanted to help them, like they helped me through the years."

"Is your dad better now?"

"He is great.  He has more energy than me at times" he said grinning at me "You know you never told me about your career."

"Well there isn't much to say.  I'm looking for a job here in NY but while I was in LA I worked at an investment bank selling high grade bonds.  I was an associate and the hours are crazy sometimes but the pay made up for that."

"I have a couple friends in that field" he said knowingly.

After dinner we split a salted caramel slice of tres leche cake and then cabbed it to Lukas' place.  I was so light headed as I got out of the cab that I had to hold on to Lukas to keep from falling flat on my face.  Lukas asked if I was okay and I weakly nodded.  All of that alcohol was getting to me.  I could barely walk through the lobby of his building.  Lukas ended up carrying me to the elevator and into his apartment.  He sat me on his bed and took off my shoes and coat.  He told me to lie down and left the room.

He came back with a wet, cold washcloth that he put over my forehead and glass of water with lemon.  He told me to drink it.  I did as I was told but everything seemed like it was spinning around me.  Lukas told me to stay in bed and that he was going to run to Walgreen's to get me some Gatorade.  I nodded.   As I lay there everything got worse and I couldn't hold it in. I stumbled my way into his bathroom and threw up, tears streaming down my face.  That made me feel better but I was too weak to get up.  I flushed the toilet and leaned against the wall, my face in my hands.   I heard the door open and Lukas calling my name.  I didn't want him to see me like this.

He walked into the bathroom and found me sobbing on the floor.  He sat on the floor with me.  "Are you okay?" he asked.

I nodded and started to cry harder "I'm so embarrassed" I mumbled.

"It's ok, babe" he said helping me up.  I told him I needed a few minutes. When I walked out, Lukas was waiting for me.  "Here, wear this" he said handing me one his button down shirts.  He helped me undress and put on the shirt and laid in bed with me, rubbing my head gently until I drifted off to sleep.

Around 2 a.m. my eyes opened and I felt parched.  Lukas must have felt me stir in bed because he quickly asked if everything was okay.  I nodded but it was as though he could read my mind.  I watched as he went to his dresser and brought me a bottle of Gatorade with a straw.  He opened it and held it to my mouth telling me to drink some, that it would make me feel better.  When I had enough, he closed the bottle and kissed me on my forehead.  Before getting back in bed he said, "Maybe I should get you some aspirin?"  He returned with a two which I downed with some more Gatorade.

Once he got back in bed I cuddled up next to him.  Listening to his heartbeat as I fell asleep.

The next morning, I awoke to a pounding headache.  I groaned and reached for Lukas but he wasn't in bed.  I made my way to the bathroom and brushed my teeth before hopping into the shower. Usually a shower would make me feel better. Unfortunately, I felt like crap as I made my way to his living room.  Lukas was making breakfast.  "Morning, how are you feeling?" he asked.

"Like crap" I answered.

I poured me a glass of water.  "Drink this.  We have to keep you hydrated and replenish your electrolytes."  I listened and drank the water quickly while he placed a plate of eggs and toast in front of me.

"Lukas I can't eat anything."

"You have to to baby otherwise you won't feel better."  He began feeding me.  I didn't want to eat but how could I resist him.  There was something special about Lukas.  Jason was never this kind to me when I was hungover or sick.  When I finished eating, I admit I felt better.  Lukas passed me a bottle of water.  "Make sure you drink it all" he said.

"Yes, doctor" I said teasingly.  I stood up and wrapped my arms around him, "You're so good to me.  I'm completely embarrassed but thank you for taking care of me last night."

"It was my pleasure" he said sweetly.

Lukas and I laid in bed and watched "Legally Blond" before I got up to leave.  Lukas convinced me to stay til I was fully recovered but I told him I had to go.  Lukas was kind enough to escort me to Penn Station.  Before I boarded my train he gave me a big hug and kiss.  "Call me when you get home" he said as he watched me walk to my train track. Before walking down the stairs I turned back and waved to him.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentine's Day

(My Super Loyal Readers:  I am very flattered by all your kind words, thank you so much for your support. I know so many of you are asking for a bonus post and I caved.  I am a little ahead with my writing and decided to appease your wish!!!  Whenever I'm ahead with my writing I will try to do this but please don't expect it every week.  I hope you all enjoy this post and Elisabeth's adventure thus far.  The best is yet to come.  Yeah I know that was a little lame;))

I was deep in sleep when my phone rang. I groggily answered "Hello?"

On the other end was a chirpy Mark, "Hi Elisabeth, this is Mark.  I hope this isn't a bad time."

"No, not at all Mark.  How are you?" I said clearing my throat and sitting up in my bed.

"Okay, great.  SIB will like to meet with you on Wednesday, February 19th at 10 a.m. Is that good for you?"

"That's perfect" I responded.

"You will be meeting with the head of Credit, the head of the high grade desk and one of the directors on the high grade desk.  I will send you all that information via email shortly.  Once received please confirm receipt."

"No problem" I answered.

"And before I forget, after your interview, please call me so we can discuss your thoughts and whether or not you feel that this a good career fit for you."

"Thank you, Mark.  I will."

After hanging up, I dragged myself out of my warm, comfortable bed, showered and got dressed.  Today was Valentine's Day, the most annoying day for singles but I was in good spirits.  Truth be told Valentine's Day was a drag when I was dating Jason; he felt it was a commercialized holiday and was totally hellbent against doing anything special, especially after we moved to Los Angeles.  Still, I couldn't help but wonder what Jason was doing this year.  I wondered if he had moved on and was dating again. He's a free man and can do whatever he chose.  It wasn't like I'm sitting at home pining away for him.  Hell, I had gone out with Lukas a couple times and liked him a lot, yet the idea of Jason with another girl made me jealous....yes I said JEALOUS...and I know I had no right to feel that way.

I had to get Jason out of my head and retail therapy would do just that.  I needed to get a professional, yet feminine interview outfit and maybe a little something, something to turn Lukas' head.  Before heading out I checked my phone, and lo and behold there was an email from Mark with all the information he promised.  I quickly skimmed its entirety before shooting Mark an confirmation email.

I took my mom's SUV to Roosevelt Field Mall, the place I spent so many days during my teenage years. Ah, the memories.  The traffic sucked getting into the parking lot, worse than hitting the mall that weekend right before Christmas.  All you procrastinators like me know exactly what I mean!!!  I later found out that they were expanding the mall to include a Neiman Marcus, that made the traffic a little more bearable. After driving around for about 15 minutes I finally snagged a parking and it was by one of the entrances!!

I made my way to Banana Republic where I found three possible interview outfits.  I headed to the fitting room and tried on a black sheath dress that met exactly at me knees. The dress was fitted and paired with a matching black blazer looked very professional.  The second outfit was a charcoal gray, that looked almost black under the fitting room lights, pencil skirt, matching fitted blazer with a silk button down shirt.  I liked this outfit best so far.  The last outfit was a black pant suit.  The pants were fitted with a boot cut.  They were a little too long on my 5'3" frame but nothing that a tailor wouldn't be able to fix.  With the matching blazer I looked like a Wall Street executive.  I ended up getting both the charcoal skirt suit and the black pant suit.  I made my way to the register and was about to pay when I heard someone call out my name.  I looked around but couldn't see anyone that looked familiar. I chalked it up to hearing things.

After paying I browsed through Victoria Secret where I got something sexy to wear for Lukas (more about that later).  I vowed I was going to fix things and give Lukas and myself an unforgettable Valentine's Day. My last stop was Starbucks where I got a Grande Caramel Flan latte.

When I got home I took a long bath to relax before straightening my hair and selecting an appropriate outfit.  I didn't want something too forward or too conservative, plus I had to take into consideration the horrible icy conditions outside. I ended up choosing a red wrap top that showed off just the right amount of cleavage and a pair of dark washed skinny jeans with camel colored Tory Burch boots.  They were cute and super comfy.  I packed my Victoria Secret outfit (you never know, right?), an outfit to wear to brunch the next day and heels in my over sized Louis Vuitton tote bag.

I had arranged with Britney that if things didn't go well or if I was uncomfortable I would spend the night at her place.  I felt guilty about that prospect.  Britney had a "date" with Tommy, who we went to high school with.  Tommy and Britney had a friends with benefits relationship but I couldn't help but wonder if there were underlying, hidden feelings.  I kept my fingers crossed hoping not to have to impose on Britney again.

On the train ride into the city, I kept thinking of what I could get Lukas.  After all, I couldn't show up empty handed.  I didn't want to get him something uber personal.  As I made my way down 34th Street, a thought popped into my head - macarons and I knew the perfect spot.  I quickly hailed a cab and made my way to Laduree on 72nd Street and Madison.  Laduree was my guilty pleasure in college.  Whenever I was having a bad day or down, I would head there and get macarons and all would seem momentarily right again.  Plus being in there gave me that French cafe feel, down the employees who spoke to all the patrons in French. I knew minimal French and usually made a fool of myself trying to converse with them.  I glanced at my watch, 7:19 p.m., I knew I had to hurry up but there were five people ahead of me in line.

Everything looked so yummy but I finally settled on two vanilla, two chocolate, two salted caramel, one pistachio and one coffee.  I tried to to say you're welcome in French to the cashier when he told me thank for but for the life of me I couldn't remember.  Instead I smiled appreciatively at him, took my package and headed out.  I quickly hailed a cab and made my way to Lukas' place.  As I approached his building I started getting increasingly nervous.  I paid the cab driver as he pulled up in front of Lukas' building and exited the car.  I slowly walked into his building and when I say slowly, think turtle pace. Part of me wanting to turn back but the other part wanting to see Lukas.  I took a deep breath and approached the elevator.

My heart pounding as I got off and walked to his door.  I knocked quietly and heard Lukas on the other side.  He opened the door and smiled at me, giving me a hug.  "Happy Valentine's Day" I said as I walked into his immaculate apartment.  "Happy Valentine's Day, Elisabeth" he said uncertainly.

"I hope you don't mind but I dropped by Nino's and got us dinner. I wasn't feeling takeout."

I smiled at him, "Nino's is one of my favorite restaurants."

"So I think we should talk" he said awkwardly as he handed me a glass of Riesling.

"I brought you a peace offering" I said, handing him the bag with the macarons.

He nodded and placed the macarons on his coffee table.  He took a long sip of his wine, "Elisabeth it's been a while since I dated anyone.  I don't like talking about the past but if I don't open up, I know you would pull away."

I tried to tell him I wouldn't but he continued, "When you asked about my past, I was taken aback. I wasn't expecting that. What I'm saying now is whatever you want to know, just ask me.  It's not a subject I am completely comfortable discussing but I will for you.  I think you are very special."

I stopped him before he went any further, "Lukas I was wrong to badger you like that.  I would be pissed if you pushed me on my past, not that I have anything to hide but still.  I realize now that I should let things flow naturally between us."

I looked up at him, his face relaxed and understanding.  "So how about we start over?" he asked.

I don't know what came over me in the instant, but instead of answering I reached over and pulled him towards me, kissing him passionately.  My fingers in his hair pulling softly. His hands moved under my top, unhooking my bra, kneading my breasts.  I pulled away from him, taking off my skinny jeans extra slowly knowing he was watching my every move.  I paused before pulling off my top and letting my bra fall to the floor.

I swallowed deeply and stepped towards him, helping him out of his clothes.  Before I knew it I had my legs around his naked body, my back against the wall as I felt him sliding into me.  My arms wrapped tightly around him as he moved faster.  I felt my orgasm building, I usually need more stimulation but this time was different.  There was this primal need in me that I needed satisfied.  I moaned loudly and held on tightly, my nails digging into his back as my orgasm took over me.  My eyes closed as my back arched.  Lukas kissed my neck so gently in that moment.  I moaned softly, opening my eyes.

Lukas released me, my legs wobbly as I stood.  He turned me around, pushed me over the sofa.  My breasts brushing against the leather cushions as Lukas pressed into me.  I felt one arm slide around my waist the other between my legs.  Lukas was close as his breathing became more shallow.  I felt my body tense as I orgasmed once more.  That was all it took to send Lukas over the edge, whispering "Elisabeth" oh so softly as he came.  He kissed the nape of my neck and I closed my eyes, savoring the moment.

Basking in the after glow my stomach grumbled.  I was famished.  Lukas laughed, "maybe we should eat" he said getting up.  He escaped to his bedroom coming back out wearing his boxer briefs and holding a dozen pink roses.  "These are for you, I was going to give them to you after dinner" he said leaning down and kissing me on the cheek.  I hugged him tightly "thank you so much." I kissed him on the tip of his nose.  I wondered how he knew pink roses were my absolute favorite, I believed red roses were too predictable and overdone.

"Maybe we should eat" he said smiling at me. I nodded, "Give me a minute"  I took my bag and headed into his main bathroom.  I quickly pulled out the black lace baby doll I got at Victoria's Secret.  It was virtually see through.  I rummaged though my bag before I found the matching lace thong.  I brushed through my hair with my fingers.  I put on a little lip gloss before heading to the kitchen.  Lukas stared at me, speechlessly as I twirled for him.  "Wow, you look amazing" he said unable to take his eyes off me.

I blushed.  "Thanks" I said, all of a sudden shy.

I sat down at the table across from Lukas.  He had already set the table and laid out the food.  In front of both of us a glass of water and one full of wine.  He set out two bowls of Nino's house salad with a delicious orange vinaigrette.  As I gobbled down my salad and downed my glass of Riesling, I couldn't help but stare at his chest and the scar that was there.  He caught my eye when I looked up.  "You want to know what happened" he said as he stood up to take our empty bowls to the sink.  He opened the oven and pulled out our entrees.  As he walked toward the table, I answered "umm only if you want to talk about it."  I looked down at my plate of linguine with clams and shrimp in a white wine sauce.

He poured us both more wine and started, "I'll tell you.  You had asked before and it's only fair."

"Okay" I said knowing from the look in his eyes and demeanor I wouldn't be able to change his mind.  I took a bite of dinner and it was so good.  We ate in silence for a couple minutes before Lukas started "I had a congenital heart problem when I was born, I had a hole in my heart. It wasn't so bad that it warranted surgery, the doctor gave me medicine intravenously instead as a newborn. They told my parents not to worry, that it would not impact my way of life as I got older. This was a common affliction and the majority of babies born with a hole in their heart were able to live life without giving it a second thought."  He took a breath and a sip of water before continuing.

 "It was true. I played varsity football, baseball and lacrosse in high school.  In the winters I was snowboarding at my parent's vacation home in Stratton, Vermont. I was always active.  I always thought I was a regular kid."

"I went off to college and was playing touch football with some guys that lived in my dorm at the end of freshman year. It was the day before my parents were going to come help me move out and go back home.  Anyway, I was told I fainted in the middle of a play and my face drained off all its color.  My friends tried to revive me but they couldn't.  They were scared and called for an ambulance.  It  turned out that I had developed a heart murmur and the symptoms of my congenital heart disease were finally rearing its ugly head.  My parents wanted me to try medicine to remedy the situation but I couldn't put my life on hold for medicine that might or might not work.  What if I took the medicine and then years down the road I have another episode?  I didn't want to take that risk.  I was 19 and this was my life I told myself as I decided to have open heart surgery.  I was scared I wouldn't make it but I was determined to not give up.  Needless to say the surgery was a success.  After the surgery I went to rehab.  Every time I see this scar I realize how lucky I am to be living a normal life.  It makes me appreciate things a lot more" he said quietly.

"You're so brave" I said my eyes filled with tears "I'm very touched that you would shared such a personal story with me."

He looked down and started eating again, "I don't want you think there is anything wrong with me."

"I don't" I said, rubbing his hand.

We finished dinner and I offered to help him wash dishes but he declined.  I watched as he loaded the dishwasher with our plates and cutlery.  We carried our glasses of wine to the living room and sat on the couch where we devoured the macaroons.  "I hate to admit it but I have the biggest sweet tooth" he said.

"Me too" my mouth full of the salted caramel macaroon.

We cuddled on the couch and must have fallen asleep from our food induced coma.  My eyes popped open at 2 a.m. I felt Lukas' arms around me, his slow breathing in my ear.  I shifted and he woke up.  "I'm sorry I woke you up" I whispered.

He sat up and took my hand "We'd be more comfortable in my room" he said.

We got into bed and I drifted to sleep in his arms.  I woke up before him and was horny.  Something about Lukas just made me want him all this time, could be newness of it all and the fact that it had been a couple months since I had been intimate with anyone.  I reach down and stroked him feeling him harden as he slept.  I didn't want to wake him up just yet so I carefully moved down his body.  Taking his hardness in my mouth.  I felt him stir in his sleep and then I felt his hands in my hair.  We didn't need any words as he pulled me up and pushed himself into me.  We rocked back and forth slowly.  Lukas came before me.  I moaned softly feeling him get up.  I watched as he headed to the bathroom.  I sighed and closed my eyes trying to get some more sleep when I felt Lukas breath on my inner thighs, my tongue moving up and down, making circular motions with his tongue on that spot.  I couldn't hold off any longer and came loudly.  Lukas didn't let up, he kept moving his tongue and mouth between my legs until I begged him for more.

He propped a pillow under my butt before filling me.  At this angle, I felt every movement even more.  It wasn't long before I lost myself in passion, my body thrashing as I orgasmed.  Lukas was quick to follow.  He wrapped me in his arms and held me tight.  We stayed like that until the alarm on my phone went off at 10:30 a.m.  I groaned and turned to Lukas, "One of my best friend's is having this brunch thing at noon and I have to get ready."

His fingers making lazy circles on my shoulder "Maybe I can convince you to be late" he whispered, one hand cupping my breast.

I turned to face him, "mmmm you are so irresistible but Melissa will kill me.  She is such a stickler for time."  He watched as I got out of bed and made my way to his bathroom.

An hour later I was ready to go, wearing my skinny jeans from the night before with a black cowl neck sweater and my Tory Burch camel colored knee high flat boots.  I walked into the living room where Lukas was busy on his laptop.  He closed it quickly when he saw me.  "Are you sure I can't convince you to stay a little longer?" he asked.

I shook me head, "I would like to but I can't" I said before leaning down and kissing him softly.  I pulled on my winter white cashmere knee length fit and flare coat and grabbed my bag.  By this time Lukas was standing beside me.  I turned and wrapped my arms around him, getting on my tip toes to kiss him before leaving. I was halfway out the door when I felt him reach for my hand.  "You can come back after brunch and we'll go out to dinner."

I wanted to but truth be told I also wanted to not get attached to Lukas.  Not because I didn't like him but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that Britney was right.  I needed to slow things down.  As I cabbed it to Pranna, I thought back to my night with Lukas.  How he told me about having heart surgery and feared that I would think less of him.  I was hard for him to share that part of him and I liked him more for opening up.  I thought about his kisses, his hands on my body, the way he whispered my name.  I must have been lost in my thoughts because the cabbie was virtually yelling at me.  I jumped and looked out.  We were right in front of Pranna.  I quickly apologized, red-faced before paying and quickly exiting the cab.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Starting Over

Sometimes I swear I'm living in freaking Alaska.  I awoke of Thursday in the midst of another Nor'easter.  This one had already dropped almost a foot of snow and there was more coming.  As I stared out my bedroom window I was suddenly startled by my phone ringing.  I reached across the bed and answered it.

"Hi Elisabeth, this is Mark.  We had spoken last week about a potential job opportunity."

"Hi Mark, how are you?" I responded, a little too anxiously.

"Not too bad, considering this weather.  I was calling to let you know I presented you to one of our clients and they are interested in meeting with you for an interview.  This week is out of the question but they would like to meet with you after President's Day.  What date and time is best for you?"

"Wow, that's fantastic.  I'm free any day that they would like to meet with me.  I would, however, prefer to meet earlier in the week."

"I will set up and interview for Wednesday and revert back with all the necessary information."

"Mark, I have a question."

"Of course, go ahead" he answered.

"I know I'm not suppose to bring up salary and time off but I was wondering what this job was offering."

He laughed, "I think you'd be pleased.  As I mentioned during our phone call last week, this is an  associate role at Switzerland Investment Bank.  They are a multi-national corporation and one of the biggest players in the Fixed Income Bond market.  Since this is an senior associate role, SIB is offering a very competitive base salary of $165,000 annually and four weeks paid vacation.  You will have to take a two block leave sometime during the work year.  I'm sure you are familiar with that process.  In addition, you will receive a bonus based on how well the business is doing and your performance.  You can very easily earn at least $200,000 a year."

I was a bit shocked by the numbers and I managed to utter, "That is a quite impressive compensation package."

"I will call you with all the details for us to proceed with this process."

I said, "Thank you so much Mark" and hung up.  I started doing my happy dance all around the room.  I'm such a doofus sometimes.  At my previous job I was making a base of $145,000. This would definitely be an upgrade.  Plus in the hierarchy of Investment banks, SIB was at the top.  They were the European equivalent to Goldman Sachs.

NYC and Long Island had declared a state of emergency and that meant no school except for those poor NYC public school kids that had to brave elements.  I saw them struggling in the snow and winds on the news and felt for them.  The snow coverage had taken over most of the local channels and I took that time to sharpen up my interview skills.  I Googled the most popular interview questions and then started formulating answers to them on a notepad.  As mid-day rolled around I received an email from Mark stating that their offices were closing early because of the inclement weather but he will definitely contact me tomorrow (Friday) with all the interview information and a thorough job description.

As I thought about my upcoming interview, I realized I didn't have an appropriate outfit for a company of SIB stature.  Even though I worked at an investment bank in Los Angeles, their dress code was not as stringent as the offices in NYC.  I needed a power suit to look the part of a powerful investment banker.  Hopefully the snow will let up enough over the next few days for me to head out to the mall.

It was getting dark out and the snow had now turned into a nasty sleet mixture. As much as I hated to admit it, these past few days I thought about Lukas a lot.  I was embarrassed about how I acted and the things I said.  I replayed how he told me to call him when I was ready over and over.  Did he really mean that or was he trying to appease me?  I know I said I wanted to slow things down but he hadn't made even one attempt to call, text or contact me since our conversation Sunday.  That was four days ago. I wanted to talk to him, to see him but I didn't want to make a fool of myself.  I realized I needed a man's perspective on the situation.  I remembered back in high school and even in college before we drifted apart how Anthony had always been the voice of reason when I had relationship issues.

Before I could talk myself out of it I dialed his number and hit send.  He answered on the third ring.  "Hello."

"Hey Anthony, it's Elisabeth.  How are you?"

"Elisabeth, it's great to hear from you.  What's up?"

"Oh my God Anthony, I feel so bad that we drifted apart over the years.  You were one of my best friends and when I started dating Jason and my life got consumed with him" I began.

"That's what usually happens when you grow up" he said.

"Yes, I know but I miss talking to you and getting your input on things."

"Let me guess, you have man problems" he said laughing.

"What else is new?" I said laughing back.

"Tell me, what's going on."

I began "Anthony, I don't want to impose on you"

"No, you're not imposing, tell me what's going on.  I'm curious and want to know."

I started "Okay but brace yourself.  Jason and I broke up about two and a half months ago and that's why I returned to New York.  I was moping around and Britney suggested we go speed dating.  We did and I met this guy who seems absolutely perfect and he's gorgeous.  I went out with him last Thursday for dinner and spent Friday and Saturday night with him."

He quipped, "Define spending Friday and Saturday night with him."

I felt my face redden, "Um, I had sex with him and it was great but then I started feeling that he was too perfect and hiding something.  It didn't help that Britney suggested that I slow things down and get to know him.  Anyway, Saturday night I started pushing him for details about his past and he brushed me off saying that it was the wrong time to discuss that."

"Wait you wanted to talk about the past after banging him?" Anthony scoffed.

"You're so articulate" I said sarcastically before continuing "Yes I did and I know that was a bad move on my part.  I ended up sneaking out of his place while he was sleeping.  He started texting and calling but I didn't have my phone on hand.  Long story short, I apologized and told him I wanted to move slower.  He told me to call him when I was ready."

"Wow, that's a lot to digest" Anthony said, "What are you looking for from him?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean do you just want to hook up with him or do you want a serious relationship?" he asked.

"I want a serious relationship.  Anthony you know I don't sleep around, shit I've only been with 4 men in my 26 years and I never even had a one night stand."  I didn't consider Nate to be a one-night stand because I don't know what I did or did not do with him.  All I know is that I woke up naked in his bed and I didn't have the courage to ask him what happened.  I was too ashamed.

"I get it.  First you need to back off. Second if a woman was seeing and I just had sex, I would be pissed if she started getting on my ass about my past."

I said quietly "Do you think he meant when he said for me to call when I'm ready?"

"The difference between men and women is men always mean what they say."

"So do you think I should call  him" I asked.

He sighed, "I think you should do what makes you feel right.  I can't tell you to call this guy, you have to know what you want."

"Thanks, Anthony."

"Anytime Lizzie" he responded.

"Ahem Anthony, congratulations of your engagement. I'm happy for you."

"Thanks, I wanted to tell you but I didn't know how.  Anyway look I wish I could take more but I have to get going.  Maybe we chould meet up for a drink sometime?"

I quickly answered, "I would like that a lot" and we hung up.

I thought about what Anthony said about men always saying what they meant.  I didn't have the courage to call Lukas, I was afraid of his reaction and I still wasn't completely sure he wanted to talk.  After all he made no attempt in four days to correspond with me.  Still I missed him and I wanted to spend time with him.  I knew I had to make the first move.  I started typing, deleting, re-reading, repeating the process until I settled on texting him:

"Hey Lukas, I've been thinking about you a lot and really miss you.  Hope all is well."

Seven minutes later he texted back, "I've been thinking about you too, I can't get you out of my mind."

I responded immediately, "Will you be my Valentine?"

Valentine's Day was tomorrow and I wanted to spend it with Lukas.  I missed talking to him, being around him, cuddling with him, everything.

About 15 minutes later he answered "I would love to.  What do you have in mind?"

I knew that he had placed the ball in my court to allow me to set the pace.  Lukas didn't seem like the type that would normally defer planning a date to me but who knows.  "I was thinking maybe we can have dinner at your place and talk."

He quickly responded, "Sounds like a plan. Does 8 p.m. work for you?"

"That's perfect" I texted.

"I can't wait to see you Liz."

I smiled and plopped down on my bed.  It had been a long day but tomorrow would be a great. I would get my interview all set up and then see Lukas later.  I promised myself that I wouldn't bring up the past and just live in the moment.

Monday, February 17, 2014

In Limbo

After brunch I went back to Britney's to get my phone.  When I picked it up, I found at four text messages from Lukas and two missed calls.

9:10 a.m.  "Where did you disappear to?"
9:43 a.m.  "I hope I didn't do anything to upset you?"
10:36 a.m. "I tried calling, I would like to talk to you."
11:41 a.m.  "Call me or text me when you're ready?"

I wanted to text him but there were no words that truly explain my disappearance.  When I snuck out of his place, I didn't realize he would be worried about my whereabouts.  I was only thinking about my own feelings in that instance.  After replaying the events of the previous night in my mind, I decided to call instead.

"Elisabeth" he said when he answered.  I started talking before I lost my courage, "Lukas, I didn't mean to leave like that but I was and still am confused about a lot of things.  You see I really like you and after my past relationship I am scared of getting hurt.  You've been absolutely wonderful to me but in my head I keep thinking this is too good to be true."  I realized I was rambling and paused to catch my breath.

"I understand not wanting to get hurt but you have to realize I'm not perfect Elisabeth, no one is.  I make mistakes like everyone else."

I interrupted, "I felt as though I was intruding when I asked you about your past.  I realize it wasn't the best timing but I really like you and I just want to make sure you don't have a crazy ex or kids somewhere."

He sighed "I don't have neither.  I don't have this sordid story but I need time to fully divulge everything.  I don't think that's unreasonable considering we've known each other over a week."

I replied, "See that's just it, it's been a week but it's like I'm drawn to you and I'm scared."

"You don't have to be scared, I won't hurt you."

"I know, you've been so sweet to me and I'm bringing you down with trying to dig into your past" I said quietly.  As I uttered the words I realized how true they were.

"I don't know your past either but that's not as important as me getting to know every little thing about you" he replied.

"I want to get to know you better too.  You know what, you can tell me your story when the timing is right for you.  I didn't mean to push but you're the first guy I have really liked in a while." 

He said, "You're the first girl I liked in a long time."

I smiled. "I enjoy spending time with you but I think we need to slow down a little."

"I understand" he responded sounding disappointed after a couple seconds "Why don't you call me when you are ready?"

I said I would and hung up.  I slumped down onto Britney's sofa.  I turned to her, "Do you think I screwed things up?" I asked quietly.

"No, no not at all.  I think Lukas is into you, but you and Jason just broke up.  I don't want you to be all clingy and dependent on Lukas" she started.

I stared at her, "I'm not clingy, how can you say that Britney?" I asked angrily.

"I don't mean it like that.  I mean you just spent the last three days with him.  I just don't want you forgetting about Jason by throwing yourself into a relationship or whatever it is with Lukas.  I love you like a sister and I don't want to see you getting hurt."

I still heard the words replaying in my head.  Was I becoming clingy and dependent?  I just sat there lost in my thoughts.

"I want you to enjoy your life and I know you like Lukas but get to know him first, slowly.  Whatever you do, you know I got your back" Britney said as she reached over to give me a hug.

"Thanks.  But I have a question, do you really think I'm being clingy and dependent?"

She smiled at me, "No, Lizzie.  That didn't come out the way I intended.  I want you to be independent and make your rules and live your life on your terms.  You know, I want you to be happy.   I remember when I broke up with Chad in college, I threw myself into another relationship so quickly and became dependent on that relationship.  I used it to define me, that I was worthy of having a boyfriend but in reality it was a guise.  I don't want to see you go through that."  I saw tears in her eyes as she spoke.

Chad was Britney's first love, he could do no wrong in her eyes.  When he was around us, Britney's friends, he was so sweet and charismatic but behind closed doors he verbally abused her and made her feel worthless.  Britney kept quiet, silently blaming herself and believing his cruel words but she never told anyone.  Britney finally ended their relationship when he slapped her.  I remember meeting her at a little diner on Long Island and her telling me the entire story.  I was heartbroken for her.  To make herself feel worthy again she quickly started dating someone else.  After months she realized that she never really healed and started therapy.  That was five years ago.  You look at Britney now and you would never believe that she had gone through so much.  She was strong, positive and oh so bubbly.  I admired her strength and resolve.

I took Britney's hand and squeezed it.  "I understand what you meant and appreciate how much you care."

She nodded, "I don't want you to make the same mistakes that I did.  I'm not saying Lukas is a mistake, from what you say he is certainly a great catch but don't jump into anything."

"I know."

Truth is, I really enjoyed my time with Lukas but I didn't want him to be my rebound guy.  He had so many qualities that I liked and I wanted more from him.  I wanted to know his story too and how he got that scar on his chest, his likes, his dislikes, everything.  Britney was right though, I needed to slow things down before I got too attached, too soon.

Britney seemed somber sitting there, probably recanting how fucked up Chad was.  I remembered how obsessed she was The Notebook.  "Hey Brit, let's order Chinese and watch the Notebook."

She looked at me in disbelief, "I thought you said that movie was so cliche."

"I might have had a change of heart, plus Ryan Gosling has grown of me."

She giggled.  "Let's do it."

That night as we ate take out and I had a new found respect for the Notebook.  Jason was not into the movie and I never gave it a chance but watching it now, it brought tears to my eyes.  I hated to admit but this was such a great love story.

The next morning I woke up while Britney was getting ready for work.  I had fallen asleep on her couch while watching reruns of King of Queens.  I quickly cleaned up and brushed my teeth, dressing quickly.  I needed to head back home.  Britney was in the kitchen fixing herself coffee.  "Morning" she said handing me a cup.

"Morning, I want to thank you for letting me stay here and using your apartment the past few days.  I love you and appreciate all you've done for me."

She waved her hands at me, "No please don't thank me.  Sisters for life, remember?"

I nodded and smiled.  We use to say that all the time while we were growing up.  I gathered my things and followed her out the door onto the cold, icy New York streets.  I gave her hug before hailing a cab to take me to Penn Station.  I was so lucky to have great, supportive friends and family.  Getting out of that cab by Penn Station was so treacherous.  In all honesty, I had never seen New York City so icy and snowy.  I thought to myself, this new mayor needs to his shit together and clean the streets.  Walking over twelve inches of ice was unacceptable.  I remember having massive snowstorms and never all this residue days later but I digress.

By 11 a.m. I was home.  I plopped down on the couch and turned on the tv to the Food Network.  My parents and friends always gave me a hard time about watching so many cooking shows and not attempting to make much.  My mom use to tell me I was missing the "Italian cooking gene" in jest.  I knew how to cook but my life was too busy to actually hone my skill.  Truth is is I actually enjoyed it but I had to be in the mood.

The days dragged as I sat at home.  I was so much more happy and active in the city but that damn real estate lady hadn't gotten back to me yet.  I played out all sorts of scenarios in my head and finally settled on the most logical one.  They probably found another tenant.  I had to start searching all over again.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Me and My Big Mouth....

Once I arrived home, I took a long hot bath. I attempted to figure out what went wrong and why I would lash out at Britney.  If anything she had been the one that helped me the most.  Deep down, I had been questioning whether Lukas was as perfect as he seemed thus far.  He was such a gentleman and treated me and everyone else we encountered with such respect; he was kind and had dreams of helping others one day.  Plus, he was gorgeous and the best kisser ever. I did have questions about his past and why he was still single but at the same time I was hesitant to ask those questions because that would mean me having to talk about what happened between Jason and I.  So far all of my friends and family thought the breakup was all Jason's fault; that he hurt and betrayed me.  I didn't have the heart or courage to tell them I was the one that hurt him.  I hate disappointing my loved ones and the truth is I was and still am ashamed of my actions.

Because of Lukas, I was happy for the first time in months and even though I wanted to know about his past I convinced myself the timing is wrong.  I knew I had to fix things with Britney and that meant me telling her the truth about Jason and I.

After getting dressed, my hair still wrapped in a towel, I called Britney again.  This time she answered, "Look Elisabeth, I'm not in the mood to talk to you."

I started, praying she wouldn't hang up. "Britney I'm afraid to ask about Lukas' past not because I'm scared of him or anything but because there are things nobody knows about my breakup with Jason." There, I finally said it aloud to someone.

Britney responded, "What are you talking about?"

"It's something that I would have to explain in person but I am begging you, please do not say anything to anyone."

She said, "OK, if you say so." 

I knew she was still upset.  "Britney, you were right.  I don't know Lukas and maybe I am rushing things with him.  It's just that her makes me feel special.  I'm able to be myself with him, albeit a more carefree version. It's hard to explain.  I know you don't want me to get hurt and I had no right to say what I did. You're not jealous of me; you've been my biggest supporter.  I'm so sorry I even said that.  Please forgive me."

Britney sniffled on the other end, "Thank you. I forgive you but you better tell me the full story about Jason."

"I promise" I said.  I told her about the party at 1OAK and how Lukas invited me to spend the night at his place. She responded, "I know you really like him but if you don't feel like going back to his place, call me and you can sleep on my couch."  I was happy Britney was feeling a little better and trying her best not be judgmental.   

I rummaged through my closet and finally found a cute outfit for the night.  Black pleated short skirt with tights and a low cut black blouse with black lace booties.  I got dressed and headed to Lukas' place, overnight bag in my hand.  I got to his place around 8:30.  Lukas lived in a fancy, doorman building. As I made my way up to his apartment I looked at myself in the mirror.  I was pleased with my appearance.  I made my way to his apartment and knocked on the door.  Lukas opened the door with only dress pants on. 

"Hello, beautiful" he said before gently kissing on the lips and leading me in.  His apartment was huge with a spectacular view of Central Park.  "I'm running a little late.  I took a nap and overslept."  I sat on his king sized bed while he got dressed.  His chest and abs were perfectly chiseled.  He definitely worked out a lot I thought.  I started reminiscing about the previous night and blushed.  He looked at me, slipping a button down shirt over his right arm, "What are you thinking about?"

I blushed again, "You."

His green eyes lit up.  "I have an idea.  How about we forget the party and stay in instead."

I started "But it's your friend's birthday" when he kissed me, his hands on the bed as he pushed me onto my back.  I giggled and kissed him back.

"It's a work friend's party and trust me I'd have more fun with you" he said breathlessly.

His lips were then on my neck when I whispered "I love how you think."

"That's not the only thing you love about me" he teased before kissing the other side of my neck.  I let myself go and ran my hands up and down his back.  His hands made their way down my body, slowly taking off my shoes.  He gently rubbed my feet and I closed my eyes.  I felt his hands move up my calves and thighs.  Instinctively I lifted my hips allowing him to remove my tights and panties in one motion.

His fingers moved between my legs.  I felt his hands push up my skirt and his breath on my inner thighs.  He spread my legs with his strong hands and ran his tongue between my legs moving up and down, his tongue teasing me in a circular motion.  Sensing I couldn't hold off much longer he whispered "cum for me baby."  I felt his tongue circling faster and two fingers moving in and out of me.  My back arched as my orgasm came over me in waves.  I lay back on the bed and moaned his name loudly but he wasn't done yet. He made his way up my body so slowly, his tongue circling my navel, trailing its way up to my breasts.  His tongue circling all around my breasts but avoiding my nipples.  I tried to arch my back to get what I wanted but it was no use.

He kissed my neck and he rolled my nipples between his thumb and forefinger.  I felt him move back down and suck hungrily on my left nipple and then my right.  I needed him inside me so bad.  I grabbed his head and pulled him up, my tongue pushing into his mouth.  I somehow rolled him over so I was on top, straddling his naked stomach.  I slid down his body pulling off his pants.  My hands found his hardness and I stroked it feeling it pulsate in my hands.  I kissed it's head tasting him, while my hands stroked his chest sensed from his moans he wanted more as well.  I stripped off my skirt and  straddled him barely sliding him in me, teasing him.  He moaned and I could see the passion in his eyes.  I continued teasing him as he had done me, loving the reaction I was getting.  Without warning I felt his hands on my hips pulling my all the way down, filling me completely.

He smiled at me while his hands cupped my breasts.  I moved slowly at first and then faster.  I felt his hands between my legs playing with me as I moved up and down.  I threw my head back as my orgasm washed over me.  I steadied myself and leaned forward kissing him.  He rolled me over in one motion and started moving faster and deeper inside me.  He gazed into my eyes as he came hard.  It was so intimate that I should have looked away but with Lukas it seemed so natural.

He kissed me on the forehead, "I really like you."

"Mmm I like you too."

"When I'm with you, nothing else matters.  I haven't felt like this in years" he said gently, his fingers making lazy circles on my arm.

I looked up at him, he seemed lost in thought.  I wanted to know what he meant but I didn't want to ruin the moment.

A few minutes later he sat up, "Babe, I'm starving. How about take-out?"

I nodded, I was famished.  Truth be told Lukas wore me out, and I was hungry and exhausted.  Jason and I had a good sex life but with Lukas it was different, better.  He knew what he was doing but it was as though he knew what I wanted, needed.  

We ended up ordering Chinese food and laying in his bed.  I was cuddling up next to him in one of his old button down shirts.  I trailed my fingers up to his cheeks.  He turned to me.  I started talking, "I really like you Lukas but I don't think I know much about about you?"

"Each day we learn more and more about each other" he said.

"I know but what's your story?"

"My story?" he asked, confused.

"Yes, I was just curious.  You seem so perfect, it's hard to believe that at 32 you would still be single"

He sighed, "It's a long story and I don't feel like getting into it now.  We just had a great night, why ruin it with discussing the past?"

"I understanding what you're saying but I feel like you are hiding something."

"We all have secrets Liz" he said exasperated.

"I guess" I said looking disappointed.

He seemed perturbed by my questions.  "I promise I will tell you everything you want to know but in time.  I hope you would understand that."

"If you say so" I said quietly.

I couldn't help but wonder what he was hiding, he had to be hiding something to be so adamant about keeping his past a secret.  "Please understand, talking about my past is difficult but I will with time."

I nodded.

He kissed me on the cheek and rolled over to his side.  I stared up at the ceiling wondering if I had completely screwed things up with Lukas.  I couldn't sleep and lay there wondering if I overplayed my hand.  Lukas was still sleeping when I got out of bed at 8 am.  I put on my clothes and let myself out of his apartment.  I called Britney once I was outside of his building.  She answered groggily, I could tell I woke her up.  I told her I was on my way over.  I got to Britney's place a half hour later.  She opened the door and let me in. 

"What happened?" she asked handing me a cup of coffee.

I told her everything.  "We had such a great night but I fucked it up by trying to get info about his past.  He told me he didn't feel like now was the right time.  I know he is hiding something from me because he is too perfect."

Britney looked at me and shook her head, "I wanted you to find out more about him but at the right time.  He was probably wasn't ready for that."

"But I want to know more.  I like him a lot, Britney and I'm afraid I screwed up."

Britney said, "First you didn't screw up.  Second you are going to call Lukas but not see him every night.  You just got out of long term relationship, I don't want you jumping into something so soon and getting hurt.  I think Lukas likes you too but slow it down a little."

I nodded.  She gave me a hug.  "You're such a good friend to me," I said.

Britney suggested we have brunch.  We both got dressed and headed out to Penelope's.  We were sipping on our mimosa's when she leaned forward "Are you ready to tell me about Jason now?"

"Yes I'll tell you but promise me you won't tell anyone."

She promised.

I told her about how good things were at first, how insecure I started feeling when Jason started law school and how I ended up banging my one time co-worker Nate after getting drunk.  I told her how Jason proposed and how shortly after he found pics of Nate and me on Facebook.  I told her how hurt he was and that he broke up with me immediately and moved out.  How he refused to even say goodbye to me.  Britney didn't interrupt me once, just listened.  I could see the shock and surprise in her face as I spoke.  "It was all my fault, Britney.  I hurt Jason, not the other way around."

She rubbed my back soothingly, "It's okay, Liz.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Maybe you and Jason weren't meant to be.  As we get older we want different things.  Maybe you and Jason just grew apart."

"Yes we did" I answered.

She continued, "I believe that if you and Jason were meant to be, you will be one day.  For now you have Lukas and you seem to like him.  Get to know him but take your time."

I knew she was right.  I reached into my purse to get my phone, only it wasn't there.  I wanted to text Lukas and let him know I was fine.  "Shit," I said quietly, realizing I left my phone on Britney's coffee table.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Take Out and Movie

(To my readers:  I greatly appreciate your support and kind words, they have been very encouraging to me. I love all of your comments, even the negative ones;) and I enjoy receiving feedback.  I have decided to create schedule of Monday and Thursday for my posts. That's not to say that I won't add an additional post certain weeks!!!! I had initially planned to post this entry tomorrow - Valentine's Day - but my tomorrow is my brother's wedding and I won't have the time.  I wish you all a wonderful Valentine's Day and hope that this post warms you up on this cold, snowy NYC day.  Once again thank you for your support and stay tuned because things will get really crazy soon!!!)

The next morning, I awoke to a text from Lukas "I had a great time with you last night. Can't wait to see you again."  I quickly texted him back "Thanks for such a perfect date.  If you're free maybe we can get together tonight?"

I showered and dressed for my appointment with the realtor where I filled out a bunch of documents and had a credit check. This was such a drag I thought to myself when my phone pinged.  Lukas had texted back, "How about 7pm tonight, you pick the spot and I'll meet you."  I smiled.  I texted Britney and asked if I could use her apartment again tonight.  She said that was fine.  I texted Lukas back, "how about take out and a movie?"  I saw that the realtor was getting annoyed with me so I slipped my phone back into my purse.  She cleared her throat.  "Would you like to visit the Murray Hill apartment now?"  I nodded.  The apartment was all that I wanted.  I was spacious enough for me and had two very large (by NYC standards) closets that would be able to hold all of my clothes and shoes.  I told her that I was interested and would like to fill out an application for the apartment.  She told me that it generally takes a couple business days to get a response.  I asked her to call me as soon as she received a response before shaking her hand and leaving.  Before hopping on the train I stopped at Starbucks.  While sipping on my Chai Latte, I looked at my phone.  Lukas had finally texted me back, "that sounds perfect."  I texted him Britney's address and he responded, "I'll bring the wine;)" 

It was almost 4 when I got back to Britney's apartment.  When I opened the door Britney was in the kitchen fixing herself a drink.  "I'm just getting some clothes for tonight" she said sitting on a bar stool.  She motioned for me to sit next with her.  "So tell me about your date" she prodded excitedly.  I told her everything.  She told me that Lukas sounded really nice but suggested I find out his back story. "He's 32, he has to have some type of past.  Make sure he doesn't have a crazy ex or kids."  I reassured her I would.  I told her about my plans for tonight and she opened one of her cabinets and pulled out a couple of takeout menus. She told me I could borrow any of her outfits as well.  She told me to text her if I needed any help or if Lukas got weird. She gave me a hug, before grabbing her overnight bag and leaving.

I took a shower and straightened my hair.  I looked through Britney's closet but decided that it would be strange for me to get completely dressed up for take out and a movie.  I settled on leather leggings and a silk pink shirt.  I opened the first three buttons to show off some cleavage.  Once pleased with how I looked I sat on the couch and turned on the tv.  At exactly 6:57 I heard a knock on the door.  I opened the door and there was Lukas a dark jeans and a long sleeved button down, his cashmere overcoat thrown over one arm.  He handed me a bouquet of flowers before leaning in to give me kiss.  I opened the door wider for him. He placed the bottle of wine of the coffee table before sitting on the couch.  I sat next to him.  We talked about our days.  I told him I went to a realtor to find an apartment.  He looked confused, "but don't you live here?" he asked.  I explained to him that this was my best friend's place and I was living at home with my parents since moving back.  He nodded knowingly.

We decided to order pizza. We sat on the bar stools and ate pizza and drank Lukas' favorite Chianti.  After dinner we made our way with wine in tow to the couch.  We had decided to watch the Hangover.  As the movie started I moved closer to Lukas.  My head on his shoulder, his fingers trailing up and down my arm.  I sat up and turned to him, leaning forward and kissing him.  His hands now moving up and down my sides before lifting me and positioning me so I was sitting on his lap.  My hands entangled in his thick hair as I felt his tongue explore mine.

His hands, fingers were unbuttoning my silk shirt.  I could feel his hands cupping my bra encased breasts.  I placed my hands on his chest and pushed him away.  He looked at me hungrily.  I nibbled on my bottom lip as I took off my shirt and started to unbutton his.  He quickly threw his shirt on the floor.  He definitely worked out but in the middle of his chest there was a scar.  I traced my finger over it gently.  He looked up at me, "I had surgery when I was younger" he said quietly.  I kissed the scar and then his lips.  I felt his fingers behind me, unclasping my bra.  He let the straps fall down my arms and in between us.  His hands cupped my breasts, his thumb rubbing my now hard nipples.  He pushed me down on my back and started licking and sucking on my nipples.  His teeth pulling on them, making me want more.  My nails digging into his back.  "Lukas" I said breathlessly "let's go into the bedroom."

He didn't hesitate in picking me up and carrying me to the bed.  I stood up and pulled off my leggings, leaving my black thong on.  I started unbuckling his belt, pulling down his pants.  My fingers wrapped around his thick, hard cock.  I started moving my hands up and down its length while he kissed me.  I moaned when I felt Lukas hands start to explore my body. Gently trailing down from my breasts to my stomach, circling my belly button before moving further down.  I felt his fingers stroking me over my thong before pulling them off.  He looked at my naked body, "You are so beautiful" he whispered before moving fingers between my legs, stroking, rubbing me in that special place, my hips bucking and my breathing jagged.  I was so close but he stopped before I could orgasm and smiled at me.  "Not yet" he said teasingly.

I saw him reach into his wallet and  then slip on a condom.  He looked me in the eyes, "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked.  I nodded.  I felt him slide into me slowly, filling me.  He took his time, when he was completely in me I wrapped my legs around his back.  He started moving in and out, stopping to swivel his hips and tease me even more.  My moans were getting louder and filling the room.  Sensing I wanted a release, he moved his hand between my legs and played with my special spot.  I felt myself let go as my orgasm took over.  I moaned loudly.  My chest rising up and down as my orgasm subsiding.  Lukas looked down at me and smiled.  I felt him start to move faster and with urgency.  His body tensing as he came.  He pulled out of me and kissed me deeply.

Lukas and I cuddled and watched Friends.  I was so tired, my eyes heavy as I fell asleep in his arms. When I awoke the next morning I reached for Lukas but he wasn't there.  I was little disappointed that he had left.  I stretched and walked into the bathroom, I loved the fact that Britney had a bathroom in her bedroom.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  I could have sworn I was glowing.  I smiled at my reflection while I brushed my teeth.  I jumped into the shower, remember Lukas' hands and mouth on my body.  Everything about him was perfect so far.

I threw on oversized sweat pants and white t-shirt and opened the door.  I was greeted by the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  I made my way to the kitchen where I saw Lukas making pancakes.  He smiled and said "good morning, did you sleep well?" Turning back to the pancakes.  "The best I slept in a long time" I answered, hugging him from behind.  He turned around and kissed me on the head.  I asked Lukas what I could do to help him.  He led to the chair and insisted I sit down.  He poured me a cup of coffee.  I added two cubes of sugar while I watched him.  I wanted to find out more about the scar on his chest, how it happened, everything but I didn't know how he would react.  He was finally finished and sat down to join me.  His homemade blueberry pancakes were so freaking good.  My head running a mile a minute wondering if he had any fault.  While he ate we made plans for later than night.  His friend was having a birthday party at 1OAK.  I told him I have to head home to Long Island.  He told me I could stay at his place tonight.  I smiled and told him I'd like that.

Lukas cleaned up the kitchen and put everything where he had found them while I threw the sheets in Britney's washer.  I found clean sheets in the linen closet and made up Britney's bed and cleaned up the living room.  I wouldn't want Britney finding my bra under her couch.  By the time we had everything in order, the wash was done.  I put the sheets in the dryer and wrote Britney a note.  I was going to text her once I got on the Long Island Railroad anyhow.  Lukas helped me with my bag as I locked up.  I turned to him in the hallway and saw how much more sexy he looked unshaved.  The doorman volunteered to hail us a cab, Lukas told him two because we were going in different directions.  I nodded.  I wrapped my arms around his neck and got on my tip toes to kiss him.  I heard the doorman clear his throat and pulled away.  Lukas tipped him and he walked me to my cab, kissing me on the cheek before getting into his.

It was like I was floating on clouds.  Once I got on my train at Penn Station, I texted Britney.  I apologized for the sheets, she said it was fine.  She wanted details and called me after texting back and forth for a little.  I told her everything, thank goodness the train was relatively empty.  I told her I was meeting up with Lukas later and she said "Don't you think you're moving too fast, you don't even know him."  That pissed me off a little and I told her that she was just jealous because Lukas was perfect.  I felt terrible as soon as the words came out.  I tried to apologize but Britney had hung up.  I called her repeatedly but she didn't answer, I texted and got no response.  I didn't mean what I said, Britney was the one who helped me and had been so kind in all this.  I was just hurt that she wasn't as happy for me as I was.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Date Night

That night I updated my resume and emailed it to Mark.  I kept my fingers crossed that I could land this interview.  I have so many friends that had headhunters approach them only to meet a quota, they never so much as heard a peep from them again.  I was hoping I would have better luck.  I thought long and hard about what Britney said about living with my parents.  It was comfortable here but I knew she was right.  I had to move out on my own.  The only thing holding me back was being unemployed.  I told myself once I found a job, I would get a my own place in the city but there was no harm in looking in the meantime.  I promised myself that I would start looking tomorrow.  I was feeling pretty damn good when I drifted off to sleep that night, things were finally starting to look up for me.

The next day I headed to the spa to get a Brazilian wax.  I wasn't planning on things going too far with Lukas but sometimes things happen or so I heard.  Unlike most of my friends and women my age, I had never had a one night stand.  I didn't consider Nate a one-night stand because we had known each other for a while and I still wasn't sure how far we went that night. I was with Jason for the past 6 years and before that only three other men, four if I counted Nate.  The odds of me hooking up with Lukas on the first night were on par with my odds of getting struck by lightning.

After waxing I went to get my hair trimmed.  My hair was layered, the longest up to my waist; it was dark brown and thick.  Back in LA I use to leave it pin straight but since I starting anew I wanted doing big curls.  I ended up trimming about an inch and the stylist showed me how to curl my hair with just a brush and hair dryer.  I told her I would try that but there was no way I could master that art. I couldn't even blow out my hair with a hair brush and dryer alone.

When I got home later that afternoon I powered up my laptop.  I started looking for apartments in the city when an email from Mark popped it.  He said that he sent my resume to his client and that he should hear back from them by the end of the week.  I quickly emailed him back thanking him.  I resumed my apartment hunting.  A decent one bedroom apartment was going for at least $1800.  I considered a two bedroom but that would mean getting a roommate.  Most of my friends already had their own places and I wasn't keen on living with a complete stranger.  I saw one apartment that I liked, it was a one bedroom in the Murray Hill, about 700 square feel and it was completely remodeled.  They were asking $1900.  I shot an email to the realtor stating my interest and asked him to call me.  No more than five minutes later my phone rang, it was the realtor, Joanne.  Before showing me the place I would have to go through a credit check and meet with her.  She asked if I would be available tomorrow, meaning Thursday.  I was free but I wanted to be relaxed for my date with Lukas.  I told her Friday would be better, after all I was spending Thursday night at Britney's so that would be perfect.

I was lying in bed reading "The Fault In Our Stars" when my phone pinged, indicating I had received a text. I reached over for my phone and opened the text.  It was from Lukas "I can't wait to see you tomorrow night, I haven't stopped thinking about you."  I felt the butterflies running amok in my stomach.  I replied, "I can't stop thinking about you either."  We texted back and forth for a little before saying good night.  I had read articles that said texting wasn't really a form of communication but it was so much easier for me.  I had been out of the dating game too long and didn't want to say something awkward of the phone.  I read a little more before falling asleep.

The next day went by painstakingly slow.  I left my house at 3pm to head to Britney's apartment and arrived about 4:45.  As I got dressed, she helped with my accessories.  Even though it was slippery out, I wore my brand new knee high boots with my long sleeved black dress.  We accessorized with a big chunky silver necklace and bangles.  I sprayed two spritz of my Jimmy Choo perfume and I was all set.  Before I headed out Britney gave me keys and showed me where everything was.  Her apartment was cute.  It was two bedrooms but she used the second bedroom as an office/closet.  I gave her a hug and she wished me luck as l left.

When I got down to the lobby, the doorman was sweet enough to hail me a cab.  The ride to the Meatpacking District took forever.  The endless travel and the massive potholes made it less than pleasant. The cabbie finally pulled up to Fig and Olive.  I walked in and checked my coat.  I approached the bar area which was packed with the after work crowd in their suits . I was about to order myself a glass of wine when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around quickly and saw Lukas.  He laughed and gave me a hug.  He smelled so good.  He apologized for making me wait and said he was stuck in traffic.  I told him I had just gotten there.  He took my hand and approached the restaurant area; we were quickly shown to our table by the hostess.  We were seated in a secluded corner and the dim lights and candles made Lukas look even more sexy and mysterious.  The waiter came around and Lukas ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and appetizers.  He looked at me and said "You look absolutely stunning" he said staring into my eyes.  I felt myself blush and my heart start to flutter.

Lukas looked so good sitting across from me.  His green eyes were sparkling as the candle light hit them. We started talking and Lukas told me her was 32 years and works for his family's architecture business.  He grew up in Connecticut but he loves NYC.  I was just about to ask him a question when the waiter appeared with the bottle of wine.  He poured a little for Lukas, I watched as Lukas first smelled then swirled the wine around in his glass before taking a sip.  He nodded and smiled at the waiter.  The waiter poured wine for both of us before leaving.  Lukas raised his glass, "To new beginnings and good times" he said clinking his glass against mine.  We both sipped at the same time.

Lukas wanted to know more about me.  I told him that I was in Los Angeles for the past four years and recently moved back.  I made sure not to mention Jason on our first date.  I felt as if he took in my every word.  One thing I noticed right away was that there was never that awkward lull in conversation, everything seemed to flow naturally between us.  The waiter returned with our appetizers and took our order.  Everything was so good.  I come from an Italian family where we love eating.  Lukas told me about his college days, naturally he went to Yale.  His dream was to start a non-profit charity but for now he's working with his dad. So far he seemed perfect.

I was telling Lukas that I wanted to take dance class to keep myself occupied during the week.  He suggested this Salsa class his sister had taken in the city and even volunteered to go with me.  I smiled widely and told him I would like that very much.  By this time our entrees arrived and they looked delicious.  Lukas fed me his paella, it was so good.  We talked about our interests.  Lukas was huge sports fan and I hate to pat myself of the back but I knew quite a bit about sports growing up with brothers.  I think I impressed him with my knowledge.  I excused myself and went to the restroom. Looking in the mirror I saw I was little flushed from the wine.  I pulled out my cellphone from my clutch.  Britney wanted to know if I needed an out from the date.  I giggled and texted her back that I was having a great time.  I quickly fixed my makeup and headed back to the table.  When Lukas saw me he stood up and pulled out my chair for me.  He was so chivalrous, more so than any other man I've dated.  When I sat down I saw a delectable piece of cheesecake in the middle of the table.  Lukas said "I decided to order us dessert and coffee.  I hope you don't mind."  I shook my head "I love cheesecake".  Lukas responded, "It's creme brulee cheesecake, the best dessert ever."  He smiled and fed me a piece.  It was even better than he said.  I wanted time to stay still but sadly a few minutes later we were outside in the cold.  Lukas asked me if I wanted to grab a drink.  I nodded.  I watched as Lukas hailed a cab.  It was pure hell walking over the ice to get into the cab but Lukas helped me.

He choose a bar in Midtown, that was dark and had booths in the back.  I followed Lukas to booth.  I could feel the heat from his body as he sat next to me.  My heart did flip flops when I felt his hand on my shoulder. I looked up and him as he gently raised my chin with his finger.  His lips touched mine, they were so soft and sweet.  My hands cupped his face as I deepened our kiss.  I could feel one of his hand roaming up and down my back.  I could feel my hands sliding down his face and resting on his chest, his heart pounding beneath them.  When Lukas pulled away I moaned gently.  I didn't want to stop kissing him.  He flashed me a sexy smile.  As Lukas ordered us a round of drinks I glanced down at my watch.  12:47, damn this night was flying by.  We talked for about an hour or so when Lukas said that he had a early day tomorrow so we should head out.  As he helped me with my coat, Lukas asked if I would like to go out with him again.  I quickly said yes and smiled.  Lukas hailed me a cab and before opening the door for me he kissed me gently.  He stood on the sidewalk and waved as the cab took off.

I sighed.  I had such a great time with Lukas and wanted more.  I was consoled with that the fact that we would have a second date.