Character List

Monday, March 31, 2014

So Clumsy

Author's Note:  I apologize for my rant in the comments section of the previous post, it is definitely not geared towards the majority of you.  As much as I try to ignore and delete inflammatory comments, sometimes my emotions gets the best of me. I created this blog for fun and to take my mind away from the stress of work, everyday life and planning a wedding; Recently I have been getting more and more comments (most that I often just delete) that take personal shots at me and that is hard to ignore.  Such comments are demoralizing and make me reconsider even continuing with this blog.  To those who feel the need to post such comments, please stop or move onto another blog that is more to your liking. Many have suggested putting more controls in the comments section and while that is a wonderful idea, I feel that I will deter readers from stating their opinions.  I love and enjoy reading 99% of  your comments, even the negative ones that don't agree with Elisabeth's actions or offer your thoughts on how to make this blog better for all of us!!!  I encourage all of you to post your thoughts and constructive criticism.  I love reading and responding to them:) Now let's move onto today's post.


I awoke Monday morning to a text from Britney; she needed to talk and asked if I could meet her after work for dinner.  I quickly replied "yes" before dragging myself out of bed and getting ready for work.  My text conversation with Anthony was still weighing heavily on my mind as I straightened my hair.  Maybe I was overreacting and Anthony was doing the best that he could.  He loved Amy and wanted to repair his relationship with her, I was very happy to hear that they would be going to couples therapy.  Maybe that was all they needed to have a healthy, happy, loving relationship.  Before leaving for work, I sent him a text, "Hey Anthony, I really appreciate our friendship and I'm sorry for getting mad at you.  It was silly and I was wrong.  I hope everything works out with Amy."

I was almost at the subway station when I felt my phone vibrate with a text from Anthony.  "I'm sorry too. What I meant to say came out all wrong, I do believe you.  Let's put this is in the past and move on.  Deal?"  I quickly texted him back deal with a smiley face of course before heading down the stairs to the subway.

When I got to work I quickly noticed that Alison wasn't there yet.  That was a good sign that my day was getting off to a great start I told myself as I made my way over to my seat.  Rob and Nick were both engrossed with their work when I got there and I barely got a good morning out of them.  As soon I signed into my computer I saw a meeting invite from John, which I quickly accepted. The meeting was set for 8:45 so that gave me roughly an hour to answer my emails and get a head start on the day ahead.  I knew that the traders were working on a new deal and that meant that there would be influx of clients calling to buy and sell positions.  All of my emails thus far were about the new deal.  I quickly responded to the majority of them before heading to John's office.

John motioned for me to sit down and told me that he needed another minute.  He was on a conference call that had gone over time.  From John's office there was such a magnificent view of the Empire State Building that I couldn't help gazing at.  I was smoothing my black pencil skirt when John finally hung up.  "I'm very sorry to keep you waiting, Elisabeth.  Sometimes these conference calls go on forever" he said apologetically.

"That's perfectly fine, John.  No need to apologize."

"I know you are probably wondering why I scheduled this meeting" he said and I nodded before he continued, "I wanted to touch base with you and get your thoughts on the job so far."

I cleared my throat, "I am really enjoying working here.  I feel that I have learned so much this past week from everyone.  Even though I had a similar job in Los Angeles, SIB does a lot things differently."

John smiled at me, "That's great to hear.  I was talking to Christine and she mentioned having to step in and assist you because Alison was being, for lack of a better word, difficult."

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.  I didn't know the correct thing to say and ended up saying, "Yes, Christine has been wonderful and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with her."

He nodded, "Alison has only been here for two weeks now and I have received many indirect complaints about her behavior.  To be honest, we were desperate for a temporary replacement for Cara and Alison seemed to fit the bill during her interview.  However, once she started it was a different story.  I would like for you to tell me, Christine, whomever you feel most comfortable with if Alison gives you a hard time.  We feel that you are exactly what this team and bank needs and we want to maintain a positive work environment for all our employees."

"I appreciate that, John.  I understand Alison is new and I attributed her attitude to the "learning curve.""

"If you have any negative interactions with her or she gives you a hard time, please let us know."

I told John that I would and then made my way back to my seat.  I was pulling up my emails when Nick asked me if everything was okay.  I told him it was and returned to the task at hand.  For a Monday, it was a crazy busy day.  By lunchtime I had executed a number of deals for my clients and my phone was ringing nonstop.  I barely had a moment to do anything but work.  Rob ended up ordering lunch for our team and the traders from Lenny's, a popular sandwich place.  It wasn't long before everyone was mulling around grabbing sandwiches, chips and soda before returning to their desks to work.  As I ate my Jimmy T sandwich (chicken cutlets with melted mozzarella, sweet peppers and honey mustard on a roll), I looked over the Bloomberg messages I was receiving.  I yelled over to Alan one of the traders to get a quote for one of my clients and then proceeded to execute another deal.  By the end of day I was exhausted and a little hoarse from yelling over at the traders to get quotes.  As I headed out that night, I looked at my phone and saw a text from Britney asking what time and where we should meet up for dinner.  I quickly texted her back and asked if she was open to coming over to my place for pizza and wine instead.  She said yes and we agreed to meet up in about an hour.

Priya wasn't around when I got home.  She was probably at school studying for her endless tests, oh the joys of medical school.  I took a quick shower and changed into comfy clothes, then ordered pizza from Bravo before grabbing the bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio I picked up on my way home from work.  I opened the bottle and poured myself a glass while I waited.  I didn't love Pinot Grigio but it was one of Britney's favorite types of wine.
 
By pure luck the pizza guy and Britney arrived at the same time.  Britney looked positively beautiful and was glowing as she took a bite of her slice of pizza.  It wasn't long before she started talking, "I have some good news and bad news, which one do you want first" she asked.

I rolled my eyes, "Let's start with the bad news."

"I was feeling terrible about springing Jason's engagement on you and then I started thinking that what if I were wrong and he wasn't cheating on you when you were together so I did some investigating."

"Okay" I said impatiently, waiting for what was going to come next.

"Do you remember my friend Jackie from college?" she asked and I nodded even though I had no clue who Jackie is.  "Well she is originally from Los Angeles and I realized from my Facebook stalking that her and Tiffany went to high school together and were even Facebook friends. Long story short I called her and we started talking and eventually I brought up Tiffany.  She told me that Tiffany was engaged to Jason."

"Well, we already knew that" I said, a little annoyed.

"I know, please don't get mad.  She didn't really want to talk about Tiffany but I kept pushing.  I wanted to make sure that I wasn't making false assumptions.  Anyhow, she finally told me that Jason and Tiffany were dating for months, just like Tiffany posted on Facebook, and that Tiffany came to her birthday party in November with Jason. Apparently Tiffany didn't want to date him because he was with you but he told her that you two were having major issues and on the verge of breaking up."

"Wow, that's a month before he broke up with me" I said taking a deep breath.  The truth bothered me but not as much as a few days ago.  "I really wish I could talk to Jason and tell him how I feel.  Here I was blaming myself for everything only to find out I was living a lie for months."

"I know, I hope you get to as well.  He is a total asshole for what he did" she said angrily.

I was over talking about Jason and quickly changed the subject.  "What's the good news?"

She flashed me a huge smile, "Well I met up with Tommy Saturday morning and told him that I liked him and wanted more than just sex, even though that was pretty great. I said that I wanted to be with him and have a relationship with him.  I was really scared but I just went for it."

"And?!?!?!?" I said getting excited but feeling a bit impatient.

"And he said he feels that same way too" she shrieked excitedly.

"That's great" I exclaimed, throwing my arms around her.  I was happy that things were finally working out for Britney.  She hasn't had the best luck in love and hasn't been in a real relationship for a while.  Tommy was a great guy and I hoped that he treated her the way she deserved to be treated.  As we finished off the bottle of wine, Britney told me about her and Tommy's first real date.  Even though they had been intimate in the past they agreed to get to know each other on a deeper level and take things super slow.  I told her that made a lot sense, especially since they both wanted a real relationship and one not based solely on sex.

By this time Priya arrived home, looking exhausted.  She plopped down from the couch telling us how stressed she was from medical school.  We let her vent for a little before telling her that all the stress and hard work will pay off in the end when she is a doctor, curing and helping people.  She smiled and got up and started to walk in the direction of her room.  Britney quickly whined, "Priya you can't go to bed yet, stay, chat with us and have some pizza."

She retreated and sat with us as we gabbed about Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover.  I don't have a problem with Kim Kardashian, in fact a few years ago I thought she was absolutely stunning.  Since she's been with Kanye her style changed for the worst and she never seemed to be smiling anymore.  I don't know if she deserved to be on the cover of Vogue but who am I to hate on her? The conversation eventually moved to Anthony and Amy.  Britney said that Anthony texted her that he was going to go to couples therapy as a last resort to save his relationship and showed us the texts as proof.  I told her I was happy they were taking such a huge step and I was proud of him.   Anthony had to do what was best for him and I hoped everything worked out.  It was getting late and by 11, Britney left.

I straightened up and washed the dishes before going to bed.  Going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink was a big no-no for me. As I laid in bed I called Lukas and after four rings he finally answered, his voice thick with sleep.  I felt bad waking him up and ended our conversation quickly.  He was still a little under the weather and needed his rest.  I did too, after the crazy busy but very productive day I just had.

The next morning I decided to wear a cute wool black sleeveless sheath dress with a cream fitted three quarter sleeve cardigan over it.  I accentuated my outfit with a pearl necklace and four row pearl bangle and three inch peep toe black Louboutin's.  I thought I looked professional yet sexy as I gave myself a look in the full length mirror before slipping on my Burberry trench coat and leaving.  Alison was sitting at the receptionist desk when I entered and very cordially told me good morning.  In my most cheerful voice I responded.  Compared to Monday, Tuesday was a little more relaxed.  I was able to buy and sell a few positions but the atmosphere was not as frenzied.  I was glad as this gave me the ability to focus more of other aspects of my job.

By 2:30 my colleagues were deciding who's turn it was to make a coffee run.  It's something that they do most days and lo and behold today was my turn.   Since I had to get Starbucks for eight, I figured I'd make two trips. I slipped on my trench coat and headed out into the beautiful, warm 60 degree day. Hopefully spring had finally sprung and we wouldn't have to deal with the awful cold anymore.  For heaven's sake it was almost April.  While waiting in line Starbucks, I started texting Lukas to see if he wanted to meet up later.  Lukas texted me that he and his dad were having dinner with a potential client but he was free to meet me afterwards. I thought about his offer for a little but declined.  My new job required me to be at work by 8 at latest and there was no way I would be able to function after pulling an all nighter with Lukas.  Instead we agreed to meet on Wednesday.

Lukas texted that he wanted to go to the museum and that he would be more than happy to meet me in front of my building. I thought that was an excellent idea.  I loved museums but couldn't understand why he wanted to meet me at work when MOMA was in Midtown.  What was he up to?  Hmm, I texted him that that arrangement worked for me and then started giving the barista my order.  I was half way through when I paused asking her if I could place all eight orders and make two trips.  She said no but told me to order half now and when I got back I could bypass the line and get the rest.  The first trip went great and before I knew it I was waiting for the remainder of my order.

I was rushing back to the office, four cups of coffee (two iced, two hot) in the carrier, my latte in hand when I turned the corner and crashed into a girl, spilling coffee all over her winter white coat.  I felt so bad and started apologizing profusely, "Oh my God, I am so sorry" I said handing her the Starbucks' napkins to wipe off the excess coffee.

She looked down at me, even in my 3" heels she was a good five inches taller than me and absolutely stunning.  Tall, with an athletic body type, long toned legs which appeared even longer because of the stunning Louis Vuitton peep toe heels she had on.  She gorgeous medium brown hair with natural highlights and looked to be in her early 20s.  Her friendly blueish-greenish eyes looking at me.  "No, no it's okay.  I'm at fault.  I was turning the corner, lost in my thoughts and not paying attention to where I was going."

"That's very sweet but the least you can do is let me pay to get your coat cleaned.  I feel terrible for spilling coffee all over you."

She waved me off, "No, don't worry about it."

"Well let me make it up to you" I said.

She thought for a moment before saying "I am here on vacation and I'm not that familiar with NYC.  Might you be able to point me in the direction of some hot spots or reasonable priced restaurants?"

"Of course, I can do better than that.  I think you will enjoy 230 Fifth, it's a rooftop bar not too far from here with an amazing view of NYC skyline and the Empire State Building.  I think you would love it."

"That sounds great" she said discarding the napkins in a trash can in the corner.

"You know what let me treat you and your friends to drinks there.  It's the least I can do" I said hoping that she would say yes.

"I have a feeling that you won't take no for an answer" she said with a laugh, "My name is Aleah."

I quickly introduced myself and we exchanged numbers before I headed back to work. Being a native New Yorker I am usually skeptical about meeting and talking to random strangers but there was something about Aleah that reminded me of myself at her age, plus I felt terrible for spilling coffee all over her..

When I finally got back to work, I explained to my colleagues what happened and they were quite sympathetic to my plight.  They thought it was sweet that I offered to take Aleah out after ruining her outfit.  The rest of the day flew by and there I was crashing on my couch watching the Voice.  I didn't love the show but I admittedly have a tiny crush on Adam Levine.  When Priya got home that night I was already in bed Facetiming with Lukas. He told that the dinner meeting went quite well and I told him about literally running into Aleah and offering to treat her and her friends to drinks at 230 Fifth.

Lukas looked skeptical, "That was a nice gesture on your part but she and her friends are complete strangers."

"Oh Lukas, you worry too much.  She seemed like a nice, young woman and it's the least I could do after ruining her coat."

He sighed, "I'm going to go with you, just to be on the safe side" he said protectively.

I giggled and accepted.  We moved on to our plans for Wednesday and decided to postpone our museum date for Friday or Saturday when we both had more time and just have dinner tomorrow night instead.  That seemed like a better option for both of us.  We were both getting tired and ended our conversation shortly after.

Work was great the next day, my interactions with Alison were minimal and I was getting the hang of things. Christine invited me to a client dinner the following Monday with one of her and the bank's largest institutional client and I gladly accepted.  One of the best parts of my job was getting to know the client's we dealt with and networking.  You never know who you'd meet.  I know so many former colleagues who received and accepted wonderful job offers at our client's firms.  Most of my afternoon was spent going back and forth between one of our clients and our Operations team, trying to resolve a valuation issue.  It seemed like our valuations team was sending the client incorrect values for the positions they recently purchased. After going back and forth for what seemed like an eternity I realized that the trade was booked incorrectly.  I quickly called our Middle Office team and had them make the necessary amendments before explaining the situation to the client who thankfully was quite understanding.  Major crisis averted.

Before leaving work, I fixed my hair and makeup in the bathroom.  I fixed my fluted black skirt and opened the pearl buttons on my pale pink cardigan, I adjusted the white lace topped cami  just to show right amount of cleavage before slipping into Tory Burch flats and coat.  I hailed a cab and headed to Thai NY on 30th and 3rd.  In less than 10 minutes I was being escorted to the table in the back.  While I waited for Lukas, I ordered a Lemon Iced Tea.  I was sipping on my drink when Lukas walked in wearing a fitted dark suit with a white shirt, no tie.  His green eyes sparkling as he looked at me.  Something about a sexy man in a suit gets to me each time; my heart fluttered as I stood up and gave him a quick kiss.

"You look amazing" he said sitting across from me and I blushed.  As I was telling Lukas about my day, my phone pinged.  I picked it up and saw a text message from Aleah, the girl I spilled coffee.

"Hi Elisabeth, I was talking to my friend and we both appreciate you offering to take us out.  You really don't have to."

I showed Lukas the text and told him I had to respond. I quickly typed back, "Hi Aleah, I would like to, if that is alright with you and your friend.  I feel really bad for ruining your coat."

"Since you insist, does Thursday or Friday work for you?" Aleah typed back.

I asked Lukas if he was available tomorrow night and he confirmed he was.  He was adamant about going with me and I found it quite endearing that he wanted to protect me.  I texted Aleah back that either day would work for me.  She quickly agreed to discuss with her friend and get back to me. I slipped my phone into my coat pocket.  I wanted to give Lukas a 100% of my attention. Between bites of Pad Thai and Green Curry, Lukas told me that he spoke to his sister and she was thrilled that I agreed to attend the wedding. I looked at him incredulously and he smiled, "I swear she said that.  I can call her right now if you'd like" he joked.

I took a sip of my ice tea and remembered bursting into the coffee shop and accusing Lukas of cheating. I cringed at the memory. When I looked up, Lukas was staring at me curiously, as though trying to read my mind.  I smiled at him, "You totally don't want to know."

He rolled his eyes, "You know you want to tell me."  I shook my head about to retort when the waitress approached with the check.  Lukas handed her his credit card and few minutes later we were outside.  The cool air whipping through my hair.  "So do you want to go back to my place" Lukas asked, unsure of my answer.

"No" I said and I saw a disappointed look creep upon Lukas' face, "Let's go to my place. I have an early day ahead and there's no way I'll make it to work on time if we end up at your place."

Lukas flashed me a broad smile before hailing a cab.  On our way to my place, I was gazing out the window when I suddenly felt Lukas' hand working its way between my legs.  I gasped in shock and pleasure and saw the cabbie's eyes look at me through the rear view mirror.  I blushed as Lukas' hands continued to rub me through my thin lace panties.  I felt my breathing quicken as he worked his way inside my panties, touching my bare skin expertly.  I nibbled on my lower lip to keep from moaning as he slid two fingers inside me, while his thumb rubbed my most sensitive spot.  I looked at Lukas and he smiled at me, moving his fingers quicker.  I swallowed hard and just when I was on the brink of orgasming Lukas kissed me, muffling my moan.  His fingers moved gently now as I recovered.  He slowly withdrew his fingers as we neared my apartment and winked at me.

We rushed into my building and I pushed Lukas against the wall in the elevator, feeling his hard penis against me as I kissed him passionately.  I pulled away as we got to my floor and quickly opened the door.  The TV was on and I assumed Priya was mulling around.  "Priya" I called out.

"I'm changing in my room" she yelled from her bedroom.

"Lukas and I are going to watch TV in my room" I yelled back, quickly dragging Lukas into my bedroom and locking the door.  I pushed Lukas against the door, pulling off his jacket and swiftly unbuttoning his shirt, throwing it to his floor.  My hands roaming over his chest and over his scar, before moving lower and rubbing his erection through his pants.  I absolutely loved the reaction I was having on him as I unbuckled his belt and pulled down his pants and boxers; his hard, thick penis springing free.  I wrapped my fingers around his penis, moving slowly up and down his length.  Lukas moaned and I covered his mouth with my hand, not wanting Priya to hear us.

I got on my tip toes and kissed Lukas, my hands on both sides of his face.  His hands reaching behind me and lifting me up, never ending our kiss, as he sat me on the bed.  He towered over me as he reached down and pushed my skirt up and skillfully pulling down my panties.  I pulled off my cardigan and cami, my bra still on as Lukas' fingers teased me.  I moan gently, wanting more, wanting to feel him inside of me.  I unhooked my bra and felt Lukas' hands cup both of my breasts, teasing my nipples.  I was so close and needed him so badly.  Lukas sensed this as I felt his weight on the bed, he turned me on my side and slowly slid into me, making me feel every inch of him.  I gasped in pleasure as he started moving, slowly then more urgently, one hand between my legs, teasing my clitoris. It didn't take long for me to orgasm and Lukas quickly followed.  As we lay there panting for breath I turned around, and kissed him softly.  He moaned into our kiss.

The next morning when I awoke I felt Lukas' warm body against mine, his arms around me.  It felt so right waking up to him like this.  I gently turned around, wrapping my arms around him tightly.  I heard him sigh and then he spoke, "Morning, beautiful."

I smiled at him wanting to stay like this but realizing I had to get ready for work.  I dragged myself out of bed and threw on a robe to cover my naked body before opening the door and heading to the shower.  By the time I returned to my room Lukas was in his boxers making up my bed.  "I'm a neat freak" he admitted and I laughed, "Me too" I responded, kissing him.

I quickly pulled away, "I really need to get dressed for work" I said pulling fitted black ankle pants and a black lace sleeveless shell. I found a sand colored fitted blazer to wear over the shell. I scoured my closet and found a pair of pointy toe burgundy shoes that went perfectly my dress.  Lukas at this point was dressed and laying in my bed, staring at me.  "You sure you don't have time for breakfast" he asked, pleading with me.

I shook  my head, "Lukas you know as well as I do, there is no way that I'll make it to work on time if we have "breakfast."  You're simply too irresistible to me."

This time Lukas blushed, "As you are to me" he retorted.  Lukas walked me to the train station, giving me a very passionate kiss; the type that had me wanting to ditch work and pounce on him but I couldn't call in "sick" to work so early in my tenure.  I hesitatingly pulled away from him and he gave me a kiss on the cheek before hailing a cab and heading to his place.  As I got into the crowded Q train all I could think about was Lukas.  He was perfect and he could read me so much better than Jason even did.  How was that even possible, I asked myself as the train pulled into the 28th Street station - my stop.  I exited the train and grabbed coffee at Starbucks before walking to my building.

I swiped in and saw Alison sitting behind the receptionist table scowling at me.  I was in too good of a mood and politely told her good morning.  I heard her whisper, "Dumb bitch" as I passed her but paid her no mind determined to not let her get to me.  As I sat down, Nick whispered, "Did you hear what happened to Alison?"

"Alison?" I asked dumbfounded as he nodded.

I shook my head, "She seems to be in a shitty mood as usual" I deadpanned.

He laughed, "At least today she has good reason.  John made a complaint to HR about her behavior and they wrote her up and gave her a warning."

"What for?"I asked curiously.

"Let's face it, she is the furthest thing from helpful but that's not it.  One of our major clients called for John yesterday and she gave them a hard time.  The gentleman called back a couple times and she proceeded to berate him.  He ended up sending John an email threatening to pull business because of Alison."

My eyes widened in disbelief, "Are you serious?"

"As a heart attack" he said lamely, "Seriously, John forwarded the email to HR and then they called both her and John in late last night."

"How do you know all this?  You left a little before me yesterday" I asked incredulously.

"I have a friend that works in HR and plus news gets around here.  Grant was here late, working on UAT testing and heard everything."  I looked over and saw Grant with his head in his hands, hunched over his keyboard, looking completely stressed out and it barely past 8.  I didn't know him well but seemed nice enough.

"Wow, that's insane" I said returning to my emails not waiting to indulge in workplace gossip.  Even though I didn't like Alison, I felt bad for her situation.  In this economy it's so hard to find a good job and even though Alison's was temporary, if she had proven herself there was a great chance that John would put in a good word for him internally and help her get something more permanent.  I secretly wondered why she was so miserable, maybe she had issues in her personal life.  The rest of the morning was uneventful but I needed some fresh air.  A little after one I headed out to grab a salad from Chop't, an awesome salad place a couple blocks away.  While waiting at a light I whipped out my phone and saw a text from Aleah.

I hope all of you enjoyed today's post and the cross over story line.  Aleah approached me about a possible crossover and I was intrigued by the unique and exciting prospects.  I hope you feel the same as well.  Please check out Aleah's perspective of Elisabeth at http://lifebyaleah.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WTF?

I stared at the text from Britney trying to analyze it.  I knew it was something huge because she only calls me Elisabeth when the situation is serious or she's mad at me.  I quickly texted  her, "What happened?  Tell me."  I eagerly awaited her response, all types of ideas running through my head.

"I'd rather tell you in person" she texted.  I told her to come over and we'll talk as I was already dressed for bed.  I paced around my bedroom waiting for Britney.  What could she possibly have to tell me in person?  My first thought drifted to Lukas; maybe she found out something about him that I didn't know.  I quickly brushed that thought aside, Lukas has been nothing but honest with me and I had no reason to doubt him. Maybe she was going to tell me what conspired between Amy and Anthony?  No that wouldn't warrant her coming over I thought to myself.  Maybe she spoke with Tommy and he didn't want anymore from her than the friends with benefits relationship they had?  That made the most sense, I told myself.  Britney was heartbroken and needed to talk; I would listen to her and reassure her that everything would be okay.

About a half hour later, I let Britney into the apartment.  Priya had already gone to bed and I told her that we had to be quiet and not disturb her.  She nodded and we sat on the bar stools by the kitchen counter.  She looked at me, looking a little scared and unsure.  "Britney, please tell me what's wrong.  I want to help you" I said calmly.

"I don't even know where to begin" she said quietly, looking down at her hands.

"Tell me everything."

She looked up at me, "I don't even know how to tell you this or even if it's any of my business."  I nodded and she continued, "You know I'm Facebook friends with Jason, right?"

"Yes" I said, my voice a little shaky.  What did she know about Jason and why was she so hesitant to tell me?  After our breakup, Jason immediately blocked me and I ended up deleting my Facebook account when I moved back home not wanting deal with the endless questions about Jason.

Britney was hesitating and I was bursting with all types of emotions.  "Come on Britney, please just tell me, whatever it is" I said pleading with her.

"Jason is engaged, Elisabeth."

I felt the color drain from my face and my heart pounding my chest.  My voice raising as I shrieked, "What the fuck do you mean he's engaged?"

Britney leaned over and gave me a hug and the tears started streaming down my cheeks.  "I'm so sorry, Elisabeth.  I didn't know how to tell you and certainly did not want to upset you" she said trying to comfort me.  I pulled away from her, wiping my tears with a table napkin. I stuttered, "Who, who, who is he engaged to?"

"Her name is Tiffany, I don't know much about her but there are quite a few pictures of them together on his Facebook."

I felt the anger building and ready to explode within me.  "Tiffany" I said between clenched teeth and Britney nodded. My mind racing, there was this girl Tiffany in Jason's study group, that always gave me a bad vibe but it couldn't be her, could it? I took a deep breath, "Can you show me the pics?" I asked trying to be calm but failing miserably. Britney pulled up her Facebook account and quickly accessed Jason's engagement photo album before handing me the phone.  I took it from her, my hands shaking.  I was furious when I saw Jason with his arms wrapped around his study partner, Tiffany, a petite, very pretty blond.  I went through a couple pictures before starting to sob uncontrollably.

Britney gently rubbed my back, "It's going to be okay, Elisabeth.  Everything is fine.  You have a great new life here and don't need Jason."

Between my sobs I managed to say, "I don't want Jason, it's just that I am so angry.  I feel so betrayed."

Britney got up and got me a glass of water, "Here drink this" she said soothingly.  I blew my nose rather loudly (I know, not my finest moment) before taking a sip of the water.

"How could he do this to me, Britney?" I asked as another wave of tears spilled onto my cheeks.  I didn't even give her a chance to answer, in my mind it was a rhetorical question.  "That asshole made me feel so bad for sleeping with Nate, meanwhile he was banging his study partner.  What the fuck?" I wailed.

"Everything happens for a reason.  You are in a much better place now and don't need Jason" Britney said.

"Don't you fucking get it, Britney.  For the past few months, I have been so guilt ridden over what I did, only to find out I was the fool.  I was the one being played.  It all makes sense now.  Jason always out "studying", hardly having time to spend with me.  Yes I fucked up, hooking up with Nate but" I started sobbing again.

"But what?" Britney asked.

"But he was doing much worse. How could he ask me to marry him if he was with Tiffany?"  I asked.

"I did some Facebook stalking and Tiffany posted that she and Jason have been dating for the past 7 months" Britney said quietly.

I was speechless and put my head on the counter.  "Shh, it's going to be okay, Elisabeth.  Trust me" Britney said, rubbing my back.

I tried to compose myself as best as possible, hard to do when I felt like I was completely blindsided.  I glanced at the clock on the microwave, 1:37 a.m.  I told Britney that I needed to be by myself and had an early morning ahead of me.  She told me that she would text me in the morning and maybe we can have dinner after work.  I quickly agreed.  After Britney left, I went to bed, unable to sleep.  Instead I replayed the months leading to end of my relationship with Jason.  I wasn't mad at Tiffany, she had no loyalty to me at all and who knows what Jason was telling her.  I was livid that Jason was playing me, making me out to be the bad guy when he was cheating on me for months.  How could he do that to me? Why wasn't I good enough? I gave up everything to move across the country to be with him and I thought he wanted the same things as me.  I guess I was wrong.

I had just drifted off to sleep when my alarm went off.  As I brushed my teeth I looked at my red, swollen eyes in the mirror.  I looked like hell and my emotions were all over the place.  I quickly showered and got dressed before heading to work.  At least at work I could forget my personal problems for a little while.  Alison was at the receptionist desk when I swiped in and as usual goofing off.  I just ignored her and kept walking, not in the mood to deal with her.  I took a deep breath and put a nice, big smile on my face as I sat down.  In my most cheery voice, I said "Good morning, Rob, Nick."  They both grumbled good morning back before returning to whatever they were doing.

It was a quiet day at work and my mind kept drifting back to Jason and Tiffany.  Around three in the afternoon I headed to Starbucks to get some coffee and to clear my mind; I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and I figured some fresh air would do me good.  While waiting in line I looked at my phone and saw a text from Lukas asking if I wanted to meet up with him later. I texted him back that I had made plans with Britney and couldn't bail on her at the last moment.  Lukas understood and we agreed to get together on Saturday.

I got my coffee and was headed back to work when I spotted Alison in front of our building smoking. I walked quickly past her, hoping that she wouldn't notice me but just my luck she did.  "Aren't you going to say hello?" she asked snottily.

I knew I should have kept walking and any other day I probably would have but instead I turned around and faced her, "What's your problem, Alison?  Seriously, is your life that fucked up that you have to be a bitch all the time?"

She was clearly taken back and searching for the right words, "We can't all be stuck up rich snobs" she retorted.

I rolled my eyes, "I've worked damn hard to get where I am and I'm not going to let you or anyone else stand in my way."

"More like you slept your way to the top.  The only reason they hired you is because you're a pretty girl" she said crudely.

"I don't need to "sleep" my way to the top.  Not that I have to answer to you but I graduated top of my class from NYU and worked for the past 4 years at an investment bank in Los Angeles where I had many accomplishments.  I was hired for my ability, nothing else" I said defiantly.

"Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart" she said taking a puff of her cigarette.

"Whatever" I responded, heading inside the building. Ugh what was that girl's problem.  For the remainder of the day I caught up with emails and chatted with some of my former colleagues on Bloomberg.  They were happy to see me up on my feet again and they missed me.  I missed them too but I was better off in NYC. A little after 5:30 I headed home where I changed into my most comfy leggings, my old NYU sweatshirt and Uggs before heading to Britney's.  We had decided to meet at her place, order dinner and talk.

When I walked into Britney's apartment I saw Melissa sitting on the couch.  She rushed over to me and gave me a hug before we all settled in the living room.  Britney and Melissa both looked at me and then at each other not knowing where to start.  Even though we had been friends forever it was an awkward moment.  I put on my best fake smile, "Guys, I'm fine.  Let's just have a good night."

Melissa saw right through my lie, "Lizzie, I know you aren't fine.  It's fucked up that Jason not only broke up with you out of the blue but now to find out he is engaged!  You have every right to be pissed."

As she said those words I quickly realized that she didn't know the full story.  "Melissa there's more to the story than you know.  Jason broke up with me or I thought he did because he found out I had sex with one of my colleagues.  Now I'm beginning to think that that was just the excuse he needed to end things without looking like the bad one" I said dejectedly.

I saw a look of surprise take over Melissa's face.  "How come you never told me this before?" she asked quietly.

"Honestly, I was ashamed of what I did.  Matter of fact I still am, it wasn't right for me to sleep with Nate and then I tried to cover it up.  I know it was wrong and I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone."

She nodded.  "That's all in the past.  How are you feeling, like honestly how are you feeling?  Don't give me the bullshit line that you are ok and all is well in the world."

I took a deep breath, "I feel betrayed and like I was not good enough. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Jason.  It's just that for the past few months I have been blaming myself and feeling terrible for hurting Jason.  Now to find out that he was cheating on me all along is like a slap in the face" I said feeling the tears start to fall.

"You deserve better than Jason" Melissa said genuinely.

"Totally and you're much prettier than Tiffany" Britney chimed in to make me feel better.

"How could I be so stupid?  I had doubts but I never thought Jason would want to hurt me like that" I said, wiping away a tear.

"What will make you feel better?" Melissa asked.

"I want to get the full story from Jason" I said angrily.

Britney and Melissa exchanged looks once again before Melissa said gently, "Sweetie, you don't need anything from Jason.  You know the truth now and that is your closure.  You fucked up but it's time to stop blaming yourself and living in the past.  Right now you are dating a guy that you are constantly raving about, in all the years you were with Jason I never heard you talk about him like you do Lukas. Shit, I know more about Lukas than I do Jason," Melissa said.

Britney picked up where Melissa left off, "You have a great job and you are back home with your friends and family.  Don't let Jason stand in the way of your happiness.  You have every right to be angry, I'm pissed too but don't let Jason's news screw up all the good things you have going for you."

I nodded, I knew they were right. "It just hurts to know that I was living a lie" I said quietly.

The girls did their best to get my mind off Jason.  While sipping on chocolate milkshakes from Burger King (they actually deliver in NYC) I filled the girls in about my new job and Alison.  Melissa suggested that I go to HR and place a complaint.  I told her I was hesitant to do so because I didn't want to ruffle too many feathers so early.  I had only been there a week and didn't want to seem like a tattle tale or a complainer. Alison was definitely pushing my buttons and I was hoping that she would snap out of it.  I know, wishful thinking.  As the night progressed Britney told us that she was meeting up with Tommy tomorrow morning for brunch and that she was finally ready to tell him how she felt.  For Britney's sake I hoped that it worked out the way she planned. We chatted about Anthony and Amy, none of us had heard from Anthony in days and had no idea what was going on in that relationship.

I was getting close to midnight when I told the girls that I needed to head home.  Truth is, even though I was with my two best friends I felt alone inside.  It had nothing to do with them, because they were awesome, more like I was feeling alone and insecure in light of Jason's news.  I needed to see Lukas, to be with him, to know that I am wanted.  When the cab was stopped at a red light I told the driver that I had a change of plans and gave him Lukas' address.  I texted Lukas to let him know that I was on my way over but didn't receive a response.  I headed up to his apartment, hoping that he was home.  I knocked on the door quietly at first, then a little more urgently.  I was about to leave when I heard Lukas's voice very groggy, "I'm coming."

He slowly opened the door and rubbed his eyes, "Elisabeth, what are you doing here?"  he asked surprised.

I wrapped my arms around him, "I need you Lukas" I said wrapping my arms around him.  He closed the door behind me.  "Is everything ok?" he asked a little confused.

Instead of responding I kissed him urgently, pressing my body against his, my fingers running through his hair. I pulled away; taking off my coat and shoes before kissing him once again, this time slipping my tongue into his mouth.  His hands roamed down my back and cupped my ass, before moving up to my back again.  It wasn't long before I felt Lukas lift and carry me to his bedroom, gently laying me on his bed.  His hands on the waistband of my leggings, pulling them down slowly, leaving my lacy black thong on.  His mouth finding mine as his hands stroked my thighs, teasing me, making sure not to touch me where I needed and wanted him to.  My hips moved against his hand trying to get more.  Lukas pulled away from me, pulling off my sweatshirt and throwing it on the floor.  My hands unhooked my bra, freeing my breasts.  Lukas bent his head, licking my left then right nipple with his tongue before sucking on my right nipple, gently taking it between his teeth while his fingers pinched my left nipple. I arched my back, thrusting my breasts forward.  As he turned his focus to my left nipples, Lukas' hand trailed down my stomach, then lower, cupping me.  His fingers slowly moving over the thin crotch of  my thong.

I felt Lukas' lips on my neck, kissing it gently before trailing his tongue between my breasts, moving lower and circling my belly button.  I felt his warm breath between my legs and I shivered.  Lukas slowly pulled off my thong and looked down at me.  His fingers slowly moving between my legs, I spread my legs wider, wanting more.  Lukas slipped one finger then two inside me, moving them slowly inside me while his other hand stroked me, circling my clitoris.  I moaned loudly, my hands pulling his thick hair.  Lukas sensed I was ready to orgasm and quickly removed his hands.  I sighed disappointed and Lukas leaned down and kissed me. I reached between our bodies and wrapped my fingers around his thick, throbbing penis. I pushed him on the bed and worked my way down his body, licking around the head of his penis with the tip of my tongue, before sucking gently on it.  I moan onto his penis, sucking more urgently as my hand trails up his body flicking his nipple with my fingernail.  I heard him panting and sense that he is getting close as I crawl up his body, kissing him.  He rolls me over and pins my arms above my head with one hand as I feel his hard penis against me.

I try moving my hips to get him inside me but Lukas is too strong for me.  He smiles at me, "Tell me what you want" he says breathlessly as his free hand is now stroking me.

Catching my breath, "I want you inside me" I whisper.  With that, Lukas quickly thrust into me.  My hips buck and my legs wrap instinctively around his back. He feels so full inside me as he starts moving slowly, using his fingers to rub me between thrusts.  I feel my orgasm growing and my legs are shaking. The combination of Lukas moving inside me, his fingers stroking my most sensitive area and his mouth on my nipples was too much.  I felt my body contract, clenching around his penis as I came loudly.  Lukas kept moving inside me until my moans subsided.  He kissed me gently before starting to move quicker inside me, rolling my nipples between his thumb and index finger.  I moan loudly, meeting every thrust.  I felt Lukas' body contract as he came, his body glistening with sweat.  He kissed me passionately, "I missed you so much."

"I missed you too Lukas" I said, my hands stroking his cheek.

Lukas and I took a quick shower together before getting into bed. We were both exhausted and quickly fell asleep.  The next morning I woke up before Lukas, I kissed him gently and saw his eyes flutter.  "Morning" he said huskily.

"Morning" I responded climbing on top of him.

"Mm as much I want you Elisabeth, I am completely worn out.  This flu makes me so tired" he said.

"That's ok, I just want to hold you" I said lying on top of him.  His warm naked body against mine.

"I meant to ask you, not that I mind because I certainly don't but what got into you last night?" he asked stroking my hair.

"I missed you a lot and I was feeling alone. I needed you."

He smiled at me, "I'm always here for you."

We laid like that until I heard Lukas snoring quietly.  I slowly slid off his body not wanting to wake him and went to the bathroom. It's funny after spending the night with Lukas, Jason's infidelity wasn't as pressing an issue as it was before.  Maybe I just needed to be reassured that I was worthy of a good man.

By the time Lukas strolled into the kitchen I had already finished making pancakes from scratch and coffee.  I had also scoured through his fridge and found strawberries which I mixed with banana's, greek yogurt, honey and almond milk to make smoothies.  Lukas was quite impressed by my culinary skills as we sat to eat breakfast.  While he was feeling 80% better, Lukas was still on antibiotics that made him extremely tired at times.  After breakfast Lukas suggested that we go for a walk in the park.  I felt a little bad about totally blowing him off the last time he asked so instead of flat out saying no I said, "We can go to the park for a walk but first I need to go home and get some warm clothes."  Lukas agreed to go with me.

Almost two hours later we were strolling hand in hand through the park. It was a beautiful warm springlike day, quite the contrast from two days before when it was in the 20's.  After a little while, Lukas suggested that we have lunch at the Boat House.  I had only been to the Boat House once before and that was when I was small, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  From our table we had a spectacular view of Central Park and the pond.  It was stunning.  We quickly ordered and I realized that it was time for me to tell Lukas about Jason.

I cleared my throat, "Lukas, there is something I need to tell you."

Lukas looked at me with a serious look, "Okay, what is it?" he asked unsure of what I had to say.

"I know my timing sucks but I don't know I just feel the need tell you."

"That's fine, just tell me" he said focusing on me.

"Well it's about my past; I feel that I need to open up to you, just like you have done" I said and Lukas nodded.  I told him all about meeting Jason in college and moving to Los Angeles to be with him.  I even told him how I thought Jason and I would be together forever.  Lukas was very listening intently to what I was saying.

I took a deep breath before continuing, "Jason started law school and our relationship grew distant, he wasn't around as much and I was lonely.  I was uncomfortable with him spending so much time with his classmates and as much as I hate to admit it I grew increasingly insecure.  I ended up cheating on Jason and I covered it up thinking he would never find out.  It surely seemed like that when he proposed but shortly after he found out the truth and broke up with me.  That's why I returned to New York."

"The past is the past, we all make mistakes but the key is learning from them" Lukas said entwining his fingers with mine.

I nodded, "There's more.  Since I've been back home, I have been blaming myself for the break up and I felt and still feel bad about my actions."

"Elisabeth, everyone makes mistakes.  There are many times when I look back upon the past and think about what I could've done differently as well.  Don't beat yourself up over a mistake.  You're a great person and I care about you immensely" he said kissing my hand.

I smiled at him before continuing, "Britney told me Thursday night that Jason is engaged.  Turns out he was cheating on me for months and it seems like he was using my "mistake" as the out he needed.  I've been feeling so down and unwanted, that's part of the reason why I ended up at your place last night.  I wanted to feel wanted.  I don't know if any of this makes sense to you" I said quietly.

"It makes perfect sense.  Hearing about your ex brought back feelings that you had repressed.  You're now being faced with news you never expected and it made you feel like you did back in your relationship.  I care about you a lot and I want you know that I will always be here for you" he said genuinely.

"Thank you Lukas, that means a lot to me. I care about you a lot too" I said shyly.

"You've made mistakes, your ex made mistakes but that's all in the past.  You're hurt to hear he cheated on you but you and him aren't together anymore.  You've moved on to someone much better" he said winking at me.  My heart seriously did a somersault and I smiled happily at him.

After lunch, Lukas and I went back to his apartment.  He was exhausted and wanted to rest.  As we sat on the couch, Lukas laid his head in my lap.  I rubbed his head as he dozed off.  There is something about Lukas that made me feel so special inside, he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world and I enjoyed every moment I spent with him.  I still was reeling from the news of Jason's engagement and wanted to give him a piece of my mind but I was finally beginning to realize that I was happy here and my life, all aspects of it, were finally falling into place.

Later that night, Lukas and I ordered take out and I filled him in on my situation at work.  He concluded that Alison was such a bitch to  me because she probably wanted my job.  He also suggested that I talk to my manager about Alison's actions because if I didn't it would only get worse.  Even though I agreed that I would think about it, part of me wanted to handle Alison on my own and not come off as a whistle blower.  I wanted to know what her deal was and why I was the target of her hostility.  I was lost in my thoughts when Lukas turned to me, "Elisabeth, I was wondering if you would go with me to my cousin's wedding on April 26th."

I was ready to say yes when he continued, "I promise my family is super laid back and won't grill you or anything.  It will be fun."

"Lukas, I would love to go with you" I said cheerfully.  I loved weddings and I felt so comfortable with Lukas that I had zero reservations about going to his cousin's, well maybe a small one.

"What are you thinking about?" Lukas asked.

"Honestly, I'm a little worried about how your sister will feel about me being at your cousin's wedding" I said quietly.

"Don't worry about my sister.  She isn't as uptight as she seems.  She knows I care about you and that's all that really matters."

I nodded and snuggled close to him.  "I didn't exactly make the best impression on her."

He laughed, "That's in the past now.  My sister has had her share of irrational moments, so I highly doubt she'll judge you based on one incident.  Now enough about my sister" he said kissing me gently.

We spent the rest of the evening watching Netflix and eventually drifted off to sleep. The next morning after breakfast I headed home.  While I loved spending time with Lukas, I needed some alone time as well.  I was cleaning up my room and changing the bedding when my phone pinged.  It was text from Anthony.  "I've spoken to Amy and she decided to go to therapy with me so we can resolve all our issues."

I quickly texted back, "That's great news, I hope everything works out for the two of you:)"

We texted back and forth for a little when Anthony texted, "Amy says that you misunderstood what she said."

I whispered to myself, are you fucking kidding me before texting him back, "I don't think I misunderstood anything Anthony.  I can't believe you went back and told her what I said.  I told you I didn't want to be put in the middle of this."

"I had to Elisabeth.  It's not that I don't believe you but I'm in a difficult spot."

I didn't know what to say, I felt for Anthony but was he really siding with his psycho fiance?  "Well you have to do what's best for you" I texted back before abruptly ending our conversation.  I love Anthony as a brother but how dare he claim I misunderstood.  Maybe I should have showed him the texts, I thought before retreating to the living room to have dinner with Priya.

She was turning out to be an awesome roommate and I was glad to have her around.  She sensed that something wasn't right and quickly asked me if I was okay.  I needed to tell someone what just happened and told her the entire story from the beginning. When I was done she said, "I think he loves his fiance and is siding with her to maintain the relationship.  He knows what you said is true but what is he suppose to do? I think couples therapy will help him grow a backbone in the relationship and resolve most if not all their issues."

I thought about what Priya said as I lay in bed that night. I knew Anthony was in a difficult position and I didn't want to get in the middle of his relationship so I would just have to let him figure it out on his own.  I hope couples therapy will allow him and Amy to have a stronger, better relationship.

** Disclaimer:  This blog and its contents are strictly for entertainment purposes. All characters are story lines depicted are completely fictional. Though not explicitly stated the characters do practice safe sex. **

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Beginnings

By the time I got back to my apartment Saturday evening, Priya was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off searching for jewelry to match the beautiful sari she was wearing.  She looked stunning and the deep magenta color of her sari against her perfect caramel colored skin was exquisite.  "My sister is having her "official" engagement party tonight" she said as she put on a stack of gold bangles.

"What do you mean by official engagement party?" I asked.

She laughed, "Well when my sister first got engaged my parents threw her an engagement party in California but our grandma and other relatives from India were unable to come on such short notice.  Plus since the party was in California, it wasn't convenient for either her or her fiance's friends to attend. It's going to be a lot of fun, an east meets west kind of party."

I smiled at her, "Aw, I bet you are going to have a blast tonight."

"You have no idea.  I'm on a mission to teach Chad, my sister's fiance, to dance to Indian music" she said laughing as she slipped on on her gold Manolo Blahnik sandals.  I told her she looked great and helped her put on her necklace before her phone vibrated.  "It's my parents, they came all the way from California and are waiting in the car downstairs" she said, picking up her sparkly clutch.

"The party is in Westchester so I probably will just spend the night at my cousin's place" she said before giving me a hug.

I relaxed on the couch, rethinking my lunch with Anthony.  I felt bad for him. There was clearly something that was making Amy feel so insecure and hopefully by talking they could figure it out.  For Anthony's sake, I would like to get to know Amy and be friends or at least civil with her but I didn't want to put myself in a hostile situation.  Maybe once Anthony spoke with her and she felt reassured she would be more open to getting to know me.  I hope she didn't see me a threat because if anything Anthony was like a brother to me, I had zero romantic interest him; I'm almost positive he doesn't see me as anything more than his childhood friend as well.  In addition, I was enjoying every moment I've spent with Lukas.  I know that I probably drive him crazy with my over thinking but at the end of the day I care about him a lot.  I was laying on the couch when my phone vibrated with a text from Lukas.

"Big plans for your first night in your new apartment?" he texted.

"Nope, just laying on the couch watching tv. Want to keep me company?" I replied back.

"Actually I was thinking we could go for a walk in the park and enjoy the beautiful weather" he texted back.

"Not really in the mood for that, sorry" I wrote back.

"Ok, well I'm going to go for run in the park and can stop by later.  Does that work for you?"

"Sounds good" I replied.

I started watching the news, astonished that that Malaysian plane still can't be found, how is that possible?  I have become so invested in this story because I'm intrigued and shocked at how a plane could just vanish without a trace.  There are all sorts of possibilities of what happened but it is still a mystery.  Seeing those families with pain and anguish in their faces makes me so sad.  I can't even imagine what they are going through and I hope that the plane will be found soon.  My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

I had drifted off to sleep when my phone vibrated on my stomach.  I picked it up and looked at the screen and saw a text from Lukas.  "I'm at Chipotle, getting food, what would you like?"  I told him I wanted a chicken fajita burrito bowl without beans.  Before Lukas came over I cleaned up and fixed my hair, not wanting him to think I had morphed into a slob.  I was going through Priya's DVR when I heard a knock at the door.  I looked through the peephole and saw Lukas.  I look a step back and opened the door.  Lukas had the Chipotle bag in one hand and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in the other.  I let him, taking the bottle of champagne from him.  He bent down and gave me a quick kiss.

I searched for champagne glasses, thankfully Priya had a few in one of the cabinets.  Lukas popped the cork and handed me a glass, "Here's to your new apartment, new job, new beginnings" he said raising his glass.  He clinked his glass against mine and we both drank.  With that we sat on Priya's couch and ate Chipotle while we drank champagne.  I know weird combo but in that moment in made sense.

"How was your lunch with Anthony?" Lukas asked between bites of his burrito.

"Um, it was interesting.  I told him about what his fiance said to me and he was upset but not surprised.  He says that she tends to get that way whenever he's talking to any other woman than her. I feel bad because I don't want to get in between their relationship but what choice did I have?" I said.

"Well, I think you did the right thing.  Everyone makes mistakes but this seems more like a habit if she does it often.  Anthony has to decide for himself what is best for him and you owe it to him as his friend to be straight with him" Lukas said.

"I hope you're right" I replied taking a sip of my champagne.

Once we were done eating, Lukas helped me wash the dishes and put everything away before we headed to my bedroom.  We laid in bed, watching the Great Gatsby on HBO.  "You know when you think about it, Gatsby is a sad soul" Lukas said.

I nodded and he continued.  "He lived a life that was a complete lie, no one knew the real him. The parties were a farce, yes he was in the social pages but people showed up for the experience not him. He didn't have any real friends and people liked what he had and could offer them, not him as a person."

"Yes, it's crazy when I read Gatsby in high school, I didn't quite grasp how tragic it really was.  I remember our English teacher telling us that Manhasset, where I grew up, was considered the East Egg." I replied.

He smiled at me as I snuggled up to him, "Did you really go running today?" I asked.

"Of course, I ran 5 miles in the park."

He tilted my chin up and kissed me, we made out for a good half hour, nothing more, before we couldn't take it anymore.  Clothes went flying all across the room, Lukas' hands roaming all over my naked body, my hands rubbing his chest moving lower and stroking his hard, throbbing penis.  We were facing each other, lying on our sides, my heart beating against his.  He kissed me passionately, his tongue playing with mine as I draped my leg over Lukas' hip allowing him to enter me.  We rocked back and forth slowly, letting our climaxes build while we kissed.  As Lukas' tongue explored my mouth, his hands gently trailed down my back, and squeezing my ass.  I was getting close and started moving more urgently against him.  My breathing was becoming shallow. I was panting when Lukas rolled me onto my back, and started moving faster.  His hands playing with my breasts as he moved in me.  My body was thrashing on the bed, side to side as I felt my orgasm take over me. I wrapped my legs tightly around Lukas' back as he started moving quicker in me.  I grabbed his face as kissed him, feeling the muscles in his body tense as he came.  Lukas collapsed next to, tilting my face toward him and kissing me tenderly.

The next morning Lukas and I had breakfast at a diner not too far from my new apartment.  Between bites of my pancakes, Lukas and I discussed my new job.  I was starting tomorrow and I was little nervous.  Lukas was sweet, "Elisabeth, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.  I get being a little nervous at the newness of the job, that's completely understandable but have faith yourself."

"I know you're right Lukas, but I guess it's like the first day of school.  You know are you super nervous the night before and can't sleep because your head is spinning with all types of thoughts."

He smiled at me, gently squeezing my hand "You're going to be fine.  Think positive thoughts."

After breakfast Lukas went back to his apartment, he told me he wanted to go to the gym and I was perfectly fine with that as I had already made plans with Britney to go shopping for work clothes. Being in Los Angeles for the past four years meant that I didn't have appropriate winter work clothes.

Britney was already browsing through Banana Republic when I got there.  She quickly made her way over to me giving me hug, "Oh my goodness, Lizzie I saw the cutest outfits for Spring" she squealed before grabbing my hand and pulling me towards a rack of pastel fitted blazers.

"Britney, these jackets are absolutely adorable but I really need some cold weather clothes" I said trying to be realistic.

She picked up the turquoise jacket and place it front of me, "Look how cute that looks" she said.

Before I could say anything she said cheerfully, "Tomorrow's St. Patrick's Day already, you don't need too much winter stuff.  Spring and Summer will be here before you know it."

"Well I do like this blazer" I said searching for a size 4 "but tomorrow it's suppose to snow and I have nothing but my interview suit to wear."

She giggled, "The winter stuff is in the sales section in the back."

I ended up picking up a pair of white slim ankle pants and an off white lace shell to go with the jacket naturally before heading to the back where I found the cutest off white mock neck chunky but not too chunky cardigan and a button down light blue shirt.  I was tired of pencil skirts and found a black skirt with a flounce bottom that was on sale, as well as a navy blue fit and flare skirt.  Being 5'3" I made sure both skirts hit a little above the knees.  After I paid for everything we were off to Ann Taylor Loft where I picked a sheer grey pointelle cardigan, black dress pants, a button down white shirt and a light pink crewneck sweater.  Next we went to Express where I snagged a few shells to wear under my cardigans and jackets.  Britney insisted that we go to J Crew, I was hesitant.  Even though they had really nice clothes, I always thought they were way too overpriced.  I didn't really find anything that I absolutely loved and only purchased a chunky necklace.

By this time we were both hungry and exhausted.  "Hey Brit, want to go to TGI Friday's?" I asked.

"I would love to" she said cheerfully "I'm starving."

While munching on our mozzarella sticks and spinach artichoke dip, Britney asked "So what happened with Amy?  Are you two BFF's now?"

I rolled my eyes at her, "Sometimes I think I am nuts" I started "What the hell was I thinking trying to talk to her?"

"Didn't go well, huh?" she deadpanned.

"That's an understatement" I said pulling up my conversation with Amy and showing it to Britney.

"Wow, I can't believe she's threatening you" Britney said incredulously.

"I honestly thought that she would be open to meeting with me for coffee.  All I want is to let her know that I am not a threat to her but won't even give me a chance" I said.

"Yes, I get that but there is no excuse for her behavior.  Did you tell Anthony?" she asked popping a chip in her mouth.

"Yes and no."

"What exactly does that mean?" Britney asked confused.

"Well I told him that Amy told me to stay away from him because we (Anthony and I) aren't real friends.  I didn't tell him that she threatened me or about the texts."

She nodded, "I think you should have told him everything."

"It's not that easy.  I don't want to get in the middle of their relationship.  Anthony does seem happy with Amy and I didn't want to ruin that.  I know what it's like to be insecure in a relationship.  I was towards the end of my relationship with Jason but I didn't say anything to him.  I ended up sleeping with Nate and ruining everything.  Maybe Amy has her own reasons for her insecurities" I replied.

Britney shook her head, "Maybe but you're being more calm and understanding than I would be.  What did Anthony say?"

"He said that she did the same thing before when he was chatting with his cousin but he thought she changed."

Britney took a sip of her iced tea, "It's a tough situation.  I don't really know what to say."

"Yes, me neither."

While we ate our entrees I told Britney about my spa day with Lukas and how great things were going.  Britney told me that Tommy, her friends with benefits that ditched her on Valentine's Day for another girl, keeps texting her but she didn't know what to do.  I told her that she needed to be honest with herself and decide what she wanted from Tommy.  She was quiet for a few moments before saying, "Truth is I really like Tommy.  I thought that I could do the friends with benefits thing with no strings attached but now I'm not that sure.  I can't stop thinking about him but to him I'm just a girl he was hooking up with" she said sadly.

I reached over and rubbed her arm, "I think you should talk to him. What if he feels the same way you do but is afraid to let his feelings show?  You know how men are."

"I just don't want to put myself out there only to get hurt" she said quietly.

"Isn't it better to know where you stand, instead of going through life second guessing things or wondering what could have been?" I asked.

"That's true but I need to think it over before I say anything to Tommy" Britney said despondently.  It was clear that Britney was over this conversation so I changed the subject.  It wasn't long before we were joking around about Kim and Kanye's upcoming wedding and that jerk Juan Pablo from the Bachelor.

Priya was already back by the time I got home.  She was sitting on the couch on her iPad when I walked in. "Hey roomie" she said smiling my way.

"Hey" I said plopping down next to her "How was the engagement party?"

She sighed loudly, "It was crazy.  My paternal grandmother was upset that my sister isn't marrying an Indian guy and bitched about it all night.  I love her to death and wish that she would see how happy my sister is but all she sees is color sometimes."

"I'm sorry" I said, unsure of what to say.

"It's not really her fault.  She lives in India and isn't use to interracial relationships.  Hell she and my grandfather had an arranged wedding. Because of how she was raised she has preconceived notions."

I nodded, "That makes sense. I'm sure with time, she'll see how happy your sister is and be more accepting."

Priya smiled and nodded towards my shopping bags, "So I guess you went shopping?"

"Yep, I needed work clothes.  Want to help me figure out what to wear to work tomorrow?  It's my first day and I want to make a good impression?" I asked.

"I would love to.  I'm a fashionista at heart" she said excitedly as we made our way to my room, shopping bags in tow.  I tried on a few outfits for Priya and we finally settled on the black fitted dress pants, a light blue striped button down shirt I had in my closet with a cream cardigan with pearl like buttons.  Priya suggested that I wear a simple pearl necklace and black pumps and I agreed.

"I'm so happy you decided to move in with me" Priya said as we retreated to the living room and started watching the final season of Gossip Girl on Netflix.  That night before I went to bed, I set my alarm for 7 a.m. that way I would have plenty of time to get ready and get to work on time for my 9 a.m. orientation session.

The next morning, as I got ready for work I was a bundle of nerves.  I knew I had no reason to be nervous but I was.  This was my new beginning at a new place.  One of the benefits of living in the city was my 20 minute commute to work.  Yay!!!  By the time I got to SIB it was 8:45.  I was escorted to a conference room on the main level where I was greeted by an older woman.  She had me sign in and gave me a name tag.  By 9, where orientation finally began there were eight of us in the large room.  We were each given a huge binder with material to go over.  Orientation was boring, we went over benefits, 401k plans, block leaves, confidential information before finally being released to grab lunch for a half hour.  Upon our return we were each called up one by one to hand in the forms that we were required to fill out and take our picture for our identification cards.  We then watched a video on harassment and company policy.  It was close to 3, by the time orientation was over and I was exhausted from the boredom.

As I made my way up to the 11th floor, I felt my heart pounding in my chest.  I swiped my ID card, the door opened and I saw the receptionist look up.  "Hi, today is my first day and I'm not sure which way to go."

"Do you know who you are suppose to report to?" she asked smirking at me.

"Yes, John Goldstein" I said confidently.

She stuttered, "You, you're working for John Goldstein?" she asked stunned.

"Yes, that's correct."

She turned bright red as she dialed John's extension and talked to someone.  "John, will be out in a moment. Please have a seat" she said politely.

I heard John's booming, cheerful voice before actually spotting him, "Elisabeth, welcome aboard" he said shaking my hand.

He turned to the receptionist, "Alison, this is Elisabeth, our new up and coming star. She has had such great accomplishments at her previous firm and we are so glad to have her here."

Alison mumbled, "It's nice to meet you Elisabeth" before turning her attention to her computer screen.

"Elisabeth, Alison is my assistant.  Cara, unfortunately, has some personal matters to tend to and is on sabbatical for the next six months and Alison will be filling in for her. Should you need anything, Alison should be able to assist you."

I nodded, "That sounds great" I chimed.

"Are you all ready to meet everyone?" John asked.

"Most definitely" I said tentatively.

First John showed me where the coat closet was and waited for me to hang up my coat before proceeding. "This is the trader's pantry, if you need coffee or a pick me up" he said.  He then introduced me to the traders, many of whom seemed to be no only than 35 and very preoccupied.  The sales desk was right across from the traders.  John introduced me to Steve who was tall and looked like an intellectual version of the Situation from the Jersey Shore, Grant who was extremely good looking with his light brown hair and blue eyes, Bill a very jovial middle aged man, Christine a thirty something brunette and Ariel a fresh out of college analyst.  I had already met Matt and Rob and they were both very nice in welcoming me aboard.

"You are actually going to sit here between Rob and Nicholas.  Nick seems to have stepped away but both him and Rob are a wealth of resources and are here to help you in any way.  If you have any questions, my office is right over there" he said pointing to a corner office with a view of the Empire State building.  I nodded before taking my seat.  Unlike most people, I didn't have the privacy of a cubicle.  In my field we sit at trader's desks (think a long table with computers with multiple monitors and a small cabinet on the floor separating our work areas), where there is little or no privacy at all.  When I first started in the industry this setup was a bit uncomfortable but now it was the norm for me.

As I turned on my computer Rob asked, "So how was orientation?"

"It was good" I sad half lying.

He laughed, "I think you'll like it here.  We are like a dysfunctional family at times but everyone here is good people."

I nodded and successfully logged on but realized that I didn't have any applications.  "Rob, this is a little weird, but I only have access to the Internet on this computer, no programs."

"Damn, Alison was suppose to take care of that.  I sent her an email last week with a list of programs that you needed.  I have a very important conference call in a five minutes, would you mind going over and touching base with her on this?" he said getting up and walking over to the printer.

"No, not at all Rob" I said as enthusiastically as I could muster as Rob handed me the email in question.

It took me a little while to get back to the receptionist area, I am a little directionally challenged and ended up going in the wrong direction at first.  Alison was texting on her iPhone when I approached her.  I cleared my throat to get her attention, "Alison, do have a minute?"  I asked politely.

"Not really, I am very busy" she replied, returning to her iPhone.

"This is rather important and I need your help.  Rob suggested I talk to you" I said raising my voice slightly.

She looked up at me and rolled her eyes, flipping a strand of her blond bob cut hair behind her ear.  "What is it that's so important?" she asked impatiently, her blue eyes narrowing.

"Well according to Rob, he asked you to ensure that my computer was setup with the necessary programs and unfortunately when I logged in just now I only have access to the Internet.  No programs."

She scoffed, "That's a shame, I guess you'll have to figure it out.  It's not my job to coddle any of you.  You need programs, call the help desk or something."  With that she returned to her texting.

"Alison, this email states otherwise" I said, placing the print out of the email Rob gave me in front of her "Please fix this ASAP."  I didn't give her a chance to respond as I turned on my heels and headed back to my desk hoping that I had gotten through to Alison.  When I got back to my desk I saw a handsome man about 30 with thick dark hair, hazel eyes and tanned skin sitting to my left.  As I took my seat I turned to him, "I'm Elisabeth, you must be Nick" I said smiling politely at him.

"Elisabeth, it's a pleasure to meet you" he said extending his right hand "How is your first day going?"

"It's been great so far except for the fact I have no programs" I deadpanned.

He laughed, "Lucky you, when I first started it took me over a week to get completely setup.  You should take advantage of it, while you can."

Maybe he was right I thought to myself as Nicholas answered his phone.  I glanced at him and quickly noticed a wedding ring on his left ring finger.  I was sitting there staring at my blank monitor when Rob came back.  "How did it go with Alison?" he asked curiously.

"Not too bad" I replied.

He nodded knowingly, "It's your first day and you're not really setup.  It's kind of pointless to have you just sit here and do nothing.  If you'd like, you can head home."

"Thanks, Rob but I would like to wait until 5" I said glancing at the clock on the wall.  It was almost 4:30.  The next half hour crept by and I was thrilled when the clock struck 5.  I said good night to everyone and headed towards elevator, pulling out my cell phone and retrieving a text from Lukas.

"I hope you're having a great first day at work.  Want to meet up later?" he texted.

I quickly typed back, "I would love to."

Lukas and I texted back and forth for a little and we decided to meet up for dinner at his apartment by 7.  I rushed home and showered (something about taking the NYC subway system made me feel dirty).  I threw on a pair of yoga pants, a white tank top and an gray Ralph Lauren zip up sweatshirt before leaving.  Fifteen minutes later I was walking into the lobby of Lukas building.  His doorman nodded towards me and I smiled at him as I made my way to the elevators.

I knocked on the door and heard Lukas' footsteps as approaching.  He opened the door and let me in.  "I would kiss you but I'm not feeling too well" he said, his voice a little hoarse.

"Aww, what's the matter?" I asked soothingly as we settled on the couch.

"Just a little cold" he said before sneezing.

"I can take care of you" I said hugging him.

He smiled at me as I got up and grabbed my coat and wallet.  "I'm going to get you some soup and medicine" I said as I headed towards his door.

"I'd much rather you stay here with me" he replied.

"I have to get you better" I said smiling.

Twenty minutes later I was back at Lukas' apartment; chicken soup, freshly baked loaf of Italian bread, honey, lemon and Nyquil in tow.  I gave Lukas a bowl of chicken noodle soup and two slices of bread.  He wasn't really hungry but I forced him to eat all of it before handing in a cup on hot tea with a little honey and fresh lemon juice along with two Nyquils.

Lukas was getting tired, probably from the Nyquil, and we decided to head to his room.  As we lay in bed, he turned to me "I'm sorry, I totally forgot to ask you about your first day."

I quickly filled him in on everything and what a bitch Alison was to me.  He told me that she was probably having a bad day and that I should give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he was right and tomorrow she would do a total 180.  I was rubbing Lukas head gently as he drifted off to sleep.  I kissed him on the forehead and quietly left.  I had an early day ahead of me, I had to be at work by 8 at latest and needed to get things together.

When I got home I chatted with Priya a little before heading to my room laying out an outfit for the next day. The next morning I woke up and headed to work optimistic.  Alison wasn't there when I arrived a little before 8 a.m. and I was disappointed to find that I still didn't have any programs on my computer.  I didn't really know the procedure here and wasn't sure how to proceed when I heard Nick approach and sit down.  "Morning" I said cheerfully.  Yes I am that girl who is way too pleasant in the morning and I know that is annoying to some.

"Morning" he said sipping his coffee "I take it you still don't have any programs."

I shook my head, "Nope and I don't really know how to go about getting them either."

"Let me guess Alison is being a pain the ass."

I smiled at him, "I'd rather not talk about that, is there someone I could call to get everything setup?"

"We do have an IT desk but they are more for troubleshooting.  For new programs and things like that we usually just asked Cara so I have no clue how to even do that" he said apologetically.

"So you're basically telling me that Alison has to take care of it?" I asked already knowing the answer.

"Yes.  She hasn't been that helpful but she's only been here for a little over a week" Nick replied.

I was about to say something when Ariel and Christine walked over, "Morning, would you like to grab breakfast with us?" Christine asked.

I nodded and followed them to SIB's cafeteria.  While we were waiting for our omelettes, Christine turned to me, "I want to welcome you to our group, this has always been a male dominated industry and it's great to have another woman aboard" she said sincerely.

"I appreciate that, I'm so happy to be here" I responded.

"I want you to know that I am here if you need anything; advice, help or just to talk.  I want to take you under my wing, just like I have Ariel and help you accomplish all your career goals."

"I would like that very much" I replied.  Truth is I was quite impressed and flattered that Christine had gone out of her way to be so kind to me.  She was a managing director and usually they aren't that personable.

"I couldn't help overhearing that you are having issues getting setup earlier.  I'll talk to Alison and make sure she gets on that.  If she gives you the runaround, let me know."

"Thank you, Christine.  I think Alison has a lot of her plate and maybe just forgot about the programs" I said diplomatically.  I didn't believe in throwing anyone under the bus and I really didn't know the deal with Alison just yet.

We got our breakfast and headed upstairs.  The rest of the day went by slowly for me and I pretty much spent it shadowing Rob and then Christine.  They showed me the ropes.  At SIB they did things a little different from my previous employer and I learned a lot from just observing.  I couldn't wait to get up and running.  By the end of day, I had three programs installed.  That was progress.  I was hoping that by the time I got to work the next day I would have everything I needed.  That night I checked up on Lukas and he had gone to the doctor and was diagnosed with the flu.  He was against taking the flu shot and now he was sick.  As much as I wanted to go and see him I couldn't risk getting sick.  I had just started this job and wanted to make a good impression.  Instead I skyped with Lukas.

It wasn't until Thursday that I was able to fully function on my own.  Finally!!! I was grateful for Christine's help and considered her to be a mentor.  I was definitely going to learn a lot from her.  It wasn't until about mid-day that I made my first deal, I sold a $10mm short position of a credit default swap to an institutional investor.  After that I made three more deals.  My day went by fairly quickly and was quite productive.  That night I was exhausted when I got home.  While Priya and I were watching House of Cards on Netflix, my phone pinged with a text from Britney.

"OMG Elisabeth, I have some big news for you."


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spa Day

Monday morning before I headed into the city, I loaded up my mom's SUV with the boxes I had packed so far. I figured I could unpack my clothes and shoes while I was waiting for the delivery men to bring my bedroom set.  I had also made plans to meet up with Lukas once I was all done to celebrate my new job.  I was totally looking forward to it, I missed him.

Driving into the city was pure torture with all of the potholes and rush hour traffic.  Thank goodness I allocated two and half hours to get to SIB.  My appointment with HR was scheduled for 10 a.m. and by 9:30 I was driving around trying to land a parking spot on the street. Sadly I couldn't and ended up paying $23.80 to park two blocks away at a parking garage.

My meeting with HR went quite well.  I signed a couple documents regarding confidentiality and obtained forms needed to be filled out for orientation the following Monday.  Since I was being provided with a signing bonus, I  gave HR my bank information as well for direct deposit.  The drug test was a simple urine test but I do have a shy bladder when a total stranger is waiting outside the bathroom stall!!! Needless to say it took a couple glasses of water and some time before I completed this part and was allowed to leave. My furniture deliver was scheduled between 12pm and 4pm so on my way to my car I picked up a chicken TBM (tomato, basil, mozzarella) at Cosi; my absolute favorite flatbread sandwich spot in the city while I was attending NYU.  

I was fortunate to find parking right in front of Priya's building.  It took me a good hour to unload my car and schlep the boxes to the apartment.  By 12:30, I was all done and having lunch when my phone pinged with a text from Lukas. "Do you want me to get you lunch or anything?"  I smiled at my phone, Lukas was very kind to me and I liked him a lot but deep down I was afraid of hurting him.  He already lost his wife and even though I adored him I wasn't sure whether I was what he needed.  He had opened up to me and was so vulnerable in that moment, but I wasn't there yet.  I couldn't even bring myself to tell my loved ones, sans Britney, the truth about my relationship with Jason, how could I tell Lukas?  I was falling for Lukas and completely enjoyed each moment we spent together but was that enough?  I was evaluating things in my head when my phone pinged again and I jumped, startled. This time it was a text from Britney asking how my day was going.

I quickly texted her back and then texted Lukas, "No thanks, I'm good for now."

He texted back, "Are we still on for dinner tonight?"

"Yes, of course" I typed back.  Maybe I could muster up the courage to tell Lukas how I was feeling instead of keeping it inside and over analyzing and over thinking things.  I had a tendency to do that.  Lukas texted back, "Great.  What are you in the mood for?"

"This might sound so weird but I'm actually craving Chipotle."

"That works for me, text me when you are just about done" he wrote.

I started with the task of unpacking my shoes, one of my obsessions.  I kept my shoes in those clear shoe boxes from the Container Store that allowed me to see each pair. It wasn't long before I completely lined the closet floor with my endless shoe collection.  Next I moved onto unpacking my clothes, which I put on hangers before color coordinating them.  Yes, I am a little anal about that.  Lol.  The next box I opened consisted on toiletries. The next two consisted of items that I would put in my new chest of drawers that was coming. I glanced at my watch, 2:56, and wondered where those darn delivery men were.  In the interim I put a memo in my phone to get a TV and curtains for my room and ask Priya how to go about getting cable.  At exactly 3:59, the doorbell rang and yes you guessed it, my delivery men with one minute to spare.  

It took them a good half hour to bring up my bedroom set and put everything together.  Once they were done I tipped them both $20.  I opened one of the boxes and pulled out the brand new mattress pad, sheet set, duvet and down comforter I purchased.  Once I was done my bed looked so inviting.  It was a little after 5:30 and I figured that I could take a power nap before meeting Lukas.  I got under the covers and drifted into dream land.

I was awoken by Priya, gently tapping me on the shoulder.  I jumped, I wasn't use to a roommate just yet.  "I'm so sorry" Priya said soothingly "I would've let you sleep but it's just that your phone kept going off."

"It's okay, Priya, I was only taking a power nap" I said taking my phone from her.  My eyes widened when I saw it was 9:32 pm.  "Shit" I whispered.

Lukas had sent me four texts and even left a voicemail.  I didn't even bother reading the texts and just called him instead.  "Elisabeth are you okay?"

"Lukas I'm so sorry, I was super tired after unpacking and decided to take a quick nap but I lost track of time."

He chuckled, "I understand, don't worry about it.  I was worried that something happened to you."

I smiled, "No I'm pretty good.  I feel really bad about this."

"Don't" he said sweetly.

"Are you busy tomorrow?" I asked.

"Funny you ask, I took the day off."

"Would you like to meet me out on Long Island and I'll plan something for us?" I asked.

"Yeah that sounds great" he replied.

"I'll text you details and I promise to make it up to you" I said.

We chatted for a few minutes more before hanging up.  I slowly got up and made up my bed before heading into the living room where Priya was reading one of her textbooks.  She smiled at me, "Is everything good?"

I nodded, "Yes, I just overslept.  I'm going to head out but I might stop by tomorrow or Wednesday to bring some more things."

"It's your apartment too, Elisabeth, you don't need my permission to come and go as you please."

"I know but I don't want to catch you unaware" I answered as she waved me off.

"Elisabeth, you're so sweet but I want you to treat this place as your own.  We're roommates, equal partners.  I want you to feel comfortable here" Priya said.

"Thanks, Priya" I said hugging her "I really should get going and let you study."

Driving home was horrendous, as if it weren't bad enough to drive to the city with all the potholes, it was worse to drive home at night when you can't see the potholes til it was too late.  When I got home I ate lasagna that my mom made for dinner with garlic bread and a salad.  I watched Friends reruns before heading to bed.  Before falling asleep I texted Lukas with train info to get to Manhasset and told him to text me once he got to Penn Station.  I figured that we would have a nice, relaxing day.

The next day I was watching the View when I heard the doorbell; I ran downstairs in my black leggings with an fitted sage green and white tattersall button down shirt with the top three buttons open.  I flung open the door and there was Lukas in dark jean and a fitted Henley white top with black shoes and aviator sunglasses, holding a bouquet of flowers in his arm.  "You look beautiful" he said before kissing me on the cheek.

"Lukas, what are you doing here? How did you get here?" I asked confused.

He smiled, "I took a cab.  I didn't have phone service at Penn Station and then decided it might be fun to surprise you instead."

"Well I am pleasantly surprised" I said, kissing him gently before taking the flowers and putting them in a vase.  "I'm almost done, I just need to put on my shoes" I yelled to him as I ran up the stairs.

"Take your time babe" he responded.  A couple minutes later, we were in my mom's SUV, me in the driver seat. "So where are we going today?" he asked.

"The spa" I quickly answered "We're going to get a massage together."  

"That sounds great.  I haven't had a massage in ages" he said.

We drove in comfortable silence to the Elizabeth Arden spa, which was about 20 minutes away, when  that awesome John Legend song "All of Me" came of the radio. I sang along and Lukas smiled as he stared at me.  I was disappointed when the song was over but then "Story of My Life" came on. You know that cheesy One Direction song that we all like but hate to admit.  I started singing aloud and Lukas shook his head and laughed.

 "You know you love this song" I teased.

"Yeah I totally do and plus those boys are so dreamy" he said dramatically.  I couldn't help but laugh along with him.  Being with Lukas had such a calming effect on me and I enjoyed spending time with him. I wondered if it were time to have that dreaded talk but thought better of it; I didn't want him to think I was in a rush or pushing him.  Plus part of me was still worried I wasn't good enough for him but I cared about him too much to let that get in the way.

When we got to the spa, the receptionist pointed us towards our respective changing areas.  I put my clothes, shoes and purse in the locker provided and slipped on the soft white robe and slippers.  I love spas but was always skeeved out about being virtually naked in front of a complete stranger.  When I came out of the changing room, Lukas was waiting for me.  We were escorted to a couples massage room and told to lie under the sheet.  I felt Lukas' eyes scan every inch of my naked body as I slowly got under the sheet and watched as Lukas did the same.  A few later minutes two middle aged female masseuses entered.  They were very nice.  I was so relaxed and in my own dream world when I heard Lukas' masseuse say "What brings you and you girlfriend here?"

I waited for him to correct her but he didn't.  He responded, "we needed some time away and what better way than this."

The masseuse responded, "That's so sweet" before turning her full concentration back to the deep tissue massage she was giving Lukas.  I wondered if Lukas thought of me as his girlfriend or if he was only being polite.  I reminded myself, you told him you wanted to move slow, you can't start on him about if he thinks you're his girlfriend.  I closed my eyes and enjoyed the aromatherapy massage I was receiving.  After they were done and left the room, Lukas and I slipped on our robes slowly and moved to the manicure area. Lukas was a little reluctant but I told him that it was part of the package I selected.  An hour and half later, both of us very relaxed left the spa and headed to lunch and Cafe Formaggio.

During lunch I said, "Lukas I don't want you to get the wrong idea or anything, I really like spending time with you but I'm concerned about something."

He took a bite of his shrimp parm and chewed and swallowed quickly, "What are you concerned about?" he asked.

"I really like you Lukas but I am worried that I am not what you need right now."

He wiped his mouth with his napkin, "Why do you feel that way?"

"I don't know" I answered, taking a sip of my iced tea.

"The truth is you are exactly what I need right now.  Elisabeth, I like you a lot.  You make me feel happy and carefree.  I knew telling you about my past would be difficult but I don't want you to judge me based on that. I'm not rushing things between us.  I want us to take time and get to know each other but at the same time I want you to know that you are more than enough for me.  Don't ever think otherwise" he said squeezing my hand.

"Thank you Lukas, I like you too" I said, returning my focus to my food.

"If I have made you feel that you aren't good enough, I do apologize."

"No, if anything you've always made me feel so special" I replied.

He smiled at me, "You know, I forgot to ask, how was your weekend?"

I filled in him about Aubrey's birthday party; I even told him about Amy confronting me and warning me to stay away from Anthony.  Lukas suggested that I tell Anthony what Amy had said, instead of letting it fester. I told him I would think about and then asked him about his dad's birthday.  He told me it was great getting together with his entire family and nieces and nephew, his younger sister even flew in from Paris for the weekend.  Hearing about his family was sweet.

We were finishing up dessert, tiramisu, when I asked Lukas if he would go with me to get a TV for my bedroom.  He said that he would and with that we are off to Best Buy about a mile up Old Country Road. After walking around the store for about twenty minutes, I settled on a 32" Samsung television set.  When we were driving back to my parent's house Lukas turned to me, "What are your plans for tonight?"

"I wanted to go home and get some more things and maybe head back to my new place.  Maybe you can come along and help me set up this TV.  I have no idea how to get it situated on the wall" I answered.

He laughed, "Yes, it would be my pleasure."

Back at my parent's house, I rushed in and gathered some items that I wanted to take to my new place (a new lamp for my nightstand, brand new towels, a rug to place by new bed so I wouldn't have to walk on the cold hardwood floor first thing in the mornings, pictures and of course cleaning items) while Lukas waited in the car.  Our drive back to the city was fun, Lukas and I shared childhood stories and asking the adorable girl next door to marry him when he was only six years.  I told him that when I was growing up I always thought I was a princess and my brothers and friends do what I said while I wore my princess crown.  We went back and forth exchanging stories til we got to my new place.

Lukas helped me carry my things upstairs, in fact he carried everything but the lamp for me.  When we got to the apartment Priya wasn't home yet.  Lukas placed my packages on the floor and wrapped his arms around me, his mouth on mine kissing me deeply; I felt his hands unbuttoning my shirt and cupping my breasts.  He quickly pulled off his henley top and his jeans while I pulled off my leggings.  He kissed me once more, playing with my nipples before I pushed him back onto the bed.  I straddled him and grabbed his penis, stroking it before slowly lowering myself onto it.  He felt so full and good inside of me.  I started moving slowly, Lukas' hands on my breasts, squeezing them and brushing over my nipples gently, making me shiver before moving down to my hips speeding up the pace.  I threw my head back and started moving faster as Lukas' fingers made their way between my legs, playing with me.  That was all it took; I felt my my breathing get shallow, panting, my body shaking as I orgasmed.  Lukas' gave me a minute to recover before flipping me over and thrusting faster into me.  I moaned loudly, meeting his thrusts, I felt his body tense as he came.  He leaned down and kissed me as I wrapped my arms around him, feeling his heart pounding against my chest.

As we cuddled in my bed I heard the apartment door open and Priya's voice.  I put my fingers to my lips, urging Lukas to be quiet.  It seemed like she was on the phone talking to someone.  I quietly slipped out of bed and got dressed, while Lukas did the same.  I made up the bed and straightened up before opening the door, "Hey Priya."

"Hi Elisabeth, do you need any help with anything?" she asked.

"No I'm good, thanks. Lukas is going to help me put my TV up and I was meaning to ask you about cable" I said.

"I have my sister's cable box and the connections are still there, all you have to do is split the bill with me" she said, walking into her room.  With that Lukas made his way out of my room and to the bathroom.

Priya was handing me the cable box when Lukas sauntered out of the bathroom, walking up to her.  "Hi, I"m Lukas" he said extending his hand.

"I'm Priya" she said.  Lukas made small talk and then excused himself to go put up my tv.  When he was gone Priya mouthed to me that he was hot and we both giggled.  We spent the rest of the night fixing the TV and unpacking.  By 9:30 when we were more or less done, Lukas ordered pizza for the two of us and Priya. While chatting I learned that Priya was studying to be a pediatrician and that she is completely single, having taken six months off from dating after breaking up with her ex.  She didn't want to divulge too many details and we didn't prod either.  After dinner I helped Priya clean up and then Lukas and I left.  I had to take my mom's car home but first I drove Lukas to his apartment.  We kissed in the car like teenagers before he pulled away and said huskily, "Good night, Elisabeth."

I woke up Wednesday morning a smile on my face remembering Lukas.  It wasn't long before my mind started to drift.  As much as I hate to admit it, that little confrontation with Amy has been weighing heavily on my mind.  I know that all my friends and even Lukas felt that it would be best for me to tell Anthony what had happened. However, part of me wanted to talk to Amy and let her know I wasn't a threat to her relationship.  I wanted to know why she reacted the way she did.  If I didn't have any other choice I would tell Anthony.  I didn't have Amy's contact info and decided to called Britney.  We exchanged pleasantries and chatted for a little before I said, "Britney, please don't ask me any questions or sway my decision but might you be able to give my Amy's phone number?"

I heard Britney take a deep breath, "I'll text it to you once we hang up" she said "Are you sure you know what you are doing?"

I told her I did and she told me to call her if I needed help or advice before hanging up and immediately sending me Amy's contact information.  It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and I figured I would wait until after 5 to text Amy, I didn't want to bother her at work.  In the meanwhile I drafted, deleted, drafted, edited many versions of what I wanted to say.  At 5:03, I ended up sending her a text, "Hi Amy, it's Elisabeth.  I know we didn't get off to a great start but would you like to meet me for coffee."

It didn't take long for Amy to text me back, "Elisabeth, why would I want to meet you for coffee?  I thought I made myself perfectly clear the other night.  You need to stay the fuck away from Anthony or you'll be sorry."

I stared at her message for a few minutes, figuring out how to respond, "Amy I think you have the wrong impression of me, I am not romantically interested in Anthony at all."

"I don't give a fuck.  Stop texting me, you stupid bitch and stay away from my man" she texted.

I stared dumbfounded and annoyed at my cell phone.  I couldn't believe Amy's attitude.  Who was she to threaten or call me names?  I didn't regret reaching out to her but I was disappointed in the result.  As much as I wanted to vent about what just conspired I thought better of it.  I didn't want to make this bigger that it was and I didn't want to hear anyone tell me "I told you so."

The next two days went by really fast, it was hard to believe that I was completely moved into my new place. I hadn't spent the night yet and decided that after my lunch with Anthony I would go to the city for my first night in the new apartment.  Saturday was a beautiful day, almost 65 degrees and sunny.  The weather in NYC has been so unpredictable, one day it was snowing, the next in the 60's, you didn't know what to expect.  I pulled on a pair of light blue denim skinny distressed jeans with a black henley top and heels before heading to Cippolini's at the Americana Mall for lunch.  Anthony was already seated at a table when I got there.  He stood up and gave me a hug.

As I sat down, Anthony said "I hope you don't mind but I ordered us both glasses of Chianti."

"No, that's perfect" I responded "Thank you so much for meeting me for lunch."

"Anytime, I'm really glad you are back.  I missed you and all your words of wisdom.  It's not the same getting advice from Eric" he said with a laugh.

I smiled at him, "I'm glad to be back.  I couldn't stay in LA anymore."

"You never really told me what happened with Jason" he said tentatively, as the waiter brought us our drinks.

I took a sip of the wine and said, "There is no point in my trying to hide or change the truth. I screwed up and cheated on Jason, I hid it from him.  In fact, he proposed a few weeks later and I accepted. I was so sure that he would never find out about my infidelity and that everything would be fine between us but then pictures of me and this guy Nate showed up on Facebook. Needless to say Jason figured it out, confronted me and then broke up with me."

He took a big sip of his wine, "Everyone makes mistakes. You and Jason were together for many years and maybe it just wasn't meant to be.  I'm not going to blame Jason and say he deserved that because no one does.  What you did was wrong but hopefully you learn and grow from that."

"I know, Anthony.  I felt really bad, still do at times but what's done is done.  You know three months ago I was in the worst place but now I feel like I'm a totally different person.  I'm the happiest I have been in a long time" I said.

Anthony and I nibbled on the fried calamari in front of us while I tried to figure out how to bring up my confrontation with Amy.  I must have been lost in my thoughts because Anthony said, "What are you thinking about, Elisabeth?"

I took a deep breath, "Um, nothing" I said giving him a half smile.

"I know you well enough to know that's not true.  Come on, tell me.  Maybe I can help."

"Anthony I don't know how to say this or even if it is right to tell you at all.  Truth is I have been debating this for a few days now, trying to decide what I should do or say" I said quickly.

"Please tell me" he said softly.

I knew I was taking a huge risk but I couldn't lie to Anthony.  "It's about Amy" I started.

He looked surprised, "Amy?"

I nodded before continuing, "At Aubrey's party last Saturday, Amy said something to me that made me uncomfortable."

"What did she say?" he asked curiously.

"Anthony, you are like a brother to me and I am so glad we are working on our friendship and I don't want to lose that" I babbled.

"Elisabeth, please just say it.  It won't change anything I promise" he said reassuringly.

"Amy told me to stay away from you because I'm not your real friend."

I saw his eyes widen, "I thought she changed" he said quietly, as the color drained from his face.

"I'm so sorry, Anthony, are you ok?" I asked concerned.

He took a deep breath, "Yes, I'm good.  Thank you for telling me this, I know it was hard for you.  It's not the first time Amy has done this.  She thinks that every woman I talk to, I'm hooking up with, though I have never given her any reason to not trust me.  Before we got engaged, she threw a fit because at my sister's baby shower I took pictures with two of my cousins that live in Chicago.  She never met them and swore I was cheating on her.  She is a great woman and I love her but sometimes her insecurities are too much for me."

"I'm sorry, Anthony.  Maybe if Amy got to know me, she wouldn't feel so threatened?"  I suggested even though I knew that she was against that. I figured Anthony might be able to convince her otherwise.

"Maybe but that doesn't excuse her behavior. I'm sorry she said that to you.  You are my friend, always will be.  I tell her stories about all of growing up together all the time. She knows you were my wing girl and helped me with my girl problems as a teenager.  I don't get it."

"Maybe this won't make sense, but when Jason started studying with his law school friends I felt insecure and lonely.  Maybe it is the same with her."

"Probably but I'll talk to her and let her know that what she said to you is inexcusable" he said, thinking.

"Please don't.  I don't want to become an issue for her.  Think about what I said and maybe spend some more time with her and reassure her a little.  And then when you feel it's right maybe we can all have a double date, I would like for you to meet Lukas."

"That's not a bad idea."

After lunch I headed home and grabbed the last of my things.  My mom drove me to the train station, hugging me, a tear streaming down her cheek "I'm going to miss you so much, if you need anything or need to come back home, you are always welcome" she said.  My dad gave me a bear hug and told me that he knew I would be fine.  With that I was off to my new apartment and new life in NYC.

** Disclaimer:  This blog and its contents are strictly for entertainment purposes. All characters are story lines depicted are completely fictional. Though not explicitly stated the characters do practice safe sex. **