Character List

Monday, June 30, 2014

Surprises

My heart was pounding out of my chest and mouth was suddenly dry as I waited to hear the truth from Lukas.  He had a serious look on his face as he turned around, facing me.  I felt my that pit inside my stomach getting larger as I waited for the dreaded words I was sure I was going to hear.

"Please tell me" I pleaded, not wanting to prolong the agony.  Britney's words flooded my mind and a part of me wondered if she was right about me not being what Lukas needed.  Was I completely blinded and missed that he was only using me for sex?  As these thoughts consumed me, I began convincing myself that he was going to tell me that he cheated and I tried my best to mentally prepare to hear those words from him. I felt myself beginning to sweat and my hands were shaking nervously as he walked towards me and told me to follow him.  Thankfully, I was already dressed for the day in a simple white eyelet sundress.  I slowly slipped on my Tory Burch flip flops and followed him into the hallway, trying to keep up with his long strides.

"Where are we going?" I asked completely stumped.

"You wanted to know who I was talking to and why I'm so secretive and I thought this would be the best way to explain it all" he said firmly, grabbing my hand and leading me towards the elevator. I studied his face.  His normal happy, calm, laid back demeanor had changed into a look of anger and disappointment.  His jaw tense, his nostrils flaring, his gorgeous green eyes staring straight ahead, his face slightly flushed.

"Lukas do you think this is a good idea?" I asked getting even more nervous, my palms beginning to sweat.  The last thing I wanted was to get into an altercation with another woman.  As much as I loved Lukas I was not willing to fight for him.  If I wasn't good enough for him then so be it, I thought. Who am I kidding?  I would be absolutely devastated and probably try to convince him that I was best for him.  I was startled when the elevator door opened.  I was too engrossed in my own thoughts to even notice what floor we were on.  My legs felt like lead, each step harder than the next as I tried to keep up with him.  We walked, well he walked while I trudged in silence and Lukas still had that tense look on his face.

I had no idea where we were going or what was going to happen next.  My heart was pounding wildly.  We turned a corner and I was completely shocked when Lukas led me into the Geurlain Spa.  I looked at him expectantly and he stopped about ten feet from the receptionist desk and faced me.  He was clearly disappointed as he said flatly, "I was on the phone planning this spa day for you.  It was suppose to be a surprise.  I know how stressed you've been the past couple months and thought it would be nice for you to be pampered."

I felt relieved and then guilty for automatically assuming that Lukas was cheating on me. "Oh my God, Lukas. This is perfect.  I feel like such an idiot."

"I'm hurt that you automatically assumed the worse" he said quietly.  He looked extremely sad and I knew that I fucked up royally.  Sometimes I let my imagination get the best of me and in this instance I was completely off.  I should have known better.  There was no excuse for my behavior.

"I'm sorry Lukas.  I heard you on the phone and I panicked."

He looked at me and then his watch before approaching the receptionist desk.  Moments later he walked over to me, "We actually have about 40 minutes to kill, maybe we should go get some fresh air."

Once outside, I took a deep breath, "Lukas, I feel terrible for doubting you.  I don't know what got into me and I'm really sorry" I said sincerely.

"I've never given you any reason to doubt me, Elisabeth.  I've been honest with you from the start and I thought you would trust me more."

I nodded and looked down at my toes which clearly needed a pedicure, "I know you have been.  It's just that I heard you on the phone and then when you saw me you abruptly hung up.  I was wrong to assume that you were talking to someone else.  It's just that...think about it Lukas, you have everything together....you're smart, sexy, successful....you're so cool and collected all the time....and I'm a...I'm a complete blubbering mess half the time.  I'm always getting myself into stupid shit and dragging you along for the ride.  I guess I just started justifying that you could find someone more put together and more suitable for you."

"What the hell are you talking about?  Where is this coming from?" he asked thoroughly lost.

"Britney" I said under my breath.

Clearly confused he asked "Britney??"

"Remember when I met up with her?" I asked and he nodded.  "She told me that you and I are two different people and that you deserve someone more mature and put together than me.  I hate that I let her words get to me" I replied apologetically.

Lukas tipped my chin up so that I was looking him in the eyes.  "Even though you are over the top at times, you make me happy and keep me on my toes.  You are exactly what I need and want. What Britney or anyone else thinks doesn't matter.  You're imperfections make you you and makes me love you more."

I swear my heart melted in that moment, "I love you too, Lukas."

"I hope that you would trust me and not let your friends or anyone else get into your head" he said gazing into my eyes.

"I promise, Lukas.  I honestly do feel awful and I know I was wrong for doubting you."

He sighed, "I've always been honest with you and I always will be.  I hate that Britney is putting ideas in your head.  She's your friend, I get it but I'm at a complete loss why she has this vendetta with our relationship."

I shrugged, "I can't figure it out either."

"I'm not going to say that I'm not upset because I am hurt that you would think I was cheating.  I spend every free moment I have with you.  I love you Elisabeth and I would never hurt you like that."

"I let my imagination and Britney get the best of me and I'm really sorry for hurting you.  I was really scared that I was losing you and I jumped to conclusions" I said tearfully.

"Listen, I don't want to this to ruin what I've planned for us.  How about we put this behind us and enjoy the rest of the day" he said, pulling me close.

"I'd like that a lot" I whispered before kissing him gently.

"We really should get going" he said quietly.

I nodded and took his hand.  Glancing at him I saw that his face was more relaxed but not quite as happy as he usually is.  I couldn't blame him for being angry; I would be too if I was planning special for him and he assumed I was cheating.  Once we reached the spa, the receptionist pointed us in the direction of the changing areas.  I slipped into a white fluffy robe and was let into a massage room.  Lukas was already laying face down on one of the massage table as I slipped under the covers.  He turned his head towards me, "I thought it would be nice to get massages together."

"That's perfect" I squealed.

Minutes later I was in pure bliss enjoying my Imperial Relaxing massage. It as though the weight of the world was being lifted off my shoulders as the masseuse's hands expertly worked out every kink from my body.  Lukas opted for a hot stone massage.  Fifty minutes later the masseuses left the room and I watched as Lukas sat up. His face was very relaxed and he had a happy smile on his face.  "How was your massage?" I asked.

"Pretty good, but it doesn't compare to the one you gave me the other night."

I blushed and felt my heart start racing.  No one has ever made me feel the way Lukas did.  I sat up and Lukas helped me slip on my robe.  He pulled me close and kissed me, his hands grabbing my ass. "We should get going" he said huskily.  Next we both had facials.  Is it just me that can't breathe when they do the steam part of the facial?  Thankfully this wasn't our last stop because my face was all blotchy and needed time to recover.  Our last treatments were manicures and pedicures.  By the time we were done, we were completely relaxed and happy.  It was though this morning didn't exist.

Lukas wasted no time picking up where we left off in the massage room.  As soon as the elevator door closed, his lips were on mine.  His hands moved from my waist to my breasts.  I was panting with desire when the elevator stopped at our floor.  We rushed to our room, Lukas closed the door and pulled me to the couch.  His kisses became more intense and before I knew it my dress was off and I was tugging at his pants.  Lukas leaned forward and took my right nipple between his teeth, nipping it gently while he squeezed my left breast.  I felt one hand between my legs, pulling my thong to the side and teasing me.  I was begging for more when he pulled off my thong and threw it across the room.  I giggled as I got on my knees and bent over, my breasts against the hand rest on the couch.  Lukas slapped my ass gently and I pushed back against him.  I moaned loudly as I felt him glide into me.  He moved quick and deep and I met his every thrust.  His fingers played with my clitoris while he filled me deeper and deeper.  I couldn't hold back any longer and screamed out in pleasure as my orgasm washed over me.  Lukas pulled me by my hair and kissed my neck before increasing the intensity of his thrusts.  He started breathing heavily and called out my name as he came hard.

That night after we had dinner at the Peacock Alley right inside the hotel.  As you might have guessed we had Waldorf salads for appetizers.  Lukas had a scallop seafood dish for dinner while I settled for grilled chicken palliard.  I wasn't in the mood to be adventurous and was famished. For dessert we ordered four Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet cupcakes. We devoured two of them and took two back to our room.  Speaking of our room, I don't know how Lukas planned this but as soon as we walked in there was a trail of rose petals leading to our bed.  In the center of the bed was a Tiffany's box and a dozen pink long stemmed roses.

I walked over the bed a little shocked and picked up the roses and smelled them.  Lukas cleared his throat, "I remembered that you said that red roses are boring."

I hugged him tightly, "All of this is way too much."

"You deserve it" he said happily, handing me the Tiffany's box.  I opened it slowly as gasped as I saw a beautiful necklace with an infinity pendant.

"It's beautiful" I said tearfully, as I took it out of the box.

"Just like you" Lukas replied, helping me put it on.

"But why, Lukas?"

He smiled at me, "I wanted to do something nice for you.  You've been so great and I wanted to show you how much I appreciate you."

"I love you so much" I said beaming.

He stepped closer, eliminating any distance between us.  His lips brushed against mine and I shivered. "This weekend has been amazing."

"We still have tonight" I replied pushing him onto the bed.

The next morning I woke up and reached for Lukas who was sleeping peacefully beside me.  I rolled out of bed and started to get ready for work, not wanting to disturb him.  I was dressed and searched for my shoes when I heard Lukas stir in bed.  "Do you have to leave already?" he asked sexily.

I walked over and sat on the bed next to him, "I don't want to but I have to get to work" I pouted.

I kissed him on the cheek quickly before getting up, "I'm going to pick up our clothes.  I'm sure housekeeping won't be thrilled to find my thong and bra scattered around."

I was just about done when Lukas came into the living room.  He told me that he would take my stuff over to his place and bring them over tomorrow.  I thanked him for an unbelievable weekend and gave him a lingering kiss before leaving.

That morning I was on cloud nine as I took the train into work.  Even the man bumping into me every two seconds didn't bother me.  I cheerfully told Alison good morning before heading to my desk.  Nick looked up at me, "I take it you had a good weekend."

"The best" I chirped sitting down and logging into my computer.

"I'm almost afraid to ask" he said laughing and I rolled my eyes.

"How was your weekend?" I asked him.

"Great.  I just found out the my wife is pregnant.  She isn't that far along and it was a total surprise but I couldn't be happier" he shared.

I clasped my hands in front of me and smiled widely, "Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you.  Imagine if you guys have twins again.  How cool would that be?"

"Don't get ahead of yourself.  Twins are a lot harder to manage than you know" he warned.

"I really am happy for you and your wife and your twins.  Did you tell them yet?"

"Nope, we wanted to wait until she's at least three months along before telling anyone.  I just couldn't keep it to myself and had to tell you.  Please don't say anything" he said in a serious tone.

"I promise" I squealed excitedly.

"You didn't get engaged or anything did you?" he asked with a smile.

"Not engaged, see no ring" I said cheerfully, showing him my hands.  "I've been dealing with a lot in personal life and my boyfriend decided to surprise me a weekend in the city.  Even though I grew up on Long Island, I never did the touristy thing so we did that and just had a nice, relaxing weekend.'

"That's cool" he said "My wife always wanted to do that but work got in the way and then the kids."

"Well I think you should do that as a babymoon" I exclaimed.

"What's a babymoon?" he asked clearly confused.

"You and your wife go away for a couple days before the baby comes to just enjoy being together."

He smiled, "Not a bad idea."

We saw Rob approaching and Nick quickly changed the subject.  For the remainder of the morning we were both engrossed in work and didn't have time to chat about anything.  I went to Hale and Hearty with Grant for lunch.  As I ate my chunky chicken chowder he filled me in on his speed dating experience.  He met a couple women that he was interested in but hadn't heard back from them yet.  Trying to cheer him up, I told him that it usually takes a few days.

"You know I haven't been on a date in so long" he shared.

I smiled politely at him, "Well I can help you pick a restaurant.  You're very interesting and I mean that in a good way so you should be able to take care of the rest."

"Interesting?" he asked laughing.

"I mean that you are easy to talk to and well rounded" I explained.

"I thought that was another way to say I'm ugly" he joked.

I felt my face redden.  Grant was the furthest thing from ugly.  "You're alright" I responded calmly.

"We should head back" he said glancing at the time on his iPhone.

As we walked back to work he asked about my weekend and told him excitedly about our weekend as tourists.  He seemed to stare off in the distance as I spoke of Lukas and his demeanor became tense.  Even though I tried to convince my friends and even Lukas that Grant wasn't crushing on me, I knew he was. Sometimes I brush things off as a defense mechanism because I don't want to fully deal with the issue at hand.  I knew Grant wasn't interested in my weekend escapades and abruptly ended my story.  We walked in silence for two blocks.  Once we swiped into our floor, I smiled at Grant and told him that I just knew that his speed dating women would contact him soon.  He gave me a half smile and we went our separate ways.

The rest of the afternoon was busy.  I was glad and relieved when the clock struck six. Half hour later I was in my apartment, filling Priya in on my amazing weekend.  She loved the necklace and said that she was happy that I found someone who made me happy.  I told her that her time was coming soon and she smiled shyly.  I knew that she was hiding something and pressed her a little.

"Anthony invited me to dinner with him this Saturday.  I don't know where he's taking me, I don't think he does either but I am psyched and so nervous.  I really like him and I want everything to be perfect."

My eyes widened in surprise, "That's awesome."

"Will you help me a cute outfit?" she asked nervously.

"Of course" I exclaimed.

That night when I called Lukas he sounded completely stressed out. Apparently, his sister was giving him hell for telling their parents that she was a terrible house guest.  As soon as he hit the door she was yelling and his only refuge was his bedroom but even there he could hear her. He longed for his quiet, peaceful apartment. Trying to cheer him up I told him that his sister would move out soon. I heard him clear his throat on the other end, "My parents told Lauren that they need her to make an effort to get her marriage back on track and she refused.  They don't know the complete story and believe that Lauren and Jeff had a small argument that escalated."

"I'm not quite understanding" I responded.

"My parents aren't willing to pay Lauren's rent and she's not working.  I'm not willing to put her up indefinitely so something's gotta give.  She has to get up off her ass and figure this out" he said firmly.

"Oh" I said fully comprehending.  Part of me wanted to convince Lukas to tell his parents everything and let Lauren deal with the consequences but I knew better.  Having brothers, I knew that that would only lead to drama.  I've learned over the years that you never get involved in sibling quarrels.  Eventually Lauren and Lukas would make up and I would end up being the in the wrong.

"I was even thinking of reaching out to Jeff to see if there is any chance for reconciliation or even for him and Lauren to be civil" Lukas shared.

I cleared my throat, "You know, I never asked but how did you find out about Lauren cheating and all that?"

"I thought I told you, I actually called Jeff to try to smooth things over and he told me.  At first I thought he was exaggerating and trying to make himself look like the victim in all this but after I confronted Lauren she admitted that Jeff was 100% honest."

My mind was running overtime.  "It would be wrong for me to tell you what to do.  Quite frankly, I don't know what I'd do if I were in your shoes, but I know that you will do what you feel is best" I said in a positive tone.

"I hope so.  Things can't get worse."

While we talked, my phone beeped with another call.  I looked at the caller ID on my cell phone and it was Britney.  I rushed Lukas off the phone telling him that I had another call.

Britney and I made small talk which was strained and awkward with lulls of silence.  It was quite the contrast to our usual conversations when we couldn't stop gabbing and laughing.  I longed for that once again. After one too many awkward silences, I started to say that I had to get going but Britney said quickly, "There's something I need to tell you."

"What now?" I asked exasperatedly.

"I met Jason for a drink after work and there's something you should know."

My pulse was racing and I felt my face grow red with anger, "Britney didn't you say you would drop this?"

"No I said that I would drop it temporarily but I spent a lot of time thinking this weekend and I realized that I couldn't" she said calmly.

I took a deep breath, "Britney I'm done with this conversation.  You can keep talking to Jason all you want but you won't change my mind about this."

I hit end and angrily threw my phone against the wall.  Thankfully, the jelly case on my iPhone worked and my phone remained intact.  It kept ringing and I silenced the ringer.  After taking off my makeup and slipping into my pajamas, I found Priya in the living room.

"Can we talk?" she asked looking at me nervously.

"Sure, what's up?" I said calmly, even though I was anything but calm after my conversation with Britney.

"Anthony canceled our date" she said looking down.

Initially I was surprised but I quickly remembered that Anthony was probably still reeling from Amy's letter and her death.  When I spoke to him days earlier he was blaming himself for everything.  He felt guilty for missing the warning signs and not doing anything to help Amy. In addition, he was trying to forgive Amy for aborting their baby.  He was dealing with a lot and maybe a date wasn't what needed right now.

"Did he say why?" I asked, nervously looking down at my fingernails.

"He said that something came up and he needed time to be by himself" she said solemnly.

"That's interesting" I said quietly.

Priya stared at me for a moment and when I caught her eye she said, "You know why he cancelled."

"Not exactly."

"But you have an idea" she prodded.

I took a deep breath.  "Anthony is taking Amy's death really hard and I guess he's struggling to understand why she took her own life.  I think he just needs a little time and a couple therapy sessions and he'll get back to a good place.  I know that he wants to take care of himself and be the type of man that you deserve. Give him a little time and everything will fall into place."

She nodded, "Maybe you're right and I'm reading way too much into all this.  It's just that I really like Anthony.  Ever since I met him, I feel so drawn to him. I know that sounds crazy."

I smiled and clasped my hands in my lap, "Aw, that's so sweet.  I know what you mean.  You feel like you and Anthony have this connection that you can't explain even though you hardly know each other."

Her face lit up, "Yes, that's totally it."

"I think Anthony needs a little time."

She agreed with me and we both headed to our respective bedrooms.  I was pleased that I was able to console Priya without disclosing too much about Anthony's situation.  Even though she was fast becoming one of my closest friends, there was no way I could tell her about the letter.  That was Anthony's place.  It was already late and I made a mental note to call him tomorrow to check on him. I grabbed my iPhone and saw a bunch of texts from Britney.

I read them to myself and my eyes widened in shock when I got to the final one.  I gasped finally understanding why Britney has been pushing me to reconcile with Jason.  I felt the blood drain from my face and my heart racing as I re-read her words, trying to digest them.


**  Quick Note:  With Friday being the Fourth of July, I've decided to make the next post available on Wednesday instead of Thursday.  Regular scheduling will resume Monday.  **

Friday, June 27, 2014

Author's Note

My fabulous readers,

I was so flattered with your request for a bonus post and I hate to disappoint because you've all been so awesome but unfortunately I cannot accommodate that request at this time.  Let me explain.

I'm getting married the first weekend in August (5 weeks from now...ahhhhh!!!!!) and I am a little overwhelmed with getting all the last minute details in order.  Did I mention that I am a bit of a control freak and need everything to be perfect?!?  I'm definitely working on that and have gotten so much better. It's true, my fiance can attest to that....well maybe not.  Haha.  Anyway, I have been writing posts in advance because I don't want to go on hiatus for two/three weeks when I get married and go on my honeymoon.  I feel it will be easier for me to get back into the story without skipping a beat if there isn't a lull.

How am I doing with this goal?  Well, I've made some progress...lol.  I actually have 5 posts written in advance, four when Monday's post becomes available.  If I do a bonus then I'll only have 3 posts in reserve and need to do some catching up fast!!!  As my wedding draws near I'm getting pulled in all different directions and don't have as much time as I once did.  Between the celebratory happy hours, to the final meeting with our venue, deejay, wedding planner, wedding dress fittings, seating arrangement, etc, I don't seem to have a spare moment for me!!!  Thankfully, it's summer and work is slowing down a little which allows me to respond to your comments.  I apologize for the typos, I respond from my iPhone which is a little hard.

Anyway, I hope you guys understand my predicament and my decision.  I hate disappointing all of you because you've all been so supportive of my blog and super sweet from the beginning.  I appreciate all of you and I'm grateful that you want to read my writing.  When I started this blog, I never imagined it would have so many loyal followers and that it would be such a joy to write.  I work in Investment Banking and haven't written anything substantial since the endless term papers in graduate school.  I'm not a writer but any stretch but with each post I think I am improving and I hope that shows!!!

I promise that Monday's post will be well worth the wait and a little longer than the other posts.  I hope that makes up for me not being able to provide a bonus at this time.  Thank you so much for understanding and your support.  I can't say enough that I am grateful for each and every one of you and I honestly think my readers are the absolute best!!!

If you have any questions for me about the blog, life, me or whatever...feel free to ask away!!

Thanks and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend:-)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Weekend To Remember

As I headed to work, I was happy that it was finally Friday.  After a drama filled week, I needed time to relax and gather my thoughts.  Logging onto my computer, I quickly realized it was June 13th.  Friday the 13th, I thought to myself.  I wasn't very superstitious but at the same time I wanted to be extra careful just in case. After back to back meetings, I was thrilled to be able to go outside and grab lunch.

I was walking towards Cosi (a flatbread sandwich place) when I heard Alison's voice behind me.  "Hey Elisabeth, can we please talk now?  It's been a while and I need to get some things off my chest."

I slowed down allowing her to catch up with.  As much as I was emotionally spent, I knew that I had to get this over with.  I half heartedly said, "Sure."

As we walked Alison said, "I'm sorry, I talked about you at the funeral.  After we spoke, I went home and told my mom and she called her sister and it just snowballed.  There were so many different stories going around that I didn't know what to believe.  Everyone seemed to think that Anthony broke up with Amy because of you and I guess I did too.  You're beautiful and have it all together and it made perfect sense.  I know now that I was wrong and I'm so sorry for everything.  I felt awful when I saw you with your boyfriend because everything came crashing down."

Alison looked remorseful and I wanted to end the drama between us.  "I accept your apology.  I was hurt when Anthony told me what you said.  Amy was your cousin and regardless of how close you were or weren't, you didn't want to think of her in a negative light."

"Thanks, Elisabeth" she said as a look of relief flooded her face.

"Not that it really matters but I never hooked up with Anthony nor did I get into their relationship" I said honestly.

"I believe you" she said sincerely.

"Thank you."

"You're a lucky woman.  You got yourself a good man and he is so freaking hot" she squealed.

I couldn't help but smile.  After ordering lunch we headed back to work, making small talk.  I made sure not to divulge much to Alison and she didn't push.  Before heading to my desk Alison said, "I really am sorry, Elisabeth."

I gave her a quick smile and walked away.  My afternoon flew by and in no time I was in my apartment, rummaging through my closet for a cute, date night outfit.  I selected a tight fitted white dress that showed just the right amount of cleavage.  I laid my dress on the bed and took a quick shower.  After getting dressed, I applied some makeup and spritzed myself with perfume before leaving.  I hailed a cab and was off to Nobu.

Lukas was waiting outside the restaurant, wearing a fitted navy blue pinstripe suit, with a white shirt, no tie with brown shiny shoes.  He took my hand as I stepped out of the cab and escorted me into the restaurant.  "You look beautiful" he whispered in my ear and my heart raced.  I was always had butterflies in my stomach whenever I saw Lukas.  

While we ate he asked how my day was.  I smiled and told him that I resolved my issues with Alison and that we were cool.  Before he could say anything I told him that I planned on being civil with her and nothing more.  He knew I had met with Britney the night before and asked how things went.

"Not too well. I hate fighting with her but I don't know how to fix things."

He cleared his throat, "Britney is your best friend and you've known each other forever.  I think you need to talk it out and move on.  Life is too short to hold grudges."

"But you told me to Britney and I needed space?" I countered.

"I meant that you both of you needed time to think and put things in perspective.  You were really upset and I didn't want you to say or do something to exacerbate the situation."

"Okay" I said.

"Listen I would never try to come in between your friendship with Britney or anyone else" he said genuinely.

I told him I knew that and asked about Lauren.  He revealed that he spoke to his dad and his parents were going to stage an intervention at his apartment this weekend.

"Does that mean that I don't get to see you all weekend?" I asked sadly.

"No, actually I have a surprise for you" he said with a huge smile.

"A surprise?" I asked intrigued.

"Yep, this weekend, you and I are going to stay in the city. I have a room at the Waldorf from tonight until Monday morning."

My eyes lit up in excitement, "Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing."

"There's more.  I remember you saying that even though you grew up in New York, you never really did the sightseeing thing so this weekend you and I are tourists."

I felt happy tears fill my eyes, "You remembered" I said sweetly and he nodded.

After dinner, Lukas and I went back to my apartment so I could pack a weekend bag.  Lukas laid on my bed and watched as I fluttered around the room gathering my things.  Thirty minutes later I was all set and about to leave when Priya walked in.  

"Lukas and I are going to spend the weekend together, so I probably won't be back til Monday.  If you need me, text me" I told her quickly.

She told us to have a good time before closing the door behind.  In the cab, Lukas kissed me and slowly moved his hands up my legs, before settling between my thighs.  I spread my legs slightly feeling his fingers tease me over my panties.  Lukas pulled his hand away and winked at me.  Moments later we were walking through the Waldorf Astoria, which was absolutely stunning inside. However, I barely had time to admire the opulence and beauty as Lukas whisked me into the elevator.  I didn't even recall what floor we got off on, all I remembered was Lukas leading me to our room.  He opened the door and carried me into our suite which had a living room with a fireplace, a dining room, a large marble bathroom and a spectacular bedroom with a view of Park Avenue.  In the living room there was a bottle of Cristal in an ice bucket and two champagne glasses.  Lukas popped open the bottle of champagne and poured us two glasses.  "Here's to an unforgettable weekend" he said clinking his glass against mine.

That night we drank champagne and marveled in the beauty of each other.  In no time Lukas had me lying on the dining room table naked.  He was between my legs, teasing me with his tongue and fingers.  He knew exactly what to do to have me on the brink of orgasm time and time again.  At first he teased me, bringing me so close and then stopping to kiss me.  He did this a few times and when he finally allowed me to orgasm it was mind blowing and loud.  I sat up and pulled Lukas towards me.  My legs were around his waist as I kissed him.  I felt his hardness against me and his tongue in my mouth as he filled me in one quick motion.  We rocked back and forth and came together minutes later.  As I laid there on the dining room table I couldn't help but wonder if anyone could see us.  We were on the 30th floor with curtains were wide open and the lights on.  Either way the idea made me even more aroused.  Lukas lifted me off the table and carried me to the bedroom.  After laying me on king sized bed, he went back to the living room and retrieved our champagne.  We drank straight from the bottle.  I know, super classy.  We engaged in heavy petting and before I knew it, I had Lukas on his back and was straddling him.  I moved slowly and then sped up before rotating so that I was facing his feet.  Lukas' hands cupped my breasts and I gasped realizing that I could see myself in the mirror in front of us.  I bounced quicker as he moved underneath me.  One hand reached between my legs teasing me and bringing me to orgasm once again.  Lukas kept moving inside me and eventually flipped me onto my back and plunged deeply into me.  He gazing into mind as his body tensed and he came.  After a quick shower we were back in bed naked and spooning.

The next morning we ordered room service. We ate at the same dining room table where we had sex the previous night but on the other side.  I giggled, remembering.  As I ate my crepes with strawberries, I asked Lukas what our plans were for today.

"We're going on that double decker tourist bus" he announced proudly.

"Oh my God, I've always wanted to the that" I said excitedly.

He smiled, "Not that I have any complaints, but hotel sex with you is amazing."

I blushed, "Do you think anyone saw us?" I asked motioning to the floor to ceiling window.

"If they did, they would've been very jealous" he said with a wink.

After breakfast I changed into white lace shorts, navy blue tank and flat t-strap sandals.  Lukas was wearing white plaid shorts, Burberry polo and boating shoes. He kissed me on the cheek as we waited for the elevator.  We took the train to Herald Square where we boarded the bus.  It was a warm, sunny day and we decided to get seats on the top level so that we could work on our tans while sightseeing.   I whipped out my Valentino cateye sunglasses and watched as Lukas slipped on his Ray-Ban wayfarers.  We waited for over a half hour until the bus was more or less filled.  Our first stop was the Empire State Building, where some tourists got off.  With this tour we had the option to get on or off the bus as many times as we'd like within a 48 hour period.  Our next stop was Rockefeller Center.  Lukas and I decided to get off and go to the top of the Rock.

Short story.  Years ago when I first started college (I was a little green behind the ears), my cousin Caitlin and I were exploring NYC.  As we passed this building, these men kept asking repeatedly if we wanted to go to the top of the rock.  We were so confused until we realized that we standing in front of...yes you guessed it...Rockefeller Center.  I guess you can say that I am a little oblivious sometimes.  While I've been to Rockefeller Center numerous times to see the Christmas tree or watch the ice skaters (the lines were always too long to ice skate and falling flat on my ass in front a large group of strangers, wasn't exactly my idea of fun) but never went to the Top of the Rock, located in the GE building, and was super excited.

As we waited in line to get tickets, I asked Lukas if he'd ever been to the observatory deck and he said he hadn't.  We purchased tickets which had an assigned time.  That meant we didn't have to wait in a long line indefinitely.  Yay!  We had a good two hours to kill and Lukas suggested that we walk around a little.  We did, stopping at souvenir stores and finally at Starbucks.  Once we got our caffeine fix, it was time to head back.  We were escorted to an elevator with a glass ceiling.  I was relieved that the floor wasn't glass as well or else I probably would have died.  More on that later.  While the elevator progressed, images flashed on the ceiling.  I was fascinated and it seemed like the other tourists were too, whipping out their cameras and cell phones to take pictures and videos.

We exited on the 67th floor where we greeted by a glass enclosed terrace.  The view was good but not terribly fantastic and it was awfully crowded.  After talking to one of the workers, we went up to the 70th floor where we immediately saw an open aired terrace that provided spectacular views of Central Park, the NYC skyline and of course the Empire State Building.  Lukas wanted to go closer to the edge of the terrace but I remained frozen.  "What wrong?" he asked perplexed.

"You're not going to believe this but I have a slight fear of heights" I said nervously.

"Don't worry, you'll be fine. I'll take care of you" he said gently.

He stuck out his hand and I grabbed it tightly.  He was extremely patient and encouraging as we took baby steps forward.  Minutes later, we were close to the edge of the terrace.  Lukas' arms wrapped protectively around me. "This is unbelievable" I said in awe.

We asked a fellow tourist to take our picture with Lukas' cell phone and he willing obliged.  As we exited the terrace Lukas said softly, "See that wasn't so bad, was it?" and I started laughing happily.

We ended up having lunch at the Rock Center Cafe before rejoining the bus.  We passed the Flatiron Building.  I wasn't really interested because I worked nearby and knew the area quite well.  Next stop, Union Square.  While attending NYU I spent lots of time there as well.  Lukas convinced me that we should explore Little Italy.  Being Italian-American, I adored Little Italy and all the fabulous restaurants on Mulberry Street.  I recalled going to San Gennaro festival with my family when I was younger. It seemed as though Little Italy had shrunk, no pun intended.  I remembered it extending block after block. Now it consisted of three or four blocks with Chinatown on the border.

Lukas and I weren't hungry and opted to walk through Chinatown.  We were bombarded by sellers asking us if we wanted Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Fendi....not to be a total snob but I'm totally not into fakes. An older gentleman told us he had all types of watches.  Lukas winked at me before asking the man what he had.  "I have whatever you want" the man said in broken English as he whipped out a book of watches and asked which ones we wanted.  Lukas pointed out a Breitling and we watched as the man took out a walkie-talkie and said something in one of the Chinese dialects.

"You aren't really buying a fake watch, are you?" I whispered.

"Nah, I'm just curious how this works" he answered.

Two minutes later the man told us to follow him to the Dunkin Donuts.  Once inside, we approached a woman who opened her tote bag to show us a replica of the watch.  Lukas looked at it and they told him it was $120.  He told them that was too much and turned to walk away when the woman said, "How much you want to pay?"

"I'm not really interested in the watch but here's something for your time" Lukas said giving them $20 each.

"Why'd you give them money?" I asked as we walked out of Dunkin Donuts.

"Come on Elisabeth, they're old and this is their only source of income.  I feel bad for wasting their time and giving them false hope" he said genuinely.

"I never thought about it like that" I said quietly.

He smiled, "I've been incredibly blessed and if I can do something small to make someone's day, I will."

I nodded and he asked if I wanted to walk around and have dinner in Little Italy.  It was a little after five and I wasn't hungry.  "Not really, I would much rather go back to the hotel and relax for a little.  It's way too early."

"That sounds like a plan" he said as we walked towards Canal Street, where he hailed a cab.

"Aren't we taking the bus back?" I asked.

He shook his head, "I'd rather sit in a nice air-conditioned cab and get dropped off right in front of the hotel."

When we got back to the hotel I decided to take a shower, while Lukas sat back on the couch, his hands behind his head watching what looked like the Yankees game.  I was getting dressed when I heard Lukas talking in a hushed tone to someone. I pulled on a plush white robe and walked quietly out of the bathroom and as soon as he saw me, he said quickly "I gotta go" to the person on the phone.

"Who were you talking to?" I asked as calmly as possible.

"Someone from work" he said nonchalantly.

I sensed that he was lying to me but there was no way to prove it.  He got up and gave me a gentle kiss before heading to the bathroom.  I heard the water turn on and made a mad dash towards his phone.  I sighed in disgust realizing that it was locked and I had no idea what his password was.  I laid on our king sized bed unable to stop thinking about that phone call.

I pretended to be asleep when Lukas came back into the room and felt his weight on the bed.  I must have actually fallen asleep because around eight, Lukas shook me gently.  I rolled onto my back and lazily stretched before opening my eyes.

"It's almost eight; we really get ready for dinner" he said gently.

"Give me a minute" I said stretching some more before sitting up and getting out of bed.  I pulled on a navy blue lace dress that stopped mid thigh and showed off my curves perfectly and nude Jimmy Choo pumps. After running my flat iron through my hair I was all set.  Lukas was wearing fitted jeans, with a button down and a jacket.  He literally looked like he should be on the cover of some magazine.  I felt all eyes on us as we walked through the lobby.

That night we had dinner at One if By Land, Two if By Sea which in my opinion is one of the most romantic restaurants in all of NYC.  We were escorted to a table that overlooked the garden area.  Everything in the restaurant screamed old world charm and romance.  It was as if we had taken a time machine and had been sent back to a different time when romance and chivalry was the norm instead of one night stands and drunken pickup lines.  Our waitress was charming and enchanting.  She clearly loved her food and gave the most elaborate and detailed descriptions of the specials.  We started off with some wine. As she happily went off to get our drinks, Lukas mentioned that Beef Wellington was their specialty.  I cleared my throat, "It's not that I don't eat beef, it's just that I'm not a huge fan.  You can order that if you want but I stay away from as a preventative measure."

He probably thought I was nuts initially but once I explained what I meant he got it.  See back when I was 15, my uncle had a massive heart attack and ended up having a quadruple bypass.  My parents felt that red meat was one of the key contributors to his blockage (no scientific or medical knowledge to back it up) and took beef out of our diet.  I hadn't really eaten beef in eleven years and didn't miss it.  I reassured Lukas that I was cool with him eating red meat.

The waitress brought us our drinks and asked if we were ready to order.  We ordered from the prix fixed menu and for appetizers we selected the Spring Gazpacho and Crispy Oysters...but it's not like Lukas and I needed any aphrodisiacs.  We also ordered our entrees.  Lukas naturally got the Beef Wellington, while I selected the Butter Poached Lobster.

Everything was unbelievably good.  The portions were large and I was completely stuffed.  The prix fixed menu offered dessert and everyone knows there's always room for something sweet.  I got the pistachio mousse and Lukas got the strawberry parfait.  Naturally we shared.  We were both in a food coma when we left the restaurant.  That night we went back to the hotel and went directly to sleep.  I know, boring, but we were so exhausted from sightseeing and the huge meal.

The next morning, as we ate our room service breakfast Lukas seemed quite anxious and nervous.  He wasn't saying much, just answering my questions with one or two word answers.  I was getting annoyed and asked, "Why are you acting so weird?"

He looked at me stunned and said, "I'm not.  You're imagining things."  I watched as he cut into his Belgian waffle, trying to make sense of all this.

I persisted, "This is about the phone call yesterday, isn't it?"

"Seriously, Elisabeth?" he asked.

"Yes.  You abruptly ended the phone call once you saw me and I can't help but wonder who you really were talking to."

Lukas got up and walked towards the floor to ceiling window, looking out.  "You want to know the truth" he asked solemnly.

I felt my heart sink as I said "Yes, I want to know everything."

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Talk

I placed my purse on the coffee table and grabbed a bottle of water from the kitchen.  "Brit, I'm really not in the mood to talk right now" I said, walking slowly into the living room.

"Please, Elisabeth" she said desperately.

How could I say no to my best friend?  "Okay, what's going on?" I asked, sitting across from her.

"Priya let me in.  I needed to talk to you and you weren't answering my calls or texts.  What other choice did I have?" she said defensively.

I looked away, "Honestly Britney, I have a lot going on and don't really feel like talking about your new found appreciation for Jason.  We've argued in the past and most times I ended up being the one to cave and agree with whatever but this time it's NOT going to happen."

Britney paused before sharply saying, "Why won't you hear me out?  Why is that so hard for you?  You know as well as I do that you aren't completely over Jason.  I like Lukas but he's just...some...just some rebound guy in my opinion."

I clenched my fists and felt my nails digging into my palm, my temperature was rising as I stared in disbelief at her. "How dare you Britney?  Lukas isn't just some rebound guy, I love him and he loves me.  I'm insulted and pissed that you would even insinuate that I want Jason.  Why would I?  I was miserable the last few months with him, even before I cheated.  You think you know everything but you don't."

She challenged me to tell her everything and I had to take a three deep breaths to calm myself down. "Britney, my relationship with Lukas is none of your fucking business.  Second, you are delusional if you think I'm going to confide to you about Jason.  I don't understand why you all of a sudden you're his biggest cheerleader.  You hated him when we were together and even when I moved home, you were talking shit about him.  You were the one that Facebook stalked him and told me that he was engaged, cheated on me behind my back and all about his fiance.  I'm confused why you're doing a total 180 now."

"You don't understand" Britney said quietly.

"You're damn right, I don't understand" I yelled, feeling my rage build.  I got up and walked towards the window.  

Britney looked down at her nails.  "Jason isn't as bad you make him out to be.  You guys hit a rough patch and you both made mistakes.  He still loves you and I think you owe it to him to talk.  After six or seven years don't you think he deserves at least a half hour of your time?"

It took all I had to not throw Britney out of my apartment.  My blood was boiling, my lips quivering and my pulse racing.  As calmly as I could I said, "I gave Jason more than a half hour to explain himself.  You, my 'best friend', know all this.  Instead of thinking about what Jason deserves, why don't you think about what I deserve?  Don't I deserve to be happy?  Why are you hellbent on fucking up what I have with Lukas for Jason?"

"You don't understand.  Jason loves you more than anything and he told me that he would do anything to make you happy.  Lukas is great but he's too old for you.  You're at different stages in your life and want different things.  It's only a matter of time before Lukas realizes that.  With Jason you have so much history and he's changed, Liz.  I know he has" she pleaded.

"Britney I need you to leave right now" I said firmly.

"Elisabeth, don't do this" she begged.

"NOW!!!" I yelled, walking over to the door and opening it.

I watched as Britney slowly got up, picked up her purse and walked towards the door.  "If you think about what I said, you'll see I'm right.  What do you really have in common with Lukas?  He's using you for sex and nothing more.  You need to talk to Jason."

She continued talking and I slammed the door right in her face.  I felt a pit growing in my stomach as I slid down to the floor. Gut wrenching sobs tore through my body.  My head was now buried in my hands as my body convulsed.  Wave after wave of emotion washed over me while my mind worked overtime.  How could my best friend say the things that Britney did?  Lukas was more to me that just a rebound.  I cared about him and couldn't picture my life without him.  Just the mere thought of him made me happy.

Jason, on the other hand, brought back bad memories.  I was an young college girl when I met him and even though there were warning signs, I stayed with him.  We had many good times but things went south once he started law school.  I had forgiven him for cheating and felt that we cleared the air when we last met.  I knew that Jason wanted another chance but I moved on with my life.  I wished that Britney, my best friend, would see that.  Apparently, Jason was persuasive and got her to see things his way or she was drunk and didn't fully comprehend.  Either way I was livid.  I leaned my head back against the door and closed my eyes, tears streaming down my face.  That's exactly how Priya found me.  

"What's wrong?" she asked with a look of concern as she approached me.

"I don't know" I croaked, bringing my knees to my chest.

She walked over to the bathroom and handed me a wad of Kleenex.  I blew my nose loudly and attempted to blot away my tears but they kept coming.  Priya was talking but I still don't know what she was saying.  It was as though I was in another world.  Eventually I allowed her helped me up and we sat on the couch, "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked soothingly.

I cleared my throat and shook my head.  "I'm not in the mood to talk tonight but I appreciate you asking and might take you up on it once I clear my head a little."

She nodded, "Can I get you anything?"

"No thanks" I said with a small smile.  I got up and walked to my bedroom, throwing myself onto my bed.  I sobbed uncontrollably for God knows how long. I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke it was 3:12 AM.  I was still in my work clothes and I knew that my makeup was smeared all over my face.  I know, not a pretty picture.  I undressed and got under the covers.  As I closed my eyes, my conversation with Britney replayed in my head and I started crying once again.  As much as I loved Britney, this was definitely the type of argument that would put a rift in our friendship forever.  There was no getting through to her and she was unwilling to see things from my perspective.  I honestly felt like I was losing my best friend.

The next morning, I groggily got ready for work.  I was exhausted having slept on and off throughout the night.  My eyes were bloodshot and I looked like hell.  Thank God for makeup.  I was in a shitty mood when I swiped in.  Alison obviously didn't get the memo and immediately started hounding me to talk.  I turned to her and said calmly, "Alison I promise to talk to you but right now is not a great time.  I have too much going on."

"Maybe I can help you?" she said genuinely.

"I don't need your help" I said icily, walking to my workstation.

I threw myself into my work, not wanting to think about Britney or even Alison.  I had enough and my head was spinning.  I couldn't get over how hurt I felt over Britney's words and each time I thought about her my eyes welled up with tears.  Why was she being so selfish?  I definitely needed advice and usually would turn to Anthony but he had his own issues.  He was still reeling from Amy's letter and funeral.  He blamed himself because he missed the warning signs.  Thankfully, he was feeling better and not in as much pain as before and was going to start therapy soon.  Therapy was exactly what he needed to come to terms with everything and find closure.  Maybe I needed therapy too?  I wonder if "friendship therapy" existed.  If it did, Britney and I totally needed it at this juncture.

I was deep in thought when Nick asked if everything was okay.

"I was just thinking" I said quietly.

"You look like you need some fresh air.  Want to grab coffee?" he asked.

"Sure" I said flatly.

We were walking to Starbucks when Nick said, "I hope you aren't worrying about your job.  John is your biggest supporter and would do whatever it takes to save you."

I smiled appreciatively at him, "Nah it's just stupid personal shit that I'm thinking about.  But I do feel better knowing that John thinks I'm doing a good job."

"Anything I can help you with?" he asked.

"I'm just in this huge fight with my best friend and it seems like we're at a stalemate with neither of us willing to cave.  I wish she would see things from my perspective instead of forcing me to do what she wants" I said quickly.

Nick looked a little confused but didn't ask any questions. "Clearly, this friendship means a lot to you.  Maybe if you give it time, cooler heads will prevail."

I nodded and smiled as Nick handed me a frappuccino with extra whipped cream. "Thanks for the advice and this" I said taking a big sip.

The remainder of the day crept by slowly and it felt like an eternity before I was stretched out on my sofa talking to Anthony on the phone.  While he was physically feeling better, emotionally he was a mess.  He told me that he was going to his first therapy session on Friday...two days from now.  I tried to reassure him that therapy was exactly what he needed.  In no time Anthony turned the conversation to me, asking how I was doing.  I told him all about Lauren and dinner (technically appetizers) Saturday night and about work.  I avoided talking about Britney.  The last thing Anthony needed right now was to listen to me drone on and on about my drama.

That night Lukas came over to keep my company.  "I can't spend the night, but you sounded so sad on the phone that I had to see you and bring you these."  I giggled like a school girl seeing a box of macarons from Laduree, the best macaron place in the city.

"You sure know the way to my heart" I said, savoring the taste of the vanilla macaron.

Lukas and I ate all eight macarons in minutes (actually i devoured the majority of them) and admittedly I was feeling better.  "What's up?" he asked.

"I'm just upset that Britney and I are at a standstill.  She came over last night and it didn't go well.  She won't see things my way and it seems like she has this unnatural alliance with Jason" I explained.

"I don't know what to tell you.  Britney is your friend and I know both of you care for each other.  Everyone disagrees from time to time.  Maybe the two of you need some space" he said gently.

"I guess" I said snuggling close to him.

He held me close and said all the right things.  I was extremely disappointed when he said he had to go home.  I pouted and he promised to come over tomorrow night.  Excitedly I wrapped my arms around him, pulling him near.  I kissed him softly before watching him leave.

That night I was surprised that Britney didn't even attempt to text or call me.  I didn't know if that was good or bad sign.  Quite frankly, I didn't even care.  Actually I did but thinking about her made me so frustrated.  Right now, I wanted to focus on how happy Lukas made me.  I was completely looking forward to tomorrow night.

Thankfully the next day at work flew by and Alison left me alone.  Lukas and I had dinner at Gramercy Tavern before going back to my apartment.  We immediately spotted Priya cooking.  "Hi Guys" she chirped "I'm making dinner, want some?"

We declined, explaining that we just ate.  We chatted with her for a little before heading to my bedroom.  "I was totally planning on giving you a massage" Lukas said sexily "But that would be kinda weird with Priya around."

"Rain check" I said laughing and he immediately agreed.  His lips found mine and we kissed for what seemed like hours.  I could feel his hardness against me.  I threw my leg over his hip feeling him against my special spot.  I groaned, disappointed as Lukas pulled away.  I watched as he quickly undressed.  Smiling, I grabbed his penis and stroked it while looking up at him.  I licked my lips before twirling my tongue around it's head as Lukas unzipped my dress.  I raised my arms letting him pull off my dress before taking his penis in my mouth, bobbing my head.  Lukas moaned loudly and shivered as I slowly, and I mean painstakingly slow, licked the underside of this penis.  He couldn't take any more and pushed me back on the bed, pulling off my thong.  I spread my legs and felt him enter me quickly.  His thrusts were quick and deep.  I bit my lower lip, not wanting to make too much noise.  My orgasm was building and fast approaching.  Lukas moved quicker now and his fingers found their way between my legs.  He made small circles around my clitoris as he moved inside of me.  That was all it took for me to orgasm hard.  Lukas came shortly after.

After cleaning up, we watched Cutthroat Kitchen until we asleep.  The next morning Lukas walked me to the train station before going back to his place.  I was walking into my building when I felt my phone vibrate in my hand.  I was shocked to see a text from Britney.  She wanted to talk and suggested we meet for a drink at the Flatiron Lounge.  I hesitantly agreed to meet her at 6:30 to talk.

My day, thankfully, was an easy one and  I was in good spirits as I left work.  It was a gorgeous day out so I opted to walk to the Flatiron Lounge.  I immediately spotted Britney and walked over to her.  I chose to not hug her and instead smiled politely.  I ordered a Beijing Mule (a concoction of vodka, lime, ginger and pomegranate) before sitting across from her.

"How have you been?" she asked nervously.

"Good, you?" I replied curtly.

She took a deep breath, "I guess you're wondering why I asked you to meet me here?"

"Not really, we obviously have to talk.  Doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

She sighed, "I take it that you are still mad at me."

"Do you blame me?" I asked pointedly.

"You didn't give me a chance to explain" she countered.

"There's nothing to explain.  Lukas is some rebound guy and Jason is the man I should be with, right?" I said coldly.

Britney looked down, playing with the stir in her drink.  "That's not exactly what I meant."

"Really?  You could've fooled me."

She anxiously said, "Please give me two minutes, no interruptions to say what I need to and then you can do whatever you want."

"Fine."

Britney took a sip of her drink before saying, "I met Jason at the wedding and he was telling me how much he cared about you.  He told me about all the good times you two shared and he was so vulnerable and honest.  Elisabeth, his mom is really sick and he left Los Angeles to come here to get back with you.  That's how important you are to him.  He talked about you all night and how much he loves you.  I know that if you think about it, you care about him too.  In fact, I know that you and him could be good together.  He's moved on from Tiffany and knows she was a mistake.  I get it, you're with Lukas now but do you honestly think that you can give him what he needs.  I mean he runs his own business, has a shitload of money, has been married, widowed and is in his 30s.  He's looking for a wife and kids and you aren't there yet.  You met him when you were down and out and he's just a rebound...a guy you used to forget Jason.  Just talk to Jason for a little and give him a chance."

With each word my anger grew.  I was almost at my breaking point and closed my eyes to compose myself.  I took a deep breath and stared at Britney, "Let me ask you a question and I hope you'd answer honestly.  You're with Tommy now and you're happy.  How would you feel if I went to a party or wedding and ran in to Chad and he wants you back.  He said all the right things and totally had me on his side.  After the wedding I come home and try to convince you to give him another chance."

She interrupted me, "That's totally different."

"Like hell it is.  How would it feel if I told you that you needed to give Chad another shot because he was perfect for you."

She sat silently, not answering me.  "How would you feel?" I demanded, loudly.

"Chad's my past and even though I loved him, he hurt me a lot.  I would be pissed that you would want me to get back together with a guy that verbally abused me and made me feel terrible about myself" she said timidly.

"So now you understand how I feel" I said sharply.

"No this is COMPLETELY different, Elisabeth."

I downed my drink and stood up, "I'm over this conversation.  If you can't see that I'm happy with Lukas and insist on pushing me to talk to Jason then we aren't good friends as I believed."

I headed towards the exit, realizing that those words probably hit Britney hard but didn't really care.  I hated that she couldn't see my point of view and think of my happiness for once.  This was the same girl that listened to me cry and consoled me when I broken.  She told me that Jason and I weren't meant to be and that I could do better.  I couldn't understand why she was singing a totally different tune now.

I was halfway down the block when Britney caught up with me, "I can't believe that you would bring up Chad."

"I can't believe that you would keep bring up Jason and keep insisting that I meet up with him.  What's your problem with Lukas anyway?" I asked.

"He has too much baggage" she replied.

I scoffed, "And I'm baggage free?  If you were really my friend you would respect and support my decision. I don't want to talk to Jason, that chapter in my life is over.  I love Lukas and can't deal with this bullshit."

"But what if Jason is the one you are meant to be with?" she asked.

Sighing, I responded, "Then we will be but in the meantime you need to stop playing God.   Don't you have anything better to do than to cause meaningless drama?  I'm over it.  I've dealt with Amy for months, I got shit going on at work and I don't need this."

"Fine" she said flatly.

"Whatever" I said coldly, hailing a cab.

As I opened the door,  Britney said, "If you don't want to talk to Jason, it's fine.  I'll drop it...for now."

I rolled my eyes and hopped in the cab, heading home.  Even though Britney agreed to drop it, I still felt that there was no resolution.  My head was killing me and all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep.  Maybe I would wake up and realize that this was just a terrible nightmare???

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Friend or Foe?

"You won't believe who I ran into at the wedding last night.  Call me ASAP!!!!!"  

My mind was racing, trying to figure out who Britney ran into.  I couldn't think of anyone that would make her this excited and ended up calling her.  No pleasantries were exchanged, instead she answered the phone squealing fervently, "Oh my God Elisabeth, brace yourself because you won't believe who I saw last night."

"Tell me" I replied anxiously.

"Jason!!!" she screeched.

"Jason??" I asked confused.

"Yes Jason, you know the guy you were engaged to" she said sarcastically.

"What was he doing at the wedding?"

"Remember my friend Jackie who was friends with the girl Jason was engaged to?" I muttered yes and she continued,  "Well she was invited to the wedding too."

I was getting annoyed and interrupted her, "What does any of this have to do with me?"

"I swear I have a point."

"Get to it then" I ordered.

"Tiffany, Jason's ex...well not really his ex...maybe his friend....well I don't know what they are...anyway that's besides the point...Tiffany's related to to the groom so she was at the wedding and she brought Jason along as her date...maybe date isn't the right word...more like Jason escorted her to the wedding" Britney rambled.

Exasperatedly I asked, "Again, what the fuck does this have to do with me?"

Britney told me to calm down and just listen.  I walked towards the window and peered out as she continued talking. "I was a little bored and parched so I decided to get a drink at the bar.  The line was long and this annoying twenty year old was trying to get my number.  He was so persistent and wouldn't leave me alone.  I was at my breaking point when Jason approached.  I don't know what he said to the kid but he didn't even look my way the rest of the night.  Anyway, Jason and I started talking and he asked what you were up to. He's back in NYC for the summer and wanted to catch up with you."

"I made it quite clear to Jason that it was over" I replied firmly.

Her feverish, happy tone suddenly disappeared. "He asked if you were dating anyone."

I twirled a strand of my hair nervously, "And you told him I was, right?"

"Well, I didn't really have the chance to say much.  Tiffany approached us and she was super sweet and I loved her shoes and we got sidetracked.  She was really cool, I think you'd like her."

I interrupted, "Do you really think I care about Jason's girlfriend?"

"She's not his girlfriend" Britney said defensively.

"Britney you're not making any sense.  It's like you're talking in circles.  Just say whatever it is you have to say because I'm getting annoyed with this entire conversation" I said sharply.

I heard Britney sigh on the other end of the phone.  "Tiffany still lives in Los Angeles and only asked Jason to be her date because he was in NYC.  They broke up and are just friends.  Jason wants to reconcile with you and apologize for everything.  He seemed really sincere too.  I think you should hear him out."

"Are you fucking kidding me Britney?  You went from hating Jason to being his biggest fan because he was at the same wedding as you.  I don't want anything to do with Jason and I'm done with this conversation" I said angrily.

Britney replied meekly, "I'm not his biggest fan but he was so honest and vulnerable...I think you should talk to him one last time and listen to what he has to say."

"Do you not get that I have a boyfriend that I love?" I barked.

"Lukas is great and I know how happy he makes you but" she started and I interrupted.

"I don't want to hear any buts, what the hell is wrong with you?" I shouted.

She avoided my question and continued, "However, I think Jason might have changed."

"Alright, I'm done with this conversation.  If Jason's so great, why don't you leave Tommy for him" I yelled before hitting end and tossing my phone angrily onto my bed.

Britney called back immediately but I didn't answer. I was seething and started pacing around my bedroom.  How could she even suggest that I talk to Jason?  I got all the closure I needed the last time we met and ended that chapter in my life.  I'm not saying that Jason is a terrible man.  He isn't.  We both made mistakes.  I cheated on him and even though I found out after the fact that he was seeing both me and Tiffany, I knew what I did was wrong.  I took responsibility for my actions and I struggled with the guilt for a long time.  Now I was in a much better place emotionally.  How could Britney not see that?

I've learned from my mistakes and moved on.  I was very much in love with Lukas, back in the city I adored and had a great job.  Yes, things weren't perfect but I was a lot happier now than I had been in a long time.  I was disappointed and angry that Britney, knowing all this, got manipulated by Jason.  Did she honestly think that Jason was there with Tiffany as just his "friend?"  They dated, were engaged and then broke up supposedly.  There was no question in my mind that they were at least hooking up, if not back together. My phone pinged with a text from Britney but I kept pacing trying to calm down.

I didn't look at my phone until I crawled into bed that night.  I hesitantly picked  it up and saw three missed calls (all from Britney) and five text messages (four from Britney and one from Lukas).

I read Lukas' text first.  9:57 PM "I'm losing my mind here in crazytown.  My sister, the kids...it's way too much.  I miss you;)"  I texted him back telling him to come over.  As I waited for him to respond, I read Britney's texts:

4:36 PM - "I can't believe you are being so damn immature."

5:41 PM - "Why won't you answer the phone?  We need to talk."

7:29 PM - "Elisabeth I wasn't trying to tell you what to do, please call me."

9:43 PM - "Please Elisabeth, just hear me out."

Reading Britney's texts made me irate.  I was just about to respond when Lukas texted me.  "I don't want to impose on you or Priya."  I told him that we would love to have him over and convinced him to spend the night.  I heard Priya in the living room and joined her.  "I was wondering if it's okay if Lukas spends the night here.  He's totally stressed at his apartment with his sister and the kids and I wanted to make sure you're comfortable with him being around."

She waved me off, "Lukas is great and he can stay here as long as he likes.  You don't have to ask me though, it's your place too you know."

A half hour later I let Lukas in and we headed to my bedroom.  We spooned and talked before falling asleep.  The next morning I awoke to another text from Britney, begging me to talk to her.  I texted her back saying that I needed some time to think and would text her later.  I didn't want to say something I would regret.  That morning Lukas had a meeting at the office and walked me to the train station before heading back to his apartment.  He leaned down and gave me a gentle kiss, squeezing my ass before waving to me.

Thankfully my workday was stress free but busy.  I had some free time to think about Britney and I still couldn't understand her rationale.  There have been many times that I give into my friend's suggestions and opinions but that doesn't mean I don't have a mind of my own.  Truth be told, I am extremely stubborn and in this instance there was no way that I would give in.  Britney had no business even suggesting that I speak to Jason.  She knew everything, in fact she was the one who told me that Jason was engaged and then that he broke up with Tiffany.  My mind was working overtime as I wondered why she suddenly had such a vested interest in Jason.  She's my best friend not his!!

Before leaving work that night, I headed to the bathroom to fix my makeup.  I was about to leave when I came face to face with Alison.  I tried to leave but she blocked the door.  "Elisabeth, why won't you talk to me" she pleaded.

"Alison this is not the right place or time.  We're at work for crying out loud."

"Let's grab a drink.  This is urgent" she said quickly.

"Sorry, can't.  I'm meeting my boyfriend for dinner." Lukas and I had made plans that morning to have dinner, he felt terrible about Saturday night and wanted to make it up to me.

"I'll walk out with you. I promise this won't take long" she pleaded.

I looked at my watch, 6:10, that gave me 20 minutes to get to Nino's which was in Midtown.  Not really doable by train but by cab I could probably get there on time.  "I'm already running late.  I'm so sorry Alison, we'll have to do this some other time."

I pushed past her and was pulling the door open when she said, "It's really important and I promise it would only take five minutes at most.  I thought we were friends."

That line made me really upset and I turned around facing her, "I did too until I found out you were bashing me at your cousin's funeral."

I saw a look of shock and then guilt take over Amy's face, she tried to say something but it was too late.  I pulled the door open and headed towards the elevator bank.  As I stepped in the elevator and saw Alison rush in.  She stood next to me and said, "You totally misunderstood.  I didn't bash you at all."

"I'm sure my childhood friend would make that all up" I said getting increasingly annoyed.

"Please Elisabeth" she begged.

"Alison, I'm not discussing this here and I don't have the time right now."

With that I rushed outside and hailed a cab quickly.  I saw Alison watching sadly as my cab pulled away.  When I go to the Nino's Lukas was already there, sipping on a glass of red wine.  He stood up as I approached and gave me a quick kiss.  "Sorry I'm late" I said sitting down.

"Don't worry about it, I just got here myself."  With that the waiter poured me a glass of Chianti.  Lukas made a toast to a great evening but my mind was all over the place.  He sensed I was distracted and asked if everything was okay. I gave him a half smile, not answering his question.  He persisting and I finally caved.

"Remember I told Alison about the 'Amy drama.' Well Anthony told said she was talking shit about me at the funeral and told him she didn't believe me and that I was slandering Amy's good name.  She's been trying for the past week or so to talk to me and I've been avoiding her but today I ran into her in the bathroom before I was leaving.  That's kinda why I was late" I said quickly.

"Go on" Lukas said patiently.

"There isn't much left to say, except that she wants to talk to me.  I told her I was meeting you for dinner but she kept persisting.  Anyway, she said that we were friends and that pissed me off so I called her out.  She was shocked and followed me to the elevator and then outside.  I told her that her timing was off and I wasn't willing to talk at work and then hailed a cab."

Lukas calmly said, "I'm glad you didn't fall into her trap.  I was worried this would happen.  You don't know Alison and she was a bitch to you from day one.  I don't understand why you opened up to her but that's besides the point.  You're going to have to talk to her sooner rather than later or else she'll keep hounding you.  Do it somewhere public and keep your cool."

"You're not mad?" I asked nervously.

He smiled at me, "No.  I get that you were under a lot of stress and maybe weren't thinking straight when you confided in Alison.  I want you to learn from that and be more careful next time."

I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.  "You're the best Lukas."

"I try" he said with a laugh.

Lukas opened up more about Lauren over dinner.  She still hadn't found an apartment and he was considering telling his dad the entire story, he just needed to figure out the best way.  While we were eating, my phone kept lighting up with text messages.  "Who's texting you?" he asked, staring at my iPhone.

I looked at my phone and saw multiple new texts from Britney, which I immediately ignored.  "Britney" I muttered before turning my phone completely off.

"Why are you ignoring her?"

"I don't want to talk about it" I said quickly, turning my attention to the lobster risotto in front of me.  I took a big bite while Lukas raised his eyebrow.

"If you talk about it, you'll feel better" he said gently.

I took another bite before saying, "It's kinda hard to discuss with you."

"Why?"

I took a big gulp of wine and looked into Lukas' green eyes and knew there was no turning back.  "Britney went to a wedding on Saturday and ran into my ex Jason."

He looked at me trying to figure out where I was going with this but didn't say anything.  I placed my hands on my lap and looked down, continuing, "She wants me to meet up with him to talk and I don't think that that's necessary.  I told him everything I needed to say and it's kinda pointless."

"I see" Lukas said flatly.

I finally looked up, our eyes locking, "I'm really happy right now, with everything.  Well not everything, but you know what I mean."

He nodded, "You should talk to Britney and tell her that.  Maybe she has a reason why she wants you to see him again?  Maybe not?  You'll never know unless you talk to her."

"I do have to talk to her but I have been avoiding it because I don't want to be strong armed into doing something I don't want to" I said honestly.

"You, strong armed?" he teased.

I smiled and playfully swatted him with my napkin.

The rest of dinner was a little more relaxed.  Being a foodie I was totally engrossed in my meal and then the tiramisu we shared for dessert.  I loved that Lukas was a foodie too and had a sweet tooth like me.  Jason was a bit of a health nut and made some meals unbearable.  For example, if we went out to dinner and I got some chocolaty goodness for dessert, he would tell me how bad it was for me and make me feel so guilty. With Lukas, no guilt and I loved that.

After dinner Lukas and I walked around for a little bit, enjoying the warm, spring weather.  I was quite shocked when I saw Alison exiting a bar and heading towards me.  I tightened my grip on Lukas' hand and he looked at me.  I whispered, "That's Alison."

I saw him look around when Alison exclaimed, "Elisabeth, what are you doing around here?"

I sighed as Lukas and I stepped over to the side.  Nothing worse than having a conversation in the middle of a busy street and clogging up traffic.  "Didn't I tell you I was meeting my boyfriend for dinner?" I replied snottily.

She looked up at Lukas, "You're not Anthony."

I stared at her coldly, "Why would he be Anthony?  This is my boyfriend Lukas, we've been together for months."

"Oh I thought you were with Anthony and that's why he broke up with my cousin" she said timidly.

I rolled my eyes, "And you thought this because?"

"At my cousin's wake, someone mentioned that Anthony called off the engagement because he was seeing another woman.  I assumed it was you" she said apologetically.

"That's why you were talking shit about me to Anthony. I thought that we made progress and were fast becoming work friends.  That morning when you told me Amy was your cousin I felt for you and wanted to support you.  You made it seem like you didn't know her and didn't really care.  Meanwhile I was feeling terrible that it ended that way for her" Alison tried to interrupt but I continued, "I actually believed you when you said that you wouldn't hold anything I said against me.  I was stupid and naive to even trust you in the first place."

"It's not like that Elisabeth.  What was I suppose to think when my entire family had a different story than yours?" she countered.

"I'm done with this. Lukas and I were having a great evening and I don't want to ruin it any more by talking about stupid shit" I said curtly.

She nodded before saying with a hint of desperation in her voice "I hope we can continue this conversation later."

"I'll think about it" I said starting to walk away.

"Nice to meet you" Lukas said and Alison looked away.

With that, Lukas and I continued walking.  As we waited at a crosswalk Lukas said, "She doesn't seem too bad."

"I guess her family got into her head and made it seem like the everything was Anthony's fault."

Lukas said, "No one wants to think of their loved one in a negative light.  Amy had her faults and her family knew that; she wasn't all there but at the end of the day they couldn't come to terms with all that happened the past couple months.  It's understandable."

"Kinda like on the news, when you see parents defending their kids even though they were caught red handed killing someone" I responded.

"Exactly like that.  Plus you know it's not proper to talk bad of the dead" Lukas said gently.

I sighed, "You know Melissa was absolutely right.  If I had gone to the funeral, everyone would've believed that I was the cause of the breakup."

"That's all in the past.  You want to know what I think?" Lukas asked.

I nodded and he continued, "I think you should talk to Alison and clear the air.  After that maintain a civil relationship with her but keep your distance."

I thought about what he said and knew that he was right.  We were approaching my building when I asked, "Want to come in?"

"I do but I need to face my own demons back at my apartment" he replied honestly.

I turned and faced Lukas, his hands on my waist.  I got on my tip toes and kissed him, wrapping my arms around him. Our kiss was becoming more passionate when Lukas pulled away, "If we don't stop, I'll never make it home."

I gave him one last lingering kiss before entering my building.  I unlocked the door and was shocked to see Britney sitting on the couch.

"What the hell are doing here?" I asked, taking off my heels.

"We need to talk" she said firmly.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Can't We Be Friends?

I jumped up and tried to blot off the wine as best as I could with a napkin.  Thank goodness I chose this dress and not the white one that I was eyeing in my closet.  What a disaster that would have been?  I was wiping away the excess wine from the white tablecloth when Lukas returned.

"What happened?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Um, Lauren accidentally knocked over her glass of wine" I explained quickly.

"Accidentally?" he said skeptically.

I nodded and noticed that he was trying to make eye contact with Lauren, who all of a sudden seemed distracted with her kids.  The same kids that she wasn't paying attention to while she was annoying me.  Lukas called out her name and she reluctantly looked up, slightly embarrassed.  "Don't you think you owe Elisabeth an apology?"  I tried saying that it wasn't necessary but Lukas insisted that she apologize.

Lauren looked at him defiantly.  "An apology?  For what?  She's the one who has my son saying FUCK now.  So she got a little wine on her dress, big freaking deal.  I'm not apologizing for anything."

"What is she talking about?" Lukas whispered , sitting down next to me.

"Nothing.  Let's not make this dinner any more uncomfortable or awkward than it already is."

"Elisabeth" he started and I gently rubbed his hand.

"I promise I'll explain it all later but not now."

He turned his attention to our appetizers that the waitress placed in the center of our round table.  We all turned our attention to the fried calamari, baked clams, stuffed mushrooms and garlic bread in front of us. Carmine's portion sizes even for appetizers were huge but their food was so good.  Lauren was still giving me dirty looks but I ignored her, focusing on the food and the kids.  I observed that Lauren was totally ignoring them and didn't even give them appetizers.  I leaned over and whispered discreetly to Lukas, "Don't the kids eat any of this?"

He looked over and saw the empty plates in front of them.  He shrugged before laughing, pretending that I had told his something funny. Lauren rolled her eyes once again and sighed in disgust.  Lukas cleared his throat and wiped his mouth with the cloth napkin, "Lauren aren't you going to give the Liam and Steph anything?"

She shook her head and said that they were picky eaters.  Lukas looked like he was about to say something but changed his mind.  Instead he gave the kids some calamari and spicy marinara sauce and garlic bread. He told them to try it and they did.  It seemed like they liked it and everything was headed in a good direction until Stephanie accidentally got marinara sauce on her pale pink dress. Lauren told Stephanie that she should be more careful and dipped her cloth napkin in water in attempts to get rid of the stain.  When that didn't work she started ranting about the dress, the food and how Lukas was undermining her parenting skills.

People were starting to stare when Lukas warned her to keep her voice down but that only made her angrier.  "How dare you question my parenting skills when you don't have any kids of your own.  I know what's best for my kids and it isn't this food.  Look at Stephanie, her $200 dress is ruined."

During her tirade I found solace in Liam, who seemed to take a liking to me.  He was chatting away, seemingly oblivious of his mom and uncle arguing.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned.  Lukas mentioned that he was going to go outside with his sister for a few minutes and asked me to keep an eye on the kids.  Liam was the sweetest little boy, asking me to be his girlfriend.  Aw.  He was even willing to try all of the different appetizers we had ordered. Stephanie on the other hand, ignored all of my questions and looked away.  Liam reached for her and she snapped at him, telling him to leave her alone.  I realized that Stephanie was troubled and probably not dealing well with her parent's separation.  However, that wasn't really any of my business.

When Lauren and Lukas came back, she looked as though she had been crying, while Lukas looked extremely tense.  He downed his glass of wine and motioned for our waiter.  He promptly asked for the check while Lauren stared coldly from me to him.  After Lukas paid, he hailed a cab for Lauren.  Before getting inside, Liam ran over and hugged me tightly.  I smiled, watching his little hand wave to us when the cab pulled off.

Lukas took hold of my hand and entwined his fingers with mine.  We started walking down the block in silence.  I wanted to give Lukas a few moments to compose himself.  We were waiting for the light to change when Lukas glanced down at me. "I'm sorry this evening didn't go as I planned. I never expected it to be such a disaster."

"Don't apologize.  I loved getting to know Liam" I said cheerfully.

"He's a mini version of me" Lukas said with a laugh as we crossed the street.

"I know this isn't any of my business but is everything okay with you and Lauren?"

He shook his head, "Can we go to your place and talk?  I'm stressed and need to relax a little."

"Of course."

In no time, we were settled on the couch in my living room.  Lukas looked tense.  "Can I get you something to drink?" I asked, breaking the silence.

"No I'm good" he said curtly.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked turning to face him.

He took a deep breath, "I love Lauren, she's my sister but living with her has been pure hell.  I can't stand the way she is raising her kids, her attitude, her sloppiness, her views.  She tries to rule my life and doesn't get that I'm a grown ass man and can make my own decisions.  I don't need her bitching all day and night."

"I'm guessing the separation has been hard on her" I said sympathetically.

Lukas laughed bitterly.  "She's the reason for the separation.  Turns out that she was unfaithful.  Jeff found out she was seeing another man for the past six months, that's why he didn't come to the wedding and initiated the separation.  He kicked her out of the house and she took the kids against his and their will."

My eyes widened in disbelief.  "Oh my goodness, I had no idea."

"Supposedly her and Jeff were having problems and fighting constantly.  She couldn't take it anymore and met this other guy at Starbucks.  They started meeting there once a week to talk. One thing led to another and she started seeing him whenever she could.  She would leave the kids with my mom or some other relative" he explained.

"Do the kids know what's going on?" I asked gently.

"Liam keeps asking for his dad and Stephanie stays to herself and watches crap TV all fucking day long. I'm going out of my mind, Elisabeth."

"You're doing a good thing, letting your sister stay with your during her time of need.  I get that isn't the most ideal situation but she needs you" I said comforting him.

"How can you say that when she's been nothing short of a bitch to you?" he asked.

I shrugged, "Maybe all this drama in her life is making her unbearable.  I care about you and don't want to wage a war against your sister, no matter how nasty she is to me."

"That's why I love you so much, Elisabeth" he said as his lips brushed gently against mine.

I pulled away and wrapped my arms around him.  My head on his chest as I smiled contently.  I was lost in my thoughts when Lukas asked me how Anthony was doing.  "He's doing as well as could be expected."

"What type of response is that?" he asked incredulously.

"You really want to know, Lukas?"

"Yes" he said pleading with me.

"Anthony is doing fine, he's getting better each day physically.  Emotionally, he has a lot to deal with."

"Losing someone you love is hard and it takes time to heal.  Amy's death was unexpected and I know Anthony is trying to come to terms with that" Lukas said quietly.

"Well it's a little more than that.  Amy wrote Anthony a letter" I said nervously.

"Like a goodbye letter?" he asked.

"More like I fucked up and here's a list of everything I did and I hope you forgive me letter" I said quickly.

"What did she do?"

I told him about the abortion and I could tell from his expression how shocked he was.  "I get that not everyone wants children and that's fine but Amy and Anthony should have discussed that honestly before getting serious. I can only imagine how hurt Anthony is right now" Lukas said genuinely.

"Me too.  Anthony has always wanted kids and being with someone who didn't would have been a dealbreaker" I responded.

"Do you want children?" Lukas asked.

I nodded and smiled, "Yes, I always envisioned having two or three kids.  I want a boy and girl or twin boys and girl but that's probably impossible because twins don't run in my family.  What about you?"

"I would love to have a couple kids.  I think I'd make an awesome dad" he said grinning.

"I know you would be an great dad.  Are you getting practice with your niece and nephew?"

He scoffed, "Liam is my buddy.  At first he was throwing tantrum after tantrum but he's gotten better and we're cool.  Stephanie not so much.  I think it's different when it's someone else's child.  Don't get me wrong, I love Steph and Liam."

"I know what you mean, I have a niece and nephew too" I replied.

"I have a couple set of twins in my family" he said laughing.

"Really? That's good to know" I said with a wink.

He laughed and I asked quietly, "Do you have a time frame?"

"Before I'm 40 would be great.  I'm 32 now and I would like to have kids before I'm too old.  You?"

"When I was younger I wanted to get married at 25, have my first baby at 28 and my second at 31.  I had it all planned in my head.  Now I'm thinking I'd like to start a family by the time I'm 30-31'ish.  I don't want to wait too long because it gets harder to conceive when you're older" I said honestly.

"Do you regret not sticking to your initial plan?" he asked.

"Nah.  I wouldn't have been happy at all.  What kind of mother would I be if I was miserable all the time?" I replied.

"You'd be like Lauren" he deadpanned.

I playfully swatted him on his arm.  "Never" I said firmly.

"Would you ever do what Amy did?  I mean if you got pregnant would you even consider having an abortion."

I shook my head, "No, I'm old enough and financially stable to raise a baby on my own.  Plus, what if that was my only chance to have a baby.  Maybe the circumstance wouldn't be ideal but I wouldn't consider an abortion unless it was medically necessary or if I conceived that child against my will."

Lukas pulled me near.  "I'm relieved that we're on the same page."

"Mmm, me too."

"Good" he said, playing with a strand of my hair.

"Shall we discuss our political views next?" I deadpanned.

"No I have a much better idea" he said lifting me up and carrying me to my bedroom.  He laid me gently on the bed before leaning forward to kiss me.  As kisses got more urgent and passionate, his tongue played with mine, exploring my mouth.  I moaned into our kiss and reluctantly pulled away.

"Lukas" I said breathlessly.

"What?"

"I thought you said you were stressed" I replied.

"Well we were working on that or at least I thought we were" he said breathlessly.

I giggled, "I have a better idea.  Take off all your clothes and lay on your back."

He tried to ask questions but eventually did what I asked.  I sat on the edge of my bed and took in his perfect body.  I watched as he unbuckled his belt and slid his pants down.  I couldn't help staring at his hard, thick penis with desire.  I silently cursed my idea, instantly wanting to feel his penis inside me.  Lukas offered me an out asking if I was sure that I wanted his to lay on his stomach.  It took so much willpower to tell him yes.

I retrieved massage oil from a box in the closet, pausing to unzip and step out of my dress before beginning. I didn't want to risk ruining my dress anymore than it already was.  Standing in my black lace bra and thong I walked towards Lukas.  I poured the cool lavender oil in the palm of my hand before stroking Lukas' calves and feet.  He moaned softly as I massaged his feet, focusing on his pressure points.  I made my way to is strong calves and then his thighs. I stopped before kneading his perfect ass and moving up to his his waist.  Touching him like this was making me so aroused.

I took a deep breath before straddling Lukas lower back, feeling his slick, oily skin against my smooth legs.  I slowly dripped the massage oil directly onto his back.  He gasped as he felt the cool liquid on his hot skin.  I rubbed it into his back back and then massaged all of the kinks in his neck and shoulders before moving to head.  I gently rubbed his head before returning to his neck.  Lukas' moans of approval were getting me increasingly horny.  I licked my lips as I kneaded his muscular, broad shoulders.  I continued down his back until I felt each muscle relax before reaching behind me and unhooking my bra.  Leaning forward, I kissed his neck, while my naked breasts rubbed against his back. My breathing was getting heavy as I become increasingly excited.  I slid off of him and kissed my way down his spine before telling him to flip over.

It took a great deal of strength to not pounce on him.  Lukas groaned and reached for my breasts but I pushed him away.  Instead I proceeded to pour the oil onto his chest and stomach, quickly stroking him.  I gasped in surprise as I felt Lukas' fingers tease me over my panties.  I moved down to his upper legs, trying to not focus on his hard, throbbing penis.  By this point, Lukas slipped a finger inside me and had me on the brink of orgasm.  I pulled away from him and stripped off my panties.  I straddled him, lowering myself onto hard, thick penis slowly.  I growled feeling him fill me completely and my body stretching to accommodate him.  He grabbed my hips and pulled me down.  He started moving under me as I arched my back and bounced slowly.  I couldn't control myself any longer and came hard, screaming his name in the process.  My face and body was completely flushed as I leaned forward to kiss him.  Somehow, he flipped me over and was now on top of me.  His tongue teasing mine as he moved expertly inside me.  It didn't take long for Lukas to come and when he did, it was so intense.  He was gasping for breath as he laid beside me, taking my hand in his.

"I feel so connected to you" he said breathlessly.

"I take it you enjoyed that" I teased.

"That's an understatement."

"Let's take a shower and then order something to eat" I said happily.

I got out of bed and grabbed his hands and helped him up.  We rushed into the bathroom where we had another round of mind blowing sex.  After getting dressed we ordered Chinese food.  We ate it in the living room before retreating to my bedroom.  We made out and engaged in some heavy petting before falling asleep that night.

The next morning I awoke and reached for Lukas, but he wasn't there.  I was a little disappointed as I crawled out of bed and headed to the bathroom.  I took a quick shower and brushed my teeth before plopping on the sofa.  I yawned and stretched, a smile creeping on my face as I remembered the previous night.  I heard our apartment door open and thought it was Priya.  Needless to say I was shocked when I saw Lukas with Starbucks and croissants from a bakery not too far away.

"I thought I would get us breakfast" he said handing me a grande chai latte.

I took a huge sip and felt the warmth inside me.  "This really hits the spot" I said smiling.

As we had breakfast Lukas told me that he regretted going back to his place.  "I feel like I'm the one intruding on Lauren even though it's my apartment.  Plus I can't deal with her attitude" he said quietly.

"Maybe you should have a one-on-one discussion with her and tell her how you feel.  It's possible that she has no idea how she's making you feel" I suggested.

Lukas scoffed, "Lauren and civil discussions don't go hand in hand.  Maybe years ago but this new Lauren doesn't listen to anyone.  All she does is yell and act like the world is out to get her."

"The separation from her husband is probably a lot for her to deal with" I offered.

"She should of thought of that before she started fucking another man."

I tried to my best to make Lukas feel better about the situation, "I think she probably regrets her choice and feels guilty."

Lukas turned to me, his fingers brushing against my cheek as he said gently, "Lauren isn't you Elisabeth.  She doesn't care about anyone's feelings.  It's all about what she wants.  I doubt she feels bad for cheating since she is still talking to the guy.  It's a fucked up situation.  Fine she cheated, but on top of that she took the kids away from their father.  I don't know what to do anymore."

I embraced him, "What if you talk to your parents and tell them all this?"

"I'm going to have tread lightly with that.  My mom would drive down here and take the kids back to Connecticut if she knew, making this worse."

"Whatever you decide, I'm here for you" I said soothingly.

"Thank you" he said genuinely, reaching over to cup my face in his strong hands before kissing me softly.

We were both caught off guard when we heard Priya's bedroom door open.  I pulled away from him and blushed.

"Morning, how was your night?" I asked Priya.

"So-so, I went out with some friends from school but all I could think about was my final tomorrow."

"Aw, well you'll be done with this semester before you know it" I chimed.

"These tests have me so stressed."

"After you're done with them, we'll plan another girl's night to celebrate."

Priya grinned, "Deal but no tequila this time."

We both laughed.  Lukas and I chatted with Priya for a little while before he had to leave.  He seemed reluctant to go back to his apartment.  I told him that if he needed to an escape that he could always stay at my place.  He told me he was grateful and gave me a lingering kiss before hailing a cab.

I was making my bed when Priya knocked on my open bedroom door.  I turned and motioned for her to come in.  She stood by the window, looking out, "Is Anthony okay?" she asked nervously.

"Of course he is, why wouldn't he be?" I asked concerned.

"I called him yesterday afternoon and he seemed uninterested in talking and sounded depressed" she said with a worried look.

"It's probably nothing.  Maybe he was just having an off day" I replied knowing damn well that he was still hung up on the contents of Amy's letter.  As much as I wanted to share that information with Priya, I couldn't betray Anthony's trust.

"I hope you're right" she said optimistically.

I was almost done straightening up when my phone pinged.  I checked my phone and found a text from Britney.

"You won't believe who I ran into at the wedding last night.  Call me ASAP!!!!!"