Leo, Noelle and I walked straight into the expensive BEMELMANS BAR at the Carlyle Hotel. The walls were lined with whimsical and child-like murals painted by Ludwig Bemelmans the creator of Madeline. The lights were soft-yellow, delicately bouncing of the pastel sun-kissed walls. It looked pretty amazing. I hadn’t anticipated dinner, since neither Noelle nor Leo spoke about the restaurant, but they somehow managed to get a table right next to Wall Street props; investment bankers; entrepreneurs and prenuptial-oriented rich men. Tom Ford’s Orchid bathed the air, and I could identify that one scent alone because it was one of Daniel’s favourites.
Cheekily, I pushed pass people, bumping and grinding alongside tables, patrons and waiters, to get to our table. And I don’t think anyone noticed that I was wearing Daniel’s come on me. I felt devilish; it excited me. It wasn’t like a hard squeeze of the bottle, but I did apply his come as if it were perfumed oil. Dabs in between my heaving breast, but the largest lather was when Daniel smoothed out a palm-full on my thigh, right under my pelvic line. I wondered if anyone could smell the sex on me, and just passed it off as some crazy porn star antics of a little naïve girl. Whatever they thought—if there was even thought about it—I loved that Daniel willingly obliged my request. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so freaky with Daniel before, and I enjoyed his enjoyment of it; it made me smile like a secret. And the fact that he had mine on his skin was all the sexier; it was like his and hers come. He was sitting at dinner with his boss, with my come on him; and I was going out with his one me. It was devilishly fun.
“Who are you planning to meet?” Leo asked after we sat.
Noelle shrugged. “Someone amazing. I want a fairy tale ending, is that too much to ask?”
Noelle was next to me, exuding body heat that I envied and was grateful for all in the same instant, while Leo sat across from me.
“It just might be,” Leo laughed. He snapped his fingers at a waiter and I winced. I hated that!
“Drinks, sir?” the waiter asked.
“Yes, please,” he said, and one by one we gave our order.
“Now,” Noelle said, after taking a long and hard sip of her martini, “give me some advice guys. What should I do? How should I go about doing this and approaching these men?”
“First,” Leo started, “stop giving off a desperado vibe.”
“Oh come on, don’t be so harsh!” I attempted to kick Leo under the table, but I feared hurting him with so much force, that I pulled back last minute, and I ended up brushing up his leg. I quickly turned to Noelle to give her suggestions and ignore the fact that I just felt Leo up with my foot. “Wait until a guy buys you a drink?”
“What if he doesn’t?”
I scanned the bar. “It looks like we’re the only girls here, and the other two are taken by men. I think we’ll be offered drinks.”
“So cocky,” Leo commented, grinning. “Allow me ladies.”
“Where are you going?” Noelle asked when he stood.
“I’ve been seeing you eye those guys over there,” Leo said, “get ready to thank me.”
“Leo! No!” Noelle hissed.
“Oh, God,” I said.
Leo trotted to blondie and brownie (haha ‘brownie’) and miraculously struck up a conversation. It was miraculous in the sense that the men seemed so invested in what they were talking about that they didn’t seem to care about anyone else. Blondie and brownie glanced our way, and Noelle and I ducked our heads.
Blondie and brownie shook hands and brownie left, leaving blondie to follow Leo.
“Noelle,” Leo said, “I’d like you to meet Larry, stockbroker connoisseur.”
Noelle blushed and shook his hand. I stood to make way for Noelle and Larry to sit together, which led to me sitting next to Leo.
Larry had dark blonde, almost ash hair. Brown eyes and a thick nose that had a little bone-bump in the middle, making the nose seem wider; and a large frame that I later discovered was from swimming. He was an avid swimmer; and he looked interested in Noelle just as much as she was interested in finding a rich boyfriend-slash-husband. It was like a magical match.
“How did you do that?” I asked Leo quietly, leaning in so Noelle and Larry couldn’t hear.
“How did you know they were going to hit it off?”
Leo shrugged. “I didn’t. But you’ll never know unless you try, right?”
I nodded absentmindedly. Our food arrived just in time, and Leo and I dove into ours while Noelle and Larry chatted as if their food had yet to arrive.
“We still have to get you drunk tonight,” Leo said to me, “remember that.”
I smiled politely. “Thanks but, I don’t want to go home all sloppy.”
“You got someone waiting for you?”
I’m glad I didn’t have to bring it up; presumptuous much? “I do as a matter of fact.”
Leo’s brows lifted, surprised. “Oh?”
I nodded. “A boyfriend.”
“Well this is news to me.”
“We’ve actually been on and off.”
“And now you’re on again.”
There was a slight pause; a little uncomfortable. “Are you guys serious?”
I gazed at Leo, and for the first time I saw a question behind that question that I hoped we’d never have to get to. “Yes.”
I chuckled at his persistence. “Like he nearly proposed to me, serious.”
Leo blinked rigidly. “Wow.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, nodding. Wow, indeed.
I explained what happened in Egypt and before then. That we seemed to never be on the same page, until now.
“You do realise he’s got it written down somewhere, right?”
I furrowed my brows, confusedly. “Got what written down?”
“His proposal. What he was going to say.”
“He’s already told me everything.”
“Are you sure? Maybe he was just telling you a mock version of your mock proposal. I guarantee you he’s got something real written down somewhere. Look around; he probably hid it. You’ll find it if you just search.”
“How can you be so sure?” I asked. “I mean, how much are you willing to stake on it?”
Confidently, Leo grinned. “I bet my life.”
Being a gentleman, Leo escorted me home. Well, I say escort, but really we took the same cab while Noelle went home with Larry. As he wished me goodnight, Leo commented on a scent of mine, and I grinned from ear to ear as he tried placing it. He asked what it was and I answered it was Viktor and Rolf’s BonBon. Not knowing that the scent on me was, really, Anna and Daniel.
I had hoped that the few drinks I had fuelled my bravery enough to snoop around Daniel’s stuff. On any other day, he’d be so okay with me going through his stuff; so why did it feel weird tonight? I felt like I was doing something wrong and I hated it; but I guess my curiosity was stronger than my morals.
Luckily, Daniel wasn’t home, and I didn’t know exactly when he was coming home but I did know he wasn’t going to stay out all night partying with his boss. It’d be a formal dinner, drinks, and then he’d come home, which didn’t give me enough time. I used up the time I had wisely though. Instead of mulling over the fact that I felt like a big fat snooper, I dived straight into Daniel’s things. First, I raided the bed side table on his side of the bed; then I peered under the bed, just in case; I went into his tallboy, lifting up sweats and shirts and pants. Nothing. Then I went into his closet, and although there was nothing screaming out at me, I didn’t want to give up. There was nothing situated on the floor besides boxes of shoes; then it was his suit\jacket\coat rack that housed the many things he wore more often than not, especially for work. Just as I felt like Leo was deadest wrong, and I was hopping from one place to another like a flaming idiot, I hadn’t checked the flimsy, built-in shelf on top.
At first glance, there was nothing on the shelf, but I wasn’t tall enough to see all the way through. I pulled out a chair and scraped the floor with it all the way to the closet. I stepped over it and turned my head up, stretching my neck and wobbling from side to side. At the farthest corner of the shelf, I could see an envelope. My heart quickened at the sight of it, wondering if what I found was not what I was looking for, but rather, something I didn’t want to find.
Nearly toppling over trying to grasp the envelope, I finally clutched it in my hand and fell onto the bed. On the face of the envelope, was my name—Anna Parker. Maybe this was something that Daniel wanted to show me later, not now, and I was ruining it for him. Or maybe I was just worrying my ass off and being too much of wimp to open the letter. At least the letter wasn’t sealed shut, so he wouldn’t know if I peeked through.
Going against my better sober judgement, I dipped my fingertips into the envelope and slid the paper out. Upon unfolding the crisp paper, I found a list. The title: Why I want to marry you.
- I want you as my wife.
***Hi everyone! Here’s the fourth part to the ‘His Name Was Jake Saunders‘ series. I changed his name because I love Vanderbilt so much, I used it in my Harlequin romance! It’s number 378 in its category right now, down from 7-something; and it might not seem like much, but it’s a big deal to me that this story is climbing on WattPad so thank you to all who contribute to that! Also, follow me on twitter! I’ll be tweeting out other points from the list Daniel wrote so keep a look out! Soul xo***