planner had OCD and kept micromanaging Connor and his team. We shared the whole bottle and two trays of food and came away as friends. When we started hiring staff for the hotel two years ago, I knew I had to have Connor as our executive chef. It took six months and a divorce for him to agree to move from New York to Atlanta. Despite all that, he seems to be doing well being in a new city. Sammy, as I was informed was the bartender’s name, brought my plate over and set it in front of me along with silverware and a napkin. Eating my dinner, I know I made the right decision in bringing Connor here. As I slide my empty plate across the bar, a woman slides next to me. She’s wearing a bright red, skin tight dress that’s cut low in both the front and the back. Her surgically enhanced breasts are barely tucked into the neckline and her bleach blonde hair is falling in curls to her shoulders. Looking at her, all I can think is how much I enjoyed watching Victoria’s breasts stretch against her blouse. “What brings a handsome man like you alone to a hotel bar?” Knowing where this is headed and snatching up any excuse I have to contact Victoria. I pull out my phone and text her. “ HELP! I have a woman who won’t take no for an answer, please come give me an excuse to leave.” It takes thirty seconds for her to respond. “Where are you?” “Hotel bar.” Full minute this time. “Be there in 10.” Success! Turning my attention back to the blonde waiting expectantly, I decide how to play it. I send a few more texts before responding to her. “I’m waiting on my girlfriend; you know how women are when it comes to getting ready. It’s been two hours already.” She plasters on a fake smile. “Well sugar, I’ll keep you company while you wait. Who knows, maybe we can have some fun a little later.” “Actually, here she comes now.” Victoria is standing in the doorway looking just the way she had only a few hours earlier, beautiful. I resist the urge to get up and touch her; instead I wait for her to make her way to us at the bar. Although she’s more than two feet away, I can smell her. She still smells of honey and lavender but with a hint of whiskey mingling in. I wonder how her date felt when she told him she was leaving to see me. At the thought, my night gets a little better.
Chapter 14 Sitting at the table, I am satisfied with my day, not only did have lunch with Sage, but now I was having dinner with Nick. Both of my best friends in the same day, and to see Nick smiling was priceless. “He’s attracted to you, Victoria, you know that right?” He’s smiling smugly to himself. “You’re being ridiculous.” Ever since Nick and I got into my car he’d been talking about Leland and his “attraction” to me. I really think he was just avoiding talking about everything that was going on with him, but two hours into dinner the subject was the same. “You didn’t see the way he was looking at me when you hugged me. He wanted to kill me.” He laughs out loud, a sound that is so good to hear. “Now you’re imagining things.” Maybe it was the alcohol, but I was excited that Leland might have been jealous. My phone lights up on the table between us, reading the screen I see that it’s Leland. Nick smiles knowingly. “ HELP! I have a woman who won’t take no for an answer, please come give me an excuse to leave.” I respond right away. “Where are you?” His response seems to come through as soon as I hit send. “Hotel bar.” “Well, what does he want?” Nick would know he wanted something. “He wants me to help him get rid of a clinger.” “I’ll get the check.” “Be there in 10.” Nerves flutter in my stomach as I hit send. I pay the bill and finish my drink before we leave. Nick and I share a cab to the hotel; when we arrive I pay the driver enough to get Nick home. “I’ll call you tomorrow.” “I don’t want to hear about your sex life, Victoria.”