Genuine Curiosity - 2 (UNEDITED DRAFT)
David crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. His attention was focused on the business card on his desk.; He shielded the sun as it started coming up over the horizon, stretched and rotated his neck. He’d been up all night working. Working and researching.
Several hours before he tapped “Expensive Escorts” into the home screen of his browser and was less than excited by what he saw.
Most of these women were clearly prostitutes, which didn't interest him, and many simply looked plain. He couldn’t believe someone would pay as much money as he found they might pay for professional company. In all honest, he just wanted a date. No funny business. He sighed and stood, pacing the space behind his desk. He really just wanted a girlfriend. He wasn’t sure why he’d become so picky.
As a CEO, work had taken priority over his social life. Or that’s what h told himself to not feel so much like the sad, anti-social recluse that he was.
He pressed his palms on the desk clicking on the web browser he, for some reason, even after deciding that paying for company was not something he was willing to do. He scrolled the profiles on the Sapphire Rose website. Erika, who described herself as “open minded and determined,” he scrolled onward, “Owns lots of uniforms and fetish gadgets,” he clicked back. That wasn't what he was looking for.
After a couple more pages of scrolling, David spotted a familiar face. He cocked his head to the side gazing at her image. She was wearing a figure-hugging red dress, pointy red shoes and showing her tanned, bare legs. She had this calming infectious smile on her face that made him, despite his state of sleep deprivation, smirk. He slid into the office chair not taking his eyes off the woman who’d been dominating his thoughts that evening since he saw her a number of hours before.
He long abandoned his post at the bar and his friend to the man’s ever growing band of admirers. He wasn’t sure why work couldn’t drown the woman out of his thoughts.
He’d seen women, of course, even ventured to make small talk with a couple, but he wasn't sure why she stood out from the rest. There was something in her face. A warmth, he told himself. A sense of humor, he speculated. He kept recalling her almost shy smile when their eyes met and she looked away like an adolescent might when seeing their crush. It gave him goosebumps. It made his insides whirl around and palms sweat.
He scrolled down through her blurb and spotted that she was a university faculty– she didn't say which subject – and that she loved to dance hip hop and ballet. That was an interesting combination. He was trying to guess her age. From her appearance he thought mid to late twenties, but she was a faculty member and she carried herself like she’d been in her adult shoes for a while.
There was no mention of anything sexual on her profile, so he felt a little more comfortable contacting this girl. He gazed at her name: Vivica. That was a pretty name and fit her rather well.
He leaned back in the chair. His friend’s words floated through his mind. What the hell did it matter what the woman did on her own time? All he wanted was a date to the damn Gayla and time was running out.
He picked up the card and tapped it several times on the desk before picking up his phone and smashing the woman’s phone number in the device.
Vivia stopped mid sentence and brought her attention to one of her students. “Yes Rebecca?”
“I’m sorry to interrupt your rather eloquent rant on the evolution of domesticated dogs, but this lesson is supposed to be about humans. I’m not seeing the connection.”
The corner of her lips pulled up. “There is a close connection between the domestication of wolves which created a unique breed subset we call dogs and the urbanization of humans into vast, metropolitan societies. We were all wolves metaphorically speaking but some of our instincts have been stripped.” She pressed the clicker and the class started whispering among itself when they saw the picture of a young woman their age walking at night with earbuds in and an unsavory character blurred behind her in a ski mask and baseball bat. “When was the last time you ignored your instincts, your intuition because you thought you were safe?”
A couple hands raised with hesitation. “Come on don’t be shy. Raise them.”
More hands went up.
“If you were still a wolf you would understand that safety does not truly exist beyond you understanding that it is a figment of our imagination. Instinct, and the origins from which we were forged is the only truth. That Ms. Haze is the connection. That concludes the lesson for today. Make sure you do your reading for class on Monday.” The room erupted in sound as her students packed up their belongings and started making plans for the weekend.
They might not have classes the next day, but Friday were really just a work day for her. Vivica made her way behind the podium, closed her laptop and started stuffing it and other reference materials in her bag. She sighed. One class down and one more lecture to go before she could retire to a large glass of wine and some mindless television--
She started out of her thoughts when her phone buzzed. SHe frowned and checked her watch. It was a bit early for a call. Most of the people she knew, besides her students didn’t find daylight until ten in the morning. She frowned when she didn’t recognize the phone number.
She frowned when no one answered.
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
“I can hear you breathing--”
“H-Hello i-it’s uh from the-- at the, uh. I’m--” The man took a long steady breath.
The corner of her mouth lifted as he mind started to piece the man’s likeness together. She’s eavesdropped on his conversation just the previous night long enough to know who it was. “I was afraid you wouldn’t call.” She rested the phone between her ear and shoulder as she continued to pack up her things.
“Yeah, uh. I-I’m not sure what to do. I’ve never done this before.”
“What before? Had a conversation? That’s all we’re doing right? We’re just talking. Let’s start by talking about the event we’re going to. When is it?”
“Ah, two days away. I-it’s a, uh, fundraiser for smart but disadvantaged youth.”
“Something you find close to your heart?”
There was a small silence. “Yes, it is.”
“That’s good. If you’re interested in me accompanying you, which I’m rather excited to do.”
She laughed slinging the laptop bag over her shoulder and scooping up her purse. “Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I want to be on your arm?”
“Y-you’re just saying that.”
“Well, the only way to know for sure is to have me as your guest. You know, you can pick up on lies, attraction, and fickle behavior five times fast in person.”
There was some light amusement on the other end of the call. “I can believe that.”
She turned the lights off in the room and closed the door letting the silence take up space.
“What are you doing?”
She paused with the key in the lock. “Waiting.”
She smiled at his genuine curiosity. “You, to invite me to be at your side Saturday evening.”
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