No Wrong Impressions-5(UNEDITED DRAFT)
David was fidgeting.
He knew he was and despite the fact that it was making him feel juvenile, he couldn’t stop.
He slid his hands between his legs to keep them from doing whatever his nervous mind was telling them and kept his focus out the window.
He thought the evening went really well; yet, here they set, in silence. He should say something, but what? If he looked at her he’d just stare and struggle to find words. He should think of his question before he turned to look at her. That way, he wouldn’t act like an--
David looked at his arm. The one her warm hand was resting on. He looked up to her face and his chest lifted into his throat. He swallowed it back down.
“I had a really nice time.” She yawned. “I dare say, wealthy, arrogant, educated people can be quite exhausting.”
He smiled down at her as she rested her head on his shoulder.
He froze and his breathing picked up. Was this apart of the whole date thing?
He cleared his throat. “I-I’m glad someone had the energy to stand up to Mark. I usually just avoid him.”
She shrugged. “I rather like watching people squirm in a vat of discomfort that they made for themselves.”
He laughed. “That’s a little devious isn’t it?”
She looked up at him with a mischievous smirk marring her beautiful face. “Perhaps. Does that bother you?”
He shook his head. “Not even a little.”
She picked up his arm and put it around her shoulders then snuggled up into his side. One of her arms was around his waist and her head rested on his chest. He could still smell her pretty perfume, her hair had a different smell that he hadn’t noticed until that moment with her so close to him. As if on instinct her settled back against the seat and let his head rest. His mind was racing, but as usual nothing meaningful was coming out his mouth so he just let the moment be.
He liked feeling her heat and warmth nestled against him. He never really bought into the traditional mindset of males being the strong bread winner, but he felt like he was playing that role. It was silly maybe just the simple motion of leaning on him of using him for support was enough to make him feel strong like she needed him.
She claimed his attention when she rubbed her hands on his chest then the limb fell down his body and slid around his waist where it linked up with the other arm. He only thought about it after he wrapped both his arms around her to secure her to his side.
“This might be hard to believe, it surprises most people, but,” she yawned again. “Events like this exhaust me because I’m an introvert.”
He frowned. “An introvert? I’m an introvert and tonight proved that you were much more outgoing.”
“See there goes the misconception. Introversion and extroversion have nothing to do with being outgoing or not. It’s all about energy flow.”
“Mhm,” He rubbed her arm and pulled her closer. “Explain.”
“For extroverts human energy flows to them. In social situations, they siphon energy and it fuels them fills them with vitality and life. Us introverts,” she rubbed his side for emphasis. “We expel energy. We give energy away in social situations which leaves our energy reserves depleted.”
“Hmm,” that explained him to a tee. He was exhausted just thinking about the amount of energy it would take to get through the fundraiser. This time around it didn’t seem so bad. He didn’t have to do much talking which was ideal. She seemed to take on that role quite nicely and he liked that.
“Mmmm,” she purred. “You have a really steady heartbeat.” Her words were almost slurred. “It’s soothing.”
He felt her breathing shallow and deepen.
She was sleep.
Was she sleep?
He pulled away a little to see her face and her long lashes rested on her cheeks. Her lips were slightly parted. She almost had an angelic look to her normal exotic beauty.
What did that even mean: exotic beauty? He thought. He never really thought much about race. Being a white man in America it didn’t really affect him on the day to day basis. She was mixed race; he was pretty sure about that. Far East Asian, African, Caribbean or a blend of , and probably some European too. All he knew for a fact was that she was gorgeous. She was funny too and charming. She set him at ease. Well, when he wasn’t stressing himself out and overthinking every little thing. When he just allowed himself to be in her presence there was no need to worry which said a lot for him.
He swore in his head when they pulled up to his house near an hour later with all the traffic. He didn’t want to wake her up. He liked her right where she was.
She started awake when the chauffeur opened to door. “Did I fall asleep?” She yawned and stretched. Her face twisted into a look a distaste when he nodded at her. “Oh god. I hope I wasn’t snoring.”
He smiled gazing at her face. “No. You weren’t.” He climbed out the car behind her then took the lead. He took his suit jacket off and draped it over her shoulders as the temperature had cooled with the fog rolling through the valley. “You can wait in the foyer.” He said, opening the door. “I’ll run up stairs quickly and grab the money.”
She nodded pulling his jacket around her shoulders.
He took the stairs two at a time. The further he got away from her the more the situation was weighing on him. He didn’t want her to leave, but asking her to stay might make her uncomfortable, but not asking her stay might make her think he didn’t want her to be there.
He palmed his forehead when he finally made it to his room. She told him she had a good evening, but he never said it back. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He scolded himself.
He was just fucking up everything. First the cuff links, then the money, then--
He grabbed the envelop and made his way back to the foyer. When his eyes caught sight of her strolling around admiring his art he couldn’t look away. It looked strange; yet, comforting seeing her with his jacket on over the fancy cocktail dress. As if she was his and they’d just returned home from some to-do.
“I’m surprised.” She faced him with a curious look on her face.
“How abstract your art is. You seem to be a very practical person. I would have expected landscapes, stilllife or other such distinct imagery of something, somewhere, or someone.” She smirked at him over her shoulder and said, “Thanks for surprising me.”
His stomach took flight as the butterflies there went crazy. He nodded and looked away hating the heat that was filling his cheeks. He cleared his throat and handed her the envelop. “Thank you for joining me this evening. I really enjoyed your company.”
Her face brightened with his words and made him smile too. “It was a pleasure.” She pulled him into a warm hug that caught him off guard at first, but his arms easily found her waist and held her to him.
His breath caught when he fingers tangled in the hairs at the back of his head. She pulled away enough to find his eyes. Hers wandered to his mouth. He cupped her cheek and leaned down, but she pressed her free palm against his chest slipping from his light hold.
Terror filled him.
He went too far!
Why did he try to kiss her? He was caught up in the moment in her nearness, her beauty. He hoped she didn’t think he was trying to push her into something more than what they agreed.
“I-I’m sorry.” He managed to choke out despite his sudden dry mouth.
“No, no. I, uh--” she took a deep breath. “This is where our arrangement ends. It’s how I do business. How I keep the focus on the right thing.” She took a few steps back toward the door.
“I-I wasn’t-- I hope you don’t--”
“It’s okay.” She looked down briefly. “You’re fine. It’s me. It was my fault.”
He cleared his throat with a nod. “Y-you should keep the jacket for the ride home.”
“No, I shouldn’t.” Her eyes were focused on the floor as she took the suit jacket off and handed it to him.
“Please, it’s cold.”
She smiled, finally looking at him. “I grew up in the Bay Area my entire life. I should have brought something more substantial than this.” She held up the wrap that matched her dress. She tucked the envelop in her clutch and turned toward the door.
His mind was screaming telling her to stay. He just wanted her company. He stuffed his hands in his pant pockets instead with the jacket draped over his arm.
He walked after her to the door his attention on his shiny black shoes.
“Thanks again, David.” He glanced up at her from under his lashes and nodded. His eyes desperate searched her face as if we would never see her again.
“Goodnight, Vivica.” He closed the door without a sound behind her and rested his head against the metal framed opening.
What the hell was he doing? He just let her walk away. It wasn’t like he could stop her. It was apparent that she didn’t want to have anything else to do with him. Lex warned him of investing too much too fast. It was a job to her.
He was a job.
He exhaled and pushed away from the door. Despite the fact that he knew that, he couldn’t help but feel the sinking disappointment wind its way through his body, weighing his limbs and pulling his chest toward the floor.
It was okay. He knew what the deal was before--
A light knock on the door almost went unnoticed with all the mental chatter. He paused and looked back at the aperture over his shoulder. The doorbell confirmed he wasn’t losing his mind.
Did she forget something? He looked around quickly before making his way back to the door. The town car’s brake lights behind her caught his attention momentarily. Where the hell was the driver going?
“Did he leave you? I can call him back.”
“No.” She looked up at him from under her lashes. In the depths of her honey-brown eyes was a vulnerable, almost innocence in their depth. “I asked him to leave.”
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