With her hand on her mouth, she gazed down the sidewalk at him, fifty feet away. After two years, there he was.
Seven slid closer, eyeing the distant figure as he disappeared then reappeared between the crowds of city dwellers flowing past him on their way to somewhere. Reason suggested that she ought to doubt herself. After all, she’d only spent a few hours with him and two years had passed since that night. And what were the odds that she would randomly stumble across him on the street? It was hardly likely, but as she got closer she began to panic. Everything about him was familiar. The sharpness of his jaw-line, the shine of his jet black hair … even the swag of his posture as he lazily studied the passing traffic. It WAS Alex. She knew his first name, but that had been the extent of their specific personal divulgences. Seven pulled her sunglasses out of her purse and hid behind them before moving in a bit closer.
A Delicious Dalliance, continued...
Alex was loitering beneath the awning of newly opened fine dining restaurant, La Belle Epoque. He held an unlit cigarette in his hand, examining it intensely and even smelling the tobacco filled end occasionally, but never lighting it. Seven sidled along the building face and pretended not to be watching him. He wore loose dark pants in a faint black and grey checked pattern and a stark white jacket. The faint scent of an expensive cologne wafted off him. Seven pretended to be inspecting the menu posted on an outside marquee, but he didn’t seem to notice her presence.
“Alex darling!” A woman strutted out of the restaurant’s entrance. All legs beneath her clinging black suit, she balanced expertly on a pair of stiletto heels. “Good God Alex!” She grabbed his arm. “What are you doing out here? The kitchen’s a war zone and Jean-Phillip’s just called to say his wife’s having her baby and you KNOW Ricky always burns the risotto. What are we going to do about dinner service?” She had a lilting European accent. Seven wasn’t sure if it was French or Italian; she was horrible with accents.
She chewed her lip as she watched Alex take one last whiff of the cigarette, then he slipped it into his pocket. “It’s fine,” he shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Yes Chef,” the woman taunted and rolled her eyes.
Seven didn’t recall Alex mentioning that he was a chef. She’d just assumed that he had been part of the same professional networking event that she’d been attending in Chicago. Watching him now suddenly made her feel voyeuristic, like some bizarre lady stalker, and that thought riled her. This was her city, her street and he was the newcomer. The intruder. If anything she should be furious with him for showing up in front of her out of the blue and throwing her off.
“Seven!” a voice rang out. Seven whirled to find Lacey waving at her further down the street. The kinky curls covering her friend’s head bounced as Lacey jogged closer. “Sev! You’re coming after all?”
Seven cringed and glanced back towards the scene she’d just been watching. Alex had turned and was staring at her in confusion. His lips parted as if he might say something, but the La Belle woman tugged at him, pulling him towards the restaurant entrance and away.
“Who was that?” Lacey hissed conspiratorially when she finally stopped alongside Seven. “God he’s beautiful. Do you know him?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Huh? Oh, I had to stop at the bank.” Lacey linked her arm around Seven’s. “I’m so glad I spotted you. Now I won’t have to walk to Chancey’s alone!”
To be continued...
To be continued...
Thanks, Jennifer! Alright, readers... let us know what you think. And up next is Chrissy Szarek. The next section will be posted on Tuesday, Feb 14th.