Remember The Nights Ch. 03
The next morning, Charlie arose, his head still pounding from the drinks he'd imbibed at the previous night's dinner with Cynthia's parents. The crestfallen look on Tamiko's face had struck him like a punch in the chest and he was secretly awed by the fact that a woman he'd only met the day before would have such a quick effect on him. He tried to look apologetic but Cynthia had slammed the door shut, giving him one of her best man-eating smiles while taking the bag from his hands.
"This one can go, too, Charles." She laughed, looking at the cream-colored linen suit. "No need to honor John Travolta by wearing his old suit!"
Shortly after that, they'd gone to The Four Seasons and while everyone ordered appetizers from the menu, he enjoyed two martinis and a cosmopolitan. While the in-laws talked about the wedding, he drank another martini and thought about Tamiko, fantasizing about her mouth against his and the feel of her soft breasts under his fingertips. Before long, he was embarrassing Cynthia and she was instructing her driver to return him home. He had been dropped off at his apartment, rescued Professor Harding's jacket out of the bag and carefully hid it in the morning.
He stopped at Starbuck's for his usual coffee and found himself in front of the Armani shop, waiting for her to arrive. At seven forty-five, she strode to the front, opened the door and headed for the counter as she had the day before. Charlie left his waiting spot and grasped the door handle, hefting the garment bag in his arms.
Her dark eyes met his but no hint of welcome was in them. "May I help you?"
"Y-Yes. I have the suit."
She took the bag, hanging it on a rod behind her and unzipping it to examine the suit. "Looks fine."
"The tie's in the jacket pocket."
"Thanks." She put the bag onto another rack and turned back to him, her smile accommodating but her eyes cold. "Is there anything else you need?"
"Yes. I'd like to take you to lunch."
"That won't be necessary, Mr. Weatherly. The return of the suit is adequate enough."
Charlie was speechless as she turned to take care of some other clothing. "I know it's not necessary but I'd like to take you all the same."
"What about Cynthia?"
"What about her?"
"She's your fiancée, is she not?"
Charlie looked down at the floor, almost ashamed to speak. "Uh, yes."
"That's pretty bad if you're already looking for a mistress before the wedding."
"I'm not looking for a mistress!"
Tamiko walked up to him, her arms folded beneath her generous breasts and watched as his eyes followed their movements, then flicked up to her face. "Then why are you staring at my boobs?"
"Goodbye, Mr. Weatherly. Have a good life."
"Wait! Please!" Charlie and Tamiko were surprised by the note of desperation in his voice. "Please, Tamiko. Have lunch with me. Have dinner with me. Go out with me. Just please don't tell me no."
Tamiko stared at him for a long minute. She felt an attraction to him, a deep wrench in her gut that made her instantly wary because it wasn't something she'd ever felt before. He could be the one ... but can he handle my secret? She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Okay. You can take me to dinner." Charlie smiled widely. "But only dinner."
"Tomorrow night. Pick me up here. I close the store at eight."
"Great." He picked up his coffee and briefcase and headed for the door. "Tomorrow?"
* * * * *
Cynthia was upset. She had come back for the bags of clothing and noticed that several items were missing, including that ratty jacket from his professor. She'd searched his apartment high and low and had not been able to find them. That made her even more angry. He phoned to say that he was working late and wouldn't be home until ten. She left his apartment and went home, her mind suddenly filled with questions. The next night, she was waiting for him when he got home, stunned to see the level of energy he exhibited as he prepared for a dinner meeting with a Korean client.
"I've never seen you so fussy with a tie."
Charlie ignored her suspicious statement and re-tied the Windsor knot, smoothing it slightly. "This is a very important client, Cyn. Your dad really wants this."
"Don't call me Cyn."
And don't call me Charles, he wanted to say but he held his tongue. "You want to go?"
"No." Charlie almost smiled because he knew that Cynthia had no interest in business dinners. "Why are you starting so early?"
"The clients requested the time. Your Dad just told me what time to be there."
Cynthia sat down on the bed, pouting as he selected a handkerchief, folded and stuffed it into his pocket. "I'm not happy with this, Charles."
"Well, talk to your Dad about it. He's the boss." That shut her up. She remained silent as he finished his preparations and grabbed his briefcase, heading down the stairs. "I've got my cell phone if you need to reach me, but I won't answer it right away. We're involved in negotiations and I won't be able to answer a call."
"All right." She pouted prettily as he donned his coat and stopped in the doorway to give her a kiss. "Don't wait up."
Cynthia stared at the closed door, her pretty face scrunched up in anger face and shrugged, hoping that this little itch in the back of her mind was wrong.
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