By Karen Rempel
Previously: Chapter 1 – Meeting Keith
My publisher George thinks his dating stories are better than mine. “Men can roam more freely than women. I’ve been all over the world.” He told me he dated a French woman (in France), the heiress of a famous line of Armagnac. She lived in a castle, and sadly rejected his offer of marriage, which he proffered along with a Greek ring from the 5th century. Years later, an antique dealer in the Village saw the ring and offered to look up the heiress. Once found, his long-ago love declared she didn’t wish to speak to George. Is that a great dating story? Yeah, I have to admit it is… But I didn’t hear about any hand-kissing or whispered sweet nothings. A gentleman never tells… Which is why I hold the advantage in the dating story game. I can kiss and tell, and I promise you, I will!
But before I do, I want to thank everyone who commented on the first chapter of this story at westviewnews.org, and even reminded me of dating stories I’d forgotten! Extra big cheers to the men I’ve dated who said they still want to be caught, are glad they were caught, or were caught and are worried that I might reveal our playtime details. Don’t worry, caro, some things are so naughty people would never believe me! 😉
When last we spoke, I was at Otto with Keith. Wine glasses sparkling, acid jazz smoothing the groove. We were the coolest people in the world. I looked into his darkened eyes and my cordovan leather barstool seemed to be on fire. I longed to run my fingers through his Rolling Stone hair, and wondered if it would feel soft or rough. It was hard to pay attention to what he was saying, but I tried to focus. “Listen up,” my inner cautionary advisor (let’s call her Prudence) told me. “Stop mooning!”
Now that we were sitting inches apart, Keith did most of the talking. For the first time, following Prudence’s advice, I listened for more than the sexy British accent. I noticed he had a slightly thick, toneless voice that could possibly indicate he was hard of hearing. I was familiar with this speech pattern from my almost-deaf uncle, and this vulnerability endeared me to Keith even more. “It’ll be fine,” I told myself. “No biggie!”
He told me he lived in New Jersey and showed me pictures on his phone of the lofty getaway he’d designed for himself in Denver. “I’m overseeing a luxurious condo development now,” he said, naming his client—a famous hotelier and nightclub owner who’s done jail time. “Over on Morton Street. I’m in the neighborhood all the time.”
“Did you design the building? My father was an engineer! He designed industrial logging mills,” I said. I’ve always had a secret weakness for architects and engineers. George Costanza was really onto something when he used this as his pick-up line.
“I think of this building as a work of art,” he said (ignoring my lame-ass contribution to the conversation, Prudence pointed out). “Fascinating! Tell me more!” I said, ignoring Prudence. He did. “Instead of being a rectangular block, the Sophia has curved sculptural shapes reflecting light off the river. We’re adding a beautiful landmark to the neighborhood.” Hmm. Lights on curves. Hands on curves. I went moony again.
He looked at me like I was the most desirable woman in New York and the cordovan beneath me shot up 800 degrees. “Darling, I have a marvelous idea. It’s a bit dotty. Why don’t you join me in London for a few days at Christmas time?” He kept talking but I didn’t hear another word. My heart was shooting ping pong balls.
London at Christmas! With a Rolling Stone architect! Was this really happening? Endorphins, oxycontin, adrenaline—all the good drugs were flooding my veins. Not to mention the six or eight wines I’d sampled tonight.
“Get a grip!” Prudence told me. “Aw, shut it!” I told her. She wasn’t going to mess this up for me. I looked at Keith and put my finger on his mouth. Soft, wide, so kissable. Wait, what was I going to say? “Darling, I’d love to.”
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