Authors: Mellie George
it is. What was the message?”
it was nothing. I just was asking how you were doing. I remember you were said
you said you were going to come and see your dad today.”
I just left him. He was off to do rounds,” I said. This had worked out better
than I had planned. I was going to find him and ambush him, and he ended up
crossing my path. Here goes nothing. “What about you? Are you busy tonight?”
actually,” he said, seeming to think of an answer. He sighed, seemingly in
defeat, and said, “I have some work to do in my office, but I was thinking of
heading out for the day in a bit. I have some errands to run.”
heart sank. “Oh, okay. Well I won’t keep you then,” I said, disappointed, and
turned my head back to the elevator doors. Why did I do this to myself? Whether
he really had errands or not, he obviously didn’t want to be around me. At this
point I was throwing in the towel.
felt his hand on my arm, and I turned toward him. He was standing close to me,
and my heart skipped a beat. “Hey, what is it?” he asked, now taking my hand.
shook my head. “No, it’s nothing.”
me,” he insisted.
seriously, what is it?” he asked impatiently.
sighed. “I was going to ask you if you wanted to get together tonight, but its
okay. You’re busy,
,” I emphasized, “so it’s fine.” Hopefully he
picked up on my irritation.
spun me around to face him. “You wanted to do something with me tonight?”
yes, Luke. Of course I do. I haven’t seen you in almost two weeks, since Brody’s
bar. I…I’ve missed you,” I declared.
looked at me straight in my eyes. “I’ve missed you too,” he admitted. We stared
at each other and he leaned just a little closer to me. The electricity between
us was overwhelming. He moved his head closer to mine until he was so close
that I actually wasn’t able to focus. Oh my God, was he going to kiss me in the
elevator? Yes, please kiss me in the elevator! Just then, the bell dinged and
the elevator doors opened. He cleared his throat and stepped back to hold the
door with his hand so I could step out. Reluctantly, I walked out into the
hallway and he followed me. “So, what were you wanting to do?” he asked me.
Mama and Daddy are going to be at dinner with Evan’s family tonight, so they
won’t be home. Plus, Daisy’s on duty tonight so with me having the house to
myself I was hoping you might want to come over for dinner. Maybe watch a movie
at your place?”
I thought I could cook for you. I happen to be a chef, you know.”
turned the corner of his mouth up in a half smile. “You know, that sounds
great. What time were you thinking?” he asked.
six o’clock be too soon?” I asked.
at all. Six sounds perfect,” he said. “I do have a few things to take care of
before I leave today, but I will definitely see you later.”
later,” I replied. “Well, I better head to the grocery store. Seems I have a
dinner to plan. Was there anything you want me to make?”
looked at me with smoldering eyes. “Surprise me,” he said, and with a wink that
left me breathless he turned and walked down the hallway calling out a goodbye.
had made it to the grocery store in record time. I practically ran through the
store grabbing everything I needed off the shelves (surprising considering I
was in an extremely tiny town), which got me some very strange looks from
people passing by. I was so involved in making sure I didn’t forget anything
for this dinner that I didn’t notice when my cart crashed into someone. “Hey!
Whoa, slow down!” I heard someone say, and when I looked up, Jack was turning
around with a look of shock on his face. His eyes immediately softened when he
saw me. “Oh hey, Lilly. You running a race or something?”
I’m so sorry! Did I hurt you?” I asked, embarrassment spreading through me.
I’m okay. You look like you’re in a hurry, everything okay?” I looked into his
cart and noticed some fresh flowers that I couldn’t see through the green
tissue paper surrounding them, a large tin of Christmas cookies, and a
container of ribbon candy. Daisy’s favorite Christmas treats.
yeah, everything’s great. I am having Luke over for dinner tonight and he’ll be
there in just over an hour, so I’m hurrying to get everything,” I said, and I
saw him smile widely. “What about you? What’s with the flowers and ribbon candy?”
that. It’s nothing. I was just…”
of surprising Daisy when she gets off work?”
smiled at me, and ran a hand through his hair in exasperation. “She told you?”
Even though I had been getting reacquainted with Jack lately, he was careful
not to mention anything about Daisy to me.
didn’t have to. I saw the way you two acted around each other my first night
back in town. She didn’t tell me anything, I swear, she just confirmed it.”
then you know that she’s pretty much pushing me away,” he said.
know, and as much as I love my sister, I think she’s being a freaking idiot
when it comes to you, Jack,” I said.
smile spread to his eyes. “You do?”
I think you are a wonderful guy, always have. You were such a good boyfriend to
her. Only someone who truly loves Daisy would be able to take what she throws
at them and persevere.”
Lil. I just wish she would hear me out and give this thing with us a real shot.
This isn’t just some fling for me,” he said. My heart bled for him.
you know how Daisy can be. She’s the most stubborn woman I’ve ever known. Just
be patient with her, Jack. She’ll get there.”
waved a hand at the cart and said, “Well, if this doesn’t get her to at least
talk to me about us, then I think I’m throwing in the towel.”
Jack, don’t give up. You both deserve to be happy. She just needs to get out of
her own way. Go for what you want. I am,” I said, and I immediately put my hand
over my mouth.
smiled mischievously. “Ah, so that’s what this dinner for Luke is about. You’ve
got the hots for him, don’t you?” he teased.
blushed. “No, I don’t,” I lied. “I just have a little crush, that’s all.”
little crush? Please, me and Daisy weren’t the only ones acting like idiots
that night at dinner. Luke couldn’t take his eyes off you the whole night, and were
blushing so much you looked like you were sunburned,” he said.
I didn’t think I was that bad,” I said.
pulled me into a one armed hug. “Aw, you weren’t. It was cute,” he said, and I
stuck my tongue out at him.
sighed. “I don’t know, Jack. Ever since I left Glenbrook, I’ve been happy. I
love my life. I did everything I always wanted to, and now that Luke’s come
back into my life everything’s just upside down. I’m suddenly thinking of
things that I never thought I’d think of.”
raised an eyebrow at me. “Oh? Like what?”
hesitated, and after a brief moment, I said something I never thought I’d say.
“Like how it would feel to leave California behind and come back home.”
eyes widened. “Oh wow, Lilly. You’d really give up your life there for Luke?”
think the fact that you would even consider that as an option means you do
know. Luke doesn’t even know how lucky he is,” he said, a touch of sadness in
doesn’t either,” I said, trying to reassure him.
really have missed you so much, Lilly,” Jack said. He squeezed me tighter and
looked at his watch. “Shoot, I’d better let you go. You have a dinner to cook,
Good luck Jack. Hopefully things will go well for both of us tonight,” I said,
and I hugged him tightly and kissed him on the cheek.
luck to you too, Lilly,” he said, and with a wave we both went our separate
ways, with hope in our hearts.
was almost ready, and the kitchen smelled wonderful. I decided to make filet
minon in a mushroom wine sauce, artichokes with roasted pepper dip, mashed
sweet potatoes, and a raspberry chocolate mousse. While the food was cooking, I
had changed into a black asymmetrical top that hung off my shoulder, one of my
favorite pair of jeans that flared at the ankles, and one of my favorite pair
of heels; pink high peep toe stilettos covered in black lace. I wore simple
diamond stud earrings and decided to wear in a side fishtail braid. I hope I
wasn’t dressed too casually. Just as I was placing the finishing touches on the
table setting in the kitchen, the doorbell rang. I looked at the clock on the
wall. Six o’clock right on the dot. I wiped my hands on a towel and calmly
walked to answer the door. I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint. I
had never been nervous to cook for someone before. Taking a deep breath, I opened
the door. I gasped slightly at the sight of him. Luke was breathtakingly
handsome. He had changed into a pair of jeans and was still wearing his
loafers, and I saw a tight fitted gray sweater showing under his black leather
jacket. “Luke, hi. You’re right on time,” I said.
like I promised,” he smiled.
come in. Dinner is just about ready. Can I take your coat?” I asked.
shrugged out of his jacket, and he handed it to me. “Thank you. You look
gorgeous, by the way,” he said, and I felt my cheeks redden.
you Luke,” I said, and hung his coat on the rack by the door.
you,” he said, and handed me a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.
grinned. “Oh my, thank you very much. My favorite wine,” I said, winking at
him. I started to walk toward the kitchen with Luke in tow and placed the wine
on the kitchen island.
took a deep breath. “Oh wow, it smells like heaven in here,” he said. “Can I
ask what you made or do you want me to be surprised?”
know what? I think I want to surprise you. Please have a seat,” I said,
pointing to the table. I had set the table to look like a romantic restaurant
setting. Fine china salad plates were sitting on top of beautifully decorated
placemats, there were two taper candles lit and in between them was a small
vase with red and white roses in it. Crystal wine glasses and silver cutlery
completed the setting.
wow. You really didn’t have to go to all this trouble just for me.”
I did. You are my guest, and as my guest I want you to remember this night
forever,” I said, and quickly followed with, “I mean, this meal. I want you to
remember the meal.” I had to be blushing about ten shades of red right now.
he sat down at the table. I popped the cork out of the bottle of wine, which
was thankfully already chilled. I walked over and poured us each a glass, and
set the bottle on the table. I then served Luke a salad of fresh greens with
Italian dressing. “Thank you,” he said, and motioned for me to join him.
took a seat on the other side of the table and we sat and ate our salads in
silence. I was getting more and more nervous by the minute and my appetite was
starting to disappear. I decided to take that moment and serve the main course
before I was completely unable to eat anything. I stood up from the table and
arranged our plates while he was still eating his salad. I could feel his eyes
on me and it was making my scalp prickle. Curiosity got the better of me and I
turned my head in his direction. He was leaning back in his chair with his
ankles crossed, and he was sipping from his glass of wine. He was giving me an
absolutely smoldering look that made all the feelings in me shoot straight to
my panties. I squirmed a little bit, trying to regain myself. Lord, it was
getting hot in here. I turned back to the plates, and once I placed the
finishing touches on them, I turned around and carried them to the table. Luke
had moved the salad plates for me so I could place our food on the placemats. He
was beaming at me as I took my seat across the table. “What is it?” I asked.
just…watching you over there, cooking this incredible dinner for us…you just
amaze me, Lilly.”
blinked in surprise. “I do?” I asked, my cheeks warming.
Watching you putting everything together so carefully, it’s obvious that you
love this. I remember that being a chef was always your dream, and now that you
are…I know this is going to sound strange or out of place, but I’m proud of
you. I know I didn’t have a hand in your success, but…”
stopped him. “I know what you mean. And, thank you for that, Luke,” I said. We
both smiled at each other, and suddenly I felt my appetite start to come back.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s eat before it gets cold,” I said.
dinner had gone way above and beyond my expectations. Once I got over my
initial nervousness, I had begun to relax and have fun. Luke loved the food, so
that was a relief, and we had spent almost an hour just talking and laughing.
At the risk of ruining our good time, I decided to address the elephant in the
room (or maybe it was just an elephant to me). “So, are you going to tell me why
you’ve been avoiding me for almost two weeks?” I asked him, teasing.