Dec. 20, 2012 10 Hours, 2 hot dates, Part 2

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“Harley…me…yeah…ummm, that was me.” I was so busted. What had I done in my lifetime to receive this kind of punishment? Two hot guys, two dates, on the same day – why me? “So, let me explain?”

Donovan contained his smile as deftly as humanly possible. “Okay, Jane Sydney Reid, let me hear your explanation. I’ve known you since you were born, and know what a clever girl you are. I’d like to know how you’re getting out of this one."

Lucky for me, Donovan wasn’t mad. In fact, he was finding my predicament funny. If this situation weren’t entirely my fault, I’d almost call him out for being so ungentlemanly.

“That was Max, we had lunch and we are kinda back together again, I think.”

“What does it mean to be ‘kinda back together again, I think’? From the way you two were going at it on the sidewalk, it was more than being kinda together.”

“We were together for a while last year.”

“I remember Jake mentioning something like that – some incestuous relationship involving him, Emily, you and this guy, Max.  Wasn’t he in love with your sister-in-law?”

Damn. He was still smiling through all this.

“Was.”

“Now he’s in love with you?”

“Not really. I don’t think so…” I pulled Donovan into his big office, closed the door and sat him down. “Here’s the deal, as I know it. Max and I met right before my brother and Emily got married. We dated for a while, but I was still in New York, and between the distance, my work, and his med school schedule, it didn’t work.” I didn’t mention my total insecurities about, and Max’s obvious feelings for, Emily. “When you asked me out this morning, I was not expecting what happened at lunch to happen. And I…”

Donovan cut me off. “Are you married?”

“No…”

“Are you and Max together?”

“I don’t know. I think so? I don’t have an answer to that, yet.”

“Do you still want to go out tonight with me?”

“Yes?” Did that make me a bad person to want to hang out with Donovan tonight?

“See you at 6:00. Now, you’ve got to go ‘cuz I need to jump into this conference call.”

I got out of that one with relative ease. I did feel super guilty for going out with a guy other than Max. Maybe if it weren’t Donovan I’d have canceled the date. Like he said, he’s known me my whole life and I had a massive crush on him when I was little. It was cool that my childhood obsession asked me out.

Fast forward seven hours.  We were sitting courtside, watching the Lakers lose to the Bobcats. Dinner went better than any dinner date I’d ever been on, and now we were sipping beer chatting about old times.

“How do you like working in the LA office?” With his body slouched on the chair, his legs out and crossed, his arms across his chest and his tie loosened, he looked soooo sexy asking me this humdrum question. “Very different from the New York one, huh?”

“Yeah. I feel like I can have a life here. Is that why you finally made the move?”

“Yep. All my friends were getting married and having kids while I was billing hours around the clock.”

“Have you dated much since you got here? I thought I heard Jake say you were seeing someone.”

“Naw. I was waiting for you to grow up and notice me.” He smiled a devastating smile. I died a thousand deaths from his romantic profession. Damn, Damn, Damn.

“You know I had the biggest crush on you when I was like, 7 years old.”

“But not now as a 27 year old?”

I was soooo screwed.

Max? Max, who???

Noticing my obvious discomfort, he put his hand on my neck, pulled me to him and kissed the top of my head. It was the hottest brotherly kiss, evaaah!

Conversation jumped from embarrassing moments from our childhood to what he’d been doing while living in New York for the past 15 years. I don’t think we watched much of the game. In fact, if you asked me now who won, I couldn’t answer that question.

We got back to the office and went up to collect our briefcases, when I saw my three main bosses in their office, working. Last thing I wanted to do was ask if I could help in any way, but since these people were heavy-weights in the firm, and could probably nix my chance of ever making partner, I walked into their office and offered to help. There went my sleep for the night.

5:00am – I was jittery from being over-caffeinated, and under zzz’ed. Dragging myself to the elevator, I ran into my dinner date.

“What are you still doing here?” he asked. “I thought you left a long time ago.”

“The Big-3 asked me to help. Why are you still here?”

“Our deal almost fell through. I sat in a conference call for a couple of hours, then had to rewrite the contract and get it sealed. That’s why I couldn’t come out and say good-bye. I was going to send you a text just now. Did they give you the day off?”

I laughed. “Yeah, right. A lowly peon in this massive firm given a day off? Nope. I was told to go home, do what I needed to do, then be back here by 9:00am.”

“Can I give you a lift home? I have the company car and driver.”

“That sounds fantastic. I wasn’t sure how I was getting home with my eyes closed.”

“Come on, sleepy-head. Let’s get you home.”

A roar of Harley pipes jerked me awake. Disoriented, my eyes opened to the backseat of a car. My head felt the cushion of someone’s thigh, and a dark suit jacket covered my sleeveless arms. It smelled faintly of Donovan’s cologne. I popped up looking disheveled and knew something wasn’t right in my world.

“You okay? Donovan asked, chuckling. “You were dead to the world the moment we got in the car.” He tried to tame my unruly hair. “We’re at your house.”

“Home, right.”

I heard the roar again and knew something was seriously wrong.

As I stepped out, I saw my brother, in the midst of saying good-bye to his wife, looking our way with a gleam of mischief in his eyes. However, Emily looked down right terrified for me. I knew what was behind me. Better yet, I knew who was behind me. I turned to face the music and saw Max putting his helmet back on, covering the hurt and angry look in his eyes.

No!

“Max! Max!” The more I yelled, the harder he stepped on the gas pedal to drown out my voice.

To hell in a handbasket, on the express train…

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