Gorgeous

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Love is a dream. Love is a smile at first morning light. Love is a kiss amidst morning breath. Love is flushing the toilet so the person in the shower feels an icy blast and shrieks in delight. Love is soft-boiled organic eggs with multigrain toast and perfectly ripe pears and two big ass cups of coffee.

Danny puts on the shirt she has ironed for him and pulls her close, opening her bathrobe to behold her clean naked body. "Can I come back tonight?" He kisses her collarbone. "Can we spend every night together until you get tired of me?"

She likes the feeling of power he is giving her. "I appreciate that and I will consider it."

"Ha ha, very funny." He closes her robe. "I have a board meeting tonight. Probably won't get here 'til eight. Can I bring dinner?"

She plucks some fuzz from his shirt. "No, let me cook for you. I'm not going into work today. I'm meeting with The Center's accountant this morning and then I'm going to do a little shopping."

He asks her what for.

She smiles. "Show you later."

He eats his egg, drinks two sips of coffee, leaves the pear, and takes his toast for the road. He kisses her. "See you later, Gorgeous."

Gorgeous. Feel that flutter? That's the feeling of being in love.

***

The accountant's assistant left a voicemail saying that Mr. Sullivan needed to push their meeting again. Brie half-expected him to do this, but she now has the entire day to devote to finding the perfect dress for Danny's awards gala this weekend. She is anticipating it silently, he only having mentioned it once more since the first time, but men tend to be chaste with details and he did tell her to go get a dress. Saturday is important to Brie. Not only will it be their first public event as a couple, but it will be her first official act of replacing Terryn. Annoyances aside, Terryn's are big shoes to fill. She's intelligent, highly educated, and she knows Danny's business inside and out. And while Danny would never expect Brie to know what Terryn knows, she wants so badly to show him that she is someone he can be proud of, someone who can charm the women and make the men laugh, contribute to the conversation, not get too drunk. And why, do you ask, is this important? Because she's in love with him. There, she said it. Not to him, of course. She's heard "thank you" one too many times in response to her declarations of love, but let the record reflect that she is experiencing all known symptoms of love.

It's a scientific fact that a brain in love produces more dopamine, and just thinking about Danny in a tuxedo and the look on his face when he sees her in her dress has her seething with optimism like a love-pumped maniac high on coke.

Which she will never ever ever do again. This is corny on the cob, but he makes her want to be a better person. True, she will admit to several isolated fantasies in which Dolores is immobilized by fast-acting dementia or disappears down a ravine or is taken hostage by ISIS, making it possible for she and Danny to live hap-ev-aft in that she-devil's ocean view dream house, but rest assured this is not about the money. Assuming none of the aforementioned scenarios come to pass, it is Brie's true fantasy that she aid in Danny's financial escape from his mother, help him shed those golden shackles. It's cool as shit to be rich, but way cooler if you can figure out a way to grow the greens for yourself. It's clear to Brie that, from a moral sense, there is nothing wrong with being poor and everything wrong with being undeservedly rich. To Brie, Danny's dilemma is well understood, and just like all God's creatures with inferior corpus collosi, he's going to need a woman's help.

Ergo, Brie has entered Bloomingdale's at the Beverly Center and is ascending the escalator with purpose to the designer dress department, where she is prepared to invest up to five hundred dollars on a symbol of her significance in Danny's life. The good news is her body was made to wear dresses. Strong in the shoulder, full in the bust, small in the waist, and long enough in the leg to carry off a floor-length gown. In three-inch heels, (anything more is for hussies) she'll still be shorter than him, which is critical for Danny otherwise the men he cares to do business with might perceive his height inferiority as a sign of low testosterone, which, in the corporate world, equates to low business acumen.

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