A Wonderful Kind of Love(10)

By: Krista Lakes

“I gave you my phone number, and we left the mother's room,” she replied. “Your secretary found you, and you had to go off to some important business thing.”

“That part matches my memory,” he replied. “What happened next?”

She took a sip of her drink and remembered.

Chapter 6


Sixteen months ago…

He didn't call the next day after the party.

Laura was disappointed, but as she was nursing a small hangover combined with jet-lag for most of her Sunday morning, she wasn't too devastated. She figured he was probably in the same boat. She kept her phone on her for the whole day as she explored the area near her hotel once she felt up to walking.

It was only one day and a hungover day at that. Plus, maybe his business still needed his help. She wasn't sure what he did for W Motors, but he seemed important.

She woke up early Monday morning, eager to enjoy her last day in California. Today they were supposed to go rock climbing, and she hoped to have another fantastic time together. Her flight home was at noon on Tuesday, so today was really her only day. She checked her messages and voicemail twice before nine am, but there was, of course, nothing.

She sat down on the foot of her bed, staring at the phone. He said he'd call, but she was getting nervous he wouldn't.

“But,” she rationalized out loud, “he doesn't know that I'm leaving tomorrow. He might be following the appropriate 'wait three days' rule. I should just call him.”

The thought of hearing his voice sent shivers of desire up her spine. She closed her eyes and let herself remember the feel of his touch. She was going to be remembering just how good he felt for months, she could already tell. Hopefully, though, she would have some new touches to add to her memory banks.

She opened her eyes, took a deep breath, and dialed his number.

It rang twice.

“Hello?” A female voice answered.

Laura wasn't quite ready for that, so she ended up stuttering a little.

“Um, hi. Is Ethan there?” Laura felt like she was back in elementary school trying to call the boy she liked for the homework assignment and talking to his mother instead.

“No. May I ask who is calling?” the voice replied.

“This is Laura. We met at the Christmas party.” Laura smiled so her voice would sound friendly.

“He's very busy right now,” the voice informed her.

“Oh, okay,” Laura said, sagging a little. “Is there a time I could call back? Who am I speaking with, by the way?”

“This is his secretary,” the voice replied. “And there isn't a good time until the end of this month.”

“Oh.” Laura bit her lip. Whatever emergency had kept him from calling must have been worse than she thought. “Could you tell him I called? And, if he gets time, to call me?”

“This is Laura from the party at the museum, right?” the secretary asked.

“Yes, it is.”

The woman on the other end sighed like she was about to do something she really didn't want to do.

“I'm really sorry, sweetheart, but he's just not interested. He doesn't want to see you again. He said he'd call because it's the polite thing to do, but...” The secretary paused. “But, he told me to tell you if you called that he doesn't want you to call him ever again.”

The words hit Laura like a slap in the face. “What? That doesn't make any sense...”

“Sweetheart, I'm trying to spare you the details of what he told me. The things he said about you were not kind. I'm letting you down gently. Ethan doesn't want to see you again.” The secretary's voice was calm and overly sweet. It made Laura want to throw up.

“But, but...”

“I'm to tell you that if you call this number again, he will sue you for harassment,” the secretary continued. “I'm really sorry, sweetie. He does this all the time to girls. Just forget you ever met him and move on.”

“I don't understand...” In her mind, she could see his easy smile, the light in his eyes. He'd been so warm and wonderful. Hurt blossomed in her chest. She'd been tricked.

The secretary sighed again. “He called you a fat bimbo in a skanky dress,” she announced. “He called you an easy lay that he'd regret tomorrow.”

“He did?” Laura couldn't imagine those words coming out of his mouth.

“He did. I hate telling girls the things he says about them because they are never nice. There was more, but I think you get the picture.”

“Oh.” Laura didn't know what to say.

“I'm really sorry, sweetie. I am,” the secretary replied. “But for your own good, don't call back, okay? Just pretend you lost his number and forget it ever happened. That's my advice.”