Fool For Romance, Chapter 16

      Never let it be said that I am a smart, weak, or safe individual, because that would be a lie. I knew it would be a very big risk to do what I was doing, which was flying to New York City, a place that I really don’t like, because of the loud noises and obnoxious people, I should have fit right in. I was in JFK airport struggling to get out with my wits intact but that at the moment wasn’t happening. All this to come see Evan, and tell him I loved him.
      Harry had made all the arrangements while I fawned a headache and had mom take me home.
      When I got home I threw some clothes in an overnight bag and hurried to the small airport. Fortunately for me there was a flight leaving for New York in about twenty minutes and Harry had booked me a seat on it. He had even arranged for someone to meet me at the airport and take me to Evan’s apartment.
      I saw that person holding a sign with my name on it. He introduced himself as Chuck and he would be my driver, He offered to take my overnight bag and the canister, but I told him that I would be okay. Chuck then ushered me into a sedate black limousine. Well at least I was going in style. I reminded myself to thank Harry later.
      Chuck brought us to what I thought looked like a pretty rough section of the city, but Chuck assured me that it was pretty nice. I have no idea what buro we were in, or what island. I didn’t pay that much attention, all I knew I was minutes away from seeing Evan which was a good thing because I was about to burst. Chucked stopped in front of a decent building that looked like it came out of the city of Gotham. I told Chuck to wait for me, because I wasn’t sure Evan was home or not, and I didn’t want to be stuck here. I left my bag in the car as well as the canister in the car, didn’t want to be encumbered by them at first.
      The doorman, a fierce looking old guy who looked as if he should have been a soldier wouldn’t let me up the elevator until he called Evan. No matter how much I told him it was a surprise, he wouldn’t budge. So I conceded. And Randall the doorman called Evan.
      “Mr. Johanson, there is a woman down here to see you.” Randall paused. “What’s your name again Miss?”
      “Miranda Olivia James,” I ground out. I was not being amused by Randall.
      Randall smiled and hung up the phone. “Mr. Johanson said to let you up.”
      “Well, isn’t that CONVENIENT!” I shouted at the doorman. “Now which apartment is his?”
      “1201, that’s on the 12th floor Miss James.” He was smiling, and if I could have gotten away with it, I would have slugged him. “Okay, I will be right back I have to get me things.” I rushed out of the lobby and thanked Chuck for waiting, I also gave him a tip, which made him smile even more. I went back in the lobby and Randall was eying me as if I were a country bumpkin. I looked down at my coat over my t-shirt and jeans and shrugged. I was in a hurry.
      It would figure that the building only had 12 floors and Evan’s apartment would be at the end of a long hallway. But that was good, it gave me some time to prepare what I was going to say. Something along the lines of ‘Hi, I love you, let’s have sex.’ I know I couldn’t say that, but those were the only words that came to my mind.
      Evan was waiting, he was leaning against the back wall of the hall, arms folded over his chest. He looked very much like the night that Harry reintroduced us. His dark hair was in spiky waves, and he had to my surprise a pair of oval glasses perched on his nose. He looked like a businessman from the dress shirt khaki pants and wing tip loaffers. Again he wasn’t wearing a tie. My heart skipped a beat.
      “Well?” was the only thing he asked me when I got down the hallway.
      I was tongue tied. “Since when do you wear glasses?” was the only thing that I could get out.
      “Since I had bad eyesight.” He led me into his apartment, which to my surprise was decorated nicely. I actually didn’t know what to expect. I never planned on being here or coming to the city so I never really formulated what Evan’s domain would look like. This was a refreshing surprise. Everything was cut in a modern clean cut Fen shwey motif. I felt out of place looking at it. I am not as urbane as I would like to think. I was looking out over the living room when I stopped dead in my tracks. There sitting on what I assume was a coach, or love seat thinge was a very attractive, very posh very sophisticated woman. Her blond hair was done up in a sleek twist and her makeup looked flawless, her micro mini and fitted jacket were ones I would have liked and chosen for myself if I didn’t instantly want to scratch out her eyes.
      She looked up me with a condescending gaze and I suddenly felt very self conscious about the bruise on my face, and the cast on my arm, and the fact that I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I should have been better prepared for such a confrontation, all I could think of was, I shouldn’t have come here.
      “Beverly, I want you to meet that person I was talking about, Miranda James. Randy this is one of my partners at my architecture firm, Beverly Richards.”
      Beverly offered her hand to shake, of course my right hand was in a cast, which made me feel even more uncomfortable. Okay, for all my cynicalness and obnoxiousness this was one situation I couldn’t handle and good sweet sophisticated Beverly was playing it to a tee.
      “My gosh Evan, offer the poor dear a drink. Where are your manners.” She ordered Evan around as if she owned him.
      Evan for all he was worth smiled at me he knew instantly what Beverly was trying to do, and said “No, Randy is on medication right now. Alcohol and pain pills don’t mix.”
      “If this is a bad time...” I couldn’t finish the sentence. Evan wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and kissed the top of my head, which was clearly possessive. “No, I don’t think so, you aren’t going anywhere, Beverly was just leaving. Weren’t you Bev?” Evan said. If Beverly could have killed me with her glare, I would have been stone cold dead right there in Evan’s arms.
      The tall blond moved to collect her purse, and said a muted good bye to Evan, I unfortunately didn’t get a salutation. Oh well. Score one for Randy. I won the battle, by chance, but not the war which had just come to head.
      Once Beverly was gone Evan swung me gently and pushed me on the coach that Beverly had just vacated. “Now Miss Miranda James, I think you can tell me what you are doing here and I hope it wasn’t just to drop in and make sure I was behaving.”
      “I know what you are going to say, I shouldn’t have come here and I am sorry if I interrupted something with Miss ramrod, but I had some answers to some questions of my own.” I was getting angry.
      “Yes, and these questions are...?” Evan sat on the square coffee table across from me waiting for me to say something.
      My temper was rising, “Am I just your pet project that you have when you are roughing it in the boondocks? Something to occupy your animal lusts until you get back to the city and to Beverly?”
      Evan started to rub his temples. “You honestly think I that little of me?”
      I was having an internal battle, my romantic side wanted to shout NO, while I verbalized my cynical side, “Yes,”
      “You didn’t come all the way here to argue with me about Beverly, who by the way I am not having an affair with, nor have I ever, but that’s not how she would want it. And you’re not my pet project, your my only ‘project.’”
      “Are you sure.” I said defensively. I wasn’t thinking logically either. “I think I would know if I was fucking someone else.” he said bluntly.
      “You don’t have to be vulgar.” I said, I was now pouting. Evan opened the canister I took out the original plans for the Lehman house. “Where did you get these?” he asked surprised.
      “City Hall, it’s your Christmas present.” I said stubbornly but also with a hint of pride .
      “Thank you. I will cherish them always.” He leaned over to give me a kiss, I however was still mad and pushed him away.
      “Well, are you going to tell me.”
      “Tell you what?” he was confused.
      “Don’t play stupid. I had dinner with Aunt Lindy and you know how forth coming she is with information.” he still had no idea what I was getting at.” Evan, Harry told me about the Lehman house, actually Aunt Lindy did, but I had to force Harry to tell me.”
      “Oh that.” Evan was suddenly on the spot.
      “You see, I pointed out that I thought it was funny when I asked Harry if had any old blueprints of buildings in the area that could let me have, he gave me the one for the Lehman house. And that was odd because you just bought the Lehman house, now if you were leaving the area after oh, a year, why would you buy a house?” I glared at him.
      “I wanted to tell you.” he started out.
      “Well why didn’t you tell me that you bought it?”
      This time he glared at me, he moved to sit beside me on the sofa. “I believe I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want to talk about it, you kept brushing me off.” he accused. “Why did you do that?”
      I was sheepish. “I didn’t want you to tell me how this was just a casual affair, and you would be leaving after you were done with your project because you hate it there.”
      “You really thought that?” He said brushing the hairs out of my face that had fallen out of my pony tail. I nodded. “You don’t think too highly of me, do you?”
      “What do you expect? Instant gulibility?”
      “It couldn’t hurt.”
      “I can’t help it, it my cynical side’s fault.” I was only telling the truth, I didn’t want to be hurt again. I couldn’t be.
      “Well, could you just this once believe that I had the best of intentions?” He pleaded.
      “Okay, I will give you the benefit of the doubt.” Relief flashed over his face.
      “I bought the Lehman house because...” He suddenly stopped, “If you talked to Harry, which I presume was more like a bulldozer on your part, you already knew, so why come all this way to ask me, you could have asked me on the phone.” he pointed out, and he had me there.
      “Well, why shouldn’t I want to come see where you live? is it some sort of secret?” I tried to retreat, but he was backing me into a corner.
      “No, but you still would have called first, you wouldn’t travel here on the spur of the moment to just ask me why I bought a house, unless...” He stopped again.
      He knew, it was written all over his face, the tell all smile gave it away, and I was going to have to admit it. “Fine, I will tell you why I flew up here, stupid as it was.” I couldn’t find the words, and I was suddenly gulping for air like a fish out of water, anxiety doesn’t help in this sort of situation.
      Evan took me into his lap and calmed me down like an over excited child. “I will tell you why I bought the Lehman house, if you tell me that you love me.” he gave me the easiest option of all. I of course being the pig headed individual that I am didn’t take it.
      “That is bribery.” I accused.
      “Yes, but I think you can handle it.” he reassured me.
      “Fine, I love you,” I grudgingly admitted threw gritted teeth.
      “Oh that makes me what to throw my arms up and weep,” Evan joked. “Try it one more time, this time like you mean it.”
      “Are you enjoying this?”I said snidely.
      “Like you wouldn’t if I said it first.” Evan pointed out what I wanted him to do just minutes ago. “Well you could say it once then were are even.” “No. That wasn’t the deal.” Evan argued.
      “Deal? Why don’t you just a say it, you do don’t you?” I questioned him.
      “Yes, but it wasn’t part of the deal.” he wouldn’t budge as if this were a face off at the OK corral.
      “Evan, I love you, with all my heart, and as Harry pointed out, we have always belonged together, so why don’t you just spit it out before I burst, and do something drastic.” I guess the determination in my eyes convinced him.
      “I love you Miranda, and I have always loved you.” he pledged. “Oh you did not.” I still had to argue on some level.
      “What happened to this benefit of the doubt thing?”
      “Fine.” I kissed him, closing the discussion. “Now, about the Lehman house.”
      “Well, you want me to tell you a story?”
      “Okay...” I had no idea where he was going with this one. He jumped up suddenly and opened the canister with the blueprints in it. He spread them out of the large coffee table then motioned for me to sit with him while he told his story.
      “Okay, “ I looked at the blue prints and was amazed that the house hadn’t been changed for at least 100 years.
      Evan pointed to the large room in the front of the house which was the parlor or living room “this is the place where we are going to buy a nice comfy sofa and you can tell me about your hard day at work while we snuggle together.” He pointed to the room on the other side of the living room. “And this will be our library and office, where I can do my architecture stuff, and you can work on you book.” His finger moved towards the back of the house. “This will our dining room, where we can buy a nice huge table to seat all our family.” His hand moved to the kitchen, “You know what we do there.” He had a devious smile to his face. “and this will be out little mud room,” He moved to the upstairs portion of the house. He pointed the master suite, “You also know what we will do there. This will be our daughter’s room, she will like the view and it is out of the way of the apple tree so she won’t use it to sneak out.” My smile was instantaneous. “And this will be our son’s room.” He pointed to the stairs, “And I will carry you up these on our wedding night.”
      I was almost sobbing. “That’s a nice story Johanson, but don’t you have to propose first?”
      “No, I just planned to haul you off to a preacher and have it done with.” He said sarcastically, “Stay right there. I will be right back.” he disappeared to somewhere in the apartment, but was back with in a minute. “I was going to wait and give this to you for Christmas, but since you gave me my present.” He opened a ring case with a modest diamond ring in it. Just like him, it wasn’t overly ostentatious, and I loved it. “Will you marry me Miranda James?”
      I put the ring on and it was a perfect fit. Yes I know how perfect that would be, but I deduced later that Shannon had given him my ring size, probably the same time she told him my favorite ice cream flavor, but at the time I thought it was fate.
      I looked down at the plans, “You know, what if we have more kids that just those two?”
      “Well,” Evan wrapped his arms around me as he sat behind me. “I guess I will have to build you more rooms.” he had it all figured out. “See, we can do an edition of the back of the house, maybe add on to the kitchen and maybe a new Master suite.
      “No, I think I like our Master suite.”
      “Okay.” He kissed me on my neck before he started explaining more of his plans and the life we were going to build together, and it was a truly special dream.

Writing/ Pictures/ Linx