Fool For Romance, Chapter 8

      Work for the next week was busy, but boring. I only mention it because I was doing something besides sitting around my house waiting for people to call. Shannon still hadn’t told me what was upsetting her, so I had let the subject drop.
      Evan called me at work on Friday and asked me if I wanted to go to lunch with him, he promised that he would keep his hands to himself, and he would even to an interview for a future article if I wanted to. Bribery can get me to do many things, besides, he was putting his best foot forward and at least trying this truce thing, I agreed and he was going to pick me up a little before 12. I told Melvin I was going to have a working lunch so I was going to take extra time. Melvin shrugged his shoulders, with two people doing the same job, it became really easy, I think Melvin actually napped on his lunch break.
      And wouldn’t you know it, Greg called as if on cue. He had shown up at my apartment the night before unannounced with a bouquet of flowers and apologized for his behavior, again. He blamed it on the stress of acclimating to his new job as mayor, and meshing it in with his case load at his law firm. But back to what he called about. He wanted to know if I would have lunch with him. I sit alone for 4 days, and suddenly I am getting invitations left and right. I declined, I told him I was having lunch with an acquaintance. He didn’t need to know I was going to lunch with Evan, I told myself it was none of his business. Greg seemed a little annoyed when I turned him down.
      I waited outside of the building for Evan shortly before noon. He pulled up in a new black vw jetta , which was a nice car, not overly ostentatious, like Greg’s jeep. I wasn’t comparing. I was just remarking how well the car fit Evan’s personality. Evan looked like he was dressed for business in a blue dress shirt with a straight collar and black dress pants.
      He didn’t tell me where we were going until he drove up to a small Italian restaurant just a couple of blocks down. Evan grabbed a long canister from the back seat after he parked the car. “Just a little business, you don’t mind do you?”
      “Nope,” We entered the restaurant and hostess seated us after Evan told her who he was, and that the owner had expected him. After we ordered lunch the owner, Anthony Giovanni came out of the kitchen and introduced himself to me, as Evan shook his hand. The two men then cleared a near by table and spread out the plans that were in the canister. Evan motioned for me to look at them also, which I did. The plan was for a renovation of that restaurant, which called for it to be gutted of the 70’s remodel and returned to the original architecture of the building, which was a 1920’s Victorian brownstone. It looked to be a very ambitious project, but the owner seemed to have faith in Evan, as an architect. The owner excused himself, when our waiter arrived with our food. “So this is what you do?” I asked him as I crunched on my salad.
      “Sort of.”He started out brief, but once he saw that I was interested he let his entire emotions overwhelm him. I could tell that Evan loved what he did. He loved to take an old building and make it like it use to be when it first was built. He loved to design new homes, he also loved to see it come to life, and help build it with his own hands. He was happy to do what he so enjoyed. If I didn’t have Melvin to go back to the office to, I would have been envious. “Well, I'm glad that you are happy with your occupational decision.” I said. “Does this mean you will be moving back here permanently?” I must have asked it with a trepidation in my voice because he responded, “Don’t worry, I will be moving on once the first couple houses are complete, probably about this time next year, hopefully.”
      My heart went out to him a little, not too much, but a little, “What about this project, give me the particulars.”
      “Well some investors and I bought up some of the old Lehman farm land east of town, and we went to the council to see about getting it zoned for residential, suburban use. We are going to build a few model houses, so people can pick an architecture style, and hopefully people will want to build new homes.”
      “So you won’t be designing the homes personally?” I should of had my tape recorder with me.
      “Yes I will be, sort of. If a problem arises, I will be there to fix it, and if an owner should want a custom design, I would do it, but I won’t be designing each individual house in the development.” he wasn’t happy about the last part.
      “So you pretty much are just using a mold and mass producing houses.” I said.
      “Not exactly. There are choices and options.” He sounded less enthused about it as he went on. I watched him trying to come up with a good answer.”I sound kind of ridiculous don’t I?”
      “No,” I said gently. “it’s just a lot to think about.” I decided to change the subject before he started bawling. “So what are you going to do after this project?”
      “I dunno. I am being contracted to design a couple of office buildings out west.” he shrugged. “I hope you don’t quote me.”
      “Oh don’t worry, I will.” we finished the meal chatting about the newspaper then he took me back to the paper. Before I got out of his car, he grabbed my hand and said, “I was a gentleman, don’t I at least get a demure peck on the cheek?”
      Okay, he was good, he did flirt with me, but he didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all. It had been a very enjoyable lunch, so I leaned over and gave him a chaste kiss on the lips. “That wasn’t a kiss” he said when I was done. “Well that’s all you are going to get, so be happy with it.” He clasped my arm in his hand as his head descended over mine. The kiss started gently, coaxing me to want and to give more, which I did opening my mouth to let his tongue penetrate and mate with my own. This wasn’t a rushed kiss, that would burn out before the passion began. This was a slow smoldering seductive kiss that would lead to much much more. I broke the kiss when I realized that it was going to far. “One of these days I am going to finish what I start.” he said. I opened the passenger’s side door wondering at his words. “Thanks for lunch,” I pushed the door closed and turned on my heel to enter the lobby of the newspaper. I wasn’t pleased about Evan’s kiss, but I wasn’t overly rot about it.
      As I entered the large plate glass doors I was met with an image I was totally unprepared for. Greg was standing in the lobby next to the elevators. He was too far from the doors to see what had happened in the car, but I could see he wasn’t happy with me despite that. He seized my arm in a vice like grip, which hurt. As the elevator doors opened he almost shoved me into the empty car, as they closed I was suddenly terrified. “Who did you go out to lunch with?” he demanded. Keeping my resolve I didn’t say anything. The news office was on the fifth floor, and I moved to push the 5 button on the panel.
      “Fine don’t tell me,” he said, very calmly, too calmly. “I will find out and you won’t see him again.”
      I was livid, and unable to keep my big mouth shut. “You can’t do that.” I shouted. “This is my job, if you don’t like it, you can find someone else to harass.”
      He held me tightly, by my forearms almost picking me off of the floor. “I just might do that, then who will you screw over for fun?” He thundered into my face, just as the elevator stopped and the doors opened. He let me down gently, because he now had an audience. I stumbled out of the elevator with mixed feelings of angry, fear and guilt. Yes guilt, if I hadn’t gone out with Evan, Greg wouldn’t have gotten angry. One of my co-workers who had witnessed the position Greg had me in before he let me go took me to the canteen and gave me a large cup of water and told me to relax. After the news had circulated to Melvin he told me to take the rest of the day off. I made him promise not to mention this incident in the paper. He nodded, but I could tell that the old man was furious, I'm pretty sure he was the one who called Harry who in turn called Shannon who rushed home from school.
      “Are you all right.” she asked she burst in through the door, like a mother lion protecting her cub.
      “I’m fine, it was just a little incident. I was shook up, but now I am fine, I don’t know why everyone is so upset.” This really puzzled me because Greg didn’t do that much wrong, what was everyone’s big deal.
      “Are you sure.” Shannon asked me, like if I wasn’t sure if my arm was broken. I nodded, and she seemed a little relieved. “If something would have happened to you, I would have felt so guilty.”
      Now I could see that Shannon was really upset about this, “Why would you feel guilty. You didn’t do anything. I was the one who went out to lunch and ruined Greg’s plans not you.
      She sat down next to me and hugged me. “I knew something wasn’t right on Sunday when Greg left all those messages on the machine. I wish I had saved them, but I knew they would only upset you, and I didn’t know how you felt about Greg, so I erased them.” Now this was getting very interesting.
      “Why would they have upset me?” Shannon wasn’t being as forth coming as she usually was.
      “Well they progressively got worse and he started calling you a slut and how he knew you were out with Evan, and were probably sleeping with him behind his back.” I inhaled deeply. I made up my mind then and there. “I’m not going to see him again. I don’t care if he calls and apologizes, I don’t want to talk to him, do you understand?”
      Shannon nodded, “I think you are doing the right thing. I just don’t believe Greg would have said and done those things.” I shrugged. It appeared there was a lot of things I didn’t know about Greg, too bad I didn’t want to find anymore out.

Chapter 9
Writing/ Pictures/ Linx