I walk into the kitchen the next morning to see Ray standing and drinking his coffee, flicking through the newspaper.
He looks up and smiles, "Morning. How are you? Slept well?" Leaning over he kisses my forehead.
He nods, smiling. "Great. By the way, who dropped in last night? You couldn't have finished half a bottle of wine on your own."
"Why?" I ask, raising my eyebrows.
He chuckles, "I know you Chloe. You wouldn't have it by yourself."
I watch as a huge smile spreads across his face. "Jacob was here huh?"
Shrugging I hop onto the stool. "Yeah, he did. And before you say anything I had no idea he was going to."
Ray chuckles, "I believe you." He watches me for a moment before asking. "How was it?"
I grin, "great!"
He smiles, "That's good."
I sigh happily, remembering last night. "Ray?"
"Yeah?" He asks, looking back down at his paper.
"He kissed me last night."
Ray slowly lifts his head up, his mouth open in surprise.
"Really?" I nod and he grins. "How was it?"
Blushing, I glance away. "Great."
Ray chuckles, "No details please! But you're happy right?"
"Then that's all that matters."
"Did you text Amelia?" I ask as he heads to his room after breakfast.
Ray stops in the middle of the hallway and slowly turns around, frowning. "Did I have to?"
"Well, normally yeah. She'd like to know that you enjoyed it and all the next morning."
"I think we made that clear last night." He chuckles and I laugh.
"Yeah that's true. You guys are different."
He raises an eyebrow, "But Chlo do I have to?"
I shrug, "It's better if you do."
He nods, "Alright," before walking into his room.
My bakery is the one place I feel at peace in when I'm nervous so that's where I go.
"Someone's glowing today," Tarek comments joining me at the counter up front.
I shoot him a smile, "I'm just happy."
He grins, "And it has everything to do with Jacob." He states and chuckles as I elbow him.
"It's getting colder isn't it?" I ask, watching the trees blowing in the wind outside.
"Yup and that's great for us. It's increased our night customers by a lot."
I chuckle, looking up at him. "How's everything?"
He smiles, "Great." I nod, glancing around at the bakery. "You've got a date tonight right?"
"Yup." I turn to face him, raising my eyebrows. "Fancy."
"How loaded is this guy?" Tarek asks, leaning on his elbow. When I shrug, he tilts his head to the side. "What does he do?"
"He's a financial manager."
"Uh.." I frown. I've never asked have I? "I'm not sure."
Tarek shrugs, "Either way, finance managers get paid a ton."
Tarek nods and then smiles. "So you're going to be spoiled huh?"
I laugh, "I don't know about that!"
"You deserve it anyway."
"I do huh?" I raise an eyebrow and he winks.
"More than anyone."
When I reach home, I'm greeted with a note from Ray. He's gone grocery shopping but promises to be home before I leave.
Smiling I head into my room to dress. Remembering Jacob's warning of it being fancy, I pull out my olive green halter top dress. It's got a very intricately designed gold and green. sash right below my chest, going right around. I'll probably freeze but it'll be worth it.
I'm just putting the last touches to my makeup when the bell rings. I glance at the clock thinking it might be Jacob but then hear the key in the lock.
It's Ray, at last.
"I'm in here!" I call, as I'm putting on mascara.
"I'll be right there!" Ray appears a minute later and whistles. "Look at you, beautiful!"
"Do you think so?" I twirl around in front of him and he nods.
"Yes! Without a doubt!"
I grin, "Thanks Ray-Ray."
Slipping on a gold bangle, I step back to check out my outfit one last time before slipping on my gold heels.
"It's cold outside you know?"
I shrug, turning to him sitting on the bed. "Yeah but I can't do anything. We'll be inside the restaurant most of the time anyway."
He nods, "True."
"So have you heard anything from Amelia?"
Ray smiles, "We've been talking on and off all day."
Sitting down beside him, I squeeze his hand, genuinely happy for him. "That's great!"
Ray opens his mouth to say something just as the bell rings and his grin turns into a smirk.
"Do you want me to give lover boy the once over?"
I shove him down before standing up. "No thanks. I'm going."
"This I've got to see! I cannot miss his reaction to you."
I roll my eyes, grabbing my gold clutch before heading to the front door.
I glance at myself in the elevator mirror to make sure my tie's straight and all. Tonight is important.
I have no idea what this girl's done to me. She occupies most of my thoughts, I find myself wondering what choice she would make, how she would react at times. Walking into Little Miracles has become a daily routine for me. I can't imagine not doing that next week.
Sighing, I ring the doorbell.
I'm going to make sure she has a great time tonight.
I smile as the door opens but the smile just slips off as I take in the magnificent sight in front of me.
I gulp, my throat suddenly dry.
Yeah I told Chloe to dress fancy but... I take in a deep breath, forcing on a smile.
She looks gorgeous.
God help me.
I take in every inch of her from her curled hair to her green toenails, the color matching the exact shade of her dress.
"Hi," she smiles, making my breath stop again.
Get a grip Jacob.
From the corner of my eye I see some movement and I'm able to wrench my eyes away from her to see Ray leaning in the doorway to a room at the back.
He grins, "Hey!"
"Hi. What's up?" I nod towards him before my eyes trail back over to Chloe. "Are you ready?"
"Yup." Glancing over her shoulder she lifts a hand up to Ray. "See you later."
She steps out of the apartment, pulling the door closed behind her and I lead the way to the elevator. Once inside, I glance over at Chloe to see her staring fixedly at the screen above the door, telling us which floor we're descending. Crap. I didn't say she looks wonderful, did I?
Way to go Jacob. Not everyone reads eyes and even if they do they need to hear it. Internally kicking myself, I turn to her.
"Chloe?" She turns to me and I get lost in her eyes for a moment. Reaching over, I brush my fingertips against her cheek. "You look.." I shake my head, "I'm lost for words and that doesn't happen often."
I feel the skin beneath my fingers heat up as she glances away.
I chuckle, "No thank YOU. I'm going to be so proud to be escorting the most beautiful woman ever."
She gently moves her face away, blushing and smiling, I drop my hand. Once we've reached the ground floor, I step out and lead her towards my car, wondering what her reaction is going to be to this car.
I was actually pleased that she loved my black Porsche, my first expensive car. It's like my baby, one of the few things in life I go out of my way to keep perfect.
I lead her to the yellow convertible and watch as her lips part.
"How many cars have you got over here?" She looks at me, raising an eyebrow.
"Just the two." I press the button to unlock the door and then hold it open for her.
"How did you get both of them here?" She asks as I buckle up next to her.
"Um... I just bought this here recently."
"Of course." She replies and I turn to read her expression but she's looking around. Pulling out of the parking lot, I hit the road, the engine making a soft purr as I push down on the accelerator. "So did you get the contract you told me about on Thursday for catering to that company?"
Chloe sighs, turning to look at me. "No not yet. We haven't heard a word."
I shoot her a smile. "Don't worry, they're just trying to let all the others down gently before they give it to you. I mean, how could Little Miracles not win?"
A chuckle escapes her lips and I glance at her to see a smile curving her beautiful lips.
Beautiful delicious lips.
I quickly turn back to the road before I get lost in her gaze.
"When's your flight tomorrow?"
A sigh escapes my lips as I cast a fleeting glance at her. "I'm not sure. Early morning. My boarding pass is in the dashboard."
She reaches forward and opens it.
"Departure is at 7:45 am."
"Jacob Skyes. Your birthday is on the 18th of April?" She raises her eyebrows, looking up at me.
"Oh. You're 32?" I watch her, keeping an eye on the traffic signal at the same time. Chloe wrinkles her nose, making me smile. "You're old."
"Just you wait a few more years." I tease her and she turns up her nose, holding her chin up.
"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm closer to my teens than you!"
I laugh and turn just in time to see the light turn green.
As I pull into the parking in front of The Phoenix I glance at Chloe. She's looking around, taking in everything.
"Is this your first time here?" I ask, sitting back in my seat.
"Yeah," she glances at me for a fleeting moment. "It is."
I watch her for as she looks around, craning her neck to get everything.
"Yeah?" She turns to me, but there's something off.
"Yeah I'm fine." She smiles.
Frowning I watch as she looks around again.
"Chloe, are you sure?"
"Yes," she smiles at me. I don't know her well enough but I do know that smile isn't genuine.
"Really? If you're uncomfortable we could go somewhere else. I really don't mind."
She turns to me, this time her beautiful smile lighting up her face.
"I'm alright! I promise."
Her hand finds mine and she squeezes it.
"Now come on. Let's go."
Smiling, I turn off the engine and get out, hurrying around the car to hold the door for her.
The meal is great. Chloe's a bit fidgety at first but by the time we've ordered she's fine. I do whatever I can to make her smile and laugh, anything to ease her discomfort.
"Whoa!" She chuckles as the waiter places our dessert in front of us and leaves. "The dessert is bigger in quantity than the whole meal!"
I chuckle, "I know. This is why I opted for sharing."
"And I'm glad I listened." She smiles before picking up her spoon. "Shall we?"
I smile, watching as she takes the first bite. She's so comfortable being herself. I love that about her.
Once I've settled the check, I lead her out to the terrace. There are other couples out as well but it's big enough that we can have our own privacy.
"It's beautiful!" Chloe exclaims, leaning against the railings and looking out across the lit city.
"I know." I stand beside her but I'm not looking at the same sight as her. She glances up and catches me watching her and blushes.
"Why do you consider Kingston your home?" She asks a few minutes later.
"Well, I grew up there. That's where my mother lives." I turn my head towards her, watching as she nods.
"Oh I see."
"What about you?"
"I was born in Montreal, my parents live in Ottawa. I visit whenever I can. After uni, Ray and I decided to try our luck here and we fell in love with Brampton so we decided to stay."
"Do you like to travel?"
"You know, it's always been one of my ambitions to see the world," she turns to me, smiling. "But after college I saved every cent for my bakery and now..." She shakes her head, smiling. "I can't leave it. Not only because of the responsibility but I can't bare to part from it."
"I can imagine," I answer, watching her. Feeling the pride I always do when I speak of her bakery. "To fulfill your life's dream must be something so... fantastic. You must feel so powerful."
Chloe laughs, the soft musical sound tumbling out of her lips. "That's one way of putting it, yes. What about you? What's your dream?"
I sigh, "My dream... Hmm good question."
She chuckles, "Unless I'm intruding of course. You can keep it to yourself."
I smile, "Of course not! Well, I've got my dream job nailed down."
"Finance." Chloe makes the most adorable face ever and I just stare at her in wonder. How can one woman look so bloody wonderful?
I chuckle, "It's my dream Stevens, don't hate."
She throws me a grin. "Wouldn't dream of it."
My eyes refuse to move away from hers as she turns away. A cool breeze blows towards us and she closes her eyes, the breeze blowing through her hair. A breathtakingly beautiful sight.
As she shivers, I straighten up and start removing my coat.
"You must be freezing."
"No Jacob, I'm fine."
"I'm not taking no as an answer." I murmur, draping it over her shoulders. Instead of moving back to my spot, I place my hands on either sides of her in front of us on the railing. "I'm hoping you enjoyed tonight."
"I did." Chloe looks up at me and I smile.
"I hope you weren't too uncomfortable. I wouldn't have minded going somewhere else Chloe. As long as you were with me, anywhere would have been fine. I just wanted to bring you somewhere special."
She smiles up at me, "I had fun Jacob, honest. And it is special," she turns away, shyly. "You were with me."
I close my eyes for a second processing her words, my heart flying.
"Yeah?" She doesn't turn around, but for the moment, her back pressed into my chest is enough.
"There's something I need to ask you."
I take in a deep breath, quietly. "Will you be my girlfriend?"
She freezes under my arms and after a few seconds I swallow, hard.
Chloe turns around slowly in my arms and when her eyes lock with mine, they're shining.
"I'd love to."
I smile, a sigh of relief escaping my lips before I lean in and press my lips to hers. Something I've been aching to do all night.
Chloe's hands rest against my chest as she kisses me back, her soft warm lips moving in sync with mine. I wrap an arm around her waist, holding her up against me, reveling in the excitement surging through my body.
When I reluctantly pull away from her, she looks up at me, a small smile on her lips.
"Ready to go home?" I ask softly, brushing a lock of her hair behind her ear.
"No, but yes."
Chuckling, I press my forehead against hers, looking into her beautiful eyes.
"I know what you mean."
I adjust my coat over her shoulders so that it's covering her as much as it can and then taking her hand, lead her through the restaurant and out into the parking. The drive home is silent but there's a sort of tension building up. I don't know if it's just me or Chloe can feel it too.
The first time I'd mentioned I was leaving she hadn't really reacted... much. Yeah, I'd completely killed the mood but I didn't know how she felt about it. But as it kept being brought up throughout the week I saw that if anything at all she did care, at least a tiny bit.
I hold her hand throughout the drive and when I pull into the parking of her building, I lean back in my seat and turn and look at her.
"Would you like me to drive you to the airport?" She asks quietly, looking up at me.
I shake my head, smiling. "No thanks. I'll catch a cab. It's a Sunday, you sleep in."
"I'm not sure if I'll be able to."
Lifting up the hand that's encasing hers, I rub the back of my hand down her cheek, watching her eyes flutter close.
"I'll call everyday whenever I can." I murmur as she opens her eyes and looks at me. "And you too. I don't want you to hesitate. Call whenever you want alright? Whether you want something or just want to talk, just call me. Don't think that I might be busy and leave it for later. Alright?"
"Okay." She nods, smiling. She glances at the clock and then back at me. "You should go."
Sighing, I don't reply, not moving my eyes from hers. It's a few minutes later that I force myself to gently let go of her hand and unbuckle my belt, getting out of the car.
She's already getting out when I reach her side so wrapping an arm around her waist, I push the door closed.
The lobby is quiet, our footsteps echoing as we walk towards the elevator. As it starts to elevate, Chloe removes my coat from her shoulders and folding it, holds it out to me. I drape it over my arm and at the same time pull her closer. A quick glance at the screen above the doors confirms we haven't reached her floor yet so I wrap my arm around her waist tighter and lean in and press my lips to hers.
At her door, Chloe looks up at me through her eyelashes and it's like I'm punched in my stomach. The amount of emotion shining in her eyes makes me weak and tilting her face up, I first softly brush my mouth against hers before pressing my lips harder.
She turns around completely, her fingers weaving themselves through my hair and tugging my head down closer to her. I hold her up against me and a moan escapes my lips when she slides one of her hands down the back of my neck.
God. What is she doing to me?
When we pull away, she doesn't let me move too far, allowing me to raise my head high enough to press against her forehead. As we both breathe in, her eyes are locked on mine, watching every single one of my movements like I'm watching hers.
"Take care alright?" I run a finger down her cheek. "Don't work too hard."
She chuckles, pulling back, her hands falling down to my shoulders. "I should be telling you that."
I smile, "I'll try my best."
She leans in and kisses my cheek before stepping back. Turning towards the front door she retrieves her key from her clutch and unlocks the door.
"Good night Chloe."
"Night Jacob." Stepping inside, she turns to me and watches me for a few seconds before closing the door.
I sleep past my alarm and around 8 jolt awake, diving for my phone on the side table.
There's a missed call and text from Jacob.
"Morning beautiful hope you're sleeping well. We're just about to take off. I'll call you once I land in Victoria. Sweet dreams xox."
Smiling, I'm about to text back but then stop. He isn't going to see it anyway. My eyes are glued to my phone throughout the morning until Jacob calls. He's landed safely and I release a relieved breath.
I decide to stay home from the bakery. I'm sad at the thought that Jacob's not around but last night is still fresh in my mind so I'm not depressed. Yet.
After dinner though, around 9, I head over to my bakery. Ray's busy trying to finish a report before midnight and having a texting marathon with Amelia at the same time so I leave the house in his hands.
The chaos that greets me as I enter Little Miracles, freezes me in my tracks. The place is full. All the booths and tables are full and there are people standing on the side, waiting for an empty table. Plus the long line in front of the counter.
All of the waiters/waitresses are here tonight and even Alice and Darren are helping out.
"Good evening." I smile at a couple, regular customers, as I pass their table and they look up.
"Tarek! What's happening?" I ask, walking behind the counter.
He grins, "I told you our nights were busy nowadays."
"Wow, this is amazing!"
We watch as Foster takes in orders and bills the customers.
"Chloe! Your phone is ringing!"
I glance at my bag but Fran is already dragging me towards the kitchen. "No! The one in your office! Hurry!"
I quickly unlock my door and dive towards the ringing phone.
"Hello?" I say breathlessly.
"Speaking." I sit down on my chair, listening intently to the voice.
"Gregory Rush. You contacted us earlier this week about a catering contract."
"Yes." I bite my lip, my heart rate speeding up.
"Well I'm calling to confirm that you've got the contract. If you could just drop by tomorrow morning around 9 to sign the paperwork we would be set to begin."
I raise a hand to my open mouth. Oh. My. God.
"Yes of course. I'll be there tomorrow morning. 9."
"I'll see you then Ms. Stevens."
"Sure thing. Thank you."
I put down the phone and stare into space, excitement bubbling up inside me. This is so great! There were so many other restaurants trying out for this contract. Who wouldn't? One of the most prestigious companies in the city! And they've got so many conferences a month! And the pay!
This is going to open up so many opportunities for us. I need to tell Jacob. Rummaging through my bag, I pull out my phone to tell him the wonderful news...
The next morning I head into the bakery early so that I'm calm when I've got to go into the office. Heeding Jacob's advice, I'm taking Tarek in with me as a sort of witness and for support.
At 8:25, Tarek and I are just preparing to leave, the door opens and a delivery guy walks in with a huge beautiful bouquet of pink roses.
Tarek whistles. "I wonder where that's come from?" He asks, a smile tugging at his lips.
"Chloe Stevens?" The guy asks, looking at me.
"Yes." I sign on his clipboard before taking the bouquet. I bury my nose in the flowers, taking in their fragrance before I spot the note.
I told you, you were going to get the contract. I'm so proud of you. Good luck today. Keep your head up and don't change your plans for their demands.
Biting my lip, I fold the paper and slip it into my pocket. My good luck charm.
"Come on lovebird. We got to go." Tarek says, chuckling.
"How was your day?"
I curl up under my blanket, listening to his voice.
"Good. The bakery's pretty busy nowadays. I had to head in early this morning. There were deliveries and I needed to be there to sign, so I spent the day there. You?"
"It was okay. Very busy but I still managed to get this certain brunette into my head and miss her."
I chuckle, "Really? Lucky girl."
"I know. She's pretty annoying actually. Always taking control of my thoughts but I don't know what to do!"
I blush even though he can't see me. I'm always on his mind?
"Well, I don't know the girl but she'd have to be pretty stupid not to be thinking about you too."
He chuckles, the low, sexy sound that makes my knees weak. "She isn't stupid but I'm not so sure."
"Either way, lucky girl."
"I know right?"
I laugh, "I never knew you were vain Skyes!"
"Only when I'm talking to you sweetheart."
"Oh really? And why is that?"
"I'm not sure. Maybe because I need to compete."
"What do you have to compete with?"
"The fact that you've achieved so much and I haven't?"
"Oh so being cocky balances that?"
"To a degree."
I laugh, sinking down into my pillows. "You've achieved loads of things Jacob! You don't need to compete with anything!"
"That's a relief!"
A week from the day Jacob left, the day before he's scheduled to arrive, I walk out of the kitchen to see Ray and Tarek standing off to the side of the counter, talking.
"What are you two gossiping about?" I ask, leaning across the counter from them.
"Uh... nothing." Tarek shoots me a smile.
I glance at Ray to see him biting his lip.
"What's up guys?"
"Nothing." Tarek once again shakes his head but Ray remains quiet.
He stares at me for a few seconds before sighing and turning to Tarek.
"Show it to her."
His expression slightly pained, Tarek pulls out a card from his pocket and slides it towards me.
"A waitress found this a week ago when she was cleaning the booth. I thought nothing about it but.."
When he trails away, I pull out the card from beneath his fingers.
Smithson West Co.
Chief Finance Officer
I gulp, trying to push my heart back down my throat.
Chief Finance Officer?
Why hasn't Jacob mentioned any of this?
Smithson West Co is the biggest most successful business in all of Canada. Taking in a deep breath, I look up to see Tarek and Ray watching me closely.
"Oh, Jacob's business card. He must have dropped it." I push it into my back pocket. "I need to get back to the kitchen guys."
Before any of them say anything, I turn around and rush away.
I stand in Chloe's bedroom doorway and immediately know she's not fine as she's been insisting to be. She doesn't even realize I'm here. Half an hour later, hearing the insistent ringing of her phone, I head to her room. I slowly push open her door to see that she's fallen asleep.
A look at her phone confirms my suspicions.
And it's his sixth call in the past half an hour.
Sighing I turn the ringer off her phone, not wanting it to wake her up.
Immediately though, my phone starts ringing.
Pulling it out I back out of my room.
"Ray? It's Jacob." He says, his voice sounding worried.
"Sorry to disturb you but do you have any idea where Chloe is?"
"Yeah. She's home. I was just checking on her, she's fallen asleep."
"Oh okay. She was fine right?"
"What do you mean?" I ask slowly.
"She wasn't unwell or anything today?"
"No, her health's fine."
"Okay thanks. It's just that I had meetings all day and I'd told her I'd call her now but she isn't answering. So I got worried."
"She's fine. Must have just been tired."
"Alright then. Thanks."
Hanging up, I walk back into Chloe's room. Sitting down on the bed by her side, I see her cheeks stained with tears.
I really do hate the world at times for making her cry.
Sighing, I gently lift her up and pull her blanket back. Sliding in beside her, I pull the cover over us. She needs a friend tonight if nothing else. I'm not letting her spend the night alone.
Replies to comments
Grace - Hey, hey! Welcome! Hahaha maybe I should.. Lol Thanks!
Praiser - Thanks so much! Hahahaa will do!
PH - You're very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it! Best author ever? Aww, thank you, you're welcome. He is, isn't he? I just love him! Lol. Thanks so much! Hahah no thank you no need for anyone's lives for my conscious:P love you too.
Maddz - Thanks so much! Jacob hasn't left yet, they still have their date! I'll try my best!
DaniGirl - I know right? It's so much more special that way:P thanks so much!
MayJuneJuly - Hahaha YES they did! Surprise, surprise, he's adorable when he's nervous isn't he? Lol hahaha yeah they're adorable! Thanks a lot Junie, love you too.
Tamika - Haha I like Team Chay! But it doesn't have to be that they're compatible in a romantic relationship. They have known each other for 11 years now, so they're bound to have fallen into a few habits maybe couples share... right? Hahahahaa okaaay whatever makes you happy.. But think of this, if Chloe and Ray do get together, then there are not many chapters left in the story eh? Because if they do/did love each other that way, we all know it by now and there would be nothing to write about! LOL I'm sure you'd be! Thanks, lots of love.
Jar - Jaaaaar... hahaa come home and I'll give you some:P he must be adorable when he's nervous! Can you imagine? Haha... But would he beat Jacob Jar of Wonders? Love you.
Shey - Thanks so much!
PH - Hello again, I can't let that work on me every time, so we.
Anne - Okay, will do!
PH - *sigh* only for you. Hope you enjoy! Sorry for the wait!
Grace, thinking about taking your comment into consideration... 17 comments anyone?