And now, heeeeeere's Collin!
“Wish me luck, George.”
The moment the leather of his soles hit the cobblestone of 15 Central Park West, Collin Jamison knew there was no turning back. He flicked away the bead of perspiration trickling down his temple then tugged at the knot of his Lorenzo Cana charcoal silk. Her favorite. At least that’s what she said every time he wore the damn thing. Today it felt like a noose around his neck...choking him…taunting him to turn and run while he had a chance. He could broker multi-million dollar deals, bang heads with Trump and his cronies, but this one little deed, the utterance of four simple words, had him sweating like Fat Bastard in a Santa suit.
George closed the door behind him as only George could do. Noiselessly.
“Ain’t no such thing as luck, Mr. Jamison. Either the woman loves you, or she don’t.”
Collin’s hand slipped over the obscenely expensive lump in his jacket pocket for the millionth time that morning, seeking some type of palpable reassurance of the decision he’d made. Pffft. Of course she loves me. Who wouldn’t? I’m Collin Edward Jamison the III, heir to the largest real estate development firm in New York. Manhattan’s Most Eligible Bachelor...
George raised an eyebrow.
He’s expecting me to say something like that…something cocky and self-absorbed. But George knew as well as he did that Annette Bradshaw, the willowy, raven-haired, thirty-year-old Wall Street attorney, was the love of his life. This time, George would have to settle for the truth instead of a smart-ass answer.
“She loves me.”
Shit. Now what?
“Are you sure you don’t want me to wait? In case she chases you off with her briefcase?” George winked and let loose a throaty James Earl Jones laugh, the kind that seemed to start in his toes before working its way up to his deep baritone vocal cords. Collin couldn’t help but smile.
“I don’t plan on needing your services until later in the day, George.” Collin shot him his own wink. “Much later. Miss Bradshaw and I will have a bit of .... celebrating to do.” He tapped the lump one more time then headed for the door to Annette’s building.
George’s booming voice stopped Collin in his tracks, the same way it did when he was eight years old and George caught him pissing in his mother’s rose bush. Ruined a perfectly good pair of Chuck’s that day. Collin turned, expecting George to give him one last tidbit of unsolicited fatherly advice, or at least a May the Force be with you. After all, it wasn’t every day that a man asked a woman to marry him, and George’s advice was the closest thing he’d be getting to anything fatherly. Instead, George held out a brown paper bag.
“You forgot your bagels ... and I think you’re gonna need your strength, Mr. Jamison. Celebrating takes a lot of energy.” George guffawed at his own joke and shoved the bag at Collin’s chest, but Collin blocked the assault before it crushed the Lorenzo Cana. Her favorite. Those two words followed on the tail of “Lorenzo Cana” as automatically as the succulent memory of her wearing nothing but that charcoal silk and an I’m gonna make you beg for mercy look in her mahogany eyes the day she gave it to him. The thought elicited a delicious but inconvenient tug in his groin. At least he didn’t feel like he was choking anymore.
“Thanks, old man.”
“Old? Who you calling old, you little pipsqueak?” George puffed his chest out like a rooster in a henhouse and strutted around the Mercedes to the driver’s door. “I’ve done more celebrating on a daily basis for the last thirty years than you’ll do in the next sixty. As a matter of fact, I think I’m gonna head on home and do some celebrating myself, since you won’t be needing my services for the day.”
Collin chuckled. “You do that, George.”
George slid into the driver’s seat and, for the first time in recorded history, slammed the door of his beloved Mercedes. Holy shit! Seems I ruffled the old man’s feathers.
Collin turned and faced the nineteen story tower as George drove away, took a deep breath to calm his nerves, patted the lump in his pocket one more time, and smiled.
She loves me.