Valentine's day romance: finding love

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Finding Love

 

 

 

 

By:

T.K. Chapin

www.tkchapin.com

 

 

Copyright© 2015 T.K. ChapinAll rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with.

Version 2015.1.20

ISBN-13:

ISBN-10:

Table of Contents

-1-

-2-

-3-

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-8-

-9-

-10-

-11-

-12-

Other Books

Acknowledgements

About the Author

One Last Thing…

-1-

 

Standing up from the table, Rebecca threw her napkin down on her plate and pushed her date’s wine glass over, knocking it into his lap. Startled, he jumped up and said, “What is your problem?” Rebecca shook her head smiling as she looked down.

 

“Tip for the future honey, order a real drink and not what your date’s having,” Rebecca said as she put her purse over her shoulder and walked out of the restaurant.Another pathetic excuse for a man, in a city of a half million people; you’d think I’d find the right one or at least a half-way decent one by now.Exiting the restaurant, she stopped along the sidewalk and phoned for a cab. As she hung up the phone she spotted a couple across the street. The man was holding his woman’s hand, and they speedily walked across the street towards the restaurant.I want that; I want something real.

 

Her phone buzzed, she glanced in her purse at the screen to see it was Jonathan, her dashing boss that has led her on for the last two years.Wonder what he needs.She answered the phone with a smile on her face.

 

“Jonathan dear, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

 

“Rebecca. I need you-” Interrupting his words. Rebecca pounced at the opportunity.

 

“You need me? Jonathan, dear... You’re taken. I’m sorry but I don’t help people cheat.”

 

“HA-HA, very funny Rebecca. I need you to come down here; I cannot find your article write up on the interview with Harold Macabre and it’s going live in…” He paused mid-sentence, for what Rebecca assumed, to check his watch, “40 minutes.”

 

Just then her cab driver arrived. “I’ll be there.” She ended the call before letting Jonathan respond. It was the latest technique she was trying to use to lure him away from Stacy, his girlfriend of over a year. Rebecca has caught Stacy making out with random guys around the office on more than one occasion, but didn’t feel it was her place to bring it up to Jonathan. Plus, she didn’t want to win him that way; she wanted him to want her for who she was.

 

Rebecca’s date, from that night, suddenly came walking out of the restaurant as she was approaching her cab. She made eye contact with him and politely flashed him a smile, while he returned a glare.

 

“She’ll be alone forever,” He murmured under his breath as he was walking down the sidewalk to his car. Rebecca heard it and shut the door of the cab, leaning in the passenger window she let the cab driver know she’d be back in a minute. Heels clanking against the sidewalk, she caught up to her date. He turned around and put his arms up shielding himself in fear.

 

“Ha… You are more pathetic than I thought. I don’t want you to go home thinking I was rude; I want you go home knowing I acted that way because I’m sick of men catering to every whim of the woman they are with. I’ve been there and done that.”

 

“You think I cater to who I’m with because of my drink order?” He said standing upright. “I just like wine, but that doesn’t matter because you think you know me after 20 minutes at a restaurant.”

 

“The wine was the nail in the coffin Jeffery. It started long before, you were agreeing with everything I said and you just magically liked everything I liked. Anyways, I got to go. Nice knowing you.”

 

Turning around, Rebecca marched away, back to her cab.

 

-2-

 

“Where’s Vivian? She should be taking care of all this…” Rebecca said as she dug through the file server on the computer. She had left very specific instructions for Vivian to take care of this exact task. Vivian was Rebecca’s assistant and also helped around the office. She was a sweet gal for a receptionist, but she was a bit of an airhead.

 

“I had her leave,” Jonathan said as he poured himself a glass of scotch.That’s a real drink.Rebecca found herself judging men constantly by what they were drinking. She was convinced that there was something to what a man drinks and their personality. “Vivian was upset and when I asked why, she told me her and her fiancé had been fighting. I told her to take the night off and I’d take care of it.”

 

“That’s very compassionate of you Jonathan. Hopefully they figure it out. They’ve been engaged for 2 years now,” Rebecca said as she found the folder with the article in it on the server. Noticing his scotch again, Rebecca asked, “Would you ever order the same drink as your date?”

 

Jonathan took a gulp of his scotch and set his glass down on the desk as he looked confusedly over at Rebecca. “What?”

 

“You heard me, would you?”

 

Letting his serious tone and posture relax, he rubbed his defined jaw line as he pondered. “Depends on what she’s drinking,” he said with a smile.

 

“My date ordered a glass of wine tonight…”

 

“Oh my…” Jonathan said looking down. “Poor guy. How did you react?”

 

“The usual,” Rebecca lowered her head as she blushed.

 

“You have to stop freaking out on your dates when they make a mistake Rebecca!” Jonathan said laughing. “You are going to end up with a million cats and no man.”

 

Rebecca finished uploading the article to the website that was going live in only a few minutes. As she stood up, she looked at Jonathan, and felt sparks explode inside of her as her eyes met his.I swear he likes me… I just don’t get it.Walking towards him, she grabbed his decanter of scotch and poured herself a shot using his glass. She drank it quickly and set the glass back down next to Jonathan on the desk. Turning away from him, she began to leave.

 

“Rebecca…” Jonathan said with a low tone as she was rounding the separating wall between the cubicles and lobby.Is this it? Will he finally make a move?Rebecca turned around and beamed at Jonathan.

 

“You forgot your scarf,” he said standing with her baby blue scarf in hand.Sigh… I guess not… Wait, you know what… I’m going to go for it! I don’t care what happens. As she grabbed the scarf from Jonathan’s hand, she leaned in for a kiss tilting her head. Her lips found nothing but a scruffy cheek. Jonathan placed his hands on her arms, sending tingles through her body that helped calm the anger she felt from the rejection.

 

“Rebecca… You are a gorgeous gal, but I’m…”

 

“With Stacy?” Rebecca said angrily swatting his embrace away. “I know for a fact you are interested in me… I don’t get it. I’ve been here two years and we flirt all the time.” Jonathan nodded acknowledging what she was saying and thus fueling her hatred for him rejecting her in that moment.

 

“The problem is…”

 

“Don’t even go there Jonathan, you can’t explain yourself out of this situation like you can with the board and the Kinsley report!” Rebecca snapped at him.

             

“I feel something for you, that’s my problem!” Pulling her close their faces were inches apart, “I like the way your hips sway when you are going to the water cooler, the way your eyes light up when you talk about something you are passionate about…” He stopped.

 

“What else?” Rebecca encouraged him to continue, enjoying his proximity. “You sounded like you were leaving something out?” Rebecca bit her lip. Jonathan quickly got even closer to her face.

 

“That lip bite you do… It drives me insane!” He released her quickly and turned away, but not before she saw the fire in his eyes.

 

“Then what’s the problem?” Rebecca asked firmly.

 

He paused for a moment and looked towards Stacy’s desk. “I just want something real.” Rebecca grabbed his chin and pulled his face towards her, running her fingers through his hair, she looked into his eyes.

 

“This can be real Jonathan,” She leaned in to kiss him again, but he stopped her.

 

“That’s just lust and it isn’t real,” He said looking down. “I’ve been down that road too many times…”

 

“Okay…” Rebecca said, setting her purse down on the desk. “Let’s get to know each other.” Taking a seat in a chair next to the desk, Rebecca leaned in and looked at Jonathan.I want to know this man. Sure I’ve pined after him for years, but he was right, it was just lust.Jonathan sat down in a chair and crossed his arms, he looked apprehensive about doing this. “What’s wrong?” Rebecca asked.

 

“I just never knew you felt the same way as I did…” He rubbed his neck before continuing, “Tell me Rebecca, how long have you been interested in me?” Rebecca’s heart began to race at the thought of admitting her feelings and how they’ve been there since she first laid eyes on him.

 

“They’ve been around for a while,” Rebecca said blushing.

 

“Oh yeah?” Jonathan couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he poured her a drink and handed it to her. “Tell me… What has drawn you to me?”

 

Taking a deep breath and letting it out she said, “I have always admired the way you work so well with others… and I don’t know… you just exude this masculinity that I’ve never seen in anyone else before...” Rebecca found her heart pounding and her skin flushed. Jonathan was sitting directly in front of her smiling as he took it all in. He scooted his chair closer and leaned into Rebecca’s face as he set his hands on her knees, creating a stir in her that made her want him even more.

 

“My turn,” He said with a smile. “I’ve admired your tenacity with every project you’ve ever been assigned…” His thoughts seemed to take him somewhere for a moment before he continued, “I want to take you somewhere.” Jonathan arose and Rebecca accompanied him by grabbing his arm.What is this about? I wonder where he is taking me.Jonathan led her through the cubicles, around the partition, through the lobby and into the elevator. “Close your eyes,” He said.

 

The chill of the night immediately caught Rebecca’s attention as they stepped off the elevator and onto the roof. Jonathan took his suit jacket and wrapped it around Rebecca. “Go ahead and open your eyes,” He said smiling. When her eyes opened, she saw the tops of the buildings throughout the city on the backdrop of the crisp dark sky. Looking over the ledge, she could see Freeway 101 and the cars zooming along its winding road.

 

“Wow…” Rebecca said admiring the view of the city. “This is just amazing.” Turning to Jonathan she leaned her head against his chest. He lifted his hand and held her. “What is with this place? Do you come up here a lot?” she asked.

 

“Not a lot, but I do come up here when I need to think.” Walking over to the other side of the roof, Jonathan set his hands on the ledge and leaned over looking at the street below. Joining him at the ledge, Rebecca spotted a couple walking along the side walk.

 

“What are you thinking about right now?” Rebecca asked curious if it was about the couple down below.

 

“I’m thinking I am already 38 and I’m getting old.” Jonathan said before he turned around and leaned against the ledge. “This life… it’s too short to waste it on doing anything you don’t want to do.” Jonathan began to pace as he continued, “My life has been spent in board meetings and in plastic walls…”

 

“What are you saying Jonathan? Are you thinking about quitting?”

 

“Yeah,” He said leaning back against the ledge. “I really am thinking about it Rebecca. I just want…want to be outside and…” Jonathan took a deep breath in, “I want to be alive, and I don’t want to die in this stupid office…” Rebecca was inspired by his ambition, but she wasn’t sure how an older guy like him could find a new job.

 

“You aren’t young Jonathan,” Rebecca said walking up to him and placing her hand on his chest.

 

“I’m not old either! I’m at this… this threshold.” Rebecca perched her lips in concern and Jonathan took notice of her unhappiness in the moment. “What do you want to do? Where do you want to be in a year or two?” Jonathan asked.

 

“Well… If I could ever get a series, that’d help me move up the ranks at least. I know that just doesn’t get handed out though. I don’t know… I want to stay with this company and move up to editorial someday…” Rebecca smiled, “Life is what you make it Jonathan, if you are miserable here, it’s because you choose to be.”

 

“That’s a good point Rebecca,” Jonathan said as he turned and looked over at the cityscape. “There’s so much out there, I just can’t help myself from wondering.” Jonathan put his arm around Rebecca. Her heart fluttered at his touch.Could this be the guy I’ve been waiting for? He’s so passionate about life and so driven.

 

 

-3-

Waking up to the sound of a door shutting, Rebecca found she was alone.That’s odd… maybe he went and got coffees?Looking around, she stretched and then grabbed her hair tie off the desk to put her hair up.What a strange night, I haven’t stayed up all night talking like that since… I don’t know… high school?Standing up, Rebecca went into the ladies restroom to wash her face and get decent.

 

As Rebecca came out of the bathroom, she heard the doors open around the corner in the lobby.That must be him.Walking around the giant separating wall between the cubicles and the main lobby, Rebecca found herself in an awkward situation when she came face to face with Jonathan’s girlfriend Stacy.

 

Looking around suspiciously and with a bit of a sour look on her face, Stacy said, “Uh. Where is he?” With her chin held high, Stacy sighed and sashayed around the corner and peered across the cubicles. Looking back at Rebecca, Stacy asked, “Were you with him last night?” Before Rebecca could say anything, Jonathan came waltzing in through the doors behind her.

 

“Ladies,” Jonathan said holding two cups of coffee. He kept a dead stare at Rebecca as he wrapped his arm around Stacy handing her a cup. Rebecca caught a glimpse of his hand as he caressed the small of Stacy’s back.I guess he’s not interested in me now?Eyes locked with Rebecca, he said, “I told Stacy we had to work on an article late, so I crashed at the Manor Inn across the street.” Rebecca could see that sick sad puppy dog look he was giving her. The look that says – please don’t tell my girlfriend that we stayed up through the night talking.

 

“Yep,” Rebecca said with a forced smile.What a tool… How could we share a night like that and then he acts like it never happened?

 

Maintaining her fake smile, Rebecca pushed past the two of them as she left the office.

 

“Were you with her last night and not at the hotel?” Stacy asked Jonathan as Rebecca was leaving. Rebecca could hear Jonathan trying to calm Stacy down in the distance.

 

“No, it was just work, I promise,” Jonathan assured Stacy.There truly are no good men in this world.

 

Anger and sadness overwhelmed Rebecca as she stepped onto the elevator. Alone and able to let loose her guard, she collapsed in tears. “How could he just act like nothing happened?” She rubbed her forehead as she cried. A few of the forty floors worth of sobbing was just enough, she was able to stand back up and put back on that hard exterior. She fixed her hair and make-up before arriving on the main floor. Straightening her skirt, she stepped off the elevator and walked past security.

 

Frank was there, which was pretty typical for Sunday’s. Frank was a retired vet that picked up a job working security on the weekends to help supplement his retirement. “Have a good day Frank,” Rebecca said flashing him a smile as she exited through the main entrance of the Ford Plaza of downtown Spokane.

 

“You do the same Ms. Johnson,” he said, tapping the brim of his hat.

 

Once outside, Rebecca called a cab to pick her up. Taking in a deep breath of air, she looked back up at the building.What a letdown.As the cab pulled up, she asked the driver to take her to Fredrick’s. It was a hole in the wall diner that was in the not-so-nice part of town, but had the best food she had ever tasted. Rebecca’s mother, Scarlet, used to take her there on Rebecca’s birthdays every year. But after Rebecca’s mother passed away just a couple years back, Rebecca made sure to go there at least once a month in memory of her mother.

 

**

 

After she had finished ordering her food, Rebecca noticed an attractive man sitting alone near the large bay window across the restaurant. He had a laptop, a man purse and a dumb constant grin on his face.How is it some people just love being alone?Rebecca noticed his waitress pour him a cup of black coffee; he declined sugar or cream to be added.Hmm… Interesting. This guy has potential.Rebecca found that sugary creamer was a pattern she saw in her lame-duck companions over the years, so the sign of black coffee was a definite plus. Feeling good about the vibe he was putting off outside of the dumb grin and man purse, she stood up and went directly over to his table, parking herself in the seat across from him. “I dig the coffee… but I don’t get the whole purse thing,” she said leaning her head against her hand as her elbow rested on the table.

 

“Excuse me?” the man said looking around.

 

“Is this seat taken?” Rebecca asked looking around.

 

“No, but you obviously do not have any manners whatsoever. Who the heck are you?” Looking around again, he spotted a waitress and snapped his fingers trying to get her attention.

 

“Just tell me why you have a purse dude.”

 

“It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel. I’m a writer; I have multiple notebooks I keep in there.” Reaching under the table Rebecca grabbed it and pulled it up onto the table. He snatched it away quickly from her.

 

“I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave, now lady!” The man motioned with his head for her to get out of the seat.Ahh… let’s try the hook and leave.Nodding, she stood up and turned to him.

 

“I knew you weren’t going to approach me, I figured you’d like the company. I know you loner types. You sit in coffee shops and cafes watching people without ever saying a word. I thought I was doing you a favor… but I guess not.” As Rebecca turned her back to him and retreated, a smile grew on her face.Got him right where I want him, he’ll be begging for attention in no time.There’s a fine line between love and hate and Rebecca knew just how to push it.

 

As she was sipping on her coffee and scrolling social media sites, the man who wanted nothing to do with her took a seat in her booth.Like clockwork,she thought to herself as she closed out of her phone and looked up at him.

 

“What’s your name?” He asked intrigued and leaning across the table.

 

“Rebecca,” she said. His eyes lit up as she said her name.

 

“I’ve always found that name… amazing. Is that an accent I hear…? What is it, British?”

 

“Yep, what’s your name?”

 

“I’m Mike.”

 

“Well Mike, whatcha writing about these days?” Rebecca asked amused as she took a sip of her coffee.

 

“A lady who has too many cats,” he said. Rebecca choked on her coffee as the words came off his lips. “I’m sorry… did I say something wrong?” Rebecca began laughing and reached over touching his arm.

 

“No, of course not. I just was talking to…”What is he to me? A friend? A boss? A love interest? A jerk, that’s for sure.“…afriend the other day that said I was going to end up like one of those ladies with a million cats.”

 

“I can see why someone would say that! You were pretty intense back at my table!”

 

“Yeah…” Rebecca said not amused.I’m glad he’s not catering every thought to match me, but I could have done without the insult.“How far along are you with your cat lady book?”

 

“Well… I’m working on fine tuning the first few chapters, I have to meet with my writing group tonight and share it. It’s really just a hobby… the whole writing thing.”

 

“Oh… What’s your day job?”

 

“I teach a couple pottery classes at MCC,” he said. Looking down at his watch, he quickly continued, “That reminds me, I have to go teach a class. It was nice talking with you. Could we get a bite to eat sometime?”A little forward for a loner, but that’s okay.

 

“Definitely, I’d enjoy that.” She took his phone and called herself and hung up. “There you go.” She said with a smile.

 

“Sweet… it was… nice meeting you,” He said standing up from the booth.

 

“Yeah? You thought I was nice?” She laughed. “I guess I didn’t do a good enough job then.”

 

“Well yeah. At first, I was a little taken back by the way you acted… but it was actually refreshing and it made me think. Which is saying a lot for a woman!” Uncomfortable with his own words after he said them, he quickly followed up, “That sounded really sexist. I didn’t mean it like that… I just don’t meet a lot of women that stimulate me.” Rebecca’s eyes widened at his words. “This isn’t working. I’ll stop now. I’ll be in touch if you haven’t lost interest already!”

 

Rebecca couldn’t help but laugh, “It’s fine, have fun teaching your class!”Have fun teaching your class? Did I really just say that?

 

“Okay,” He said waving awkwardly at her as he went back to his seat to grab his stuff and run out the door. Rebecca waved at him when he glanced at her through the window of Fredrick’s.What a strange and funny guy.

 

-4-

On the following Monday, Rebecca had an email sitting in her inbox from Jonathan, requesting a private meeting in the conference room as soon as possible. She smiled and thought to herself;maybe he broke it off with Stacy? A girl can hope.

 

She entered the conference room to see a sweaty and unattractive Jonathan storm towards her quickly.Ew gross!She stepped to the side to let him quickly continue his journey to the door; Jonathan poked his head out of the conference room for a moment before shutting the door. “What’s this about Jonathan? If it’s about how I was with Stacy… I’m sorry, but I tried. I thought you were going to leave her and we were going to see where this was going?”

 

“What? No. Me and you talked, we didn’t do anything else. You are a nice girl, but I’m not ready at this point to leave Stacy. In fact, from now on let’s keep our personal lives out of our work.”Ouch… jerk!Clearing his throat he continued, “This is about the Green House series we are launching next month. It’s going to be big and I think you can do it.”

 

“Ummm… Isn’t Debbie in line for that?”

 

“You mentioned the other night this is what you wanted… I think you are ready and this Green House series is now yours.”

 

Rebecca wasn’t sure how to feel about the situation.He decides to put me on this big project after the other night? Is he trying to show he likes me? Does he really think I can do it? Or what?

 

“Okay…” Rebecca said looking him in the eyes to make sure she didn’t see any hesitation.

 

“Great! You are going to do terrific, I just know it,” He said wiping more sweat from his forehead.Sick, that sweat thing is so nasty.

 

“Why are you sweating so profusely Jonathan?” Rebecca asked in disgust. He began to laugh as he flapped his shirt out trying to get air to circulate inside of it and cool him off.

 

“I just took the stairs up to help with my circulation. The doctor told me I need to start getting more exercise or I am going to have another clot in my leg.”

 

“From what floor did you take the stairs?” Rebecca asked curiously.

 

“The first…” Jonathan said.

 

“What? Are you serious? Forty flights of stairs? No wonder why you are sweating. Gross.”

 

**

 

While eating a bowl of soup for lunch at her desk, Rebecca’s phone rang. Glancing down at the screen, she saw it was Mike.I’m eating, you can wait.She ignored it and continued to eat her soup. Shortly after the phone stopped ringing, it buzzed. Glancing down, she saw it was a voicemail.Ugh, a voicemail? Seriously? Who leaves voicemails…?

 

After she finished her soup, Rebecca listened to the voicemail.

 

“Hey Rebecca… it’s me Mike. I don’t know if it’s too soon to call or whatever, but… I don’t care. I want to see you again, I was thinking tonight? Unless you’re busy… I’m not trying to assume you aren’t busy. I’m sure you have a fascinating life and could most likely probably be busy. So yeah… Ummm… Let me know.”Haha… This guy is so funny!

 

Rebecca deleted it immediately and texted him.

 

Voicemail? Lol. Anyways, what time were you thinking? I have yoga until six, but my fascinating life can fit anything in after that, lol.

 

Rebecca waited for a few minutes for a response before returning back to work.She worked through the day and found herself checking her phone periodically, looking for a response back.Why do I care? Jeez. Get a hold of yourself.

 

At about five, he had finally sent a message.

 

How about 7? I can pick you up.

 

Rebecca smiled as she read the response.I hope he doesn’t screw this up.While Rebecca had been on a hundred or so different dates over the last four years, she had never let go of the idea of a prince charming. Continuing her smile, she texted him back.

 

Sounds good.

 

As Rebecca began sending over her address to Mike, Jonathan walked up to her desk. Everyone in the office had already cleared out, including Stacy.

 

“Whatcha doing?” Jonathan asked. Rebecca finished up sending her address to Mike and looked up with a smile.Glad to see the pit stains have vanished.

 

“I have a date,” She said with a smile. She could see Jonathan’s uneasiness of the words she spoke.

 

“What about the other night?” He asked. Rebecca couldn’t believe her ears.Did he really just ask that? After that talk this morning about keeping our personal lives out of the office? Ugh. And they say women are confusing?

 

Rebecca stood up and pulled her purse out of her desk drawer. “That’s funny Jonathan,” she said. Fuming, she was about to rip him when he put his hand on her shoulder. Chills ran down her back at his touch.

 

“I’m just playing with you, have a good time,” He smiled at her and patted her on the shoulder.Got to love that friend pat-on-the-back.

 

“Thanks!” She said quickly pushing in her chair and strolling towards the exit.

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