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Old 08-23-2017, 11:36 PM   #176
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Alexa sighed and stretched, awakening slowly. She could see the warm glow of the sun outside of her window.

She kissed his shoulder and his collarbone softly. She heard him stir.

"I can't believe it is almost time for us to arrive." Her voice was soft and low. "Can we stay here in bed, for a little while. It feels so very good to be in your arms like this." She whispered.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:39 AM   #177
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Brian wrapped his arms softly around Alexa and pulled her close. Holding her felt almost as good has having passionate sex with her - well, almost, but not quite.

"Alexa," he whispered back, "except for the 10 minutes that we both need to get our stuff all packed up for deboarding, we can stay her like this for as long as you like. I hardly ever skip breakfast, but just staying like this with you would be well worth it."
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:55 AM   #178
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Alexa laid her head on his chest. She sighed deeply.

"Let's stay here a while. My father will be at the station to meet me. Will someone be there to pick you up or are you making your way to your hotel?" Her voice was light, but she was surprised that she was feeling so tender and emotional.

She wasn't one to be casual about sex, but she knew this had the makings of a fling. But she secretly hoped that he would ask to see her again when they returned to Chicago.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:09 PM   #179
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Brian was fine with just staying there for awhile. What he wasn't very sure about was what would come next. He liked Alexa, certainly, but he wasn't "in love" with her, not now at least. In fact, he didn't really know her that well, nor did she know him either. They had flirted their way into hot sex, outrageously getting the proverbial cart before the horse.

On the other hand, he reasoned, his attraction to her was not perfectly physical, or at least he didn't think so. And, they both lived in Chicago. At the moment, though, he was most focused on getting to his boss' daughter's wedding.

"I'm happy staying here with you for awhile," Brian said softly. "We're scheduled to get in at 8:15, so, if we don't get breakfast on the train it won't be too late for me to grab some breakfast at a cafe somewhere. No one is meeting me. I'm just going to call Uber for a ride to my hotel."

Brian paused for a moment before continuing. He wanted to proceed a bit cautiously because he really had no idea how Alexa felt about any continuing contact with him. After all, they were quite different in age, she was young, single and hot, and their encounter certainly had the markings of something like a two-night stand.

"Uh, so, Alexa. I'm wondering if, before we both leave and you meet your father, you would be interested in exchanging phone numbers. You know, just in case when we both return to Chicago we might like to, you know, have a drink or two, or something."
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:48 PM   #180
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Alexa felt her smile light up her face when he asked for them to keep in touch. She kissed his shoulder.

"I would like that, very much." She nestled in close. "I wish we were going to have time for a date in LA. That is very selfish on my part, I know. But my sister's wedding has multiple events and I will probably even have to go get more clothes. Jenna is a social butterfly and the life of the party. I don't think I will enjoy any of the events as much as I have enjoyed this."
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:41 AM   #181
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Brian could hear the pleasure in Alexa's voice when she responded to his suggestion of exchanging numbers. His heart sped up some at her suggestion of having a date in L.A., but, like her, he knew that it would be hard to squeeze that in. He was returning by plane the day after the wedding.

Brian sat up slowly so that he could find his phone. He spoke as they were exchanging numbers. "Ok. I'll be pretty busy when I return after a few days off, but I'll give you a buzz soon back in the Windy City. The idea of having a date while we're both in L.A. sounds lovely also, but, as it turns out, I'm also going to a wedding - my boss' son is tying the knot - and my boss essentially insisted that several of us who work for him attend. I think he has some pre-wedding party planned for his son, as well. I'm not sure. I'll know when I see him at the hotel."

He paused, "So, let's make these few minutes last relaxing with each other until we need to pack and leave." Brian snuggled back up against Alexa and closed his eyes. A thought went through his head hazily. "Jenna? His boss had several times mentioned the name of his son's fiancee'. What was it? Was it 'Jennifer'?" He couldn't remember. Not likely. Forget it.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:22 PM   #182
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Alexa sighed deeply and nestled into his side. She tried to close out her worries about the wedding, and the festivities surrounding it. She reflected on how much fun she had had with Brian, and how sexy she had felt in her skin during her time with him.

She hoped she would be able to take that feeling with her. Too often at family events she felt diminished in her sister's shadow. But she hoped this time would be different.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:28 AM   #183
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Hearing Alexa's sighs Brian concluded that something was bothering her. He presumed that it was related to their impending separation, but that wasn't clear. He did, however, want to make sure that he communicated his positive feelings for her, beyond their exchange of phone numbers, before they both went their separate ways.

Brian unfolded himself and sat up, pulling Alexa up with him. Giving her a soft kiss on her lips he said, "We don't have much time. We need to be getting ready to deboard. I'll have to go back to my own cabin and pack up my things."

He paused, wanting to get his statement just right. "Alexa, " he said warmly, "meeting you - no, encountering you - has been a wildly unexpected pleasure beyond anything that I might have imagined." Brian paused briefly again before continuing, "I, uh..well, neither of us really know where this is going, if, well, anywhere in the future, but I want you to know for sure that I'm going to call you after we both return to Chicago and, hopefully, get together."

Brian laughed heartily as he threw his arm around Alexa, "Unless, of course, you call me first!"
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:05 PM   #184
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Alexa smiled as he told her again that he wanted to call her when they got to Chicago. She nuzzled his neck when he embraced her.

"I look forward to it." She offered softly. "But you are right. I need to look presentable when my father comes to collect me. He will be glad that I had such a good time on the train, but I won't tell him why." Her voice had a touch of laughter in it.

She reached up and smoothed his hair with her fingers.

"Have a good time at the wedding." She stood up and slithered into her t shirt and leggings. She gave him a moment to get dressed and she kissed him good bye at her door.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:15 AM   #185
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Brian kissed Alexa lightly, waved goodbye, and headed directly to the taxi stand just outside of Union Station. The wedding party, including his boss, Emory Mansfield, the father of the groom, was staying at the downtown hotel where the reception would be held after the ceremony. However, Emory had booked a block of rooms at a different hotel for his co-workers and the major clients of his investment firm. At first, this made little sense to Brian, but as he rode in the taxi to the hotel, Emory's motive finally struck him. Emory wanted to afford the big investors and his staff the opportunity to socialize apart from the focus on the bride and her family.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to show off, Emory had scheduled them into the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE hotel, the top-of-the-line Marriott luxury offering in L.A. with prices to match. Brian was only slightly surprised when he arrived at the registration desk to see that his room was on the Executive Floor to boot. Given the very generous salary that Emory was paying him, Brian could afford the nearly $400/night charge, but he was glad that he was staying only two nights.

Brian had, of course, arrived way too early to check in. He checked his bag with the bell captain and strolled off to find a cafe for breakfast. Although his mind was full of thoughts about what events Emory may have in mind for his staff, one thought continually pushed through: The image of Alexa, the unexpected, young, hot lover who had transformed his train ride into an erotic adventure.

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Old 09-07-2017, 10:28 PM   #186
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Alexa was glad to see her father waiting for her. She knew that parents weren't supposed to have favorites, but she knew she was her father's. He swallowed her up in his arms and kissed her cheek.

"You look so happy and refreshed." He said with a smile. She thanked him for the trip and assured him that she had had a good time and had not worked on the trip. He ushered her to where his driver was waiting for them.

They chatted in the backseat as they made their way to the Beverly Glen home where she grew up.

"The boys and their families are staying at the house. Jenna is camped out in her old room. There is a big dinner tonight for the bride's family and her bridesmaids. I asked one of my associate's to squire you tonight." Alexa nodded along as her father described the events, until he mentioned her escort.

"Dad, please, no. I can go stag. It's fine. Besides... I have sort of met someone. It is new, but I really like him." Her father's face lit up in a smile.

"Okay, my girl, you can go stag if you like, but you know your sister likes everyone to be coupled off."

Jenna rolled her eyes.

"Dad, it will be fine."

Alexa couldn't stop smiling, she was looking forward to seeing her mom and her siblings.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:26 AM   #187
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Brian easily found a little place for breakfast. He grabbed a copy of the L.A. Times and spent some time reading it. Needing to kill time until the early check-in that the desk clerk had promised him, he wandered the streets of downtown L.A., a place that was fairly new to him. But what was now becoming very familiar was the image of Alexa that he seemed to see everywhere he looked.

After returning to the Marriott and checking in to his room, he took some time to thoroughly check his e-mail. Sure enough, his boss, Emory, had arranged several get-togethers on the Executive Floor of their hotel. Basically, as Brian had suspected, they were meet-and-greets (or "grip and grins" as they were sometimes sarcastically termed by the younger staff in his investment firm) with the large investors that Emory had invited to his daughter's wedding. There was a luncheon buffet at 12:45, an afternoon tea at 3:00 p.m., and a cocktail hour at 5:30. But the main event was a dinner for all of the groom's family’s out-of-town guests in private dining room in a very fancy restaurant easy walking distance from the hotel.

At the luncheon Emory Mansfield met Brian with a hearty handshake and slap on the back. He was clearly in his element, beaming from ear-to-ear. After Brian’s co-workers and the big investors had begun to mingle as they munched on food Emory pulled Brian over to meet a beautiful woman that he had never seen before, and introduced by Emory as “Meaghan Quinn, one of our newest major investors”. Meaghan took Brian’s hand professionally, but her eyes sparkled and her face sported a broad and mischievous grin. “By the way,“ Emory continued, having obviously had more than one glass of champagne, “since you and her are here this weekend by yourselves, I have told Ms. Quinn that you would be pleased to escort her to tonight’s dinner.”

The man who was paying Brian nearly $200K per year looked him straight in the eye and said, “I’m not mistaken, now, Brian, am I?”

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Old 09-11-2017, 12:43 AM   #188
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Alexa spent the day with her young niece and nephews, and her mother. She spent some time with Jenna, but Jenna was deep in Bridezilla mode, so Alexa decided to delay her own descent into wedding madness until it was unavoidable.

The dinner was being held at one her families' favorite restaurants, Il Sogreto. Between the out of town guests, the extended family, and the bridesmaids and their beaus their party filled most of the dining room. Her father was beaming with pride and he was happy to play host to their loved ones.

Alexa was dressed in a green sheath dress and a pair of delicate black heels. She had her hair tied up in a high ponytail. She felt pretty and confident and then she saw Aiden.

Aiden was her ex boyfriend and an employee of her father's firm. They had broken up when it became clear to Alexa that he was more interested in impressing her father and endearing himself to the family, then he was in her.

Aiden smiled at her with such warmth.
"You look beautiful, Alexa." He leaned in and kissed her cheek. "Your dad and your sister invited me." She looked over at Jenna and Jenna threw her one of her hollywood smiles. She just didn't get it. Aiden looked perfect for her on paper, but she didn't want to be with someone who wasn't really in love with her.

"I hope it's okay that I am your plus one for the evening." He gave her his perfect, charming smile and not being one to make a scene, Alexa nodded. However, the confidence she had gained from her trip with Brian, and the way the green dress made her feel sexy diminished a little bit.

Aiden pulled out her chair for her and she sat down, she knew her cheeks were flushed from embarassment. She hoped that others would think she was excited or joyous.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:51 AM   #189
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The afternoon tea and cocktail hour were, essentially, repeats of the luncheon, more opportunities to "meet and greet" the firm's major investors that Brian's boss had invited to his son's wedding celebration. Knowing that a fancy dinner awaited at 7:00 Brian was careful to eat and drink very sparsely. He found himself wishing that the whole damn day was over, in fact, that the whole damn weekend was over and he could fly back to Chicago. In his work at the investment firm, Brian was a "quant", a numbers-cruncher. He seldom had to schmooze clients; it wasn't his thing. Besides, once back in Chicago he could, without seeming too hasty or pushy, contact Alexa and see if their connection was anything more than a two-day stand.

Meaghan Quinn had appeared, at least briefly, at both the tea and the cocktail hour, and she had clearly made a point to approach Brian and casually mention that he was to be her escort to dinner. Reluctantly, Brian agreed to meet her in the Marriott lobby at 6:45 and take the short walk together to the restaurant. That Ms. Quinn had dressed to impress was not lost on Brian. At the luncheon she had worn a typical women's business suit, clearly very expensive, but not very sexy. She appeared at the tea in tight-fitting jeans and an equally tight-fitting blouse that showed off her gorgeous curves to the max. For the cocktail hour she wore what could only be described as a "cocktail gown" that showed deep cleavage and screamed expensive fashion. Though not short, she completed her outfit with stiletto, come-fuck-me heels, hardly subtle.

Brian would have had to have the lowest testosterone levels on record for a 30-something man to not be affected by Meaghan Quinn's physical appearance and her not-so-subtle overtures to him. That he was to be her escort - at his boss' demand - for dinner, he realized, was going to be a test of his values versus his baser instincts.

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Old 09-16-2017, 11:52 PM   #190
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The dinner was lovely. Each course was one of the Il Sogreto's finest dishes. The waiters poured the paired wines with each new plate of food. Jenna was soaking up the attention of family and friends. Her parents were happily hosting.

Alexa and Aiden were seated at the same table as her brothers and their wives. She enjoyed catching up with them and their brides. Her brothers Cal and Garret knew Aiden well, since they all worked for her father. The three of them laughed about one of the vice president's of the company and his signature wedding dance moves. She knew her brothers' were rooting for Aiden.

Her sisters in law, Kelly and Sarah, asked her about her job, and her apartment. She talked about the events she was working and the vintage furniture she had bought for her place. Sarah smiled at Alexa.

"Are you guys going to the after dinner cocktails for the young ones?" When Jenna looked at her surprised, Sarah explained. The groom is having a dinner as well, and Jenna has planned a mixer at the rooftop bar at Above SIXTY."

Aiden was all smiles. "That's a great bar. I take clients there all of the time. Great view of the city, great drinks, and beautiful people."

Alexa sighed softly. "I was planning on going to bed early. I didn't sleep much on the train..." She offered softly.

"Oh no," Calvin said with a chuckle. "None of us are going to get out of this. Jenna must be feted by one and all."
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:24 AM   #191
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Meaghan Quinn hooked Brian's arm tightly as they walked to the restaurant, leaving no doubt in anyone that saw them that he was her escort for the dinner, and leaving no doubt in Brian's mind that she was interested in more than a symbolic escort.

The dinner was much as Brian had expected, given that Emory Mansfield had arranged it. The passed hors d'oeuvres were right out of a gourmet magazine, the top-shelf drinks flowed freely, and the five-course dinner was nothing but elegant. The attendees were a mix of the groom's family and friends, and the big investors from his firm. Not surprisingly, as the dinner moved toward the dessert course, the groom's young friends were noticeably eager to get out of this over-stuffed atmosphere.

Brian, never one to turn his back on a luxurious meal, would have enjoyed the dinner a lot more had it not been for his escort. Although Meaghan did nothing salacious, she made no attempt to hide her interest in him, touching Brian frequently, making eye contact as much as possible, and once lightly rubbing Brian's leg with the toe of her shoe - or, at least Brian thought. Though Brian had never been keen on one-might stands, given the long sexual drought that he had been on prior to encountering Alexa he probably would have responded to her overtures, at least to see if she was just a tease or was being serious. But, with the memory of Alexa burning brightly in his mind, and at least the possibility that they might have some relationship future, he was more concerned about remaining stoic than tasting what Meaghan appeared to offer.

As the guests were finishing their desserts and the servers were taking orders for coffee and after-dinner liqueurs, the best man jumped up onto his chair and addressed the crowd. "Thank you, Mr. Mansfield for the very best and most eloquent dinner that most of the younger people here have ever had. Now, it's our turn to cut loose. This party's moving to the Above SIXTY. Everybody's first drink is on me!"

Brian's mind raced to grasp for an excuse not to go. Too late. Meaghan Quinn, though a good 10 or more years older than the groom's friends and now on her third Glenfiddich of the evening, grabbed Brian by the arm, drug him over to the groom's table, and declared brazenly, "Lead on. Us old folks are right behind you!"
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:17 PM   #192
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Jenna lead their party to Above SIXTY. Jenna was wearing a Versace dress that clung to every curve. She put on her bride tiara as the party walked. Alexa wanted to escape. These upscale social events lead by her sister made her feel like she was back in high school. She felt like an outsider. If Aiden knew her at all, he would know it, but he didn't. He was wrapped up in the fun of the evening. He was loudly talking to Cal and Garrett.

Alexa found herself chewing on her lip as they entered the bar. Rob's group was already there and he lit up when he saw Jenna.

"There is my smokin' hot fiance." He took Jenna in his arms and kissed her deeply and the crowd broke into applause. The music was loud and wait staff began passing trays of signature cocktails.

Alexa broke away from the group and went to the edge of the balcony. She looked out at the view. She watched the city for a few moments and steeled herself for the evening.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:07 AM   #193
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Whatever else Brian thought of Meaghan Quinn he was certainly impressed by both her efficiency and her apparent connections. In the five minutes that it took them to get from the table where Meghan had taken up the best man's challenge to the front door of the JW Marriott, she had punched in a few numbers on her iPhone 7, spoken very briefly into it, and announced to Brian as they stepped through the door, "Our chariot has arrived." And, it had. And it was a stretch limo waiting, with the liveried chauffer holding the door open for them.

The ride to Beverly Hills along West Olympic Blvd was a just over 8 miles and took a full 25 minutes. Sitting in the luxurious back seat separated from the driver by an opaque divider Meaghan wasted no time in pursuing her advance. Sitting pressed tightly against him, she stroked his pant leg with the toe of her high-heeled shoe while placing her hand suggestively close to his crotch and flirting intensely. Brian finally simply turned to her and said, "Meaghan, you are a beautiful woman and remarkably accomplished, but I'm seeing someone at the moment", to which Meaghan replied, "So am I, but tonight, you are mine, and I intend to have you."

Brian and Meaghan arrived even earlier than Rob and his friends and, thus, were pushed to the far end of the bar when the bulk of the groom's party arrived. They both grabbed the cocktails that were offered. A small group of partiers were dancing to the live music. Brian was happy to join them along with Meaghan because, raucous though it was, it decreased the intimacy between them. But Meaghan was quicker than he. As the song was fading out she threw her arms around him firmly and drew them into a kiss. With his fourth drink of the night behind him and pressed tightly against this warm and gorgeous woman, Brian's resolve collapsed. Just as the crowd broke into applause, he returned her kiss as eagerly as it had been offered to him.

With Meaghan's arms still clutching them in near-erotic embrace, Brian looked over her shoulder over to the balcony. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest. There, directly in his line of sight, but currently gazing slightly off that line stood none other than Alexa Baker.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:21 PM   #194
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Aiden made his way over to Alexa.

He leaned against the balcony beside her.

"Alexa, enjoy the party." His voice was warm. He looked at her with his big brown eyes. He touched the back of her hand ever so softly. "I didn't mean to hurt you, Alexa. And I am sorry." His voice was sincere, but when Alexa looked up at him, she shook her head.

"I know you didn't mean to hurt me. But I ...." Her voice trailed off. She felt as if someone was watching her. She took a deep breath. "Let's not hash this all out again. This is just drinks. You don't have to win my heart-- you are just being asked to make sure it looks like the littlest Baker girl isn't all alone." Alexa tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear.

She looked over at the dancefloor and saw Brian tangled with some woman she had never seen before and it felt like all of the air in her chest escaped.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:41 PM   #195
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Brian panicked. He desperately tried to figure out a way to tear himself loose quickly from Meaghan before Alexa had a chance to see him. He was pretty sure that she hadn't seen him return Meaghan's kiss, but if Alexa turned even a few degrees in his direction, she would see the two of them in embrace.

As tightly as Meaghan was holding him Brian would literally have had to thrust her away forcefully, as though they were in a fight as opposed to having just kissed. A thrust sufficient to break her hold might even have knocked her over. Clearly unacceptable. Moreover, he was keenly aware that Meaghan was one of the firm's big investors. He couldn't afford to be entirely ungracious to her.

Remembering that he had told Meaghan during the limo ride that he was seeing someone, Brian quickly decided that honesty was the way out. Pushing firmly enough to partially break their embrace he said, "I have to get off of the dance floor. Shockingly, the woman that I have been seeing is here at this party. She must be friends with the bride or something."

As he wiggled to get free Brian's hope was that Alexa wouldn't turn in his direction. Too late. Although their eyes never met, it was clear that she had seen him entangled with Meaghan, and that she was visibly upset. Once free from Meaghan's grasp he scurried as quickly as he could through the crowd toward the direction of the balcony.

As he moved through the crowd Brian's mind was consumed by a single thought: Was it all too late? Had he now, in an instant, lost any future with Alexa that he might possibly have had?

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Old 09-25-2017, 11:54 PM   #196
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Alexa didn't explain, she just excused herself from Aiden and made a beeline for the stairs. She wasn't even sure where she was going. She just had to go. She could feel her cheeks flushed pink.

There was a crush of people and she felt trapped. Had she really been that stupid? Did Brian have a wife or a girlfriend? Or was this new woman some fling, just like she had been.

She bit her lip trying to fight off the tears she felt pricking the back of her eyes. She was determined not to cry.

She took the stairs as quick as she could in her heels, she was determined to pull herself together. But at the base of the stairs she realized she didn't really have any where to go.

She sat on the bottom step and did her best to collect herself.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:12 AM   #197
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As he cleared his way through the the crowd, Brian could see Alexa sitting on the bottom stair step, clearly very upset. All of the usual cliche's rumbled around in his head: "I can explain", "It's not what you think", etc. They all sounded as hollow and insincere as they so frequently were. He had resolved his dilemma on how to break free from Meaghan by telling her the bare truth. He decided on a similar strategy with Alexa.

Approaching Alexa but not pushing himself directly into her space, Brian began softly, "Alexa, I can understand, and will respect, if you don't wish to speak with me right now, but I would like to have the opportunity to explain the context to what you saw."

Brian had not planned to say anything in the pause that was almost certain to occur after his opening statement, but in that brief second he was overwhelmed by a single thought, which drove him to speak again. "I know it's hard to believe, but the context involves my job. But, standing here before you, I realize that if I had to choose right now between keeping my job and keeping open a possible relationship with you, I would choose you, hands down."
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:23 PM   #198
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Alexa nodded. She looked up at him and gave him a watery smile.

"You don't owe me an explanation." She sighed deeply. "It has kind of been a hard night. Would you just sit her with me for a minute, before I have to get back to the party."

When he sat beside her, Alexa leaned her head on his shoulder and exhaled.

"I know this may be hard to believe because of my reaction, but it is very good to see you." She offered with a slight laugh in her voice.
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:39 PM   #199
Gr8chtr
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Brian looped his arm softly around Alexa's shoulder as she laid her head on his. He said quietly, the most genuine words possible, "Thank you."

Softly, and leaving out any extraneous details, he explained that the groom is his boss' son, that Emory Mansfield had essentially commanded his senior staff to attend the wedding - at their own expense - , and that Emory was using the wedding event to court and schmooze his top clients. Brian further explained, this time with only scant detail, how Meaghan had come on so strongly to him, even after he had told her that "I am seeing someone", and how he had felt that he couldn't be too standoffish to this big investor. With just a little guilt, he intentionally left out how his resolve had collapsed after four drinks with Meaghan plastered against him and his return of her kiss.

Having finished his brief explanation Brian sat quietly with his arm around Alexa. A warm feeling passed over him as he said, "As hard as it may be to believe, I am, in fact, really glad to see you as well." Then, he started to chuckle softly. "But, by the way, what the hell are you doing here?

Last edited by Gr8chtr : 10-01-2017 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:31 PM   #200
wideeyedone
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Alexa chuckled a little bit when she realized that they had been on a parallel journey all along.

"I forget that Rob has ties to Chicago, because his mom and stepmom live in Beverly Glen. But Rob Mansfield is marrying my sister, Jenna. We have been going to the same wedding all along."

Alexa tucked her hair behind her ear and straightened up her dress.

"My sister didn't want me to be unescorted, so she asked Aiden, who happens to be my ex boyfriend, to squire me around tonight and I have been wishing that you were here."

Her hand caressed his face and then she kissed him softly.
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