tagRomanceIf Only Ch. 07

If Only Ch. 07

byDragon_13©

Sorry about the delay, but I wanted to make this chapter longer so I waited a few more days to post. Enjoy! —Dragon_13



As Cadogan set down the food, Kara inhaled the aroma and a memory came back to her, when her parents were still alive.

She was sitting at the table, banging her fork and knife up and down in each hand in excitement. Today was her birthday, and whenever there was a special day her mother would cook tenderloin benedict for breakfast, as the hotel had served it for breakfast when they were on their honeymoon. "Alright, alright Kara, I am coming with it now." Her mother said. "Yes!" Kara replied. Suddenly Kara's mother looked at her and started saying "Kara" over and over again like there was something wrong.

"Kara!" Cadogan said. Kara started shaking her head and darted her eyes back and forth, finally settling on Cadogan. "Kara, are you alright?"

"Yeah." Kara replied, putting her hand to her head. "Sorry, I kinda had a flashback of the last time I ate tenderloin benedict."

"Well... do you want to talk about it?"

"Nah, it's... kind of bittersweet."{Not quite sure I am ready to go there yet}

"Ok, well...is this ok? I mean I can cook something else..."

"Oh, no...this is great. I am sure it is going to be delicious." Kara said with a little smile. Kara looked down at her plate, seeing how much effort he had put into the presentation, knowing how much he liked her, how much he would care for her, and she silently begged God to let this be real. To let this...tonight be the beginning of something. Kara picked up her fork and started to eat.

Cadogan looked at Kara, wishing there was something he could do, some way he could take away the pain present on her face, but before he could say anything her expression changed. It changed to something different, possibly...longing? {Maybe...maybe I can take away her pain by giving her happiness} He noticed she had started eating, so he joined in, wondering what the day would bring.

When they were finished eating, Kara stole a glance at Cadogan, and caught him looking at her. She started laughing, and soon Cadogan as well, after the blush that had suffused his face went away. When the laughter died down, Cadogan stood up to get the dishes, and Kara quickly got the glasses, wanting to help a little. When she stepped into the kitchen, she saw the time and gasped. {Oh boy...}

"What is it?" Cadogan asked.

"Well.... It is already 11:00. I have so much to do..."

Cadogan chuckled. "I see. Let's not waste any time then. Go ahead and get your things together, and I will meet you...by the back door."

Kara laughed, remembering that the front door was blocked off. She walked up to Cadogan, and much to his surprise, kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you." Cadogan smiled, and Kara walked away, to the bedroom. She went ahead and made the bed, looking around for anything else. {Wait a second...where are the clothes Cadogan lent me?} Kara went to the laundry room, and saw them folded neatly in a pile on top of the dryer.

{When did he find the time to do that?} Kara smiled. Then she got a naughty thought. She grabbed a plastic bag and put her clothes in it, all except for one item. She went back to the bedroom, giggling all the while and dropped the item on the floor, kicking it underneath the bed.

She went to the front door and grabbed her purse, and tried to remember where she put her cell phone. She went into the living room, and saw it on the coffee table. {More missed calls from Claire} She opened up the phone, and called Claire before she ran out of battery.

"Claire?"

"Kara?! Kara! Are you still at that guy's house?!"

"Claire...calm down."

Claire took a deep breath. "Ok."

"Now, day before yesterday we got snowed in, and I finally opened up about my past to Cadogan. I was so emotionally exhausted; we slept the entire day yesterday. This morning, Cadogan invited me to dinner at Medwins—[Claire squealed] and [Kara said with emphasis] I need something to wear. So, I will meet you at my house in an hour, and we will go from there. Bye Claire." Kara hung up the phone before she yakked her ear off.

Kara went by the kitchen and found Boris lying down by the back door. "Hey boy!" Kara said while scratching his ears. "You are coming home with me today" Boris yipped in approval, and Cadogan leaned against the doorframe, smiling.

"Ready to go?"

"Yeah. Is there anything I need to take for Boris?"

"Umm... a few things. Let me get them for you." Cadogan went around the house and gathered Boris' things. When he was finished he met Kara by the back door and opened it for her, half expecting there to be snow there too, but much to his surprise, there was none. There was barely any snow on the ground. {How?...}

Kara looked at Cadogan and saw him pause. "What is it?"

"Well, there is barely any snow on the ground; didn't expect it." Kara looked out the door and was almost surprised, but somehow, after the last few days....this wasn't a shock. Though...it was interesting.

"Well, it is a good thing, right? This means that we can go and get back to our lives. [Cadogan couldn't help but feel sadness at her words] I don't know about you, [Kara turns to Cadogan] but I have a lot of things to do before tonight. [As Kara said this, she saw the look of discomfort on Cadogan's face] Are you OK?"

Cadogan felt depressed about her going back to her own life, although it would be the norm, until she said she had a lot of things to do before tonight. But before he could get excited about it, she asked him what was wrong. Cadogan looked at her. "Nothing, [he said with a genuine smile] let's get you to your place."

"Ok." Kara kneeled down and looked in the bag of things Cadogan gathered for Boris. She found a collar and leash, and put them on Boris. They walked out around the building to the front and as they passed the front door, they both looked half expecting for there to be no snow in front of the door, but there was still that looming pile. Though when they bumped into each other because they were looking at the same thing they both laughed.

When they arrived at Cadogan's car, Kara was a little surprised to see that he had a normal car, since his place was so extravagant. He opened the door for her, and before she could get in he took her bags, giving her a polite smile, making her laugh. He opened the back door for Boris, and set the bags next to him.

He walked around and started the car, beginning to back up but he stopped. "So...where to?" He looked over to Kara. She looked at him and raised her eyebrows.

"Hmm?" Cadogan laughed.

"Where do you live?"

"Oh! [Kara laughed as well] I live over by Morris Square, Addison Avenue."

"Ok...I'm not really familiar with that Square, but it is over by Fairview, right?"

"Sort of, just head that way and I will direct you."

"Ok." Cadogan began driving, but the silence was stifling. "So, you know where I work, where do you work?"

"Well, I work as a physician's assistant at the office of Dr. Gene Dalton. Claire is the receptionist. Eventually I will open my own practice; I have been saving up for some time.

"Ah. That explains how you reacted about the whole anxiety attack thing." Kara smiled. The rest of the drive was more or less silent, with Kara giving directions here and there. Soon enough they were rounding Morris Square.

"Ok, there is Addison Avenue, now continue down about two blocks. My address is 213." Cadogan pulled to a stop in front of a house, similar to that of a row house but separated. Although, contrary to all the other houses on the street that were white and 2½ stories, hers was 1½ story and not painted, but a dark wood. Kara could see the curiosity on his face and answered his question before he asked it.

"When these houses were first being built in the late 1800s, these lots were all bought by the high class of society, except one. One man had been saving up all his life. He was a farmer, and had just married one of the prettiest girls in town. He knew he was a lucky man, being with a girl like her, and wanted to get the best for her. So, he sold his farm and with all the money he had saved up bought this lot, and built a wonderful house on it. Much to the high class neighbors dismay, there were no covenants of any kind back then determining what a house should look like, and he didn't like painting wood, and felt no reason to build any more than he needed." [Kara laughed]

"The house stayed in the family for many years, and by the time it left the hands of that family, there was much talk about knocking it down and building one just like all the others on the street. Well, the historical society stepped in and decided that it was a part of history and bought the house, selling it to one of their own who kept up the property."

"As a child, we would pass by this house on occasion and I always said I wanted to live here. Just something about this house...made me want to have it, keep it the way it was. As soon as I heard it go back on the market, I used my parent's insurance money to buy it and fix it up."

Cadogan looked at Kara and smiled. {She really is something} "Well, I will have to see the inside of this some other time, I am sure you have much to catch up on." Kara leaned over and kissed Cadogan on the cheek, giving him a warm smile.

"Ok, what time can I expect you?" Kara asked.

"How about 5:30?"

"Well, that gives me good reason to limit my time with Claire, today is going to be a long day, but 5:30 it is." Kara said jokingly...sort of.

Cadogan laughed. "Ok, see you then." Kara got out of the car and opened the rear door, letting Boris out and grabbing his and her things. Cadogan unbuckled his seat belt but before he could do anything else, Kara stopped him. "Hey! I got this; you just sit there and look handsome." Cadogan had a look of disbelief on his face. Kara stuck her tongue out at him and closed the door. {Oh, she's gonna get it later} Cadogan thought as he smiled.

Kara walked up to her house, smiling. She unlocked the door and closed it behind Boris, making a beeline for the bedroom to plug in her phone. She walked back into the living room, finding Boris already making himself at home on her rug. "I am going to have to find you a bed today. Wish I could take you with me, but I don't think some of the shops we are going to go in today would much appreciate you with me." Boris whined in response.

"Its okay Boris, I will be back to see you in a few hours." Kara said while scratching his head. Kara went into the bedroom to change into something more appropriate, and called Claire, who said she was already on her way and would be there in 10. Kara laughed, {that Claire} putting down the phone. Kara went around the house and watered her plants, as well as putting some water in a bowl for Boris.

As soon as she was finished, she heard Claire pull up outside. Kara grabbed her phone and purse and went outside, mentally preparing herself for the onslaught of questions sure to come. Sure enough, as soon as she got in the car, Claire started asking a ton of questions.

"Claire...[Kara whined] I will tell you over the drive, put you are driving me crazy."

"Ok..." Claire said meekly, ducking her head a little.

"As I told you before, I had an anxiety attack; why doesn't matter. Cadogan found me and carried me to his place, taking care of me until I regained consciousness. Then he cooked for me, actually he cooked the entire time I was there. But soon enough I opened up about my past...a little, and it was too much, had been held for too long. Well, we slept for a day...just sleeping, nothing more." [Kara said eyeing Claire]

"Then we woke up, he made me breakfast, he owns Medwins—" Claire just about got them in an accident.

"HE OWNS MEDWINS?!"

"Yes, he owns Medwins and wants to take me to dinner tonight. NOW, [Kara interrupted before Claire could say anything else] you can see the dilemma I am in of needing to find something appropriate to wear."

"Yes, Yes I do." Claire said. "This is going to be so much fun!

"Oh boy..." Kara said.

They arrived at the first shop, Kara noticed it was a dress shop. "A dress?"

"Yes, a dress. I have never seen you in one, and frankly you need to step it up. If this guy likes you as much as it seems he does, you need to make sure to make an impression."

Kara begrudgingly agreed, and went into the shop with Claire. Of course, Claire headed straight for the formal attire, and Kara groaned. "Claire.."

"Kara, I know that this is a big step for you, however; Medwins is nearly a black tie affair. You need to not only look stunning, but be dressed accordingly." Kara knew she had a point, but she was just thinking along the lines of a little black dress. Claire started pulling out dresses, most of which made Kara's eyes go wide.

"Claire...some of these are really too much..." The colors...red, purple... Claire shoved Kara into a dressing room and had her dress up in all these different dresses, but none of them were to Kara's liking. Claire was getting frustrated, and finally Kara spoke up.

"Claire, just let me go and look for the dresses for a minute, ok? I promise to pick one that is formal." Claire huffed but let Kara go and look. Kara went through the store, looking at the racks, but nothing seemed to jump out at her. Finally, she was passing by a rack of bright colors, almost blinding, and saw some of a slate gray dress peeking out.

She grabbed it, and it looked okay, but she figured she should try it on anyway, she really like the color. She walked back into the dressing room, passing Claire with a smile. Claire looked at the dress and rolled her eyes at the color, not seeing how Kara could make an impression with a dreary color.

Kara put on the dress and gasped. It hugged her bust, and had a diagonal pattern of barely there sequins across the middle, and flared out to her ankles, with a moderate slit on the right side. But it really made her eyes pop, and her curls stand out. Kara opened the door and stepped out, facing Claire.

Claire took in Kara's appearance and gasped as well. "It's the one!" Claire said, making Kara laugh. "Now we need to get you shoes, jewelry, your hair—"

"Wow. Hold the phone." Kara started shaking her head.

"No. You need to let go for once. Indulge. You hardly have any jewelry, I am not even sure if you own a dressy pair of shoes, and I know just the person to style your hair."

"Style my hair? I don't need—"

"Kara, you need to trust me just this once, okay?" Kara looked at Claire for a long time, then said "Fine. But if this gets out of hand, don't expect a phone call next time I need help."

"Deal." Claire said, nearly squealing with delight. Kara went back into the dressing room and took off the dress, shaking her head all the while. She paid for the dress, and was tugged along by Claire to a shoe shop. Claire went straight for the stilettos, and Kara had to jump in.

"Claire, I know you want me to look like a knock out, but if I am going to buy a pair of shoes, I need to be able to walk confidently in them. We will find a pair of sexy shoes yes, but I really don't think strappy stiletto is right for this occasion."

Claire looked at Kara; astonished she said something regarding fashion outright. "Ok." Kara looked through the shop, and tried to find gray shoes to match the dress. When she couldn't find any, she went for the black. {Maybe with a little sequin action to match the waist of the dress...}

Kara met up with Claire, but she came up empty handed as well. They were about to walk out of the store when an associate walked by them carrying a pair of shoes to put back. Kara stopped the woman and asked if she could see them. They were black with a small gray ruffle around the opening and were peep toe with a skinny heel. They had a splatter of sequins on the top, and Kara hoped they had her size. She looked at the brand, curious. {Go figure, it is by the same designer}

Kara tried on the shoes, and they fit pretty comfortably. As she was wrapping things up at the counter, Claire was already talking about their next destination. "What about food? Aren't you hungry at all?" Kara asked. "Well, I suppose we could stop and get something." Claire replied. {Suppose?...} Kara shook her head and this time she led the way to a restaurant.

They got their food, and sat eating in silence; every time Claire would try to speak Kara would give her an eyeful. When they were finished, Claire immediately dragged Kara to a store she had never been in before. "What store is this?" Kara asked. "You will see." Claire replied.

As they walked through the store, they came to a counter in the back with a large selection of beads, and there was a woman sitting there. "What can I do for you?" Claire smiled at Kara and turned to the woman. "I need a set of earrings, necklace, bracelet, and watch for a very special occasion." Kara looked at Claire like she was out of her mind. The woman simply smiled at Claire and asked her what the color scheme was. Claire took the dress and shoes from Kara and told the woman to have at it.

Then, surprisingly, the woman said "Give me an hour." Claire giggled. "Perfect! Let's go and get your hair done!" Kara groaned and was once again tugged to the next shop. {Is there anything Claire doesn't know?} They came upon a hair place, and Claire dragged Kara in. The owner seemed to know Claire and seated Kara right away.

"What can I do for you?" The man asked.

"I want you to make her hair look just like this, only better." Claire said. Kara was about to speak up when suddenly the man looked at her and said "I see....I know what to do!" Kara was getting terrified. Claire noticed the utter panic on Kara's face and kneeled down next to her.

"Don't worry. I would trust this man with my life, if hair were a life and death matter." Kara didn't smile, but gave Claire the blue-eyed stare, promising retribution should anything go wrong. The man turned Kara around much to Kara's dismay, and quirked an eyebrow at her, daring her to speak up. {That man thinks he is so full of himself..}

Almost an hour later, he turned Kara around and she gasped. Her hair looked just the way she liked to keep it, but...better. Not a hair was out of place, but it looked free? He somehow figured out a way to side sweep her hair so that it stayed in place. "Just don't touch it." The man said. "I won't." Kara replied. They left the hair dresser and went back to the woman, who proudly showed Kara what she had made.

Kara looked at her work in awe. The gray that showed was in cloudy black and gray beads, and the black sequin was represented as hematite. The most intriguing was the stone pendant. It was raw with a polished surface and other gray parts that weren't polished. Kara looked up at the woman. "How did you do this? Where did you find these pieces?"

"If I told you, it would ruin the magic." She replied. Kara looked at her and understood, and turned to Claire, about to ask her how in the world she knew of this woman. However before Kara could speak, Claire thrust a little bag at Kara. "You didn't." Kara said. Claire nodded enthusiastically, and Kara opened the bag, hoping it was something small.

{No, of course she went all out} In it was a velvet box, and Kara took it out and gave Claire that 'I can't take this' look. Claire nodded her head again, and Kara opened the box, but couldn't even gasp. In it was a silver ring with a square cut hematite stone in the center with tiny pairs of diamonds on either side. "Claire..."

"No, you deserve it. I haven't seen you smile, much less allow a guy to talk to you for longer than five minutes in all the years that I have known you, and this is my getting started gift. You can repay me by giving this guy a real chance." Kara gave Claire a side smile, but nodded her head in agreement. Claire just about started jumping up and down with glee.

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byDragon_13© 7 comments/ 5284 views/ 3 favorites

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