tagRomanceA Valentines Day Auction

A Valentines Day Auction

bykinkynkazoo©

Kerrie wasn't happy about having to attend the formal gathering that her company was hosting, but then, she didn't really have any plans for Valentines Day anyways. It would be just another boring night at home.

It had been five months since she called it off with Mike and she just hadn't felt like being around anyone, men in particular -- especially married men.

"Look Kerrie," her boss would say. "It's just like horseback riding. If the damned animal bucks you off, you jump back on and use your crop!"

Jennifer had been Kerrie's boss for more than four years, but she was really more like a big sister. One who would yell at you one minute and hug you the next. Jennifer was a loose cannon, ready to fly off the handle at any moment yet had the ability to show infinite patience when the subject really mattered.

Kerrie sits in front of her mirror applying her makeup with great care. One never knows who one might meet, she would silently think; might as well make the best of it.

She decides to wear her long blue dress, made from the finest Indian silk, beaded glass and sequins with the open back showing off Kerrie's tanned body. Fortunately, the weather had been very mild in southern Mississippi and she took every opportunity to bask in the warm sun.

She slips on her Nine West open toed black satin shoes. The two inch high thick heel has three straps across the foot and another strap across the ankle that buckled to help hold them on.

She pulls her hair back and fastens it in a bun with her combs that were given to her by her grandmother.

"These are my lucky combs," her grandmother would say, "Anytime I wanted to get noticed by the boys, I'd put my hair up with these combs. It let me show off my pretty face," Kerrie smiles at the memory.

She adds a finishing touch by wearing the pearl necklace that was a gift from Mike. They reminded her of more pleasant times. Kerrie sits down and starts to cry.

"Shit. Now I have to reapply my mascara."

Kerrie collected herself and began the tedious task, her thoughts still lingering of him. Finished, she stands and looks at herself in the mirror.

"Not bad Kerrie. Not bad at all."

Her confidence returning, she grabs her Louis Vitan purse and heads out the door to go to the festivities.

At the party, Jarred was already there and mingling.

"Jarred, I want you to close this deal tonight. Do what you have to do to get Mrs. VanAndel to sign. She's a handful I know, but you're just the man to get the job done," said Peter Borland, President and CEO of Borland, Borland and Falcone.

Jarred was only to happy to appease the boss, after all, this was his chance to show that Pete that he had what it took to land the big contracts.

Jarred had been with the company only three years, but was moving up the company ladder fast. Everyone took notice, especially the competition. More importantly, his peers were amazed at how nice he was in this dog eat dog world.

Standing six-foot one inch and a trim one hundred and ninety pounds, Jarred had once dreamed of playing baseball professionally, but a torn rotator cuff and three surgeries kept him out of the sport. Like so any others, this was just another childhood dream gone unrealized.

At age 37, his hair had already begun the premature process of turning from almost jet black to salt and pepper. Distinguishable they would say, handsome even, but never to be confused with a model. His prowess with women was due to his ability to talk with them rather than at them. Jarred was looking forward to spending time at the VanAndel's party.

The Arcadia Ballroom was lavishly furnished. The 35,000 square feet was covered with a mosaic patterned carpet which came from England. The table and chairs, each hand crafted cost fifteen hundred dollars each. The three glittering chandeliers hung from the ceiling like stalagmites, each like the other and ornately decorated.

When Jarred walked into the ballroom, he immediately noticed a stunningly attractive woman. She stood five-five, maybe five-six he thought. Her dark brown hair was pulled up in a bun. He guessed that it was probably shoulder length or a little longer.

The next thing he noticed was her dark blue open-back sequined dress. Always finding this look very attractive, he was about to approach her and introduce himself when he was warmly greeted by an entourage of VanAndel employees and whisked away from the object of his affection.

He was known to some, having been in contact with Mrs. VanAndel several times over the past three months, but others he would meet for the first time. Kerrie would be among them.

"I'm sure glad your here Kerrie. I've been talking to Monica at Borland and Borland. I guess the guy who's been talking with Mrs. VanAndel is going to be here tonight. She says that he's attractive and single. Let's go find him," said Jennifer.

"I don't think so Jen. I just want to make my appearance and leave."

"Well, as your boss, your here until I say you can leave," snapped Jennifer in her typical mood swing when not getting her own way.

"Besides, I want you to get laid tonight. I've heard that Mrs. VanAndel has made arrangements to get the Manhattan Suite tonight for her charity event and I want you to use it," Jennifer added.

"Oh Jen! I can't do that and you know it. I'm just not that way," said Kerrie. "Besides, I didn't bring a change of clothes."

"Honey, if what I hear is right, you won't be wearing yours for long anyways," Jennifer teased.

"What!" gasped Kerrie. "What DID you hear?"

"Oh relax, I didn't mean that bad, and anyways, I was talking about this Borland guy."

"I'm still not interested. But I am interested in getting something to drink. C'mon."

Jarred exchanged pleasantries with everyone he met. His concentration never wavered while talking to each person. His eyes were a very dark brown and people talked about how his stare could penetrate right through them, as if he was looking into the depths of their mind, but his smile always put them at ease. Easy to talk to and easy on the eyes was the word going around the party.

Seeing Jarred, Mrs. VanAndel makes her way towards him with a gleam in her eye. Jarred politely excused himself from his present conversation and waited for her. He could tell that something was on her mind and wasn't exactly sure what it might be.

Kerrie tugs at Jennifer's arm dragging her over to the open bar and orders two wine spritzers.

"Spritzer? Are you kidding me?" yells Jennifer and then orders a single malt scotch.

"What's got you so excited tonight?"

"Well Kerrie, Mrs. VanAndel has offered me a promotion, which means that someone will have to take over for me. I was thinking you're the best person for the job. What do you say, interested?"

"Jen? Are you joking?"

In an uncharacteristic manner, Kerrie puts down the wine spritzer and orders a shot of tequila.

"Jarred!" said VanAndel excitedly. "I'm so glad you could make it. I hope you enjoy yourself tonight. I've got a special surprise and I want you to be a part of it."

His mind races. Is she going to just give me the account? Attempting to remain cool and collected he replies,

"Anything for you Mrs. VanAndel. I'm just happy that you think I'm worth your time."

They continue their small talk when Jarred notices Kerrie again, having no idea that she's a VanAndel employee. For the first time in his life his concentration waivers as Mrs. VanAndel continues her conversation. He drags his thoughts off of the dark haired beauty and continues his conversation with Mrs. VanAndel.

For the first time that evening, Kerrie noticed the handsome stranger talking to Mrs. VanAndel. Is this the Borland guy every one was talking about? She finds herself intrigued.

"Hmm"

"Hmm what?" asks Jennifer.

"Oh, sorry Jen. I was just lost in thought."

Jennifer looks in the same direction as Kerrie but only sees Mrs. VanAndel and some guy with his back turned walking away.

"I wonder if that's the guy."

"What? Who?"

"The Borland guy. I saw you staring at him. You think he's cute, don't you?"

"Jen, you're incorrigible."

He's probably so full of himself, she scoffs, yet Kerrie finds herself becoming interested in meeting this Don Juan. Her subconscious reminds her that it's been seven months since she's had any sex. In a bold move, Kerrie excuses herself from Jennifer and makes her way towards Jarred. She stops at the bar first and gets another shot, slams it and then returns to her previous course. Him.

Jarred always being polite was in conversation with a former co-worker when he saw Kerrie walking in his direction.

"Excuse me please John, but I've wanted to meet this woman all night." he says nodding in Kerrie's direction.

"Do you know her?"

"No. But she's a looker."

Jarred leaves his friend and begins his own walk towards the raven haired beauty. Their eyes lock on each other for the first time. All other sounds fade in the background as they move in what seems like slow motion towards each other. The band begins to play a lilting melody. Jarred looks into her eyes and asks,

"Would you like to dance?"

"Wha..what?"

"The music is playing. Would you like to dance?"

Taken completely by surprise, Kerrie stammers out a yes as he whisks her around in circle after circle. Her head spins, yet her eyes don't leave his. Their dark brown color seemingly burning into her mind, yet his smile and deep soft voice put her at ease. It is true she thinks.

"I'm sorry, I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Jarred. What's yours?"

"Kerrie."

"As pretty as your name is, it doesn't do your looks justice."

Kerrie laughs at the obvious pickup line.

"Aren't you a charmer?"

Jarred laughs back realizing that this woman is not impressed with his repertoire.

"Would you care to join me outside? It's getting a bit noisy."

"And stuffy" she adds.

They walk out on the balcony, but not before each one grabs another drink from the bar. It's warm for this time of year and the outside air is pleasant. Jarred leans on the balcony looking at the city streets below. His mind races for something to talk about, but for the first time in his life, his only thought is getting to know this woman better.

"I'm sorry. I'm not usually at a loss for words. Something about you has me stumbling like a sixteen-year-old asking a girl out on a first date."

"More charm?" Kerrie asks suspiciously.

"Kerrie? I find you incredibly attractive, and I'd like to get to know you better."

They continue to talk, each telling the other of their desires and passions. Kerrie finds that while she's only known Jarred for a few minutes, there is a certain quality about him. She's drawn to him like a moth to a flame. But like the flame, she's afraid of getting burned. She finds herself shying away, but the more she shies away, the stronger the pull of his magnetism becomes.

The party goers unite into a loud chorus of shouts and laughter. The band's music becomes livelier and everyone is having a great time. Jarred looks at Kerrie and says,

"Looks like we're missing a great party. Do you wanna go back in?"

"No, actually I don't. I like the company out here."

Jarred having forgotten all about his purpose for attending the party in the first place leans in and kisses Kerrie. His hands reach up to her face and hold her softly. Caressing her cheeks and lifting her chin up, he says,

"I feel like I've known you much longer than the hour that we've spent out here."

Kerrie feels a rush of excitement through her body. She can feel herself falling for this stranger. Stop that she silently tells herself. You've only known him for one hour. Her emotions aren't listening and she leans into him, ready to feel his caress on more than her face.

The large French doors burst open onto the balcony, breaking the moment between them. Jennifer is leading a conga line of dancers and works her way over to Jarred and Kerrie. Oblivious to their intent, she grabs Jarred and drags him into the ballroom while another man grabs Kerrie. Unable to stop them, the couple joins the party back inside.

Mrs. VanAndel notices the long line of partiers and pulls Jarred aside saying,

"Remember I told you that I have a surprise?"

"Yes."

"I want you to participate in my auction."

"Of course Mrs. VanAndel," Jarred mentions.

"Good. I want you to get up on stage. We're going to auction you off to the highest bidder. You'll be there host for the remainder of the evening."

"Oh, I'm not sure I can do that..."

"If you want this account, you'll do this."

"If you give me the account. I'm yours for the evening."

"That's the attitude I like, Jarred. The account is yours. But ONLY if you get auctioned off at a high price for my charity," She says with a laugh.

Mrs. VanAndel takes his hand and walks towards the stage that has been set up. At a wave of her hand, the band stops as she walks up to the microphone and asks for everyone's attention.

"Ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank you all for attending this evening's festivity. It's been the VanAndel Groups extreme pleasure to host this event, but now I need your help."

She waits for the partiers to quiet down before continuing.

"As many of you know, I've supported a special charity every year, and this year is no exception. This year I want to raise money by auctioning off all the single men in the room. They will be your hosts for the rest of the evening. Morning too if your lucky."

Another chorus of cheers fills the Ballroom as the women hoot and holler with delight. After a brief commotion of women pushing their favorite single men forward, Mrs. VanAndel begins her auction.

"First, I have Jarred. He's our new ad man as I've agreed to use Borland, Borland and Falcone as your new ad company."

A round of applause is given and Jarred smiles his ever confident smile.

"AND, Jarred is our first bachelor," she adds.

"Before we start the bidding, I wanted to add that the highest bid also gets the Manhattan suite that I've reserved for the evening."

Again the women cheer wildly, making cat calls and whistling loudly. Jarred's smile becomes one of embarrassment as the first bid is shouted out.

"Twenty five dollars."

"Thirty," the next call shouts out.

"Fifty," comes a short blond woman.

"One hundred," says Jennifer smiling at Kerrie.

"One fifty," the screams of excitement causing everyone to get into the action.

"Two fifty," yells Jennifer.

"Five hundred thirty seven dollars and seventeen cents," yells Kerrie, giving Jennifer a "don't even think about it" look.

"Sold!" says VanAndel.

The crowd laughs and applauds again, each knowing that no higher bids will be given this night. They know that this attractive brunette is going to have the Manhattan suite with the attractive Jarred this evening.

Jarred finds himself relieved that Kerrie was the highest bidder and gratefully offers his arm for her to take before leading her back out to the balcony.

"I think I owe you a great deal of thanks," he says.

"Remember, you belong to me now. I own you for the rest of the evening," Kerrie says with a wry come-hither grin.

Jarred pulls her close and before kissing her again says,

"I think this is where we left off before we were so rudely interrupted," then pulls her even closer and kisses her deeply, passionately.

Kerrie melts into his arms as she returns his kiss. Her hand reaches up and shows him the room key to the Manhattan suite. She pulls away from Jarred looking into his eyes, turns and says over her shoulder,

"We could finish this elsewhere..."

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