Together, Forever! Ch. 06bysimply_cyn©
When Colin called the next afternoon, Victoria decided to play it cool and let him do the chasing for a change. He had showed some definite interest and she wanted to test it out just a little. “Hi Victoria. It’s Colin.”
“Oh, hi Colin. How are you?”
“I just wanted to call and let you know how much I enjoyed last night.”
Victoria smiled into the phone as she cradled the receiver closer to her ear. Just hearing his voice brought a picture of his face to her mind. “I did too,” she said.
Colin got right to the point. “So, how does your schedule look for this evening?”
She had a business dinner planned with Tom along with one of his business partners here in Los Angeles. She was seriously thinking about transferring out here. There was really nothing holding her back in Texas except Madelyn and she would understand. Besides, Colin was here. She knew that she could reschedule with Tom if necessary, but she wasn’t ready to drop everything for this guy just yet. Where was the fun in that? “I can’t tonight, Colin. I have a dinner date.”
“A dinner date?” he questioned, surprise showing in his voice. Victoria smiled secretly. “With who?”
She decided to cut him a little slack. “I’m having a business dinner with my publisher and a colleague of his here in Los Angeles.”
“Are you planning on just working this week or are you going to give yourself some time to play?”
“That is what I came to L.A. for,” she said, knowing full well she was speaking only in half truths. The real reason for this trip was on the other end of the phone.
“Well, now you have another reason for being here.” He hinted at the obvious.
“Is that right?” She laughed. It was a lot of fun to tease him.
“You’re damn straight.” He had such a sexy laugh. It made Victoria want to climb right through the phone after him.
“Colin, I’m in town for one week and one week only. It’s booked solid. I’ve had a wonderful time with you and I hate to cut it short, believe me … but I have a job to do. I hope you understand.” Inwardly, Victoria hoped that her plan didn’t backfire on her. She wanted to be pursued.
“Victoria, I don’t want to get in the way of your job. I think you can swing both. That is, if you really want to.” He paused, waiting for her to respond to that. He was having a hard time reading her. He didn’t want to pursue her if she wasn’t interested, but something told him she was and he wanted her, wanted her worse than any other before her … even Marisa.
Victoria paused, wanting to encourage him but not so obviously. What was she going to say to him now? It was clear he wanted to know where she stood. “It’s not that I don’t want to …” she began, searching for the words.
Colin helped her. “I tell you what.” She took a deep breath, hopeful that he’d take the pressure off her shoulders. She really didn’t want to be overly aggressive with him. Something told her he wanted to do the chasing. “What if I meet you after your meeting is over? Just tell me where you’ll be and I’ll do the rest.”
Victoria smiled. He was interested. She played one last hand. “I’m not really sure what time we’ll be done, Colin. It could go on forever. You shouldn’t have to wait.” She stopped, wondering what he would do next. It was a lame excuse and she knew it. She desperately hoped that he’d push the issue and go through with his plans. There was nothing she’d like better than to spend another evening with him.
“Victoria, I don’t care how long it lasts. I’ll wait as long as I have to.” Victoria smiled and silently let out the breath she had been unconsciously holding. “You know, you’ve already gotten under my skin and I’m not about to let you go back to Texas without knowing that you’ll be back. In fact,” he added, “I’m not sure I’m going to let you leave in the first place.”
Colin’s words only confirmed Victoria’s nothing that she had captured his interest enough to keep him hooked. She decided to stretch this for every inch she could get. “You know, we only met a couple of days ago. You sound so sure of the fact that you want to be with me, yet I have a hard time believing that when you obviously can have your pick of all of Hollywood, not to mention any girl or woman that has seen your latest movie, that you would want to be with me.”
“Victoria, you don’t give yourself enough credit. Why would I want to be with anyone else when you’re around? I have never met anyone like you before and to be quite honest with you, I have never felt the way I do with anyone I’ve ever been with before you.” Victoria could feel the tears start to form in her eyes. She desperately hoped he meant everything she was hearing.
“Colin …” He quickly interrupted her.
“Victoria, let me finish. You have this presence … a force that drew me to you that first night. It’s invaded my heart and my mind. I haven’t been able to sleep in three days and I couldn’t let go of you and these feelings if I wanted to!’
Victoria was stunned and wasn’t sure how to respond. This was going just the way she had dreamed it would, but how could that be? This couldn’t be real, could it? “Colin, I don’t know what to say after all that …”
“Just tell me where you’ll be tonight and I’ll be there.”
With her heart in her throat, she said, “The Bistro Gardens.”
“What time is your dinner meeting?”
She told him and he said he’d meet her there afterwards and that he was looking forward to it. Victoria agreed in the end, barely getting the words past the lump in her throat.
Sitting in the restaurant with Tom and his colleague, Steve Cameron, Victoria was engaged in a wonderful conversation about her aspiring career as a children’s author. They were both convinced that she needed to give up teaching, move here to Los Angeles and focus only on her writing. Tom was going on and on about the quality of writing she possessed. “Vicky, with the work you’ve already published and the work I’ve seen in your portfolio, Steven and I have agreed to make it worth your while to follow the course that we’ve presented to you. We want to ensure that you’re happy with us and will be for many years to come. We sure don’t want to lose you to the competition.”
“Now Tom, you know I would never do that,” she commented with a smile, taking a sip of her white wine.
“Victoria, we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Steve added. “We’re willing to do whatever we need to do to make this happen for you and for us.” Victoria was having a good laugh over that and dreaming about her future with this company and Colin, when she saw him. He was sitting about three tables over, watching her with intense eyes. She hadn’t known he would actually wait for her here, but there he was … sipping on a glass of wine and watching her carry on a lively conversation with these older men. By now, Victoria’s mind had flown over to his table and she knew that her eyes had conveyed that message to him as well. As she reached for her glass of wine, her eyes were glued to his features. His hair had fallen into his eyes and he watched her with an intense gaze. Victoria felt herself slowly slipping into a daze, lost in his eyes, even as she sat that far apart from him. Her eyes dropped to his full, sensuous mouth and she felt her own mouth go dry just thinking how his lips felt on hers. Her thoughts were jolted back to reality as she realized that Tom had been talking to her. “Vicky, where have you disappeared to?”
Quickly shifting her gaze away from Colin to Tom, she took another sip of wine. “No where. I’m here.” She smiled quickly at Steve and then set her glass down. Standing up, she made apologies and said she’d be right back. Both men stood as she pushed in her chair and glance back over to Colin’s table, seeing he had disappeared. She excused herself to go to the powder room, needing to regain her composure and that’s where she ran into him. He was leaning nonchalantly against a pillar near the back of the restaurant. “What are you doing here?” she whispered, walking up to him.
Colin quickly looked her over. She was wearing a white silk skirt slit high up her thigh, and a deep blue silk shirt that set off her eyes and the color of her hair. Her hair had been swept up on top of her head and her nails were manicured and left natural. She was wearing high-heeled sandals that matched her skirt. “I told you I would wait for you.”
“I know,” she whispered, looking behind her at the two men still engaged in a conversation at her table. “I just didn’t think you’d be here.” She looked back at him and smiled. “You’re making it hard for me to concentrate on business.”
“Then you might as well leave now,” he said, taking her by the arm and pulling her close to him. She could smell his cologne and it made her head whirl.
Quickly stepping back before she lost sight of her reason for being here, she said, “Colin, I’m still in the middle of my meeting.” Victoria felt her resolve slipping as he watched her with eyes that sparkled. She knew she wouldn’t be able to concentrate anymore and finally agreed to meet him out front. She felt just like a teenager about to slip out of the house to meet a boyfriend that her parents didn’t approve of. Colin quickly leaned over and kissed her before heading out the door. Watching his retreating form, Victoria took a deep breath and went back to her table.
Both men stood again as she just stood there, gathering her purse and briefcase. Looking directly at Tom, she said, “Tom, I’m sorry but something’s come up. Are we finished here?”
Tom’s questioning gaze caught Victoria’s and she felt a twinge of guilt. Steve quickly sat back down, answering for Tom. “Yes, Victoria. I apologize for keeping you so late.” Looking down at his watch, he added, “It’s time I went as well.”
“Vicky,” Tom said, sitting back down and taking a sip of wine. “You’re going to think seriously about what we’ve said, I hope?” He looked at her intently and she knew he was asking more than what he said.
“Of course,” she said.
“Will I see you again before you leave for Texas?” Steve asked.
“I’m not sure, to tell you the truth.”
“I hope you really consider moving to the area, Victoria. We can work more closely if you were here. But we’ll do what we can to keep communication open even if you decide against it.”
“I’ll consider it, I promise.” Then with a nod to both men, she hurried to the front door. As she stepped out, a limo driver opened a door directly in front of her and she saw a hand reach out and wait. Smiling, Victoria stepped forward and took it, stepping into the limo and Colin’s waiting arms.
All her resolve to make Colin wait and yearn for her, fled out the window as that limo door closed and Victoria found herself wrapped in Colin’s warm arms. She was the one who was yearning for him! His face was hovering close to her own and his cologne reached out and caressed her face … or was it his hand? She felt very warm and very safe and instinctively, she leaned in closer to him as she watched him through half closed lids. “Do you know how very beautiful you are?” he asked. She nestled close to him and then suddenly he laughed. “If you don’t stop looking at me that way, I’m going to have to kiss you.”
“All right.” Her soft laughter joined his. She couldn’t have torn her gaze from his if her very life depended upon it. Like a movie in slow motion, she watched his lips lower to hers as a wonderful and warm feeling closed over her. Victoria’s eyes closed and she savored this moment … clung to it like it would be her last. Slowly, oh so slowly, his lips descended, brushing hers. She could feel their warmth before they even touched her. A soft moan escaped her lips as he deepened the kiss, his tongue reaching out to caress her own. She took him in, her arms encircling his neck and her heart pounding. A beautiful song softly came over the radio, filling Victoria’s ears and heart with their words … “If I never knew you, if I never felt this love, I would have no inkling of, how precious life could be …”
Colin pulled away slowly and Victoria felt like she had been drugged. She opened her eyes and saw him smiling down at her. They wound up at her hotel room and she didn’t have to ask, he just followed her in. No words were spoken as he took her into his arms and held her close.
Victoria held tight to him as they stood by the door locked in an embrace. No kissing … no fondling, just his hand slightly stroking her back. Her head rested quietly on his chest. Victoria closed her eyes and slowly inhaled his scent … clean, musky, sexy. Stepping gently away from his embrace, she turned on the light, walking into the sitting area of her hotel suite. The draperies were pulled back to show the spectacular view of the lights of Los Angeles below.
Colin followed Victoria to the window, taking her into his embrace. As they looked out over L.A., she softly asked, “Do you want some coffee?”
“It’s not coffee I want,” he whispered in her ear, his embrace tightening.
She turned in his embrace, her eyes locked with his. “What do you want?” Her eyes blazed with his and suddenly Colin wanted to protect her … to love her for a long time.
“I better go.” He smiled down at her with a tender look.
“Any special reason?”
He laughed softly in the dim light of the hotel room. “A very good one. You’re driving me crazy, Miss Harrison. And if I’m expected to behave myself, I’d better go.” Victoria pouted as Colin pointed out, “You said yourself that you wouldn’t go out with me again if it was just to go to bed. So, we’re not.”
“Always the gentleman,” she teased.
He kissed her on the forehead, pulling her close as he said, “Besides, you’re leaving in a couple of days and I’ll still be here.” She pulled back from his embrace, disappointment shining in her eyes. She didn’t want to talk about the fact that she was going to have to leave him sooner or later, but here it was … staring her right in the face. “I really want us to start this relationship out right and going to bed isn’t going to do it, no matter how badly you or I want to.”
“Relationship?” she questioned. “Is that what this feels like to you?”
“Yes, I think it can be.” He watched her, scared to admit how much he already cared about her … scared to admit he’d be devastated if she left. “I want to carry this to the end, wherever and whenever that is going to be. I honestly don’t think it’s going to end when you go back to Texas. We’re too closely linked to one another … already.” He emphasized this point by pulling her back into his embrace, his cheek resting on her forehead. “You’ll be back. Of that I’m certain.”
Victoria didn’t say anything. She was too choked up to reply to his impassioned words. “If you look inside yourself, Victoria, you have to admit that you belong here. The job can follow you.” She knew what he had said was true. Her publisher was here in California and was practically begging her to be closer. If she had to, she could also find a teaching job here. All she had to do was take the California version of the EXCET test, but Victoria had to admit … she was scared. What if she came this far and then things didn’t work out like she wanted them to? What if Colin was just saying these things and she left everything behind to come? But then she thought that this is what she had come for. She wanted him and now she needed to be near him. She didn’t know what to do.
He stepped back from her, holding her at arms’ length as he watched her. Kissing her lightly on the forehead, he said, “All I’m asking for is a chance to love you, Victoria. Everything else can be worked out.” He sauntered over to the door and turned back to gaze at her. “Until tomorrow,” he said and then opened the door. ‘When?!’ she wanted to know but he walked out, leaving her breathless and wanting with definite questions about her future.