Structural Damage – Chapter 5

Sabrina walked into the office, just like most mornings, she was the first one there. She flipped on the lights in the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee; she was going to need quite a bit of it today because she got no sleep last night. Her mind would not shut off, all she could think about was Chris and the look on his face when she pulled away and began to walk off. Her talk with Audrey wasn’t helping her either. Her best friend was cautioning her to stay away from him, and her body was screaming to run towards him.

She walked over to Alice’s desk and wrote her a note, asking that she not be disturbed. She intended to lock herself into her office and not come out unless it was to get coffee or to go home. She walked into her office and quietly clicked the door closed and turned the lock. She fired up the laptop and emersed herself in her work.

~ ~
The knock on the door and the announcement of “housekeeping” stirred Chris out of his slumber. Well, that and the stream of sunlight that was coming in through the break in the curtains. His head was pounding, but he was able to pull himself off of the bed and made it to the door, asking if they could come back later. Since he was upright, he might as well take a shower and see if he could return to the land of the living. The clock on the nightstand read 11:30 am; he had no idea what time he had gone to bed, but he was pretty sure he could have slept for a few hours more and been just fine.

Emerging from the bathroom a short time later, he was feeling better and went searching for his phone. He found it tucked under his pillow, the charge was dwindling. He plugged it into the bedside outlet and checked his messages. There were several from his buddies, they were concerned that he left to take a call and never returned. They wondered if he was alright, he went ahead and responded now, letting them know he had gone to his room and passed out, but he was fine.

He had a missed call from his management team, he figured he would give them a call to see what was going on. He had no projects on the burners right now so maybe they had something come up for him. He had been on an extended vacation at the moment, waiting for the final Avengers movies to start filming in the fall. He knew he would want to take some time off after filming those monster movies back to back, but he needed to give some thought to the next project.

The final message was from Audrey, it was just a phone number. No note or indication as to who the number belonged to. This was odd, to say the least. Usually, if she were going to text him a number, she would give him a name or information to go with it. He figured he would just call her and ask; he dialed her number and waited for her to answer.

“Well, good afternoon Mr. Evans, I’m glad to know you are still alive.”

“Huh? What are you talking about? I thought I’d give you a call and see what this number is that you texted me last night.”

Audrey let out a hearty laugh, “Oh my, you don’t remember talking to me last night?”

“Um, no,” he said hesitantly, worried now for what he might have said or done, “Oh man, what did I do or say?”

“Well, let’s see, for one, you were extremely drunk. You were not just a little buzzed brother, you were quite wasted. So much so, that you described taking the moving box thingie from the bar back to your hotel room.”

Chris let out a groan and dropped his head, “Shit! Okay, so I was wasted, and you are not going to let me live this down. What were we talking about?”

“You had asked me to call you after I’d spoken to Sabrina; you wanted me to fill you in on the details. Does this sound vaguely familiar?”

Chris ran his fingers through his hair, “Yeah, it sounds familiar. I wanted to know if she hated me and if I had screwed things up with her. That’s why I was drinking last night, trying to drink her off my mind.”

“You sound like a country song for heaven’s sake. The drinking didn’t help did it?”

“No, just made me have a hangover and still wonder if I have totally screwed up any and all opportunities with her. How is she today?”

“She is locked in her office, won’t talk to anyone, including me. She has given Alice very strict instructions not to bother her and the only time she comes out is if she wants a coffee refill. Honestly, can’t understand why she doesn’t put one of those coffeemakers in her office but I guess that would be too much like work for her to make her own cup.”

Chris let out a snort, “Ok, I see you’re in a good mood then. Just give me the bad news and let me get on with it. I have this wedding tomorrow, and then I can leave and put this behind me.”

“You didn’t fuck up; she isn’t angry with you and doesn’t hate you. I texted you her phone number so you could call her and potentially work it out. But I want to warn you, she doesn’t do relationships; she hasn’t had a serious one in many years.”

“Ok, I consider myself warned. So, she’s scared, and I freaked her out with the kiss?”

“Yeah, because she thinks she might like you and the idea of having feelings is, shall we say, uncharted territory.”

“I promise, I’ll be careful. Besides, I know you’ll kill me if I do anything to hurt her. Thanks, Audrey.”

“You’re welcome, Chris. Let me know how it goes.”

~ ~ ~
Sabrina dialed into a conference call regarding a new building project that was going up for bid. This call was to outline the rules and regulations for a lengthy RFI that would need to be submitted to even allow you to be eligible to place a bid for the design work. The project was extremely secretive, no details were being provided as of yet as to the building location or the size of the job. Typically, Sabrina would ignore these types of jobs because the hoops you had to jump through were ridiculous for the size job that ended up being put on the table. However, GR Development was one of the larger building management companies in the world, and none of their jobs were ever small. The only thing she had to be careful of, was that this was not going to be for a shopping mall in the middle of suburbia; definitely not worth her time and effort.

She was pacing back and forth while listening to the call; she remembered why she usually had someone else dial into these things. They were boring and tedious and tested her patience; why in the world could these people not speak just a little faster and get on it with it. Good grief, just give the details already! She was about to hang up and give up on the project when she heard the magic words, two skyscrapers to be built, one in Boston and one in Dallas. The buildings would have to match and adhere to the strict design codes for each area. She rushed back to her desk and scribbled down the particulars and quickly fired off a text to Audrey, asking her to come to her office.

Audrey arrived as the call was ending, Sabrina darted across the room to unlock the door, “You are not going to believe this, GRD just had their RFI call, we need to put a project team together immediately, I want this job! Two buildings, Audrey, one in Boston and one in Dallas – the project will be massive.”

“So, you should take a breath before you pass out. This is just an RFI, that is standard, why a project team if they don’t accept our information and allow us to bid?”

“They are not going to tell me I can’t bid on this. When have I been denied an opportunity to ever bid on a job or submit a design? The answer, my friend, is never, and I don’t intend this to be the first one. From a legal standpoint, I need your team to put together the RFI and work with Marketing on the branding. I’ll write the cover letter and sign off on everything.”

“Are they going to send the final specs of what we have to provide and when?”

Sabrina walked back over to her desk and checked her email, “Here it is, they were sending everything out to whoever was on the call. I’ll forward this to you for review. From a quick scan, looks like this has to be emailed in PDF format by noon on Tuesday.”

As Audrey was preparing to respond, Sabrina’s cell phone began to ring. The number was unfamiliar to her so she decided to ignore it, “Go on Audrey, what were you going to say?”

“Hey, what was the area code for that call?”

She looked at the call log, “Um, 978, why?”

“That as Chris calling you, would you like me to leave so you can call him back?” Audrey raised an eyebrow and gave her a sly grin.

“Okay, yeah, I guess I should call him back. Did you talk to him last night?”

“I did speak to him, yes. Am I going to tell you what he said, no? You call him and clear everything up once and for all. Be with him, don’t be with him, it isn’t my concern.” With those words, Audrey walked out of Sabrina’s office and back towards her own. She knew that one way or another, she would end up hearing what transpired on the call.

Sabrina stared at her phone for a minute and then stood from her desk and walked over to close her door. She didn’t want Alice to hear the call because she wasn’t sure what would be said. She swallowed hard, this was out of her comfort zone and dialed his number.

Chris eagerly answered the call, “Hi, Sabrina,” his greeting was light and jovial.

“Hi, I’m sorry, I was in the middle of something when you called so I couldn’t pick up right away,” she was trying to keep her voice even and cool. “How are you?” She realized she probably sounded utterly moronic, but she wasn’t really sure how to conduct small talk with him.

“Oh, I’m good, thanks. I’m sorry to bother you, but I was concerned with how we left things last evening,” he wasn’t really sure how to go on and paused to get himself together. “I just wanted to apologize to you, in case I went too far, I mean. I had such a great time with you yesterday, and I think I got carried away.”

“I see, so you regret kissing me?” She sounded disappointed, almost as if she was hurt that he might want to take the kiss back and pretend it didn’t happen.

“No, Sabrina, I don’t regret kissing you. I’m just sorry if it made you feel uncomfortable but I don’t regret doing it.”

This made her smile, she loved his honesty over the situation. “I think I was just caught off guard, that’s all. I wasn’t anticipating it, but I wouldn’t say that you need to apologize for it. And, I did have an enjoyable time with you as well; I appreciated the time away from the office and being able to show you our fine city.” While her words were polite, she was standoffish, there was no warmth or emotion in them.

“I had an ulterior motive in calling, actually. You know I’m in town for a wedding, right?”

“Yeah, I remember you mentioning that the other day. That’s why you’re staying at the Trump, I believe.”

“Uh, yeah. I sure in the hell wouldn’t stay here voluntarily. My friend is an ass and thinks it is hysterical to make me, a die-hard Democrat, stay in this place,” he couldn’t help but laugh at the idea, Chuck really did have a wicked sense of humor. “Anyway, I wondered if you would do the honor of accompanying me to the wedding, as my plus one?”

Sabrina was shocked, she didn’t know what to say. The idea that he was asking her out on an official date, this was highly unusual and while she wanted to scream ‘yes’ her brain was telling her otherwise. “I appreciate your invitation, Chris, but I am going to have to decline.”

“Oh, I see,” he couldn’t hide the disappointment in his voice and he didn’t want to.

Sabrina ignored the obvious disappointment in his voice, “I’m just not sure if it is a good idea for us to be seen in public together, that’s all.”

“Why would you be worried about something like that? I don’t get it because it didn’t seem to be a problem yesterday when we were walking down Michigan Avenue hand in hand or with our arms around one another.”

“Well, that was a little different, and no one recognized you yesterday, luckily. Everyone will know you at the wedding.”

“Right, because these are my friends. Sabrina, I’m confused, help me to understand this, please.”

“You just draw a certain amount of attention, and I’m not sure I’m up for that.”

“I have to admit that your comment makes no sense to me, Sabrina. But I won’t take up any more of your time though trying to figure it out. I hope you have a good afternoon.” And before she could respond, he disconnected the call.

Sabrina was left stunned; she had not expected him to just hang up. But then again, she had shot him down and claimed she didn’t like the attention that he draws as the reason. What in the hell was that? She flung her phone across the room, knocking over a vase of flowers and causing a tremendous crash.

Her office door opened, and Alice came running in, “Ma’am are you alright?”

“I’m fine Alice, I’ll clean the mess up, it’s fine,” Alice was already bending over picking up the flowers and fishing Sabrina’s cell phone out of the carnage. “I’ll take that. Alice, it’s fine, I made the mess, and I’ll clean it up. Please, I’ve got it.”

Alice could tell by Sabrina’s voice that she wasn’t playing around, she wanted to be left alone, and she would handle the broken vase and flowers. As Alice backed out of the office, she ran into Audrey. She decided to fill her in before questions could be asked, “It appears that her cell slipped from her hands and broke a vase of flowers. She’s fine and wants no assistance in taking care of the clean up.”

“The phone slipped? More like she threw it across the room?”

“I can neither confirm nor deny that statement, ma’am,” Alice replied.

Audrey walked straight into Sabrina’s office, “What did you do?”

“I accidently knocked off the vase, what’s it look like?”

“It looks to me like you hurled something at the vase and knocked it over. What flared your temper this time?”

“He hung up on me, made me a little angry, that’s all.”

“Chris hung up on you? That doesn’t sound like him at all, what happened? Or, should I say what did you say to him that pissed him off?”

“Me? Why does this have to be my fault?”

Audrey put her hands on her hips and stared at Sabrina for a minute before answering, “You really don’t want me to answer that do you?”

“Uh, he asked me to be his plus one to the wedding he’s going to. I told him thank you for asking, but I politely declined his invitation.”

“You what?” Audrey could not keep her voice down, “Last night you said he scared you with the kiss, but you liked him. I know damn well he likes you, so what in the hell is the problem here?”

“You can’t be mad at me for turning him down – you’re the one who told me I needed to think about the fact that there is an age difference, and he is going to be going back home. I said he could be dangerous for me.”

“Yeah, I know but you told me you had a good time with him yesterday, right?” She watched as Sabrina nodded her head in response to the question. “What could it hurt to go and have fun?”

“We’d be in public, people would see us together!”

“Would you listen to yourself? Sabrina, you walked arm and arm with him down Michigan Avenue yesterday and kissed him on a street corner! Exactly how is going to a wedding worse than that?”

“There wasn’t anyone who recognized us yesterday, but that won’t be the case tomorrow, people would know us. What if a picture is taken of the two of us together and it gets out? You know what that could mean,” there was a hint of panic in her voice as she was running through the scenario with Audrey. “I want to go, I do, but I’m torn, and you know the reason, but you just keep pushing.”

Audrey now understood where this was coming from, “Sabrina, you can’t hide out forever and quit trying to find happiness for fear of Kyle seeing a picture. You’ve put your happiness on hold for the last, what, ten years? Just go with Chris to the wedding because if you don’t, you are going to regret how you left things with him.”

Sabrina made no comment and continued to pick up the flowers and the glass. She moved to get the small dust brush and pan that was tucked away in the wall cabinet so she could get the small fragments of glass up off the floor. Audrey knew that Sabrina’s silent treatment was her defense mechanism and that the subject was closed.

~ ~ ~
As Sabrina returned to her desk and began reviewing the RFI documents, her argument with Audrey played back in her head. She hated to admit that her best friend had a point; she needed to quit putting her life on hold because of everything that did happen with Kyle or could happen if he resurfaced, as he continued to threaten. She needed to just take a chance and see what happened; besides, Chris was only in town for a few more days and then he would disappear back into his world. What was the harm in enjoying him while she could?

She played out the conversation in her head but knew that it would not go that way when he answered the phone. She slowly dialed his number and let her finger hover over the send button for a moment. She finally pressed it and waited for him to pick up, unlike the last time she called him, he didn’t pick up immediately; he let it ring at least 4 times before answering.

“Hello,” his voice was not chipper or friendly and even though he probably knew it was her number, Sabrina noticed he didn’t call her by name.

“Did I catch you at a bad time, Chris?” Her voice was soft, and she had an air of humility, “I can let you go if you are busy.”

“No, it’s fine Sabrina, I’m just getting ready to go to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding, I have a few minutes.”

“I’ve been thinking about our call earlier, and I wanted to see if the invitation to the wedding was still open? I’d like to go as your plus one. I mean, that is, if you’ll allow me.”

Sabrina heard a crash and then Chris’s voice yell “Shit,” and then suddenly he was back on the line, “Sorry, I’m getting dressed and dropped the phone. Did I hear you correctly? You changed your mind and want to go to the wedding?”

“Well, I mean, yeah, unless you’ve already found a plus one.”

“No, I didn’t get another plus one for the evening. I would love for you to attend but I have to know something first,” he figured he should get this out of the way before their plans were solidified. “You said early you were embarrassed to be seen with me. So have you changed your mind on that, too?”

“Chris, I never said I was embarrassed to be seen with you. When did I say that?” She was in shock, where was this coming from?

“Well you didn’t exactly use the word embarrassed, you said you didn’t like my kind of attention. To me, that equates to you not wanting to be seen in public with me.”

“Oh Chris, that is not what I meant, I swear. I was only saying that all eyes are on you and pictures are continuously taken of you, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that sort of attention. Oh, I am sorry you took it any other way.”

“I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. I suppose I’m the one who should be embarrassed now,” he took a breath and swallowed hard, “I’m sorry for that Sabrina.”

“No, I think we both have equal blame. I said something you misunderstood, and you were mad because of it.”

“Sabrina, would you do me the honor of being my plus one for the wedding tomorrow evening?”

“I would love to be your plus one, Chris,” she was sure the smile on her face could be seen through the phone. For all of the anguish, she had gone through after the call earlier, it was gone now.

“The wedding starts at 5:30, you need to tell me where you live so I can come and pick you up. Unless you’d like to come and get ready in my hotel room? I can go get ready in the room of one of my friends if it would make you more comfortable.”

“You are such a gentleman,” she cooed back at him, it really was sweet that he was so concerned as to how they would get together for this event. “I’ll just come to the hotel and meet you. Just text me what room number you are in and what time you want me to be there.”

“It is formal, just so you know. I’m sure you have the wardrobe for it, but I wanted to make sure you knew the dress code.”

“That won’t be a problem, I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon. Enjoy the rehearsal dinner,” she was almost giddy as she hung up the phone.

~ ~ ~
Audrey walked through the front door of Sabrina’s penthouse and made her way up the steps to her master bedroom. Sabrina had called her and asked for her help in finding the perfect dress to wear to this wedding. Audrey had a knack for calming her down when it came to getting ready for big events; it drove Sabrina towards an anxiety attack to find the perfect dress for the occasion.

Audrey was calling for Sabrina but was not getting a response. As she walked into the bedroom, she found her standing in the middle of her large closet, scantily clad and staring at the assortment of dresses. Sabrina was wearing panties and a strapless bra that helped to enhance her bust line; but to elevate the sexy for the evening, she wore nylons and garters. Audrey had to admit, it was a sexy look, and she knew that Chris would love it if Sabrina were willing to share.

Thanks to the Architectural Society benefit gala events, Sabrina had amassed an impressive collection of formal dresses. The rainbow of colors had her mesmerized and when she heard Audrey’s footsteps she turned in the direction of the door, “I have no clue what to wear. He said formal but should that be floor length, tea length, or cocktail length?”

“Floor length,” Audrey did not waver at all.

“Ok, well, I have several choices should I just put them on and you tell me what looks best?”

“Let me save you some time, Sabrina. Don’t pick out any dress that is black, you are going to a wedding and not a funeral. Wear something that has color to it. But don’t wear a pattern or floral gown, they are too busy and are too distracting.”

“Crap, I have a ton of black dresses, they are slimming and flattering.”

“Yeah, and you need not worry about slimming because you look fantastic. Don’t wear red that is too bold for a formal wedding and too whorish. Don’t get me wrong, I love red but not for a wedding. Now, with the colors that are left, find a few things and let’s see what looks best.” Audrey exited the closet and went to sit in the side chair in the bedroom, this would force Sabrina to walk out of the closest and model for a moment and to give a fair assessment of the dress and how it fit.

The first dress she walked out in was a blush pink dress with an A-line skirt and lace inserts to accent the plunging V-neck. The dress was gorgeous, and Sabrina had received many compliments on it when she wore it to last year’s gala. “Okay, this is dress choice number one. What do you think?”

Audrey watched as she walked out and twirled around, “Eh, it’s okay. Doesn’t knock me dead and doesn’t make me think Chris will swoon. Try something else.”

Sabrina walked back into the closet and emerged a few moments later wearing a navy blue, crew neckline dress with a cut-out waist and a high slit in the skirt. As soon as she walked out of the closet, Audrey began shaking her head, “No, no, a million times no. Dear God, what were you thinking trying that dress on?”

“What? I think it’s pretty, why are you so against it?”

“The dress screams that you want Chris to fuck you on the dance floor! That might be what you want, but you can’t wear that dress to the wedding of a stranger. Just no, take that off.”

Dejected, Sabrina turned and walked back into the closet and changed, again. This time, she came out wearing a cobalt blue sleeveless, V-neck dress with a full skirt that was cut so that it was high in the front to expose her legs; what some would call a mullet dress. The color was stunning, and the dress clung to Sabrina, and the neckline gave the perfect accent to her bust line; it was perfect.

“That’s the one, Sabrina! You have to wear that one, he won’t be able to keep his eyes off of you!”

“But it makes my boobs look big!”

“Yeah, so? Are you seriously going to complain about that?”

“You just told me the other dress was inappropriate for a stranger’s wedding, and you don’t think this one is? Come on, Audrey, this is too flashy. It’s showing off leg and cleavage, I look like a tart instead of a refined business woman.”

“This dress is sexy and sophisticated, and you are thinking it draws more attention to your chest, but it really doesn’t. This dress hugs in the right places and is elegant; it hangs on you beautifully.”

“Well, to be honest, the color is perfect because it will match his eyes,” she said with a slight chuckle.

“Oh, a smitten little kitten you are! You are going to knock his socks off for sure,” Audrey watched as Sabrina continued to check herself out in front of the mirror, she was critiquing herself very carefully. “You know, you’re really hard on yourself? He will think you look stunning, and every one of his friends will be jealous. You’re over analyzing this entire scenario, just go and enjoy yourself; drink and dance and, if you’re lucky, spend the night with him and don’t think about it, just do it.”

Sabrina sighed heavily and nodded her head, she knew that Audrey was right. She was over thinking this entire evening; it could go perfectly or it could go horribly wrong, but thinking about it now wasn’t going to make it any easier. She walked into the bathroom and slipped out of the dress. She needed to finish her hair and makeup and did not want to mess up the dress. Audrey, seated out in the bedroom, decided to grill her on the plans for the evening.

“Are you driving down to the hotel or are you using the car service?”

“I’m taking the car service because I don’t want to pay to put my car in that damn building. C’mon Audrey you know better!”

“Well, I’m only asking because I didn’t know if you are taking a bag with you for an overnight. I mean you are expecting to spend the night with him, right?”

Sabrina walked over and stuck her head out of the bathroom door, glaring at Audrey, “Are you serious? That would be terribly presumptuous of me to show up at his hotel room with a bag and tell him I intend to spend the night.”

“I don’t know, it might let him know what’s on the agenda for the evening,” Audrey could not help but laugh at this notion. Of course, Chris would be hopeful that it could lead somewhere, but Sabrina did have a point, it would be awfully brazen to show up with a bag. “I guess you could bring him back here, after all, a gentleman would want to make sure his date made it home safely.”

Sabrina went back to putting on the task at hand of getting ready, “I’m not taking a bag with me, and I fully intend to come home alone tonight.”

“Have you seen Chris in a tuxedo? Girl, he is hella fine in a suit of any kind but in a tux, he is even more gorgeous. Is he in this wedding or just attending?”

“He’s just attending. It is a formal wedding, but the male guests would only be required to wear a suit, not a tuxedo. That is unless his friends are odd and are doing something very different.”

“I still say when you see him all dressed up, your panties will indeed, melt and you will end up in his room or he will end up here. But what do I know, right?”

Sabrina stepped back out of the bathroom, this time, her hair and makeup were done, and she had once again put the dress on, “Ok, how do I look?” She asked tentatively as she walked fully into the bedroom and stood in front of the full-length mirror.

“Whoa! You are stunning and will definitely turn heads at this wedding. If people don’t know who you are when you walk in, they will definitely know who you are when you leave.”

“Crap, I’m not supposed to take away from the bride, it’s her day. You don’t think I’m going to do that, do you? I mean I have no idea how lovely the bride is…I’m not saying I’m prettier than she is…oh…shit..”

“Calm down, I think you will be fine and if you are more beautiful than the bride, well, that isn’t your fault! Now, take a deep breath and go get in the car and get over to the hotel. I’ll lock up everything for you.”

Sabrina gave Audrey air kisses so she wouldn’t smudge her lipstick and took off for the elevator. It was almost 4:30 and she it should put her over to the Trump in plenty of time to get Chris and get seated for the start of the wedding. As Sabrina disappeared into the elevator, Audrey packed up a small bag of clothes and essentials. She figured that Sabrina would end up needing it and would end up calling her to rush something to the hotel; there was no way she was going to run to her house and then back to the Trump. No, it was better to be prepared and if she didn’t need the bag, well that was okay, too. Better to be safe than sorry.

~ ~ ~
Sabrina entered the revolving doors at the Trump building and made her way to the hotel elevator bank. Chris had texted her with his room number, and she had to admit that all dressed up, she felt like an escort going to his room. She made her way down the hall and had to admit the building was not nearly as brash and gaudy as she had anticipated it would be.

She stood in front of his door and had to pull herself together before knocking, she was suddenly very nervous. She stood up straight, shoulders back, took a deep breath and knocked on the door. Almost instantly the door flung open, and he was standing in front of her, eyes wide; he was utterly speechless.

After a few awkward seconds, Sabrina broke the ice, “Can I come in or do you want me to stand in the hallway while you finish getting ready?”

That apparently brought him out of his delirium, “Oh hell, please come in, I don’t know where my manners went,” he stepped to the side to allow her to walk into the room. “You look beautiful, that dress is stunning.”

She turned back to look at him, “Thanks, I was afraid I might be a little overdressed.” Chris was not yet finished dressed, he had his dress slacks on and his dress shirt, no cufflinks or tie as of yet. “I guess I was a little early, huh?”

“Oh, no you are on time. I got a call from my Ma, and it put me behind on getting ready. I lose track of time when I’m talking to her. I promise, five minutes, and I’ll be ready.”

“Are you wearing a tuxedo? I didn’t think you were in the wedding?”

“Oh, I’m not, but I wore this to the Golden Globes this year and loved it. Thought it would be perfect for tonight, guess I lucked out that you would be wearing blue for us to color coordinate.”

“I didn’t believe that you would have to wear a tuxedo since you aren’t in the wedding,” her comment was more of a question because she was a little confused.

“Oh, yeah, well I’m not wearing the bow tie so it won’t look like a traditional tuxedo. I’ve got a regular tie that my stylist picked out for me to wear,” he paused, realizing how that might sound. “Let me explain about that stylist comment…”

She interrupted, “No need, I totally understand and there is no harm in double checking for advice. Here, you want some help?” She could see he was struggling a bit with the cufflinks; she walked over and took the cufflinks from his hand and began to work to thread the pieces through the cuff. “There, one down and one to go.”

Chris’s body was electric with her standing so close and helping him get ready. She worked on the cuff on his other arm and when she was done she looked up into his eyes and for a moment, he was lost. “Thank you,” was all he could manage to get passed his lips. He stepped back and moved to get his tie and as he started to put it around his neck, Sabrina moved in front of him.

“Would you like some help?” She reached forward, taking the tie from his hands and beginning to tie it for him. He had to admit that there was something erotic about the fact that she did his cufflinks and was now taking care of his tie. Traditionally, it was the undressing that was sexy but for some reason, this was turning him on, and he could not explain it. Once the tie was finished, she put his collar down and smoothed his shirt, again making eye contact with him while she did it.

“I really want to kiss you right now,” the words came out without him thinking about what he was saying. He closed his eyes and shook his head as if he regretted it. He was about to apologize for what he said when he felt her lips on his, it was soft kiss, and she did not move to deepen it, but he was not complaining.

“I hope you don’t mind that I did that? I really wanted it, too,” she confessed

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