From Sex, Life, & Hannah::Volume 2, Spring Season (CHAPTER 15: DOCTOR BIG LOVE)
Tonight is the first night I am going out on a real date with someone other than Mr. Smyth. Cain is driving down from Calabasas to pick me up, and then he’s taking me to Koi on La Cienega.
This is no small feat. He lives an hour north of me and I, in L.A. traffic, live an hour away from Koi. His wanting to spoil me like this doesn’t surprise me, however. Cain is a true gentleman. He’s intelligent and witty, sophisticated, and extremely thoughtful.
He discreetly snuck me two extra pieces of chocolate cake at his sister’s wedding. He also paraded me around like a princess on his arm, introducing me to all the wedding guests as his “lady.” And he didn’t once try to kiss me—even though his broad shoulders and blue eyes looked amazing dressed up in a suit, and the mounting sexual tension between us was as heavy as a Bible lying on a blackjack table. Any woman would die to be in my Stuart Weitzman Fevers and Allen Schwartz halter dress right now, waiting to be picked up by a gorgeous man of solid pedigree. And yet, I felt…uneasy.
I had gone to the Benson wedding not expecting to have all that much fun—but I did. I thought the most amusement I would have was watching Celeste squirm out of her comfort zone all night—except she didn’t. She was too busy trying to fend of Cain’s brother, Jake, who became completely infatuated with Celeste after she crossed her legs next to him and exposed the bottom of her lavender garter belt.
I had never seen a man throw himself at a woman as much as Jake did that night. He catered to her every need, meaning he got her a fresh Perrier with a slice of lemon every hour on the hour, and begged her to dance for four more, even though she kept saying “No.”
By the end of the wedding, Celeste wasn’t speaking to me and I had agreed to a date with the doctor.
My Blackberry chirps, and I reach for it with my free hand, the other twisting large curls into my hair with an oversized curling iron.
“I can’t hide the truth from you any longer,” Jack begins dramatically. “The lies, the deception…it’s killing me.”
“Oh Jack, you know you can tell me anything.” I doubt that after thirteen years of friendship Jack can shock me.
Jack rambles on, “There’s been no secret between us, ever, since that horrible Valentine’s Day party where my stupid sister tricked me into Seven Minutes in Heaven with the biggest queen in high school, and then I had to endure being called a fag until I had sex with Angela, the high school slut—even though I did not make out with him in any way shape or form because his breath stank of tuna.”
This is the part where I expect Jack to reveal he has some horrible STD, except that I know Jack doubles up on condoms any time his penis is within arm’s length of any exposed genitalia and that he bleaches his body on a regular basis.
“I never believed you made out with Corey Levinson.” I try to make Jack feel better.
“Your sister’s staying with me.”
My hand stops mid-twist. I don’t say anything. I feel my blood start to boil. “What did you say?”
Jack’s voice is apologetic. “I know, it’s bad, but she had no place to go and begged me—”
I cut him off. “How does she even have your phone number?”
“Hawaii. I gave it to her because she told me I was the only person that understood what she was going through…”
I throw my curling iron down and it bounces off one of my Fevers.
“This is bullshit! I begged you to visit me when The Ex broke up with me on New Year’s, and all I got was ‘Be strong.’ And now you’re letting my sister—who is totally manipulative, by the way—live with you?”
“It’s temporary, until they catch her husband and figure out where her money is—and then she promised to pay me for the favor.”
I bend down to make sure I haven’t scuffed my stiletto. “Great! You’re pimping yourself out to my sister.”
“I don’t have any other options right now,” Jack whines.
I hear a knock at my door. “I have to go.”
“Tell me you still love me.”
“Don’t test me!”
Jack grumbles. “Your love for me should not be a test!”
“Maybe my sister can console you.” I hang up the phone.
I cannot believe my sister is trying to steal my best friend. I toss my Blackberry on my couch and straighten my dress. I take a breath to get calm before walking to my front door and opening it.
When I do, I have to steady myself on my doorknob.
He looks even better in a snug Hunter-green sweater and grey slacks than he did in his monkey suit. He looks like Superman—if Superman had a casual outfit—and he’s holding a bottle of red wine. He is Superman.
“You read my mind,” I say, reaching for the bottle.
He grabs my hand, leans in, and kisses me on the cheek. “Lady, you’re like a thunderstorm in the middle of a drought.”
I gush inside. Southern men are so…poetic.
I lead him into my kitchen and we engage in small talk about our week. I tell him I talked to his dad about the general concept for his new community; he tells me how he mended seven broken bones and was able to send a kid into remission. I begin checking for a red cape…
He asks me for a bottle opener. I fumble through a couple drawers, finally find one, and hand it to him.
He takes it and looks at it awkwardly.
“Tell me how it is,” he says, smiling as he pulls open the small plastic device, “that a woman who claims to live for red wine does not have a bottle opener?”
“It’s a bottle opener.”
“No, darlin’,” he says, pausing to stroke my shoulder with one hand, holding up the complimentary MGM Grand corkscrew with the other. “What you have here is stolen Las Vegas memorabilia. I think your birthday present is a given.”
I wonder if he knows my birthday is months away…
But I don’t have to wonder for long. Over dinner, I realize Cain Benson isn’t afraid to talk about the past, or the future. He confesses he wants nothing more than to be married and have kids—ten, if possible (my vagina actually quivers). That he’s jealous of all his sisters who married their high school sweethearts and lead these fulfilling lives with their life partners.
Either I’m the luckiest woman in the world, I think, listening to this, or he’s about to bring out Mr. Hyde…
But he doesn’t. Instead he tells me about his life before pediatrics. How he used to be this skinny nerd with no life who graduated early from high school just so he could get into pre-med faster.
I stare at the man who looks like he can bust out of any extra-large shirt. It was hard to imagine Superman as Super-geek…
“So, what happened?”
“I met a girl in one of my classes and wanted nothing more than to ask her out. I asked a friend of mine how I could get her to go out with me, and he told me to start pumpin’ iron.”
Laughing, I raise up my glass of wine and take a large sip, silently toasting the woman who inspired this male splendor for the rest of us to enjoy.
To Be Continued…
Sex, Life, & Hannah::Volume 2, Spring Season by Dorota Skrzypek.
Copyright 2009 by Dorota Skrzypek.
All Rights Reserved.
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