Chance ran his fingers through his hair, letting them slid at the base of his skull before letting go with a grunt. He started to walk fast, as far away from the ‘scene of the crime’ as he possibly could or want. Halfway from his Lamborghini, Chance stilled and turned to face the hotel’s entrance.
She was still there, reading his stupid post-it… The only person willing and ready to help him, received from him a pitiful note after she gave him the most perfect night. But this was the problem, part of the reason why he’d reacted as he did and almost ran away from Melora.
He acted like a jackass of epic proportions, but he needed her to understand how things would go between them from that moment on. Maybe he needed to understand it too. He also needed to forget stuff about the Melora from h
It was almost 3 pm when the bell rang. Melora had spent the better part of the morning, at least what was left of it once she’d been dropped home, doing her best not to think about Chance and what would happen when they saw each other. Melora was new in this game, she didn’t really understand how to react to all that was happening. Chance told her that she could trust him, that he already did something like this... But was he really worthy of her trust? Was he really going to be careful not to hurt her again? He will have to explain to her how exactly one transitioned from lover to friend. And Melora also needed to understand what it would take for her mind to stop playing out scenarios where she ended up back in his arms, kissing him passionately since all he wanted was friendship from her part
‘Unsuitable’... That was for damn sure. At least on this one, Chance was agreeing with the bastard! So why hadn’t Brando, the loving and overprotective brother, set her up somewhere more suitable for someone with Melora’s status? Chance knew for a fact Brando just bought some office building downtown. There was money, so why was Melora living like she was being the poor relative? Why was that son of a bitch treating his sister like she was nothing? Maybe dropping in on Brando at work would shed some light on it. He could put the priority of Melora’s security into perspective for the prick… But maybe, on second thought, he shouldn’t. This had ‘bad idea’ written all over the place.&
Beneath the September sky, Chance cut through the side streets, heading for Belt Parkway Promenade. Melora sat snuggled beside him in the sleek silver convertible, face tipped to catch the warm sunshine washing the city in an amber glow. The cold snap of a few days before coupled with the strong winds had blown half the fall leaves from their trees in one quick drop. The result was a glorious quilt of shades, from bronze to gold. Fall was her favorite season. Al the colors were giving her life. It was beautiful. Chance grinned beside her.“As I can see from the happiness on your face, fall is still your favorite time of year.”“Always and forever. The fall at the villa was always breathtaking… Such a show! Though it isn’t quite the same living in the city as it w
Her heart stalled in her chest as she imagined a child, a perfect little bit of Chance, new to the world. And a woman that took from her every single hope to win him, to have him in her life forever.“My God, Chance… I… Wow!” What could she say? Congratulations? His expression was far from happy. It hardly seemed as though joyous celebration were the theme of his disclosure considering the lengths to which he was going to shake the press off the scent of his secret. And yet, offering her sympathy seemed equally inappropriate. Questions rose fast and urgent within her, each more desperate to claw free than the one before, but she willed herself silent, waiting for him to go on.“Yeah…”“This is quite the news…” she said and
The temperature had dropped with the afternoon sun, so Chance decided to pull the car’s roof up and to turn the heat on, while Melora sat bundled in the front seat. Still, she was chilled and he’d wrapped her into a spare blanket he kept in the trunk. She’d looked fragile all tucked in. Like something to shelter. To take into his arms and hold. ‘Damn it!’ he said to himself, ‘these thoughts were nuts.’ Closing the trunk, he rounded to the driver’s side door and levered into his seat. Melora smiled over at him, then nodded back at the darkening sky.“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Melora’s brown curls were wild because of the breeze. Her cheeks were alive with the pink flush of effort.“Yes… Absolutely
The room was filled with the usual buzzing: glasses clinking, laughter and chit-chatting, and the sweet voice of Nat King Cole all around her like a soothing embrace. Impressed by “Unforgettable” and its apt description of her last week, Melora swayed with each step on her way to the bar. She could feel the looks of the people around her. She could sense the questions multiplying around her. While passing a group of high-society members, Melora heard one woman’s sharp ‘what?’ rising above the noise. That moment she knew she’d been identified, through the process of elimination and then conspicuous absence, as Chance Benson’s bridesmaid from the back hall, and word had been spreading like whispered wildfire for days.&nbs
Wrapped in Chance’s dinner jacket, Melora was standing before the vast expanse of glass staring out at the light bright cityscape surrounding the penthouse apartment. She was waiting to hear Chance say something, acknowledge what has been said at the party. They’d left the event together, fingers twined, allowing a photographer the opportunity to snap a picture as they walked towards the car, knowing a counterpart would be staked out at Chance’s apartment building as well. He behaved like they were together since forever. Melora’s heart had been racing, her stomach was upside down. Melora was looking in the night, trying to calm down while waiting for Chance to make his move, to tell her what was really going on between them.&nb
Damn it! Chance was working around her defenses. But she had more to fight for than just some good time. She really needed him in her life. In the few days since they’d reconnected, she had discovered how incredible it was to have someone who really saw her for who she really was. It was nice to be allowed to laugh and joke. To have an opinion that didn’t follow everyday convention. Someone to really talk with. Melora didn’t want to give it up. Couldn’t go back to the awful isolation that had been so much a part of her life for too many years now. It didn’t matter the number of people surrounding her, there was only one person who actually saw her.“Chance, this is serious.” Her lips pressed together in a firm line as she sought a way to make him understand.<