Emma was still deep in thought over the man from her dreams. She couldn’t believe he actually approached her the way he did, and directly in front of her own apartment even.
“Why didn’t you ask him out?”
“Hilana, I could barely keep myself together let alone try to see if he was willing to date me. He caught me completely off guard. All I could think about was getting inside my apartment.”
“I can’t believe he finally approached you and you choked.”
“Emma.” Mr. Peters was walking toward them from the gallery and the closer he got the more frazzled he looked. “I need you. I have two deliveries due today and only one driver, who is apparently too incompetent to schedule two deliveries on completely opposite sides of the city. I know you’ve never delivered for me before but I’ll have Joe help you with the preparation and give you directions on where to go.”
“Okay, anything you need.”
“Oh, Emma. You’re a life saver.” He put his hand on mine and bowed toward me. “Follow me and I’ll show you the pieces. I’ll let you have the choice on where you want to go.”
Emma was excited. She loved her job but being stuck in the museum every day sometimes got cumbersome and she always looked forward to change. She was the one who always went to pick up lunch and run errands for others.
“I’d have you do them both but they are in separate directions and are both due to be delivered by the end of the day.” Mr. Peters walked up to a statue and leaned against it as if it was an everyday piece of furniture.
Emma’s eyes grew wide when she looked at the sold tag tied to it. ‘Sold: $1,250,000’. She backed up a couple of steps and wanted to pull the manager away from it.
“This one goes to Mr. and Mrs. Johanna in Hempstead. You will need to wrap it and get it ready for shipment and I’ll have Joe help you load it.”
“Okay” was all she could say. She just wanted to get away from it for fear of Mr. Peters tipping it over and breaking it. She wanted no part of that. “Where is the other piece?” She said as she quickly walked away from the statue.
“The other delivery is over here.” She followed him to another room in the museum. “This painting needs to go to Secaucus over in Jersey.” Emma looked at the painting as she felt some of the energy drain out of her body. It was the one with the symbols.
“Emma?” Mr. Peters was snapping his fingers directly in front of her face. “Emma, are you alright?”
She shook her head and realized she had zoned out. She snapped back to reality and looked at him.
“I’ll take this piece.”
“Very well. I’ll radio Joe and tell him to help you get it wrapped and ready for delivery. Here is the paperwork. Make sure you get a signature and proper spelling of the name.” She nodded and he walked away. Emma looked back at the painting as if it wanted to pull her in.
Pulling the delivery truck up to the residence she looked over the paperwork to be sure she was at the right place. The apartment was up on the fifth floor and she prayed for an elevator. She walked to the door, found a panel to the side of the door and pressed the buzzer labeled R. Kohn.
She heard a beep but nothing else. “Um, hello. I’m from the Museum in Manhattan. I have a delivery for an R. Kohn?”
She heard the door latch release and she reached over and opened the door. Inside the lobby was quite elaborate and smelled sweet like honeysuckle. She went inside and found the elevator. Propping the front door open she went to the truck and obtained the painting. It was rather large but not too heavy so she just took her time and carried it in.
By the time she got the painting on the elevator and up to the fifth floor she was perspiring a bit. She stopped in front of apartment 511 and just before she knocked on the door she heard a man’s voice from inside. She pressed her ear to the door and stayed silent.
“Come inside please.”
Emma turned the door knob and slowly pushed it open. The main room was dimly lit with the only light shining through the cracks in the curtains. She hesitated before going in.
“I have your painting, um” she looked at the paperwork for his name. Seeing just a first initial she had no choice to keep it formal, “Mr. Kohn.”
“Yes, you do.” She couldn’t see him but looked along the wall for a wall switch. “Would you please turn the lights on so I can come in?”
As if by cue the lights slowly lit brighter and softened the room. Emma stepped inside a few more steps with the painting shielding her from the room.
“Come in, please. I’ve been looking forward to my delivery.”
“If you could please sign my papers I can leave it with you and be on my way.”
“Bring it to me. I’m a bit consumed by my activities at the moment.”
Emma entered the room and looked around the wall as she came to the end of the small foyer hallway. A man was sitting at a large mahogany desk facing a very large window on the far wall. He was typing avidly on his computer with his back to her. She slowly approached him with her clipboard and pen in hand. Just as she conveniently cleared her throat the man turned around.
Emma gasped and stepped back a couple of steps.
“You?” She was very confused. It was the man from the hallway in her apartment just the night before, the same man who made her feel very uncomfortable on a whim. Emma had a feeling this was just way too coincidental.
“Hello again.” His smile was brilliant and his confidence started breaking her down again.
She jetted the clip board toward him
“Please sign the bottom.”
Still staring at her and smiling he took the clip board and used his own pen to write his name.
“Thank you. Have a nice day.” She turned quickly and walked across the room toward the door.
She couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Then she remembered what Hilana said. ‘Why not ask him out? He is your dream guy.’ Emma stopped and turned around.
“I know this might sound a bit unethical, but…would you like to go out sometime, like I dunno, a movie?”
“No.” He just shook his head a bit and sat there still staring at her. The whole act threw Emma completely off. She didn’t know how to respond.
“Oh…um…ok, sorry.” She turned and walked very quickly toward the door. The heat from her embarrassment grew quickly in her cheeks and spread throughout her body. Before she reached the door he spoke again.
“I’m a little upset with you.” She turned back around and looked at him.
He cocked his head and stood up.
“You heard me.”
“Why are you upset with me?” Emma was getting angry. How dare he!
“You haven’t been wearing your necklace I sent you.” He sat on the edge of his desk.
Emma’s mouth dropped open. She couldn’t believe the man she fantasized about was the same man she has been getting notes and gifts from. Her heart started beating very fast. Realizing she was standing there with her mouth open she quickly shut it as he slowly walked toward her staring at her the whole way.
“You are the mystery man?”
“I am.” He slid his arm around her neck and pulled her into him.
“But, why? You knew I was attracted to you. You aren’t the type to play games and I know you are the kind of man who goes after what he wants.”
“You’re stubborn just like the Virgo you are and the Scorpio part of me likes to be in control. When a relationship gets comfortable it goes stale, at least for me it does, and I end it without even trying. A woman doesn’t hold my attention for very long. I have wanted you for a long time Emma and I want you to be in my life for a long time. I don’t want things to get comfortable and if I have anything to do with it” he grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her down. Bending down with her he stopped, his lips barely touching hers, “they won’t.” His kiss was all consuming and it spread a heat through Emma that she has never felt before. “Tell me Emma.” He kissed her again. She could barely take a breath. “Tell me you’re mine.”
He glared into her eyes and without hesitation she breathed.