Chapter 1 –
Art Gallery meetingI drove into to look for some new art work for my beach house. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but I have blank walls that need filling. A friend of mine told me about a female artist that many of our wealthy clients go to. He said she has a gallery on Rodeo Drive called Open Windows next to Shabby Chicks Closet, a very eclectic boutique with every kind of off beat stuff you can imagine. Beverly Hills
?Let’s see… 1233, 1235, this is it, Open Windows Gallery.” I said to myself pulling up to the valet.
“Up front please.” I said to the valet tipping him a fifty to make sure I was on the front row. It’s a must when you want to show off your new ride and not just any ride, it’s my brand new red Maserati Quattroporte, a drop dead gorgeous car.
Her store front looks very nice with pure white marble slab walls with wide widows spanning across the entire gallery entrance. You couldn’t help but see her artwork before you walked in. I could see several people walking around looking at various pieces of wall paintings, sculptures and furniture. I walked in with hopes she would be in today. I stood there for a moment just looking around trying to get a feel for the place.
“Hello, how may I help you?” whispered a delicate female voice from behind me.
I was caught off guard because I was looking in the opposite direction when she spoke to me. I turned around and was looking eye to eye with this beautiful girl looking at me with bright brown eyes, highlighted blonde hair, nice tight low jeans, and a white sheer cotton top.
“Ahhhh, hello, I’m looking for some art work for my blank walls.” Was all I could get out.
“Okay, let’s start over here. First, some wine, champagne, cocktail?”
“Yes, do you have a chardonnay?”
“Sure do, I just got in some new bottles from this morning. Are you familiar with Robert Sinsky winery?”
“Yeah I’m a member of their wine club.”
“Yeah? Me too. Have a seat I’ll be right back okay?”
“I’ll be right here.”
Who is she, who is this hot girl I thought to myself looking around waiting for her return. I was hoping that maybe I’d see some self portraits or something to try and figure out if she is the artist my friend told me about.
“Here you go, one for you and one for me. Let’s start over here on this wall.” She said handing me a glass of wine leading me by the arm. I could smell her perfume as I walked slightly behind her.
“O’ by the way my name is Sarah, Sarah Morgan the owner and artist.” She said stopping at the first painting we came to.
“My name is Richard Stockton glad to meet you.”
“Richard Stockton? You’re the sports agent for a lot of the LA Lakers” she said.
“Wow, you know who I am?”
“Not by face of course, but by the name I sure do. I’m a season pass holder with a private sky box.”
“Get out! Small world.” I said.
“Yep, small world. So tell me do you have any colors, sizes or ideas in mind?” she asked
“I don’t have a clue”
“Okay, lets walk around so you can get a visual and then I’ll make an appointment to come out to your place to have a look around and then make some recommendations. How does that sound?
Are you kidding me I thought to myself? I was doing cartwheels in my head over the sheer thought of her coming out to my place. But hey that’s what the rich do and this is the norm.
“Sure what day works for you?”
“Well today is Friday, so how about tomorrow say lunch time? Think you’ll be up and about by then?”
“Yeah, I’m usually up by eight; go for a jog with my dog. Let’s say 11:30?”
“11:30 works for me. Here’s my business card and my cell number. Call me if you need to reschedule.”
“I’ll block off the entire day.” I said with a big smile
We walked her entire gallery as she pointed out different paintings and sculptures. I couldn’t resist looking at her from head to toe when should would walk backwards looking and talking to me and pointing at the assortment of art work.
She is such a hot
girl with everything in the right places, warm personality, cool, calm and passionate about her work. What else could a guy want in a girl? I didn’t see a wedding ring on her hand. I wonder if she’s seeing anybody or waiting for that special guy to come into her life. I didn’t know these answers but perhaps the weekend will reveal them I hope. I gave her my address on the way out. Tomorrow can’t get here soon enough.
Chapter 2 – The appointment
The sound of the surf outside my bedroom window nudged me out of bed. Today is the big day, the day I get to see Sarah. I opened the curtains to the patio, stood outside in the morning breeze and imagined her jogging on the beach.
“Good morning Rocky, you want to go for jog boy?” I said looking at his big head and perky ears.
“Let’s see it’s 6:30, one hour for our jog, breakfast a couple of hours of work and I’m all done for the day” I said to myself lacing up my Nike’s. “Let’s go boy!” The air is crisp, just right for jogging.
I got back from my jog, fed Rocky, and went into my office to check email and messages. ‘Nothing real exciting here’ I thought to myself sipping coffee and scrolling down my emails. But then there the tenth one down, an email from Sarah. I quickly opened it.
From: Sarah Morgan
Subject: Our meeting today
Good morning Richard,
I hope this finds you smiling because I am. I am so looking forward to our appointment today and hope that you are too. So if you’re awake and reading this now, know that I’m thinking of you and will see you soon.
I sat back and just stared at the screen. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There she stood before me touching me with her words. I’m thrilled to no end. I felt like a kid on Christmas admiring the one toy that I wanted more than anything to arrive on this day. Boy if I could start everyday like this I’d be the luckiest man in the world. I returned some emails and did a couple of hours work. Time had passed by so quickly. Its 10:45, the maid has just finished cleaning the house and rolling out of the drive when I heard the phone ring.
“Hello, Richard speaking.”
“Hello Richard its Sarah. I’m about twenty minutes away, hope you don’t mind be arriving a little early.”
“No not at all, I’ll be here. You okay on directions?”
“Yeah, thank God for GPS.”
“Great then I’ll see you shortly.”
I quickly went and got dressed. I put on a pair of my favorite jeans, a Lakers jersey and ball cap. I didn’t want to appear stuffy by wearing something dressy casual like a pair of Khaki pants and golf shirt. I wanted to be my weekend self. The doorbell rang just as I finished getting dressed.
“Hey you!” said Sarah with a big smile
“Hello Sarah, welcome to my home. Come on in. You can set your things down anywhere you like.”
We must have been thinking the same thing because she’s in jeans, a T-shirt tied in a knot off to the side, sandals (cute feet!), with her hair in a pony tail.
“Nice place you got here.”
“Thank you. Well as you can see bare walls. I need your help.” I said walking her into the living room.
“Wow, talk about a room with a view.” She said gasping at the ocean view through the large sweeping windows that go from end to end of the living room facing the beach and the sea.
“It’s my virtual painting that changes throughout the day. Ha, now that I think about it, it’s the only art work in the entire place.”
“Well, I’m here now to take care of that problem. So, show me around and give me some idea of what you think you might want.” She said reaching for my hand.
I took her soft reaching hand and took her on a tour of the house.
“It’s a two story four thousand square foot beach house built twelve years ago.”
“You live here all by yourself?” she asked taking some measurements.
“Yep with the exception of Rocky. It was my parent’s summer home before they passed away a few years back. I didn’t want to sell it. I don’t think I ever will.”
“I think you did the right thing, it’s just beautiful and I’ve seen a lot of homes. They are either over the top drenched with too much ego or trying to out do their neighbors.”
“Yeah I know. There are few like that around here. But for me I like comfortable and easy but tasteful. I like to put on dinner parties for my friends and have cookouts, you know use the place. I don’t think of it as a trophy.”
“Wow, where have you been all my life?” she said turning around to look at me. She smiled. “Really where have you been? Isn’t there some special girl that’s got your heart?”
“Well, there was but we broke it off six months ago. It just wasn’t working out. She wanted to be out every night I didn’t, she hated sports although she tried to get into it. It just wasn’t a fit so we went our separate ways. How about you? Surely there’s somebody in your creative world.”
“Nah, nobody special, I’m a free spirit kinda girl. But if the right fella came along I’d hang my “taken” sign on the front door.” She giggled twisting her ponytail.
“Where are my manners? I got so wrapped up in our conversation I forgot to return the wine favor. I have Robert Sinsky in the fridge.”
“I’d love some.”
“Okay, make yourself at home and I’ll be right back”
‘I couldn’t believe it, she’s single. What guy would let her slip away from him? She’s a total package.’ I thought to myself opening the wine looking at her silhouette standing in front of the ocean view window.
“Here you go.”
“Thanks. So let’s continue our tour shall we?”
“Right this way.”
We went up stairs to see the rest of the house. There are two guest bedrooms, my office, exercise room, and the master bedroom.
“So in the hallway I was thinking a series of some kind.” I said remembering a six piece painting at her gallery titled ‘Connection’.
“I think that would be perfect. And the guest bedrooms I’m thinking some large pieces with deep colors. Small pieces would get lost.”
“Sounds good to me, you’re making some good suggestions so far.”
“Well that only leaves one room we haven’t been to yet” she said taking a sip of her wine leaning against the master bedroom door.
“Yep” was all I could get out standing in front of her. I’m nervous as hell because I knew I was saving the best for last. She reached behind her back, slowly opened the door then pushed it open.
“Can I look now?” She said with a smile.
“Close your eyes and I’ll count to three.”
“Okay” she smiled and closed her eyes.
“One, two, three.”
She turned around and pushed the French double doors open and walked in halfway.
“O’ my God, this, this is beautiful. You little sneak you’ve been saving the best for last haven’t you?
“Yes I have. It’s the most private part of me”
“No doubt about that.” She said as she walked towards the custom made double king posted bed with a large crown molded canopy.
“Welcome to the most intimate part of me” I said sitting down in one of three high back chairs.
“This room needs nothing. You, you have it perfect. It’s paradise. I’m speechless.” She said walking around taking it all in.
“Well, that’s a compliment coming from you.” I said watching her stroll around heading towards the bathroom.
“Can I take a look?” she asked
“You wanted a complete tour. Don’t stop now”. She paused then open the doors.
“I just don’t have the worlds Richard.” She said standing looking over the master bathroom.
“None needed your expression is more than enough.”
She stepped back into the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed.
Chapter 3 – “So, where do we go from here?”
“Well, how about some lunch?”
“Sounds good to me. Is there take out around here? I didn’t see anything close on the way up.”
“Not needed, I have everything I need downstairs in the fridge.”
“Don’t tell me you cook too?”
“And tell me again what the hell was her problem for leaving you? Never mind, let’s go downstairs and I’ll make the salads and if you really have a very well stocked fridge, I’ll make dessert.”
We went downstairs to the kitchen. I knew she wasn’t going to believe how well stocked my fridge was. I just had the maid fill a big shopping list for a dinner party I’m having tonight. She opened the fridge.
“You have got to be kidding me! Look at this fridge it’s stocked to the hilt! Okay, spill it.” She said pouring herself a glass of wine stepping back looking at me.
“Well, I’m having a dinner party with some friends tonight.”
“So you don’t usually keep it this full right?”
“Actually I do. I’m not that guy that has to be out in the streets trolling bars five nights a week. I really do just like enjoying the beach and my friends.”
“Any room for one more?” she asked sitting on the sink counter waving her legs and cute little feet.
“Well” I said walking towards her “If you don’t’ have any plans it would be my pleasure for you to my guest.”
“Do you really mean that or are you just saying what I want to hear?” she said looking down then back up at me.
“Sarah, there’s one thing you may come to know about me, I mean what I say, I tell the truth (I have to in my line of work) and I think we have a connection.” She hopped off the counter and came over to me.
“I don’t know what is about you, but I am turning into a magnet and you are steel and I can’t help the force of your pull, but we’ll see how it goes tonight.”
“Well now that we have cleared that up, pass me the olive oil on your right” I said smiling at her reaching out and squeezing her hand then kissing her on the top of her head. She reached for the olive oil slipping between me and the counter and look into my eyes. Her lips are close to mine. I could feel her soft breathing patterns.
“We have one more thing to clear up.” She said continuing to stare at me.
“Did I forget something?”
She wrapped her arms around me and planted a deep soft sweet simple kiss on my lips.
“There. Now it’s official.” She said smiling caressing my neck.
“Yep, I like you and maybe I’ll consider putting my “taken” sign on my front door.”“You read my mind.”
“I hope so because I feeling the same way too.”
“Good, now, toss, Greek, or wild green salad?”
“Greek okay with you?”
We made ourselves a simple mid day lunch and ate out on the patio with the sound of the beach in the background. We talked about each others paths that led us to where we are today. She has been a girl all her life. Her parents are both retired attorneys in the LA area. She graduated from USC top honors in art, media and entertainment. Needless to say with her powerful lawyer parents she had no problems building a very high profile clientele when she set out on her own.
“So what time is the party?” she asked
“Seven thirty but I told everyone they could start showing up whenever.” She looked at her watch.
“Well I better get going if I’m going to get back here in time.” She said standing up grabbing her plate heading for the kitchen. I followed her.
“I hope you are coming back” I said putting my dishes in the sink doubting she would come back.
“Hey, look at
me” She said sliding between me and sink again looking deeply into my eyes “I’ll be back, I promise. Do you think I want to leave the door open for one of these beach girls to slip in between me and you?”
“I don’t know you might” I said with my arms wrapped around her resting on her hips rocking her back and forth.
“Shhhhh. No more of those thoughts today okay. Look at me, no I mean really look at me. You feel this? I mean really feel this? This is two people finding their way towards each other. Now I would be a fool to let this feeling slip away.”
“Okay you have my promise, I’ll keep this moment between us open and see where it takes us.”
“Are you sure Richard? Don’t promise if you don’t because I will be back.”
“I promise. Now get going so you can get back into my arms.”
We kissed and held hands as I walked her to the door. As I was waving to her I noticed she didn’t have the things she brought with her. I ran back out the door with them in my hands.
“Hey, you forgot your things!” I said waving her down. She stopped and powered down her window.
“See, I promised I would be back. Don’t you know girls always leave something behind when they’re interested in a guy?” she said smile looking up at me.
“You are something else.” I said standing there the driveway holding her things as she slowly started pulling away.
“Wait until tonight Mister. Should I pack a night bag?” she said pulling down her shades.
“Yeah, but if you forget it I’m sure I’ve got something that will fit you in the morning.” I said walking backwards.