Dinner wasn’t bad. The food was excellent as was the company sitting across from her. Mariana enjoyed the ambiance of Sentiment, with its romantic candlelit setting at each table and a string quartet softly playing music in the background.
A lush floral arrangement full of white peonies, hydrangeas, and roses was the centerpiece of every table, courtesy of a delivery from the famous floral chain, Madre’s, in New York.
In a short while, B. was going to DJ at the accompanying dance floor while Mariana would watch from where she was seated. That was going to be great. She could enjoy watching her man work for a while before they went home to cap off a great evening.
She briefly closed her eyes and squeezed Scott’s Southern grumble out of her head. While she was at it, she would also need to rid herself of the thoughts of him mounting her while she was tied up and blindfolded on his bed, caressing her torso with a single long-stemmed rose before he spread her thighs apart and played with her pussy with one of the many implements he would use that night; leading her to delve farther into subspace before he pulled her back out…
“Are you okay, babe?” B.’s eyes searched all over Mariana’s face. “You seem flushed.”
“Um,” Mariana lightly tapped her forehead and noticed it was damp, “it’s a little warm in here. I’m going to go to the bathroom and freshen up. I’ll be right back.” She hurriedly left the table and made a beeline to the women’s restroom.
Once inside, Mariana locked herself inside a stall and sat down on the toilet. She laid her head against her palm and shook it in disbelief. Was she really fantasizing about her Dom ex while she was on a date with her boyfriend? I’m the most horrible girlfriend, ever. She couldn’t… no, wait… she could believe Scott still had that effect on her a year later.
She was having a nice Valentine’s Day with a great man and there she was, comparing the two, like a fool. If Scott wanted her, he would be with her, simple as that. It was clear Scott didn’t want her by his choice of date that evening.
Who in the hell names their kid Dove?
Mariana wasn’t being fair. She was being childish and petty and it really wasn’t like her. Dove was a very sweet girl who always struck up a conversation with Mariana whenever she was in the office. Dove had been nothing but pleasant to her and sometimes went out of her way to be nice, even taking Mariana out for coffee a few times and footing the bill. Mariana secretly wondered if Dove was paying with Scott’s money.
No, no, no… Mariana refused to get jealous. Refused.
That’s it! I’m not going to trouble myself anymore with Scott, Dove, and whoever else. I’m going to focus on my relationship with B. and be done with it. Mariana grabbed some toilet paper, straightened herself out, and left the stall—only to run into Dove, directly in front of her.
“We meet again!” Dove smiled through the mirror. “Excuse me, Mari. Could I trouble you to help me tie up the back?”
Mariana hated her. Yes, she hated that bitch.
She was the one who decided to pursue a relationship with Bernard, pushing Scott away. Not that she had a choice, really. Scott forced her hand when he asked her to move out. Asked? No, he told her to leave. At the time, she was too devastated to pay him any mind, and spent the week holed up in the guest bedroom, only escaping to use the bathroom. She’d barely eaten that week and whatever food she did consume, her body refused.
She was determined to prove that she didn’t need Scott in her life and she was just fine without him! He bought an engagement ring that she’d picked out, only for it to be a waste of money for him and a waste of time for her. She felt silly thinking about all the times she’d spent researching wedding venues, picking out colors, thinking about which of her friends and family members she wanted to be in her bridal party…
I think you should move out.
She couldn’t understand it then and it still made no sense to her now. His voice was calm and his body language was stiff and distant. But she’d remembered his eyes, they were the most telling. They weren’t angry; instead, regretful, as if someone or something was forcing Scott to break up with her. Even when he’d given her access to his accounts, he’d hesitated to do so, as if he was making a mistake.
A mistake. A mistake he hadn’t bothered to correct.
It took some time, but Mariana realized it didn’t matter if she went out with Bernard that fateful night; the end result still would’ve been the same. Scott would’ve broken up with her, she still would’ve gone out with Bernard…
And she still would be in the current position she’s in, helping Scott’s new girlfriend tie up her dress.
I Need You is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance.