16.

“Dima, I need your blue dress,” I said frantically on the phone.

“Okay, but, hold on, do you have a date?”

“Yes.”

“With who? Don’t tell me that gorgeous guy at the bar?”

“Yes, him, but it’s not really a date.” Or was it?

“Sure, it’s not a date. That’s why you want to borrow my dress? When was the last time you wore a fuckin’ dress?”

I couldn’t even remember.

“Who cares? Can you bring it by, or what?”

“What time is your date?”

“Seven p.m.”

“Okay, I’ll be there at five.” Two hours?

“Oh yeah, please bring your curling iron…and Dima…”

“Yes?”

“You’re a life saver!”

“I know!”

As soon as she came over she started with my complete makeover. “Okay, Ellie, let’s get to work!” She was so excited, holding onto the dress and barely through my door. “I also brought my blue pumps,” she added with a wicked smile. “Guaranteed to make his heart stop,” she smiled, “or his willie hard.”

“Willie?” I rolled my eyes, bursting into laughter. I grabbed the shoes out of her hand, “How the hell will I walk in these?”

“Trust me, they are super comfortable. Now get out of your clothes and put on a robe. We are starting with your makeup.” I did as was told and sat down in my bedroom in front of my vanity.

“Okay, now don’t move.” She did her magic, telling me to close my eyes, open my eyes, look up, look down, smile, and pucker up my lips. She curled my hair and sprayed it. “Follow me.” I got up. “Now take off the robe and I’ll dress you gently to not ruin your hair.” I put on the dress and the shoes and then she shoved me in front of the mirror whistling. “All done.”

I couldn’t believe it was me.

“You look hot…he’s gonna freak.” I suddenly felt nervous.

“These shoes are so comfortable,” I said. Dima looked at me exasperated.

“That’s all you have to say?”

“Wow. Thank you, Dima.”

“That’s better.” She patted herself on the shoulder. “I’m outta here, before the bell rings.” She glanced at her watch. “It’s almost seven.”

She grabbed her belongings and hugged me bye. “Have fun!”

I was too nervous to speak. Then the doorbell rang. Shit.

Dima opened the door and with a quick hello and back glance at me, she whisked herself off, but not until I saw her wink at me and open her mouth wide at his appearance. Tommy stood there staring at me. He looked magnificent.

“Hi,” I said.  He looked me up and down and cleared his throat.

“Hi, Ellie. You look stunning.”

“Thank you.” We stepped out of the house and I locked the door. He held out his arm for me and I wrapped my arm through his. He was solid and strong against me and I felt a slight tug in me.

As soon as we sat in the car and he started the engine, the music blared through the speakers and surprised me. He didn’t lower the volume. He continued driving as we listened to this sweet song.

“Who is this?” I asked curiously. “I’ve never heard them before.”

“Alabama Shakes. Do you like it?”

“I love her voice.”

Tommy lowered the volume. “Ellie,” he ran one hand through his hair and the other he held the wheel firmly, “we have to set some ground rules for tonight.”

“Sure.”

“We have to show Alexios that we are into each other, so don’t be surprised or shocked when I kiss you, also, you have to reciprocate.” He gave me a sideways glance that I ignored.

“Fine.” I kept my cool although I was edgy. “I know the drill.”

“When he shows up, I want you to make a rendez-vous with him for another night, and that’s when I’ll kill him. Tell him you still love him and all that other shit he’ll want to hear and make it believable.”

He didn’t give me a chance to speak. He raised the volume again and we listened to the rest of the song. He sounded irritated.

When he parked the car and opened the door for me, he gave me his hand, “By the way, that dress you’re wearing is unforgettable.” I gave him my hand and I stood a few inches in front of him. He slightly touched my hair and I felt flustered. “Just go with it, he could be watching,” he whispered.

I let him touch my hair and I reached up and touched his. He wasn’t expecting that and I felt a slight shock at my touch and then an ease as I pulled it away.

Tommy put his hand in front so I could go ahead first, “After you…” he said in a low husky voice.  “This is going to be an interesting evening.”

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