I paused, seeing a large bouquet of my favorite flowers in front of my door. It was 6pm, which was still way too early for Leo to be home, so he must have had them delivered. Also, I’d refused to get out of my car until I was sure his wasn’t anywhere in the lot.
I’d ignored all his calls and texts, though they stopped a little after noon. His assistant must have confiscated his phone. That Lucia was a sharp one. She made sure he got his work done and that he remembered to eat. I was pretty sure that she was the one that made sure he was on time for our weekly dinners. She was also probably the one that ordered the flowers.
I picked them up and looked at the card that reiterated the general subject of his messages: I’m sorry. I didn’t want him to think that a simple apology would make up for what he did to me, but after the first 5 missed calls, I started to feel guilty. Avoiding him would be my best bet for now.
More importantly, I needed my boots back. I dropped my purse on my couch and slipped out of my navy blazer and nude pumps. Heading for the door, I grabbed the spare keys to Leo’s apartment and the flowers. I needed to get rid of them if I wanted to stay strong.
I walked out the door and over to Leo’s. Before letting myself in, I pressed my ear to the wood, listening for any indication that he was home. Once I was sure it was safe, I unlocked the door and walked in. He’d slept on the couch after I’d left. The pillows were still on the floor, but not my boots. I didn’t see them anywhere. I dropped the flowers on the coffee table and began searching for the purpose of my intrusion.
I tried to block out the memories I had from being in here less than 24 hours ago, but it was hard to when the smell of sex lingered throughout the apartment.
Being around Leo, I could instantly feel the sexual tension that dominated the mood. He obviously did too. What else would have made him ask me to sleep with him that night 2 months ago?
While searching, I couldn’t stop myself from peeking into his room. I rarely saw it during the daytime. It looked like the room belonged to him. The paintings on the walls. The books on his shelves. The curtains covering his windows. The sheets on his bed. Everything about this room screamed Leo, which was scary considering I’d been the one to redecorate when his place flooded a few months back.
I looked at the way the sheets had been dragged onto the floor. A little over 12 hours ago, I’d been the one to put them there. Noticing the books and papers sprawled over the floor, I assumed they were what he’d run into while stumbling through the dark. I picked them up and neatly placed them back on his dresser. He was such a neat freak, so he must have been in a hurry to have left his apartment so messy.
I should had found my boots already, so he must had taken them with him…which meant I’d have to see him at some point. I hated that he was so fucking sneaky like that. He probably hadn’t meant to do it, but it still pissed me off that it just came so naturally to him.
I sat on his bed when I finished cleaning up the mess. I lied down, placing my head on his pillow, and breathed in his unique scent. That was the thing that drew me to him the most. He regularly smelled like pineapple and mint. It was a weird combination, but it seemed to fit him perfectly.
Wrapping myself in the soft sheets, I knew I was fucked. If I was like this with his stuff, I’m sure I’d be ten times worse with the real thing. No one made me feel this crazy, and the fact that Leo did made it even harder to not be heartbroken when he eventually would tell me he didn’t feel the same way. I closed my eyes trying to shut out my thoughts.
If only there was a pill in my bathroom collection that could kill these feelings the same way the rest of them killed my life.
My eyes shot open and made their way to the clock. Its green light glowed 10:53pm. I untangled myself from the sheets and rushed to the window overlooking the parking lot.
“Shit,” I hissed. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.” I’d spotted his car. I quietly and quickly rushed out his room, just in time to hear him get to his front door.
“Shit!” I whispered again.
Out of time and out of options, I ran back to his room and hid in the closet. I heard the front door open and close and him talking on the phone.
“Yeah, she got them. She returned them, too,” he said, I assume talking about the flowers. “I’m looking at them sitting on my table, Lucia.”
She had been the one to order them. Figures.
“I’ve never known her to reject yellow peonies. They’re her favorite. I told you I must have fucked up big time.”
I heard his voice get louder as he walked into the room and I cracked the door to peek out.
“I don’t know. I still need to talk to her and figure out what happened.”
Oh great. He’d pissed me off and didn’t even remember how.
“I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” He hung up and fell back onto the bed with a loud sigh. “Damn it, Danielle. Why won’t you answer me?”
My heart ached when he said my name. I could see this was hurting him, probably as much as it was hurting me, but there was no excuse for what he did to me. He was a Grade A jackass and he had to learn that he couldn’t just do shit to me without paying for it…Okay, maybe poor choice of words, but that wasn’t the point. He’d messed up. It would take time for me to forgive him, or at least I’d make him think it would.
He lifted his phone and dialed another number. We could both hear my phone ringing in my apartment, and I inwardly sighed with relief that I’d stuck it in my purse rather than my pocket.
When the ringing stopped, he sighed and repeated my outgoing message aloud. “The number you have dialed is not available right now. Please leave a message after the beep. Beep.”
Most people knew the message because it was the default setting, but I was sure that Leo knew it from calling me so many times today.
“Hey, Danny. I know you don’t want to hear this again, but I’m sorry,” he said into the phone. “I…I need to talk to you. In person. Please answer me…Goodnight.” He dropped his phone at his side and quietly lied still.
I silently watched as he moved only to grab the pillow I’d been sleeping on just moments ago. He held it tight and took a deep breath.
“Honey and lavender,” he sighed. “Fuck.”
I knew he was talking about my shampoo. It sent chills down my spine knowing that he liked to smell me the same way I did him.
He tossed the pillow back to its previous spot and stood. “I need a shower to clear my head.” He removed his charcoal grey suit jacket and tie, and kicked off his shiny black loafers.
I listened to him make his way down the hall to the bathroom, close the door, and start the shower. Taking the opportunity, I slipped out the closet and tiptoed down the hall. As I approached the bathroom, I held my breath in fear of him hearing even the slightest sound and discovering me…so, when I saw the door start to open, I froze.