Marigold smoothed her hands along the sides of her red dress. She had to stop perspiring so much when she was nervous. Her mouth went dry while she ambled into the Le Chat Noir restaurant. Her green eyes pierced her surroundings, and she cursed their low lights. She’d never find him in here. Her heart pounded like a syncopated rhythm. Why did she agree to go out in the first place?
“Marigold?” The male voice rasped her name.
She turned and froze. Leo wasn’t what she was expecting in a date. He was short; she should’ve worn her ballet flats instead of high heels. His stature was stocky, and he had a bald spot with a bad comb over. She didn’t want to be vain, but she was surprised. “Is your name Leo?”
“Yeah, come on, sweetheart, I have a table.” He offered his arm to her.
She didn’t take it and followed him to the table.
“Here you go.” He held out her chair.
Marigold considered sitting in the opposite chair, but she didn’t want to look like a complete bitch. While she sat, she could’ve sworn she felt his hand briefly on her behind. She wouldn’t listen to her BFF Rose again.
The dinner turned to inane conversation; the chicken was overcooked. There wasn’t enough wine to get through the night. Her grocery list would’ve been more interesting.
You’re not giving him a chance, Marigold, she told herself. She wasn’t and she knew it. Perhaps she wanted Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now. It was her first date in a few months. It couldn’t be Leo’s fault, although he gave her the creeps.
She caught snippets of his conversation about accounting. Boredom took an all new meaning. When the waiter brought the check, she breathed a sigh of relief and said, “No,” to dessert.
Leo walked her out, which was nice of him, until he pressed himself against her, felt up her breasts, and tried to kiss her.
“Stop! Ugh,” she said through a groan and pushed him away.
“I’ll call you later, Marigold,” he said in a cheerful tone.
“I don’t think so.” Her tires squealed as she sped out of there and left him standing on the curb. Jerk!
Tired and a little bit tipsy, she entered her apartment building. She’d call Rose and give her an earful. She wasted her best date dress on a complete sleaze. After pressing the elevator button, she waited for it to open. When it did, she moved to step inside when she ran into something very solid. Embarrassment colored her face when she saw who it was: tenant #D3. She didn’t know his name, but man, she liked to watch him with his tied-back blond hair, chiseled jaw, and so blue eyes you’d get lost in them.
“Hello, Marigold.” His baritone voice rolled from his lips. The way he said her name sent tingles up her spine.
“Hi,” she said, almost shyly.
“Have a date?”
“Yeah, it didn’t work out so well.”
“That’s too bad.” He touched her arm. “Say, you wouldn’t want to get coffee sometime would you.”
She really needed to find out his name. He knew hers. Best of all, he wanted to go out for coffee. “Sure, I’d like that.”
“Great. Want to go now?” He smiled, looking interested and most of all genuine.
“Sure, I’d like that.” Man, what was his name! Oh, well, she thought. Things looked brighter, but it could’ve been the wine. The best thing of all, she was certain he’d wipe the bad blind date experience out of her head. “So, what do you do for a living?”
“Believe it or not, but I’m an accountant.”