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Romancing Lori

 


Romancing
Lori

By.
V. R. S.

Prologue

“Lori
Mitchell, 29 years old, workaholic, and a loner.” Yes, that
is
the way to start… scratch

“Lori
Mitchell, 29 years old, currently a musician, scrap booker,
knitter,”… scratch

Sure,
boring. Basically it seems as if I don’t leave my home.
Alright, let’s start over. “Lori Mitchell, 29 years
old…”

The advertisement
for singles was going to be agonizing. She has not
dated for months. Her last date was miserable. Robert wanted nothing

but a one nighter. He didn’t make any excuse of it. She had
a feeling
when he took her to a bar early on. His insisting on her to drink
was
annoying. “I don’t drink Robert.” Lori remembers
saying. “Come on, just one beer.” He kept insisting.
“No.” Lori said. The date ended with a hand shake plus
headache. “Oh boy.” Lori exclaimed. Finally she continued
writing. She thought about how everyone else had married and even
had kids. While, she didn’t. She was trying to forget the
looks her friends gave her at
parties. They wanted her to be with them but it was awkward with
nothing
much to talk about. No kids, no husband, just work and home. “This
is my only chance.” Lori thought. If this doesn’t work,
she will give up. Finally she finished. As she was sealing the envelope
to mail she felt miserable. At least now I can meet someone I truly
can expect. Someone on my own terms. My own demands.

Chapter 1

Lori was sitting
at her desk typing a report from a surgeon. Medical transcription
was a job she loved. She enjoyed the inside world of doctoring and
how miracles can happen. She was amazed about how doctors are so
gifted and how their decisions are so important. She felt as if
she was there when the doctor was performing their work. Plus, she
loved typing. She has 3 other girls working along with her. Clara
who was a divorcee, Alice who just finished business school, and
Coree who was waiting for a baby. Of course, all married. Clara
was divorced but now seeing someone. Even though they hardly have
time to mingle during office hours, lunch time was all about talking.
Well, in her part listening. She has only been working at the hospital
for 2 years. Shy and quiet, the girls kind of picked on her.

“When
are you going to go out?” Clara would ask.
“Yes Lori, come one day to our house. My cousin would like
to meet you.” Coree said. Sure, Lori thought, get involved
in one of her co-worker’s family. She would never hear the
end of it. All Lori could do was smile and sigh politely. The girls
usually left her be when she sighed.

But she was
lonely and was hopeful about the ad she placed on the personals.
Callers are expected.

“Hi,
I’m Malcolm. I read your ad and if it is fine with you we
can meet at the Plaza on Saturday night, well my phone number is…”
“The Plaza?” Lori exclaimed. Boy, is she having the
worst of luck. The Plaza was a mall here she thought was not a great
place for romantic dinners unless you were a teenager. No way was
she calling this Malcolm back.

She was feeling
like an idiot. Why is it so hard for her? As she was walking to
the kitchen to get a glass of water the phone rang. She took a quick
glance at the clock. Nine thirty. Who could it be?

“Hello?”
Lori answered.
“Hi Lori, it’s Malcolm Turner. I left you a message.”
At first Lori
didn’t know what to say.
“Hello Mr. Turner.” Is all she could respond.
“I’m sorry for calling now. I was just a little anxious.”
Lori sat
down and decided to just relax.
“It’s alright Mr. Turner.” Lori sighed. “I
just got in.”
“Well, I guess you won’t mind us talking?” He
sounded hopeful which
made Lori feel at ease.
“Sure, I don’t mind Mr. Turner.”
“You can call me Malcolm.”
“Malcolm. Is this your first time answering an ad?”
“Yes, is it obvious?” Lori smiled.
“No, it is just that it is my first ad as well.”
“Wow, guess we both feel a little awkward.”
“Yes, I guess we do.”
“Listen Lori, I don’t know about you but I am nervous.
I really don’t want you to think you are, talking to a psycho
or…”
“Yes, I know. I don’t want you to think I am a crazy
nut too. I want to tell you Malcolm. I am just tired of not being
noticed for who I am. I want just to have someone to talk to without
worrying if they won’t ever call back. I want this person
to be interested in me.” Lori was so desperate she stopped
herself and regretted saying just what she had just said.
“ I understand what you want Lori. I want the same thing,
a special friend.”

Lori was glad
to hear the word friend. A lover was not someone she
could share thoughts with. A male partner who’s only interest
is the
fulfillment of carnal desires. She wanted a friend. A male friend.
And it was relief to learn that Malcolm felt the same.

“I guess
it would be our next step to meet.” Lori suddenly said.
“What about the Plaza? I know it is a little crowded but at
least if it
feels awkward we will be distracted. I mean if it don’t work
out, we
can just go our own way much easier.”
“That is fine Malcolm. We can meet there. Saturday?”
Lori was
feeling like a teenager for a moment.
“Great, Saturday at 6:00 PM would be nice?”
“Nice.” Lori responded. Until then Lori felt tired.
All of a sudden a rush got possession of her. A date, she thought.
In the mall.

Chapter 2

The day came
and Loris was looking at herself in the mirror. Her hair
was combed and brushed into a simple ponytail. After all it is just

the Plaza they were going to. Malcolm had just confirmed their data
an
hour ago and set up where to meet. She thought it was interesting
that
he chose the movie store. She loved watching movies and was proud
of
her collection. As she was getting her purse she took a last glance
at
her hall mirror.

“It
will be alright Lori.” She whispered to herself.

The Plaza was
full and alive just like any Saturday night. It was exactly 6:00
PM when she walked into the movie store. It was not difficult to
find Malcolm. He was there holding her favorite movie of all time
as if he was holding a card with her name on it. But that was not
just the case. The man that was holding the movie was too handsome.
It made her feel insecure immediately. He had on a dark green sweater
with black jeans with black shoes. He had darkish brown hair and
green eyes. Was he Brad Pitt? No. He was not. He was in the category
though. He was looking at her. What should she do. Pretend that
she was not examining him? Too late.

“Hello
Lori.” He sounded so confident.
“Hi.” She answered. This man was way too good looking
she almost
wanted to flee. What would he had expected when he called her? A
blond
bombshell? No, Lori was nothing like that. She was a simple woman

searching for a simple man. Not a Brad Pitt look-a-like. She sort
of was at
a loss of words. Was it obvious?
“Hey, are you alright? Should we get something to drink?”
“Sure Malcolm. I am sorry.” Lori smiled politely and
let him lead her
out of the store into the crowded mall.

There was attraction.
Of course, he was handsome. There was no way to
deny it. It was something that was bothering her because they had
just
met. He seemed well mannered too. Well that is to be expected in
a
first date. She liked the way he gave her all the attention too.
She
also noticed how everyone else took notice of him. It made her feel

uncomfortable when she caught a young lady staring at him. They
were
sitting at a coffee stand where he was ordering her expresso. She
needed
it. She had lost her appetite. Finally he arrived and sat in front
of
her. She didn’t want to waste any more time.

“I need
to say something to you before we go any further.” Lori said.
“What is it? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, of course not. Well, it is like this. You are, well,
what I believe not to be my type.” There she finally let it
out.
“What?” Malcolm smiled.
“Come on.” Lori explained. “You are like the spitting
image of a movie
star while I am no Sharon Stone.” Lori was embarrassed.
“Listen Lori very carefully.” Malcolm gave her a killer
smile. She couldn’t do anything but do as he said. “Let’s
get to know one another before we jump into any conclusions. Please.”
“Malcolm, I just don’t want this to be a waste of time
specially for you. I mean you can do better.”
“Lori don’t think that way. You are stunning to me.”
“You are just saying that Malcolm. I know that I am not good
looking.”
“What can I say to change your mind? The point is that I want
to stay
with you. I want to continue this meeting. Please don’t stop
so soon.
I really want to get to know you. Besides, the girls you think are

meant for me really aren’t. They spend so much time with themselves.
I
wanted to meet someone who really didn’t have the vanity and

selfishness. Give this a chance?”

What Malcolm
was saying was so illuminating. Of course she knew about
these girls who only looked good outside but their personality was
lacking.

“I am
sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped into conclusions like I did.”

With that they continued having their coffees.
“It is great to be here with you honestly.” Malcolm
suddenly said.
“Why?” Lori asked.
“Because it has been a long time since I have been so comfortable
like
I am now. I used to think that first time meetings were always awkward

but not this time.”
“Yeah, speak for yourself.” Lori laughed.
“What do you do?”
“I am a medical transcriptionist. I work at the Hospital.”
“That must be very interesting. Do you like what you do?”
“Most of the time. I just feel bad when doctors can’t
save lives.
They sound so exhausted and depressed. Almost like they lost a war?”
“ I can only imagine how hard that is for someone who tries
to do such
wonderful work.”
At that moment Lori couldn’t help but notice Malcolm’s
green eyes.
This would be the first time she took the time to examine clearly
his
features.

Malcolm had
dirty brown hair with sun obtained highlights. He seemed
like a true hunk but had the essence of a man who had gone through
much in life. In his 30’s obviously because of the beginning
signs of lines around his eyes. But what truly mesmerized Lori was
his green eyes. Almost magical. Made her remember all the novels
she used to read at bedtime when she was in college. Those men whom
she always dreamed about conquering her heart. His cheeks were full
and clean shaven. His lips were full and tantalizing to touch. When
he smiled his teeth were even and strong. His voice was deep but
understandable. She imagined him talking as if she was typing a
report on his life. A novel of his wonderful life, as soon as she
knew it. She really wanted to know more.

Malcolm was
thinking, am I talking too much? Lori seemed focused to
what he was saying. About the music he likes, movies, hobbies…
Is she
really listening to him? He was so nervous that all he could do
to hide
his tension was to talk. But as he said little amusing stories about

himself she seemed to smile and chuckle a little. She was really
listening. All this time when he was dating all these women all
they really were interested in was his physique. It was refreshing
to find someone
who was not just interested his body but also in his thoughts and

aspirations. The real him.

“Wow,
look at the time.” Malcolm finally said. “It is 9:00
o’clock. I
sure can talk huh?”
“ I don’t mind it one bit. I can listen all night long
if you wanted
me to. I mean if you wanted to.” Lori blushed.
“I feel like I am in high school. And it is not just because
we are at the mall. I really am feeling quite happy.” Malcolm
then stood and helped Lori up from her chair. They both stretched
their legs and started towards the entrance doors of the Plaza.
While walking they were quiet. The quiet helped Lori sink in her
feelings toward Malcolm. The way he looked somehow was forgotten.
She was beginning to learn the real him. Someone who works hard
at maintaining a grounded life. Someone who really wanted to get
to know her and wanted for her to know him. But who is really Malcolm.
It is too soon to know about his family. It is too soon for him
to reveal what his career is though she did mention hers. But then
again, that is all Lori had. Her crafts and job. Can Malcolm make
her life more thrilling? Could he be the one she has been waiting
for? She has to be patient. She does not want to frighten him away
by being anxious about where this, after all first date! , was going
to go. But this quiet had to end soon. Thank God the doors were
right ahead. But alas, how are they going to part? Is he going to
kiss her? Is she going to allow him to do so? Will her knees hold
her when he does?

“Well
this is it Lori, I am parked on the other side of the Plaza.”

Malcolm said. Then suddenly he turned serious. “I want to
call you again.
I want to see you again.”
“I would like that too Malcolm.” Lori heard herself
say. Then slowly Malcolm approached her. First he took her hands
into his and came closer to her. She was frozen in expectation.
Then she closed her eyes as she felt his breath against her face.
Soft and hot. Then he kissed her. In her cheek. Softly but slowly.
As if he wanted to do more but was holding back. As he was backing
up he whispered good night and then opened the door for her.

It was a slow
but very romantic moment. One of those moments that she
will never forget. Those that hardly ever happen to her.

Chapter 3

The next day
was Sunday. Lori woke with a smile. The first picture
that came to mind was Malcolm. She couldn’t believe how pleasant
he was. The way he felt about her crafts. Usually men hated to talk
about these womanly things. But he really seemed interested in her.
I wonder what is wrong with him Lori couldn’t help thinking.
As she got up to the
bathroom she couldn’t help but glance at her dresser mirror.
She looked
simple but she always knew that a little trip to the right makeover

artist would do her justice. Her brown tresses would look great
with some
highlights. Her eye glasses can disappear. Then a deep thought came

into her mind. She shouldn’t change her appearance. She should
remain
the way she is and see what happens. The reflection is what she
is and
that is that. She was going to go on that way, and hoped that Malcolm

would be pleased.

Malcolm was
sitting in his bed attempting to read this article in the
newspaper. But all he could picture was Lori’s smile and attentive

glance. She truly seemed sincere and honest. He liked the way she

listened to every word. Her thoughts about his looks to him was
ridiculous
and ungrounded but he was glad that she remained with him for the

duration of the evening. She was pretty like a flower in the field.
Her
shyness made him smile. He wanted to discover her more. To find
out what
excites her. To uncover the mysteries of the world with her to witness

how she reacts. Then he thought, why does this woman intrigue me
so?
Why do I want to be with her so badly when I haven’t even
held her? Is
this what true attraction was?

The phone rang
and Malcolm jumped out of his position in the bed. His
heart was racing when he picked it up hurriedly.
“Hello. I hope it is a good time.” Lori was calling.
She was calling
him. As if she knew his mind was solely on her.
“I was thinking about you.” Malcolm responded.
“Yeah, what were you thinking?”
“On how pretty you are. On how I wish I could see you right
now for
breakfast.”
“Lunch?”
“Brunch?”
“No, lunch. I have something to do first.” Like try
to catch her
breath which was running on empty.
“Alright. Lunch.”
They spent the next few minutes debating where to go and finally

decided on a small place a few blocks from where she lived. When
she hung up
she couldn’t believe that she had called him. She was never
this bold.
But no matter. She had to get ready for this second meeting and
not
continue to ponder on how he would react to her. She wanted to just
be
herself. Boldness included.

*****

The conversation
was light as they waited for their turkey sandwiches.
Malcolm and Lori have been seeing each other for a month now. Lori
had
wanted to know more about him but he seemed to derail that
conversation. She decided to give it another try.
“So Malcolm. What are you going to be doing tomorrow?”
Stripping,
selling drugs, what is the secret?
“I am going to be in my office working.” Malcolm responded
slowly.
“Oh, you have an office. That is a start. Where could this
office be?
Hmmm?” Lori studied his expression. Malcolm was hiding behind
his
beautiful smile.
“Somewhere in the United States of America.” He finally
said.
“Why the secret Malcolm? I am getting pretty nervous about
you. At
first I thought it was funny but that thought is wearing out.”
Lori was
becoming impatient.
“Because I want to show you all of me in due time.”
“But you want to know all of me first. Who are you? It has
been a
month and I have been more that fair to you.” With that Malcolm
put his
hands up in the air and sighed.
“I am sorry. Am I frustrating you?” Lori said.
“No, you have the right to know who I am.” Malcolm finally
said after a
long pause.
Malcolm was staring at her. Examining her reaction to the truth.
A
truth he has not wanted to share so soon. But she was one to continue

digging until he would want to run away. But he didn’t want
to run away.
He was tired of running away. He had to tell her, no matter what.

“Listen
Lori, I want to tell you really. I am sorry that over the past
weeks I have not been totally truthful with you. You see, I…
Well, I
was in my apartment when I read the newspaper and I wanted to see
what
the single ads had to offer. I was looking myself, but not in the
same
manner, for someone to share my… life with. I didn’t
want the same
kind of woman that knew me before hand. See, these women wanted
something more than just me. I wanted someone who got to know the
real me. My intellect, my sentiments, my interests, my deep thoughts
of life. You, “Simple Lori” like you call yourself,
are the one I was always wanting
to meet. The one who didn’t care about my possessions or my
status in
life. Someone who truly cared about me. A friend, more than a friend.

We have talked and talked and in many occasions I have been tempted
to
tell you but I stopped because I was afraid of what this information

would do to our relationship.”

Lori was tired
of this situation. She was afraid that he didn’t want
to be with her. That he was hiding her. Ashamed of her. She wanted
to
run away and hide from him forever. All these weeks were wonderful.

Although they were constantly on the phone talking about the daily

events and going out for dinners there was so much she didn’t
know about
him. He knew almost everything about her. But that something that
was
hidden was making it difficult for them to get closer. She felt
as if he
didn’t trust her. She didn’t want to continue wasting
her time. She
felt pressured to move on. To continue life without his presence
even
though it would hurt her for the rest of her life.
“Malcolm, I don’t know what else to do about your mystery.
It has been
too long. If you feel the way you have now said then it should not
be
so difficult to just tell me.” Lori then held on to his hand
and
caressed it.

She loved the
way they felt in hers and didn’t want to ever let go.
This was the first time she realized that he meant much more to
her than
just an acquaintance or friend. Sure she was always thinking that
they
were just friends that dined together and talked over the telephone

until one or the other was too sleepy to continue. But she now had
a
feeling what she truly wanted with him. Love. When they first met
Lori
believed that they were only going to be friends. Malcolm mentioned
it
to her. She was not to be a romantic meeting but a friend. The first

and only time there was a kiss was their first night when he kissed
her
cheek. The other times she gave in the hint that there were not
going
to be more kisses and he seemed to understand. She didn’t
want to be
hurt and he found it fair since he didn’t want to tell her
this secret.
This mystery.

“Lori,
I own most of this town. Well, my father bought most of it but
I have inherited it. I am Malcolm Turner Smithson.”
“Smithson?” Lori exclaimed. She knew about the Smithson
family. They
were up in popularity like the Kennedys. At least in her small town.

They literally owned most of it. Real state like the Plaza, Theater,

Restaurants, Bank, and God knows what else. She didn’t know
what to
think. He was a millionaire. A man who could have what he wanted.

Anything. Anyone.
“I don’t know what to say.” Lori finally said
trembling.
“Nothing. Forget about that part of my life. Forget who I
am. Just
remember the days we have shared. The talks we have had. The good

ones. The ones that were deep and truthful.” Malcolm sounded
serious.
But why does he want to forget who he was?
“Alright Malcolm. For now, we will not discuss it.”
Lori finally said.

That night
Lori could hardly sleep. She felt so out of place now. The man whom
she was getting along so well had a secret so deep she couldn’t
figure out how to accept it. She was no one. He deserved someone
who was more refined. What would his parents think? His whole family
had their own state where they spent their days. It was called The
Smithson Ranch. A place surrounded by gardens and murals covered
in diverse plant life. It was a natural art. The house, which she
had visited when she was a child, was grand and full of rooms and
plenty of windows. How could she behave now around him? She felt
so out of his world and very uncomfortable. He asked her to forget
about this new revelation. But how could she?

Chapter
4

Malcolm was
driving down to the office. The office where it became his
second home. The place where he saw his father slave through mountains

of papers and binders full of what he thought at the time were letters

with meaningless writings. He was always a carefree child who got
all
he wanted with the love of a great mother. But he lacked the fatherly

attention he so needed. Now the memories of his father only laid
in
that office facing the street that displayed 9 out of 10 buildings
belonging to him. He was hesitant about taking over the business
but his father had placed the responsibility on him since birth.
Being the only male in the family was not easy but his mother tried
her best to ground him. When his father retired Malcolm insisted
on not being too public about it and thankfully the newspaper, which
is operating in another of the family’s assets, published
a short and sweet article. So far everything was going well in business.

But he felt
alone and without the companionship he wanted. The women
that surrounded his everyday life were not the type he considered
as an
ideal. They all wanted him to purchase luxury items, eat at expensive

restaurants, etc… Gracielle Cardigon wanted a diamond bracelet
for
her birthday and was obviously disappointed when he simply gave
her a
basket of flowers and candy instead. He smiled as he remembered
her
flushed face and indignation. The attempt for her to smile was too
harsh.
She never phone him again like he expected. But Lori, when he read
her
ad in the paper that morning. He knew there was something special

about her. A woman who worked and stayed home. Did all these things
with her hands. So creative in her own timid way. The crafts, the
music,
the reading, and the writing. All these things that made him wonder

what would she be like in the flesh. What would she say? But primarily,

would she recognize him? It seemed that everyone else knew abo!
ut him. But she was so into her solitude that she seemed not to
care
about who he was. At first he thought because of her first reaction

that she did know who he was. But it was all about the superficial
and
he was glad that he talked her out of it.

As he was entering
the office’s parking lot he saw no one. It was so
early. He wanted to be alone before everyone else got in. The entrance

was damp with the residue of the late night shower. It was damp
but
comfortable in temperature. He picked up the newspaper that was
laying
on the front door and walked in after unlocking it. He didn’t
bother
to turn on the lights of the rest of the building for he knew how
to
move around in the dark. As he stepped into his office he did turn
on the
lamp on his desk. There he found messages taken after he had left
at
lunch time. He first noticed some calls from some of the renters
he
knew but a message caught his eye. Lori. He picked it up as he was

sitting down on his chair. The call was placed about 2 hours after
he had
confessed to her his true identity. Why didn’t she call him
at home?
Why did she call and leave a message at work? The message was simple,

call me. It was about 7:30 am right now and he decided to call her.

Lori was just
finishing brushing her teeth when the phone rang. She
knew who it was. Malcolm Smithson. Malcolm Turner Smithson. She

immediately washed her face and grabbed the cordless. It took her
a second before pressing the button that will open the line to him.
“Hello.” Lori answered.
“It’s me Lori. I received your message. I figure since
you left your
request for me to call you here in the office I thought it would
be the
right thing to answer it as soon as possible.”
“I appreciate your promptness.” Lori responded as she
sat in front of
her mirror. She was feeling anxious. He needed to know about her

feelings about this whole new situation between them.
“Lori, I need to see you.” Malcolm finally said after
a long pause.
“I don’t think it is a good idea.” Lori replied
quickly.
“Why? Because I am a Smithson? Because I am who I am?”
“I don’t know who you are anymore.”
”Lori you know who I am.”
“Look, I am sorry. You had your reasons to hide. Maybe we
should
discuss this in person. I have to go to work. Let’s meet at
the Plaza,
same place.”

Work was hectic
and Lori wasn’t up to par. She was acting so
differently. She was usually so into her work and reports. Today
her two
co-workers knew something was odd. At lunch they pretty much stared
at her. Coree was on maternity leave caring for her new daughter
Katherina.
But Clara and Alice were impatient about her. Clara started the

questioning the first time they saw Lori happy the next day after
her first
meeting with Malcolm. They knew about him as a friend but they hoped
it
would be something more. Today Lori was worse than before she met

Malcolm.
“Lori honey what happened between you two?” Clara asked
after she
finished her sandwich.
“We know it is all about him Lori. You have so sad eyes.”
Alice
commented.
“I don’t know what to say to you two. You will fall
off your chairs.”
Lori started.
“Tell us.” Both Clara and Alice said unanimously.
“It happens that Malcolm’s real name is Malcolm Turner
Smithson.” Lori
immediately saw Clara’s eyes widen. Alice needed a little
more
information.
“Malcolm practically almost owns this whole town.” Lori
filled in.
“You are the luckiest girl I have ever met. It is like you
have found
yourself a prince!” Clara almost shouted. Lori was not as
excited
about it. She didn’t want anyone else to know so she started
to shush
Clara.
“Please Clara, it is enough that I alone know. I don’t
want the
attention.”
“It sounds as if you were embarrassed about it.” Alice
pointed out.
Embarrassed? Of course she was embarrassed. And now more than ever

since she started recalling all the people that seemed to always
take
notice of them when they were out together. She was embarrassed.

Embarrassed that Malcolm wanted to be with her and she didn’t
now that she knew who he was. How could she had not known? Why wasn’t
she so cunning and intelligent like she always wanted to be to see
this from the
start. That he was a man who had the world in his hands and she
was a
nobody.
“I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
Lori finally said to her
co-workers. And they succumbed to her wish discontentedly. The rest

of the day was the same. Then came time for dinner at the Plaza.

Malcolm was
tense. What is there to be tense about?, he thought to
himself. She is a wonderful woman who deserved everything in the
world,
except lies. Why didn’t he pull through the first time they
met. Why
did he had to let time go by hiding his true identity. Was it because

he did not want her to pull away like she has described him she
has with
men who were above her status? Was it because the first time she
saw
him she felt oddly out of place? Was it because he didn’t
want to loose
the true powerful feeling she ignited in him? It was in this same

place where they had first laid eyes on each other. The Movie Store
was
almost empty. There was no one to distract him. His eyes were glued
to
the entrance of the mall. He didn’t want to miss Lori Mitchell.
He
somehow thought that if he looked away, if he blinked, that she
would
disappear. That she would disappear from his life forever.
“May I help you find anything?” Malcolm turned to see
a young man with
the imprint of the Movie Store in his green shirt with bright colors.

Attached his name tag. Matthew.
“No, thank you.” With that Matthew left his side. At
once Malcolm
looked again at the doors and suddenly there she was. Lori. But
she was
just standing there. She was not moving. Her eyes were fixed on
him.
But what was stopping her from coming to him?

Lori couldn’t
move. This was the first time that she finally saw
Malcolm as he was. A rich gallant man. A man who owned his destiny.
A man who was above her not only in looks but in status as well.
For crying
out loud. She didn’t know how to approach him. After all this
time.
After all the days that she has spent time with him talking and

laughing, now she felt as if it was the first time meeting again.
A prince
who wanted to hide his royalty to find someone who would feel for
him
just as he was. A human being who made mistakes, who cried, who
laughed, who worried, and who loved as anyone would. Someone that
was staring at her as if she was a goddess. As if she was the only
person in the entire world he wanted to talk to, be with, fall in
love with.

Malcolm wanted
to run to her and hold her before she ran out. He
believed that she wanted to run away. But he wanted her to realize
his true
feelings for her. He wanted her. Not just as a person to socialize

with and bring to parties and events but to be close and love. Can
she
see in his eyes? Can she see it? Time seems to be passing slowly.

People were surrounding her as they were either exiting or entering
the
mall. She was in a trance.

Lori couldn’t
stand there any longer. It was time to make a move. It
was time to take charge. With that, she turned.

“No!”
cried Malcolm. He started toward her as she was opening the big

doors. She turned to look at him as she heard his shout. She stopped

outside and took a deep breath waiting for him.
“Lori.” Malcolm turned to her. “Lori, please.
Let’s talk. Don’t run
away from me.”
“Malcolm. I am afraid that I am not what you need. I don’t
want your
life to be out of place because of me. I was not brought up with
the
standards that you were.”
“That does not matter to me. You, you Lori. You matter to
me just as
you are.” With that Malcolm held her face between his hands.
The first
time that he has touched her so closely was this. She felt weak.
Weak
because she wanted to surrender to him completely. She wanted to
be
his forever. Her heart was betraying her. She need to be in control.

But he was staring at her. Pleading with his eyes not to run. But…
“Lori, I will romance you until you will beg me to kiss you.
Until you
ask me to be forever with you. I promise you this. You will be mine.

” With that he let go slowly. Lori couldn’t believe
his determination.
“Mr. Smithson this is not business.” She heard herself
say.
“Exactly.”

Chapter 5

The flowers
began to arrive the very next day. At home and at work.
She felt pressured and embarrassed specially at work. It has been
a
week since the last time she saw Malcolm. Temptation to call him
and ask him to stop the flowers was prevailing. She thought that
she should
give him a month before he would give up. A month of torment. A
month
of fantasies. Can he stand it? She will, she tried to believe.
“Alice, please tell here Lori to stop this madness and just
let herself
fall in love.”
“Clara, please do tell Lori to admit that this is ridiculous
and to
just call Malcolm.”
“I beg you two to stop it. I don’t need this.”
“You are the one that needs to stop it. You have the man’s
heart in
your hands and you don’t want it. Please Lord if only this
were me.”
Clara sighed.
“ I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Lori
finally said after a long
pause.
“What is so wrong about listening to your heart?” Alice
asked. “Why
can’t you just forget about who he is and enjoy the happiness.
I know
you want to. Why fight it?”
“Because this has never happened to me before.” Lori
answered. With
that the girls just looked at her. They understood what Lori meant.

This type of things don’t happen everyday. Specially to Lori
Mitchell. A
girl who just ventured into dating and finally met someone she felt
at
ease with and common with.
“Oh Lori I am sorry. I didn’t mean to push. I just like
to
contemplate a miracle when I see one.” Alice said sweetly.
“Thank you Alice, I really thank you for that. A miracle could
be a
curse as well. I know that in life there are no guarantees but I
don’t
know how I would live if I gave it all to Malcolm. If I fell totally
in
love with him.”
“How would you know if he is the right man if you don’t
give him a
chance?” Alice asked.
“ I don’t know if I have the courage to do it. I miss
him so much, but
I am afraid of ending up hurt. I…” Lori almost started
to sob. Alice
immediately started to pull her into an hug.
“ I am sorry love, I don’t mean to push anymore. You
don’t have to be
afraid. Just don’t torture yourself and see this man. If hurt
will
come then face it. It will be a swift thing not a long lasting torture

that you are living now. Understand me?” Lori nodded. She
did
understand. If she continued hiding from Malcolm she would be hurting

herself. She will be the only one to blame for the sorrow she is
feeling.
For not taking a chance.
“ I will call him tonight.” Lori finally said.
“ Wonderful.” Alice replied.

The afternoon
was breezy and light with the colors of autumn. Very
romantic Lori thought. As if the very essence of the day was calling
out
to her to resolve her relationship with Malcolm. As she was walking

toward her car she felt the fallen leaves caressing her legs. As
if it
was Malcolm touching her. All was about Malcolm. All of this day
and
the next day she was sure that she would be feeling the same. All
about
Malcolm. As she arrived to her car she noticed a note taped to her

driver’s side window. Probably some propaganda. But no, she
knew it was
him. She took it and climbed inside the car. It has been just a
week
since she last saw him and she felt as it was years. She really
wanted
to be with him. More closely. She didn’t dare to open the
letter but
she did. She brazed herself to the contents.
Dear Lori,

I was just
looking at your car and realized that even this little sedan
had your image. An image I cannot ignore. Are you alright? Are you

feeling the same way as I am, not able to think clearly? Not being
able
to stop myself from grasping the phone and call you even though
you
don’t answer? Are you breathing without looking at me? I can’t
anymore
Lori, I want you for me. I want you for ever. Please call me. Please.

Malcolm

Tears were
falling as she closed the envelope. Is he crazy? Lori
thought. She was afraid even more. She didn’t know what to
think exactly.
But she did have these thoughts just like him. She has miserable

without him in her life. She was falling in love with Malcolm Turner

Smithson.

Malcolm was
just finishing with an account in his computer in the
office. His receptionist had left for the day and he just didn’t
want to
leave anything undone. He didn’t want anymore thoughts inside
his head.
He needed closure of the day’s work. Finally he was done when
the
phone rang. Could it be Lori? As he picked up the phone he took
a deep
breath. The letter he had left in her car was point blank. He didn’t

want to play games anymore. He wanted her. For him. For ever. He
never
wanted anyone as much as he wanted Lori. This was the first time
he
knew someone that didn’t know his true identity. He knew Lori
cared even
before she knew his net worth.
“Lori.” Malcolm answered the phone.
“Malcolm.” Lori responded softly almost like a whisper.
“I need to see you.” Malcolm said after an eternal second.
“Alright.” Lori only found to say.
“Where?” Malcolm was desperate but didn’t want
to push.
“The Mall.”

The Mall was
full on this night. Friday of all nights. She somehow
wanted it to be empty. But that was The Mall. Full of smiles, fun,
and
hopes. Malcolm was waiting for her in the Movie Store like always.

The same place where they first met and the place they last met.
Wow,
just a week ago and it feels like forever. She should’ve held
on longer.
She could’ve won. But she knew she was lying to herself. Also,
the
letter she found on her car window moved her deeply. It was time
to
begin walking.

As she was
walking toward the store she felt someone grab her hand
firmly. She turned to find Malcolm. His grip on her right hand was
much
too welcomed. She wanted more than that contact. She reached to
him
slowly with her left hand to caress his cheek. As she touched his
face
she felt his cool skin beneath her fingertips. He let go of her
right
hand and placed his arms around her shoulders. The moment was here.

The kiss she was been waiting for. They have been waiting for. All
of a
sudden she forgot where she was. There was nothing. Just them. She

closed her eyes as she started to feel his hot breath descending
into
her lips.

They felt soft
and moved slowly. Tenderly. Carefully. But she
responded wanting. Pressing against his body. Not wanting it to
ever end
even if by holding on to her breath she would die. He responded
hungrily.
He held her tightly and he felt as if he was going to fly holding
on to
her. She tasted so sweet. Nothing like he imagined so many times.
At
first he started kissing her exploring her reaction to the kiss.
When
he felt her pressing to him for more he almost went wild but held
on.
He wanted to devour her. But this was the first time and more were
to
come for sure. He was surprised. Surprised that this girl who seems

so shy and reserved now has opened to him. Almost virgin like.

Lori didn’t
want to stop. His kiss was incredible and more she wanted.
It moved her like no other kiss. Yes. She has been kissed but she

received these kisses more than her giving back. This was her responding

like she imagined all those women in the romantic novels. She was
not
shy. This is what she wanted and she was receiving it fully. And
not
did she only wanted, she was giving. But it had to end. Both
separated and immediately noticed people murmuring and whispering
as they were passing by them. Lori was red from the embarrassment.
Malcolm couldn’t help but hold her tightly.
“Oh my Lori.” My Lori sounded heavenly. She so wanted
to belong.
Always.
“Yes, I am yours.” She responded. Lori inhaled deeply
as to capture
his delicious scent. She didn’t want to let go. But Malcolm
guided her
toward the doors to the outside world.

Chapter 6

Lori awoke
with a start. It was a Sunday that she will never forget.
Her wedding day. She didn’t know how long she slept but it was not

much since she couldn’t sleep until her tired body surrendered to
slumber.
Suddenly, the phone rang. She immediately answered and it was
Malcolm’s mother Sylvia.
“Honey are you awake?” her gentle voice spoke.
“I am now. I can’t believe it. The day finally came.”
“I am driving over. I will be there in about 5 minutes.”
“Ok Sylvia see you soon.”Lori responded pulling out of
the bed.

Malcolm was
sitting on his bed when his father came through the bedroom
door.
“Son, are you awake?”
“Dad, I am sitting here.” Malcolm sounded annoyed. Mornings
were never
good for him. He wanted to change that today but it seemed that
the
stress of all the wedding preparations and expectations were getting
to
him. His parents took over all of the wedding except themselves
being
in front of the minister.
“Come on son, time to get to work.”
“Yeah, work.” Malcolm thought. He was just tired and hoping
for today
to end faster than it came. Oh, the thought of Lori being tortured
by
his Mother and party was funny. He couldn’t wait until she was all
his.
Forever. With that he got up and followed his annoying Dad.

“Oh, wow.
You look wonderful!” Sylvia exclaimed. The makeover that
overwhelmed Lori last night was too much and the final touches almost

made her believe that she was truly a princess. She did look beautiful.

She thought that maybe Sylvia arranged a plastic surgeon during
her
sleep but she knew it was not true. Her true self has come out.
The
beauty hidden has been found and she was now worthy of Malcolm.
She didn’t like feeling odd but today she felt more united to this
surprisingly
wonderful family who immediately liked her. Lori then turned from
the mirror to her future mother-in-law and almost cried.
“I thank you Sylvia for taking care of us today.”
“Don’t cry! I really want this to be happy not sad. I want
to thank
you for making my son so happy. He wanted what we hoped. Someone
true to his heart. Sure the wealth is good but without true love
we are
poor.” With that they hugged and Lori held on strongly not
to shed a
tear.

The church
was filled with most of the town. Lori’s ex-co-workers were
there to cheer their friend on. She smiled at them as she entered
the
church. She was anxious to find Malcolm and finally be his wife.
The
church was full and pretty loud with murmurs. The room fell silent
as
she entered. Music blared. And she and her minutes away father-in-law

started the long walk to the rest of her life.

The kiss was
slow and gentle. The first as man and wife. Malcolm had
shed tears and he heard Lori’s vows and his voice broke as he recited

his. The end of the ceremony was wonderfully full of laughter and
rice.

Driving to
the airport was quick and sudden. Lori and Malcolm just
looked at each other silently and smiling holding each other’s hands.
Finally Malcolm spoke.
“I love you Lori.” and kissed her deeply. As if to finally
really
claim her, in private.

As the limo
continued on to the private jet, the couple continued their
kissing and longed for more. The end of this was just the beginning
of
Lori’s life. The life she thought she would spend alone, in a year

changed to sharing it with the handsome stranger than answered her
ad. Who happens to be her one and only Prince who never gave up
romancing her until she succumbed.

THE END

~
By. V. R. S.

 

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