Read The Lovely Garden Online

Authors: Emma Mohr

The Lovely Garden


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About the Author

Other Works by Emma Mohr






The Lovely Garden


by Emma Mohr















Copyright © 2016 Emma Mohr

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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To Aunt Cyndie, who was fearless with her words and gave me the courage to write mine down.










My ideal Friday night was curling up on my big, comfy recliner with a glass of cheap red wine and an over the top action-packed movie. Cheesy one-liners and all. Instead, I found myself stuck in an overpriced restaurant with servers in tuxes, and fabric tablecloths and napkins, waiting on my date to show up.

He was ten minutes late, which was my usual pack-up and leave time. Jenny, my best friend and the one who set the date up, asked me to give him fifteen. Pleaded, really. Evidently, the guy was some busy business man. Made me roll my eyes, and stop paying attention. The only reason I stayed was for Jenny. She took the time to set this up, the least I could do was be patient. No one ever said Amy Jones didn’t make sacrifices for her friends.

People started to stare. It wasn’t because of my looks. I’m not ugly, but I’m not pretty either. Plain Amy was what they called me in high school. I wasn’t one of the lucky people that transformed after graduation. Still the mousy brown hair, gray eyes, and features that made my face forgettable. The only thing different was a better haircut and bigger breasts. Didn’t help, but it made me feel better.

I pulled my phone out of my clutch, light blue like my dress, to check the time again. 8:12. Three more minutes and I would leave. That excited me more than the date. To be fair, I didn’t even know who my date was, the point of a blind date, so there wasn’t much for me to get excited about. My knowledge of the man extended to his name, Charles Anthony Bonner IV. Jenny stressed the full name. A name that screamed “douche.” Who would be happy about going on a date with a possible asshole? I wanted to look him up, but Jenny said not to. Made me feel like she was trying to hide something. Or the guy was super attractive, which would have made me refuse right away. Never had a good date with a hot guy.

The server came over to check on me for the last time, I hoped. He had been kind the entire time and patient. He didn’t ignore me because I was alone and made sure my glass stayed full. “Is there anything I can get you, ma’am?” He was a man in his later thirties with a kind smile, slicked back graying blonde hair, and dark blue eyes. His black suit tailored to fit him though it still seemed uncomfortable for this line work.

“No, I’m good. Thank you, Kevin.”

Kevin turned to leave, but stopped when a man came up to the table. A tall man. Six-foot something with dark blonde hair and light brown eyes. Strong jaw and plump, kissable lips. Handsome, well-off, his suit told me, and took a seat in the chair across from me. He looked somewhat familiar, like I had seen him from far away or someone had introduced us in passing. I had met him though; he was too familiar to be a stranger, just couldn’t place the face.

“A bottle of wine, please Kevin.” Not his first time being there.

“The usual, Mr. Bonner?” So, he was my date. Apparently, my luck ran out and I would have to go through with this torturous evening of niceties and attempted flirting. Well, it had been a while since I wanted to rip my hair out, so I guess I was overdue.

Charles’ eyes met mine and color rose to my cheeks. There was an intensity in his eye that I was not used to seeing. As if he truly cared what I wanted. “What kind do you prefer?” How considerate of him, asking what I liked and not just ordering. Though if he would have, it would have given me an excuse to walk out. Too bad.

I cleared my throat and steadied my voice. “Red. I like red.” Staring at him, and yes I was staring, I could see why Jenny didn’t want me to look him up. He was an
attractive man, and way out of my league. I didn’t have much hope of this date going very far.

“What kind of red?”

I knew there were different kinds, but I had never paid any attention to what I liked. Just grabbed a bottle and hoped for the best. Besides, if you drink enough of it, you stop caring if it tasted good or not. “I have no idea. Merlot, maybe?” It was the only red wine I could think of on the spot.

“Merlot, then. Thank you, Kevin.” He didn’t make fun of me. That was one point in his favor. “I apologize for being late. A meeting ran longer than expected.”

A meeting? That I doubted, but kept my mouth shut. Even if it didn’t work out, I could be polite. “I’m sure it was
important.” There was enough sarcasm dripping in my voice to fill the wine glasses in front of us. So much for politeness.

A humble smile flashed across his face. “I deserved that. I would have called, but I don’t have your number.” I didn’t have his either. Jenny had been afraid I would cancel. She knew me too well. “I wasn’t really told anything about you except for your name. Jennifer was very vague.” The only person to call her Jennifer was her mother, and apparently this guy.

“She didn’t tell me much either,” I confessed. It felt a little strange doing so. Jenny was my best friend. We told each other everything, but she wouldn’t say a word about Charles, except his name and he was a “business man” whatever that meant. “How do you know her?” I had an idea, but it was best to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

“I’m a friend of her husband.” Just as I thought, he knew Billy. Jenny met people through him nowadays. Then again, when you have a two-year old, you don’t get out as much as you used to. “And yourself?”

“I’ve known her since we were kids.” We were attached at the hip until college, I stayed home, she left. She came back that first summer and met Billy. It was love at first sight for them. Stung since Billy was my boyfriend. I couldn’t stay mad at her. I kind of knew it would happen before they met. It was like I was saving him for her. Said more about me than it did them. At least, he had the good grace to dump me first.

Now, as a way to apologize, Jenny had made it her life's mission to find me a husband, and one as well off as hers. Not boyfriend. Not fuck buddy. Husband. The thought was much appreciated, but I wish she would just butt out. If I wanted to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, I would get off my ass and look for him. I was twenty-eight. There was plenty of time for me to settle down. What I would settle for at the moment was getting laid. That I had been having trouble with.

Maybe the date could head in that direction. Me and Charles may not have another date, but it didn’t mean we couldn’t have sex. People had one-nighters all the time. A night of passion for a date seemed like a good trade for me. The problem was getting the date to head in that direction.

An awkward silence fell between us while I thought of ways to get laid that night. My only option that wasn’t going to get me a flat out refusal was flirting, not something I was very good at. Me and flirting was akin to a fish walking on land. It happened, but not very well. But it was worth a shot. “So, what is it you do?” It was the first thing that popped into my mind. Yay, the stereotypical get-to-know-you questions that everyone asks because I couldn’t think of anything better.

Charles picked up his menu and gave it a once over. “I work with William.” Another name that no one uses. Mr. Bonner might be a stickler for using the proper name rather than a nickname. Either that or he wasn’t very close to them. Just a coworker that happened to be single. Jenny must be getting really desperate.

I picked up my menu to glance through it, and blanched when words that were not in English filled my vision. English was the only language I knew and so my menu was useless to me. Ordering just got complicated.

“Is there something wrong?” he asked, his head tilted to the side as he tried to figure out the situation.

The problem should have been obvious. “How many dates of yours knew Italian?”

He gave me another charming, apologetic smile. “Sorry. I’m used to coming here, I forgot the menu wasn’t in English.” Yeah, people totally forget that kind of stuff. Jackass. “I can help you read it,” he offered, standing up and walking over before I could say yes or no. As if I had a choice.

Once behind me, he leaned over my right shoulder. The scent of his cologne filled my nostrils, and I had to choke back a moan. It was sweet and musky, and light enough that you could only smell it you were close to him, which I was. A sinfully delicious smell that had me damp between the legs.

While Charles went over every item on the menu and I tried to keep my hands to myself, Kevin came back with the wine. He poured Charles a glass and waited until my date had tasted it and nodded his approval before pouring me a glass. The bottle was then set in the middle of the table and Kevin left the two of us alone.

There were still a few things that Charles needed to go over with me on the menu, but I had my meal already picked out. Spaghetti and meatballs. What could I say, I was a traditionalist. And I knew it was going to be something that I liked. I was not against trying new things, but I would rather not get something I didn’t enjoy at a place this expensive. Not that I knew the prices for anything, the menus lacked those.

There was a smile on Charles’ face when he returned to his side of the table. A cocky one. As if he knew exactly what he had done to me, not that my squirming and blush hadn’t given me away. It made me believe he’d done it on purpose. “Ready to order?” The cockiness in his smile grew when he asked that. Yep, he had done that on purpose. Oh, it was so on. I was going to get him back somehow.

A sickeningly sweet smile spread across my face. “I am.” I closed my menu with a snap and set it to the edge of the table. “Thank you, for helping me with that.” I may not think of a way to exact my revenge, but I had my manners. My mother instilled the importance of manners. “Even if you hate the person,” she would say, “you give them a smile and a thank you. The fuck you stays in your head.” Mom wasn’t really one to swear, but she had a special place in her heart for “fuck”.

I received a charming smile in return, a teasing look in his eyes. “It was nothing.” Such modesty. It was making it easier for me to exact my revenge, though I was still having trouble figuring out how I would do that.

Almost out of nowhere Kevin showed up to take our order, giving me a start. Charles was kind enough to hold in his laughter while we both ordered, I got my spaghetti and he got
zuppa di scampi
, scampi soup. While seafood was not my favorite, I did love me some scampi. I might have to try and steal a bite from him.

Kevin gathered out menus and left us with a bow. We stared at each other, the silence building between us. His eyes searched mine, thinking of something to say, but it was my turn to break it. “So, what kind of cologne are you wearing?” I wanted him to know I knew about his sneaky, dirty trick.

“I’m not too sure. It was a Christmas gift from my sister. The label is in French,” he replied with furrowed eyebrows. “I can’t read the label. I do enjoy the scent.” I quickly picked up my wine glass to hide my smile behind it. So, I wasn’t the only one with that problem. Though it seemed to me that was a little weird of a gift from a sister. Who was I to say? I was an only child.

“What about you?” He took a deep drink of his wine. “What perfume are you wearing?” That charming smile made its way back onto his face. If it had been any other girl, they would have swooned, but not me. Amy Jones kept her swooning at a minimum. Blushing, however, was not something I could control. The heat on my cheeks let me know they were a nice pink.

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