*read all of the chapters for Swipe Right – The Chronicles of an Unpaid Prostitute in order here
Chapter Twenty Three
There were so many people at the party. The DJ was playing music and people were dancing. It wasn’t a typical early bird special, senior citizen party, no sir, Mimi and her friend liked to dance and they liked to drink. Music was bumping, drinks were flowing, food was being served. It was the perfect way to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday.
I took a glass of pink champagne on my way in with eyes on the food table. Mimi stayed behind with her friend Marg so they could make an entrance. A girl always needed to make an entrance. There was a round of loud cat calls and cheers when they finally walked in – queens, both of them.
Guests immediately gravitated toward the dance floor. I watched with fondness from the sidelines. “I think she’s enjoying herself,” my mom mused as she sidled up next to me.
“Me too, good job on the party mom.” A man approached us with a broad smile. He was about my mom’s age, give or take a few years. They seemed familiar, comfortable, some twinkle in both of their eyes as he asked her to dance. And wouldn’t you know, she actually looked flustered. My mom had a crush. I leaned in, “Go, Mom. Dance, have fun.” And as I was left standing alone, I could almost see the spotlight on the bar.
“Fancy meeting you here.”
I whipped around at the familiar voice behind me. “What the hell are you doing here?”
He laughed. “Nice to see you too.”
“Your level of stalking is starting to become alarming.”
“Oh Maddie! There you are. Marg wanted to introduce you to her grandson,” Mimi almost shouted from across the room. Her and Marg with champagne glasses in hand, arm in arm came walking over.
“Oh! You two have already met, how wonderful.”
“Ben is your grandson?” I asked, almost outraged.
“Mimi is your grandmother?”
“Wait, you two know each other?” Mimi and Marg asked at the same time.
“Yes, we know each other.”
“Ben, doesn’t she look beautiful.” I immediately felt my face flame. I downed the rest of my champagne in one sip. Oh god. “Ask her to dance.” This is what it felt like. This was what utter mortification felt like.
Ben, bless him, took me out on the dancefloor and placed his hands on my hips as I wrapped mine around his neck. Damn, the man smelled so good. “You do look beautiful, by the way.”
I smiled up at him, “Thanks.” The rest of the song was silent, and when it ended I, for some insane moment, decided I was feeling brave. I was an idiot. “Do you want to go talk somewhere more quiet?”
“Sure.” He grabbed us both a glass of champagne and I slipped my arm through his. He ushered me out on to one of the balconies. It was a now or never moment and I felt the butterflies. Ben was the perfect guy. He was handsome, successful, nice.
“You had mentioned that you wanted to talk to me about another campaign?” I’d made sure to touch his arm, all the little tricks I’d learned over the past few months.
He laughed. “You know, we don’t need to talk about business all the time.”
He held up his glass, “Cheers.” I clinked my glass against his and took the plunge. I leaned in and kissed Ben Davis.
*tomorrow – Chapter Twenty Four