Runway: Chapter 13
I woke in the morning on my back with Sookie cuddled up against my side.
I got up to use the bathroom. When I came out, Sookie hadn’t moved. I went into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee and was looking for the cups when through the window I saw a car pull up in front of the building and park. I didn’t think much of it as I watched a tall bald guy get out of the car and start towards the sidewalk.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that Sookie hadn’t called dickhead yet and I checked the clock over the sink. It was 9:30. This must be dickhead, I thought.
I didn’t want to wake Sookie and must admit, I wanted to be the one to let this asshole in on his ruined plans. I went to the front door and opened it just as he was stepping up onto the stoop.
I loved the look of complete shock on his face.
“You must be Quinn,” I stated.
“Who are you?”
“Is Sookie here?” He tried to look past me, but I kept the door halfway closed so he couldn’t see into the room.
“Yeah, but she’s sleeping. She’s not going to be able to make the trip to Santa Barbara today.”
I could hear Sookie’s movement from the bed behind me and knew she must be awake.
“I’d like to talk to her myself if you don’t mind.” He seemed rather pissed.
I called back over my shoulder, “Sweetie, did you forget to call Quinn to cancel your trip?”
I looked over at the bed and she was completely under the covers. She just kind of groaned.
Quinn peered beyond my shoulder and I knew he could see her even though I didn’t open the door further. I stepped forward a little, forcing him to step back as I said, “Yeah, sorry. I guess she forgot to call.”
He looked like he wanted to kill me.
I added, “She’s pretty tired this morning,” for good measure.
“Well, fuck this,” he said as he turned away and marched back to his car.
“Bye, now,” I called out as he got into his car.
I closed the door and looked back to the lump under the covers. I crawled up her body and pulled the sheet from her face as I teased her. “Are you mad at me?”
She swatted at my arm playfully and started to giggle.
I grabbed her and bit into her neck as I tickled her, making her squirm and laugh harder. Pretty soon, we weren’t laughing anymore, but kissing and moaning and getting tangled in the covers.
Of course, I remembered that nobody’s clothes were coming off even though I wanted nothing more than to ravage her for hours. I rolled off of her and sat on the edge of the bed, just looking down at her beautiful face.
“Do you want to take a shower first?” I asked as I took a deep breath.
She was out of breath, her hair a sexy mess. “Sure.” She kissed my hand and stood to go into the bathroom.
I went back to the kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee.
I closed up the sofa bed and was sitting on it, checking my email on my phone when Sookie came out in a bathrobe.
“Your turn,” she said sweetly.
I gave her a kiss and grabbed my clothes from the night before and went in to take a shower and dress. I could at least wear a clean t-shirt and socks.
When I put my watch on and picked up my keys and phone to put into my pockets, I noticed that the twenty-dollar bill had been moved and was sitting on top of my wallet. I looked at Sookie and she just smiled and nodded her head in approval as I stuck it inside the wallet. It wasn’t worth arguing over.
Once we were both dressed and had had our coffee, we drove to Larchmont Village and parked. It was a beautiful day so we just walked around, checking out the little shops and watching the people.
We held hands and every male who passed us stared at Sookie. She seemed completely oblivious to it. I caught our reflection in one of the store windows and loved how we looked together—like a very happy couple. It was hard to believe we’d only met three weeks ago.
There was a dog adoption event on the sidewalk in front of Blockbuster with ten dogs all looking for homes. People were stopping and petting the dogs and the people from the animal rescue group—called Hounds for Hope–answered questions about the dogs. They had all come from local shelters and had been rescued on the day they were scheduled to be euthanized and then placed in foster homes.
There was one really big goofy mutt that I fell in love with. He was probably mostly black lab, but was clearly a mixed breed. He kept jumping up on me, and the guy who I assumed was fostering him kept apologizing, saying he hadn’t had any obedience training yet. I didn’t mind at all.
When we got hungry, Sookie and I walked down the street and sat at an outdoor table at a place called Le Petit Greek. We enjoyed the sunshine and ate some amazing Greek food while watching the people strolling by. I’d never been to Larchmont Village, but Sookie said she came fairly frequently since it was close to her apartment.
As 2:00 approached, we walked back to the car and drove down to Lafayette Square. I watched Sookie’s jaw drop as we entered the gated community. It was fairly shocking to see the rows of old mansions with perfectly manicured lawns in the heart of L.A. It had been named one of the ten best neighborhoods in which to live by Los Angeles Magazine, and yet I was willing to bet that most L.A. residents had never even heard of it.
We turned onto Virginia Road and I parked on the street in front of the house.
As I opened Sookie’s door, she just said, “Oh my god.” It was a very impressive house and I was happy to see that she liked it.
Bobby pulled up behind us and got out of his car and came up to meet Sookie. The three of us walked up the sidewalk and entered together. I left Bobby and the listing agent to chat in the living room while I gave Sookie the tour I’d taken the day before.
We were in the master bedroom upstairs when Pam found us. She acted like the three of us spent our Saturday afternoons together all the time. There was no know-it-all smirk and no teasing, and I was glad. I didn’t want Sookie to feel awkward about the fact that Pam knew we’d spent the night together.
We had taken a lot of pictures the day before, but Pam still brought her camera and took some more. She knew I was fairly serious about making an offer and wanted us to have the photos to refer to later if we wanted.
We finished our tour of the house downstairs in the entry way. Sookie stood and stared at the staircase that led upstairs.
I took her hand and she whispered, “It’s like the staircase Rhett carried Scarlett up.”
We thanked the listing agent and all stepped out onto the front sidewalk.
I turned to Sookie and said, “So, what did you think?”
“It’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen.”
I turned to my sister, “Pam?”
“Ditto, brother. You know I’d love it if it was yours.”
“Okay then.” I looked at Bobby. “Do you have time to write an offer today?”
“Absolutely. Want to follow me to my office?”
“Sure. I’ll see you shortly.”
When we got into the car, Sookie was very quiet.
“Are you okay? What are you thinking? You like it, right?”
“Oh, yeah. Of course. I was just thinking you really should meet with Bobby alone. This is important.”
“You’re welcome to come. I’d love to have you with me, but it might take some time. Was there something else you needed to do today?”
“Actually, I do need to run some errands. Maybe I could do that while you’re with Bobby.”
“Okay. I’ll drop you at home. You can run your errands. I’ll write up the offer and swing by Pam’s to get my stuff. That way, I’ll have it with me in the morning. I can just go straight to the airport after we meet with Sam.”
“Okay.” She was quiet for a minute before continuing. “Are you sure it’s not a problem to spend the money on the agency? I don’t want anything to interfere with your getting the house. I know how much you’ve been planning this.”
“No, I told you, it’s fine. Don’t worry about that.”
“Okay.” But she did look a little worried.
I walked her to her door and kissed her and said, “I’ll be back around 6:30 or 7—is that okay? We’ll go somewhere nice. On a real date.”
That got a very sweet grin out of her and another kiss.
When I got to Bobby’s office in Beverly Hills, he had run the comps in the neighborhood and we sat down to discuss the offer. We both agreed that the asking price seemed a little high considering the amount of work the house needed. Because it was in a historical preservation zone, I would have a huge tax break on the property taxes. But I’d still have to spend quite a bit on the renovations.
We wrote up the offer at a million six hundred thousand, figuring we’d probably get a counter offer and end up somewhere around a million seven. That felt about right to me, and then I’d still have the money I thought it would take for the renovations in what I called my “house budget.”
I wouldn’t be completely tapped out, of course. I knew that I’d be retiring from modeling in the fairly near future because of my age and I still had plenty of money stashed away to start a business or buy one after I retired.
As much as I liked the house, I wasn’t emotionally attached to it. If the counter offer was close to the asking price, I was willing to walk away from the deal. I knew that there would be other houses, and plenty of the houses in that neighborhood were just what I wanted. I was also in no hurry, and could even wait years for the right house if I needed to. Actually, I already had.
Honestly, what I was becoming very emotionally attached to was the idea of living with Sookie in one of those old houses. Seeing her actually in one made my little fantasy I’d had in New York seem very real and attainable. I knew it was way too early in our relationship to talk to her about it, but I felt very hopeful about one day having a life with her.
I left Bobby’s office fairly excited about the offer on the house, but even more excited about my date with Sookie. My future had never looked brighter, and everything was falling perfectly into place.