Before I knew it, it was Thursday and I was up in the middle of the night to catch my plane. I would leave early in the morning. I had to be there before Mr. Hensley so I could prepare some things for him.
On the plane I decided to read in some so I would have less work when I would arrive.
Also I did everything not think about when me and Max would meet. I can’t even think about how embarrassing that will be.

A few hours later I arrived at my hotel. This was the same hotel as where the meetings would take place. I checked myself in and went up to my room. I had just enough time to neatly hang my woman’s suit into the small closet. That’s when I had to go back to work.
There were so many papers to look at and contracts, halfway through the morning my eyes were almost burning out of their sockets. I needed some fresh air and a good latte macchiato. 
I got up from the bed and put on my black stilettos, grabbed my purse and walked out of my room.
I didn’t actually know any good coffee shops around here so I decided to ask the receptionist at the hotel.
“Hi. Can I ask you something?”, I said to the friendly looking lady behind the desk.
“Of course”, she smiled politely.
“Do you know any good coffee shops? I’m not from around.”
“Yes, there are a few. But my favorite is on East Olympic Boulevard. It’s called The Beanie. They have great coffee”, she said enthusiastically.
“Thank you!”
“You  only need to walk straight ahead”, she smiled.
“That’s great, thanks again”, I said to her and walked away.
It was hot outside and I wish I didn’t have to look this formal. 
But on the plus side, I had never been to L.A so being here was nice. 
After not even ten minutes I found the spot. 
It was a bright café, there were a lot of big windows and they had a nice terrace on the front. The lovely smell of coffee greeted me even before I had entered the place. When I saw they had chocolate cake too I thought I died and went to heaven!
After I placed my order I went back outside and found a nice place in the shade. Looking around, I saw a few shops across the street. Too bad I didn’t have time to shop now. 
When the waitress served my latte and chocolate cake (which smelled so delicious!), my phone started to ring.
It was Mr. Hensley, he was almost at the hotel and needed me to show him the preparations I had done. He also wanted to see the contracts that I had been going through.
Quickly as I could I ate my cake and drank my coffee. I hated that I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. That’s also part of the job I have.
When I arrived at the hotel I saw Mr. Hensley waiting in the lobby, reading his paper.
“Ah Mira there you are! Do you have everything?”, he asked, folding the newspaper and putting it on the table next to him.
“Yes sir. If you have a minute I will get them from my room.”
He said he’d be waiting for me in the conference room.
The doors from the elevator opened and quick as I could I looked for my key that was somewhere hidden in my purse.
“Miss Prasad.”
It was like I was shot with an arrow. I had goosebumps everywhere when I heard that voice. It shot right through me.
I was standing in front of my door, ready to open it. 
As in slow motion I turned around to face two bright blue eyes, staring at me. A half smile on his face, Max leaned against the wall.
All suited up, black shiny shoes and his dark hair done neatly.
Exactly how I was used to seeing him.
It took me a while before I could press some words out of my mouth.
Or actually the only thing that came out was ‘hi’.
Then I opened my door and slammed it shut. I leaned against it, breathing heavy. 
“Okay, Mira. Get it together. You knew you would see him here. Now get those documents and go downstairs.”
I took a deep breath and then rushed to get the documents Mr. Hensley asked me for. 
My head peaked out the door a little to see if he was still there but he was gone. A sigh of relief left my mouth.
“Excuse me, Mira. I need to take this. It’s Mr. Woods.”
Mr. Hensley walked out of the room with his phone to his ear.
When he came back he smiled at me.
“What’s going on?”, I asked him, looking suspicious. He never smiled for no reason. Mr. Hensley was a very serious man.
He took a seat again, I wished he started talking. My curiosity killed me!
“Mr. Woods wants you to join us for dinner tonight.”
It was so silent after he spoke out those words, I could hear my heart beat loud and clear. I needed to come up with a good excuse not to go.
“Oh and you need a nice dress. Do you have any with you?”, he said like I already agreed to coming along.
“But..wait..”, I stuttered. “Mr. Hensley, I am very tired and tomorrow is going to be a long day. I think I just want to stay in my hotel room.”
The words came out hesitating, as I was not sure if he would allow me not to come with him.
“Mira, I really want you to come and so does Mr. Woods. I think it can be good for this deal. Maybe he will do more projects with us”, he said to convince me to come.
“Sir, I don’t even have a dress.” I saw how bad he wanted me to come, but I totally didn’t feel like it.
“That should not be a problem”, he said. “Mr. Woods told me if you didn’t have one he would deliver one.”
I sighed, knowing I would not be able to skip this one. Inside I got a little mad too, I think Max did this on purpose. 
“Mira?”, he interrupted my thoughts.
“I’m sorry sir. I’ll come with you”, I answered politely. 
“Good. Thank you. I will let Mr. Woods know that he needs to deliver a dress to you.”
Then he walked out of the room. I stayed there, thinking about how to survive this evening. 
It took us another hour to get through everything. 
“I’ll meet you in the lobby at eight, okay?”, he said before I left the elevator. I smiled and nodded my head in agreement. 
Time for a nice shower! I was exhausted and the L.A. heat made me sweat like crazy. Not to mention my brief meeting with Max.
Just when I was finished I heard a knock on my door and someone yelling ‘room service’.
I put on the bathrobe and opened the door. 
“Delivery from Mr. Woods”, the man said as he handed me a black bag.
“Thank you”, I gave him a tip and shut the door.
I put the bag next to my bed and went back to the bathroom to dry blow my hair. Golden eye shadow enlightened my dark brown eyes. I wanted to keep it simple so I only put on mascara and a pastel red lip gloss. I tied my thick hair into a perfect neat bun. I didn’t bring any jewelry with me so I didn’t need to worry about that.
When I was done I took a seat at the bed. I stared at the bag next to it. It looked very expensive. Something inside me felt resentment to look into it.
After a few minutes I picked up the bag and placed it onto the bed. My hands went in and pulled out a gorgeous silk red dress. I don’t think I had ever worn such a beautiful gown. I put it on the bed, when my eye caught an envelope and a jewelry box in the bag too.
I got them out and placed the jewelry box on my lap.

I hope you like the dress.
I think it will fit you perfectly.
A beautiful woman like you, deserves nothing but the best.
I got you a necklace and earrings too.
I can’t wait to see you wear them.
Love, Max.

My fingers traced the soft jewelry box. I knew the jeweler where he got these from. How did he even know I had no jewelry with me?
Looking at the gifts Max had sent me I totally forgot the time. I only had fifteen minutes to put on the dress and be downstairs.
I slipped into the red pumps I had with me and took a last peak into the mirror.

The dress nearly touched the floor, if I hadn’t worn my heels it would have been on the ground. The beautiful diamond earrings sparkled along with the beautiful diamond necklace. 
I wasn’t highly confident wearing this, but I had no other choice. 
Walking down the stairs I saw Mr. Hensley and Max already talking to each other. They turned around just before I hit the last step.
Max’s eyes went from laughing to serious, his mouth was open a little bit and I saw him whisper something to Mr. Hensley.
Them looking at me made me shy, I didn’t really like being the center of attention.
“Evening, gentlemen”, I softly spoke. I had a hard time containing myself. I was so nervous.
Mr. Hensley bent over to me and whispered I looked beautiful. He also said he was glad I was there.
“Excuse me”, he said as he walked away to pick up his phone.
All I could think was, why now? I didn’t want to be alone with Max.
“Wow, Mira. You look absolutely beautiful”, his deep voice spoke while his eyes penetrated mine. His look was very intense.
“Thank you”, I whispered trying to do everything to avoid his look.
“I knew you would look beautiful in this dress. Do you like the earrings and the necklace?”, he asked, still trying to look into my eyes.
“If I didn’t I wouldn’t have worn them.”
At that point Mr. Hensley came walking up to us. 
“I see you guys are getting to know each other better, good”, he said and then we walked off to the dining area.
This was going to be the longest night of my life.
The first half of the evening was about business and the projects Max was involved with. He hinted that he might want to cooperate with our company again if this project would go well.
“So, Mira, how long have you been working for Mr. Hensley here?”, Max asked me all of a sudden. I almost choked at my drink, especially cause he already knew the answer. I had told him that while we had our date. 
Sheepishly I started to smile and answered the question. 
“She’s the best secretary I could wish for”, Mr. Hensley proudly said.
“Thank you sir. That is very kind of you”, I said shy.
He wasn’t big for compliments, so when he said this it actually meant a lot to me.
“I bet she is”, Max said and winked at me.
“I would love to borrow her from you for a while.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t allow that to happen”, they joked around.
Never in a gazillion years I would ever work for Max.
This chit chat went on for a little while. 
“If you guys will excuse me. I’m very tired. Thank you for the lovely evening. Goodnight”, I said while getting up.
“Goodnight Mira”, they said simultaneously.
I wasn’t lying when I said I was exhausted. This whole game between me and Max, pretending only to know each other from work; it was tiring.  Also my feet hurt like crazy, I couldn’t wait to get rid of these shoes. It seemed like the elevator was taking forever to take me to my floor. 
I was just in my nightgown when a knock on my door startled me. Quickly I grabbed my bathrobe from the chair and walked to the door.
“Who is it?”
“Max.”
“Go away.”
“No.”
“I won’t open the door.”
What was he thinking showing up at my room? He was out of his mind!
I was nice to him because I was being professional. But what happened in our private lives was far from forgotten.
“Please open up, Mira.”
He sounded demanding and something inside of me couldn’t resist opening up. So before I knew it his face was showing up behind the door bit by bit. I leaned lazy against the doorpost, crossing my arms and looking at him with a bored look.
“Why are you acting like this now, Mira?”
Can he stop saying my name?
“Look, I’m here with my boss. I don’t want any trouble so I will be nice to you, regarding all subjects about business. As for our private lives I have nothing to say to you.”
I wanted to close the door but before I could close it his hand retained the door.
His eyes begged me not to close it. We stared at each other for a few long seconds. In the meanwhile he slowly opened the door again.
We were facing each other, I looked up at his tall body.
He looked down at me, without my heels I looked even smaller. Especially around him.
He stepped closer to me, his eyes still locked on mine. I could not move, I was nailed to the floor. His firm hand reached out to me, when his hand stroke my cheek I closed my eyes. I don’t even know why, it was like I wasn’t myself. Like he casted a spell on me, the moment he touched me.
I noticed his head was now near mine, I could hear soft breaths leaving his lips. 
“I think about you all the time”, he whispered into my ear. 
I felt his face move to the side and before I even knew it he placed a soft kiss on my cheek. It felt like my heart was pounding so hard it would break out of my chest anytime soon. My palms were sweaty and my mind was in overdrive. I could not think clearly.
My eyes stared at him as he seemed to be standing tall again. What just happened?
“Goodnight miss Prasad”, he said and before he turned around he winked at me. Casually he walked away, like nothing happened.