I picked up the remote and settled back on the bed to watch a little television until my not-so-healthy dinner arrived.
I was thirty minutes into a rerun of The Housewives of Orange County when someone knocked on the door. They called out, “Room service!”
“Just a minute,” I called back. I clicked off the TV and hopped off the bed. I scooped my purse off the dresser so I could give the guy a tip.
When I opened the door, there stood Tanner Wright, wearing a chef’s hat and pushing a cart that held an assortment of covered dishes.
“What the heck?” I asked with a wide smile. “What are you doing?”
“Delivering your dinner, madam,” he said, sweeping his arms over the cart of food as if he had made it magically appear. “May I come in or would you prefer to dine in the hallway?”
I stepped aside to let him push the cart into the room. He directed me to sit on the foot of the bed and made a show of taking the covers off the dishes.
“For Madam Carlson this evening we have a lovely fresh garden salad, which, if I may recommend, you just toss in the trash because it’s really just rabbit food.”
He lifted the silver cover off the first plate.
“As the main course, we have a magnificent filet mignon, garnished with baby carrots and garlic mashed potatoes.”
He lifted the next cover.
“For dessert, we have a lovely slice of strawberry cheese cake and to drink, we have coffee, tea, or…”
He reached beneath the cart and brought out two six packs of beer. “Coors in the bottle, my personal favorite.”
“You’re really something,” I said with a grin. I lifted my chin and let my eyes go around the plates. “It looks like you brought enough for two.”
He mocked a look of surprise. “Did I? Oh my, the kitchen must have messed up your order. I’ll have them flogged at once.”
“I can’t eat all of that,” I said with a shrug. I arched my eyebrows and smiled up at him. “Maybe you’d like to join me?”
Tanner grinned and plucked the chef’s hat off his head. He tossed the chef’s hat on the cart and rubbed his hands together and smiled.
“I was hoping you’d say that,” he growled. “I’m famished!”
Tanner spread the food out on the little table in front of the window and we sat on opposites sides and dug in. We both ate like starving souls. The food was amazing.
We trashed the salads.
The filet melted in my mouth.
The dessert literally made me moan.
For hours, we chatted like old friends as we stuffed our bellies with food and washed it down with cold beer. Tanner talked about his life, how he started the company in his parents’ garage when he was just a teenager, how he met Henry Costas at MIT and convinced him to become his partner, how he and Henry had built the company from the ground up.
There lots of victories, but I could sense a sadness when he talked about his personal life. He’d never been married. He had never even come close. He admitted to being a playboy, but in a moment of reflection, he said he would love to meet the right girl someday and start a family. I watched his eyes as he spoke. The douchebag I’d met the day before was no longer there.
He had been replaced by – dare I say – a nice guy.
Tanner leaned back with his fifth or six beer and sighed. “Yes, sir, it’s been an interesting ride.” He took a sip and flexed his eyebrows at me. “What about you, Candice Carlson, with your snappy business suits and an MBA from Harvard. Why is there no significant other in your life?”
I held the bottle to my lips and tried to be coy. “Who said there wasn’t a significant other in my life.”
“Facebooks says,” he shot back.
The bottle froze at my bottom lip. “Oh, my god. You scoped me out on Facebook?”
He huffed at me. “OMG, you scoped me out on Facebook? Of course, I did. Don’t you know, Facebook reveals all. And according to your relationship status, you are single.”
“Why isn’t there a relationship status that says none of your fucking business?”
“I think there is, actually,” he said with a thoughtful pout. “It’s the one right under ‘fuck off and die’.”
I drained the bottle and he handed me another. Then I made the mistake of telling him about Scott, and how his mother had forced him to break up with me.
“What a pussy,” he growled.
“Oh, you have no idea,” I said, smacking my lips. “Scott took the word pussy to new heights.”
“He set the pussy bar higher for all mankind,” Tanner said seriously. “Fucking mama’s boy.”
“You got that right.”