“Hi, I’m Elliot,” I said, extending a hand in her direction. “And you are?”
She looked startled and eyed me cautiously. “Candy,” she said, not sure if she should take my hand and then finally deciding to shake it gingerly.
“Nice to meet you, Candy,” I said, shaking her hand firmly. “I haven’t seen you at any of these things before. Are you new in town?”
“No,” she said, shaking her head. “I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve just never been to an event like this before. As a matter of fact, the only reason I came was because my roommate told me about it. So, I decided to tag along in secret because I was curious.” She admitted.
“Have you been to very many of these?”
“A few,” I answered honestly, studying her face as I spoke. “Have you thought about participating?”
I immediately regretted asking the question because she frowned and then hesitated to answer.
“No, it’s not really my thing,” she said, trying and failing to sound nonchalant.
“If you’ve never done it, how would you know?” I asked, flashing her a cajoling smile.
She furrowed her eyebrows and stared at me, thinking carefully about her answer.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “I guess maybe I would try it…but it would really have to be worth my while.”
Value. It was one of her requirements. It made me like her even more. I knew that she was special before I had even walked across the room.
“And what exactly would make it worth your while?” I asked, curious, “Is it just about the money, or is there more to it?”
“What?” she asked, looking at me bewildered.
“You said that it had to be valuable,” I repeated. “Well, some people really value a good time.”
Her breath caught in her throat and I could see a blush rise to her cheeks. “I-I don’t know…”
But before she can say more, the auctioneer drowns out her voice. “Mya is auctioning off a night on the town with her,” said the auctioneer. “Any takers? Let’s start the bids at $3,000.”
Candy did a double take, her lovely eyes nearly popping out of her head with shock.
“$3,000 for just a date?” she asked incredulously.
“Yeah,” I said, smiling and nodding at her. “And watch. She’s get more than that easily. At least $10,000, I’d be willing to bet.”
I could see the wheels starting to turn in Candy’s head.
“Wow, I could really use that money for my bakery,” she said softly.
If I hadn’t have been paying attention, I wouldn’t have heard her. But, I was paying close attention to her every word and movement. She was mesmerizing and smart. “A bakery, huh?”
I turned in her direction, getting ready to give her really great reasons why she should take part in the auction. Great reasons she should come home with me tonight.
All of a sudden, I heard someone calling my name.
“Elliot, buddy,” came the voice from a few feet away. “How the hell have you been?”
It was Chad, an old acquaintance from college.
“Oh, hey, there Chad,” I said, giving him my hand and pumping it up and down fiercely. “It’s really good to see you. How long has it been?”
“Too long,” he said, taking a swig from the glass of wine that he had been clinching. I glanced over at Candy and saw that she was looking around the room like she was looking for someone.
“Yeah, yeah, it has, we should get together sometime,” I said, hoping that Chad got the hint that I wasn’t trying to have a long, drawn-out conversation with him.
“What’s been going on with you?” he asked, folding his arms and leaning in closer to me.
I can’t even remember what I said after that because what happened next will always haunt me.
I looked over to where Candy had been standing and she was gone.
My heart sank to the bottom of my shoes.
Gone. Just like that.
I laid in bed a few nights after the auction, staring up at the ceiling. I had told Amelia that I was going to bed early because I had planned on getting up to do some prep work at the bakery before it opened. But, there I lay, unable to get to sleep.
I couldn’t make my brain shut down so that I could sleep. My mind just kept going over thoughts of the auction. It was definitely an amazing thing to witness and experience. I had never seen anything like it. And to know that amount of money that could be made with it was just mind-blowing.
On a whim before I slipped out, I had stopped by the information table at the front and put my name on a mailing list for their newsletter that would give me more information about their next event.
But, even more than the auction, I couldn’t stop thinking about that Elliot guy. There was something about him, the confident way that he spoke and a general aura of just pure sexiness that drew me to him. He was forward, sure, maybe even to the point of being a little pushy, but…I kind of liked it.