He was beautiful.
Everything about Trent Blackburn was poetry in motion. The way his long fingers loosely caressed his whisky water, the way his smile lightened his masculine face at jokes, and (last but most certainly not least) how his dark eyes danced over the crowds as if they could see the intangible energy that filled the lively bar.
Scarlet shivered as she restlessly ran her fingers through her dark hair. The smell of her mint-lavender shampoo pulled her back to reality; the one where instead of giggling and conversing with her soon-to-be soul-mate, she was suffering through another Tiff tantrum.
"Are you even listing to me?! This is serious! I really don't know what to do! If I don't get that interview, Lucille is going to totally fire me!" Tiffany whined. She was Scarlet's colleague (and best friend) at the latest fashion magazine, "Splurge". What had started as a small, online blog was now the city's go-to for all of the latest street trends around the country and world.
It was pretty standard. Scarlet, and probably the magazine's entire audience of 12-25 year old females, knew that. However, Scarlet also knew that magazine was very well publicized.
Thanks to her, obviously.
"Oh, don't worry Tiffany. Who is it you need an interview with? I will see if I can pull a few strings," she sighed as she forced her eyes to focus on the short blonde.
"What? I already told you, Viviana Romero from Spain? The designer?"
Scarlet scrunched her nose and quickly shuffled through her mind. She then quickly dove for her phone and began sifting through her contacts.
"Here, I am sending you Antonio DeBlanc's number. He was one of her hair stylists during her latest fall show over in New York. They are pretty good friends now. Just tell him I sent you and he will help you out. He's a sweet heart, you'll love him. Now look over there," Scarlet grabbed Tiffany's face and swiveled it towards the direction of her target.
"Oh. Woah. He is a babe," Tiffany mumbled as her eyes glazed over in lust.
Tiffany stared blankly into space for a moment, blinked, and then released such a beastly gasp the bartender jumped and shot the pair a confused look.
"Oh. My. God. This is destiny. You have to go talk to him pronto," Tiffany's eyes glowed in childlike excitement at the mere thought of the reunion.
Scarlet had first met Trent only a month ago at a book promotion party. She couldn't entirely recall what the book was about, only that one of her work colleagues had invited her and the young professional would never dream of turning down an opportunity to make more connections. She weaved in and out of the groups, trying to find a niche.
She wasn't very impressed. The majority of the people there were boring, bookish types with bad hair and even worse taste in clothes. She was almost positive none of the women were wearing even a stitch of makeup! It's like they didn't even care or something!
So as Scarlet helped herself to her fourth glass of wine, she accidently backed into someone.
"Oh fuck," she swore as her drink sloshed on the floor, "Oh God, I'm so sorry I just wasn't paying attention and…" she looked up to see chiseled perfection.
"Don't sweat it, happens all the time," his face then broke into an effortless smile and Scarlet felt her knees threaten to give out. She instead coyly smiled back, held her hand out, and introduced herself.
"Scarlet Faulk, publicist for the magazine Splurge."
She almost swooned as his large hand clasped hers, but she didn't show it, naturally.
"Trent Blackburn, CEO of Juniper Publishing."
Scarlet batted her eyelashes and almost continued the conversation when a hand suddenly clutched her arm.
"Hey, we gotta go, Lucille just called. Apparently there is a new restaurant opening on the trendy side of town and we have to meet people or something," Anna, the earlier mentioned colleague slurred, "I already called the cab, so let's hurry."
"Ah, just wait one moment…" Scarlet tried to pry Anna's hand off when a ringtone interrupted. Trent's eyebrows furrowed as he pulled out his phone.
"Just stay right here for a moment," he asked and then switched from casual party attendee, to work mode.
"Scarletttttt, please let's go!" Anna then began tugging, "Lucille is already mad we aren't there! Apparently there was some email or something…"
Scarlet shot Anna a hard look and then searched the crowd with no luck. The tall, successful, sex god was nowhere to been seen. Scarlet's head began to swim from her wine buzz.
"Yeah. Okay. Let's go."
No number. No way of contacting. It was just over, and Scarlet could accept that. It was a big city right? Surely there were plenty of perfect men in this town. Shit happens, right?
Or that was what she had thought before tonight. She turned to Tiffany, and boldly finished off the last of her gin and tonic.
"Alright, I'm going in," Scarlet announced and then quickly began marching her way towards her destiny.
She wasn't even quite at his table yet when his gaze found hers and his eyes lit up.
"Well look at this," he laughed as he suddenly moved to stand (an act alone that made her want to rip his clothes off and claim him in the middle of the room)
"Scarlet Faulk I somehow knew I would see you again."
Internally, the young woman was on the verge of tears.
"Oh, wow! I'm so happy that you managed to remember my name Mr. Blackburn!"
"Have a seat! And please, call me Trent!"
She could feel his gaze taking in her figure and she loved it. Without being asked twice she took the chair across from him just for the guilty pleasure of soaking in his beauty.
What caught her eye however, was a very pissed redhead.
"Scarlet, this is Cindy Fields, my personal assistant and this is…" Trent politely introduced the few other member of the party, but Scarlett couldn't steer her focus completely away from the negative aura that was Cindy.
"Hm, yeah! It's really wonderful to meet all of you!"
"So you're the publicist that he met briefly at the party?" Cindy was suddenly beaming, and Scarlet knew immediately that this was her rival.
"Oh! Yeah! I guess that must be me! I mean I'm not sure how many publicist he had met at the party…"
"Yes. Well, I tried to find your information at the request of Mr. Blackburn," Cindy proceeded as she gently placed her hand on Trent's shoulder, "I couldn't find it however." She laughed and then turned towards Trent and asked, "What was the name again? Wasn't it something really gross…?"
"Oh! Haha! It's called Splurge!" Scarlet joined in Cindy's laughs with equal enthusiasm, "It's actually one of the top selling magazines in the nation right now! That's really weird that you couldn't find it…Sounds like you might need someone better at their job! Huh Trent?" Scarlet then playfully winked at the said personal assistant. The fellow group members joined in on the, seemingly harmless, joke.
Cindy's face almost matched her hair.
"Ah, well luckily we can finally exchange numbers!" Trent announced as he pulled his phone from his pocket. Scarlet was officially on cloud nine.
"Now back to what we were talking about, George keep telling me about your time on the Appalachian! I am really looking forward to tackling that this summer!" Trent then turned his attention to the other group members much to Scarlett's dismay.
She quickly remembered that 'the Appalachian' was a trail for hikers; she had read an article about it at a hair salon.
"Oh I love hiking!" Scarlet announced and then immediately regretted it.
She couldn't stand to be outside than more than an hour.
Trent's attention was then back on her, exactly where it should've been the entire night.
"You like to hike?" he inquired. His eyes twinkled in amusement, "Not too many ladies like that in these parts. You backpack?"
"Oh yeah! I love it, the Appalachian is pretty awesome. Really…scenic," Scarlet wanted to kill herself. Did she even still own a backpack?
One of the group members chimed in, "What part did you hike?"
"…All of it."
She must've said the wrong thing because everyone began mumbling in awe and Trent leaned towards her excitedly, "Oh wow! You're kidding! How long did it take you? Who did you go with?"
Scarlet knew she wasn't drunk enough for this to be excused, but with such a perfect specimen of human sitting in front of her with such a wonderful expression, and her newest enemy sitting close by looking as angry as a wet cat, she couldn't slow down her momentum.
"Oh it doesn't take as long as you would think," she answered evasively, "and I went by myself! Really it is no big deal!"
No sense of dragging anyone else into this clusterfuck.
Again the group made sounds of astonishment, when Trent then dropped the ball.
"You'll have to come with us then!"
"Come with us! It will be great! I mean we'll only be doing a small part of it, but we will probably be gone for…two weeks?" Trent looked towards the others as they confirmed the information.
Scarlet released a nervous laugh, "Oh gosh…I would be the only girl going though!"
"That's not true," Cindy purred, "I mean I was looking forward to having another girl join our little adventure but if you're busy or something…?"
Scarlet laughed, "Oh…No! I'm sure I can go! I mean…when is it again?"
"We'll be gone from July 12th through the 26th, that is if you can make it," the redhead sweetly smiled.
"Well," Scarlet began, "that's not for another two and a half months…"
"True. But I guess I felt the need to ask since I will be gone until the trip! That's what this little get together is for. I'll be heading off to the London Headquarters to oversee a few projects. But then…!" Trent finished his drink, "I'll be taking a nice vacation! Hopefully you will be there!"
Scarlet's face dropped. Who the hell thought that being stranded in the wilderness was a fucking vacation?
She regained her composure quickly though and replied, "Well in that case, count me in! I guess!"
The group cheered excitedly (with the exception of the two women) and the conversations slowly began to dwindle out, which Scarlet decided was her cue to retrieve Tiffany and get the hell out of there before she spouted some lie about killing a bear with a slingshot.
"Alright guys! It's been fun! Everyone has my number right? Okay, night!"
She stood slowly gave Trent and significant look and smile, and then made her exit.
"Hey Scarlet, wait up."
Ah yes, just as she had hoped.
She turned towards Trent, a curious expression on her face, "Yeah? What is it?"
He moved closer to her and away from the distractions, "I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed seeing you tonight. I'll be leaving tomorrow, but still feel free to text me or anything."
Scarlet casted her gaze down and then back up and gently touched his arm, "Right back at ya."
He laughed, "I'm serious now! I'm excited that you're coming. I think we're going to have a lot of fun. "
Scarlet couldn't bring herself to laugh so she merely smiled and was relieved when he seemed satisfied with her reaction. He nodded his head, returned to his friends (and Cindy), and the group migrated out of the building.
Scarlet gave a deep sigh as she shuffled towards Tiffany back at the bar. The cute blonde spun in her chair and gave a low whistle.
"Damn girl, that bad?"