Forever You(Forever Black #2)

By: Sandi Lynn

Chapter 5

I spent the next few days burying myself in work. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get Ellery off my

mind. This was killing me because I needed to focus on the business acquisition that my company

would be making soon. I sat in my office chair and turned so I was facing the window. I looked out

onto the streets of New York, hoping that I may see her walking down the street. She got under my

skin somehow, and I couldn’t get her out. I picked up the phone and made an appointment to see Dr.

Peters this afternoon. I needed to talk to him about the clusterfuck that was going on in my head.

I walked out of the building and hailed a cab to Dr. Peter’s office. I wasn’t looking forward to this

session because I already knew what he was going to tell me. I walked in his office and sat down in

the leather chair across from him.

“This is a pleasant surprise, Connor. I didn’t expect you to be back so soon,” he said.

I took in a deep breath and looked at him. “Something happened, and I can’t get it out of my head.”

Dr. Peters looked at me and cocked his head. “What happened, Connor?”

“I met a girl, Doc.”

He let out a light laugh. “You meet girls every day, Connor; this is nothing new.”

I looked at him in irritation, “You don’t understand; this girl’s different. She’s beautiful, kind,

giving, sweet, strong, stubborn, and quite a smart ass.”

Dr. Peters leaned forward and rested his elbows on his thighs. “Are you telling me that you have

feelings for this girl?” he asked.

I shifted in my seat and sighed. “No, I don’t have feelings for her.”

“Then why are you here, Connor?”

“Dr. Peters, I pay you $1,000 an hour to tell me what’s going on in my head, whether I want to hear

it or not.”

He leaned back in his chair and removed his glasses. “You want my honest opinion? I think you

like this girl and that you’re starting to have feelings for her. Let me ask you a question. When was the

last time you saw her?”

“I saw her a few days ago; why do you ask?”

“I want you to tell me what you’ve been doing and thinking since you last saw her.”

I got up from my chair and walked over to the window. I put my hands in my pocket and cleared my

throat.

“I’ve been burying myself in my work because I’m trying to acquire a company that’s up for sale.”

“Have you been thinking about her as well?” He asked quietly.

“I can’t get her out of my mind. She’s all I keep thinking about both day and night. I haven’t been

able to concentrate on anything else. I’ve cancelled all my dates because I only want to see Ellery.”

“Ellery is a pretty name,” He said.

“Ellery is a beautiful name, and she’s a beautiful woman,” I replied as I stared out the window.

Dr. Peters got up from his chair, walked over to me, and put his hand on my shoulder.

“It sounds like the right woman just walked into your life, Connor. Just don’t screw it up. Become

friends with her. This is the first time you’ve opened up since you’ve started coming to see me. If you

start falling for Ellery, the first thing you must do is tell her about your past and the women you see.

There can be no secrets, Connor.”

I sighed as I looked at him. “I know, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

He patted me on the back and asked me to make an appointment to see him in a couple of weeks. I

walked out of his office and out of the building. I headed towards the Starbucks down the street and

called Denny to pick me up. As I climbed in the back seat my phone rang.

“Richard, did you get it?”

“Yes, Mr. Black, I got Miss Lane’s phone number.”

I asked Denny to hand me a piece of paper as I took a pen from my pocket and wrote down the

phone number Richard obtained for me. “Thank you, Richard; that’s a job well done.” I hung up the

phone and looked at the numbers on the paper. Denny was looking at me and shaking his head.

“What?” I asked him.

“Don’t you think it would’ve been better just to ask Miss Lane for her phone number?”

“Do I ever do anything the easy way, Denny?” I smiled.

Just as I got out of the limo, I see Ashlyn’s name appear on my phone.

“Connor Black here?” I answered.

“Why do you always answer like that, Connor?” she said with an irritation in her voice.

“What do you want, Ashlyn? I’m very busy at the moment.”

“Let’s have dinner together,” she said.

“Not tonight, I’m working from home.”

“You’ve been working a lot lately, and we haven’t been together in over a week,” she whined.

I stepped into the elevator hoping that I’d lose service and our conversation would come to an end.

I smiled when the other end went quiet, and I looked at my phone to confirm that the call was

dropped. As I stepped out of the elevator, I walked over to the bar and poured myself a glass of

scotch. Claire emerged from the kitchen with a smile on her face.

“Good evening, Connor, I have your dinner warming in the oven should you be staying in tonight.”

“Thank you, Claire, I’ll be staying in tonight. Have a good night, and I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Thank you, have a nice weekend,” she smiled.

I nodded my head as I drank my scotch. I held my phone and stared at Ellery’s number, debating

whether or not to call her. I wanted to hear her voice, but it was too soon, and I’m pretty sure she

wasn’t thinking about me. After all, I was kind of a prick to her that night. What the fuck is wrong with

me? Why can’t I get this girl out of my head? I brought my laptop into the kitchen and set it on the

table. I grabbed a plate and took the dish Claire had prepared out of the oven. I set it on the table and

opened my laptop. I did the unthinkable; I Googled ‘Ellery Lane’. There was a link to an article about

her paintings that she has on display at the Sunset Art Gallery. When I clicked on the link, her picture

came up, and I couldn’t help but smile. She was beautiful with her long, blonde, wavy hair and ice

blue eyes. Damn that smile. I started to get aroused as I studied her perfectly shaped lips. I distracted

myself from her picture and read the article on her paintings. I decided that tomorrow morning, I’m

going to that art gallery and looking at her work. I had a feeling they would give me more insight

about her. I laid there in bed, thinking about the dinner we had together and gave thought to what Dr.

Peters said in reference to having Ellery as a friend.

The next morning, after I showered and dressed, I went to the kitchen for some coffee. Denny was

already sitting at the table when I walked in.

“Morning, Denny,” I said. “I appreciate you getting here early on a Saturday.”

“Good morning, Connor. Well, that’s what you pay me for,” he said with a smile.

I sat at the table across from him as I drank my coffee.

“I need to stop by the office first to pick up some papers before heading to the airport, and I want to

swing by the Sunset Art Gallery.”

Denny cocked his head to the side, “The art gallery? Are you in the market for some new artwork?”

He asked.

“I guess you can say that,” I said as I got up from the table and put my coffee cup in the dishwasher.

“Miss Lane is an artist, isn’t she?” Denny asked me.

“She mentioned that she painted pictures,” I replied.

“They wouldn’t happen to be on display at the Sunset Art Gallery, would they?”

I sighed. “Yes, Denny, her paintings are on display there, and I want to see them.”

“Are you ok, Connor?” he asked.

“I’m fine, why do you ask?”

“Ever since you met Miss Lane, you’ve seemed different. You hardly go out, and you’ve been

moodier than usual. I think she’s affected you in some way.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Denny; Miss Lane has not affected me. I’ve just been really busy with work.”

The way he was looking at me told me that he knew I was lying. “I need to run upstairs and grab my

iPad. I’ll meet you in the limo,” I said.

With my iPad in hand, I slid into the back seat and checked the stock market. We were stuck in

typical Saturday traffic when Denny asked me something that caught my attention.

“Isn’t that Miss Lane over there?” he pointed to Central Park.

I quickly looked up and saw her entering the park. She was wearing tight skinny jeans and a cream

colored, short-sleeve top. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail that swayed from side to side as she

walked. I noticed she was carrying a large pad of paper. I opened the door amongst the traffic and

told Denny to find a spot to park. I wanted to see what she was up to, but most of all, I wanted to see

her. I kept a great distance behind her, so she couldn’t see me if she turned around. I watched her as

she entered the Conservatory Gardens. I had to think of a way to see and talk to her without appearing

like a stalker. Hell, I am a stalker, but only to Ellery Lane. She had made me like this. I stopped

outside the Conservatory Gardens to formulate a plan. What excuse was I going to give for being in

Central Park? I pulled my phone from my pocket and looked at her number. I walked into the gardens

and saw her sitting on a bench with her pad open and pencil in hand. I hit her number and watched her

ignore my call. I lightly smiled because I called her again, and I was going to keep on calling her until

she answered.

“Hello?” her sweet innocent voice answered.

“Hello, Miss Lane, are you enjoying Central Park?” I asked.

I watched her turn her head from side to side before looking behind her and seeing me walking

towards her.

“I am, Mr. Black, and it looks like you are too,” she said with a smile. Damn that smile.

I put the phone in my pocket and sat down next to her on the bench. She looked at me, frowned, and

didn’t say a word. She just kept staring at me until I spoke.

“What?” I asked as I tilted my head.

“How did you get my phone number? I don’t remember giving it to you.”

“I have my ways of finding out anything about anybody, Miss Lane,” I smirked.

“So, you’re a stalker then?”

I threw my head back and laughed, “No, Miss Lane, I’m not a stalker. I just wanted your number in

case I needed you to help me home some night.” I was even impressed at how quickly I came up with

that one.

“How did you know I was here?” She curiously asked.

“Denny pointed out that he saw you walking down the street, and I asked him to stop.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I guess I just thought I’d say hi.” Her questions were starting to irritate me, but

turning me on at the same time.

“Then you could have just called since you have my number and all,” she smirked as she waved her

hand.

“Miss Lane, enough with the questions please,” I sighed.

“Can I ask you one more thing?” she innocently asked.

I narrowed my eyes at her as the corners of her mouth turned up.

“What is it?” I asked quietly.

“Could you please stop calling me Miss Lane, and just call me Ellery?”

“It would be my pleasure, Ellery,” I smiled as I slightly tilted my head.

I loved saying her name as it was unique. She was unique, and she made me feel different when I

was around her. Hell, I haven’t felt the same since I saw her in my kitchen. I looked over at her sketch

pad and watched her as she drew two people. Her drawing was amazing, and I could only imagine

what her paintings looked like.

“What are you drawing?” I asked her.

“The bride and groom over there,” she pointed.

“Why?” I asked curiously.

“Why not? They’re a cute couple, and I think it would make a good painting. I’ll call it ‘A Wedding

in Central Park’.”

“And what makes you think someone would buy that?” I’m pretty sure that came out the wrong way.

“People love weddings, and I’m sure any couple that got married here would buy it as a memory of

the beginning of their life together.”

“It’s all a bunch of shit if you ask me,” I mumbled.

“What is?” she asked as she tilted her head to the side.

“Weddings, starting a life together, relationships; all of it. You even said it yourself that nothing

lasts forever.”

“Well, a lot of people believe in the happily ever after and the fairy tale relationships. Let’s not

take that away from them,” she softly spoke while drawing.

“Do you believe in any of that?” I asked her not knowing if I wanted to hear her answer.

“I don’t know. I thought I once did, but I’m not so sure anymore.”

I stared down at her pad and watched her draw. The scars on her wrists became more visible with

each stroke of the pencil. I put my hand on hers and stopped her from drawing. She looked at me as I

turned her wrist over and lightly rubbed her scar with my thumb. She froze at my touch. Her skin was

soft and warm. I don’t know what possessed me to do what I did, but I needed to touch her.

“Tell me about your scars,” I said as I looked directly in her eyes.

I could tell she was uncomfortable so I gently laid her hand back on the drawing pad. She looked

down as she spoke.

“I made a mistake. I was young and stupid, that’s all.”

“Everyone is young and stupid from time to time, but they don’t try to kill themselves,” I said in an

irritated way as the memories of Amanda started to rush through my mind.

“Connor, you don’t know me or anything about me. We aren’t friends remember, so what happened

to me in my past is none of your business,” she snapped at me.

I stared straight ahead and found that I couldn’t look at her. I never should have said what I did. I’m

sure she probably hates me now, and I wouldn’t blame her.

“I apologize,” I said without looking at her.

She looked at me, and I could see a slight smile on her face out of the corner of my eye. She got up

from the bench and asked me if I wanted a hot dog. I didn’t want a hot dog. What I wanted was to take

her to a nice restaurant for lunch because I had something that I needed to discuss with her.

“No, I don’t want a hot dog. If you’re hungry, then I’ll take you to a proper restaurant for lunch,” I

said.

She laughed as she turned her back to me and started walking away. “Suit yourself, Mr. Black, but

I’m going to get myself a hot dog from the hot dog stand.”

I got up and quickly caught up to her. This girl was stubborn, and I didn’t know how to handle it.

“You don’t listen to anyone, do you?” I asked.

“No, I do what I want,” she smiled.

“I can tell,” I mumbled under my breath.

We approached the hot dog stand, and she asked me again if I was getting one. I guess I was giving

in and eating a hot dog. I frowned as Ellery lightly smiled. I paid for the hot dogs and then took mine

over to a small wooden table and sat down. Ellery stopped at the condiment stand and topped her hot

dog with just about everything there. God, it looked disgusting. She looked happy as she walked over

to the table with a smile on her face, and her ponytail was swinging from side to side.

“That’s gross,” I said as I took a bite of my plain hot dog.

“Gross? No way man, this is heaven,” she said as she took a large bite.

“You do realize how bad that is for you, right?” I asked her.

She put her finger up, “You only live once, so we should make the best of it.” I tried to hold back a

smile, but she was so damn cute when she did that, so I couldn’t help it. She saw me and smiled too.

“Here, take a bite,” she said as she shoved her hot dog in my face.

“No, get that out of my face,” I frowned.

“Not until you take a bite, Connor, then you can judge if it’s gross.”

Ellery kept moving the hot dog closer to my mouth. I rolled my eyes and finally took a bite. She

grabbed her napkin and wiped the corner of my mouth. I put my hand on hers and stared into her eyes.

She smiled and told me that I had a glob of ketchup on me, and she didn’t want it to get on my shirt.

She smiled as I thanked her.

It was a beautiful afternoon, and Central Park was certainly the best place to enjoy it. There was no

place that I wanted to be but here with Ellery. She was a refreshing change of company, and I enjoyed

every moment that I spent with her. I watched her as she took the last bite of her hot dog and gently

wiped her mouth with her napkin. I was beginning to feel nervous about what I wanted to ask her. I

didn’t know how she was going to react, and I was fretting that she’d never want to see me again.

“If you don’t mind, I want to ask you something,” I spoke.

“Go ahead,” she said.

“I gave some thought to our recent outing, and I was wondering if you would be interested in

being…” I stopped because I didn’t know how to put it.

“Being…” she motioned for me to proceed.

I cleared my throat and took in a sharp breath, “Would you be interested in being a companion?”

She narrowed her eyes at me. “What? I don’t get it.”

“Would you be interested in being a person who would accompany me to certain functions, no

strings attached, and I would pay you of course.”

She spit out the water she was drinking. “What? You mean like an escort or call girl?!” she yelled.

“NO, NO! That’s not what I meant, Ellery,” I tried to explain. “I mean like a friend.”

“You mean go out as friends, like me and Peyton?” She asked.

I ran my hand through my hair, and she lightly touched my arm.

“Connor, if you want to be friends, then all you had to do was ask. Actually, I already considered

us friends, and there will be no money involved either,” she smiled at me.

Her words made me happy. Of course she already considered us friends. She’s one of the nicest

girls that I’ve ever met, and I wanted to get to know her better, as friends of course.

“There’s a benefit I need to attend tomorrow night. It’s a charity function, and I need to attend to

represent my company. Would you like to accompany me?”

She lightly bit her lip and sweetly smiled at me. “I would love to go.”

“I’ll pick you up at 6:00 pm sharp,” I smiled back.

As we got up from the table, I heard my phone chime. I pulled it from my pocket, and there was a

text message from Denny.

“Am I to assume that you will not be going to Chicago today?”

“No, I’m not going. I lost track of time, and it’s too late. Call Jerry and tell him I’m sorry, but

something’s come up, and I won’t be flying today,” I messaged back .

We started walking out of Central Park when suddenly, Ellery came to a halt, and I stopped beside

her. Someone had called her name as she looked over to the side to see who it was. I could tell by the

look on her face that she wasn’t happy. The person who called her name was her ex-boyfriend, Kyle.

She introduced us and continually smiled as she talked to him. I was amazed by this woman as she

could even hold a conversation with him after he hurt her so bad. The woman standing next to him

was licking her lips as she eyed me up and down. Ellery pulled Kyle over to the side and told him to

tame his dog. I laughed to myself at the spunk of this woman. I stood there smiling at her.

“What?” She asked as she looked at me.

“Nothing, you’re just…”

“Just what, Connor?” she asked as she looked at me.

“You’re just full of life. Let’s put it that way,” I laughed.

She smiled and bumped my shoulder with hers. I put my hands in my pocket and smiled all the way

back to the car.

Denny had the limo parked and was waiting for me. “Are you getting in?” I asked as I held the door

open.

“No, I’m walking,” Ellery said as she started walking down the street.

“Elle, get in the car,” I demanded.

“Bye, Connor, see you tomorrow.”

I stood there with the door open and watched her walk down the street. What is with this girl? I

slid into the limo, and Denny turned around, looking at me with a grin on his face.

“She’s quite a firecracker, Connor; you’ve definitely met your match.”

I sighed and looked out the window. “Follow her, and don’t stop until I say so.”

Denny followed Ellery for about three blocks. She stopped at the corner, and I rolled down the

window.

“Are you ready to get in now?” I smiled.

“You never give up, do you?” she asked.

“No, not until I get what I want,” I said.

She rolled her eyes and opened the door. As she slid into the limo, she smacked me on the arm and

told me to move over. Denny was watching through the rear view mirror, and he was lightly laughing.

As I moved over, I couldn’t help but chuckle. I was glad to have her in my limo even if it was a short

drive to her place. We reached her apartment, and as she was getting out, I lightly grabbed her hand.

“Thank you for agreeing to come with me tomorrow,” I said softly.

She looked at me, crinkled her nose, and smiled, “That’s what friends are for.”

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