With a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner behind them, Alexandra and Billy returned to Billy’s house to work on the menu. Billy opened his front door and Alexandra gasped when she walked in. Soft music played and in the living room was multiple bouquets of heart shaped balloons and about four dozen red, pink and white roses.
“Billy, this is gorgeous.” Alexandra walked around the room looking at all the personalized writing on the balloons. “I’m amazed. You have made this the best Valentine’s Day ever for me.”
“I just want you to know you mean the world to me.” He reached his hand out to her. “Come here. There’s still more.”
Alexandra took his hand and he led her to the couch facing the fireplace. To the left of the fireplace was a huge easel covered by a black sheet.
“What’s going on here?”
“You’ll see in a few minutes. Just give me a few more minutes to set everything up,” he said, lighting the candles on the table and throwing a few more piece of wood into the fireplace.
“You’re up to no good. Should I close my eyes and give you a chance to get into your black silk boxers, the ones that totally turn me on.”
Billy leaned over and kissed her lips. “Nope. That’s for later on. We’ll have the rest of the night to make love and talk about sweet nothings. But for the time being, I want you to see what I’ve been working on every night after I drop you off.”
Alexandra sat back and crossed her legs. “Now that you got me all curious, are you going to tell me what you’ve been doing.”
“I’m not going to tell you. I’m going to show you.” Billy walked next to the easel and pulled the sheet off to expose multiple poster boards. “The first one shows what I envision the outside of the café to look like.”
Alexandra uncrossed her legs and leaned forward. “I love the way you left the old fashioned storefront. It’s what makes the café look so quaint. I also love the navy blue and tan sign.”
“I left the sign blank until we come up with the perfect name.” He lifted up the board and exposed the inside of the café. He pointed, “I think keeping the original wooden floors adds to the vintage look we spoke about. What do you think?”
“Can you pass me the picture?”
Billy handed her the picture and sat down next to her. “I think that keeping the building’s vintage look will attract more people.” Turning the picture over. “Now if you look at this side, I’d like to keep the mahogany bar and use it as a coffee bar and also offer people to sit around and have a latte and appetizers.”
“I think we can also fit table along the wall and another row in the middle. In the back of the café, we can use if there is a large party.”
“I went into the building again, and this time I had the real estate agent take me down into the basement.”
“I didn’t go down there. The agent told me there’s nothing down there.”
“Oh how wrong the agent was. After walking down the dingy steps, the agent turned on the light switch and there was another room large enough for a party, where there was a pizza oven and spiral staircase. I walked up the stairs to locked door. ” Billy stood and walked back over to the easel. “Remember when you questioned the agent about the door that was padlocked next to the bathroom?”
“Yes. She said she didn’t have the key and explained it was just a storage closet.”
“I have news for you. Behind that door is the spiral staircase from the basement.” Billy turned over the next poster board, which consisted of pictures of the staircase and the room.
“I love it. I want to go see it, now!”
“Wish we could, but it’ll have to wait till tomorrow when it’s light out. The previous owner shut off the electricity.” Billy removed the poster board and held it in his hands, blank side facing her.
“What you have there?” Alexandra asked standing and walking over to him. “From the way you are hugging, let me see,” she counted two boards in his hands, “you have something very interesting to show me.”
“Yes. But you must promise me that you’ll be honest with me. If you don’t like something, let me know.”
A huge smile appeared on her face. She knew exactly what he held in his hand. On of the boards had to be the menu, but what was the other?
“Promise. Now come on,” grabbing at the posters, “let me see.”
Billy exposed a picture of the inside of the cafe, “I computer generated this on what I envision the inside to look like.” Pointing to the table in the picture, “the dishes.”
Taking hold of the board, Alexandra was amazed at the detail Billy captured. “It looks great. I don’t understand how you were able to do this.”
“It’s a computer program. And what a pain in the ass it was to use. I worked hours on it until it was exactly what I wanted.”
“Looks great. I especially like how you converted the bar into a coffee station. I especially love the way you displayed the desserts under the glass counter.”
“It’s just a sample. Once we get in there we can do anything we want. I just wanted to have some sort of a spring board to work from.” Wrapping his free arms around Alexandra, he walked her back to the couch. “And lastly, here’s the tentative menu. I’m not sure of the design or layout. That I’ll leave up to you.”
Just as Billy handed her the poster board, her cell phone rang. When she didn’t recognize the number, she assumed it was work related and pressed talk.
“Alexandra?” The voice was husky and familiar.
“I’ve been trying to reach you for months.”
Alexandra’s mouth dropped opened. This couldn’t be happening. Not at this point in her life. Pressing mute on the phone, she turned to Billy. “I have to take this call. It’s work.”
“Sure. You can take it in my office. I’ll have a caramel latte ready when you’re done.”
“Thank you.” Standing, she walked into his den. “Dan?”
“Hey baby. Thought you forgot about me.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t talk to you. “
“Give me a few minutes to explain.”
Alexandra held her head with her free hand. This was a nightmare. “I’m busy right now.”
“We have to mend what we broke.”
“I’m hanging up.”
“I’ll stop by your house in the morning.”
“No, you will not.”
“I’ll expect you at my apartment at eight o’clock tomorrow morning. If not, I will be at your front door.”
“But…” Before she could finish, she heard the dial tone on the other end.
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