By the time the day ended, he’d garnered some critical information and learned about a new surgical technique, but he was mentally drained. Some of the doctors had plans to hit the Magnificent Mile to check out the nightlife, but Vic wasn’t up for it. Instead he chose to have dinner in Andiamo, the hotel’s Italian restaurant. When he entered, he saw Heather sitting alone at the bar. She didn’t see him at first, and his immediate instinct was to simply take a seat without acknowledging her, but that was ridiculous. There wouldn’t be any harm in asking if she was waiting on a date. Their conversation last night had been friendly and upbeat, and God only knew how much he could use a little pleasant and positive interaction with a woman.
“Heather.” He came up behind her. “It looks like we had the same idea. Are you waiting for someone?”
She glanced up at him, with a surprised smile. “Vic, we meet again. No, I’m not expecting anyone. Just stopped in for a drink. Please, have a seat,” she said, indicating the stool next to her.
“Well, I was planning to have dinner. Would you like to join me?”
Her smile widened. “Yes, I’d like that.”
Vic took her hand to help her dismount the stool. She was only about five-foot-five, and while seated, her feet didn’t reach the floor. He inhaled as he got a whiff of her perfume, a light fragrance with a refreshing hint of lemon, and reminded himself of what he’d told Trey about white women. It didn’t take much to put a brother in a bad light when seen in public with them. The hostess sat them at a table with a high-back booth on one side, which gave it an intimate feel–more intimate than he would’ve preferred.
“My colleagues wanted to investigate the clubs tonight, and I wasn’t in the mood.” Vic’s gaze ran over her. She was well-dressed, wore just the right amount of makeup and exposed only a peek of cleavage beneath a feminine ruffled-neck blouse. “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but if you were hoping to meet someone tonight, I don’t want to block that.”
Her blue gaze dropped to his left hand then she studied him as though she were trying to figure him out. “I have met someone.” She smiled. “Let’s order dinner.”
“Why did you decide to become a doctor, Vic?”
“My father, my two uncles and two of my brothers are doctors.” He smiled at the way her eyebrows lifted.
“So you’re carrying on a family tradition then?”
“I guess you could say that. It’s all I ever wanted to do. A couple of my brothers say they felt pressured to go into medicine, but I didn’t feel any pressure. I admired my father and the good work he was able to do for his patients.”
Heather seemed fascinated to hear that he came from a family of physicians. She leaned forward and twisted a lock of her hair around her index finger. “That says a lot about him and what kind of man he is. I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and never knew any professional African-Americans.”
Vic marveled at how easily they communicated. It felt like a second date as he devoured his house salad, New York sirloin, mashed potatoes and a glass of Zinfandel. When he mentioned his mother had been a teacher, they talked at length about Heather’s job as an elementary school teacher.
She suggested they split the chocolate fudge cake topped with whipped cream and raspberry coulis, and he ordered after-dinner cocktails. She had been nursing a drink when he came in, and by the way she giggled and kept touching his arm, he thought she was a little buzzed. But when their dessert arrived, and she dipped a spoon into the rich treat and raised it to his lips, he was certain his pretty companion was now tipsy.
“Come on, taste it,” she said, drawing her words out lazily and locking her seductive gaze with his.
Vic parted his lips enough for her to insert the spoon then closed them and savored the rich fruity chocolate flavor. Actually, he used the brief moment to consider what he might say when he opened them. “I’m married, Heather,” he said, choosing to go the direct route.
“So,” she said, holding his gaze, refilling the spoon and bringing it to his mouth again.
The whole scene was so seductive, and his body responded against his will. Reluctantly, he received the second spoonful then, when he opened his mouth to continue explaining why this little rendezvous was improper, she filled it with her tongue. As much as he knew he should’ve resisted, he didn’t, and he responded with matching enthusiasm. A moment later, he literally pushed her away.
“Are you driving tonight?”
Her eyes filled with expectation. “No. What do you have in mind?”