Even though Justin promised to keep in touch with Kyra, she wasn’t really expecting him to follow through and do it. So when she got a random text from him asking her if she wanted to meet him for lunch, she was conflicted on what to do. After having just patched things up with Cincere, Kyra really couldn’t afford to jeopardize her relationship for a second time, but when it came to Justin, she couldn’t help herself. Just when Kyra thought she was over him for good, Justin found his way back into her life again.
As for Justin, it was only Monday, and he already couldn’t stand the thought of being cooped up in the office. The mountain of paperwork on his desk seemed to be growing by the minute, but unfortunately, the same could not be said for his desire to do it. As soon as Kyra texted him back, Justin told his secretary to cancel the rest of his appointments and set out to enjoy the rest of his day. If anyone called for him while he was gone, he would get back to them. Until then, they could leave a message. When it came to Kyra, everything else could wait.
It was so nice out, Justin even decided to let drop the top on his newest toy; a silver DB9 Volante from Aston Martin. The sun illuminated the spellbinding hues of turquoise in the water and there wasn’t a single cloud in the magnificent sky as he pulled out of the parking garage. The tops of the palm trees swayed in the light breeze as he sped past the other cars on the street. Too bad it wasn’t strong enough to bring him any relief from the heat.
As Justin drove toward the heart of Regent Village, the premier shopping plaza on Providenciales, he started to question whether he should have skipped out of work early, but the second he saw her, he knew he made the right decision.
Kyra looked so pretty standing next to one of the water fountains. She was wearing a long, royal blue maxi dress which flaunted her figure, along with a pair of gold chain Gladiator sandals and matching gold accessories; all of which complimented her skin tone. One day in the sun and she looked like a bronzed goddess.
“Hey!” Kyra opened her arms for a hug and Justin was more than happy to give her one. She had her curls pulled up off her neck, which helped accentuate her face, along with that smile Justin still loved so much.
“Thanks for agreeing to meet me here on such short notice.” Justin smiled back at her, completely captivated by her beauty. He took one look in her eyes and he was under her spell.
“It’s cool. I’m happy you called.” Kyra made it sound like she didn’t drop everything she was doing the second she saw his name come up on her phone, when really, she came running. No one would’ve ever guessed she got showered and dressed in under thirty minutes.
“Yeah, you know, I hadn’t heard from you since we went to dinner so I figured I’d check up on you and see how you were doing. . .” Justin struck up a conversation as they started walking down the paved walkway, past the meticulously well kept gardens and other businesses. Kyra wasn’t even sure where they were going, but she felt comfortable letting him lead the way.
“That was very thoughtful of you.” She looked away bashfully. Just knowing he still thought about her was enough to make her feel good.
“You know, Kyra, just because I’m getting married doesn’t mean we have to stop talking. . .” Justin glanced over occasionally while friendly strangers passed them and said hello.
“Actually, that’s exactly what it means,” Kyra laughed half-heartedly as Justin opened the door to the restaurant he picked. The maitre d’ seated them underneath one of the big umbrellas outside and gave them their menus. Their server would be with them shortly.
“Thanks again for coming. I’ve just been feeling so bogged down between work and the wedding. . .” Justin let out a heavy sigh once they had some privacy. “It’s nice to be able to get away for a little bit.” He flashed a smile to hide his stress, but when Kyra looked in his eyes she saw sadness. Unsure whether she should ask him about it, she nodded and smiled anyway.
“Speaking of weddings. . .” Justin cleared his throat. “Have you given any thought as to whether or not you’re coming to my engagement party?” he asked.
Kyra paused; surprised he would even bring it up again. She couldn’t believe that was the first thing he asked her. They just sat down not even two minutes ago.
“Yeah . . . About that. . .” Kyra winced at the thought of being in the same room as the girl he wanted to marry. “I don’t think I’ll be able to make it.”
“What? Why not?” Justin looked shocked, if not a little saddened by her response.
“Hmm, I don’t know. Let’s see. . .” Kyra tapped her finger on her chin. “For one, I’m sure your parents would throw a fit! Oh. And then there’s the fact that I’m your ex-girlfriend.” Kyra ran down her list of reasons, making sure to emphasize the time they spent as more than friends.
“Yeah, but that was years ago. It’s not like we’re still messing around.” Justin grabbed another breadstick out the basket and kept munching. It bothered Kyra that he could be so nonchalant about it when it was slowly tearing her apart.
“Still. . . I’m sure your fiancé wouldn’t appreciate me being there,” Kyra’s tart remark matched the sour look on her face. Even the slightest mention of Eden made her feel a certain way.
“It’ll be fine!” Justin laughed. “Besides, it’s my engagement party, too,” he added.
“My answer is still no.” Kyra kept it short and to the point. She was kind of mad at Justin, and it was getting harder not to show it.
“Kyra, I don’t expect you to understand why I’m asking you to do this, but just hear me out. . .” Justin reached across the table for her hand and her icy stare melted. “Just know this is a really big deal for me, and it would really mean a lot to me to know I have your blessing. . . As weird as it sounds, it won’t feel right without you there,” he continued. Everything about him was gentle from his tone to his caress, but Kyra was trying hard not to roll her eyes as she listened to him. As much as she loved Justin, when it came to him marrying Eden, she couldn’t respect his feelings. She wanted to stand up and scream, “This is some bullshit!” but, “I’ll have to check with work and see,” sounded much more appropriate considering they were in a public setting.
“See, look at that! You know everything there is to know about me, and yet I don’t even know where you work.” Justin positioned himself so that he was comfortable. He seemed much more relaxed where as Kyra became instantly nervous. She quietly debated whether or not she should make up something that sounded a little more impressive than her current title, but that would be childish. She figured if anyone was going to tell him it might as well be her. If Justin didn’t want to talk to her after that then that was on him.
“I know you probably won’t believe me . . . but . . . I’ve been waitressin’. . . ” Kyra reached for her water to help her swallow the lump in her throat, but it did nothing to relieve her embarrassment. Sitting across from her was this successful businessman who went on to college and got his degree. No one could argue Justin wasn’t doing big things, and here she is, stuck waitressing.
“Since when?” Justin held back his laugh. He didn’t mean to offend her. It was just hard to imagine Kyra doing anything that involved her getting dirty or possibly breaking a nail.
“I thought you worked at that one boutique. . .” Justin racked his brain trying to remember the name of it. “How did you wind up doing that?” he asked.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Kyra expressed her unhappiness in a sigh. She had to have asked herself that same question at least a thousand times. “Slow money is better than no money I guess. . .” She shrugged. “I gotta make a livin’ somehow.”
“Well I still think you should try and come,” Justin concluded their conversation as he stuck his head in the menu.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Kyra said whatever she had to in order to pacify him for the time being. Justin getting married was the last thing she wanted to hear about, talk about, or think about. But as much as much as Kyra didn’t want to go, the last thing she wanted to do was let him down. And then there was Cincere . . .
Kyra and Justin spent the next couple hours dining on French food and fine wine at one of the sidewalk cafés, completely wrapped up in each other’s conversation, as they watched the world go by. Afterwards, the two of them continued their stroll down Ocean’s Row; known for all the big-name businesses and designer boutiques.
“Justin? Can I ask you somethin’?” Kyra shielded her eyes from the sun as she looked up at him. They had to have covered almost every topic imaginable over lunch, but even after their long talk there was still one question weighing on her mind.
“Sure. Go ahead.” Justin continued to stare straight ahead, his pace slow and steady. He was in no hurry for their time to end.
“Why did you call me out here today?” Kyra stopped abruptly.
“What do you mean? I already told you why.” Justin tried to laugh off her question and keep walking, but the look on her face said he better not.
“Yeah, but I mean, I’m sure you didn’t come all the way down here just to discuss the weather and make small talk. I want to know the real reason why.” Kyra held her breath, waiting for him to say something; anything that might give her hope that one day they would be together again. If Justin had any love left for her then Kyra needed to know now.
“Okay,” Justin took a deep breath to start. “Kyra, the real reason I called you is because the other night, when we were at dinner I noticed you didn’t say much about yourself. It kind of left me wondering. . . How are you . . . really?”
“I’m fine. Why do you ask?” Kyra fidgeted under his scrutiny. The fact that she was sweating had little to do with the fact it was in the high 80’s, and everything to do with the way he was looking at her.
“I mean, we’re friends right? I’m allowed to be concerned. Just because we’re not together anymore doesn’t mean I want to see you unhappy.” The deep creases in his forehead backed up his claim. Justin kept trying to establish eye contact, but Kyra wouldn’t look at him for more than a few seconds at a time. “Are you happy Kyra?”
“Yes, I’m happy. Why wouldn’t I be?” Kyra laughed to hide the fact his questions were making her uneasy. Justin laughed because he knew right away she was lying.
“Okay, this time I’m going to ask you again and I want you to tell the truth,” he chuckled.
“Whateva, shut up!” Kyra pushed him in a playful way. “While you talkin’, I could be askin’ you the same thing. . . Are you sure you’re really ready to get married?” she teased.
“Yeah, I’m sure. I mean, you fall in love, get married, and have kids. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?”
Yeah. To me! Kyra thought.
“Remember when we used to talk about getting married?” she asked jokingly. Her and Justin were only teenagers at the time, but they had it all planned out. They already knew what colors everyone would wear and who they were going to invite. They even had a couple baby names picked out, just in case. Kyra was looking forward to building a life with Justin once they graduated from the academy, but their fairytale ended unexpectedly when he followed her to Chicago. Their love was just another casualty of the city’s well-publicized gun problem, and Kyra knew better than anybody that the streets weren’t at all forgiving.
“Yeah, I remember,” Justin laughed softly. The fact that he was soon to be a married man became very real in that moment and his nerves spiked suddenly. This time, he wasn’t just talking. In exactly 37 days, he would be tied to Eden . . . Forever.
“Funny how life has its way of working out differently,” he commented.
“I know right. Now look at us. We’re all grown up,” Kyra smiled at the memory, although her smile was bittersweet. They were too young to be talking about marriage back then, but she had faith that one day, it would happen. Even now it was hard for Kyra to picture another man as her husband. In all her time with Cincere, she never really looked at him in that way.
“Can you believe my engagement party is in less than a week and I still don’t even have a suit yet?” Justin slowed to a stop in front of a shop that just so happened to specialize in high fashion suits for men. Kyra could tell he was in deep thought as he admired the beige suit on display in the window.
“You want to go take a look?” she asked, hoping he would share whatever it was he was thinking.
“Nah,” Justin waved off her suggestion. He was adamant about leaving, but Kyra ignored him.
“Come on. Let’s see what they have,” she said.
A small bell chime hanging above the door announced their entrance, and a man in a blue dress shirt greeted them as soon as they walked in. The shop was laid out very nicely, but other than the man who greeted them and the tailors who worked there, she and Justin were the only ones in the store.
“Mr. Hartwell! How are ya?” The salesman extended his hand to Justin who shook it firmly. Kyra couldn’t help but notice the way the man treated Justin with a certain familiarity that said he either already knew Justin or he knew of him, one of the many perks of having a wealthy family.
“Doing well, thanks for asking.” Justin continued to roam about as they talked, looking at different ties and what not.
“So, Mr. Hartwell, may I ask what brings you in today?” Thomas followed behind Justin as he continued browsing, offering additional information along the way.
“Well, Thomas, I need your help. See, I’m getting married, and next week-”
“Congratulations!” Thomas clapped his hands together as he rejoiced in the news. “You two must be so excited!”
Kyra nearly dropped the pair of cufflinks was looking at when she realized he was referring to her. She looked at Justin, waiting for him to correct Thomas, but when he didn’t, she kept quiet and waited for the awkward moment to pass.
“Hey Thomas, I think I want to try this on.” Justin picked out a unique white jacket with black piping and a pair of black pants by Hugo Boss, as well as a pale blue summer suit from their Summer 2013 collection.
“Okay, well why don’t we get you measured up first, and then we can pull a few more pieces and see what works.” Thomas suggested.
“Sounds good,” Justin took off his burnt orange blazer and gave it to Kyra to hold as he stepped up to the three way mirror. She watched closely as Thomas started to measure the width of his shoulders and then down just past his wrist.
Kyra exhaled, wishing it was her who got to come up behind him, and reach her arms around the fullest past of his chest. She wanted to be the one to run the tape from the bottom of his neck all the way down until he told her to stop.
“Is that long enough?” Thomas looked up to Justin for his approval. Justin nodded and Thomas jotted down some more notes before going on.
In order to size the pants, Thomas took the tape around Justin’s waist, making sure to leave it just loose enough to fit a finger in between. To get the length, he measured from his waist down to his shoes.
And lastly: the inseam. Kyra was having a hard time keeping her thoughts PG-13 as she watched Thomas start at the top of Justin’s leg, right around his crotch area. It had been five years since they last had sex, but she remembered what was underneath quite vividly.
Once Thomas was finished, he grabbed Justin a few dress shirts and some neck ties to try on with the suits he picked out. Justin went into the dressing room to see how they fit, and the entire time Kyra was waiting for him to come back out, she wished she was bold enough to follow him. Kyra often fantasized about sneaking off somewhere and having her way with Justin one last time. This seemed like as good an opportunity as any. After all, if she was going to help him pick out his clothes, it was only right she get to see him take them off.
“That suit looks great on you.” Thomas gave Justin the okay sign when he stepped out of the room, and Kyra rolled her eyes. Of course he would say that, She thought.
“I don’t know. . . Kyra, what do you think? You’ve always been better at this than I am.” Justin admitted. He looked to Kyra for advice, and it was as though once they made eye contact, neither of them could break it.
“Ah yes it is smart to get a woman’s opinion.” Thomas chimed in.
“It’s okay. . . I kind of like this one though.” Kyra held up a hanger with an all black suit attached to it. It was made of silk wool with black satin accents throughout. The suit came in two pieces with a notched lapel, two buttons and two front pockets, along with one on the breast. The tag inside indicated that it was made by Tom Ford, and nearly three times the price.
“You’re right. She does have good taste.” Thomas nodded to Justin and smiled at her.
“Here, try this on next.” Kyra handed it over to him and Justin sighed as he headed to the back again. This was why he put this kind of stuff off so long in the first place.
Meanwhile, Kyra’s urge to shop was getting stronger the longer they were there. She felt like a kid in a candy store looking at all the different color combinations and accessories. It didn’t matter if they weren’t shopping for her. She wandered off to look at the rest of the merchandise, but when she came back, she gasped at what she saw.
“How do I look?” Justin held his hands out his sides for inspection. Kyra watched him in the mirror as he took his time admiring himself, trying to get a feel for it. He adjusted his collar with this cocky look on his face that let Kyra know he was feeling himself, and he had every right to feel that way. Justin was as fine as they come, but in a suit? His sexiness was on a whole other level.
“That’s it. That’s the one.”