Chasing the Shadows
By Caylee Jacobs
Date: June 29, 2021
Ch. 11


For the third time in twenty seconds, I straightened my already perfect tie of my dark suit. Damn. I was a nervous wreck! Today was the day when I was finally going to ask Les out. Eight years. Eight years I have waited for this day and today was finally it. Nothing could go wrong today. I won’t let anything go wrong today. I have everything double checked myself. Dinner, drinks, music and flowers – everything was ready to perfection. Now all I had to do was walk up to the beautiful lady I’ve dreamt of all my life and tell her what I haven’t told anyone for years. The lift came to stop and I took a deep calming breath before stepping out. You can do this, man. I told myself sternly. I have silenced numerous boardrooms in past eight years with just my look, and here I was chickening out to ask a lady out. A few people passed through me and greeted me. I just nodded at them and walked towards the hall where a party was hosted on my behalf. I had it arranged to announce the launch of my newest brand but actually the real purpose was to let Les know what I had achieved and what man I was. And after that, I was planning to ask her for dinner tomorrow, for which I had already made reservations at the Space Needle. All I had to do was get the girl.

Leslie Cooper had been friends with my friendly since I was in college. The first time I saw her was at a party that my dad had thrown on New Year’s Eve eight years back and I had just flown down from California. The first I had seen was her beautiful blonde hairs that surrounded her perfect heart shaped face and blue eyes. She was dressed in a shoulder cut golden dress with a pair of diamonds hanging in her ears. She had looked like sun and I had instantly desired her. She was the prettiest of all the girls and she certainly knew that. I had walked up to her in my usual devil-may-care swag, wearing a pair of jeans that hung low on my back and a Bob Marley T-shirt. She had given me one look and then had turned her head back to the man she was talking before. That was unusual. I had girls falling on my feet back at Stanford. And Leslie, she hadn’t given me a second look. “You must be the lovely Leslie.” I hadn’t faltered back on her earlier dismissal. So I had asked her with my symbolic crooked smile. My smile, then, was my most lethal weapon. Leslie had looked at me flatly. “And you must be Mr. McLain’s son.” “That I am, sweetheart. So what do you think of joining me for an after party?” My words and flirtatious invitation had made her frown and then she looked away. She was older than me, a year or two. “Please excuse me.” She had said to the other man and then had walked away giving me a frosty glare. Later I heard her saying to the other girl, “I am looking for a man, a real man. Not a dick-on-stick boy like Nathan McLain.” And I had stood there like a dumb fool. I felt embarrassed and humiliated. And I had blamed myself. She had every right to think of me like that. And that night I knew I had to have her and that desire generated determination in me. I wanted to be someone she couldn’t look away from. I wanted to be someone she would be proud to be with.

Eight years and here I was, Nathan McLain, Chief Executive Officer and owner of McLain Group. I was far from that flirt college guy who hit off every moving thing that had boobs. I was sophisticated, respected and well-reputed business tycoon that corporate world known as a hard ass guy. And I had started all of it from scratch. I had made a man out of myself. The man Leslie wanted to be with. All these years I had imagined this night. I had envisaged various scenarios; about her reaction, about her expression, about her smile. And I just couldn’t wait to get over with the building nerves inside me. I was going to see her after a long time. I had seen her at many of my dad’s parties, but we hadn’t chatted or anything. I wasn’t ready then. But tonight, I was and I was making it happen that she knows that I am interested in her. I just hope I was luckier this time than I was back then.

Soft music filled my ears as I entered into the big convention hall where big names of the industry and Seattle were present. I had gone over and beyond everything to make this as up to Leslie’s liking and preferences as I could think of. I knew she liked soft music so that’s what it was playing. She had love for Italian food so I had all the Italian dishes lined up. Her favorites were white lilies and I had specifically had them decorated all over the hall. She had expensive taste in wine and Le Pin, Pomerol was what I had ordered in.

Font size
Font color
Line spacing
Background color