Love in Lingerie: extra scene – Trey’s list
There are still six hours ahead of them, the plane quiet, Kate falling asleep within an hour of takeoff from Hong Kong. Now, she is curled next to him, the top of her head brushing against his arm, a first-class pillow comfortable propped underneath her chin. Her shoes are kicked off, her legs curled back, and every once in a while she shifts, and her bright pink socks peek under the blanket.
He flips over the leather portfolio, turning the white cream paper to a fresh page, and picks up the pen.
His mind is fucked. He needs a plan, intelligent thought, something to distract him from this woman, who he already regrets hiring.
That’s a lie. And a truth. Two sides of his head war, and it doesn’t help when she inhales and the cutest snore in the entire world tumbles out.
She shouldn’t be sexy. She’s nerdy. Way too smart, enough so to catch his mistakes, and call him out on them. She’s goofy, in an unput-together way, the sort of way that makes him laugh despite himself and smile at a moment when he should be scowling. She says words like oopsy and pulls out her bun in the middle of meetings, and once pulled off her nylons in the middle of the day, her bare legs almost arresting his speech when she came back from lunch, suddenly nine times sexier, as if he could focus on the company and not wonder at the change.
He writes a clear, simple title at the top. Reasons That I Dislike Kate.
This would help. Something to sort out his thoughts. To remind him of where his mind should be. He cross out the line.
Reasons That Kate and I Are Just Friends
That’s better. Less animositic. He makes a bullet point, then pauses.
- She is a prude in bed.
It’s purely a guess of course. But given her staunch opinion on threesomes, the conservative outfits that she strolls into work wearing, and the dry doormat of a fiance that she has attached herself to … it’s an intelligent guess.
Then he thinks of the way that her eyes flash at him with challenge. The way that sometimes, when he leans in to look at her concepts, her breath catches. The responsive flush of her skin when he accidentally brushes it. Is there a hellion behind those pant suits and turtleneck sweaters? God, he’s imagined it enough times, his hand on his cock, his mind going crazy.
Kate lying back on his desk, her mouth curving into a smile, her knees slowly parting.
Kate, her hand reaching down and brushing over the tent in his pants, her eyes widening in appreciation.
Kate, her thighs trembling around his face, his tongue inside of her, the taste of her—
He shifts in the seat, and is grateful for the pull-out desk in front of him, hiding the erection that is now dominating his thoughts.
He pushes the desk aside, grabbing his jacket and holding it before him, standing and moving swiftly down the hall, to the restroom, new thoughts of her flooding his head.
He needs a release.
He shuts the bathroom door, flips the lock, and frees his cock, his back hitting the hard wall, his legs bracing against the floor in the small space, his hand wrapping around his stiff shaft.
God, what the fuck had he been thinking, hiring her?
DELETED SCENE: Trey and Kate Movie Night
“God, this movie is disturbing.” I lie back on the couch, propped up by pillows, and flick a piece of popcorn in Trey’s general direction, on the other end of the sectional. Before us, on the giant flat screen, Don Jon plays.
“It’s only disturbing because you’re a prude.”
“Oh, please. The only reason you say that about me is because you want me to convince you otherwise.”
His mouth twitches, and he lifts a beer to his lips with a shrug. “Maybe.”
He nods toward the screen, where Joseph Gordon Levitt jacks off. “You ever watched a man jack off?”
I roll my eyes, and dig out a fresh handful of popcorn.
“Have you?” he presses.
I shrug, my feet tucking under his thighs. “Kind of.”
I shift in discomfort. “I don’t know. I’ve seen a guy jack off, like during foreplay and sex. I just haven’t pulled up snacks and a chair and settled in to watch.”
He grins, his head shaking slightly. “If you ever watch me jack off, promise me you won’t snack in the middle of it.”
“What?!” I shriek, pulling my feet away from him. “I’m not ever watching you jack off!” I scoff, but my cheeks burn at just the thought of it.
“Come on now…” he drawls. “Never say never.”
A funny response, since his rules are the main reason why we will never be in that situation. I turn my head and watch Scarlett Johansson enter the scene. When he dips a hand under the blanket and runs his fingers over my feet, I pretend not to notice.
DELETED SCENE: 7 months into working at Marks Lingerie
I am on a conference call when Mom calls, my hand automatically reaching out and silencing the phone, my mind returning to the discussion, one over production schedules for our new garter belts.
Then Jess texts, and the preview screen tells me everything I don’t want to know.
Grandma died this morning.
I swallow, my throat tight, and reach for the phone. In the background, I hear Trey’s voice, the call continuing like I didn’t just receive devastating news. I text Jess back.
Someone says my name, and I become aware of the quiet conference line in the moment before Trey speaks.
“Kate, are you there?”
“Yes.” I look at my screen, not sure where the discussion had moved. “I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?”
“Let’s finish up this call later.” Trey’s voice doesn’t allow for discussion, and everyone signs off, the line quiet by the time that Jess’s response comes through.
Stroke. We’re headed to the nursing home now. Can you come?
My grandmother’s nursing home is in Lake Forest, over an hour and a half away, especially at this time of day. I look over my desk, think of my afternoon meetings, and the looming deadlines, a hundred to-do items to be completed today. There is no way. I think of the woman, the smell of vanilla extract that always seemed to follow her around, the way that she would pull me against her chest, the ornery way she’d refuse help, even when her hands had lost all ability to grip.
“Kate.” Trey steps into my office and shuts the door. He stops, our eyes meeting. “What’s wrong?”
I can feel the tremble of my bottom lip and hate it. I hate that I can’t control myself, that I can’t even answer his question. I turn away, back to my computer, and tighten my hands into fights, attempting to find my voice. He says nothing, and I listen for the sounds of his soles against the hardwood, the creak of my credenza as he leans against it, but there is nothing.
I appreciate the distance, his patience. In it, I manage to answer, my voice almost smooth. “My grandmother passed away. I just found out.”
“How can I help?”
I swivel in my chair until I see his face. The gentleness in his eyes almost breaks me. His arms are crossed tightly over his chest, and I can see him resisting the urge to step forward. He looks to my desk, and then glances to the window before looking back to me.
“Come on.” He holds out a hand. “Let’s go to her.”
“Go to her?” I shake my head. “I can’t. You can’t. I’m underwater as it is.”
“Everything can wait.” He steps forward. “Where is she?”
“Everything can’t wait. I’ve got a dozen people waiting on me, on things. And you know our tight timeframe.” In the overwhelming amount of work before me, I feel a bit of control returning, something to focus on other than the fact that I haven’t visited her in over two weeks.
“Fuck the timeframe. I’m not asking. I’m telling you. I’ll close down the entire office for two days if it will ease your concerns. But right now, I don’t want you here. Is she up in Lake Forest?”
“Then let’s go. Do not touch your computer. Do not return another email. I’ll pull my car up front.” He turns, and steps out of the office before I can formulate a response.
Trey drives me to Lake Forest, my entire trip spent on the phone, first with my mom, then my sister, then the nursing home’s director. Once we arrive, the tears come—big bursts of emotions that put me in Jess’s arms, then my mother’s, and then, somehow, in his. He didn’t listen when I told him to go home, when I told him that I had things covered. He tried to get hotel rooms for everyone; he tried to pay the outstanding hospital bill, and when he finally left, he showed back up forty-five minutes later with bags of food. And even though I kept arguing with him to leave, I’m glad he didn’t. He was the perfect complement to our mourning, his questions and conversations leading to stories about Grandma, our time a mixture of laughter and tears, and by the time we all headed home, I felt a sort of contented peace.
Now, almost halfway back to LA, I finally remember my manners. “Thank you.”
“Right now, you’re the most important person in my life.” He glances over, looking away from the road, the Tesla purring along, perfectly spaced between the lanes. “I’ve put myself in charge of taking care of you.”
It’s the oddest response I’ve ever heard. “I’m not the most important person in your life.”
He chuckles. “You hold my business in those tiny little hands, Kate. And I have no family. Until my soulmate wanders by, you’ve got no competition.”
It’s sad. Empowering, but sad. I think of everything I’ve felt today—guilt, remorse, nostalgia, and loss. He’s been through this. Not once, but twice. And he no doubt had grandparents also. Had they passed away? I have no family. It seems like too cruel of a question to ask. I take an easier approach. “You believe in soulmates?”
The corner of his mouth lifts. “You don’t?”
“I don’t know.” I settle back in the seat. “It’s a lot of pressure. Like, if I only have one soulmate in this entire world … I could spend my entire life overanalyzing my relationships and picking them all apart.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a serious analysis of a relationship.”
“There is if you stop all of them too early.” I try to find the right words. “If—on my first date with Craig—I had asked myself if he was my soulmate, the only person in the entire world I was meant to be with…” I shrug. “I probably wouldn’t have even given him a second date.”
“Your reasoning makes no sense. You broke up with Craig. If you had been following Soulmate Protocol then, you would have saved yourself three years.”
“You’re missing the point.” I huff in aggravation. “And you don’t have the right to even have an opinion, seeing as you have never been in a serious relationship.” I tilt my head at him. “Right?”
“I’ve had serious relationships.” He shifts in his seat. “They just haven’t been long-term.”
“Ha!” I didn’t exactly score a point in this tally, but it feels like I did. “See?”
“I’m picky,” he points out. “It’s not a bad thing. And maybe I haven’t met her yet.”
“Her being your mythical soulmate?” I feel a prickle of envy at the thought. Not the thought of being Trey Marks’s soulmate, but the thought of being regarded in that way. The thought of a man, out there, searching for me. Waiting for me. Ignore the complete illogicality of the concept, there is something inherently romantic about soulmates. “It just doesn’t make sense,” I argue.
He sighs. “You’re a non-believer, Kate. I can’t reason with non-believers.” He turns, and our eyes meet, and that wicked smile, the one that drenches my panties, flashes.
“Huh.” I sniff, and have no intelligent response.
Soulmates. I try to picture mine, but I can’t get the image of his smile out of my mind.