It was like a dream.
An incredibly fun, sexy dream. Matching wits with gorgeous Jack Grady. Being held in his strong arms. Steamy kisses while hidden away in the back room of a crowded pub. Yup. It was all one incredibly fun and sexy dream. Now, hours later, she was standing on a street corner in mid-town Manhattan and he was half-way across the world. All that was left from last night were some flirty memories she couldn’t seem to shake. That, and a promise to meet up in a week.
Would it happen?
Tori wasn’t a hundred percent sure. Grady did seem as interested in her as she was in him. He also didn’t seem like the type of guy that would break his word. But honestly, how could she really know for sure? Their time together amounted to a handful of hours. And then in the rush of their goodbyes, he had taken her number but she didn’t have his. So if they were going to actually meet up next weekend, he would be the one to reach out to her. All she could do was wait and see what happened next. But she didn’t want to spend the rest of her vacation wondering or worrying about it. Besides she was looking forward to helping Mark pick out a ring for Carly today. After taking a sip of her iced latte, Tori checked her watch and glanced down at her phone.
Speaking of Mark, he was late.
It was almost four-thirty and they were meeting at 47th street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. A friend of Mark’s had recommended a Diamond District jeweler and Tori was happy to help him out. She was also happy her friend had found such a great guy. Carly was high energy and animated. Mark, a bit cool and more Zen-like. They balanced each other out perfectly and Tori had never seen two people more in love.
As she searched the faces of the crowd looking for Mark, a beep on her phone indicated she had a text.
Problem with the subway…big delays… be there soon.
No big deal. Tori was happy to wait. After all, this was what vacation was all about anyway. Slowing down, no schedules. And romantic encounters, she thought to herself with a smile. Okay, no more pining over Jack Grady. Besides, she was in a city she loved. She’d traveled all around the world with her job and there was really no place quite like Manhattan. The sounds all around, the energy of streets, the attitude, the pace. The fashion.
As an added bonus, it was the perfect spring day, so Tori got to wear the white, embroidered peasant shirt she’d picked up yesterday at a vintage boutique down in SoHo. It went perfect with her baggy boyfriend jeans cuffed above her ankles, and her favorite Tom’s espadrille wedges in tomato red. A pair of vintage Chanel sunglasses that had been her mom’s - or Jade, as she preferred Tori call her - completed the look.
The style was comfortable and edged toward modern bohemian. It was Jade’s signature look and if she was still alive, she would have smiled and nodded her head in approval, the way she always did when Tori was younger.
Taking another sip of her iced latte, Tori settled back into a small vestibule near an entranceway to avoid the crowds of the sidewalk. It was getting closer to five and a new rush of bodies and cars was filling the sidewalks and the streets.
Honestly, she could stand here all day and people watch. Between the fashion and the sights, like the naked cowboy or the guy dressed in an Elmo costume…
There was always something interesting and completely out of the
ordinary going on.
Like this, she thought to herself, as she watched two men approaching who were dressed identically. Black suits, white shirts, black ties and hats.
Off to the side she caught another duo approaching, from across the street. They all had the same, odd protruding noses and dour expressions – like it was some kind of mask. In fact, except for height and build, they all looked exactly alike.
If Tori had to guess, there was probably a movie being filmed nearby. That was the thing about being in New York City, you just never knew what might be around the next corner.
Cool, she thought to herself. And then without another thought, she instinctively did what the reporter in her told her to do…
She lifted her phone, pressed a button, and began filming the strange, masked men.