Patty marched up to the young lawyer with her eyes slanted, ready for a fight.
“I thought I told you not to come back here,” said Patty.
“Whoa, whoa!” exclaimed Trent with a grin. “I’m not here as a lawyer today.”
“What do you want then?” questioned Patty.
Trent drew a deep breath and slowly let it out.
“Okay, here’s the thing,” he explained. “Normally, I’d never be this persistent, even for a client like Berns and Stein.”
“Okay,” said Patty, waiting for Trent to make his point.
“Okay,” he continued nervously. “The reason I keep coming back here, knowing that you’d say no every time, is because I like you.”
Patty was speechless for the second time in two days.
“I’m not saying this to get anything from you,” Trent continued. “I’ve just been interested in you ever since Berns and Stein first sent me to make you an offer. I just can’t live with myself if I don’t ask you out.”
Patty was still speechless.
“Can I take you out for lunch?” Trent asked. “Please?”
By 12:30 that afternoon, the pair was seated in one of the swankiest, high-class steakhouses in Texas. Trent wore one of his trademark business suits. Patty wore a classy red dress that had once belonged to her mother.
As the third glass of wine was served, Patty’s rigid resolve began to relax.
I think he really is interested in me, Patty happily thought to herself.
The two enjoyed small talk over a fine meal and shared stories of their families and high school days. Trent learned of Patty’s heartbreaking past, and Patty learned that Trent came from a family of Ivy League scholars.
“I did all the things they wanted, went to the right schools, but my dad still gripes that I became a lawyer instead of a doctor,” Trent explained with a half-hearted chuckle.
Patty really felt herself letting go, dropping her guard and allowing herself to be vulnerable for the first time since her teens. She began feeling strongly attracted to Trent.
Perhaps the attraction had always been there, she pondered.
By 2:00, the pair had exhausted all of the small talk and the second bottle of wine sat transparent on the table. Dessert had been finished long ago and the encounter was beginning to wind down. Both began to feel the pull of their regular lives waiting to tear apart the budding romance.
“I’ve really enjoyed myself,” Trent said with his trademark grin. “It’s a shame it has to end.”
“My afternoon’s free,” Patty responded boldly. “You mean you didn’t have anything else planned after the meal?
Trent chuckled nervously.
“There’s an old movie house about four blocks from here,” Trent finally answered. “They show a classic movie marathon every Sunday for their matinee. If you’re interested, we might be able to make it without missing too much.”
“I’d like that.” Patty smiled coyly.
The pair quickly headed down to the movie house. The Marquee proudly highlighted this Sunday’s triple bill of classics: It’s a Wonderful Life, Lon Cheney Jr.’s starring role in The Wolf Man, and the Orson Welles’ epic Citizen Kane.
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