Izzy ran down the street turning to look behind her to see if her pursuer was still behind her. She saw the person turn the corner. Freaking out she tried turning down an alley way, perhaps she could cut through the street and end up one street over from the person behind her.
As she neared the end of the dead end she cursed herself for even turning down the alley. Why hadn’t she stayed on the street where it was possible for a car or another pedestrian to see what was going on. Now she was a sitting duck. She heard footsteps behind her and she quickly turned to face the person who had been following her for blocks.
“Izzy, just get it over with. The more you fight it the worse it will be,” The person said as they started to slowly advance.
“I don’t know what is going on but I am not going to let you or anyone else do anything to me.” She wondered how her life had gotten to this point. She thought about the last few days as she continued to back away from her pursuer.
Izzy double checked her hair in the mirror as she prepared for work. She couldn’t stop smiling since she met Greg the night before. She couldn’t believe how well they hit it off and she hoped the day would move quickly so that she could get to her date faster.
By the time she reached the office, Tony was already there and in the office with Mark, her boss. She growled a little at this tidbit of information and headed into her own office. She took out her proposal and started to put the finishing touches on it. She was sure her proposal would win the phone for her company and they would exclusive rights to sell the phone to all the different cell service providers.
Even as she finished her work she kept looking up at Mark’s door waiting for Tony to leave. She wondered what Tony could be in there speaking with him about. There was no project that Tony was working on that would need Mark’s immediate approval. She sighed in frustration at not knowing what was going on behind the closed doors.
Finally, the doors opened and Mark and Tony walked out together. Izzy tried to make it look like she hadn’t been watching for this moment, but with her door open she was sure Tony caught her quick glance back down as they exited.
“Izzy, I’m ready for you.” Mark’s voice came from her door. She looked up, nodded and grabbed all her reports and charts that she would need to give him so he could make the pitch to the company later that day.
Mark had been involved with the process enough that it didn’t take much on Izzy’s part to help prep him for the meeting and soon she was getting up to leave. Before she left she turned back to Mark. She wanted to ask about Patricia’s comment regarding “cleaners” last night but she thought better of it.
“I want to remind you that tomorrow morning I have a meeting with my advisor. Call me if anything comes up tonight about this, I will be in later tomorrow so I guess you can wait to give me the news then.” She stood hesitating to leave. She didn’t want to wait, she had been working on this project for the last few months and she really wanted to be there with Mark, but the clients had insisted that he was the only one that presented.
“Izzy, I know that if I waited to talk to you tomorrow you would be in a state of hysterics. I will let you know tonight how it went.” Mark smiled at her and made a movement to shoo her out of the room. “Now let me do the final prepping.” He smiled at her and she nodded, closing the door behind her as she left.
As she made her way to her office she spied Tony watching her from his desk. He didn’t even hide the fact that he was keeping his eyes on her. She smiled at him and went into her office. The way Tony was looking at her was making her nervous. She was glad that when her office door was closed he could not look at her any longer.
With her major project completed, Izzy only had a few more items to complete before she could leave for the day. She quickly finished them and made her way home. She had a date to get ready for and she was excited to spend more time with Greg.
“Megan, I can’t believe this guy.” Izzy spoke with her friend as she continued to prepare for her date. She had gone through nine outfit changes before she found the perfect outfit now she was trying to decide on shoes and her hairstyle.
“He sounds perfect.” Megan purred on the other line. “Your boss’ wife introduced you?”
“Wow, if this works out for you can you get her to introduce me to a guy?” Megan laughed.
“I thought you were going to marry Nick Carter.” Izzy shot back but immediately knew it was a mistake to bring him up. Not because it got Megan talking about him and the group but because it made her think of Brian. His face popped up in her mind, tears were forming in his eyes as he looked at her. Izzy shook her head and turned her attention back to the curling iron.
“Hey Megan, I should get going. I almost burned my hair.” Even though it wasn’t her friend’s fault that she almost burnt her hair, she didn’t need another distraction and now her mind was focusing on Brian instead of getting ready for her date with Greg.
Before she really knew what was going on she looked at her phone that was chirping to remind her that it was time for her date. “Shit,” She muttered, she was running late now.
She quickly finished her hair, got her shoes on and made her way to the restaurant they agreed to meet at. She relaxed when he saw him standing there waiting for her. He didn’t look like he was impatient, he looked relaxed waiting for her.
“Sorry I’m late,” she said as soon as she walked up to him.
“Well worth the wait,” He said smiling and kissing her on the cheek. Izzy knew she was blushing but she didn’t mind. Greg had already arraigned a table outside on the patio for them while he had been waiting and they were taken to their table almost as soon as she arrived. Izzy smiled when he pulled the chair out for her before taking his own seat.
As she listened to the specials that evening she felt a pair of eyes on her. At first she thought Greg was watching her as she listened but when she looked over at him he was also watching the waitress as she listed the items. He must have felt her eyes on him because he turned and smiled at her. They ordered their drinks before they fell into conversation.
“So Patricia said you are a surgeon.” Izzy started.
“I am,” He nodded. “My dad inspired me to become one.” He smiled and told the waitress “thanks” as she put their drinks down on the table.
“Was he a surgeon too?” She asked. She was interested in his family. Without her own she always wanted to hear about other people and their families.
Greg was shaking his head. “No, he actually is a cleaner.”
The word struck fear in her. Patricia had mentioned cleaners, and now Greg was talking about them. Who were these elusive people?
Greg must have sensed something was wrong because he took her hand in his. “You know, he owned a cleaning company.”
Izzy tried to remain calm, “You mean like maids and stuff?”
Greg nodded. “Exactly like that. My mom was one of the maids and they fell in love.” Izzy felt her heart beats slow. She overreacted to his comment. Of course, cleaners were people that were hired to clean houses and buildings. What else could they be? She could feel something nagging her at the back of her mind but she couldn’t figure out what it was.
“Izzy?” A voice came from the sidewalk next to the patio. She looked in the direction and saw her professor and his wife.
“Dr. Thompson, what are you doing here?” she asked.
“The wife and I are on a date.”
“Of course,” Izzy felt stupid for asking. She stood and moved closer to him hugging both before turning to her date. “Dr. Thompson, this is Greg.”
Dr. Thompson and Greg shook each other’s hands and held them together for a moment. Their eyes met and her professor immediately dropped his hand and turned to his wife. “Well we should let the young people have fun and get along with our old person date.” He and his wife laughed.
“Oh you aren’t a bother,” Izzy was saying but she could feel Greg guiding her back to the table as everyone said their good-byes.
The rest of their date managed to go along without a hitch. The two talked about movies, politics, books and even touched on religion. Izzy couldn’t believe that someone she had been set up with by her boss’ wife could be so wonderful. She was certainly glad they had been introduced and told him as much as they ended their date.
“Izzy, I am glad we were set up too.” He said as he moved a strand of her hair from her face and gazed into her eyes. She could tell that he wanted to lean into kiss her but she turned slightly and his lips fell on her cheek. Something about kissing this perfect man did not seem right to her.
“Can I call you?” He asked her as they stood together.
“Definitely.” She smiled and returned the kiss, on his cheek. Izzy was all smiles the rest of the night and called Megan when she got home so she could recount the entire night.