Yeah...if only. But you see, it hadn't. Oh no!
Once Steph and Ed deserted us around midnight, I was ready to leave with them. As much as I enjoyed Tyler’s company, I’d seen enough of Richard and the ultra rich society for one night.
“Carrie? Carrie Sinclair? Oh my God, look at you?” Tyler and I stepped out onto the dance floor for one final dance, when I recognized Alex Reynolds’s voice above the noise of the room. I turned to see Alex making his way across the crowded dance floor to my side.
In his usual fashion, Alex lifted me up off the floor and twirled me around in a gesture most people, certainly his wife would interrupt as intimate. “What are you doing here?” He asked when my feet finally touched the floor again.
Alex Reynolds was my first mistake (not taking in account the whole Seth Walton fiasco), as far as men were concerned. Alex had been quite a learning point for me. In spite of all my travels abroad, I was still green when I moved to Austin and started supporting myself by working as a temp.
Alex’s advertising firm was my first stop on the road to success. I’d almost gone out with him. He was devilishly handsome after all, but also very married. A point Alex failed to make clear in all the times he’d asked me out. He was a big flirt and I suspected unfaithful to his wife, but he did love Melissa.
I’d told him off, and somehow won Alex’s respect because if it. I think I was one of the few people who ever had the nerve to stand up to Alex. We’d eventually become good friends. In fact, until Tyler became apart of my life, we’d made it a point to have lunch at least once a month. Since Tyler, well, I’d been dodging Alex’s calls, hoping to keep him a secret. I wasn’t really, sure why. It wasn’t as if I’d done anything wrong, but it sure felt like it. Especially now.
Once I’d opened Carrie’s Creative Catering, Alex began throwing business my way while begging me to sell my little cooking store to him for his wife. Melissa, he told me was good at planning parties, and she needed something to occupy her time so she wasn’t constantly wondering what he was up to.
Alex was the only other man I knew who was rich enough to attend this type of affair.
“I thought you hated these pompous things, as you were always so fond of calling them.”
Tyler materialized at my side at that point and Alex became aware of why I was there. “Alex, this is Tyler Bennedict. Tyler this is my friend, Alex Reynolds.”
Tyler and Alex exchanged the kind of strained pleasantries, which made it clear they weren’t going to be friends. Thankfully, Alex left soon after. I could feel from the tension in Tyler’s movements as we danced that he was angry with me. “Don’t try making me jealous, Carrie. I’m not the type of man to become jealous.” This was all he said. It was enough. After the song ended, Tyler practically pulled me from the hotel, handed the valet our ticket and we stood in tense silence waiting for the Range Rover.
The drive back to my apartment was a silent one, with no break in the tension between us. I wondered how the rest of this night would play out. When we turned into my parking lot Tyler told me everything I needed to know.
“I’m not staying. I have an early appointment in the morning.”
Once he’d parked the Rover, I didn’t give him time to do the polite, gentlemanly thing Tyler was so good at doing.
Instead, I got out of the SUV, almost tripped over my just the proper length skirt, and ran up all four flights of stairs to my apartment. Tyler didn’t come after me.
By the time, I reached my apartment I was angry and hurt and would have slammed the door as hard as I could to relieve all of those things if I hadn’t remembered poor Hazel sleeping next door. I settled for throwing my bag half way across the room and tossing the clothes Tyler was so good at leaving lying on my bedroom floor at the front door.
After pacing the apartment trying to work off my temper without much success, I showered, removed the pounds of makeup Steph insisted I needed and finally got my hair shampooed out of the French twist it was escaping from most of the evening.
I was determined Tyler wasn’t going to keep me up worrying about if I’d ever see him again. With a whole lot of help from Aunt Mable’s cure all Southern Comfort, I accomplished my goal. By this time I didn’t care who Tyler was much less if, I’d ever see him again.
A Little Southern Comfort Magic
30 Fresh Ponchatula strawberries (sliced thin)
¼ Pound Butter, unsalted
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Whole orange (juiced)
2 oz. Southern Comfort
¾ Quart Heavy whipping Cream
Method:1) In a saucepan melt the butter, add sugar, and stir until smooth.2) Add strawberries and gently stir until cooked.3) Add the orange juice and Southern Comfort, cook for 2 minutes.4) Add heavy cream, let reduce until a mixture is a creamy consistency.Vanilla Custard:Yield: 1 ¾ quarts1 qt. Heavy Cream2 tbls. Vanilla extract25 Egg yolks10 oz. Granulated sugar1 lb mascarpone cheeseMethod:1) In a heavy saucepan mix cream and vanilla extract, heat just until a boil.2) Wisk egg yolks and sugar together in large bowl.3) Temper the egg yolks with 1/3 of the cream.4) Pour egg mixture into saucepan, stirring constantly, until very thick.5) Fold in mascarpone cheese till smooth.6) Remove from heat and strain in to a clean bowl, cool over ice bath.