He’s driven and relentless—absolutely unquenchable.
When we drop him off at M4, where the shiny BUG 3 waits for him with someone standing by with the keys, he says good night. I thank him for today and then sit there tortured, wondering if that was my last interview.
When I get home I wonder how I’m going to get him to see me again. I feel restless even thinking this is over. I wonder if I will look too desperate if I ask for another interview. Maybe I’ll just keep in touch and then reach out later in the week.
Opening my Interface inbox and starting a new message, I search for the auction and find a beautiful elephant picture. I add a caption saying, You really know how to treat a gal; my hero, and then I write a message:
Mr. Saint, I not only enjoyed learning about Interface but I am sleeping so much better knowing that Rosie is, too.
I stare at the words and wonder if I’m going a little too far. I’m teasing him a little because he teased me today. I want to appeal to his human side so he can share a little more with me, but I don’t want him to feel I’m being unprofessional. I ask Gina what she thinks of me sending an elephant picture.
“What’s an elephant got to do with anything?”
I decide it’s something only he will get, so I gather my courage and send it. Then I groan. Really? I’m not even sure he’ll laugh, what kind of moods he has. I end up checking compulsively for messages, and as I wait for a reply, I divert my energies into reading his interviews. I read and read, interested not really in the questions but in the answers, and more than that, in each tiny white space in between the words of his answers, as if any word he didn’t say will help me get to know him better.
Still no reply to my message hours later.
There’s usually peace in my bedroom, but I seem to have sent it off with the elephant picture. I toss and turn all night.
I’m staring up at the ceiling of our apartment, terribly confused.
Did I make a mistake sending the elephant picture?
I let my excitement get the best of me and maybe crossed a professional line. I’ve heard nothing from him today, or from Dean or anyone. Now I don’t know what to do, but I know that tonight he’s got a posh gathering at the Ice Box. I need to get in somehow. His life seems perfectly compartmentalized; business on the one hand, and what about the other? If the man works hard, he’s got a reputation for partying just as hard, or—impossible, but yes—even harder.
The media loves to emphasize his whoring around, but can you blame him? He looks amazing, and walking next to him when we got to the auction, there wasn’t a single female eye that didn’t look at me and then crawl its way longingly up to his beautiful face. Can you blame him for partaking of what women offer when he’s such a young, healthy man?
Saint might think he’s giving us a puff piece, but he’s done more for Edge than anyone has lately—cooperating past what I’d have ever expected. He’s given me more time than anyone even half as important as he is has been willing to give to a struggling magazine like us.
I can tell he’s a hard boss, but my gut says he’s not an unfair one. Interface and the entire M4 conglomerate are examples of vision and ambition but not greed. From his phone calls alone I can tell he’s a remarkable businessman—as remarkable a businessman as they say he is a lover.
During the first interview in the car, when he thought about the Ice Box, who did he call? One of his boys? Roth or Carmichael?
Grabbing our apartment phone from next to the living room couch, I call Valentine, one of my coworkers, the one who’s in the social section—who knows everyone, and if not, knows about them well enough to lie about it. “Can you get me into Malcolm Saint’s Ice Box party tonight?”
“I can get you anything, woman. The real question is, what do I get in return?”
“Name the price . . . man.”
“Ah, I love my snarky Rache! Let me call you back.”
Minutes later, he calls me back and says, “You’re on the list.”
“With Gina, right?”
“Dude, I’m a rainmaker, not a miracle worker. You’re welcome. You owe me one.”
“And I’ll pay,” I happily promise—but Gina’s not that happy with the news.
“What do you mean I can’t go with you?” Gina complains when I tell her. “Wynn is going out, and I have to stay in on a Friday?”
“I’m sorry, Gina.” I wince as I frantically fish out some clothing options. “What if Valentine comes over?”
“Oh no.” She groans. “I don’t trust that man. He’s like the gossiping bald guy in Game of Thrones, playing everyone.” Then she starts texting. “Okay, I texted Valentine because he’s like the gossiping bald guy from Game of Thrones. We might get drinks once I send you off.”
I’m still in my terry robe, fresh out of a shower, with Gina and Wynn trying to help me find the perfect outfit, when there’s a knock. Wynn leaps to her feet as if lightning just struck. She rushes to the bathroom to fluff her curls, and then walks across the living room to answer the door.
Wynn flings the door open to reveal: Emmett, chef at an up-and-coming restaurant. Her latest man. Her scarf flaps in the breeze generated by the opening door, and Emmett grabs its edges and pulls her to him.
Tall and blond, he kisses her on the mouth, a kiss so perfect and movie-like, any minute now I expect the background music to blare.
I’ve never been pulled to a man like that. I’ve never been tossed in the air like an airplane, like Wynn was growing up, or kissed on the forehead by my dad every night, like Gina was.
Wynn has always been the softest of us three. She wants to marry, and is expert at using her femininity to get what she wants. What she always wants? A man. I haven’t wanted a man my whole life. I grew up wanting my dad to be alive, and all my wanting has been used up; that well has long since gone dry.
Gina watches them too, and the moment Wynn shuts the door behind her, we both stare at each other with a look that says, Are we missing out on something great because we grew too jaded?
Gina is the cynic among us. She dated a guy named Paul a couple of years ago in college. Paul is such a nice, unassuming name. You’d never think someone named Paul would be lying through his teeth when he said he loved you. You’d never imagine he’d have two other girlfriends with whom he discussed you. You’d never think that the first guy you fell in love with would make being single for the rest of your life something to look forward to.
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