Baron wanted to leave right after the concert in order to avoid running into Aurelia and creating any additional awkwardness between them. It was awkward enough being in the same classroom with her and Claude ten hours every week.
Baron got no farther than the bottom level of the amphitheater.
Jordin was to blame for the delay. She wanted to say hello to some of the other jazz lovers before they left. Many of whom were her friends, colleagues, and associates.
After Jordin introduced him to the first person as her boyfriend, Baron realized that she wasn’t making her rounds just to be sociable. Nor was she just trying to show her handsome date off in that black designer suit he wore. No, Jordin was staking claim, trying to let everyone know that they were an item.
But they weren’t an item. Not yet anyway. Nothing had been officially declared by either of them, especially not by Baron. Matter of fact, this was the first week he’d gone out with her two nights in a row.
Somewhere around the fifteenth introduction Baron’s head begin to throb. Blame it on the tense night he’d had watching Aurelia and all this shallow conversation. Did no one in Jordin’s circle of friends have a deep bone in their bodies? Weren’t they concerned about the
All Baron heard Jordin and her friends talk about were the latest social events that they had either attended already or planned to attend in the very near future. Fluff, fluff, and more fluff.
“I feel a headache coming on. I’d like to leave now if you don’t mind,” Baron leaned in to whisper in Jordin’s ear. Relief flooded his soul when she nodded, quickly wrapped up her current conversation, and then allowed him to escort her out to his car.
Jordin might not be Aurelia, but she sure knows how to honor a man’s wishes, Baron thought.
Incidentally, Megan had been just as cooperative. Except she’d also been a whiner, which meant that whenever she left an event early at his request, she would whine about that early departure all the way home. It got to the point that Baron would stay at a party until Megan called it quits just to avoid her whining later on.
Would Jordin prove to be a whiner as well?
* * *
As Aurelia walked determinedly to a bus stop a block away from the amphitheater, she released expletive after expletive. She wasn’t a cuss-bucket by nature, but after what happened to her tonight, she let as many as came to mind slip off her tongue.
Why would anyone want to steal ‘my’ car when there were so many more expensive cars to choose from in that parking lot? Aurelia wondered bitterly, plopping down on the wooden bench at the bus stop. Because the owners of those cars can afford alarms and I can’t, she mused, answering her own question a few seconds later.
Although Aurelia had promptly reported the theft to the amphitheater’s security unit and to the city police, she seriously doubted if anything positive would ever come of it. The two security guards on duty had acted like she’d been done a favor when they discovered what kind of car she had. The city police officer that arrived shortly thereafter had spent more time flirting with her than taking down her information.
Aurelia ended up writing down her vehicle details on a napkin and handing it over for him to transfer to his official paperwork later. Then she’d left, refusing the ride home the ‘kind’ officer had offered her.
Aurelia would rather walk home than be in the back seat of a car driven by a man that had the ability to rape her at gunpoint if he so chose. She’d already had a similar traumatizing experience back in
“Where are the good men?” Aurelia mumbled to herself, oblivious to anyone or anything but her own misery as she searched her purse for her favorite can of mace. “Are there even any left?”
Her body instantly stiffened. Her hands stopped moving. Please don’t let it be him, Aurelia mused, afraid to look up from her purse at the driver of the black Porsche at the intersection.
But who else could it be? She knew that voice from anywhere. Would never forget it as long as she lived.
Maybe if I just ignore him, the light will change and he’ll be forced to go on about his business, Aurelia mused, lying to herself now.
Taking a deep breath of resignation at that insistent tone, Aurelia finally looked up and met the eyes of none other than…
Professor Baron Weaver.