Chapter   Five

Karen was standing in front of her full-length mirror, checking out her appearance. Her and Eryka had chosen a black skirt that reached five inches above Karen's knee, a dark red spagetti-strap shirt with a black see-thru over-shirt, black three inch heels, and a matching set of butterfly earrings and necklace.

Karen stared at the earring and necklace. They used to belong to her mother. In fact, the inspiration for the outfit was one of her mother's movies. Just when Karen was starting to get deeper into her memories, the buzzer went off in the living room. Karen took one last look in the mirror, grabbed her small black purse, and went to answer the buzz to her apartment.

"Yes?" she said.

"There's a Mr. Kevin Richardson here to see you, Ms. Davidson," said the doorman.

"All right, Mark. Tell him to come on up."

"Yes, Ms. Davidson."

A few minutes later, there was a knock on her door. Karen took a deep breath before opening the door. When she did, Karen was speechless. He looks so gorgeous, she thought. Kevin stood there wearing baggy, black jeans, a white button-down silk shirt, black suede shoes, and he was holding a bouquet of roses.

"Hello," she said, when she could finally speak.

"Hi," Kevin smiled. He handed Karen the roses. "These are for you."

"Thank you. They're beautiful." Karen stepped aside. "Come on in."

Kevin walked in and looked around. Wow, expensive-looking apartment, he thought. Of course. She's one of the highest paid journalists. He turned to look at Karen as she put the roses in a vase. Man, she's beautiful. Then Karen caught him staring at her.

"What?" she asked.

"I was just thinking you look beautiful," Kevin said, without thinking. Whoa, I can't believe I just said that.

Karen smiled. "Thank you. You look really good, too."

Kevin returned her smile. Karen started feeling a little warm with embarrassment and looked away. "Um, shall we go?"


Kevin opened the door for her and Karen walked out. Karen locked her apartment door from the outside, then turned toward Kevin. He offered his arm and she took it. They walked to the elevator, went to the lobby, and out the front enterance. Karen saw a limo waiting out front.

"Is that for us?" she asked Kevin.

"Yes. I thought I'd take you out in style." Kevin looked down at her and smiled. "You don't mind, do you?"

"No, of course not."

"Your carriage awaits, madame," Kevin said with a gallant bow right before he opened the door for Karen.

Karen laughed and got in. She moved over as Kevin stepped in and sat beside her. They were quiet during the whole ride to the resturaunt. Karen looked at the resturaunt through the window as the pulled up to the entrance. It was one of the most expensive in LA. I can't believe he's doing this, she thought.

"Here we are," Kevin announced.

He got out, then turned back to help Karen out of the limo. He watched her emerge like she'd doing it all her life. There is something about her, he thought. Something doesn't fit. She doesn't act like people say she does.

He and Karen walked through the front entrance and towards the maitre'd.

"Reservations for Richardson," Kevin told him.

The maitre'd checked his list, then grabbed two menus. "Right this way, sir."

The maitre'd led them to a private booth. It had sheer curtains in front, velvet curtains surrounding, and the table had lit candles surrounding it, also. "Here we are, sir."

"Thank you." Kevin gave him a tip and the maitre'd left.

"This is nice," Karen said, as Kevin pulled out her chair. She sat down.

"I was hoping you'd like it," said Kevin, sitting down in his own chair.

"My parents used to come here all the time," Karen said. Damn, why'd I say that? Karen scolded herself. I don't want to get into my whole sob story.

"Used to?" Kevin looked her curiously.

"A few months ago, my mother died of cancer," Karen said, reluctantly. "This used to be her favorite resturaunt. My father brought her here all the time."

Kevin sensed she didn't want to talk about it, so he didn't push the subject. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said. "My father died of cancer in 1991. It was hard for me, but I still feel him around, guiding me. Especially now that I have Nick, AJ, and Brian to look after."

"What about Howie?"

"Howie's the other serious one of the group. He's just not a serious as me. He's also the business man, as well as the peacemaker. But we're all like brothers."

"What about your other family?"

"My mother lives in Kentucky, where I'm originally from. I have one brother in Texas and another in Kentucky. They're both older. What about you?"

"I'm an only child." Karen looked down at her hands for a second. "Sometimes I wish I had brothers and sisters. I think it would help my father do deal with things better 'cause I'm always traveling to different states and countries to do music reviews. I worry about him."

"How did you get into writing?" Kevin could tell it made Karen feel bad talking about her family.

"I used to write a lot when I was in high school. I was on yearbook, the literary magazine, and newpaper. I entered writing contests, everything. When I graduated, I decided to get a job at a newspaper. After a couple years, I decided to do free-lance in the music industry. Any magazine, newpaper, or book that wants a review, they come to me. I didn't think it would turn out as well as it did. Right now, I work mostly with 'Billboard Magazine'. I've been there for about two years."

"You seem like you're younger," Kevin commented.

"I'm twenty-three," she said.

Kevin looked astonished. "You became one of the most sought-after writers in about four years? That's amazing."

Karen smiled. "Sometimes I can't believe it myself."

"I have one question that's been in my mind for a while," Kevin told her.

"What's that?"

"Why do people call you the 'Ice Queen' of the media?"

"I don't know how I got that rep, to be honest with you. My friend Eryka says she thinks it was Leonardo DiCaprio who got that started."

"You met him?"

"My parents invited him to their wedding anniversary party earlier this year. Leo asked me out, I turned him down using some not-so-wise words, and the next thing I know, I'm the 'Ice Queen'."

"Why'd your parents invite him to their party?"

"The who's who of Hollywood were all invited to my parents party. I guess I might as well tell you. My parents were actors. They met on the set of a movie they starred in together, fell in love, and got married. My father stopped acting a few years after I was born, but my mother loved it too much."

"This sounds so familiar...."

"My mother was Angela Steele."

Kevin was quiet for a few moments. "You're Angela Steele's 'pride and joy'? America's little sweetheart?"

"I hated that. I didn't want to be known as Angela Steele's daughter. I mean, I love my mom, but when she asked me if I wanted to be called 'Karen Steele', I didn't go for it. I liked 'Karen Davidson' a lot better."

"You look a lot like your mother. Maybe even more beautiful."

Karen blushed lightly. "Thank you."

Kevin decided to take the conversation in another direction, much to Karen's relief. They talked about every subject they could think of. They ordered their food, and were comfortable enough with each other when their food arrived. Then Kevin took her dancing. He liked the way she moved and Karen appreciated his moves, too.

By the time they got back to Karen's apartment, it was like they were old friends. As they stood at her door, they looked at each other, not sure what to do next.

"I had a really good time, Kevin," Karen spoke up first. "Thank you."

"It was my pleasure," Kevin said, softly.

Karen looked in his eyes and her heartbeat started speeding up. Slowly, Kevin leaned down and placed his lips on Karen's. The kiss was Kevin's chance to explore her lips. He kept it light and ran his tongue over her lips. He didn't expect her to touch his tongue with hers, but when she did, Kevin felt a spark of desire shoot through him. Karen started feeling a little light-headed. She felt Kevin start to explore the inside of her mouth and her knees went weak. Kevin held her up against his body.

When the kiss finally ended, they were both breathing hard. Then Karen all of a sudden smiled. Kevin smiled back, hoping it was a good sign.

"We'll be staying in LA for a few more days," he started. "Can I see you again?"

"Yeah, I like that idea," said Karen. "Call me tomorrow. We'll make plans."


Karen got her keys out of her purse and unlocked the door. She turned back to Kevin and have him a peck on the cheek.

"No goodbyes," she whispered.

"No goodbyes," he repeated.

Then Karen walked into her apartment as Kevin walked towards the elevator. They both felt like they couldn't be happier about the night.

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