The taxi ride was quiet. The night replayed in my head with the Chief Justice and Senator Schulman both knowing who I was to Jordan. I didn’t even know who I was to Jordan. I glanced at him. He reached over and took my hand. My stomach flittered with tiny butterflies. The hotel came into view.
“Thanks for coming to the show, Katie. It meant a lot to me. I’m glad you got to meet my friends and family.”
“It was an interesting group.” I said. “I didn’t expect so many important people at an art show.”
“It’s DC. Fundraisers are what they do well.”
“I didn’t realize it was a fundraiser. Who was it for?”
He squeezed my hand. “The California Earthquake fund.”
“It pierced me and I have the means to raise money for them.”
“There were so many left homeless.”
“I was one of them. So were you.”
“I overheard you tell George that you are donating it all.”
“Don’t get too excited, we didn’t make that much money. We got more donations than actual sales.”
“I want to donate too. May I?” I blurted, but it came out mumbled. I never mumbled.
He nodded. “Sure.”
We stopped in the front of the Willard. We both got out and stood by the entrance. George was already off, and another man stood there and waved at us but didn’t move towards the door. Jordan’s blue eyes scanned my face, waiting for me to move.
“You should come in and we should have a drink,” I said. “I don’t want the night to end yet.”
He looked down at me, his eyes glittering.
“The bar is closed.”
“There’s always room service and my bar is stocked pretty well,” I said, my body buzzing from his nearness. I didn’t want the weekend to end.
“It will do.” He held my hand, and we walked towards the elevator. When we reached my suite, Jordan took my key and opened the door.
“Swanky. They put you in the Senator’s suite. We usually save these for the foreign dignitaries.”
“They tried putting me in the presidential suite but it’s too much room, makes me uncomfortable.”
He walked towards the window. “It has a great view of the Washington Memorial. I’d say they set you up right. Small office, bedroom… What else does an appellate lawyer need?”
I watched him, not answering his question. I wasn’t sure.
“You’re a famous artist who works in a bar. You don’t need to work in the bar, do you?” I asked as he was mixing up our drinks.
“I need it, but not for the reason most people do. I pick up shifts when the guys need to go do something. Mostly, I just work when you come into town. I kept hoping maybe one time you might say yes.”
“You didn’t ask me every time I was in town. In fact, you only asked me out twice, and I said yes the second time. It makes you sound like a stalker the way you say it.”
“Sometimes I felt like it. You were my inspiration. When I met you the first time, it was like my creativity was unlocked. My painting came easily after you, and each time I spent time with you, it flowed more and more. When I changed my life after LA, it was slow going. Eleanor tried to help, but it wasn’t there. I trudged along, painting without inspiration. But I met you…” He lifted his shoulder, looking at me with an intensity. “You are my muse.”
He busied himself at my little bar, then handed me a sweet smelling drink with a hint of orange peel.