He had washed each of the vegetables.
“Can you slice these into strips? I’ll do the onion on the other cutting board.” He pulled out another cutting board and sliced into the onion and threw them into a pan, which sizzled. I sliced up the various colors of peppers and he tossed them in. Then he tossed in the meat. It smelled spicy and delicious. We hadn’t eaten since this morning and I was hungry. He finished up within a few minutes and he put our food on the plate with a garden salad that must have already prepared.
“Come on, we are going upstairs.”
He put the plates on a tray and covered them with covers that suspiciously looked like the ones from the Willard. I raised my eyebrows at Jordan and he smirked.
“Grab the wine. I’ve got everything else.” He led me to the balcony which I hadn’t noticed before. There was a gorgeous deck and a stair leading up. “Are you good?”
I nodded, and he led the way up the stairs. I followed with the two wine glasses and wine in tow. When we reached the top, I stopped and stared in awe.
In the center of the rooftop garden was a large wooden table and chairs. There were tall trees, flowers of every kind, and a large vegetable garden on the corner. In the center of the table were candles waiting to be lit. Jordan flipped a switch and small twinkle lights illuminated the darkening rooftop garden. Lights were placed to showcase fruiting trees and plants.
Jordan led me to the table where he set down the tray. He pulled a small black remote from his pocket and music was played softly in the background. I set the wine and glasses down. I turned to see the entire scope of the beautiful rooftop garden.
“Do you like it?” Jordan asked, almost in a whisper. He had intertwined his fingers between mine.
“This is amazing. You can see the mall from here. Your building is taller than the Willard.”
“Don’t tell her. She might get upset.” He let his lips linger on my ear as he spoke. Eventually, they landed on mine and tiny explosions filled my body as I moved closer to him. My stomach growled in protest and Jordan chuckled.
“Let’s eat.” He released me and he helped me sit down. The wine was poured and placed near my plate. He pulled the covers off with a flourish and I placed my napkin in my lap.
“This is perfect, Jordan.”
“You have very low standards for perfection,” he said. “I can do better but thank you.”
I took a bite of the meal, and as the flavors hit my mouth, my stomach soothed. I took a sip of wine and its spiciness matched well with the flavors of the food.
“How did we do?” he asked and took a bite of food.
I nodded. “I did nothing but open the wine. It’s delicious.”
“Not true, you sliced the peppers. Very difficult challenge for one who has no experience in the kitchen.” He reached for my hand.
The sun slowly disappeared behind the horizon and the lighting on the rooftop added to the mood.
“You own this building, don’t you, Jordan?”
He didn’t answer but took another bite and smirked at me again.
“I don’t care if you own it. I’m just curious.” I said and took another sip of wine.
“Technically, my family owns it.” He brought the wine to his lips and took a generous gulp. His throat moved as he swallowed the wine.
“Your family are the Wickerson’s of the W Hotels around the world?”
He ran his fingers through his dark blond hair and nodded.
“Yes, that’s us.”
“I’m still confused why you work at the Willard?”
“You don’t stay at my hotel. You like the Robin Bar and I like you. I told you, I like the people whose stories I capture there.” He poured more wine into our glasses.
I took a sip and stared at him. “You aren’t who I imagined you to be.”
“Is that a bad thing? If so, go back to who you thought I was.”