As Karen got ready for her date with Jordan, she felt sort of bad for the fact that she was not with Seth and his group of friends. It wasn’t that she felt bad because she told them that she would show up when she had no intention of doing it, it was for the fact that she had been withholding her evening plans from Seth. She really, really hated having to lie to Seth. Or to hold information from Seth, which was more along the lines of what she had been doing yesterday when he invited her to join him and his friends.
Karen knew that Seth’s friends (well, one of them at least - Pete) were starting to get pissed off that Karen kept showing up with Seth when they were not dating. It wasn’t that Pete was an incredibly moral man (because, honestly, he wasn’t), it was that he thought that if you were spending as much time together as Seth and her were, and you weren’t fucking, then you shouldn’t be hanging out so much. As much as Karen hated to admit it, she was starting to think along those lines too. Certainly, she was ready to take that next step with Seth, but he hadn’t made a single move in that direction yet. Karen was actually starting to believe that he was gay. And not the “happy” kind of gay, either. More the homosexual type of gay - that was what she meant. Because, seriously, what else could explain his not asking her out for so long? Karen knew she wasn’t drop dead gorgeous, but she certainly had enough self esteem to think of herself as being attractive, at the very least. Even on days when she didn’t wear makeup, she still thought she was attractive. She never had any thoughts like “Oh my God, I’m hideous!” or “Could I be any fatter?” growing up. She was actually incredibly self confident.
So, why, then, could Seth be such a great friend, and never ask her out? Didn’t he know that she expected a man to ask her out? She was not old fashioned, by any stretch of the imagination, but she did expect a man to grow a pair and ask her out if he was serious about dating her. Was it really possible for a man to be friends with a woman, really, really good friends with a woman, best friends, even, and not grow attracted to her? The only way Karen could see that being a possibility was if he were gay. And, like she had said already, both she and Seth had to fall into that category by now.
By the time her doorbell rang, Karen was actually worked up into quite a fit. Taking a deep breath, she waved her hands quickly to lightly fan her race before she walked over to open the front door.
Jordan Lockley was a very attractive man. That was never the issue with him. The problem with Jordan was that he was quite an ass hole. And Karen usually did not get along with ass holes. Despite that one little thing to deter her, though, Karen was actually attracted to Jordan. He was her one “bad boy” crush. And really, that was what she needed right then. Someone that she could fool around with that was not going to break her heart, because she knew much better than to mess around with Jordan and actually hope that he might fall for her. If he hadn’t fallen for her by this point, then there was no way he would fall for her now. He knew that she was using him, but hey, that’s what he was doing to her. So, it worked. As long as neither one of them got messed up with kidding themselves that something might develop, then they were good.
Karen knew exactly how to dress for her “date” with Jordan. He had always been easy to please in that regard. In all actuality, Karen had a section of her closet that was devoted to “dates with Jordan (or insert the name of the current man you are entertaining at the time).” Tonight’s choice outfit was a dress that hit all the right places of her figure. It was a dark navy blue, a color that so well complemented her red hair and light skin. Whenever she wore this particular dress with other people, she always wore an undershirt to hide the daring cleavage that the dress presented. But when she was going on a date, especially with someone like Jordan, she always went without the undershirt. Jordan would appreciate this for two reasons. One, he would be provided with enticing eye candy during the entire dinner. And two, it would mean there was one less article of clothing to tear off her when they returned to his apartment to fuck. Really, Karen could appreciate those facts, as well. She didn’t put on much makeup. Just some foundation, a touch of mascara, and some loose powder and she was ready to go. Jordan always said that he didn’t know why women spent so much time getting their makeup and hair “just right” when the guy only noticed if their breasts and or ass looked enticing. Some guys liked legs and even some others loved a woman’s hair, but he had never heard of any guy thinking, “Oh man . . . did you see the eye shadow on that girl?” And once she had heard that statement, Karen couldn’t get it out of her head. She started paying attention to what guys said to one another about women, and sure enough, she never heard them comment on her makeup - either in a positive or a negative way. It was like they were immune to it completely.
Once she caught on to the fact that guys didn’t notice if a woman was all dolled up or not, Karen stopped trying with her makeup. There were times when she would occasionally dress up her hair a little bit, either put it up, pull it back, curl it, or straighten it, but those were very rare times. She hadn’t done that since the first six months when she had been dating Gary Stewart. So, instead, Karen just did her extremely light makeup and sat down to mindlessly watch some TV until Jordan picked her up. That was actually one thing about Jordan that she was very appreciative of - the fact that he would be on time, or close to it. And the fact that he drove a car and was willing to put some extra miles on it so that she didn’t have to drive too. That was one thing that Jordan had always done that Karen had been thankful for.
It seemed like she had just sat down when she head the doorbell ring. Clicking the TV off, she stood up and walked over to the door, grabbing her coat and scarf from the rack right by the door. Slipping her arms in the sleeves, she opened the door and saw Jordan, standing there, smiling at her, looking so sure of himself. His confidence certainly was a check in his favor, as far as Karen was concerned. She loved a man who was sure of himself - in public and in private, and Jordan certainly was that.
“Good evening, Jordan,” Karen said lightly, giving his cheek a kiss. “Ready to go?”
“Karen, you are stunning,” he breathed. As his eyes scanned over her body, Karen could see the eager anticipation and downright lusty look to his gaze as it passed her chest.
Ah, yes, she thought, the dress was the right way to go, tonight. He is going to be like putty in my hands by the end of dinner. However, since that thought would probably not have had the desired effect that Karen was aiming for, she instead said, “Thank you, Jordan. You are looking pretty ravishing tonight, too.”
“I try,” he said jokingly. “Ready to go?”
Karen nodded and the two of them walked over to his car. His car was a black 2009 Toyota Camry. Jordan had always owned Toyota Camrys. At least, he had always had them since Karen had known him. It was kind of funny, because he tended to trade them in as soon as he got them paid off. Karen always thought that once a person got a car paid off then they would presumably want to keep it for as long as possible, but that was just not the case with Jordan. Although, he did take extremely good care of all of his vehicles because he had every intention of getting the most money for his trade ins as he could. He had started with the most basic Camry and worked his way up. Now, his Camry was pretty much maxed out. Briefly, Karen wondered if he planned on trading this Camry in, but that was a discussion topic for another day.
“So, Karen, anything new with you?” Jordan asked, sliding his hand over to grasp hers. It was a little more touching than she typically liked, but he had always done that with her, so there was no point in trying to stop him, now, as far as she was concerned.
Nothing I could really discuss with you, seeing as how you and I are little more than fuck buddies, Karen thought to herself. Instead of that, however, she decided to talk about a neutral topic - work.
“Things are going ok. I’m working on a pretty interesting piece for the paper, right now.”
“Oh?” Jordan raised an eyebrow, actually seeming pretty interested in the topic. That kind of surprised Karen. The two of them had never been really awesome at talking to one another in the car, before. Usually, they just turned up the radio and jammed to the classic rock station (when Jordan got to pick the station they listened to) or the current hits station (when Karen got to pick the station that they listened to). “What’s the story about?”
“They are apparently trying to bull doze a park in Northern Chicago, and the people are throwing fits. Apparently, the park has been a beloved piece of the neighborhood for decades, and it has a lot of public support”
Jordan tilted his head thoughtfully and he inquired, “Why do they want to bull doze the park in the first place? Is it not to build something important like a school or hospital?”
“No, quite the opposite, in fact. They want to put in a series of office buildings.”
“That’s horrible,” Jordan said, frowning slightly. “Don’t they have enough office buildings in Chicago, already? Can’t they just leave the park where it is?”
“I guess the business community doesn’t see it that way,” Karen shrugged. “The owners are dead set on securing the land that is currently owned by the park, demolishing it, and building their stupid office building right where the park used to be.”
“Why do they want to do it?” Jordan asked, still frowning. “It doesn’t seem like it would be a good idea, I mean, it doesn’t seem financially smart to put their building where everyone is so adamant against it.”
“You would think that, but according to what I’ve dug up at the library, the land isn’t owned by Chicago; it’s actually in another county, apparently a county with lower taxes, and thus, a cheaper county to build your office building.”
“That is outrageous,” Jordan scoffed. “Businessmen are fucking scum bags, if you ask me. I think we need to just shoot them all and be done with it.”
That strong opinion caught Karen off guard. “Why do you say that?”
“Because they are and it is true. Fucking no good business men took my uncle to court over a similar claim, and because they had better lawyers, they cleaned house. My uncle had to sign over his business and pay them something like a hundred thousand dollars in damages.”
“I had no idea,” Karen said, her voice soft. “I’m so sorry that happened to your family.”
She reached over her other hand to grasp his, and gave it a squeeze, once it was in her hand.
Shifting slightly, Jordan shook his head and said in a tight voice, “It’s ok . . . it wasn’t your fault.”
Judging by the tenseness between his shoulder blades, Karen could sense that though Jordan did not blame her for his uncle’s business collapse, he did blame someone. Maybe that was why he never took a business class. As Karen thought back to her college days, she realized that she had no memory of ever seeing Jordan in the business building, let alone in an actual room. Maybe it was because he loathed businessmen. Karen had never given it much thought; before, she had assumed that he didn’t like business classes, or he was bad at math or economics, or something else like that. Now, she was beginning to get the picture that it wasn’t because Jordan couldn’t take business classes, it had been a choice.
Karen decided it would probably be a better move for her evening if she shifted the conversation away from the fall of Jordan’s uncle’s business. Though, she really wanted to find out more about it. She suddenly had a very strong desire to find out more about Jordan’s family that she ever had before.