Contemporary Romance

Sami sashayed her way through the restaurant while she followed the maitre d' to her table. Her glossy black hair, tied back in a pony tail at the top of her head, swung back and forth as she moved. She was dressed in the latest designer jeans with a silk top and a pair of stiletto heels . She was gorgeous and definitely made an impression on all of the patrons, especially the men. If they only knew!

Sami felt all eyes on her, but she chose to ignore them. She was not looking forward to this dinner meeting. Sami was a successful attorney, on the partner track in her firm. But this was not a business meeting. It was a blind date! Who would have thought that trying a case would be less stressful than a dinner date! She was looking forward to killing her best friend, Jess!

Jess meant well but she thought that everyone needed a partner. Just because she was happy with a husband and a brood of kids didn’t mean that Sami felt the same way.

Jess had called last night.

“Hey Sami, have I got a really great guy for you!”

“Don’t start with me! The last one was a disaster. I asked you not to set me up again!” Sami had to yell. There was so much noise on Jess’s end that she was sure that her friend couldn’t hear her.

“No worries, honey. I already told him that you would meet him tomorrow night. He’s very excited and very cute! You’ll love him! Gotta go! Love you!”

“You didn’t!” Sami screamed as she heard the click on the other end.

She did not want to go out with this guy. Sami didn’t care that Jess had said he was cute. She wasn’t interested in cute. Puppies and kittens were cute. And, how did she know he was a great guy? Jess hadn’t even mentioned where she had met him!

Sami tried calling Jess back several times, but she did not pick up. Jess had four kids. It was probably feeding time at the “zoo”! Oh well, she would try her again later, although she had a feeling that Jess wouldn’t take her calls until after she met this guy.

Sami texted Jess for her perspective date’s name, which would be really helpful to know. Also, the meeting place. Hopefully it was a restaurant that Sami did not frequent, so that no one would see her.

The following day Sami went to the office at the crack of dawn. She had a trial coming up and she needed to get a lot of her papers finished. She felt a sense of dread all day long. Sami had tried to call Jess again, and left a message begging her to cancel the date. If she had had the man’s number, she would have done it herself. Jess probably knew that, and so she hadn’t passed along the information. She said she would set the whole thing up and Sami need only call her when the date was over.

Jess was a real pain, thought Sami. But, here I am. So let’s get this over with! 


Max sat at the table waiting for his date. He was a partner in a large firm in the city. He loved his work but was very stressed now. He had a trial coming up in a few short weeks and he had so much paperwork to do. He didn’t have time to breathe let alone date!   Max had given a lot of the work for the trial to his paralegal. She had done a great job. But there were things he needed to look over and work through. Opposing counsel was a shark! And Max had to really be prepared. He had gone against her several times in the past and had lost each and every time! She was extremely tough in the courtroom and that persona did not let up when court ended. She had a gruff attitude and never cracked a smile. The talk in the legal circles was that she was on the partnership track and would steam roll over anyone that got in her way. Absolutely no one liked her. And while you would think that they might respect her legal acumen, that wasn’t the case either. She had rubbed everyone the wrong way. 

So now, here he was, sitting in a restaurant, waiting for a date he had no desire to meet. His good natured, but nosy neighbor, Jess, had pushed for this date so hard, that he had to say yes, just to keep her quiet. She hadn’t said anything about his date. He had barely gotten a name out of Jess. But no last name! That was odd. No information at all as to where she was from, what she did for a living, or even what she looked like. For all he knew, his date could be an orangutan. That’s happened before, well not literally exactly, but close!

Jess had laughed when Max had pressed her for more information. Her response, “You’ll have that much more to talk about!” That was not what Max wanted to hear. He was starting to have a bad feeling about this....


“I believe this is your table, ma’am,” the maitre d’ said as he pulled out a seat for Sami.

Is this a joke? She thought to herself. What is he doing here?

“Uh, sir, I believe you must have made a mistake. I don’t think this is my table.”

“You are Samantha Greer aren’t you?”

“Well, yes.”

“Mrs. Barnes made a reservation for two for a Samantha Greer and a Max Lawson. If the two of you are those people, then I believe this is your table!”

Sami stared at Max who looked as shell shocked as she felt. She was going to kill Jess when this was over. And this would end now. There was no way she was going to spend another minute let alone a whole evening with this obnoxious, thinks he’s better than anyone else, womanizer. This man has hit on every woman in the court system, including the elderly law clerks!

Max was as shocked as Sami, when she arrived at the table. This clearly couldn't be happening! He was really going to let Jess have it. He wasn’t spending a single solitary minute with this woman! 

“Look, sir, I really do think there has to be a mistake.”

The maitre d’ looked from Sami to Max and back again. If looks could kill...

“I would suggest that you take this up with Mrs. Barnes. She made the reservation specifically for the two of you.”

Max caved first. What’s the worst that could happen? He didn’t have to talk to Ms. Greer. All he had to do was drink and eat. He would make quick work of dinner and leave. Jess had made such a big deal of this date. Maybe there was something about Ms. Greer that he just hadn’t seen before. 

Sami didn’t know what to do. She hated men like him. He was her enemy in court, and he thought he was such a big deal with the women. She had been hurt viciously by someone and vowed to keep her distance from all men. But, would Jess set her up with someone so horrible? Maybe not intentionally. How did Jess know him anyway? Sami decided that maybe she would stay and take a second look.

“Well, are you both staying or going?” The maitre d’ asked.

“I guess I will stay,” Max responded first. 

“Me too,” Sami sighed. 

“Well then, can I bring you anything to drink? Someone will be right over with the menus....” the maitre d’ looked at both parties and prayed there wouldn’t be any fireworks.

“I could use a drink. Vodka please.”

“And you, ma’am?”

“Please bring me club soda with a slice of lemon.”

“Very well,” And the maitre d’ was off. He couldn’t get away from this couple fast enough!

Sami and Max were silent while they waited for their drinks.

Max looked at Sami. He had never realized how beautiful she was. He always thought of her as pretty, but the business suits and messy hairstyles did not do her justice. Her personality did not help her cause either. This was the first time that Max had seen Sami lacking her usual self confident air. It was actually a refreshing change. She almost seemed human!

As they waited for their drinks Sami took in her surroundings and Max. He was tall with dark hair that had started to gray somewhat. It actually looked really nice. She didn’t know what to make of him. He was smiling at her and she didn’t understand why. He had a smile that went straight up to his warm brown eyes. Why had she never seen that before? To her, he was always an adversary. Someone who used charm to get what he wanted. Or so she thought. The women at court threw themselves at him, and he seemed to enjoy it. She hated it. 

Drinks were served and menus were placed on the table. 

“Maybe we should order, and then just talk about this whole thing and about how we both would like to murder Jess!” Max said with a twinkle in his eye.

“Okay,” Sami responded. She was very uncomfortable with the whole situation.

They placed their orders.

“So, what will we do with Jess?” Max asked.

“I don’t know. Jess means well. She’s always trying to set me up. And each date is worse than the last!” Sami said.

Max watched Sami. He was waiting for her to smile. But the smile never came. So he tried a different approach.

“How do you know Jess?”

“We went to college together. But, after college she got married and I went to law school. Jess thinks that everyone should be married, or at least have a partner. It’s hard to convince her otherwise.”

“How do you know Jess?” Sami asked. The Max that was sitting across from her was a lot different than the one she saw in court. She thought she really knew who he was and what he was about. Could she have been so wrong? Maybe she didn’t really know him at all. Maybe her impression of him had been skewed by her own unfortunate experiences.

“Jess and I are neighbors. I’ve been to her house a couple of times. Her kids are great!” There was that smile again.

Soon the waiter brought their meals. Slowly, as the evening progressed Sami began to relax. 

Sami smiled and her face lit up. Max was so surprised that this was the same woman he knew from court. But as the evening progressed, Sami slowly opened up more and more and Max learned that she had had several bad experiences and her reaction was that she was angry and tough and just plain hard to deal with. She saw relationships destroyed and a lot of unhappiness, hence her aversion to being in a relationship.

Sami began to realize that Max wasn’t such a bad guy. What she saw as womanizing was Max just being friendly and warm. She saw why everyone liked him and the tension that had been her only friend all this time had started to ease. She never met anyone quite like him. The question was, would she feel this way tomorrow. They had a motion on in court. Hopefully the good feeling she had now about Max, would remain and the trial would merely be about the clients and not the two lawyers. Sami actually hoped that Max would ask her out again.


It was a few days later and Sami still hadn’t spoken to Jess. She was working really long hours and Jess would certainly want all of the details. She texted her and let her know everything went well with the date, and that they would talk at a later time.

Max had seen Jess briefly one morning, as he was leaving for work. He thanked her for the introduction and said the date had been nice, but he was too busy to talk at length. Maybe another time. Jess had to be satisfied with that for now.


It was a few months later and Jess decided it was time to get the whole story. Sami seemed much happier these days, and Max was whistling as he was taking out the garbage!

Jess called Sami, who picked up immediately.

“What’s going on with you and Max?”

“We are enjoying each other!”

“Tell me everything! What was your first impression of him?” 

Sami smiled to herself and said, “Jess, you don’t want to know!”

February 04, 2022 05:03

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