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The next day after Ethan left Madison's house was a Monday. He was back to his normal self, although the sadness still lingered somewhere within him. He was already used to it though and so, he kept himself busy with work until it was a little past lunchtime. By the time he got to the restaurant at which he and most of his workpeople ate, the majority of his colleagues had finished their meals and had gone back to the office. He sat down alone at a table, which was actually what he preferred, and was slowly eating his food. After taking about three bites, he glanced up and was dismayed to see the lady from last night steadily making her way towards him with her tray of food, all smiles. Where on earth had she come from?

"Hello, Ethan. How are you doing today?" Madison asked as she sat down with her food, not waiting for an invitation or asking for one.

"What on earth are you doing here?" Ethan asked in something akin to dismay, although he tried to hide it.

"Um, I work here."

"Here? At the restaurant? I have never seen you here before."

"No, I don't mean at the restaurant. My office is just a few blocks away from here. I saw you sitting alone and I decided to come over. I have seen you several times in this restaurant, though." She said, and described where her office was, her mouth full of food.

"Oh okay. That's good. Our workplaces are opposite each other."

They made polite chit-chat while they ate and then walked back together toward their offices. Madison was very chatty the whole while, and Ethan tried his best to be polite.

"Thanks for the company, both on Saturday night and this afternoon, although I must say I have not been a very impressive host," Ethan said ruefully as they paused in front of her office.

"I'm not complaining," Madison said. "However, since you feel that way about it, you may make it up to me this evening by inviting me for dinner or taking me out to dinner. It's your call which one you want to do."

Ethan laughed a little and although he didn't think it was a good idea since he wasn't interested in a relationship of any sort, he decided to oblige her. She did not say she wanted a relationship anyway. She was probably trying to be nice.

"I'm not much of a cook, but I would like to thank you for your assistance the other night. So I'll put my best into preparing you a dish and then you can come over tonight."

"That is great. I'll like that." Madison beamed at him and they exchanged numbers after Ethan described his house to her, before parting.

Madison arrived at his house promptly by seven in the evening. Ethan had prepared steak and baked potatoes and while it didn't taste like a world-renowned cook prepared it, it was still much better than many bachelors would have done. She assisted him in setting the table and then dug into the food as though it was the best thing that she had ever tasted. Also, she kept complimenting him as though he had treated her to a meal at the best restaurant in the world.

Ethan watched her in amusement, thinking how very much like Mildred she was. Mildred was also a food enthusiast and he enjoyed cooking the few dishes he knew how to make for her. When they finished eating, she helped him with the dishes, and then Ethan brought out a bottle of wine which they sipped while sitting on the sofa and talking about different things. Ethan began to relax a little. He could see himself easily becoming friends with someone like Madison. She was quite intelligent and also funny holding a conversation was easy with her. They were on their second glasses of wine when Madison leaned in and planted her lips against Ethan's own.

He gasped in surprise as he was not expecting it and she used the opportunity to slip her soft pink tongue into his open mouth. Ethan did not know what to think or feel, so he just sat there immobile while she kissed him passionately until she moaned and shifted position so that her breasts were pressed against his chest. He flew up from the couch as though a poisonous snake had bitten him and stared down at her with something akin to horror. Her lipstick was smeared over her mouth and he unconsciously brought his hand up to his mouth to wipe at it. All he could see as he looked down at her like this was Mildred's face.

"I'm sorry." He blurted out miserably. "I can't."

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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