Secrets in the Bottle
Eve Sanders turns the key to her brand-new office. The anticipation is making her hands shake wildly. With the light creak of the door, Eve opens the office of her brand-new interior decorating business “Décor La Magie”. She walks over to her immaculately decorated desk and opens her emails in hopes of getting a new assignment. There’s nothing interesting except junk mail but still feeling the fresh excitement, Eve goes to make herself her first cup of coffee before buckling down on some marketing.
She steps away from her computer to her coffee kiosk when suddenly a ring from her computer announces an email. With her cup of coffee in hand, Eve puts her cursor on the email and opens it. It’s from a man named Daniel Quinn. Eve’s mouth drops open when she looks at the name. The Daniel Quinn whom she remembers reading about in Avenue Magazine.
He is quite infamous since he is known as a cutthroat businessman with a very private personal life. People know that he runs an immaculate wine business that sends their vintages all over the world. He is well known that way but you do not dare cross him. In fact, the last paparazzi photographer that crossed him was black-listed by all magazines, photography studios, and even in chain stores. The last that the world has heard of this photographer was that he turned to drugs and became homeless.
So why is he contacting her? She’s not known. In fact, she is just graduated from college. So, what does he want with her? Eve reads the words on her email hoping to find answers.
“Dearest Eve Sanders,
I am reaching out to you in hopes that you will bring your decorating expertise to the branch I am opening here in Calgary. I want fresh blood on this which is why I am contacting you. I would like to invite you over to my penthouse/office, for dinner tonight to discuss this. I eagerly await your response and please bring your portfolio.”
His invitation to dine with him in his home sounds kind of strange but intriguing as well. He is a powerful man and he is reaching out to her. She looks up from her computer to think about what it can do for her business if she accepts this. It is risky since she doesn’t know him and he could be a serial rapist or killer. But if he isn’t and he seriously wants her help. It can be life-changing to say the least. She types up an email back to him and says she will join him for dinner. As soon as she sends it, Eve wonders if she made the right choice.
That night dressed in her best red dress, Eve stands outside of “the Oculus,” One of the ritziest condos in city. She looks up in awe of this incredible building. After several seconds, Eve snaps out of her trance and walks to the doorman whose name is Jake. When they look at each other, Eve tells him, “Eve Sanders is here to see Daniel Quinn.”
The doorman nods and steps aside to let her in. Clearly, he knows about the appointment. He wishes her a pleasant evening and she walks in.
Eve makes it to the penthouse suite. She takes a deep breath in, straightens her dress, and nervously knocks on the door. Clutching the portfolio to her chest, she awaits the owner to open the door. When he does, Eve sees a startlingly handsome man in front of her. Clearly the media photos don’t do him justice. His sleek-backed blonde hair, striking grey eyes bring out an enigmatic side of him, and his long slender body is what every woman would dream of touching. He gives a sexy smile as he steps aside.
“Welcome Miss Sanders. My name is Daniel and I am pleased that you have accepted my invitation.” He says politely and she walks in only to get blown away by the opulence of his front entry alone. There is a stairwell with a bright crystal chandelier sparkling with its surreal light. She looks around to see that the décor is modern, dark, and excitingly romantic.
“May I take your coat?” Daniel asks plainly but seductively.
“Yes, Thank you.” She replies liking his gentlemanly manners. After he puts her coat in the closet beside the door, Daniel reaches to shake her hand. When she takes it her heart skips so many beats that she thinks she is going to pass out.
“Please come with me and I’ll explain why I wanted to you here.” He leads the way to the dining room where there is a table set in a romantic, date-like atmosphere that has Eve standing and staring with her mouth open. He clearly sees her discomfort and explains. “Please feel no distress. I brought you here and am prepared to feed you because of the assignment I need you to do.”
Eve smiles and nods at him as she sits in the chair that he pulls out for her. In front of her, she sees a bottle of merlot yet to be opened. The bottle has a black label with golden writing, like it is something rich and regal. Watching him pour the wine, Eva watches the red gothic-looking liquid spill gracefully into the glass. After Daniel sets the wine glass in front of her, Eve picks it up, stirs her glass, and smells the liquid inside. The spicy smell of cloves hits her nose first but then she smells the fresh fruity smells of blackberries that finishes off with sweet smells of both vanilla and cocoa. Eve gets the sensation that this wine will feel like velvet on her tongue. Daniel walks over to her, places a small plate in front of her and presents a small buffet of food on the table. In front of her is cheese fondue, a small salad, tortellini in red sauce and a slice of chocolate cake.
“These delicacies I am about to show you will pair with this wine perfectly.” He explains as he takes the corkscrew to open the wine. “I want you to tell me what each sip brings to you after every bite.”
“May I ask why?” Eve inquires confused.
“Of course.” He says and archly looks at her. “But I won’t explain just yet. I want your opinion first hand without any hints.”
As confused as ever. Eve goes along with his request. Daniel sits across from her flipping through her portfolio as Eve eats every plate in front of her. With each taste of the food with the wine brings something very different to her palate.
“Everything tastes so different with this wine.” Eve tells Daniel. “It’s hard to describe but after I take a sip of this wine, it reminds me of being in a dark castle where everything smells of earth like its underground. It makes my heart race like I’m a wild animal looking for my prey. And this food is my prey and when I feel its flavors touch my tongue, I feel…released!” She pauses studying him as he considers her. “Does that make any sense?”
He looks at her and smiles wickedly at her. Daniel puts down the portfolio and rests his hands under his chin and speaks. “Entirely. You would be perfect for this job.” Eve watches him stand up and slowly but seductively walk towards her. “You see Miss Sanders. I have been looking everywhere for you.”
“A person who can feel and create by what they taste. Not by just by what they see.” Daniel explains as he leans his hip up against the table beside her plate. “You are like a predator that is on the hunt and you hunt for blood. That is how I am, and that is what I want from my decorator.” Eve swallows as Daniel continues to explain. “I want you to take what you tasted from this wine and create it’s dark secrets in my branch here along with a restaurant I have recently purchased which will feature my wines exclusively.”
Eve inhales a breath of surprise. He wants her to take on not just one but two major assignments. She can’t say anything right now but her eyes definitely give him an answer. A grin spreads on his face as if he is the wolf and she is the deer falling into his trap. It both unnerves and excites her which renders her speechless.
“You will be well compensated of course. I will also pass your name off to other big names, so expect yourself to be very busy. I imagine your heart rate will increase more than it is right now.”
“Oh!” Eve breaths out and laughs at herself. “Yes of course I accept. I’m just surprised that it is happening this fast.”
“Call it “new blood serendipity”. And yours is the freshest blood that I need to sate my thirs…taste.” He says somewhat sinisterly. He stands up and walks towards the door as she stands, grabs her portfolio that he set down beside her, and follows him. He opens his closet to take out her coat. “I will be in touch and I’m glad that I snapped you up before anyone else can.”
His smile finally opens up to reveal his perfect albeit sharp white teeth that practically hypnotizes Eve. After he puts her coat on, Eve clears her throat as she holds out her hand. “I’ll be in touch, Daniel.”
“I look forwards to it Eve.” He says and suddenly changes the subject. “I like that name, Eve. It reminds me of the darkest nights where I drink one of my finest reds.”
As Eve blushes, Daniel takes her hand, turns it over and presses his lips to the veins on her wrist. She swears that she can hear a cross between a purr and a growl escape from his lips. “Your scent is most intoxicating. Have a good evening, Eve.”
He leans casually up against the door as she leaves. She walks out finding her heart racing like it never has before. She quickly walks out of the building and finds herself unable to stop thinking about Daniel. The way he looked at her and spoke to her was really odd. She gets in her uber and realizes that he did not touch any of the food that he served either. Then there was the weird noise he made kissing her wrist and his smile she could swear looked like he had fangs. But that can’t be. Can it?
Before she reaches her apartment building, she thinks about how this job is too good to be true but also a legitimate one. There is something disturbing about Daniel Quinn. Eve can’t decide if she has just made the biggest and most dangerous mistake of her life. But that is just a silly feeling. Isn’t it?
Special Thanks to:
The Living Room - For a wonderful wining and dining experience. Super Yummy! 514 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B1 http://livingroomrestaurant.ca/
Olympic Plaza - For some gorgeous pieces and sights. 228 8 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2P 2M5 https://www.calgary.ca/csps/parks/locations/downtown-parks/olympic-plaza.html