Put Up Your Kingdom For Sale

Chapter 5 - First Date…

Zac walked into his condo, dog-tired, and threw his keys onto the table by the door. The living room was sparsely furnished, with just a couch and large Lazyboy recliner, glass coffee table, a large entertainment system, and a fireplace. There was a closet on the far left-hand wall and two doors.
There was a large breakfast area off the living room, with a sliding door out into the small back yard. Off the breakfast area was the kitchen.
It was small compared to the kitchen in Taylor and Ike’s houses, but it suited him just fine. The stove was on the center island, with the oven right underneath it. The sink was along the far wall, and the dishwasher and microwave next to it. The refrigerator stood to the left of the center island, while the pantry stood next to the fridge. The wall to the right of the island lead to the mudroom, which was then attached to the garage.
The dining room was secluded, with a fireplace attached to the one in the living room. It worked well for private dinners.
He walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and pulled out a bottle of coke and a thing of left over lomien. He walked back into the living room and sat down in his recliner to watch some TV and eat.

“Time for bed…” Zac said, putting his ceramic chopsticks in the dishwasher.
He opened the door into the mudroom and threw his empty coke bottle in the recycle bin. Yawning, he walked through the kitchen, breakfast area, and living room to his bedroom, which was the door along the left most wall in the living room.
He pulled off his shirt and flung it down the short hallway to his closet; it landing in the hamper he kept there. He unbuttoned and unzipped his shorts and kicked them into the hamper as well. Clad in just his boxers, Zac unstrapped his watch, placed in on his night table, and fell into bed, falling asleep almost immediately.

Zac awoke the next morning to the sound of a telephone. He reached over and picked up the neon blue phone on his night table.
“Hello?” he said tiredly.
“Yo Zac, did I wake you?” said Ike’s voice over the line.
“No, I normally sound like this…”
”Right. The execs are coming in. You’ve gotta be at the studio in half an hour.”
”Right… I’ll be there. Make sure Tay knows you talked to me?”
”Sure. See ya bro.”
Zac hung up and rolled himself out of bed. He walked into his closet and picked up a new pair of boxers, some tan shorts, and a dark blue polo shirt. He then proceeded into his bathroom.
Turning the shower on, he put his clothes on the vanity and pulled out his hair band. Throwing that onto the counter with the countless others, he stepped into the shower, closing his eyes and inviting the warmth. Despite the fact that it was summer, he was freezing because of the air conditioner. The hot water felt good.

Zac closed the door behind him as he left his condo and walked over to his car. Despite the fact that he had a two-car garage, he never really used it. His driveway was long, and pulled in front of his deck, and then looped around a tree and then pulled into the garage. He just parked in front of the porch and backed out of the drive.

Zac pulled into the studio parking lot and once he was out of the car, bolted
inside. Tay and Ike looked up at him from the booth and waved him in. He walked in, said hello to his brothers, and sat down behind his drums.
“Let’s lay this track, then we’ll have something to give the execs.” Ike said, strumming his guitar.
“Right.” Tay agreed, running a finger up the keys on his piano.
“You got it!” Zac said, twirling his drumsticks.

“So you see gentlemen, we’ve got our material all set, we’ve just got to get a free day or two and sit down to work on it.” Taylor said, handing his lyrics and sheet music to the execs that sat at the large conference table in the “conference” room.
“Yes, very impressive. How long would you say before this is ALL laid down?” one of them asked.
“About three or four months.” said Ike, tuning his guitar.
“Then should we start with promotional advertisement?”
”Sure, why not? The fans already know it’s coming out, so why keep them in suspense? Release this as the first single…” Zac suggested.
“WHAT?!” his brothers shouted.
“Well, the population of Hanson fans hasn’t decreased at all and the number of fan sites has increased by thousands. They all know, thanks to the Internet and our home page, that the album will be coming out in the next few months. I don’t see why we should keep all of the material a secret.”
”You have a point. Gentlemen?” Ike asked, looking at them expectantly.
“We’ll get on it right away. Have a nice day boys.”
With that said, the execs walked out, and the three brothers gave one another high fives.
“That went well. What do you say we go grab a bite to eat?” asked Taylor as his stomach growled.
“Sure. I’m thinking a nice burger…” said Ike.
“Me too.” added Zac, picking up his keys and turning to leave.
“How about that new place… what was it called…?”
”Hanson Café?” said Ike, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah! That’s it.”
“Sure. Let’s go.”
The three walked out of the studio, and Zac pulled down his sunglasses. He got in his Sadan and took off.

“Well, I’m gonna head home. I ate way too much and plan on sleeping it off.” Zac said, standing.
“I should get going too. I promised Candy I’d pick her up from her exam and we’d hit the mall.” added Ike, standing and leaving money on the table for his meal.
“Okay, okay, I get the picture. I’ll see you two in the morning.”
The three of them walked out of the “Hanson Café” and went their own ways. As Zac pulled out of the parking lot, he noticed a piece of paper on the dash.
“Eve Fae, 782-5537.” he read as he pulled up to a red light. “I should probably call and make up that lunch…”
He picked up his car phone and dialed the number. After three rings, someone picked up.
“Hello?” a woman’s voice said.
“Hi, Eve?”
”Yes, who’s this?”
”Zac Hanson. I’m calling about our lunch date?”
”Of course.”
“Are you free tomorrow afternoon?”
”No, I’m sorry. I’ve got to go to New York tomorrow afternoon, I won’t be back for two weeks.”
”I see… well, how about dinner tonight, I’ll cook?”
”Well… I guess I can’t turn down a home cooked meal, can I? What time and where?”
”Uh… is 6 okay?”
”That’s fine.”
”Great. My address, it’s 383 Vanwagner Road, just off the parkway. You can’t miss it.”
”I know where that is… so I’ll be over around 6 then.”
”Whenever, I’ll be getting home in about an hour or so.”
”Okay. I’ll see you then.”
”Right. Bye Eve.”
”Bye Zac.”

Eve hung up her phone and flopped back on her bed in a fit of laughter. Gathering her senses, she sat up and ran into her huge closet. She pulled out a short black skirt and held it up to her waist. It came to her mid thigh and had small triangular slits at the bottom hem, to prevent it from pulling down. She smiled and rummaged through her shirts.
She pulled a tight gray blue shirt with ¾ sleeves and a very low ‘v’ neckline, dark purple and white flowers embroidered along the hem. The waist line hem raised above her belly button when she held her arms out or up, or too far back, so she would definitely need something there.
She pulled a pair of clunky looking black suede heels off the rack and walked out of the closet. She put everything onto her bed and then looked at her dresser. She grabbed the skirt and shirt and ran back into the closet.
She flung them onto a shelf and pulled a short black sheath dress with a high back and low scoop neckline out. It also had no sleeves. She smiled again and found the blood red silk over shirt she normally wore with the dress. It came to about one inch below the bottom hem of the dress itself, and the sleeves were long and loose at the wrist with silver cufflinks, a ruby in the center.
Eve had been known to over dress, but she didn’t think it would hurt… at least not this time. She hung the dress on the canopy of the bed to keep it from getting wrinkled, and walked over to her dresser. She pulled out a pair of stockings and then her under garments before running into her bathroom.

Zac glanced over at the clock. 5:38. He turned his attention back over to the pasta he was boiling, and then he checked the lobster. The sauce had been done for a little while and he had it turned on the lowest flame to keep it warm. He glanced back at the clock. Still 5:38.
As he walked over to the refrigerator to get another stick of butter, the phone rang. He reached over and answered.
“Hello, Zac speaking?”
”Hi sweetie.” Claire’s voice chimed.
“Hey Claire, what’s up?”
”Daddy’s making his famous Chicken Marsala, and wanted to know if you’d like to come over for dinner?”
”Oh, I wish I could hon, but an old friend of mine is here. He’s only staying in town for a day or two and thought he would stop by.”
”I understand. I’ll save you a nice plate, okay?”
”Sure. I’m really sorry.”
”Don’t worry about it. Why don’t I come by tomorrow morning, say around 8, with your plate and we can spend the day with Ike and Candy at the fair?”
”Sounds like a plan to me.”
”All right then, I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you.”
”I know. Love you too.”
They hung up and Zac put the phone back in its charger. He glanced back at the clock, 5:44.

Eve pulled her corvette up Zac’s long driveway. He was right, it was an easy place to find. She turned off the engine and stepped out of the car. Tossing her keys into the small black bag she had brought. She pushed a misplaced black hair out of her eyes and walked up the porch steps. She inhaled deeply and rang the doorbell.
She heard a crash, and then a muffled curse. She smiled as Zac opened the door.
He was dressed in a pair of tan slacks and a dark blue long sleeved dress shirt, a black tie around his neck. His hair was left down, and reached a little bit below his shoulders. He pushed a lock back behind his ears and smiled.
“Come on in.” he said, moving aside and motioning for Eve to come in.
“Thank you.” she replied, walking in, noting the vacuum marks on the floor.
“Can I take you purse?”
She handed Zac her small purse and watched as he walked to the coat closet and hung it on the back of the door, obviously where he kept his keys or something. He walked back over and smiled.
“Make yourself at home. Dinner’s almost ready.”
”It smells wonderful, what is it?”
”You’ll see. Can I get you anything?”
”No, thank you.”
Zac smiled and nodded and headed back into the kitchen. Eve looked around the living room, finding the pictures on the mantle very interesting.
“Are these you brothers and sisters?” she asked.
“The middle photo? Yeah.” Zac called from the kitchen. “The blonde with glasses with Taylor is Phyllis, his fiancé, and the brunette with Ike is Candice, his girlfriend.”
“They look very happy.”
“They are… Okay, Dinner is served.”
Zac walked out of the kitchen, and extended his hand to Eve. She smiled and took his arm, letting him guide her through the kitchen to the dinning room. She gasped at the sight.
Two tall white taper candles sat glowing softly on the table, a small blue orchid bouquet between them. The tablecloth was black, to accent the orchids, and the fireplace offered the only other light. He pulled her chair out for her, and then moved her in towards the table. She unfolded her napkin politely and waited for Zac to remove the silver cover over her plate.
“Lobster and Pasta ala Zac.” he said, removing the cover to reveal a perfect plate of Angel hair pasta, tossed with what smelled like a butter and garlic sauce, and the most perfect lobster she had ever seen. She had a small dish of melted butter before her plate, and “claw crackers” next to her knife. She looked up at Zac with a mischievous look on her face.
“You didn’t really make this, did you?”
”Yes ma’am, I did. Actually, I took a course at the culinary in NY for a year, just to learn all this. I’ve always wanted to know how the food we ate was prepared, and now I do. Try it.”
She twirled a few strands of pasta on her fork and took a piece of the lobster that was already cracked. She chewed it slowly, and her smile grew as she chewed it.
“It’s superb Zac!”
”I’m glad you like it. I honestly didn’t know what to make, but then I thought about it. You looked like the kind of person that would enjoy something fancy, maybe even Italian, so I thought, heck, I’ll give it a whirl.”
”Well, you really hit the nail on the head. Pasta is one of my favorite foods, and I absolutely love lobster.”
”I’m glad.”
He poured them both a glass of Champagne and then seated himself. He watched as Eve took another bite of the pasta.

“Ach!” Eve laughed as her lobster refused to cooperate.
“Would you like some help?”
”This is not working!”
”Here, let me.”
Zac stood up and walked over to stand behind Eve. He took the cracker and then * CRRRAAACCKK * the lobster opened, and Eve laughed.
“Thank you Zac.”
”No problem.”

Zac brought two plates of devil’s food cake out into the living room, along with two glasses of milk. Eve laughed and moved over. They had gotten to know each other better, and she knew that he would move soon enough.
“Here, try a piece.” he said, handing her a plate.
“Don’t mind if I do.” she replied, smiling and taking the plate from him.
She took a bite and nearly gagged on the intense chocolate flavor. Zac was worried.
“It’s really chocolaty.” she said, swallowing.
“Is that good, or bad?”
”That’s good. I like chocolate. It’s good for many things.”
”Okay… phew… at first I thought you didn’t like it or something.”
”No, it’s very good, just like everything else you’ve made.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
”I meant it as one. Now, how did you get so much chocolate into this?”
”It’s made from scratch, and I just added more chocolate. I mean, syrup, cocoa, chocolate chips, even fudge.”
”Well, I must say, I’ve never had anything like it.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
They ate in silence for awhile, before Eve put her plate down and turned to look at Zac. He sensed that something was a miss.
“Eve, is something wrong?”
”Zac, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would think of you. But… well, you’re a true gentleman. I remember I took my friend’s daughter to see you at Albertane, and you were a wild man. But, you’re different now…”
”I don’t know what to say to that…”
”I don’t expect you to say anything, I just felt it had to be said.”
Without even letting him start a sentence, she leaned in and kissed him lightly on the lips. He didn’t pull back… instead, he put his hands on either side of her face and kissed her thoroughly. She didn’t protest.
Her hands snaked themselves around his neck, and then down his chest, untying his black tie. He leaned her back against the couch arm, and moved his kisses down her jaw and neck.
“Zac…” she whispered into his hair.
He took that as a cue and slowly sat up with her. She pulled away and took off into Zac’s bedroom. He wasn’t far behind.
“You minx.” he said, stalking over to her.
“You’re sure you want to do this?”
”Do you even have to ask?”

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