Authors: Ivan Rusilko
The Winemaker’s Dinner:
Dr. Ivan Rusilko
The Winemaker’s Dinner: Amuse Bouche, Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Ivan Rusilko
All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.
10000 North Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75231
First Omnific eBook edition, April 2013
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
Rusilko, Dr. Ivan.
The Winemaker’s Dinner: Amuse Bouche / Dr. Ivan Rusilko – 1st ed.
Cover Design by Micha Stone
Interior Book Design by Micha Stone
Photography by John Conroy (JohnConroyPhotography.com)
Cover Model: Dr. Ivan Rusilko and Adrianne Martinez
“I’m modeling a little, and medically I’m organizing the debut of a new weight-loss program that amps up your metabolism using—”
And then I lost my train of thought. Everything around me faded to black, and the chatter dissolved to a distant hum. At that exact second, in that perfect moment, in that precise spot, my heart stopped. A miracle had just stepped onto the dance floor.
This miracle didn’t have wings, and it didn’t have a halo. She simply didn’t need them.
All she needed was a ruby red dress—on that perfect body with that hair and those eyes. Holy shit, those eyes. Even from a distance I could decipher that they were clear pools of blue or green that a man like me could drown in. No doubt they’d sparkle like gems under the right light. I needed to get a closer look. But how?
“What, do you want us to beg?”
“What?” Oh, fuck! My ongoing conversation had totally slipped my mind. The group gathered around me now stared as if I’d suffered from a direct hit from a stun gun.
“Sorry, lost my train of thought,” I managed with what I hoped was a winning smile. “Yeah, I’m doing good. All is groovy, really.”
Underwhelmed, the group sidestepped my shitty answer and moved on to talk about TV casting or some such bullshit.
I could’ve cared less. Back to the red dress.
Fuck! Where did she go? Ahh… there she is.
I stood and admired her from afar, this lady in red who had struck me speechless and apparently completely paralyzed. Only once before had something like this happened. Irena. Irena fucking Stang. Her name sent shivers down my spine. Not particularly bad ones and not good ones, but shivers just the same.
But look at
girl. I watched her maneuver through the crowd effortlessly. Just her walk made me weak in the knees. I chuckled as every man I could see nearly broke his neck trying to catch a peek of her tight ass in the perfectly cut dress. It was hilarious and sexy as hell all at the same time. It seems hot girl in a red dress has a universal effect on the species.
I raised a complimentary eyebrow, impressed by the way she snagged two wine glasses from a passing tray and avoided the shit show gathering at the free bar along her path.
Clever girl. I like that.
But wait…who’s that other glass for?
Who was she looking for? Don’t be some old-ass playboy, please.
My stomach turned over at the thought.
Don’t be a climber, pretty girl. Please don’t be a climber.
I looked over, past Kevin and Dirk who ignored me as I remained tuned out of their conversation. Though it was probably one I should be involved in, I instead studied the possible recipients of that second glass of wine.
No. No. No. Not him. Not her… I scanned the crowd ahead of her, hoping against hope that she was there with a friend. A girl friend—no, even that wasn’t enough clarification. A girl friend, two words, not a girlfriend.
I hope. And please God, not a boyfriend.
I had to shift my position to continue watching her walk. I had to be sure it was as mesmerizing as it had been when I first noticed her. It was.
Jesus, the last thing I need is a hard-on in the middle of this party but look at that ass in that dress. I love short dresses. Uff, what I would do to that…
I peeled my eyes away and got myself in check. My thoughts were headed to a place they shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t talk about her in such a way—not even just to myself. Not yet at least.
Turning my gaze back to her possible destination, I searched until… BINGO! The cute girl in the blue. That’s got to be her, look how excited she looks. I’d be just as excited if ruby red were walking my way.
I watched as they exchanged glasses and hugs. Perfect. She’s here with a friend.
I scrutinized their body language and interaction for a second to be sure.
Naw, just a friend.
This revelation was accompanied by a wave of tingling nerves through my body. What the fuck? I don’t get befuddled very often—in business, life, or love—but this girl had me twisted.
“So you think you can help us with this in Miami?” Kevin asked me, his eyes expectant.
“Hell, yeah!” I answered enthusiastically though I had no idea what I’d just committed to. Kevin was a guy you said yes to first and then figured out how to make it work no matter what. He could turn shit into gold in under three phone calls.
“Fantastic,” he said with a smile and pat on my arm. “I knew I could count on you.”
I’d better figure this out quick. They were talking about…TV shows. Right. “So what’s the demographic?” I asked, praying silently it was a reasonable question.
“We’re thinking twenties through fifties, men and women. Mostly men, though. We want to corner that market. It’s untapped.”
Not much help. Okay, how about this… “And the main competition, in your opinion?”
“Well, the Food Network, of course.”
Ahh… something to do with cooking. Piece of cake. Literally. “Yeah, no problem.” But what am I doing? Finding venues? Sponsors? Casting? “Any requirements?”
“Well, just like I said, I need a fun personality, easy to look at. A new, upcoming face who looks great on camera, has a creative edge, and can cook. That’s about it.”
Casting. Got it. “Well, there are chefs—good ones, too—all over Miami. I’ll sort you out.”
“Don’t fail me now.”
“Have I yet?”
“We shall see! Now, how about some more wine and a cigar?”
“Groovy. Let’s hit up the front bar by the dance floor. Seems like that one’s clearing out.”
As I turned to follow him through the crowd, I couldn’t help but cast another glance to make sure my girl was still at her table. Table 9. She looked even better now—as if that were possible—in the setting sun. I started a romantic checklist to confirm whether this lightning in a bottle might be for real:
Ability to dumbfound: CHECK (one of the hardest checks to achieve)
Body: No doubt. CHECK
Face: A beauty from what I could tell from afar. Check. But I need to confirm.
Wine drinker: CHECK. Red. DOUBLE CHECK!
Single: God, I hope.
I have to talk to her tonight, or at least get a closer look. I need this. It’s way past time for me to grow some balls and go after what I want. Take a chance. Put myself out there.
Come on. You can do it.