Steven seemed to fill the room, and Anna couldn’t look away. Every time she tried, her eyes returned to him. He was dressed similar to the first time she had seen him, but this time the suit was gray. It was neatly pressed, and the white shirt was starched. Once again, the tie seemed out of place. This one was a dove gray color and matched the suit well, but it contained a large picture of a giraffe. Anna was fascinated by the fact that a man who appeared so conservative and serious would wear such an item. She realized she was staring at it when she heard Steven chuckle.
“Hideous, isn’t it?” he said with a smile, picking up the tie and looking at it. “Victoria gave it to me, so I have to wear it.”
“Who’s Victoria?” Anna tried to stop herself from asking, but her curiosity got the better of her. She knew Steven wasn’t married, but he said the name Victoria with such affection that she had to ask. She wasn’t sure she really wanted to know the answer.
Relief flooded through her at his simple statement. Why she was so relieved? She wasn’t interested in Steven herself. Was she? No, that couldn’t be it. Anna wasn’t looking for a relationship. She shook off the feeling.
“She has interesting taste. Did she give you the multi-colored one too?” she asked.
Steven laughed. “Yes. Tori is always trying to update my sedate image. She thinks I’m far too conservative. Since I refuse to let her take me shopping, she buys me these crazy ties. The worst part is I think she would really be offended if I didn’t wear them, and even though she lives over a thousand miles away, she would know if I didn’t.”
“Where does she live?” Anna asked.
“In Los Angeles,” Steven replied. “But she and Julie are best friends, and no matter how far away she is, Tori always know what’s going on.”
“So, you wear the ties,” Anna stated, intrigued by this aspect of his character.
Steven smiled sheepishly and nodded. “Yeah, I wear the ties.”