today, I have Lucian Cole with me, talking about how he feels about family and his wife, Ellie.
Their story starts on shaky ground.
Lucian Cole was the exact copy of a successful businessman. From his custom-tailored suits to his dedication to his tech company, he lived for work. But lately, a restlessness had come over him, and it had been driving him to find someone to share his life with.
Easier said than done.
The women he dated were more interested in his money and his position in life than getting to know him, and he started to think that he would never find the right woman. Seeing his sister’s happiness with his best friend had given him hope that something might change, but after years of choosing work over dating, he might had to admit to himself that he missed the one woman he was meant to be with.
Ellie Roth loved color, art, and design, and it permeated every part of her life. She had settled into her career over the years, finding that she managed projects more than she designed, and each day she found that she missed letting her creative side shine through. Although her life hadn’t gone exactly the way she planned, she’s stunned when she receives a wedding invitation from her ex-boyfriend and her old roommate. And now she needs a date, the sooner the better.
At her friend Nina’s suggestion, Ellie made an appointment with Rebecca Kane at Liaison to ask for the slim chance that one of her escorts could pretend to be her boyfriend. What she hadn’t counted on was meeting Lucian Cole and her instant attraction to the man. But with his expensive suit, his perfectly combed hair, and his gorgeous face, she knew that he wasn’t meant for her.
After presenting her request to Rebecca, Lucian quickly offers to pose as her boyfriend. Pushing aside her attraction, she knew that nothing could come from her interest to Lucian and scoffed at the idea. They were complete opposites. But the more she refused, the more he charmed his way into her life, until she found herself agreeing to the preposterous plan.
Lucian Thomas Cole, CEO of Thomas Cole Technologies, is here with me today. I know how busy you are, thank you for taking the time for being here. Even before meeting Ellie, you were a successful businessman, with a great family behind you. You must have been satisfied with your life.
I was, with my work and my family, but I was missing something in my life.
I guess I know were you’re going, but can you be more specific?
I had watched as my sister had fallen in love and married my best friend and I found the restlessness that had been in the background for years, came to the forefront, and I wanted a relationship with a woman who loved me for who I was, not what I was or how much money I had. It wasn’t until I met Ellie that my life became complete, and now yes, I am very happy with my life. I hope that was specific enough.
It was, thanks (the guy sure knows how to smile–and get away with cheeks). Your thoughts on love before Ellie.
I grew up with parents who had shown me and my siblings what love could be. We were a close knit family, but our parents made it a point to spend time together and made sure that the other knew how much they were loved, and that is what I wanted.
On what occasions do you lie?
When I first met Ellie, she had arrived at my sister’s escort service requesting a date for her ex-boyfriend’s wedding and when I volunteered, Ellie objected immediately. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to get to know her, and have her get to know me, lied. I told her I was an escort and wanted to get to know her.
Yes, uh oh. She knew immediately that I wasn’t, and while it didn’t deter me, I did feel guilty until I told her the truth. Ellie forgave me and I’m grateful, every day, that I didn’t damage our relationship.
What do you value the most?
My wife, Ellie, and the relationships I have with my family and friends.
I love how committed you are, and in love, with your wife. But has it always been like this? What was your first impression of Ellie when you met her?
She was breathtaking. From her beautiful ice-blue eyes to her long, dark hair streaked with purple that brought out the color in her eyes. But it was her smile that made me realize that she was what I wanted. When she smiled at me, I felt as though I’d been given a gift.
What do you like about her the most?
What don’t I like about her? She is a brilliant artist, capturing expressions and landscapes in a way that makes everything she draws or paints seem magical. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, always going out of her way to make those around her comfortable. She’s protective of those in her small circle of friends and family, and she loves wholeheartedly. And there is not one moment in the day when I don’t know that she loves me.
Here’s a little bit of what you’ll find in their story.
“You don’t look like an escort—you look like a Wall Street tycoon. I’m an artist; we’re opposites.”
She noticed that his eyes darted to Rebecca and they shared a look she couldn’t decipher, before he turned back to face her. She hoped that he realized that she was right, that they weren’t compatible, even as her heart kicked in her chest at the thought of him giving up.
“I don’t work on Wall Street, and I don’t think we’re all that different.”
She relaxed a fraction as relief passed over her. It seemed that her body knew what it wanted, even though her brain couldn’t decide whether Lucian was a good idea or a bad one.
During her internal debate, he chose to move closer to her. She didn’t retreat this time, and he stopped a few inches away from her. His scent washed over her, and it reminded her of walking deep in the forest in the rain. She wanted to lean into him and lay her head down on his chest, to hear his heartbeat and feel his arms wrap around her. Her eyes raked up his body until she gazed in the green depths of his, drawing out a gasp from her, and at the same time, the rational side of her mind felt muted and slow.
“I’m not sleeping with you,” she whispered.
His hands landed on her shoulders in a gentle hold and as he laughed, the deep, happy sound reverberated throughout her entire body. His touch spread warmth and sent sparks shooting up her arm and straight into her chest. She had just gotten used to his hands on her, when he pulled her against him until her cheek rested right above his heart, and she noticed that it was beating as fast as hers was. She was surprised that he wasn’t immune to her. He pulled back slightly to look her in the eye.
“I’m your date, and Rebecca doesn’t allow escorts to sleep with her clients, so you don’t have to worry about that.”
“We’re too different.”
His brows drew down as she kept up with her faltering arguments.
“I’m a graphic designer, I have purple streaks in my hair, I’m shorter than you by at least a foot. I feel that we won’t be able to find common ground before the wedding, and I don’t feel like explaining to everyone why someone as gorgeous as you would date someone like me.”
He gave her hard look. “You’re grasping for any excuse, but trust me, it’ll work.”
She had never been as torn by a decision as she was at the moment, wrapped in Lucian’s arms. It would be easy to give in and get to know him, but she had come to Liaison for practical reasons, not to give in to her attraction. He had stirred something in her since the moment he’d walked in the office, and she didn’t know whether she was strong enough to deny him anything.
“Can I think about it?”
He backed up a bit more and scanned her face for a few seconds, before he nodded in agreement.
“Can I get your number?” he asked.
Hesitantly she admitted, “Rebecca has all my information.”
He nodded and stepped back to the edge of the large desk, crossing his arms and legs as he leaned against it and gave her space to get her breathing back to normal.
She relaxed the muscles she’d locked when he’d been near and looked down at her hands as they gripped her sketchbook. She noticed that her hands shook a little as she reached for the sketch she finished before they entered the room. She managed to remove it from the book, and feeling more in control of herself, walked toward the desk and handed it to Rebecca.
“I thought you might like this,” she said as Rebecca took the sketch from her.
Rebecca’s eyes widened as she looked down at the drawing and her eyes filled with tears. Ellie scrambled around the desk and placed her hand on the other woman’s back, hoping to comfort her.
“I didn’t mean to upset you…” Ellie started.
Rebecca wiped away the tears before she set down the drawing on her desk and pulled Ellie into a crushing hug. “Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s beautiful.”
Ellie patted Rebecca’s back and squeezed once, before she drew back with a smile.
“You and the man in the picture look so happy that I couldn’t help myself. I’m glad you like it.”
“It’s perfect. You have a real talent,” Rebecca said.
“Thank you, and thanks for all your help.”
Ellie stepped back and glanced at Lucian. Heat flared in his eyes, making them shine like a banked emerald fire. The intensity in which he looked at her left her shaken. She walked around to the other side of the desk, to where she had left her messenger bag, and shoved her things inside. She smiled one more time at Rebecca, but as she turned to exit the office, Lucian grasped her elbow.
“I’ll walk you out,” he said.
If you want to follow Valerie, the pen that narrated Lucas’ tale, you can find her on:
I hope you enjoyed this interview, I’ll see you guys next week!