Erika Martin and A. Scott Bolden, newly engaged. (Courtesy of Erika Martin and A. Scott Bolden)

Perhaps it was inevitable that Washington lawyer A. Scott Bolden would find happiness with a reality-TV veteran. With clients ranging from Albert Haynesworth and Adrian Fenty’s frat brothers to White House crasher Carlos Allen and “Real Housewife” Cat Ommanney , the guy is a proven magnet for drama.

But when a friend first suggested to Erika Martin two years ago that she try dating Bolden, it sure didn’t sound like destiny to her.

“My response was ‘Hell, no!’” she recalled Monday. Her take on him: “Arrogant, pompous, owns the room.”

Bolden, 50, was equally wary of Martin, 47, a fashion sales consultant and Washington native who created some drama of her own in a supporting role and a brief but memorable catfight on “The Real Housewives of D.C.” His impression: “She’s beautiful, bright, has a lot of confidence — just difficult.”

He finally called, and she agreed to a lunch three weeks later. “My ego doesn’t support three weeks out,” he told her — and when he offered her all his contact information, in case her schedule opened up at short notice, she was moved by his candor: “A lot of guys wouldn’t do that.”

After they had been dating for just a few weeks, Bolden left town to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He arranged in advance to send her a gift every other day during his absence, and while on the mountain he kept a journal of his thoughts for her, in which she saw his more gentle and sensitive side.

“All of this was so counter to what I had thought of him,” Martin told us over lunch, as Bolden’s eyes lit up.

“Write that down!” he said. “That I am truly a humble person! Humbled by the power of love!”

Martin rolled her eyes.

On a trip to France last month, he surprised her with a dazzling engagement ring at the bottom of her champagne flute during a tour of the Veuve Clicquot house in Reims. Nice trick, she said, but wasn’t he forgetting something?

“I want to see A. Scott Bolden get on his knee,” she demanded. And so he did.

“That,” he told us, “is where you can put ‘humble.’”

Read earlier: The attorney who met his adult daughter for the first time, 5/23/10

D.C. lawyer out of his comfort zone on Kilimanjaro hike, 10/20/10

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