The first sip of the large Pinot Grigio blush touching Sophie’s tongue soothes a long day of work, banishing the thoughts of pretentious clients and her overworking, hard-ass boss until tomorrow.
Her shoulders drop, and she exhales deeply, altering her expression from irritated to a small smile brightening her round pale face. Her light brown eyes glisten in the spotlight lit bar as they observe the ambience surrounding her. The tables are full, the dance floor is bustling, yet this city bar has plenty more to come.
Three drinks down, with no company, her small empty table has her feeling lonely in a crowded room. Sophie runs her forefinger around the rim of her glass, telling herself it’s time to leave. One drink was the plan; she has work in the morning, a five a.m. alarm to be precise. She downs the last sip and stands, brushing the creases from her high waisted skirt and blazer and heads to the bar.
“Thank you,” she says to the bartender, placing down her glass.
“Good night Miss,” he nods, rushing amongst the Friday night crowd.
She gives a small wave and turns, knocking into someone close behind her, dropping her bag, emptying its contents as it scatters the wooden floor.
“Shit, I’m so sorry,” a husky voice says as he drops to his knees collected the items trying to flee.
“It’s fine. It’s fine,” Sophie says, quickly refilling her bag, taking them from his hand as he hands them to her.
She rises to her kitten heels, threads her fingers through her long, curly chestnut hair and gasps as she gets the first look at him.
“Wow,” she whispers, placing her lipstick covered lip between her teeth. His eyes widen, and his dark blue stare weakens her knees as she inhales his tempting vanilla musk, and he finds himself captivated, frozen to the spot as the bartender attempts to regain his attention.
“Huh, sorry. A whisky and a bottle of Peroni, please,” he says.
Sophie discreetly licks her lips, turns and takes two steps towards the exit. She stops, looks back and pivots to the table she was sitting at, sits down, and places her bag on the empty spot beside her. She runs her hands up and down her knees and takes a deep breath while watching him closely, looking for her, it may seem, warming her chest and pinking her cheeks slightly.
After what seems to be a failed attempt to see her through the crowds, he walks away, and her eyes follow. He sips his whisky and continues to subtly glance around as his friend attempts to talk to him.
His shaved head, neatly groomed facial hair and relaxed style tell Sophie he undoubtedly is the opposite of her busy, work-driven lifestyle. With no room for romance, is this the type of guy she would typically find attractive? She tried dating, it never worked. She fell in love once, and he broke her heart. Since giving up on the idea, a spinster, she has become, while her friends all became devoted to motherhood.
“Here, Miss, another Pinot, it’s from the gentleman over there,” a waiter says, neatly placing down the glass on a napkin.
“Oh, thank you,” she says with a small smile looking across to his table to find him gone, as is his friend, and it deflates her a little.
She picks up the wine glass by the stem and twirls it between her thumb and forefinger, sighing at the usual Friday night alone. Perhaps working overtime would have been a better idea.
“Don’t look so disappointed,” a voice comes from behind her. A bottle of wine places down on her table along with another glass, and then he sits down, pulling the chair close beside her.
“Chris,” he says, offering her his hand. She gulps, clearing her dry throat and places her small hand into his manly grasp, “Kelly,” she lies. His grip is warm, gentle yet firm and the closest thing to comfort she has experienced in a long time. She doesn’t want to let go.
“Kelly,” he repeats. “Well, Kelly… what are you doing here, all alone?”
“I’m not alone,” she smiles, sipping her drink.
“You were alone, and you have been since you arrived at eight o’clock.”
She chokes a little, running her forefinger back along the rim of her glass, “have you been watching me?” She giggles.
“Call it an observation,” he flirts, crossing his arms in front of him on the table. His gaze burns into Sophie, and his breathing is noticeably deep. His presence sends her crazy, and his confidence is intimidating. She crosses her feet under the table, stopping the clicking of her heel against the floor and downs her wine before picking up the bottle.
“Here, let me,” he says, wrapping his palm on hers, taking her attention back to him. She removes her hand and tightly grips the glass, drumming her fingernails on it while she watches the red wine slowly, seductively pour into it, settling until she disturbs its steady state.
“Dating?” He queries.
“Workaholic,” she says, smiling.
“Got it,” he says.
“You too?” She asks.
“Army,” he replies, and it immediately has her painting him khaki green in her mind, and her thoughts are no longer innocent. A uniformed man always had kindled a little something.
“Keep your eyes on me,” he says, as her gaze moves to his tattooed arm, noticing the military theme. “They’re too beautiful to waste not being looked into.”
“Wow,” she laughs, “is that your best line?” bowing her head down shyly, biting the inside of her mouth. He uncrosses his arms and reaches towards her, placing his hand on her perfectly designed jawline and lifts her head.
“What did I just say,” he says. Not only his touch is alluring, but his dominance and masculinity tingle the inner of her thighs; she can barely move.
Take me home, Sophie thinks.
Kiss me, he considers, anguished. He knows she isn’t going to.
His hand loosens from her jaw. He slides his fingers down the side of her neck, crippling her toes and puffing out her chest. He curls her hair around his finger, then lets go and sits back. He looks her up and down, saying nothing. He doesn’t need to say anything.
He knows what she is thinking; he can see it in her eyes.
She knows what he is thinking; she can sense it.
Fear hooks her stomach and pulls towards her chest; she has never felt this before. She doesn’t know this stranger, yet she can’t get enough of him. He is gorgeous, stunning, and his smile melts her insides. She is inevitably hooked on the idea of this undiscovered man.
“Come on?” he says, rising to his feet, handing her his hand.
“What?” she says, pushing out her chair with hesitation.
“Dance with me.”
“Erm,” she says, looking over to the crowded dance floor. “No.”
“I wasn’t asking,” he smiles, entwining her fingers with his as he guides her up.
“Do you usually get what you want?” she asks as she tries to back down.
“Yes,” he says, looking back at her.
“But…” she says.
“No buts,” he replies.
“Stop,” she says, stamping her foot on the hard floor. “I’m not dressed for dancing.”
He pauses, runs his eyes down her and steps closer, “may I,” he asks, placing his hands in the opening of her suit jacket. She looks to his hands, then to him and nods. His hands move further onto her shoulders, brushing his delicate touch against her, sliding it off, revealing her ruffled white shirt. He puts her blazer on the chair and looks down to her feet, smirking.
“What?” She asks with a blush.
“Nothing.” Chris places his hand on her waist then slowly crouches down, taking his hand to the back of her knee. She recoils a little, and her hands make to his broad shoulders as she exhales profoundly. He slides his hand down her tights, wishing he could feel the warmth of her skin as he rests his grip on her heel, removing it. He does the same with the other, provoking her effortlessly, then rises to his feet, looking her dead in the eye. She gulps, realising the power this man automatically has over her, which she is in no place to deny. She’s addicted to him already.
“Will you dance with me now?” Chris asks, fiddling with her fingers. She nods reluctantly but willingly goes with him, listening to the music she hadn’t noticed playing around them as he had her completely hypnotised. It’s slow and sexy, and with how the crowd surrounded them are frolicking, she is out of her comfort zone.
“Don’t look so worried,” he says. “It’s in my nature to seem intimidating, but I’m very gentle,” he smiles, winning Sophie over.
“I haven’t danced for a long time,” she says, concerned.
“Just be yourself. I doubt you will disappoint,” Chris says, facing her to him, placing his hands on her hips, pulling her in close. She bites her lip with trepidation as her feet follow his, swaying, twirling, dancing. Liking everything about him, no matter how little it is, it doesn’t take long until she subconsciously steps into his aura.
His touch brushes all over her, running his hands through her hair and down her back. She hopes her heart can beat quietly, but perhaps it needs to beat louder. To dare to find herself and let her guard down.
Chris’s hand takes hers as the other stays firmly on her back, he leans her back a little, and she tips her head, allowing access to her throat, and he, like a dream, gloriously takes it. He nuzzles her skin, breathing hot air down her chest, which is starting to sweat as the crowd around them is close.
The zen-like whooshing of her breathing has Chris’s arousal growing big and hard, provocatively pressing against her, and he has no care in the world. This woman has him believing no one else is here. After six months away, Sophie is the kind of company he needs tonight. She’s unexpectedly stolen his breath as she lets him take charge. Unbeknown to him, she likes it.
He tilts in, then hesitates before meeting her gaze, which gives him her approval. He lightly pecks her neck and relishes how delicious and morish the beads of sweat coating her skin tastes. He kisses her, making his way to her ear, nibbling as she whines with pleasure beneath her breath before reaching his goal.
He startles her lips, kissing her gently, then with increasing pleasure, then with his tongue. Her hands grab him desperately, tightly around his athletic biceps, sinking her nails into him as their worlds frantically collide. His kiss, lips and tongue, everything about him, fully awakens her, and beautifully too.
The moment is unbearable yet tender.
The kiss is extraordinary, and the atmosphere is thick with unfulfilled desire.
There are no words, only sensations.
Sophie is powerless.
Chris is stoned, intoxicated, and punch drunk with her scent and taste. She tastes as good as she looks, and unexpectedly she has him wary. His pupils dilate, and his cheeks flush with yearning. He fears she now owns him as she grinds her body against him, mesmerised by her infectious laugh, leaving her perfume all over him.
Lost in pleasure, Sophie can barely contain herself as she lets loose. She doesn’t care who is watching or how she looks. She dances, then dances some more and grabs a drink or three. For once, the floor is hers, and as for Chris, he is an irresistible stranger and the perfect dance partner.
His ocean blue stare dives deep into her soul, ordering her heart to sync with the movement of his feet and the pace of the steady music as her body wishes to act on her hungry, carnal urges. He touches her with such grace; she doesn’t deserve it. He doesn’t even know her real name, but as the warmth between them grows more powerful with every kiss, she questions if she has underestimated him and herself.
“Why me?” she whispers in his ear, running her fingers up and down his neck, entwining them within his hair as he holds her close. His hand runs down her back, caresses her buttock, then takes her thigh, lifting it against him as he takes the lead.
He inhales, kisses her cheek and whispers, “you had me at wow,” in her ear. She smirks, bites her lip, kisses his lip then nibbles it.
“I didn’t like seeing you alone, and I sure as hell wasn’t watching any other guy dote on you.”
“I don’t come here for that,” she pants in his ear as he devours her neck and gently yanks her hair. Her eyes lids flutter, and her eyes close; the sight of her is ecstasy enough as he knows she has what he wants.
“I guessed that,” he says.
Her eyes open, burning into him with curiosity.
“How?” Her palms slide along his shoulders, and she traces her fingers softly along his collar bone and his jaw. She runs her thumb along his lower lip, and he licks it with anticipation.
“If you did, you would have told me your real name,” he says with a grin, taking her work badge from his pocket, handing it to her.
Sophie blushes and takes it, swallowing hard, “it’s complicated,” she says with a sigh, and lets go of him.
Chris shakes his head a little. He places his palm firmly between her shoulder blades and stands her up straight. Her eyes capture his gaze, and his nose nearly touches hers, “Oh, I don’t think it is,” he says and she says nothing. Her ears buzz a tad from the noise as the bell rings for closing.
“Shit, I have to go,” she says, rushing back to her table, putting her shoes on.
“What’s the rush? Don’t tell me you’re Cinderella?” he jokes, making her laugh.
“I have work in a few hours. My boss will kill me if I’m late or hungover.”
Chris picks up her jacket as she picks up her bag, placing it on her shoulder. She swigs the remainder of her wine and takes her jacket from him.
“Don’t go,” he says. Sophie smiles and tucks her hair behind her ear. Her hand strokes down his face and rests on his chest before she kisses him.
“Thanks for this, I needed it,” she says, then walks towards the door.
“Same time tomorrow night, Kelly?” Chris shouts behind her. She looks back with a beaming smile and winks.
“Sophie will be here,” she says, blowing him a kiss as the door shuts behind her.