It was almost time for last call. Brandon wiped the sodden rag over the counter and put the empty glass the girl had just put down into the crate under the bar with the other dirty glasses.
“One more?” he asked. She nodded and took her wallet from her purse. He handed her the scotch on the rocks – her sixth or seventh one for the evening – and wondered how she managed to keep her balance on the high barstool. Her eyes had that glazed look of somebody who had definitely had a few too many, but if he had not been the one to pour her drinks – all six or seven of them – he would not have guessed she was drunk. There was no characteristic slumping or wobbling or even raucous laughter. In fact, her ramrod straight posture and uncanny balance reminded him of a ballet teacher, especially with her hair scraped back into a bun like that. She was pretty enough, in a neat, mousy little way. It was impossible to hazard a guess at the figure under the bulky, shapeless coat she was wearing over goodness knew what. She was wearing glasses with a nice frame that actually suited her face in a non-de kind of way. Brandon had never seen such a dignified drunk in his life. She had better manners drunk than most people had when they were stone cold sober and sitting their grandmother’s sitting rooms.
“Thank you,” she said politely when she accepted her change and slipped half of it into the tip-jar, as she had been doing all evening. He kept an eye on her as he started straightening bottles on the shelf behind him, wondering about her story.
Brandon loved his job. He owned several bars and still spent an evening now and then behind the counter. After serving drinks for three years across the globe when he was fresh out of high school, he enjoyed the occasional trip down memory lane. It fascinated him to see how alike people were, no matter where they lived. Broken hearts healed just as slowly in Hawaii as they did in Australia, and flirting was a universal art that did not differ too much from one place to another. He loved watching the games, the intrigues, the emotions, as people relaxed around him. He’d seen it all – the break-ups and the make-ups, the hopeful souls scouring the bar for the love of their lives – or at least the lay of the night. He’d seen people drink to forget, or to try to keep memories alive. He’d seen them drink because there was nothing else to do, or because they couldn’t do anything else. He’d seen the lonely girls go home with the wrong men and knew they’d wake up the next morning with alcohol on their breath and regret in their hearts. He’d seen women play fast and loose, and the men who managed to escape their clutches. He’d seen the best and the worst of people, but he thought he’d never quite seen anything like the girl sitting there in a dull brown coat, finishing one drink after another without toppling over or falling into somebody’s lap on her way to the bathroom. She was fresh and new, and it intrigued him.
The bar was rather empty in comparison to most Friday nights. But to be fair, it was the middle of the month and there was a blizzard raging on outside. He was closing up earlier than usual to give the staff and the customers the chance to get home before it got worse. The neat lady – there was other way to describe her – was one of the diehards, but since she was hardly causing a scene, he didn’t ask her to leave just yet while they were cleaning up.
Finally they were done, and he had to ask her to leave. She blinked owlishly at him from behind her glasses.
“Excuse me?” she asked, as if she had not heard him the first time.
He leaned closer and thought he caught a whiff of something clean and fresh under the ripe smell of alcohol and closed-up people that hung over the room.
“It’s closing time,” he repeated. “We’re going to lock up.”
“Oh,” she said, frowning slightly as her impaired brain tried to sort out his words. “Right,” she said finally. “Well, I’ll just go then, won’t I?”
“Can I call you a cab?” he asked, because she still had not moved from her seat. He waved a hand at the two waiters and the other barman, indicating that he would lock up and they could go home.
She looked at him, her eyes still slightly unfocused.
“To take you home,” he explained. “You shouldn’t drive.”
“Did I come with a car?” she asked, bewildered. “I hope not. I don’t own a car. Did I steal one?”
He grinned. This was fun. Normally drunk people just annoyed him a bit, but this girl struck a chord somewhere in his chest he’d never known to exist.
“Not that I know of,” he said. “How did you get here?”
“I must have walked,” she said, puzzled. “From work. Fancy that.”
“What work do you do?” he asked as Rod, one of the waiters, closed the door behind the other staff members.
“I’m a libal… librali… a li-bra-rian,” she said, looking quite pleased with herself for managing the word. Fancy that indeed, he thought, his mind going into immediate overdrive at the mention of her career. Like many, many men, he harboured a secret Librarian Fantasy. Even the way she broke it up into syllables didn’t diminish the thoughts running though his head.
The job suited her perfectly, he thought. She was cut out for the silence and air of wisdom and propriety that hung around the books like dusty clouds. He imagined being scolded by her for being too loud and grinned.
“Where do you live?” he wanted to know. He would help her home, call her a cab, and forget about her. She was not the type of librarian he fantasized about – she had glasses, but they were the wrong kind, and even though her hair was scraped back out of her face, there was nothing sexy about it. She wasn't wearing nearly enough make-up and not at all the right kind of clothes, either. She was just a girl, hiding behind stacks of books. Her fingers were unadorned, and he guessed her to be single. She probably had four or five cats and a vibrator named Bob hidden in her nightstand that she rarely used because it made her feel guilty.
“Up the street, I think,” she said, pointing vaguely with her fingers. “That way. You have pretty eyes.”
He lifted an amused brow. ‘That way’ would take him to the kitchen and eventually, an alleyway behind the building.
“How about an address?” he asked. “To give to the cab-driver.”
He grabbed a paper napkin and a pen. She wrote slowly, carefully, her handwriting still managing to be neater than his illegible scrawl.
“You don’t live far from me,” he said, lying smoothly. “Just one block south, to be precise. Would you like a lift home?”
“Never get in the car with strangers,” she said firmly.
“A cab driver is also a stranger,” he pointed out.
“Not the same thing.”
“Nope. But on second thought, I’m not sure you’ll find a cab in this weather.”
“That’s right,” she said, smiling broadly for the first time. The expression transformed her face from plain to pretty. Her innocence amused and tickled him. “It’s snowing. Like a White Christmas.”
He couldn’t help it. He grinned – it was January. She wasn't just drunk, she was completely sloshed. But still amazingly stable and logical.
“Let’s get you home,” he said, coming around the bar to help her from the stool. This was not something he ever did. He owned the bars; how the patrons got home was their problem, not his. But he couldn’t just leave this girl to her own devices, not unless he wanted the next time he heard about her to be her name in an obituary. She’d probably fall asleep in the cold right outside his bar and die. It would cause all sorts of unwanted paperwork and police questions.
She didn’t even need his help standing up. The liquor, it seemed, had not affected her balance one bit. Still, he kept a hand on her back to steer her. He locked up behind them while she stood looking at him through her wide, trusting eyes.
“You’re really tall,” she said. “I wish I was taller.”
“You’re the perfect height,” he said. “See? My arm fits right round your shoulders. You’re like a portable armrest.”
She didn’t giggle at that, and he wondered of she’d heard him. It was a pretty lame joke, but in his experience, drunk people will laugh at anything.
“I wish I was hot,” she said. “Like you. But not like you. Like a girl. Then maybe I could have sex.”
He coughed, choking on his breath, the way some people trip over their own feet.
“What?” he asked when he finally had the air back in the right pipes.
“I wish I was prettier,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m not being pessimistic, really. I just… well, no use crying for the moon, is there?”
“You are pretty,” he said automatically. She sighed.
“I’m not. But thank you for pretending, anyway. Oh, my goodness, it’s cold.”
He had just opened the back door and yes, it was cold indeed. The wind was blowing sheets of snow into their faces and heaping it against the side of the building. He steered her with one hand in the direction of his car, which was parked under the staff-members-only roof.
He cranked up the heater and took the drive slowly and carefully. The cold was making her drowsy, and he could see her head drooping slightly. No doubt the drinks were finally taking effect.
“I take it you don’t drink often?” he said.
“Nope,” she said, pulling the edges of her rather ugly coat closer around her. “I’ve never been drunk before.”
Until tonight, he thought, but he waited for her to continue on her own. After a few seconds, she did.
“I’m sort of a virgin,” she said.” By choice. But it’s not my choice.” She gave a self-deprecating laugh. “Technically I’m no longer one. But I’ve never been with a man, you know?”
Well, he certainly knew now. But his years as a barman had taught him when to listen and when to talk. So he kept quiet.
“Well, anyway, I always thought it was because I’m too shy. Men don’t like that, right?”
“Some do,” he said, because what else could he say?
“Liar,” she said fondly. “Nobody wants to be with somebody who’s ashamed of themselves. I know I wouldn’t like that in a man, so I can hardly expect any man to show interest in me. That’s why I went out tonight,” she added after a few seconds. “Too see if drinking helps me get loose. Turns out I’m even boring when I’m drunk.”
“You’re not boring,” he said firmly. “You just need to learn how to fake it. Everybody is secretly self-conscious. Some just hide it better that others. You need to find a way to pretend. If you can convince yourself, you know other people will believe it.”
“I don’t think I’d know how,” she said. “I’m no good at acting or pretending or lying. I can’t even lie to telephone sales people. “
“I’ll help you,” he said impulsively. “I’ll show you how to fake it.”
“Sure. When you’re sober. Anything I teach you now will be wasted.”
“Like me,” she sighed. “I’m wasted, and all I want to do is go to bed. That’s my building up there.’
“That’s a gas station,” he said with a grin.
“Oh.” She frowned. “Then it’s not my building, is it?”
“I sincerely hope not.”
They found her building eventually, tucked away between a tall, scary-looking block of flats and a three-story bridal boutique. He helped her out of the car and up the steps. It took her three times to key the right series of numbers into the keypad so the door would open. Finally, she recited them to him to read it in.
“Thank you,” she said awkwardly. “For the lift, and the ear.”
He grinned. “No problem,” he said. “Hey, what’s your name?”
“Emily,” she said.
Emily. It suited her perfectly, as if her parents had had a glimpse of her in the future when they named her. She looked like an Emily more than anybody else he’d ever met.
“I’m Brandon,” he said. “Can I pick you up tomorrow around noon for your first lesson?”
“In faking it.”
It occurred to him then that ‘faking it’ might refer to something else as well, but he always made damn sure a girl does not need to fake it when she’s with him. Not that he planned to have sex with her. This girl’s second name was Complication. It would be cruel to pluck her cherry and then be off on his merry way. She was not the type to come – and then go.
“Okay. Wanna come up?”
He considered saying no, but realised she might need help to get into her apartment. It seemed her brain had simply been behind on its reaction, and she was finally in the clumsy imbalance phase of drunkenness.
She might get hurt, or lost, or wind up asleep on a hallway chair somewhere.
“Sure,”’ he said.
It was three interesting flights of stairs. She only almost-fell seven times, even with his arm around her waist. She was still incessantly polite, apologising profusely and telling him how pretty he was.
Yeah, because that’s what every guy secretly wants to be. Pretty.
He had to take her keys and unlock the door himself. She was toppling over and had to hold onto the wall with both hands to keep from introducing her ass to the ground. It was a good thing she was wearing sensible flats rather than sexy heels, and he had to be the first guy ever to have that particular thought.
“There we go,” he said when he finally got the door open. She would need to get a locksmith to take a look at the thing – the key had stuck a bit, as if the mechanism inside was rusty.
Her house surprised him. He had unconsciously expected it to be decorated like something from the Victorian Era – Chintz and flowers, frilly and stuffy. Chokingly girly. It wasn’t. Oh, it was undeniable a female place, but it was feminine rather than girlish. The door opened into the sitting room, which had a sage green couch with big white pillows and lampshades. The lavender curtains had been drawn against the cold air and what was probably a dreary scene outside. The art against the walls was lovely – no modern skyscrapers with red splashes to indicate blood and lust, or wriggling shapes than reminded him of female sex organs during ovulation.
A small little galley kitchen on the right showed no dirty dishes in the sink, and a gleaming espresso machine on the countertop next to an equally gleaming microwave.
He half-carried, half-dragged her to the only other door, guessing it to be the bedroom.
It was, and here was more proof of neat, uncluttered taste. The room was tiny, with built-in cupboards and barely enough space to walk around the bed to the bathroom on the other side.
“You gonna kiss me now?” she asked when he helped her onto the bed and slid a pillow under her head.
“Sure, thing, honey,” he said as he switched on the bedside lamp so he could turn off the harsh overhead fixture. “In a minute, okay? You just wait right there.”
He made sure she wasn’t too close to the edge to roll off and brought her a glass of water from the kitchen. He found Advils in her bathroom cabinet, along with some make-up and an unopened packet of condoms. Pity stirred his heart. She was well and truly lonely, wasn't she? All cosseted in her small little apartment, hiding behind books and pretty paintings. So far he hadn’t seen any sign of a cat, but maybe the building didn’t allow pets.
He found a heater and turned it up. She was lying suspiciously still on her side, one arm flung out to the side. He tucked it into a more comfortable position. It was the desire to get her comfortable as much as curiosity that made him wait until she was deeply asleep, or, more likely, passed out, before he pulled her coat off to reveal her body.
She was small, and firm, and the only word he could think of to describe her was neat. She was utterly non-de. She had breast, but they were just there, situated on her chest much in the way a nose is situated more or less in the middle of a face. He doubted he’d notice them if he saw her in the line at the grocery store other than for the obvious reason – they were female breasts, and therefore bound to be noticed, even if they did not get a second look. They were completely average breasts. He couldn’t see much, as she was wearing a creamy beige sweater that had clearly been bought with an eye on heat rather than hotness, and brown slacks that sat loose around her legs and revealed nothing about what her body looked like.
He shook his head as he slipped her shoes from her feet and considered doing her another favour and tossing them in the trash. They were butt-fuck-ugly. He hated sensible shoes on a woman.
He pulled the quilt over her body and since he had some experience with drunk people, found a plastic bucket in her kitchen to put next to her bed. She seemed to have missed the psychedelic-yawn, porcelain-god-worshipping part of the evening, but judging by the fact that her body seemed to have its own ideas of how to react to alcohol, he wasn't taking anything for granted. She would hate herself if she woke up in the morning, only to find she’d puked all over her pretty, plush white carpet. Who bought white carpets anyway? Wasn't that like a direct invite to Karma and Murphy and all those other sadistic creatures who makes people spill coffee just after they get dressed in a new shirt, or back their car into a lamp pole the first time they take it out for a drive?
He left a piece of paper with the instructions to drink the tablets and the water next to the glass and went back downstairs, only to tread back up when he couldn’t find his keys in his pocket.
It wasn’t in the living room either, nor anywhere else in her house that he could find. He went as far as opening her underwear drawer (he really was desperate, after all,) and was not too surprised that they weren’t there. He was pleasantly surprised, however, that the librarian lady had quite good taste in underwear. He didn’t touch any of the pretty lace and satin snips of fabric, but he could imagine them on her easily enough, and it made for a pretty image.
He finally located his keys – sitting in the ignition of his car, the doors firmly locked against him.
“Son of a bitch!” he said, slamming a frustrated hand onto the snow-covered roof. “Dammit!”
He took his phone from his pocket and tried to call a cab company to come get him and take him home to get his spare key, but just as he got an operator his phone made a cheerful beep just before the battery died. He considered throwing the POS into the nearest heap of snow, but figured that would be counterproductive.
He was stuck, and he’d be dammed if he was going to wait for the sun to rise outside on the streets, looking at a locked car.
He trudged back upstairs, grateful that he hadn’t been able to lock the door behind him and made himself at least semi-comfortable on Emily’s couch, and closed his eyes. By any luck he would be awake and gone long before Miss Emily found the courage to leave her bed. And when he left, he would stay gone. She probably won’t remember the impulsive promise he had made to help her get confidence, so she won’t be upset when he doesn’t show up. He already regretted the invitation – Emily the librarian was not the type of girl he needed to spend time with. She was too shy – she said so herself – and she dressed atrociously. Except for her underwear, of course. She was plain, bordering on dowdy, a self-proclaimed virgin, (whatever she had meant by technically) and she had you’re-going-to-break-my-heart written all over her.
She was a librarian, for goodness sake. That was a species of women best suited to the porn industry, where they wore impractical high-heeled pumps and button down shirts with sexy glasses and tight skirts. If you put Emily in an outfit like that she would… well, she would look hot, to be honest. Almost any woman would look awesome, dressed like that. He imagined it easily, right down to the stern look she was giving him for putting a book in the wrong shelf.
“It belongs in the back,” she would say and motion for him to follow her so she could show him where to put it. He would wait for the right moment to pin her against the shelves and kiss the living daylights out of her while his hands explored her hot and eager curves. She would slide one leg around his waist and grind against him seductively…
Brandon came to his senses with a jolt, his hand around his cock. He groaned. This was ridiculous. He was sporting a hard-on for the most wood-uninspiring girl he’s ever met. She was shy and plain and, frankly, her life was a little pathetic. She had to be at least twenty-six and she’d never had sex? What was he even doing in her house, other than trying to beat one out?
He swore and closed his eyes, trying to get comfortable and wishing he had a blanket.
This was what he got for playing the Good Samaritan.
Emily could feel the light all the way down to her queasy stomach, and it burned the whole way down.
“Oh,” she moaned and wondered, briefly, if a freight train or a passenger one had hit her. The question seemed important, somehow. Her head felt like the maze of a Pac-Man game. Something was running around inside there and eating bits of grey-matter. She tried to squint through the smallest of slits she could make with eyelids – straight into the light of her bedside lamp. She could hear her corneas go up in flames. She whimpered and turned her face into her pillow to hide from it. She regretted waking up with every fibre of her being. The longer she was awake, the more issues were brought under her attention by her irate body. Her mouth tasted like something she would gag at if she were to smell it on her way to wok. Her body was sore, and she was nauseous. The most pressing problem, however, was her bladder, which was screaming for attention. She eased her legs over the side of her bed carefully, surprised to find herself in her wrinkled angora sweater and slacks of the previous day. At least she’d had the sense to kick off her shoes the previous evening before she got in bed.
Her eyes fell on the bright red bucket sitting next to her bed. It was the one she used when she washed floors or windows, and it belonged in her kitchen on top of the cupboard that holds other cleaning supplies. What was it doing next to her bed? The next second she grabbed for it as her stomach revolted against the switch from horizontal to vertical. She was sick; violently and tear-inducingly sick. When it was over she sat there, sweating and just trying to get her breath. Another wave hit her and she was infinitely grateful for the bucket, though she still had no idea how it got there.
Finally it seemed to be over for real. She made her way cautiously to her bathroom and emptied the bucket in the toilet with a grimace. She would clean it later. No, she would throw it out. Nobody needed a reminder like that sitting in their kitchen.
She flushed the toilet before she unbuckled her slacks and sat down, relief spreading over her body like a flush. Eventually she realised she couldn’t hide on her toilet forever and she got up.
She just looked at herself in the mirror. Was that her? That rumpled, bleary-eyed stranger who’s make-up had smeared and whose hair… well, to be honest, the ruthless bun she’d tied her hair in had held pretty well. It still looked reasonably neat, in comparison to the rest of her. But her skin was white, her eyes red. There were pillow-creases on her check and she smelled like… No. There was no words to describe the odours wafting around her. But it was foul and she might need to burn her clothes.
She pulled it off, stepped into the shower and closed the curtain. The next second she screamed when the icy water hit her skin and she realised too late that she should have waited a minute for the hot water to reach the pipes. It cleared her head instantly, however, and she forced herself to stand there while it warmed.
That’s when she heard her bathroom door swing open, and an unfamiliar voice say, “What the hell?”
Oh, dear heavens. There was a man in her apartment.
Brandon could see vague movements behind the translucent curtain – he truly hated those things – but nothing else. He’d woken up to the cheerful sounds of somebody throwing up and considered leaving before she emerged. But he would still be stranded until he could get home for his spare key, and he knew the lady would probably have a few questions regarding the previous evening. It seemed cruel now to leave her to her own speculations. And then she’d screamed and although he knew there was probably no crazy axe-murderer in her bathroom, he did feel some concern. Or, at the very least, the desire to be spectator to her humiliation. The uncharacteristic bout of pettiness was undoubtedly brought upon by the crink in his neck after spending the night on a couch that was too short for his frame. Why didn’t women invest in man-sized leather couches or lazy-boys with cup-holders?
“Who‘s there?” she asked, and he could hear the shiver in her voice. Was it fear or cold?
“Me,” he said, wanting to punish her – just a little – for the worst night of his life. Not that it was entirely her fault. He had decided to help her home all on his own, after all. But the punishment her couch had meted out had neutralised his part in this little clusterfuck. That, and the raging case of blue balls he was suffering from even now. Though, to be fair, there was no way in which he could hold her responsible for that.
“I,” she said.
“What?” Brandon asked, confused.
“You mean I. Not me. Grammatically speaking…”
“You’re giving me a grammar lesson?” he asked, astounded. “You’re naked in the shower and there’s a stranger outside who could, for all intent and purposes, have a chainsaw or an electric appliance, and you’re pointing out grammatical errors?”
There was a moment of silence, during which he could only hear the sound of running water.
“Do you have a chainsaw or an electric appliance?” she asked after a few seconds. Steam was rising and she sighed in pleasure. The sound shot straight downstairs. He winced.
“No,” he admitted.
“Well, then,” she said as if that explained everything. “I assume we met last night?”
“Did we…” There was trepidation in her voice now. “Did we have sex?”
He grinned. There was no way he was passing up this opportunity.
“Baby, you rocked my world,” he said. “Twice. Where’d you learn to do that thing with your tongue?”
“That thing where you… Oh never mind, I’ll show you later. Mind if I join you?” He jiggled his belt, making it sound as if he was pulling off his pants.
“No!” she said quickly. “I’m naked!”
“That’s the idea,’ he said. “Naked and wet. Just the way I like you best. Just like last night. Man! You were wet.”
He thought he heard her whimper something about deities unknown.
“Want me to go make coffee instead?” he asked, taking pity on her.
“Yes,” she seized the opportunity. “Please. Coffee. Why don’t you take yours to go?”
She was kicking him out? After everything he’d done for her the previous evening?
“Now that’s no way to talk to your new husband,” he said reprovingly.
He could hear her shock in the very silence.
“Don’t you remember?” Oh, he was enjoying this.
“After we met up at the bar, we went to a judge I know and got a special licence. He married us. He’s a good guy, Judge Henderson. Owed me a favour after I got rid of a little problem for him a year ago.”
“Please leave,” she begged, close to tears, if her voice was anything to go by.
“Now, honeybun, I told you last night the garbage disposal company I work for doesn’t work over weekends. Where would I go?”
She moaned, a pitiful sound that made him feel slightly guilty. There was a movement behind the curtain and then her head poked out. She was holding the curtain prudishly high to hide the rest of her.
“Please tell me you’re joking,” she pleaded.
He let his silence speak for itself, while he took her in. Her eyes were bloodshot, but that didn’t do much to distract from their beauty. Had he ever seen such big blue eyes outside the porcelain-doll industry? Why hadn’t he noticed that before? He was standing close enough that he could see the water clinging against her long lashes. Her nose was fine with the cutest tilt, and her skin, though still slightly sallow from the previous evening, was perfect and unblemished.
He was stunned. She was beautiful. How the hell had he missed that?
“This can’t be happening,” she said.
His thoughts exactly. He could not be noticing her beauty now. It was just his libido talking. He’d spent a restless evening tossing around coldly on her couch, getting images of her all mixed up with his librarian fantasies. That’s what this was. His cock was desperate to convince him he was attracted to her so he would make his move. And she would fall for it, no doubt about that. She was inexperienced and, by her own admission, desperate. If he turned on the charm, he would have her under him before the end of the day.
But he wasn't that kind of a guy. The guy who sleep with girls and leave them when they bore him. And bore him she inevitably would. She was too quiet, too shy, too damn librarian-ish to hold his attention for longer than it took him to come. He preferred women with fiery personalities and lots of experience in pleasuring her lover in bed. Emily would probably faint dead the first time she saw him naked. And try to be prim and proper, and not want him to go down on her. Sex with her would have to be after dark, a quick, awkward coupling under the covers. She wouldn’t want to do any of the things he liked – no blowjobs, no cunnilingus. Definitely no role-play. It would be utterly unfulfilling.
So why wouldn’t his cock stop trying to make happy-happy with her?
“Don’t worry,’ he said, finally annoyed by himself and his thoughts and feelings. “It’s not. I’ll go make coffee. I’ll even leave if you want me to.”
She looked at him, blinking those big eyes of hers.
“No,” she said. “Stay. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
She brushed her teeth and even her tongue for what felt like hours to no avail. The taste of her humiliation sat as if the enamel on her teeth had absorbed it. She felt as if she was chewing on moss as far as she went. She twisted the towel around her head and drank the Advils next to her bed. Bits and pieces of the previous evening was filtering down to her. She had been at the library and Mrs Gunnings – bless her heart – had been talking about how Emily needed to find a nice young man to take care of her. Of how nice it was to go home and not spend the evening alone. Of how nice it was to go out and hold somebody’s hand in public. Of the lovely man who’d swept her daughter right of her feet and now they were married with a little baby and how happy they were… she’d talked and talked until Emily was so depressed with her own lonely little life that she decided to stop for a drink, rather than face her empty apartment. As she sat there, she kept thinking of ways to meet somebody – clearly, her job was no help – and the thought had somehow taken root that people met other people in bars. When they were drunk. So she’d ordered one drink after another, hoping she would magically become sexy and… and pretty and desirable. And somebody would magically notice her and fall magically in love with her and they would magically live happily ever after.
Well, she thought almost bitterly as she got dressed in sweatpants and a plain black sweater that was soft and a little loose after her latest, and to date most successful, weight-loss plan. She considered shoes, but settled for her fluffy pink slippers instead. So much for her brilliant theory. She had sat there for hours and hours on the most uncomfortable stool ever, drinking glass after glass of whiskey because she didn’t know what else to order and was too shy to ask. And nobody – not even one man – had shown any interest in her. The only one who talked at her at all was the hot bartender, who…
The bartender! Of course! That’s why the man had looked familiar to her in her bathroom. His features had been blurry without her glasses, of course, but she was reasonably sure it was him. She was almost a hundred percent certain of it. The only question was… what was he doing in her apartment?
“It’s a long story,” he said when she asked him later, in her kitchen, her hair wrapped up in a towel and perched on her head. His eyes followed her movements around the kitchen as she got milk from the fridge for the coffee and put bread in the toaster. The irony of the morning-after-nothing-happened breakfast didn’t escape his notice.
“I have time,” she said carefully, closing the blinds to avoid all possible sources of light. “Give me the quick version.”
“Fine,” he said with a sigh. “You were drunk, I helped you home. My keys are locked in my car and I couldn’t get a cab to come get me. That’s it, in a nutshell. And because I know you’re still wondering, I spent the night on your couch, shivering a little. Ok, shivering a lot. It was damn cold. Plus I have a crink in my neck now.”
She winced. “I’m sorry. I wish you’d waken me up, I would at least have helped you with a blanket.”
“I could have used your hairdryer to build a nuclear bomb right next to your bed and you wouldn’t have woken up. You were out cold.”
“I’m really sorry,” she said. “I don’t know what came over me. I’ve never been that drunk before. I’m really not the type.”
“I know,” he said, not bothering to hide his grin. “You told me last night.”
She chewed her bottom lip nervously. Brandon wanted to take that hot little task over for her. He imagined nibbling on those petal soft lips and cleared his throat a little.
“What else did I tell you?” she wanted to know apprehensively.
“Well, you work in a library, and you can’t lie even to telephone salespeople.”
“Is that all?”
“Not by a long shot. By the way, what does technically mean?”
She frowned and cocked her head in a ‘what do you mean?’ way. “Technically?”
“Yes. When is something technically and when is it… I don’t know, untechnically? Physically? Literally?”
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about,” she said and smeared a thin strip of margarine over her dry toast.
He cupped his hands around the plain white cup filled to the brim with coffee and leaned forward.
“Tell me,” he said conversationally, sadistically waiting for her to take a bite of toast. “How does one remain a virgin, but only technically?”
She started choking as he’d expected, coughing and wheezing and grabbing her coffee to help the dry bread down the right pipe.
“Apparently, if you were speaking the truth last night which drunk people seem prone to do for some reason, you are technically still a virgin, but not in a physical sense. I was just wondering how that happens.”
“I told you that? Oh my… I’m so sorry!”
He laughed at the red flush creeping up her neck and into her cheeks.
“Relax,” he said. “Its fine. I would just love to hear that story. Because there has to be a story.”
“Not really,” she muttered, and then, as an afterthought, “I’m never drinking again.”
“Wise words that has been spoken by many, many people over the years.”
“I mean it,” she insisted. “I honestly can’t believe I told you that.”
“Virginity is nothing to be ashamed of,” Brandon said, stroking one finger down her arm.
“It kind of is, when you’re twenty nine.”
He gaped. “You’re twenty nine and you’ve never had sex? How the hell had that happen?”
“I don’t know, it just… happened,” she muttered. “Or more to the point, it just never happened.”
“There must be a reason,” he prompted.
“There isn’t one specific reason, it’s more like a series of non-sexual incidents, strung together by everything from dating sites to five-minute dating games and more blind dates than I can count.”
“I take it none of that worked for you?”
“I met the most interesting people. Like Mike, who was seventy two at the time, and told me he had a granddaughter fantasy he wanted to play out with me.”
“He wanted you to pretend to be his granddaughter?”
She shook her head. “If only. I’m not sure how this would have played out since I didn’t stick around to find out, but I had to play the grandfather. And he was one of the better options.”
Brandon sat back, stunned. “No way,” he said disbelievingly.
She nodded. “I’m serious. After him was a series of serial losers – men who couldn’t hold on to jobs and girls and had to borrow money from one loan shark to pay off the next. The type of guys whose idea of cleaning out the trailer means letting a stray dog in to lick the stains from the floor and to put all the porn in one box.”
Oh, he was in deep shit, Brandon thought as he roared with laughter. She had a sense of humour. There was, to his mind, nothing sexier in a girl than a sense of humour.
“And after them?”
She frowned. “I met this guy, his name is Stanley, online. We went on a few dates and it didn’t go too bad, till his parole officer contacted me to let me know he was back in jail for harassing little kids at a park.” She winced. “It was messy. The police went through my house, looking for signs of kiddie-porn. Apparently he was part of a child-prostitution and trafficking ring. I had no idea. I got off with a warning, since there was no evidence that I was involved, and he told them that I knew nothing. I suspect they still monitor my internet history ever once in a while.”
Helpless laughter rocked through him. No wonder she was still a virgin, if these were the kind of men she stumbled across during her search.
“What about high school?” he asked. “And college?”
She looked down at her hands. “I wasn’t exactly Miss Popular in school,” she said simply. “I wasn’t even that shy girl that nobody talks to except when they need help with maths, because I sucked at maths. Still do, as a matter of fact. I didn’t fit in with any of the clicks. I wasn't pretty and I wasn't clever, and I didn’t have any secret talents. The only thing I was good at was reading, and I did a lot of that. But nobody makes friends in the school library, right? Especially not if the girl is chubby and have the fashion sense of a blind nun.”
“Now that part I can help you with,” he said. “Why don’t I go shopping with you and help you pick out a few outfits that will make the, uh, best of your figure?”
She looked down at herself. True, she was wearing sweatpants, but they were new and still neat. And her sweater might be a bit too big after her diet, but it was of a good material and had been expensive and it didn’t lose shape in the wash. But his words made her feel downright dowdy.
“Do you remember what I told you last night?” he asked.
“I barely remember you, never mind anything you told me,” she said, stung.
He frowned a little and gazed at her with an intent look on his face that made her wonder if he could see more than what she revealed.
“You expressed the wish to... how to put this delicately? find somebody to enjoy yourself with, but you were concerned that you don’t have the right look and personality to attract men. I merely offered my advice to help you if you wanted an objective opinion.”
“Oh,” she said, pushing her plate away from her with one finger.
Actually, what he’d promised was to help her learn to fake it, but Brandon was strangely reluctant to hurt her feelings by telling her that. She was female, after all, and would immediately conclude that he thought she wasn’t good enough or pretty enough, or didn’t have what it takes to attract men like ants to a syrup bottle.
And that was just bull.
Even if he had had almost those exact same thoughts not twelve hours ago.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” she asked after a few semi-akward moments of silence.
He shrugged. “Maybe I’m just a nice guy.”
“Men are never nice unless they have an agenda.”
He winced. “Ouch. True, but ouch.”
She gave him a small smile. “So what’s your agenda?”
Getting in your pants.
“Maybe I want library privileges.”
She snorted. “Like what?”
Showing you what the reference section should really be used for.
“Maybe I have a fine for a book that’s late. Think you can help me make it disappear?”
Her smile was like the sunrise.
“Are you trying to bribe me?”
He leaned forward with a grin. “Maybe I am. Are you corruptible?”
“Certainly not. I’m a good girl, you know.” She was trying hard to look prim and proper, and failing miserably. Her eyes – those bluer-than-the-sky eyes of hers – were filled with laughter behind her pretty glasses, despite the way she was pursing her lips and trying to look chastising.
“All right. So I’ll have to pay the fine, then. How about this? There’s a book I want to read, but it’s on a waiting list. I would love to be moved to the top of the list.”
She pretended to think about it. “That depends,” she decided. “What book is it?”
He couldn’t help it, couldn’t resist the invitation their flirting was issuing.
“The Art of Pleasuring Women,” he said, wondering if she would accept the unvoiced challenge.
She did, though her eyes widened slightly in scandalous provocation. “Well, now,” she said, clearing her throat a little. “I guess I can be convinced. Wouldn’t want your girlfriend to be dissatisfied by your prowess. It would be sad for the poor girl if you didn’t know how to… get things done. You might even say it’s my civic duty to let you have the necessary instruction.”
His throat was a little dry and he lifted his cup to his lips, surprised to realise there wasn’t another drop. “Yeah,” he said. “Education is important. Speaking of education, I think it’s time for lesson one.”
“Lesson one in what?”
He grinned. “Making you irresistible.”
Emily twisted her hair into a clip with a practised movement. Brandon had given her couple of hours while he got a cab to take him home and get his spare keys, promising to be back for her first lesson. She felt awkward when he left, sure it would be the last time she saw him. She knew he thought her plain and uninteresting– he’d basically said it himself in so many words – and he had absolutely no reason to waste his Saturday on her. She was surprised at the desolation she had felt when she stood at her window, watching his cab pull off. He was the first man in a long time to be nice to her. Not many guys would go to the trouble he’d gone too to get her home safely. He’d looked after her as if they were friends, and this morning he’d joked with her and put her at ease, making her forget about the humiliation of her alcohol-loosened tongue of the previous evening. For goodness’ sake, she had told him she was still a virgin. Why on earth had she felt the need to share that with him? Now he would always remember her as that crazy girl who couldn’t handle a few drinks and had no taste in clothes. He was nice, and talking to him had been very nice and seeing him again would be even nicer, but she was not naïve enough to believe he would be back. Still, she couldn’t help taking extra care when she dried her hair and did her make-up. The result was less than satisfactory, to her own eyes. No matter what she did, she would be plain. Nothing could change that. She had never been pretty, nor would she ever be.
“And you’d best make peace with it,” she muttered to her slightly depressed image in the mirror. She threw open her closet and looked at the piles of clothes that had been arranged with military precision, according to colour and styles.
It was a bit sad, watching her cupboard. Most of what she owned was either white or beige or cream, or any variation of that. There were blacks and navy blues, and a few browns and greys. Some dowdy shades of maroon and a mourning, drab purple, but that was it.
Was this really what her life had whittled down to? Her job was going nowhere, fast, she had no relationships outside her head, and her closet looked like she let her grandmother do her shopping. Why on earth had she bought that grey and brown coat hanging in the back? It was horrible. It was hideous, even if it was made of the finest wool she’d ever touched.
Emily pulled it off the hanger and dumped it on the bed unceremoniously. She grabbed another jacket, a few skirts she was ashamed to say she’d worn more than twice. The heap on her bed piled high as she emptied her closet almost completely. She was feeling slightly frantic by the time she was done with the coats and jackets and started on slacks and trousers. Had she been blind her entire life, to wear this?
“What are you doing?” a voice suddenly said, disturbing her. Emily dropped a faded charcoal blouse on the floor in surprise. Her sort-of friend and downstairs neighbour was staring at the bed, which was covered with clothes, with an expression of revulsion. She must have used the spare key Emily had left with her, because Emily had locked the door behind Brandon. Usually Judith knocked, but Emily hadn’t heard anything.
“You!” said Emily accusingly, bending down to pick up the shirt and holding it out in front of her. “I blame you!”
“For what?” Judith asked, clearly not sure what to expect.
“This is partly your fault,” Emily scolded, shaking and accusing finger at Judith. “How could you let me wear this crap? In public?”
Judith stared at the bed, her mouth working a little as she processed the situation.
“I thought you liked it.”
“You should have told me I look about ninety! What sort of friend are you?”
“Em, you always look neat. I thought…”
“Neat! I looked neat. And how many guys want to have sex with neatness, I ask you?”
“Uhm…” Judith cleared her throat. “Clearly, not as many as you’d like.”
Emily threw another armful of blouses – a mustardy floral, a khaki-with-frills and a navy box neck that looked like the wrong end of the fifties – on the bed.
“None, that’s how many,” she said grimly. “How am I supposed to get somebody to marry if I can’t even find a man to have sex with me? What’s wrong with me?”
“There is not a thing wrong with you,” Judith said immediately and loyally. “You just… appeal to a different demographic than the men you meet.”
“Yeah,” Emily muttered. “The men at the senior citizen really enjoy chatting to me on Library Tuesday. They show up by the busloads to come see me.”
Judith stifled a laugh. “Why are you taking all of your clothes out of your closet?”
Emily sank down on her bead and glanced at the pile of ugly materials and styles.
“I’m getting rid of it,” she said darkly. “All of it. And I’m going to buy new things. Pretty things. Colour, Judith, I need colour. Pink and green and yellow. Red! I don’t even have a red dress. Why don’t I have a hot red dress?”
“Red’s really not your colour,” Judith said. “Or yellow, to be honest. You need to stay away from red and yellow, and definitely no orange.”
“See? Why haven’t you told me this before? Look at me, Judith, I’m a mess.”
Judith sat down next to her. “I guess you always seem so content, so at peace with your life. I used to envy you that. I’m the most unstable person I know, and you just never cared what people thought about you. I had no idea you were dissatisfied. I’m sorry I let you wear ugly clothes.”
Emily gave a small laugh and glanced at the empty hangers in the closet. There were two coats that had passed her test; a truly timeless black cashmere and a really warm, snowy white one she’d bought on sale but hadn’t worn yet because it would get dirty the second she ventured out of her bedroom.
“It’s ok. It’s not your fault. I should have realised I need help long before now.”
“What brought this on?” Judith asked, picking up the mustard shirt looking at it shrewdly. “This would make an excellent floor rag, by the way.”
Emily laughed slightly. “Nothing brought it on. I’m just… I’m tired of being part of the scenery in my own life, you know? When is it my turn to have some fun? I’ve been waiting so patiently for my life to begin, and look where it’s brought me. I’m twenty nine, I’ve never had sex, and I’m too scared to venture outside this comfort zone I’ve been digging for myself with serviceable clothing and comfortable shoes and not enough friends.”
“Your shoes are really ugly,” Judith said, honestly. “And I promise I’ll tell you from now on if you wear something that doesn’t work.”
Emily looked at her nearly empty cupboard. “Thanks,” she said. “I guess I’ll take this stuff to the Salvation Army, if they want it.”
“Let me help with that,” Judith said. “I have a car, so it’ll be much easier for me. I know a great homeless shelter that needs donations desperately.”
“I’d appreciate that,” Emily said. “Why did you come here today? Did they drop my mail off in your box again?”
“No, I wanted to ask about that really hot guy I saw coming out of your apartment a while ago. Was he the cable repair man or something?”
“No,” Emily said, blushing a little. “He… actually, he spent the night here. On my couch,” she added quickly. “Nothing happened. I was so drunk he had to bring me home from the bar.”
Judith’s eyes widened. “But you never drink,” she said.
“I did last night.”
“Never mind that, then. Oh my word, Emily, you let a stranger sleep over at your house? And you didn’t jump him?”
“He wasn’t interested in being jumped,” Emily said. “He’s just… a nice guy I’m never going to see again.”
Judith chewed the inside of her lip. “Leave this stuff,” she said, “and bring your credit card. We’re going to go shopping.”
Brandon paced the hallway outside Emily’s apartment. He’d been there for an hour and she still wasn't opening the door. She was either avoiding him on purpose, or incapable of answering the damn bell, or, most probably, not home.
Which just plain pissed him off. Hadn’t he told her he would be back? She had no business being out when he wanted to see her!
He kept walking, following the generic grey carpeting with the navy pattern with his eyes. This was ridiculous. He should be at home, watching sport or having an afternoon nap. He should not be pacing around, waiting for Emily to show up. What was he, a horny teenager who mistakes lust for love?
He forced himself to leave after another half hour. No girl was worth waiting for like this. It was pathetic and sad and told him, more than anything else, how much he needed to get laid. These… feelings he seemed to have caught, were like a disease. Or a virus. And the best cure for unwanted feelings is a good old-fashioned boinkfest. He knew plenty of girls who would be more than happy to oblige. It was just such a pity he wasn't interested in anybody except Emily.
“Are you sure about the dress?” Emily asked for the third time, loading the last of the shopping bags into Judith’s car. They’d spent almost five hours straight in the shops, with Judith dragging her from the one shop to the next, picking out clothes and smelling discounts from miles away. Her arms were sore from carrying the bags around, and her credit card had given up screaming in pain ten purchases ago. Instead, she imagined it making small little whimpers as it lay in her wallet, trying to curl itself up against the agony and torture she’d put it through.
But oh, she loved the clothes! The colours – Emily had never thought there were so many shades of pink, or that she could look so good in pastel and bright colours alike. For the first time in years, she didn’t feel dowdy. She felt pretty, since Judith had made her go to a bathroom and change from frumpy and dumpy to smart and sexy. She was wearing a short skirt, teetering around on high-heeled boots that could not possible be good for her insteps. She felt deliciously slutty, even though the skirt wasn't that short. But the tight black sweater she wore with it dipped low enough to make men take a second look, and the jacket she had on over it was hot-pink and attention grabbing. Added to that the new jewellery and a sexy little scarf, and she felt like a million dollars.
Judith didn’t need to ask what dress she was talking about. It was a slinky black number with very flattering, very seductive lines. It was shorter than sin, and with the right bra, would show off more cleavage than a centrefold Playboy Bunny. It was completely backless and basically said, ‘take me to bed and tear me off her body.’
“I’m sure,” she said. “Em, you look so hot in that dress, even I wanted to jump you in the fitting room. Brandon’s gonna eat his heart out.”
“I don’t want Brandon to eat his heart out,” Emily muttered, but she grinned a little. “I wouldn’t mind him eating something else out, though.”
Judith gasped in shock. “Why, Emily Brown," she said. “You’re positively slutty!”
“What,” Emily said defensively, “just because I’m a virgin, I need to be prudish?”
“I created a monster,” Judith said, shaking her head as she backed out.
Brandon couldn’t stop scowling as he rolled out of bed the next morning. It was still snowing outside, and he had spent the entire evening stomping around in his house. That bloody librarian had him all tied up. He was angry, and horny, and annoyed all at the same time. After waiting around for three hours outside her apartment the previous day, he’d gone home, only to keep thinking about her. And now it was Sunday, and it was still snowing, and he was damned if he would spend another day frustrated as hell.
The lady needed lessons, and he was damned well going to be the one to teach them to her.
Emily brushed her hair, marvelling at the lightness of the layered and highlighted strands. The swelling on her eyebrows had finally gone down, after the waxing and tinting she’d agreed to the previous day. And the new eyeliner made all the difference in the world. She experimented at leisure with the new make-up Judith had helped her choose, and loving the outfit she had decided on that morning – a pair of surprisingly comfortable jeans with the boots of the previous day, an amethyst-colour sweater that hugged her body and showed off the curves she had always kept hidden for some reason. She fixed the silver hoops in her ears and wondered how she was going to settle the bills on her credit card. She almost had more debt now than right after she finished her degree at the university.
But oh, it was worth every cent. Every time she opened her cupboard doors and saw the cornucopia of colours adorning her pretty white shelves, she wanted to hug herself and dance a little jig. She had the weirdest urge to grab her hairbrush and sing along to the mixed CD she was listening to while she got dressed, but she figured it was unacceptable behaviour to anybody over the age of oh, say, fourteen.
But then she got a what-the-hell feeling and grabbed her brush. She might have missed out on the dance-like-you’re a teenager phase when she actually was a teenager, but there was no reason not to catch up on that now, was there? She spun around her room, ignoring the unmade bed and singing along to the newest teen-sensation swooning about a boy and what he did to her.
“And you make me want you like a grown-up…” she crooned along to the singer.
Emily could relate. She had never been passionate, to say the least. She had a vibrator in her bedside table, and she used it occasionally, but she suspected there was something wrong with her that she didn’t enjoy it much. It made her feel pathetic, the way she’d felt at twenty-five when she finally decided to end her virginal status on her own, if she couldn’t get a man to help her with the pesky little task. She cried when she broke through the barrier, so lonely and depressed that she just took out the vibrator – a pretty pink one with different settings – and went to go clean up in the bathroom. There had been no pleasure, none of the ecstasy she’d read about in books and seen in movies. It had felt humiliating and like giving up, and she had hated herself for it.
She tried using the vibrator again, and after a few times she actually had an orgasm. Which was great while it lasted, but afterwards she felt stupid and tainted and like such a loser. She still used it occasionally, though the orgasms seemed to be getting smaller every time. Maybe she was getting too old to enjoy sex. Maybe her body was tricked into thinking it was time to go through menopause, since it wasn’t being used the way nature intended for it to be used. And she had never, with one exception, looked at a man and gotten turned on. Men were from Mars, and she didn’t speak Martian. She was tongue tied and avoided them like a second-grade girl, at the same time wishing one of them would just look at her once, fall head over heels and coax her out of her shell. But Brandon… Brandon made her want him in a way she had never thought it was possible to want somebody. Maybe it was because he was the first man to take the time to talk to her, or maybe it was because he’d hit her at a vulnerable stage with that smile of his, but when she had looked out of her shower to see him standing there, she’d felt the heat low in her belly, unfurling and moving to her nether regions. He was hot. He made her want things, like one-night stands and short flings and naked bodies writhing together.
He made her feel like a women, even if he wasn't interested.
And that was more pathetic than anything else.
Her doorbell rang, several times shortly after each other, indicating irritation on the other side of the door. It was probably Judith, so she slicked one last coat of gloss over her lips and headed to the sitting room, eager to show her friend what she looked like. Only it wasn't Judith.
It was Brandon.
Brandon swallowed once. Was he at the wrong apartment? Because there was a really, really hot girl standing where he had expected to see Emily. And maybe his cock was finally ready to get down and dirty with somebody else, because it was stirring subtly, reminding Brandon that he hadn’t had sex in about five months. At least not with somebody else in the room.
“Hey,” the girl said. Brandon’s eyes were glued to the plump, shiny lips the colour of ripe cherries and he swallowed convulsively.
She was wearing Emily’s glasses, and she was standing in Emily’s doorway, but there was no way Emily could be wearing clothes that made him want to take her right there, against the wall in the hallway.
“Hi,” he croaked, feeling as if he was in high school again and trying to talk to pretty girl who owned the locker next to his. All tongue-tied and awkward. The pretty girl cleared her throat and gave a step back. “Would you like to come inside?”
“Sure,’ he said, but he couldn’t seem to move. It felt as if the connection between his feet and his brain had been severed (best guess put the cut-off point somewhere near his groin) and he was unable to do anything but stare.
At her breasts. Those previously thought plain, nonde breasts. They were perfect. Not too big, not too small. Full and high, soft and plump. He itched to have them in his hands and do something – anything – with them. To them. On them. For them.
Her voice sounded like it had been made to say his name, preferably in different tones of passion. He could imagine her crying it out as the orgasm hit her, and he swallowed again, trying to force his brain to get rid of the lust-driven haze so he could function like a normal human being.
“Sorry,” he said quickly. “You look…”
“Different?” she guessed and looked down at the soft, form-fitting sweater that made her skin seem all healthy and glowy and… stuff. Or something.
“Really beautiful,” he amended. “Really, really beautiful.”
“Thanks,” she said, glancing down uncomfortably, reminding him that she was a very shy girl, despite the fact that she set fire to his fantasies.
“Where did you disappear to yesterday?” he asked when the awkward silence stretched out too long.
She smiled, a surprised, delighted smile that brought forth a little dimple he hadn’t noticed before.
“You came back,” she said. “I didn’t think you would.”
He just looked at her. “I said I would,” he said quietly. “Why didn’t you believe me?”
She blushed, and damn if it wasn't cute. “Well, I didn’t think I would see you again. I know I’m not the kind of girl men comes back to, especially not men like you.”
“Men like me?”
“I know what I am and what I am not; you don’t need to pretend anything to spare my feelings. But anyway, I went shopping. For clothes. With my friend Judith.”
“I’m glad you went shopping,” he said. “But to come back to the men like me remark…”
“Hot men,” she muttered, shamefacedly. “But like I said, I know what I see in the mirror so you don’t have to pretend to be attracted to me or whatever. I won’t blame you if you don’t want me, or don’t want to help me. Only…” she paused for a second. “Just don’t pity me, okay? I don’t need anybody’s pity. I’m fine with who I am.”
Brandon didn’t think; he simply acted. He gave one step and then he was flush up against her. He twisted their bodies skilfully so that her back was pressed against the doorway. He didn’t take the time he’d imagined he would when he cupped her face between his palms, took off her glasses and dropped it on the floor behind her, bent his head, and kissed her.
It was an electric thing, the kiss. Their lips were barely touching, and there was not enough pressure to satisfy him, but it still sent chills racing up and down his body. He rubbed his lips over hers, getting some of that cherry-red gloss on his own mouth and not minding one bit. He sucked her bottom lip between his and enjoyed her surprised little gasp. He licked over that softest skin on the inside of her lip and then nibbled lightly with his teeth. He pulled back, stretching her lip a little before letting go. He didn’t move away; not yet. Instead, he pressed a chaste kiss on the one corner of her mouth, and another on the other side. She smelled fantastic. No heavy, seductive perfume that made him want to sneeze and drink allergy medicine. She carried the scent of her innocence, and it smelled like some light sort of flower. Clean, and fresh, and young, like a rose covered with early morning dew, and could he possibly get any cornier? If he didn’t stop thinking, he was going to start spouting poetry soon.
So he stopped thinking and touched her lips again, a bit firmer this time, just to remind her who was in charge. He felt the natural softness that indicated her femininity, felt the way they gave and moulded under his, shaping around his in a warm, strangely familiar way. He touched his tongue to the Cupid ’s bow, following the line of her lips with the tip of his tongue, knowing that it would intoxicate her as much as it did him. When he reached the plump bottom lip, he slipped his tongue to taste the seam of her closed mouth, sliding it first in one direction and then the next. He pressed lightly, asking her wordlessly for permission, for access. She softened her lips further and he slid his tongue in a little further.
Her taste blossomed and he groaned as it assaulted his senses. He couldn’t wait to taste the rest of her, to taste all of her. He could feel his breathing picking up speed as he explored her mouth relentlessly. Her arms slipped around his neck and she rose on her toes to press herself closer to him. He could feel and taste and sense her inexperience in her hesitation. She was a little bit clumsy, and it was endearingly sweet to him, knowing that this girl-woman trusted him enough to let him kiss her like this.
He deepened the kiss, one of his hands sliding achingly slowly down her back to press her against him even more. He wanted to move his hand to the more interesting terrain of her front, but he was oddly content just to hold her like this while he taught her more about the art of kissing with infinite patience. He pressed a little harder, hungry for just a little more, and coaxed her tongue from her mouth with his own. She didn’t understand what he wanted, and he knew she was confused by the change in the angle of his mouth as it slanted over hers.
“Give me your tongue,’ he whispered hoarsely against her lips.
“What?” she asked dazedly.
“Your tongue,” he said again, moving his hand lower to cup her deliciously soft butt in his palm. She was all feminine curves – firm, but not overly muscled, like too many women nowadays who spent more time in a gym than at home. She felt so different from him, and he revelled in the way their bodies fit together, hard against soft, muscles against curves. She wasn't fat, not even chubby, but she wasn’t a stick figure either.
She was so… absolutely… perfect.
“My tongue?” she said, sounding a little squeaky.
“Yes, Emily. Slip it in mouth.”
There was a moment of silence, and then she asked, “why?”
“I want to show you something delicious,” he said, and instead of the pity he might have expected when he realised that she had never done this, he only felt a primal, primitive male pride to be the one to teach her, to show her.
He felt her warm little tongue pressing hesitatingly against his lips and opened them, sucking it hard inside his mouth.
“Oh my,” she gasped – or tried to, anyway – and he grinned a little in pure satisfaction.
“Good, huh?” he asked after he let go.
“Uhm,” she muttered.
“Want to do it again?”
“Uhm,” she managed again. He slanted his mouth over hers and lapped at her tongue again, this time drawing it into his mouth. He suckled, hard, and she made a small, helpless little sound as both his hands started kneading her ass, covered with the stiff material of new jeans. He pressed her body harder against the door frame, desperate to have more of her. The kiss became urgent, and he realised the exact moment she stopped worrying about what to do and just let her body react, because suddenly it was even more perfect; her lips moving with his, her tongue meeting and thrusting against his, tasting and feeling and exploring. The sounds they were generating were loud in the stillness of the hallway – her moans, his groans, her sighs, his murmurs. Her accelerated breathing, his satisfied growls when she tested and tried something new, something that worked. They kept at it for a few more minutes – it might have been hours for, all he knew – and he dragged one hand up and into her hair.
“Ouch,” she gasped, and the fog lifted a little from his brain, enough to clear his mind for a few seconds, enough to make him realise that he was mauling her in the hallway.
“What?” he asked, and this time he was the one who felt dazed.
“Nothing,” she said quickly. “Just my head, against the doorframe. Please, continue with what you were doing. Don’t let me interrupt you…”
He laughed a little and pressed his forehead against hers, his eyes closed tightly as he tried to get a grip over his hormones. His cock was rock-hard by now, straining against the fly of his jeans. He wanted her so badly, wanted to sink into the softness that was Emily, the gentleness of her embrace. Wanted to teach her everything he knew about lovemaking, demonstrating over and over until she knew exactly what was the best way to fit tab B into slot A.
But she was new, and innocent, and as appealing as the idea was, the small part of his mind that was still capable of rational thought knew that taking her right now, braced against the doorway was not only incredibly stupid (due to the whole public aspect of the milieu) but also extremely selfish. She deserved to be taken slowly, gently, preferably with somebody who would take the time to show her everything she needed to know. And also, a bed would be nice.
“Just give me a minute,” he said, taking deep breaths.
“No! No, no, no! Don’t take a minute; you’re going to change your mind if you do!”
He laughed again. “Not bloody likely,” he said. “Just… just hold on a bit, okay?”
“Okay,” she murmured, circling her arms around his body and leaning against him. Her soft hair tickled his chin as she tucked her head in the crook of his neck. He pulled her inside the apartment and closed the door behind them, almost stepping on her glasses in the process. He picked them up and put them on a little table in the corner, and then turned to look at her.
She was standing with her hands folded in front of her, head bent down so that he couldn’t see her face.
She was radiating shyness, and uncertainty, and just a little bit rejection. Tenderness swirled in him again and he stepped closer to her, allowing himself one swift, hard kiss.
“Look at me,” he said. She lifted her head slowly and he smiled at her.
“You’re beautiful,” he said. “don’t even think of arguing with me, not even in your mind. Especially not in your mind. I won’t have anybody, least of all you, think otherwise. I won’t put up with that. You are lovely, and I want you so much it aches. But I want to do what’s right.”
“What would that be?” she whispered, and he cupped her neck, his thumb playing in the hollow of her throat.
“I don’t know,” he admitted ruefully. “Right now I just want to take you to bed, so my judgement is a little cloudy.”
“Do it,” she said. “Please, Brandon. Take me to bed. I’m so tired of wondering, of not knowing what sex is like. I want… I want to know, and I want to learn.” She was quiet for a second. “I want to feel.”
He searched her eyes. “Your first time should be with somebody special,” he objected, knowing that he wouldn’t leave unless she asked him to. Knowing exactly what would happen if he stayed. His beautiful, shy little librarian was about to ask him to make love to her, and he was powerless to deny her anything, least of all what she was offering. He was human, and male, after all.
Emily looked at him with her heart in his eyes. “You are special,’ she said after a few seconds. “You make me feel wanted. Wanton. You make me want to take you to the library and do something in the non-fiction section where nobody ever goes.”
He laughed, a raw sound that was being torn from him as his throat closed up. Had he really thought she would be unresponsive and boring?
“You have to be sure,” he said. “I’m not doing this if you’re not sure.
“I was sure the first time I saw you. I didn’t know what to say except, ‘a glass of whiskey, please’.”
“I’ve never seen a woman drink whiskey like you did before,’ he said with a little smile. “You just sat there, sipping glass after glass of Jameson without making a face, though I’m pretty sure you thought it was disgusting.”
“I hated it,” she admitted.” But I didn’t know what else to order, and I was too shy to ask your advice.”
He made a vow to himself to take her back to the bar one evening and let her have a sip of every single drink he had in stock, until she found something she likes. And then he would mix some cocktails, and teach her about shaken and stirred, and she would never have to drink whiskey alone in a bar again.
He kissed her then, a sweet kiss that wasn’t about passion as much as compassion. He had feelings for her. They were undeveloped yet, but he wasn't about to deny their existence like some footloose bachelor, afraid of commitment. He didn’t know if it was the right thing, making love to her without giving her the chance to get to know him better, but he knew that he could no more let her go right now than he could cut off his own arm. So he stroked her hair, marvelling at the silky feel as his lips taught her a few more secrets and his tongue tasted her again. He slid the strands through his fingers and pulled her head back to taste the skin on her neck.
She tipped her head willingly, giving him better access. He teased her earlobe, nibbling lightly and flicking it with his tongue before sucking it into his mouth. The silver hoop she was wearing was in his way, so he used his fingers to get rid of it. He tickled the sensitive area behind her earlobe and tasted the dryness of perfume she had dabbed there. It was bitter, and though it smelled like heaven, he wanted to taste Emily, so he traced a line down her neck and across her collarbone, following the line of an imaginary necklace with his tongue, until the last of the perfume had rubbed off on her skin and all he could taste was Emily. Sweet and unique and still a little bit scared.
He explored the hollow between her collarbones, taking his time over it. Her skin was like satin – smooth, silky, and so completely feminine. She moaned, a small sound in the back of her throat as she leaned helplessly against him, her hands around his head and her fingers tangled in his hair. She pulled at his head and he went willingly back to her mouth, to kiss and taste and take.
He was never going to get enough of her mouth, he though as he toyed with her lips and let her do the same to him.
She stepped away for a second and crossed her arms in front of her, pulling her sweater over her head in one smooth move. Brandon felt his breath catch in her throat when she stood in front of him in only her thin white chemise-like top and a lacy white bra that pushed her breast together in the most perfect way imaginable. He stopped her hands when she wanted to take the top off and slid his hands over her body reverently. She was so warm, but despite the heat in the room her nipples were hard, beaded little nubs, straining against the honeyed fabric of her thin top.
He pulled one strap over her shoulder and tasted the skin he unveiled before reaching down and getting rid of the blasted thing completely. And then his hands were in the skin of her softly rounded, perfectly proportioned hips, and her skin was softer and smoother than the silk of the top that had fluttered to the ground and was now lying there, like a pool of sex, on the floor. Brandon looked her in the eyes, and she gazed back unflinchingly, despite the blush that stained her cheeks a delicious shade of pink. He breast were spilling a little over the lace edge of her bra, something that the designer had undoubtedly taken great pains to accomplish. It was like... froth, he decided as he traced the edge of the material. Or the white foam on top of a wave as it rolled to shore.
He reached behind her, holding her gaze as he undid the clasp of her bra, the movement bringing their bodies together. She made a small sound when he stepped back deliberately and let the bra join the other clothes on the floor.
“You are so lovely,” he said, gazing at her body. She was so completely female, so gloriously, radiantly beautiful, and he couldn’t believe she was standing there, allowing him to desecrate her innocence. He cupped one of her breast, enjoy the way it spilled over his palm just a little. The tip was pale pink, like a very young rose just ready to bud open. He weighed a breast in each hand and was fascinated by the softness and fullness. His thumbs skated over the tips until they were even harder. He wanted to devour her, but this first time was not for him. It was for her, to feel and learn, and experience. To understand, to know, and to enjoy.
“Oh,” she gasped when he bent down and took one nipple into his mouth. Just for a second did he allow himself to be selfish and suckle on it, but then he pulled back and pressed a kiss right in the middle of her cleavage. She moaned a little and moved restlessly, but he didn’t relent. He kissed all over her breast, spiralling teasingly toward the nipple, knowing it would drive her crazy. He rubbed his cheek over the sensitive nub, abrading it lightly with his stubble-roughened skin and laving it unexpectedly with his tongue. He nipped lightly with his teeth, and she moaned again, slightly louder this time as he took his time nibbling it.
“Do what you did again,” she begged him breathlessly.
“And what was that?” he asked, teasing her by drawing his tongue round her nipple without touching it.
“What you did before,” she said incoherently.
“This?” he asked, licking over it once with his tongue flat.
“No,” she said, her head thrown back and her eyes closed.
“This, then?” he wanted to know, flicking it quickly.
“No! you know what I mean!”
He took pity on her. “Is this what you want?” he asked, drawing her into his mouth and suckling hard and sure, playing with his tongue around the tip as he did so.
“Oh, yes,” she moaned; a long, drawn out sound that grabbed at his control.
He picked the pace up after that, forgoing the torture on her other breast and going straight for the good part, sucking the nipple relentlessly until she let go of his hair and put her hands behind her own head, increasing both her vulnerability and her pleasure as she arched her body into his hands and mouth.
She felt something hit the back of her knees and opened her eyes, surprised to find that he had carried her into her bedroom without her noticing it. She was lost in sensations as his mouth travelled across her skin, insistently licking and nibbling, stopping every now and then to explore some new place he wanted to get to know intimately.
She heard him unzipping her pants and lifted her body instinctively to help him get rid of it.
“Brandon,” she sighed when she was laying naked except for her panties – pretty white lace that matched the bra she had been wearing – on her bed, and Brandon was kneeling at the feet of the bed, trying to get rid of her shoes so he could undress her completely.
“Yeah?” His voice was strained with the effort of holding back his passion.
“Come up here for a second,” she whispered. He got rid of her shoe and when he had pulled off her jeans he leaned over her, bracing himself on one knee and both arms immediately.
“Everything okay?” he asked gently, his face showing no sign of the storm raging inside him. He wanted to rush, wanted to hurry, wanted to burry himself in her body, but he was determined not to. This was for her. For Emily. He would have time later to show her unbridled passion. But right now he wanted her to have the most perfect first time any girl has ever had, anywhere.
“It’s perfect,” she smiled up at him, her hair flaring out over her pillows.
“This is a lot better than the last time I undressed you,” he said, grinning.
“What last time?”
“Well, you were fairly drunk, so I’m not surprised you don’t remember,” he said, tracing a pattern on her breast with his finger; lazy circles and shapes that made her arch a little. “I only took off your coat and your shoes,” he added. “Like I said. This is much better.”
She laughed a little. “I’m still sorry you spent the night on the couch.”
“Yeah,” he said. “You’re going to need to get a bigger couch if I’m going to spend the night again.”
She licked over her lips, a small gesture he recognised by now as a sign of nerves, so he waited for her to speak, trying to ignore the throbbing in his cock.
“Why don’t you just use the bed next time?” she asked tentatively. “If you want there to be a next time, that is. I don’t want you to feel I expect anything, or that I presume this, right here, right now, that it means I…”
He cut her off. “What are you talking about, woman?” he asked, but he thought he knew, and he didn’t like the direction of her thoughts.
“I don’t want you to think I expect the fact that you’re making love to me means I will expect more than just that,” she said carefully. “I’m not naïve enough to think this means happy-ever-after.”
“Okay,” he said. “With that cleared up, can we go back to the love-making?”
“By all means,’ she said. He kissed her then, letting her taste a bit of his anger because, damn her, had the thought ever crossed her mind that he might want more? That once might not be enough for him?
She sank back into the fluffy duvet, her arms around him pulling him down with her. She pressed her breast against his upper body. He moaned at the feel of her naked body against his clothed one, especially when she rubbed herself against him.
“You’re overdressed,” she said and he gave a bark of laughter, hurrying to remedy just that. He was out of his shirt in record time, and she leaned up to watch as he struggled a little with his jeans. Getting it past his raging hard-on was a delicate operation, but he managed not to injure himself.
“Let me,” she said when the jean was around his ankles and he started on his black boxer briefs.
She scooted closer to him, dressed only in her lacy white panties, the scent of her arousal wafting through the air.
She was very careful when she slid one hand into the waistband and pulled it away from his body and down. It kept getting stuck on his cock, so she used her other hand to hold his cock out of the way. They both gasped when her fingers touched him. Finally the boxers was around his ankles, so he kicked it and the jeans off and out of the way.
She stared at his cock for a few seconds, her hand hovering as if she wanted to touch it.
“’Can I …” she indicated and he nodded, his throat dry. She touched one finger to his shaft, running it up and down his thick length.
“It’s so hard,” she said, marvelling. “and at the same time, it’s so soft. Why is that?”
He moaned something in response as she made a fist around him, testing the thickness and pressing lightly.
“Harder,” he gasped. She did just that, and he groaned. Emily yanked her hand away.
“Did I hurt you?” she asked, wide-eyed. “I’m sorry! I’ve never, you know, seen one. In real life. Tell me what to do.”
“Later,” he gasped and pressed her down on the bed, kissing her senseless as he roamed over her body with one hand. “I’ll let you do whatever you want later. But now I want to show you… do you trust me?”
She blinked up at him.
“Yes,” she said, and the simple word tore through his last resistance. He kissed her with all the passion he’d been holding back, letting her know how much he wanted this, wanted her as he slid one hand down and into her panties.
“You’re shaved,” he said, surprised.
“When I was in my early twenties, I went for permanent hair removal,” she said. “Each time I tried shaving, I wound up cutting myself, so I just decided, screw that. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he said as he stroked his finger over her hairless mound, testing the softness of her skin before dipping lower.
And then he groaned as his finger was instantly coated in wetness. She was soaking.
She moaned at the strangeness of having somebody else’s finger inside her. He explored the lips, the petals, her clit, before dipping his fingertip inside her and dabbling a little while he kissed her again. She opened her legs wider instinctively, unaware of the eroticism of the movement. He rushed a little as he pulled her panties off and threw them over his shoulder. He knelt between her legs, spreading her knees further as he wedged his shoulders between her thighs.
“Emily, may I go down on you?” he asked formally. Just to be sure.
“You mean… you want to… Yes, all right. You don’t have to, though.”
“It’s not ‘have to’ as much as ‘want to’,” he said. “I want to taste you.”
“Well, don’t let me stop you,’ she said, still a little shy.
He used the fingers of one hand to spread her lips and the middle finger of his other hand to dibble inside her again, coating his finger in her juice and spreading it around her pussy. She wriggled a little and gave a small moan. Brandon knew he wasn't going to last a hell of a lot longer, and he needed to get her off so he could get off. So he honed in on her clit with his finger, rubbing it fast and light, and then hard, and then in tight little circles, trying to find out what she liked best.
Emily closed her eyes and fisted her hands in the duvet as Brandon’s finger did things to her nobody else has ever done. She gave a gasp when he hit just the right spot, and he must have noticed, because he focused on it then, rubbing and tapping at it. A strange need was building inside her. She knew what orgasms feel like – and it was nothing like this. This was an urgency she couldn’t stop, a tidal wave rising from every nerve-end in her body.
“Brandon,” she gasped, clawing at his back to get him to stop. There was something wrong with her; this wasn't normal. But he didn’t seem to realise her urgency, because then, oh mercy, his mouth was on her pussy, and he was sucking first the one lip and then the other into his mouth before getting to her clit. He moaned a little and muttered something about how good she tasted, but Emily was still fighting the feelings building up inside her and didn’t respond beyond little mewling sounds as she tried to get away from the sensations the way an inexperienced swimmer tries to escape an enormous wave. Brandon growled and flicked his tongue over her clit for a second, before rubbing it hard with his tongue. He nibbled lightly and drew it into his mouth, suckling like he did on her nipple.
“Let go,” he whispered against her, his breath warm on her wet skin. “Stop fighting it and let go, Emily.”
She cried out loudly, her back bowing and her hips thrusting as she rode his face, her hands drawing his head closer. The orgasm broke over her; a tidal wave that wreaked havoc with her nervous system and set every nerve ending on fire. It just lasted and lasted, one wave after another cresting through her body as she came, again and again and again.
Brandon growled as he lapped at her, and she realised dimly that he was licking up her juices. His hands were on her hips, holding her down as she bucked.
She floated back and was limp while he gave her a few seconds to adjust. She couldn’t open her eyes, could barely breath, but she welcomed the feeling of his warm body sinking down on hers. It was unfamiliar, the weight of somebody else on top of her, but she loved the feeling and even if she had wanted to, she couldn’t have pushed him off. Her body still twitched every few seconds from the strength of her orgasm.
He settled between her legs and she could feel the hard length of his cock against her.
“Condom,” she managed, but he kissed her on the lips. Shoe could still taste herself on his lips and it was surprisingly erotic.
“Taken care of,” he said, his voice strained. “Are you ready, honey?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he said. “And since you no longer have a hymen, it shouldn’t be too painful. But it will still feel strange. I’ll go as slowly as I can, but I’m not going to last very long.”
“I’m not scared,” she said softly. “Because it’s you, and it’s now, and it’s perfect.”
He positioned himself with one hand, first sliding his hard manhood around through her lips, coating himself and the rubber with slickness. His head pressed at her entrance and she opened her legs, lifting her knees. He held there for a little before he pushed in deeper. Just a little bit, giving her time to adjust. He slid in, and it was surprisingly easy, though her body tried to reject his advance at first. Then he pushed a little bit more, a little bit harder, and he slid home.
“Oh, my,” she gasped as he held perfectly still inside her. She could feel the struggle between his mind and his body as he strained to hold himself from moving.
“Are you all right?”
She couldn’t speak, so she just nodded her head. She was so full – he was so much bigger than her vibrator, so much more effective, for that matter. It was a strange feeling, having something that big inside her. But the more her body relaxed around him, the better it got.
“How does it feel to no longer be a virgin?” he whispered hoarsely against the curve of her neck. She still couldn’t find her voice, so she just smiled.
Brandon seemed to understand, because he pressed his lips against her and moved his hips, shifting back just a little before surging back again. She swallowed away the tightness in her throat that always indicated tears and took deep breaths while he moved slowly inside her, gradually picking up the pace. His breathing was hard and laboured when he slid in and out with measured strokes.
“So tight,’ he moaned. “So wet. “So perfect…”
“Can you… go a little faster?” Emily asked hesitantly. She was no longer sore, just full, and she wanted something, anything, to fill the sudden, unexpected emptiness that seemed to have come from nowhere and settled between her legs.
“No problem,” he said, moving a bit more forceful, his hips straining to get closed to hers.
She crossed her legs around his waist and her arms around his body as he kissed her neck. The sound of their breathing filled the room, followed by the wet sounds that came with sex, and the slaps of their bodies banging against each other.
Her awkward attempts at thrusting back had him clenching his teeth as he slipped in and out of her slick, hot core. She was so damn wet, so damn tight, and he wanted to come so badly. But he wasn't ready to stop yet, not with Emily in his arms, under him and around him, making sounds that drove him crazy.
He started thrusting faster and wilder, feeling her inner muscles clench his cock as he pumped into her. He lifted himself on his knees and pulled her hips towards his bodies, holding her up with his hands cupped under her ass. The new position had her body bowing backwards as he thrust in deeper and harder. She gasped with every stroke as the tip of his cock went in deeper than before. Her hands cupped her breasts and she rubbed and pinched her nipples.
“Oh, yes,” he moaned. “Fuck, that’s hot. Don’t stop!”
“More,” she gasped when he went even faster. “I need more. Please, Brandon, I want… I need…”
“Tell me,” he said, hissing through his teeth for breath. “Tell me what you want.”
“You,” she said, and his balls slapped against her with each thrust. “Just you, taking me… Oh, oh, yes! Right there, please, again!”
He complied, rubbing her clit with one finger as the other hand held her lower body up for him to use.
“I’m going to cum,” she said. “Please… oh, yes, yes, Brandon!”
She threw back her head as she came again and even through the condom, Brandon could feel the fresh gushes of nectar. The walls of her pussy was pulsing and pulsating, tugging him deep and hard, milking him and tugging at his cock like a slick, wet velvety fist. It was the hot liquid tugs, the expression of bliss on her face and her triumphant scream that made him lose control. He trembled as he lunged inside, as deep as he could go, one last time. He felt that too-familiar feeling as his balls drew up tight against his body, as the delicious orgasm hit him, seeming to come both from outside and within his body. He held himself deep and ground down on her as he came hard, spurt after spurt filling up the rubber, so much so that he was almost afraid it would overflow. But he was helpless to do anything but keep inside her tight sheath as the tremors in them both subsided.
After a few minutes, his heartbeat had returned to only three times as fast as usual, and he flopped down on the bed next to her. He pulled of the condom and cleaned up his cock with a tissue from the box on her bedside table. She was still breathing fast, and he pulled her into his arms, entwining their legs as they came down from whatever cloud they had been on.
“I have this fantasy,” she said after being quiet for so long that he’d thought she had fallen asleep.
“Sure thing, honey,” he muttered. “Just gimme a few minutes and I’ll be good to go again.”
“Not right now, you dolt,” she said, snuggling in deeper to belie her words. “Later. I have this fantasy. Of sex. In a bar.”
He opened one eye and looked at her. “Really?”
“Oh, yes,” she said, putting her arm around his chest and rubbing her leg soothingly against his. “I’ve always had a thing for hot bartenders.”
“Well, well,” he said, keeping the inevitable drowsiness at bay so they could enjoy the post-coital chat a little longer. “And to think I’ve always had a ssecret librarian fantasy.”
She looked up at him, her blue eyes struggling to focus on his without her glasses, but then she smiled. “Is that so?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve always had a thing for hot women telling me I’m not allowed to talk.”
She giggled. “Then stop talking right now,” she commanded.
This was going to be so much fun.