John pays the cover charge for both of us, and then ventures inside, with his hand connected to mine. Once inside, we spiral through the cluster of people. Over one hundred people dance to the ear-splitting music while I soak up the presence of the man who makes my head spin. After we check our jackets, we approach John's friends, three women and a man.
"Everybody, this is Summer," John announces. "Summer, this is everybody."
"Hello," I say, right before everyone greets me.
With as much alertness as I can pull from within, I pretend to appear interested in John's friends' conversation, making eye contact with them as they speak of people whom I do not know.
"We're going upstairs," John says, as he leads me over to the bar. "I'll see you guys later," he says to his friends.
John pulls his wallet from his pocket and then orders a Coke. "Can I get you anything?"
"No, thanks," I say.
His even-toned complexion is a dynamite contrast for his sparkling green eyes, and I so much enjoy the view. It is already 1:00 a.m., and my weary body longs for sleep. I cover my mouth and yawn.
"You're not getting sleepy on me, are you?" John asks as he slides his wallet back into his pocket.
"I'm okay." Though tired, I summon the stamina to play this night through for all its worth.
Upstairs, in the corner, we find a rundown mini-sofa, seemingly put to use many of nights. The music on the second level is a lot less penetrating, which creates an atmosphere for friendly conversation and more. When we crash on the sofa, John snuggles close to me, so much so that someone passing by might make us out as an intimate couple. I close my eyes and smile while I envision John's warm body molded perfectly with mine. And oh, what a marvelous treat it is.
"Are you sure you don't want anything to drink?" John asks again.
"I'm sure," I say, thinking, if only he knew what I am just imagining.
With John sitting so snug and his hand on my knee, I feel a little uneasy and turn away.
"Why do you keep looking away from me?"
I look over at John and turn on my innocent smile. "I've always been a little shy."
"Since when?" he questions.
"Since recently." Though I am no virgin, being with him again after our separation makes me feel like one all over again.
"I like looking at your face," he says. "You have a nice face."
I smile to myself, reveling in the sound of his masculine voice.
He fondles the inside of my hand and gently strokes my fingers. Enjoying the warmth of his hand against mine, my heart pounds. It is as if he knows what feels good to me, and it is just too much. I want to beg him to stop turning me on, yet the words won't formulate, let alone escape from my throat. Panting on the inside, I absorb the longgggggggggggggg silence between us. As much as I like having John touch my hand, it scares me. I delight in the feel of his hand and his long skilled fingers curled around mine. I am torn between asking him to stop and never stopping, the passion inside too intense to overpower. After a few minutes, John releases his hand from mine, and I can finally loosen up. But before I can relax entirely, John grasps my fingers and gently embraces them as if communicating some erotic message.
"Your fingers are so sweaty," he says. "Does it bother you when I touch your hand this way?"
"No, not really."
But it does bother me because I am leading him on and enjoying every second of it. Nevertheless, I relish the moment too much to stop myself. I am enjoying his company so much that I again hesitate to ask him if he is still involved with his ex-girlfriend, for fear of the answer that I will receive. Not wanting to ruin what is a perfect evening, I decide to ask him later.
"You know what I'm thinking?" he asks, in his own I-know-I'm-turning-you-on fashion.
"No, tell me."
"I'm thinking how lucky I am to have run into you this evening."
John rubs his head against my forearm, not saying a word. He is a bold man, but it is okay because he is just as sweet as he is bold.
"You smell good," John says. "I like your perfume. What is it so that I can make sure that you always have plenty of it?"
"Cool Water Woman."
Glad that John cannot perceive the astonishment that lurks inside me, I brainstorm for something to say. But nothing springs to mind. Instead, I envision him kissing me, seemingly the next logical thing to do, and more importantly, what I cry out for him to do. Continually absorbing the idea of him kissing me, I inch my body towards him, feeling a shiver of arousal just being near him.
This moment is unreal.
Not only am I in the company of the most handsome detective in Chicago, but here I am cuddled up with him on a frumpy sofa.
What can be better than that?
John's head rests against my chest as we embrace each other's presence, saying absolutely nothing. Never before am I so in tuned with someone whose closeness I could enjoy without so much as one word of conversation. I close my eyes and recap the night's adventure. Because everything is happening so fast, my brain is just catching up. But it doesn't matter how I arrive at this moment, just that I arrive.
Having just reconnected with him, and not knowing whether or not he is involved with someone else, I theorize that it isn't smart to cuddle with him this way. But, the more forbidden it seems, the more I like it.
As time passes, more and more people leave from upstairs. Soon John and I are the only two who remain when John lifts his head from my chest and in a whisper, his breath hot against my ear, says, "Can I ask you something?"
A nervous inkling circulates from within, eager to hear what he is about to say to me. "Sure."
"I'd like for you to come home with me tonight," John murmurs, his supposed question sounds more like a request.
The shock of his words hit full force, and I am caught off guard and completely taken aback. "What did you just say?" I ask. He cannot possibly have said what I think he said.
"I want you to come home with me," he says, continuing to stroke my hand.
"But I haven't seen you in over a year."
"All the more reason for you to come home with me now. I want to make love to you all night."
Having played this game long enough, it is time to put a stop to it. "I can't do that."
"You can do anything that you want."
"No, I can't." Merely considering the idea frightens me and makes me curious at the same time. Every strain of blood in my body is aching for this man to climb on top of me and hammer me until the early morning hours, and it takes all of the reluctance I possess to decline his offer.
"Captain David has something he wants to show you," he says.
"I bet he does." Captain David is the nickname for John's second brain, which amuses me to the high heavens.
When I hear footsteps coming closer to us, I am relieved to see three of John's friends approaching.
"There you guys are," John's friend says. "What are you two doing back here?"
"Just talking," John says.
"We're getting ready to go," John's friend says.
"Summer and I will be leaving soon. I'll talk to you guys tomorrow."
After John's friends leaves, he asks, "Are you sure you don't want to come home with me?"
"I can't do that." I hope he does not continue to ask me because I will only be able to resist his proposal for so long.
"But I don't want to leave you," he says with an ounce of sincerity.
"That's very sweet," I say as I rise to my feet and straighten my pants.
"I wish I could at least drive you home," John says. "I'll walk you to your car."
Through the corridor and down the stairs, John and I straggle along as if we are the only two people alive.
"Are you going to let me call you sometime?" John asks.
"Sure," I say, not letting on just how much I want him to call me.
I try to kid myself into believing that, regardless of whether or not he is involved with someone else that he and I can be good friends.
But who am I kidding?
He is definitely more-than-friend material.
John takes his phone from his pocket and programs my number into it.
Outside Pinky's Place, John and I approach my Ford Focus. "Are you going to be okay going home?" John asks.
"I'll be okay." I open the door, climb inside, start the engine and roll down the window.
"Are you sure?" John asks. "It's no trouble for me to trail you home."
"No, that's okay. I'll be fine." Finally finding the courage to ask what has been on my mind all evening, I say. "I need to ask you something."
"Are you still seeing your old girlfriend?"
"You probably wanted to ask me that all evening, didn't you?"
"Well, are you?" I ask, the suspense churning away at me.
John leans inside the car and kisses my cheek. "No, I'm not."
As the relief sweeps over me, I roll up the window, switch the gear into drive and blush all the way home.
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Genre - Romance
Rating – PG-13
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