© 2013 Cindy Jacks
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As cliche as it sounds, a fresh breeze seemed to follow her as she entered the bar. Until then it had been a perfectly average Tuesday, the same old guys fueling up so they could face the fam with a smile. Not me. I had no one waiting at home. I ordered another drink and watched.
Tears glittered in her brown eyes, she ordered a double of top shelf whiskey, her soft voice quavering. Golden tendrils licked at her cheekbones and brushed the top of her shoulders, her hair not too short, not too long―just like her dress. It inched up her thighs as she took a seat on the bar stool and I noticed she wore stockings. I loved her for that.
Much to my dismay, it seemed women had held some secret meeting and decided stockings were out of style. I loved rolling them down a silken thigh, unwrapping the gift of bare skin beneath. An image of this woman’s stocking lying abandoned on my bedroom floor flashed through my mind. Adjusting myself, I hoped no one noticed my cock stirring.
I wondered why she had tears in her eyes, tears she seemed desperate to blink away. And why was she alone on a Tuesday evening in some neighborhood bar she had clearly never entered before? If she were mine, she would never have to go anywhere alone, especially not on the verge of crying.
If she were mine… The thought alarmed me. No stranger to animal attraction, I recognized the hold she had on me as something different. Her forlorn expression tugged at my heart and piqued my curiosity.
Gathering all my courage, I decided to approach her. What was the worst that could happen? She’d shoot me down and I’d go back to surfing Facebook and drinking alone. No harm, no foul. But if she did talk to me, if she didn’t send me away, tail tucked between my legs, well, that would be worth risking the humiliation, wouldn’t it?
Crossing the room seemed to take forever, but step by step I’d propelled myself to the bar.
“I’ll have another scotch and soda,” I told the bartender. “And whatever the lady is having.”
She looked up at me, eyes still glittering and shook her head. “No, thanks. I’m not looking for company.”
Damn it, Facebook and humiliation it was. I had to save this―and fast.
“What?” I furrowed my brow. “Oh, you think I ordered that drink for you. No, no. I just wanted to try whatever it is you’re having. It looks good.” I grinned, hoping she’d find me charming or at the very least deserving of a kind brush off.
Fortunately, she chuckled. “Ah. My bad. I shouldn’t make assumptions, huh?”
“I’d be willing to overlook your arrogance if you help me finish my drink order.” I took a seat next to her.
She rolled her eyes, but accepted the double whiskey when the bartender offered it.
“I can’t believe that flew, buddy.” The bartender shook his head.
“You and me both,” I agreed.
At this, she laughed. The throaty sound washed over me like a wave rushing over the shore. She had a fantastic laugh and a smile to match.
“Who said it’s flown yet?” she asked, taking a sip.
I fished a handkerchief from my pocket and offered it to her. “Well, maybe you aren’t in the mood for company, but you look like you could use a sympathetic ear.”
She drew in a faltering breath and reached for the handkerchief. Fingers trembling, she pressed her full lips together as if considering what I’d said. “Yes, you’re probably right.”
“I don’t mean to be nosy, but I can’t stand to see a beautiful woman cry.”
“But it’s okay if the ugly ones do?” she asked, dabbing at her eyes.
“Uh…no. I didn’t mean― It’s just that…”
Breathe, you idiot, I chided myself.
“You’re cute when you’re flustered.” She returned my hanky. I dabbed at the sweat forming on my forehead. The cloth smelled of citrus and flowers.
Cute? Was cute good or was it the kiss of death? I decided to soldier on and pretend I hadn’t heard the left-handed compliment.
“I like your perfume,” I said.
She told me the name though it didn’t mean anything to me.
“I’m Joseph, by the way. Joe if you prefer.”
“Alison.” Her tongue flicked across her lips as she pronounced the L in her name.
Alison―it suited her. A pretty name for a pretty woman.
“So, may I ask what has you so upset, Alison?”
She shrugged. “Really predictable story. Boyfriend, commitment issues, blah, blah, blah.”
Boyfriend. The word crushed me.
“Boyfriend present tense?”
“Boyfriend, huge fucking question mark.”
Huge fucking question mark I could work with. Whoever had been stupid enough to screw things up with this lovely lady deserved to get pushed out of the picture altogether.