Friday Filth: The Rebound List

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In preparation of Monday’s official launch, here’s a little snippet of something that happens early on in The Rebound List… 

Looking at him, despite the dimmed light of the theatre, still I feel a jolt run through me when our eyes meet. He runs his fingers through my hair again. Hoping this is going where I want it to, I look at his lips, so tempting. I want to taste him, right here and immediately.

His hand cups my cheek but he continues to just look as if asking for permission. Over-eager and impatient, of course I jump the gun and reach for him, planting a soft kiss on his lips. I feel his breath against me, his arms drawing me towards him closer.

He kisses me back. It’s a bit awkward at first but then our lips, tongues, our beings seem to be in tune. Every inch of me appears to sing with excitement. My eyes flick open and find his staring into me, smiling as I am.

I wrap my arm around his neck, my hand reaching for his hair now. It’s hard not to get carried away, after all, a cinema does not afford all that much privacy. But I suppose there’s no harm in indulging my impulses just a little.

Running my fingertips over his shirt, I enjoy the outlines of what I know to be underneath. Mystery is overrated. I have spent enough time looking at, no, studying his naked photographs to know what awaits me and frankly, that’s reassuring as well as arousing.

He doesn’t have this advantage though, until today he had only seen the bottom half of my face and my eyes and that too in black & white instead of colour. I kiss him with more energy, more passion and feel a moan travel over my lips. Was it mine or his? Does it even matter?

Suddenly aware of angry stares burning into us, I pause, biting my bottom lip and try to signal to make him aware of the grumpy man ahead of us. He continues to hold me, grinning back at me until I decide to turn and use him as a backrest; his arm draped across my front in a similar position as you’d keep a seatbelt in a car.

He seems to be enjoying this changed dynamic as much as I am, because he starts to nuzzle my neck, where all the little hairs at the back stand right up. His hand, fingertips soft and careful, running up and down on the fabric of my dress, just over where my ribs end and the soft part of my waist starts. It’s beautiful, the slow progress we’re making towards the inevitable.

The movie, although kind of gory and scary, passes by quickly and largely unnoticed. His face remains comfortably resting in the crook of my neck and I’m hanging onto his arm, my hand travelled up his sleeve just enough to hold him. There should be no mistaking that I want him here, this close and even closer to me.

His confidence grows and he wraps his other arm around me too, caressing my arm which is still pretty cold in the unnaturally chilled cinema air. By the time the credits start, I can’t wait to get out, away from grumpy man who interrupted our first, tentative kisses.

“I think I want to go…” I say.

He sits up, letting go as I turn towards him.

“Thought it was going well…” he says, his gaze lingers on my lips just a bit.

“Oh yeah, I meant both of us, somewhere more private… if you want to.” I smile at him. “You didn’t think that I want to leave? No, not at all.”

Want more? You could read part one of The Rebound List already for free, or wait until Monday the 28th of July and get the whole collection (parts 1~4) together for a special introductory price of 99c/99p! 

Stranger (The Rebound List 3) Chapter 1

Disclaimer: This is a rough draft, it has not been edited or revised yet so I apologise in advance for mistakes and typos.

I’m having one of those evenings. The ones that stretch on forever. Can’t sleep but can’t face sitting around on my own for much longer either. I know it’s because I’m troubled by everything that’s happened lately, which I’ve been unwilling to deal with. But if I keep bottling it up, I’ll never get to sleep…

A dejected sigh later, I find my diary and decide to expose all and confess my sins, even if nobody will see them but me.

“Dear Diary,

Today was my last day at work. And with it, perhaps the last time I see Craig, ever. Ever since our crazy hook-up at the Christmas party a couple of weeks ago, he’s been acting weird. That’s actually not even a fair assessment. Ever since I quit the Monday after the Friday that we hooked up, he’s been cold and indifferent. I hadn’t handled it well, not at all. Not only did I have the worst timing ever, I’d been way too blunt. Sal later wondered if he was about to ask me out a mere moment before I told him, so perhaps he was hoping for more as well. Could that even be? I’d made it abundantly clear beforehand that it was going to be just sex. Not that that plan had gone well the first time around.

Meanwhile, my first list-based lay, the ex-virgin, has been posting a lot about his latest tragic love interest. Apparently she’s great, and perfect, and cute, and god knows what else. And taken.

We’ve talked off and on, but I’ve taken care not to broach the subject of his crush in conversation. I’m curious, but I’m also still pissed off about it, but realise I have no right to feel that way.”

I put the diary and pen down again and take a deep breath. None of this is helping, rather than having a calming effect, my rant is just getting me more and more upset. I hate how things have ended with Craig. And I hate even more how the ex-virgin has seemingly breezed past our night together as if it meant nothing to him.

“Sally meanwhile has set the wheels in motion for item 3 on my list. I am to pick up a stranger at a New Year’s party, with her support (in case I get the urge to fuck it up with my now-legendary bluntness). God knows why I ever decided I’d wanted to do a stranger, it’s a scary prospect. But Sally’s idea of doing it at a party seems solid. Yet the plan does not excite me. Perhaps I should try internet dating and just act normal. Boring.”

I don’t know how you’re meant to feel after a breakup, but it’s been a big, stinking river of shit so far. And I’m not sure the occasional list-inspired highlight has made up for any of it.”

Snapping the diary shut and throwing it away from me onto the coffee table, I rest my head in my hands. There’s no option but to try and stick to the plan. I’ve crossed out two items on my list, meaning I’m halfway through. It doesn’t feel like halfway, it feels like the easy part is over and the real struggle will begin now. A stranger and a threesome. So first I need to find one random guy to sleep with and then two of them?! What was I thinking?

A stranger. It seemed like a good idea back when I wrote the list. Now it seems stupid. But I’d set these tasks for myself and would hate it if I gave up now. Sally will be there with me. She even joked that if a particularly cute guy comes along, we might end up killing two birds with one stone. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was after a threesome with two men, not just one and her.

So indeed today was my – our – last day. It was also the last day before the Christmas holidays start for most people, so the new job doesn’t begin until the new year. Which reminds me of another thing I’d been dreading. Christmas.

Christmas by myself. No family, no boyfriend and no turkey. The dreariness never ends.

The only positive that’s come out of the entire previous week was bittersweet as well. Our departure at work opened up a vacancy in the internal system, the details of which I was able to send to the ex-virgin. I haven’t heard back from him yet, but I assumed he’s still hunting for work. I’d recommend him to Craig myself, but at this point, that might have the opposite effect.

A glance at the clock reveals it’s 3am and I still can’t sleep. Wonder what’s on TV.

***

Ding. What a strange noise he just made. Ding.

Ding ding ding.

From there his gorgeous face morphs into Craig, but not the one I remember working with before. Rather he looks like the version of Craig that I’d just quit on with a stare that cuts right through me and chills me to my core. His tense lips hardly move as he continues to make the weird sound. Ding, ding.

I blink a few times, trying to shake that overwhelming lethargy you experience when you’re woken at the wrong time. Within seconds, I’d gone from being bedded by the guy this whole list debacle had started with to being bombarded by strange noises and seeing guilt impersonated in front of me. Where’s that godawful noise coming from?

My phone lights up, presumably for the tenth time at least and dings again. Argh, my head. Facebook Messenger is merciless.

“Hey, where the fuck are you?” Sal writes. “I’ve got something to run past you, wake up, sleepyhead!”

Stretching my arms fails to loosen my shoulders which are suffering the consequences of sleeping on the couch.

“What?” I type.

Sally appears to be writing furiously on the other end and I decide to make myself a cup of tea. This morning has started all wrong. That dream. I won’t forgive her for interrupting that dream. It had felt like the guy wasn’t just doing me, but rather we were making love. The way he was looking at me… I’m still on edge because of it. But now that glorious moment has passed.

Ding.

Goddamnit, I’m coming, woman!

The kettle starts bubbling in the background and I check the message that’s just arrived.

“Change of plans for xmas, you still around on the 25th?”

“Yep.”

“OK, awesome. Looks like I’ll be as well. Let’s do something.”

Sal to the rescue, to save me from a lonely Christmas without even any roasted poultry to look forward to? Why not.

“Call me in 10.” I hit send and slump down at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, rubbing my forehead with the palm of my hand. Caffeine. Need caffeine.

A few sips of tea and a biscuit later, the phone rings.

“Morning,” Sally cheers at the other end.

“Meh.”

“Oh you’re such a grouch, you know that? It’s fucking 11 in the morning, not like I’m calling you at an ungodly hour or anything.” She chuckles. Her cheeriness is making me even grumpier.

“I slept at like 5. Or 7. God, I don’t know. Had someone else been around, I’d be accusing them of bashing me over the head with something after I finally did fall asleep. Bloody headache.”

“You’ve got to go easy on the wine,”

“I wasn’t dr-”

“Anyway, stop changing the subject. Christmas Day. You, me, turkey, roasties and all that stuff. What do you say?”

“Alright.”

“I may ask around if anyone else is free as well, for those of us not visiting family that day, we might as well make our own fun.”

“Fine.”

“Since you’re the only one I know who can actually cook, you’ll be in charge of the food. We’ll pool together to buy everything, but it’d be nice if it was actually edible.”

“OK.”

“Awesome. Talk later.” With that, she hangs up and I’m left wondering what exactly I just agreed to.

I’m in charge of the food. Suddenly I wonder if sitting at home by myself without the hassle would have been preferable to this new plan. Still, she had a point. We might as well have something edible on the table that day and I know what her cooking is like. Finding a notepad and pen in a nearby drawer, I make a quick list of ingredients I’ll need to hunt for. Five days to find a suitable bird, that ought to be doable.

***

Turns out, time flies when you’re planning a feast. Sally’s main contribution, beyond the initial idea, came in the form of a few more attendees, and a ridiculous email inviting us all to her place for her proposed “Christmas Day for sad, lonely fucks”. You simply can’t make it up.

I’ve accumulated more food than the average household would eat in a month without even noticing, while leaving her in charge of the booze. The kitchen is covered with a mountain of dishes I thought I’d need, just in case. I need to give her one credit, a big one. I haven’t had time to feel guilty about anything that was bothering me last week.

Hearing Craig’s voice greeting Sal at the door and thanking her for the invite comes as quite a shock. Even so, I don’t have time for a meltdown, instead I nod at him once he enters and continue to try and not burn any of the food.

When we finally sit down at the table; Craig, Sally’s two school friends and a neighbour, her and me, I notice everyone is in much better spirits than I’ve allowed myself to be. But the food is ready, and I think I’ve managed reasonably well, despite the constant interruptions earlier. Everyone agrees, even Craig, who seems a lot less cold and horrible than I’d remembered him.

By the end of the evening, which drags on a lot later than just lunch, apparently all is forgiven. A huge weight falls off my shoulders. He had indeed wondered whether to ask me out the day I quit, but more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. In the meantime, he’s been on a first date with Sarah from HR and found they have a lot more in common than expected.

Despite the herculean task of putting together a meal for all of us on my own without much in the way of previous experience, the day leaves me content. It has been a success, and someone I’d worried about turning into an enemy, ends up still being a friend.

Thanks for reading. Stranger (The Rebound List #3) comes out sometime in April. If you’d like to find out when exactly, please sign up for my newsletter, and you could even get your copy as a free welcome gift!

The Rebound List – Deleted Scene

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I’m starting work on The Rebound List #3, Stranger, and with it am thinking about what’s to come. This scene has been left out of Silver Fox and I’m not sure it fits into Stranger either so I may just skip it. Anyway, hope you enjoy it as a little teaser 😉

“That’s how you said it, in that context?” Sally’s eyes are wide, chin about to hit the floor. “You didn’t seriously tell Craig you’re quitting right when he was about to figure out whether to ask you on a date? That’s cold, no that’s downright evil!”

“Umm, well… Better out than in?” I shrug, trying to hide the stabbing embarrassment that overcomes me every time I replay the conversation in my head. She’s right, that was absolutely terrible. I should learn to think before talking.

“You are as tactful and subtle as a rhinoceros at times. Damn!” Sally looks like she might burst into laughter, if only she could remember to breathe.

“Fuck, I don’t know. Let’s talk about something else…”

“Fine. Damn… No wonder he didn’t take it very well though. Next time, please talk to me first, OK? I’ll tell you what to say and how.” She leans forward and grabs the bottle of Merlot from the table, refilling our glasses.

“So, Becks. Remind me what’s next.” Sally  scoots closer to me and slides my glass back in my direction.

I show her the pad. Two entries crossed out, two remain.

“Ohh, I like the sound of that!”

I’m not convinced and lean back against the sofa, taking a sip.

“Yeah, I guess.”

My tone must’ve tipped her off because she pats me on the arm reassuringly.

“Seriously, that one will be the easiest yet. We’ll go out together, I can be your wing-girl. Or whatever. Perhaps we should go to a club. Wait!” Sal smacks the armrest of the sofa with her flat hand.

“I’ve got the perfect plan! Four words: New – Year’s – Eve – Party!”

I sigh and let the idea sink in. Pick up some random at a party? That’s so not me. But then, that’s the whole point of the list, isn’t it?

Stranger (The Rebound List #3) is coming sometime in Spring 2014.

Still on the Rebound (Silver Fox)

cover2-2-kindleIf you’ve read Virgin (The Rebound List #1) and are wondering what’s going to happen next, here’s a little sample of #2, Silver Fox:

Commuting by bus can be a pain in the ass. This winter morning it’s cold, drizzly and I missed the first two because they were full. There is hardly anything more disillusioning than standing at the bus stop, shivering uncontrollably and watching a full, steamed up bus drive right past you without even slowing. We’re only two people at this stop, surely the drivers could’ve fitted us in!

It takes another 5 minutes for the next one to arrive which thankfully does have a bit of room inside. A seat is too much to ask for the first five minutes, so I’m forced to stand, hanging on to a grab handle and trying not to get ill while at the mercy of the world’s most erratic bus driver.

The heated air is finally starting to penetrate into my woollen coat, allowing me to open my muffler a bit. At the next stop, someone gets off, freeing up a seat which I am all too eager to take. This gives me another ten minutes or so to take out my diary and write.

Dear Diary,

It has been a month since I started my journey: a quest towards sexual enlightenment sparked by my breakup with Jeff. I’m not sure it’s going brilliantly, in fact I haven’t a clue how to move it all along. Seemingly everything on my list, although tempting, has some kind of drawback or obstacle. But I did by some stroke of immense luck already manage to find myself a virgin to fuck, which was pretty great. The thing that isn’t so brilliant is that I’m having a hard time sticking to the first half of ‘casual sex’ as a concept. I can do sex, not sure I’m casual enough about it.

As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about him, despite not knowing him at all, not even his name. This is not a situation where I’m fondly remembering just one of the items on my sexual wish list, but rather an inconvenient obsession with the guy. I liked him. And with where I’m at in my life right now, I can’t have that.

We ended our time together with the suggestion (from my side) to perhaps stay friends. I’ve shied away from making contact though. My worry is that I’ll get even more lost in this fixation.

I had planned for more experiences and I’d better get on with it all. But for some reason I feel a bit blocked, like something drastic needs to happen for me to finally consider the rest of my options, or I may just give up. The truth of the matter is, it’s not that I’m not in the mood. But I just happen to want a lot of reruns of that night with him.

I should definitely put that idea out of my head now. This wasn’t what I had signed up for. I didn’t want all this what-if bullshit going on in my thoughts; all I was after was just a bit of fun…

Something needs to happen soon, or my plan will be doomed. I remind myself with my original list, written on a little notepad kept with me pretty much all the time.

To Do:
Virgin
Silver Fox
Stranger
Threesome

A glance at my watch tells me there’s little hope of still making it on time. Not that that really matters, most of my colleagues work flexi-time. As long as I’m there the 8 hours they’ve hired me for, it’s irrelevant if I’m a little late coming in. Plus in the four years that I’ve been there, Craig has never given me any grief about little stuff like that. In fact he’s never really given me any grief at all.

The moment I reach work, I’m greeted by Sally’s radiant grin.

“Hey Becks, don’t you look grumpy and miserable this morning! No matter, allow me to change that,” Sally says.

“Morning Sal,” I say while taking off my soggy coat.

“You know that guy, the one I told you about?” she continues.

“The one you were doing last weekend, or the weekend before?” I tease.

“Shut up, you slag. Last I checked you were the one making a name as the corrupter of innocents, not me.”

“Fair point. So yeah, the guy. What about him?” I smile.

“Well, so he’s managing the sales team over at Aspect. I sent over our CVs and he’s just called me to say they’d be willing to hire both of us!” Sally is having a hard time keeping her voice down, she’s that excited.

“No shit, that’s awesome!”

“I know, no offense to Craig and all, but this place is kind of a sinking ship. Over there we’d get a raise and I hear they’ve got their own on-site gym. How cool is that?”

“Wow, thanks so much for putting in a good word for me. I’ve been getting kind of sick of the endless austerity bullshit around here. Not even a raise in two years…” I say.

“Totally. It’s going to be great. New surroundings, new people, but we’d still have each other.”

Sally wanders off again, chatting to some other colleagues who have come in. What an amazing opportunity. She was right; this news has indeed cheered me up to no end.

“Morning,” Craig says, steamy mug in hand.

I often wonder if he uses his ‘The Boss’ mug ironically, or because he can’t be bothered looking for a different one after a bunch of us gave it to him two years ago.

“Happy Monday.” I grin.

He makes a face at me and starts talking about the Christmas party. In support of further cost cutting, the one event we’ve all been looking forward to – no, gagging for – has been affected.

“So rather than cancel the whole thing, which would inspire nothing short of a revolution and a bloody coup, I managed to convince them to let us organise it in-house,” Craig explains.

I sigh. He’s a nice guy and I’ll miss him when Sal and I leave, but she’s right. This is a sinking ship.

“I guess, so long as there is booze and halfway decent food. No, strike the food. So long as there is lots of booze, it’ll be fine.”

 

Friday Filth 5

champions-siteThis Friday Filth teaser is from British Champions, the sequel to Ladies’ Day (so you might want to start there if you haven’t read it yet…)

“You’re special. Let me show you how special…” He peels my top off slowly, kissing any skin as soon as it’s exposed.

I smile at him, a little more reassured about our situation than before and completely ready for a good, hard reconciliation. When he makes me feel the way I do right now, how can I worry about what may or may not happen in future? Here and now, everything feels right.

With one hand in his hair, I try to guide him towards my nipple which so far he is carefully avoiding; kissing and teasing only the surrounding skin. I impatiently start unbuttoning his shirt before lifting myself and quickly taking my own top off too.

“In a hurry?” He grins, I just give him a look that says it all.

He leans on one arm and takes my wrist with his other hand. Before I know it, he pins first one arm back against the armrest of the sofa, and then the other. I’m helplessly spread and his appreciative gaze tells me he likes it this way.

“I want to touch you…” I beg.

He shakes his head and kisses me firmly, gathering both my hands together before I have the chance to regain my composure. His lips make me weak. I can’t take my eyes off his face but quickly get distracted when his free hand finds its way down between us, massaging my thighs from the outside in. Getting ever closer to where I really want to be touched.

I let out a moan and he leans in for a further taste. His tongue slips into my mouth the very moment his hand moves past the waistband of my pants.

“How wet you are,” he groans against my lips.

Friday Filth 4

Onenight2-siteIt’s only obvious that I’ve chosen Just for One Night to pick a teaser from for Friday Filth this week; Get your copy FREE from Amazon (US, UK) until Saturday 15th June!

A glint appears in his eyes and before I can wonder what he’s thinking he firmly grabs both my wrists. He turns onto his back and I’ve no choice but to be dragged along.

“You interrupted me last night, it’ll not happen again.” His deep voice is not one to argue with.

He lets go of my hands and instead lifts me up from under my armpits. My legs spread, surrounding him, but he’s not satisfied with me yet.

“Sit on me,” he says.

“But I already am…”

He shakes his head, dragging me upwards by hooking his hands through the bend of my knees. A smile forms on his lips when I begin to understand and crawl further upwards, finally ending up covering his face.

It wasn’t the drink that made this so amazing the first time around. He does know exactly what to do, but more than that it’s obvious he enjoys this as much as I do.

The moment his tongue reaches my clit I am positive that whatever happens between us, it’ll be a fun ride. I’m taken over by waves of pleasure, starting small like a little itch scratched in just the right manner, then growing in intensity.

Just for One Night – Free

Onenight2-siteFor what I’m expecting might be the last time, I’m giving away Just for One Night free on Amazon starting today. The promo will run until Saturday 15th June, so if you haven’t read this short story yet, you’ve still got a few days to get a free copy.

Available for FREE on Amazon; US, UK, DE, FR (and others)

If you’re not sure if Just for One Night is for you, let the excerpt below sway you…

 

 

He turns towards me as soon as I reach and I’m frozen in place. Concentrating on continuing to breathe, I tuck my black wavy hair behind my ear and glance in his direction.

I take in his strong Nordic features, his full lips and steely blue eyes that stand in stark contrast against the dark brown of his hair and short beard. All I can manage is a shy smile before hurriedly looking away.

My instincts served me well, if I had stayed in my seat, I would’ve regretted it. I feel tiny standing next to him, which causes me to feel an even stronger attraction. And his eyes on me, I can almost feel them stabbing and probing.

His hands are huge as well, manly. I wonder how he’d touch me, if those hands could be gentle or if they only know how to be rough. There’s no sign of a wedding ring; what a relief.

It has been decided, I want him at any cost.

“What can I get you, darling?” The bartender interrupts my thoughts.

“Oh I’ll have a Bailey’s, thanks.” Taking a deep breath I turn towards my mark. “Would you like anything, while I’m buying already?”

Surprised, it takes him a few seconds to respond. Or perhaps he’s as distracted by our eye contact as I am.

“Ice?” the bartender asks. I nod in response before resuming to look at the giant’s face again.

The short interruption appears to have helped him get his thoughts in line too.

“Another Guinness.” He tells the bartender.

His deep voice matches his impressive stature and makes my heart jump a few beats. I put a Tenner down on the bar, hoping that the goose bumps on my arms aren’t too obvious.

“Mind if I take this seat?” I say, “You’re not holding it for anyone, are you?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

While I get onto the stool, our drinks appear in front of us.

“Cheers,” I’m trying my best to sound a lot more confident than I feel.

“Cheers,” his voice elicits another wave of chills to wash over me.

 

Sneak Peek Sunday (Just for One Night)

He shakes his head slowly before lifting the pint to his lips. I follow suit but can’t help wondering what he’s thinking.

“I don’t see how you’d have that problem. I’m sure you get plenty of attention without even trying,” he says finally, almost mumbling the words into his glass.

I look him right in the eyes and helplessly give in to my urge to grin before answering .

“Perhaps the attention I tend to get without trying isn’t the one I want.”

We just stare at each other for what feels like ages. Neither of us seem in a hurry to look away. I leisurely let my mind wander, still curious what his hands might feel like against my skin. And those lips.

Objectively speaking he looks like the sort of guy you’d avoid messing with if you can help it. I’m certain that when he walks down the street, people will instinctively part to make way. At the same time his mannerisms, his way of speaking have me convinced that behind the imposing facade, he’s a really sweet guy. I wonder what makes me so sure, I don’t even know him… yet.

Onenight2-siteThe above Sneak Peek is from Just for One Night.
A brand new release, exclusively available at Amazon ( US / UK ).

Check out other entries on the Sneak Peek Sunday blog!

Friday Filth 2

Ladies day - tinyOh, well what do you know, it’s Friday. Time flies when you’re releasing stories… The below teaser is from Ladies’ Day.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispers. The tense focus he has shown all along still obvious while he tenderly caresses my spent body. I know he must still seek release and I’m desperate to give it to him.

I force myself upright and to his surprise push him back and out of me.

“Your turn, baby,” I say, while dropping down on my knees in front of him. The cold gritty surface of the brick paving presses hard into my knees, but the pain feels surreal to me.

I grasp his balls and base of his shaft with one hand and lick along the bottom length of his cock. His taste mixed with my own, I softly open my mouth to let him in, testing my limits as I suck him clean. He looks down at me, his eyes widening and closing in turn every time I take him deep into my mouth, now firmly gripping his thighs to steady myself.

It is so obvious now that I’m concentrating purely on his pleasure that he has been holding back for quite a while. A real gentleman all the way, taking care of me before himself. But there is no more reason for that now.

Just for One Night; Preview

Onenight2-siteI’m currently finishing a little story I’ve been working on for ages now. It’s always been pushed back by other projects (Just Another Day at the Office, mainly) taking precedence. Hopefully this little preview and the cover, which I have slightly tweaked since sharing on Facebook earlier will get you excited to read the end product!

As soon as I’ve found my seat of choice in the dimly lit establishment, I notice him. Sitting on a bar stool nursing a full pint while his two friends stand around waiting for their refills. They clearly arrived as a group, but while I observe them it quickly becomes clear that they are not planning to just sit at the bar together.

He’s sporting a typical metal-head ponytail,  longer than my own hair and it really suits him. Too many guys can’t get past their old faithful long hair style, even when their mane starts to thin. His hair is thick and full though and the first thing I noticed. I have always had a thing for men with long hair.

Chance brought me here tonight to the aptly named “Old Oak”. Only a short walk from my hotel, its traditional wood panelled décor looks like the perfect environment to escape to.

It’s the sort of place which you can imagine to have been here forever. Probably has done for hundreds of years, largely looking the same but seeing its growing ever brighter and shinier. I had planned to just sit here, have a couple of drinks and watch the normal goings-on unfold around me. But my initial plan of staying largely out of sight is starting to look like a bad idea.

From my corner by the window, in between sips of Baileys on ice, I keep eyeing him. Black jeans paired with sturdy biker boots and an untucked black shirt covering his broad frame on top. He looks like an imposing figure even hunched over as he is at the bar. Like a giant.

I wish he’d turn around. I wish I had bought my drink from this bar counter rather than the other one, at least I could have had a better look at him before finding this seat.

Like a reluctant predator, I’m just sitting here and staring at him from behind. If I hadn’t chosen to sit in such a discrete location, it might have been the other way around.

My phone distracts, a message from Akhil, asking about the meeting and if we can talk. It can wait. I came here to forget about the irritating client with the project I couldn’t refuse, not to talk about it. Stuffing the phone back into my handbag, I resume my earlier observations.

His friends are long gone by now, leaving an empty stool beside him and my glass is getting empty quickly. Shall I? It feels so reassuring being unnoticed that I’m very reluctant to get up. I guess I’m just a coward when it comes down to making the first move and my dark corner feels so safe.

He takes a big last sip from his glass and I panic. What if he’s going to call it a night? If he leaves now I’ll forever wonder what could’ve been!

Before I know it my feet carry me towards the bar, while I half mindedly smooth down my businesslike grey skirt and vest combo. Despite the buzz of the drunken conversations that fills the space, the clicking of my heels on the wooden floorboards is almost as deafening as my heart pounding in my chest.

He turns towards me as soon as I reach and I’m frozen in place. Concentrating on continuing to breathe, I tuck my black wavy hair behind my ear and glance in his direction.

I take in his strong Nordic features, his full lips and steely blue eyes that stand in stark contrast against the dark brown of his hair and short beard. All I can manage is a shy smile before hurriedly looking away.

My instincts served me well, if I had stayed in my seat, I would’ve regretted it. I feel tiny standing next to him, which causes me to feel an even stronger attraction. And his eyes on me, I can almost feel them stabbing and probing.

His hands are huge as well, manly. I wonder how he’d touch me, if those hands could be gentle or if they only know how to be rough. There’s no sign of a wedding ring; what a relief.

It has been decided, I want him at any cost.

“What can I get you, darling?” The bartender interrupts my thoughts.