Peeled the sticker from the apple. Crunched. Chewed. Swallowed. The sun was warm, even that early. And no humidity. God, I wished our section of Florida was like this. Heat without the moisture bath that made sweat bead on my upper lip. Here, I could bake for hours. High enough up for a breeze, the sun warming me with a gentle embrace, I took a swig of water and then screwed the lid back on. Loosened the muscles in my neck, slid down a little in my chair, and closed my eyes. Good ol’ alone time. Fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. Then I would need to get my ass over to the spa for three hours of feminine chatter. Go Team McCrory.
A breeze blew from behind, ruffling the light hair on my forearm. Men’s voices had appeared, talking too loud, the scrape of metal against pavers as they settled into the chairs behind me. The click of a lighter as one of them ruined a perfectly healthy set of lungs.
I kept my eyes closed, taking a bite of muffin as my mind wandered, my eavesdropping gene lifting its head when a voice started that sounded familiar. I began to sit up but stopped, not sure if now, sans make-up with a face full of muffin crumbs, was how I wanted to reintroduce myself. I stayed in place, slouching a little further, more certain with each additional word, that one of the men was Brett. A smile played on the corner of my mouth.
“What happened with that girl from last night?”
“Yeah. Looked like you were headed up to her room.”
A pause. Soft cough. I almost fell off my chair in an attempt to hear his next words.
“Nothing happened. She’s here with a bachelorette party. You know how I feel about that.”
I didn’t pay attention to the other man’s response, my toes curling against the railing, body tightening in hurt and anger. Not his type. Maybe that was why he walked away so easily. And here I was, thinking the kiss had affected him as deeply as it had me. I dug my nails into my thighs, watching a curl of forgotten smoke float past, hearing the eventual screech of chair legs as the men behind me moved along.
Fuck him. I didn’t need a one-night stand anyway. My dusty vagina was perfectly happy with the extensive network of cobwebs it’d spent years creating. Somewhere, in the empty recesses of my mind, my subconscious tore to pieces the ‘I love Brett’ poster and moved on to more official business.
(adj.) closely or densely packed together
“the tight crowd”
Midnight. Thirteen hours left in paradise, then our hung-over selves would be strapped in and flying back to Quincy. I hung an arm around twin necks, inhaling the scent of hairspray and feminine energy, leaned my head back, weight on their shoulders, and bellowed the chorus of "Sweet Home Alabama." The club sang along, and my mouth broke into a grin too big to contain—the familiar tune never failed to raise my spirits. Never mind that, between the six of us, we’d set foot on Alabama soil less than ten times. It was the anthem of the South, and seeing as it took Jena flashing the Bahamian DJ her breasts to get it played, we owned every syllable of the damn thing.
The last chorus rang out, and I released the girls, spinning on the floor, my arms up, getting bumped by sweaty bodies, the dance floor getting tighter by the moment. A heavy bass began, drowning out the country chorus and starting back into the hip-hop that had been dominating the speakers all night.
I slowed my hips, glanced at our table, saw Beth and Tammy there, the rest of us sprinkled between the dance floor and the ladies room. I was pushed forward, hands settling on my waist as a stranger tried to pull me into his crotch-thrusting imitation of a dance. I yanked at his wrists, shooting an annoyed look over my shoulder, and moved to our table, snagging my purse off its surface and moving toward the neon-lit exit sign. Air. I needed air. Air and a moment to regroup, focus. Come to terms with the fact that none of the men in this club would be taking care of my needs tonight. None of them seemed worthy of even a drink. Too young. Too immature. Too available. Too ... not who I was looking for.
I banged through the exit door, the rush of cool night kissing my skin. I took two steps to the right and leaned against the brick exterior wall, legs out, head flat against red brick. God yes. I almost wished I still smoked. I remembered the escapes from life that it provided, the moment to take a pause from the world and do nothing but relax. Now, I didn’t need the nicotine—just the combination of air and quiet were enough to ease my tension and take me one step closer to forgetting last night.
I sensed the presence before I saw it. In the shadows to my right. I stiffened, lowering my chin and staring, confronting whoever it was with my gaze. Then he spoke, and I relaxed, need and heat and want flooding my body with just the scrape of my name. In that one word, that one growl, every lie I’d told myself was exposed. I needed him. My body needed him. Wanted more. I had behaved in the hallway of the 8th floor. I had made a mistake. I didn’t intend to make another.
“Come here.” I tilted my head when I spoke.
He stalked forward, in a suit, his hands leaving his pockets as he walked, his head level, stare direct, and ate me with his eyes as he moved without hesitation, not pausing until he was suddenly against me, his hand firm, gripping the side of my face, his mouth taking mine in a possessive kiss that had me back against the wall, his palm against my skin almost hurting me in its need. I gasped for breath when I could grab it, his kiss desperate, dipping, pulling me tighter. I loved it.
“I need you,” he grunted, his free hand sliding up my thigh, pushing my dress inappropriately high, his fingers gripping, squeezing, the heat of his palm sliding over my skin like he owned it, his large hand ending on my ass, and he felt every inch of it as if he was memorizing, worshipping, taking it in his mind as his own.
I need you. “Yes,” I gasped, lifting my leg and hooking it around him, the shift in my body opening the place between my legs, his fingers finding and running reverently over the line of silk that kept me tied to the edge of sanity.
The door next to me opened, shielding us for a moment, and I froze behind it, my body tensing. His hand dropped from my face, wrapping around my body, the other hand returning to my ass. Both of them worked in concert and lifted, carrying me into the dark shadows where he had just stood, a new wall replacing the brick, this one rough stucco, and I felt lines of it dig into my sunburned skin as he set me down, his mouth taking a break from the kiss and moving to my neck, the rough journey letting me know the level of his need.
Further proof was against me, his pelvis pressed tighter than possible against my own, the hard ridge of it against my pussy making my breath hitch with every twitch of him along me. God, I wanted this man. Was made weak from his touch yet had never felt this aggressive.