He looks like he came from the office, wearing the same kind of fitted suit he wore the last time I saw him. This time the suit is a deep maroon, almost black in color. His jacket is open, revealing a vest the same color as the suit, with a black tie over a crisp white shirt. It’s sexy as hell when a man has style.
The only thing that’s out of place is his hair. It looks like he’s been running his hands through it; the dark waves are a bit unruly, but it makes him look impossibly sexy. I’d love to see it long enough for some of the curl to come out. The short dark stubble on his face isn’t really a beard and isn’t really a day-old shave. It’s the kind of length that looks yummy and leaves a mark after kissing. Or so I’ve been told.
He places a hand on my bare shoulder, and the warmth spreads through my body. I changed out of my work clothes when I got home, putting on something more casual before we went to dinner. It’s so hot out that I put on a thin tank top and some shorts, leaving as much skin exposed as possible. Now I feel nearly naked as the simple touch turns almost intimate.
He leans down next to my ear as his thumb strokes my skin. “I did.”
“Oz. What are you doing here?” I ask, flustered by his presence.
He smiles, and it’s then I see he has dimples. I must have missed them in the dark club the other night. They make him look even more attractive, and I didn’t think that was possible.
“Sir,” I hear someone say, drawing my eyes to a man in a suit. I’m guessing he’s the restaurant manager or maybe even the owner. I’d seen him working the room while we ate dinner. “I didn’t know you were joining us this evening. I’ll get your table right away, Mr.—”
Oz holds out his hand, cutting off the man’s words. “I’ll sit here.” His voice is firm allowing no questions. He pulls out the extra chair at our table, sitting down without even being invited.
“Of course. I’ll have a drink brought over,” the manager says without even having to ask what he wants. It’s clear they know him here. It makes me wonder who he is. He seems to be more than some rich guy. Those kind of men are everywhere in New York. Part of me wants to ask who he is, but the other part doesn’t want to burst this bubble we’re in. He’s on a level I can’t compete with, and I don’t want to bring that to reality yet. I want to enjoy all the things he’s doing to me.
Oz places one hand on mine on top of the table and lazily strokes the inside of my wrist. Once again just doing what he wants. No question. It’s an intimate hold, like he’s been doing it forever. I stare at him, still shocked. I’m not sure if I’m excited about him being here or not. This wasn’t the outfit I had planned for when I’d see him again. I hadn’t come up with things to talk about yet. I take a breath, trying to calm myself. Dating isn’t like studying for a test, I tell myself.
“I’m Miles,” he says to Paige, holding out his other hand to her. She shakes it.
“Miles?” I query. I guess I only know his first name, or what I thought was his first name.
“Only you have the pleasure of calling me Oz, Mallory.”
His soft smile—along with knowing that something is mine only—makes butterflies take flight in my stomach. It makes it sound like we’re a couple and I have my own little nickname for him. It’s ridiculous, and I have to bite my lips to keep from smiling.
“The guy from the club and the one who’s been texting Mal?” Paige asks, dropping his hand.
“You’ve been talking about me?” His eyes come back to mine, the smile still lighting up his face. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about a man’s smile before, but his makes me warm inside. And knowing I’m the reason for it makes me all tingly.
“Yeah,” is all I can manage to get out. Jesus, I’m terrible at this. “What are you doing here?” I say hurriedly, trying to cover up my awkwardness. I never thought I was shy, but then again, I’ve never been attracted to someone like I am to him. Something about him is different. Maybe because he doesn’t take no for an answer. When I push him he only pushes back and for some reason I like that. Probably more than I should. Maybe it’s the sweet way he does it.
“I come here a good bit. It’s close to home, so I can pop in for a quick meal from time to time. It’s nicer than sitting at my desk or alone at home.”