As I stood at the podium reading a passage from my first published novel, beads of sweat trickled down my chest. My hands were shaking, and I hoped no one noticed. The glass door at the front of the store opened and the wind blew my dirty blonde locks around my face. I laughed a little because I could picture myself walking in late to a book reading. Then, I froze. I felt his presence before I even looked up.
Lifting my head, I spotted him across the room. His ebony eyes bore intensely into mine as if they could see right into my soul. My voice started to tremble, and I thought I was going to faint. Pulling my gaze away from him and back down to the page, I took a deep breath to steady myself.
Not wanting to disappoint my fans, I continued to read. What was he doing here? I thought. The audacity it took for him to show his face after completely disappearing from my life was unbelievable. I reminded myself to hold on to my anger.
His eyes were watching my every move. Secretly, I loved every minute of it—because simmering beneath my anger was raw, unbridled lust. No longer invested in the words coming out of my mouth, I wondered if he was picturing his lips on mine while he stared. I dared to peek over at him again. A mischievous smile spread across his handsome face. It was as if he could hear every thought in my mind.
A part of me was tempted to walk across the room and slap him across the face. The other part wanted to shove him against the wall and rip his clothes off. I wondered how he always managed to create such chaos inside me. I had not seen him in the flesh in well over a decade, and yet the moment our eyes met I became some reckless, uninhibited creature — ready to take my clothes off in an instant. I would have been willing to stand naked in front of the entire crowd just to see the hunger in his dark, glittering eyes. Running my tongue along my bottom lip, I teasingly bit the corner before peering back into his orbs for a moment, unable to resist the fire burning there.
Finishing up my reading, I thanked the audience and walked over to the book signing table. I had no idea how I was going to get through all the questions and small talk that were about to commence. All I could think about were his hands on my skin and the feeling of him inside me.
Somehow, I made it through the hour, barely registering a word that was spoken. We exchanged stolen glances as I tried not to think about the wetness between my thighs. With him watching me, I could hardly breathe. Finally, the last person in line retreated toward the door and Robert meandered toward me as I started to stand. I wasn’t about to engage in confrontation from a submissive position. As turned on as I was, I was also angry and confused. His smile was devilish while his eyes devoured every inch of me.
“Hey Rissa,” he said, using his nickname for me as if we had spoken only yesterday. His smooth voice melted me down to my core. My heart was racing and all the things I thought I needed to say, quickly flitted away.
“It’s been a while,” I said nonchalantly. As if thoughts of him didn’t permeate my mind and invade my dreams more often than I cared to admit. As if I didn’t yearn for him to take me into his arms and throw me onto the table. On the outside, I was cool and calm. At least, I hoped I appeared that way. I was quite certain he could see through my façade. He looked damn good, and he knew it.
He casually ran a hand through his thick, dark hair. “I bet you’re wondering what I’m doing here.” He spoke quickly as if he was nervous. I straightened up a bit, enjoying the idea of him being nervous.
“How did you even know I was here?”
“A seemingly coincidental string of events,” he stated, bemused. I cocked my head to the side. He knew I didn’t believe in coincidences. “I was walking out of a coffee shop this morning and someone bumped into me, knocking my cup out of my hand. As I bent to pick it up, I found your big, brown eyes staring back at me from a flyer on the ground. If I was the type of guy that believed in signs, I guess you could say the universe pointed me in your direction,” he said with a wink.
I moved closer to him, unable to help myself. I wanted to touch him–needed to feel his beard on my neck as he left a trail of kisses down to my chest. I was drawn to him like a magnet. This thing between us was primal, instinctive, and unavoidable. He looked at me like I was the first drop of rain after a severe drought. I wasn’t going to fight it. He could have me however he wanted me, even if only for the night.
“Do you want to get a drink and catch up?” He asked, but his eyes held a different question.
“Yes,” I said without hesitation. I knew I shouldn’t, but neither of us had time for games. We both knew what would happen the minute he walked through the door. We could try to lie to ourselves, but it wouldn’t matter. It was the reason we kept our distance all these years. We were equally drawn to the flame; aware we would only get burned.
Stepping outside, we walked to a little wine bar down the street, making small talk along the way. We kept it light and casual, trying to act like two old friends running into each other, nothing more. The sexual tension between us would have been obvious to anyone with eyes.
He held the door for me, his eyes scoping out my firm ass through the tightness of my black skirt as I walked by. I slid into one side of the booth as he sat across from me. He had aged very gracefully, with just a hint of grey at his temples and a tinge throughout his beard. The tight blue T-shirt clung to the muscles on his chest and accentuated his biceps.
The waitress stopped by and before I could open my mouth, he ordered two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. He remembered my favorite wine. My heart did a little dance inside my chest and I quickly excused myself, anxious to get inside the restroom to freshen up. Upon entering I spotted my reflection and was surprised by how attractive I looked. A bit wild, but alive in a way I hadn’t appeared in a long time.
My dark, almond-shaped eyes sparkled in unison with my pearly white smile and fortunately, my eye makeup was still intact. The liner was a bit smudged on the bottom adding to my feline-like sexual prowess. The heat from within defined my rose-tinged cheekbones and I accentuated my full lips with some pink-tinted gloss before spritzing a tiny bit of apple-scented perfume on my wrists and in between my breasts. I ran a brush through the length of my hair, smoothing out the tangles, and popped open the top two buttons on my fitted, fuchsia shirt, revealing a generous amount of cleavage for his viewing pleasure.
Back at the table, we kept to safe topics until I brought the first sip of tart liquid to my lips. I set my glass down and uttered the words I had promised myself I wouldn’t. “I’ve missed you.”
It burst out of my mouth without permission. I was as stunned as he was. He sat there for a second, blinking.
“I missed you too. I think about you all the time,” He whispered.
Now why did he have to go and say that? Tears threatened to leak out from the corners of my eyes. Should I put it all on the table now? Be completely open, honest and vulnerable? Did I even want to go down that road? Probably not. Better to simply enjoy the moment and leave the past where it belonged.
I smiled seductively and whispered, “You’re always on my mind too, especially in the shower.”