Delicious Desires

By: Jackie Williams

“Actually, forget what I just said. I’m not okay and I’m not celebrating anything.” She almost shouted. He sat back, stretching his impossibly long legs out in front of him while he looked at her quizzically, not understanding her sudden change of attitude.

The feeling of his finger had stayed with her. She tried to wipe the sensation away with the back of her hand. Her blood began to boil as her temper grew. She put both hands on the table to keep them from slapping his beautiful, superior face.

“You’re ruining my life, Mister, and the lives of four of my friends!” She raged at him now, hating everything about him and his wretched business. She stood up quickly, just wanting to get away from him, but he stood too and caught hold of her arm as she was about to walk away. She could feel the strength in his hand as his grasp held her still, his fingers reaching right around her forearm. The jolts of electricity fizzed back into action and pulsed through her skin. She glanced back up at him wondering if he could feel it too.

His eyes frowned, but he obviously hadn’t had the same reaction. He clearly felt nothing for her or her business.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about? I only came over to apologize for my less than polite behavior this morning. Even though you were the one to nearly run me over.” He was glaring curiously into her furious emerald eyes and she suddenly felt her insides turn to jelly as she tried determinedly to maintain her glare back at him. “Do you want to explain to me what I’ve done that is going to ruin your life?” He asked, genuine confusion in his expression.

His grey eyes looked almost black in the dimmed lighting and her anger dropped almost as quickly as it had flared. She took a deep, steadying breath, inhaling his intoxicating perfume, before she spoke.

“Oh forget it.” The air came out of her in a rush. “I’m just not good company at the moment.” She moved to pull away from him but he held onto her arm and spoke again.

“Are you going to tell me about it then?” He obviously wasn’t going to let it go.

Caroline sighed deeply and her shoulders slumped just a little. She felt defeated and all the fight suddenly left her.

“It’s probably not entirely your fault at all, but I’m going to lose my shop and my friends are all going to be out of work because of the development that you have something to do with. I was at the meeting before yours. Cathy works for me,” she lifted her chin towards the dance floor where her friend danced among the crowd. “She’s devastated and so are the others I employ. We only came out tonight to cheer ourselves up but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see you here.” She glanced at his hand on her arm and he released her immediately.

The warmth stayed with her as she turned to walk away from him, but he caught up again, this time steering her towards the bar, his firm hand warm on her bare shoulder. His touch was lighter than she would have expected from a man of his size and the prickling electric sensations started up yet again. His charcoal eyes roamed over her coming back to her face a few seconds later. He bent closer to her ear.

“Look we’ve got off to a bad start here. Let me buy you a drink and we can talk it over.” He shouted over the electronic beat of the music as he tried to give an encouraging smile.

She laughed out loud and reluctantly shrugged off his hand.

“In this racket? I don’t think so. And what is there to say anyway? It’s a done deal for both you and me so I just have to put up with it and move on. There’s no other option for me.” His hand fell away from her shoulder. She took a step away from him again and this time he let her go, staring after her, as she swivelled her way to the dance floor, where Cathy was gyrating furiously with two other men.

Caroline tried not to think of him at all while she danced but it was difficult. He stayed near the dance floor, his dark eyes constantly searching for something. They fell on her often, but always looked quickly away. He was impossible to miss, standing so much taller and more handsome than all the other men there, his long dark hair constantly flopping forward onto his face. Once or twice he came onto the dance floor with one or another of the women in his crowd, and danced with a fluidity she’d not seen in a man his size before. She had to keep her back to him or she would have stared.

The two men dancing with Cathy had disappeared and the women walked back to the table to finish their spritzers. Caroline bought another for herself as Cathy had forgotten how tiring dancing could be and decided quite soon that she’d had enough. After checking that Caroline didn’t mind being deserted so early and calling for a cab, she left her friend to dance the night away alone.

She knew that she wouldn’t stay much longer. She needed to be up early too if there was any chance of making enough money to tide her over what would surely be a tough few months but she didn’t want to miss the chance of a couple more dances.

Caroline moved back onto the dance floor wishing she could go nightclubbing more often. She hadn’t had many chances to indulge since opening the shop. She raised her arms above her head and let the music fill her as the D.J. racked up the volume. She let her hips sway to the rhythm, her whole body moving with the music. She let it wash over her; take all the stress of the day from her.