Sunday Snippet: Stay by Hilary Wynne

I’m getting off my bar stool when I hear Julian’s distinctive voice behind me. “Someone needs to stop putting baby in the corner,” Julian says playfully.

I’m glad he can’t see the huge smile plastered on my face. He runs his hand gently down my arm as he walks past me on his way behind the bar. Goosebumps pop up all over my body. He looks down at my glass, sees it’s almost empty, and goes about making me another drink. I’m not sure how he knows what I’m drinking, but when I see him mixing a Vodka Cranberry with a splash of Sprite, I know he has been paying attention to what I like.

I flash him a smile. “So now you’ve moved on to old movie quotes, Julian? Did you use up all of your good pickup lines earlier this week?”

“Ouch, Alexa, that hurts. I only use that line on the special ladies. It’s a classic.” He’s smiling back at me, and I realize how happy I am to see him. I’m also flattered he remembers me. I hate that I’m feeling so insecure, but all of the Internet “research” I’ve done this week has only confirmed there is no shortage of women vying for his attention.

“Thank you,” I say as he slides the drink over to me.

Julian leans down and places his forearms on the bar. All of the muscles in his chest and arms bulge out from under a tight khaki-colored T-shirt. He looks so hot, and something tells me he knows it. I’m taking it all in when I notice a small tattoo on his left wrist. It’s barely peeking out from under his watch, but I can see it’s in a script font and appears to be a name. I’d love to know what it says, or whose name it says, but I don’t feel comfortable asking. He sees me looking at it but doesn’t offer any explanation. I wonder if it’s the name of a former, or current, love.

As I ponder this, Julian slowly reaches up with one hand and gently runs a finger through one of my curls. “Better,” he says quietly as he twirls it slowly. He doesn’t look away, and neither do I.

“Better?” I pick up my drink and take a sip. I need something to cool me down. My whole body starts to overheat when he touches me.

“I prefer your hair this way. Es muy sexy.” He keeps twirling.

Um. Okay. This is seriously hot. I love when he speaks to me in Spanish.

“I’d rather take this woman to bed than the one with the ponytail. I can picture you straddling me, and I can see your beautiful hair floating across my chest as you make your way slowly down my naked body.”

I’m in the middle of taking another sip of my drink when he says this to me, and his comment makes me choke. Holy shit! What a visual. And so quickly too. We’ve only been talking for a few minutes, and he’s already talking about getting naked? Apparently he thinks my ‘discomfort’ is funny and laughs out loud.

“Something wrong with your drink?” he asks through a sly smile.

I try to recover by putting my lips seductively on the straw and taking a slow sip. “Mmm, no, it’s perfect.”

He arches his brow at me, intrigued by my not-so-subtle response. Hell, I can play this game too. This is fun.

“Good, because I always try to give it the way it’s wanted.”

“I bet you’re very giving, Julian.”

He pauses, narrows his eyes, and looks serious for a moment. “You have no idea, Alexa.” I love the way my name rolls off of his tongue. He caresses it when he says it.

His eyes are locked on mine and the way he is looking at me is making me squirm in my chair. I think we are both imagining “giving” something to each other. I try and break the tension with some more teasing.

“Do you give this hard of a sell to all the ladies, Julian?”

Julian chuckles and shakes his head slightly. “Oh, Alexa, you’re the only lady I want to give anything hard to at the moment.”

Well, he’s definitely not shy or sexually repressed.

We’re talking pretty quietly, but I still look around to see if anybody else heard him. This conversation has taken an X-rated turn. The couple sitting next to us at the bar are totally engrossed in the beginning stages of a hook-up and seem totally oblivious to anything around them. Nobody else is paying any attention to us either. I look down towards the other end of the bar and catch Luke staring intensely at me. He’s shaking his head. I’m not sure if Julian sees him do it, but I don’t want Luke to come down to where we are. His presence last time caused Julian to walk away, and I don’t want that happening again. I nod and smile at Luke and give him a little wave to say I’ve got this. He scowls at me but doesn’t come closer. I turn my focus back to Julian and take another sip.

“Okay, Julian, I’ll play this game with you.”

“I assure you, corazón, this isn’t a game.”

“Really? You’re not just trying to see how much you can shock me?”

That makes him smile. “Well, unless you have a really good poker face, I haven’t shocked you very much yet.”

The truth is I do have a pretty good poker face. I am a little shocked by how “descriptively” he talks to me. I’ve never met a man who is more overtly sexual. It just oozes through his pores. He’s incredibly sexy and confident without being creepy. No doubt he has been perfecting his craft over the years.

I’m doing my best to play it cool because I like how he’s talking to me, and I don’t want him to stop. But I also don’t want him to think I’m “that girl”; the one who makes a habit of picking up men in bars. I don’t want him to think I’m a prude either. I tell myself to get a grip. I can’t believe I’m so concerned with what a guy I don’t even really know thinks about me. How did this happen? I try to play it all off and give him a fake, shy little smile.

“Oh, I’m a little shocked … and kind of scandalized.”

“Only a little?” Julian shakes his head. “I guess I need to up my game.”

His comment makes me laugh nervously. If he ups his game I’m in serious trouble.

I look down at my drink for a moment and swirl my straw. When I look up, Julian is staring so intently at me it sends shivers through my body.

“I thought this wasn’t a game.”

Julian has been leaning up against the bar the whole time we’ve been talking. He straightens up and takes a step backward. I can feel my eyes widen. Wow. It is impossible to miss the erection straining through his jeans, and I can’t help but stare. I bring my straw up to my lips to take a sip. I’m suddenly feeling very hot all over again.

With a tone that is serious rather than cocky he asks, “Still look like I’m playing?” Oh my God, he is shameless.

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