I’m currently finishing a little story I’ve been working on for ages now. It’s always been pushed back by other projects (Just Another Day at the Office, mainly) taking precedence. Hopefully this little preview and the cover, which I have slightly tweaked since sharing on Facebook earlier will get you excited to read the end product!
As soon as I’ve found my seat of choice in the dimly lit establishment, I notice him. Sitting on a bar stool nursing a full pint while his two friends stand around waiting for their refills. They clearly arrived as a group, but while I observe them it quickly becomes clear that they are not planning to just sit at the bar together.
He’s sporting a typical metal-head ponytail, longer than my own hair and it really suits him. Too many guys can’t get past their old faithful long hair style, even when their mane starts to thin. His hair is thick and full though and the first thing I noticed. I have always had a thing for men with long hair.
Chance brought me here tonight to the aptly named “Old Oak”. Only a short walk from my hotel, its traditional wood panelled décor looks like the perfect environment to escape to.
It’s the sort of place which you can imagine to have been here forever. Probably has done for hundreds of years, largely looking the same but seeing its growing ever brighter and shinier. I had planned to just sit here, have a couple of drinks and watch the normal goings-on unfold around me. But my initial plan of staying largely out of sight is starting to look like a bad idea.
From my corner by the window, in between sips of Baileys on ice, I keep eyeing him. Black jeans paired with sturdy biker boots and an untucked black shirt covering his broad frame on top. He looks like an imposing figure even hunched over as he is at the bar. Like a giant.
I wish he’d turn around. I wish I had bought my drink from this bar counter rather than the other one, at least I could have had a better look at him before finding this seat.
Like a reluctant predator, I’m just sitting here and staring at him from behind. If I hadn’t chosen to sit in such a discrete location, it might have been the other way around.
My phone distracts, a message from Akhil, asking about the meeting and if we can talk. It can wait. I came here to forget about the irritating client with the project I couldn’t refuse, not to talk about it. Stuffing the phone back into my handbag, I resume my earlier observations.
His friends are long gone by now, leaving an empty stool beside him and my glass is getting empty quickly. Shall I? It feels so reassuring being unnoticed that I’m very reluctant to get up. I guess I’m just a coward when it comes down to making the first move and my dark corner feels so safe.
He takes a big last sip from his glass and I panic. What if he’s going to call it a night? If he leaves now I’ll forever wonder what could’ve been!
Before I know it my feet carry me towards the bar, while I half mindedly smooth down my businesslike grey skirt and vest combo. Despite the buzz of the drunken conversations that fills the space, the clicking of my heels on the wooden floorboards is almost as deafening as my heart pounding in my chest.
He turns towards me as soon as I reach and I’m frozen in place. Concentrating on continuing to breathe, I tuck my black wavy hair behind my ear and glance in his direction.
I take in his strong Nordic features, his full lips and steely blue eyes that stand in stark contrast against the dark brown of his hair and short beard. All I can manage is a shy smile before hurriedly looking away.
My instincts served me well, if I had stayed in my seat, I would’ve regretted it. I feel tiny standing next to him, which causes me to feel an even stronger attraction. And his eyes on me, I can almost feel them stabbing and probing.
His hands are huge as well, manly. I wonder how he’d touch me, if those hands could be gentle or if they only know how to be rough. There’s no sign of a wedding ring; what a relief.
It has been decided, I want him at any cost.
“What can I get you, darling?” The bartender interrupts my thoughts.