May to DecemberbyDawnJ©
(At the request of a fan, a tender and passionate story. And yes, he requested that the woman be called Dawn.)
She could feel his eyes on her, and he hadn't even been in the room five minutes. Who the hell was he, and why was he watching her? Dawn eased her bottom off the high stool she was sitting on, and walked slowly away from his position by the door. Some sixth sense told her this was the guy who had left the provocative comment on her story, and as she stole another glance at him, she wondered why an obviously younger man, handsome, well built, and clearly looking to have a good time, would ignore the younger women who were even now ogling him as he followed her around the room. She put down the glass of wine she was holding on the table by the door, and slid as inconspicuously as she could behind the drapes and out onto the wide patio. Running, and grateful for the flats she wore, she sped away from the door, intent on escaping the man whom she knew was stalking her.
Down the steps and around a corner, she found a bench tucked away in a secluded little nook, hidden almost completely from the rest of the garden by a tall flowering shrub. She sat down, slowing her breathing, making herself as small as she could when she heard footsteps approaching. The part of her that wasn't terrified was amused that she, a woman just-turned fifty, was running away from a handsome young man, instead of running toward him with open arms. If it weren't so serious, she would have laughed aloud at the sheer absurdity of it. The footsteps came closer, and she almost stopped breathing, certain she could be heard by the din of her heart beating.
"I know you're out here," a deep male voice said. Dawn tried to place the accent. He wasn't American, nor was he English, so what was he? "I just wanted to compliment you on a job well done on that story. It went exactly as I envisioned it would. I wished I was the lucky man when it was done!' She panicked as she recalled that he had signed his name on his comment, which she now could not remember to save her life. "Please come out of hiding, Dawn!" He obviously knew HER name! How humiliating!
She remained where she was, hoping against hope that he would think she was really not there. But she knew her luck had turned when she saw the highly polished tips of an elegant pair of men's dress shoes stop by the bush, and looked up to see him smiling in triumph at her from what seemed like a great height. She stood up, determined not to be at a disadvantage with him. He stuck a hand out, still smiling.
"Hi! I'm Scott McCallum. It's so nice to meet you, Dawn!"
She didn't want to touch him, didn't want to have anything to do with him, but her hand seemed to have a mind of its own. It found itself grasped by a large, strong man's hand, engulfed and warmed. She looked up again -- he was a good six inches taller than she was, and her heart did a funny little flip at the observation -- and tried to rearrange her face into a smile.
"It's nice to meet you too, Scott!" she managed at last, feeling incredibly foolish and tongue-tied.
Up close, he was good-looking, but with defects that only added to his good looks, oddly enough. A thin white scar ran from the corner of his mouth up into the hairline on the right side of his face. His nose was crooked, as though it had been broken and not set back properly, and another small scar marred one of two arching brows that would make any young woman proud. His lips were thin, but they smiled beautifully at her, and the one dimple in his left cheek was adorable. She tore her eyes away from his face, swallowed, and asked,
"How did you know my name? We've never met before, and I don't use it on the website."
His smile widened, and when she tugged on her hand to remove it from his grasp, he tugged back.
"I asked," he answered simply, and raised her hand to his lips, brushing a kiss across the back. Then he let her go.
He led her to the corner of the garden, away from the crowd, took her hand again and smiled.
"I don't have any intentions of making you uncomfortable, Dawn, but I couldn't resist telling you how great your writings are."
He brushed her hand softly, running his thumb over the back of it gently.
"You are a very beautiful woman, inside and out," he told her. "I'm single and live alone. I have a decent job, and I have never done this before. I mean approaching a lady whom I don't know, but in this case, some internal force drove me towards you. I'm here only because of you. I had no intentions of coming here otherwise." He took a breath, as if to give him the needed strength to continue, and then asked, "Will you go out to dinner with me? Wherever you like."
After he stopped speaking, to Dawn's eternal astonishment, he planted a soft kiss on her hand. It seemed like an eternity before he moved away from her, enough so she could take a breath and try to find her center beneath the onslaught of his unexpected attentions.
Scott could smell her warm breath, could see her flushed cheeks. He knew her head was in a spin, and he wanted to make her feel comfortable, because for him she was the most desirable woman around. He felt like a teenager with his first crush, instead of a grown man pursuing a woman. He was thirty-five years old, for goodness sake, yet here he was making what were definitely all the wrong moves, overstepping his bound, probably scaring the hell out of the woman he felt so drawn to, or else amusing her no end! He didn't feel like being the bad guy, but he didn't want to seem like a clown, either. He didn't want her thinking he was a joke, or someone who was playing her for a fool, and using her to entertain his brain while he scoped out the women he was really after. He watched her gather her control around her like a cloak, and he couldn't help the way his heart leapt both in fear and admiration.
"Look, I don't know who you are, Mr. McCallum, and after this...your...behavior out here, I'm not sure I want to know who you are. Excuse me, but I must return to the party!"
Dawn stepped around him, fighting to avoid inhaling the spicy scent of his cologne. He was all man, even though she could tell by his face and his actions that he was younger than she by many years. She wasn't in the market for men just now. And until she could protect herself against the charm of a player, she intended to keep it that way. No matter what her friends said, or how her body ached with need, she was in control. Nothing would make her open herself to anyone again, especially not someone she didn't know, who was acting like a loon.
She hadn't managed to take more than a few steps when his voice stopped her again.
"I know my behavior has been odd, Dawn, and I can't blame you for being unnerved. But if you'll give me a chance, I think you'll find I'm pretty harmless. Just your average guy, wanting to get to know a woman he probably won't ever have the chance to, just because her words stir him up." He moved closer to her, and stood waiting for her to speak. When she said nothing, he continued. "Please at least have a drink with me."
Dawn inhaled deeply, and decided a drink wouldn't kill her. She didn't have to leave with him, and when he left on his own, things would go back to normal. She nodded, strangely unable to speak, and went ahead of him back into the crowded reception hall. Her town's first annual Blogging Arts Awards Ceremony had been a resounding success, with bloggers being the featured "artists". People had been pleased to give awards to online gardeners, cooks, photographers, poets, novelists, and then they had all happily come to the town hall for food and drinks and dancing.
She felt Scott's hand lightly touch her back, urging her to move through the crush of people to the bar that had been set up in the far corner, by the big entrance doors. She tried not to react to them, or to the fact that they were big, and radiated heat up and down her spine. She put her reactions down to all the years that she had gone without a man to ease the growing lusts that rocked her. Her stories had become increasingly wilder and more erotic as her need had grown, and it was one of the last ones that Scott had read and left his provocative comment on.
"What would you like?" His voice broke into her musings, a deep, sensual stroke over her sensitized nerve endings, reaching deep inside her where she hid from the world, and making her want to scream in agitation. She couldn't have been more attuned to him if he had been touching her.
"A glass of wine, please," she answered, infuriated that her voice was a husky whisper.
"Red or white?" The press of his sex appeal was a relentless lash of pleasure in her ear, on her skin, in her deepest core. She was humiliated that her unmet needs had led her to a place where simply hearing a stranger speak could reduce her to a mass of shivering awareness. She needed to escape, but she had committed to one drink, so she steeled herself to being in his company for another few minutes, while she racked her brain for a way to leave without either embarrassing herself or offending him.
Scott watched Dawn's face while he ordered. He had felt the way she held herself stiffly when he touched her, and knew she was tightly wound up, ready to spring away from him in a heartbeat. He found her a fascinating mix of heated sensuality and frosty rationality. He liked that opposition in her; it drew him to her inexorably. He admitted, as he handed her the drink, that the first story of hers that he had read had turned him on so much he had had to help himself relieve the unspeakable ache, exploding in hard, pulsing jets of semen. But even when his cock had loosened its death grip on him, he had felt as if she were speaking to him, looking over his shoulder, seeing who and what he was, and stroking him into mindless release.
He had never had such a visceral response to anything before, and he realized that there was something about THIS woman that called to him. He had been on that erotic writing site many times before, and had read many stories that had pushed him over the edge, but none had left him feeling a need to know the writer, all of whom had been female, till now. He wasn't a spiritual man, but he took it as a sign that he was supposed to find her, when he couldn't get her out of his head, when jerking off to her graphic depictions of lovemaking did nothing to assuage the ache of desire inside, where his hands could not reach.
And just these few minutes with her and he was cured. Now his ache was centered on her, and the knowledge that she was the reason her stories wouldn't leave him, and that only with her would he feel real satisfaction. He knew, though he didn't know how he did, that she was HIS story. He watched her sip delicately, watched her tongue slip out to catch the drop that clung to that sweetly curved upper lip. His groin tightened, and he shifted his stance to ease the constriction in his slacks. It was way too soon for that kind of reaction to her nearness, especially given how skittish she was in his company.
"Why did you need to ask who I was?" Dawn asked, surprising him. She was watching him closely, as thought to ferret out the lies she seemed sure he was going to tell her.
"You look different from the picture you have posted on your profile, and you don't call yourself Dawn there. I wanted to be sure." He told her the truth, and hoped he wouldn't seem like some kind of stalker.
"Why did you have to speak to me? Wasn't reading my stories enough?" Her voice remained cautious, unconvinced that he was just what he appeared to be.
"Am I the only fan of yours who has approached you this evening?" he asked, wanting to turn the tables on her, wanting to unsettle her just a bit.
"You're the only fan who has asked me out to dinner!" she shot back sharply, putting the glass with the wine she had barely touched back on the counter.
Scott could see her getting ready to dump him, and he really couldn't blame her. But he wasn't ready to be parked just yet. He wanted more time with her. She was like a fever in his blood, raising his temperature, and he was determined to find out what his reactions to her were a symptom of before he let her escape.
"Look, I know I came on a bit strong," he began, but when he saw the way she pursed her lips and rolled her eyes at him, he admitted, "okay, I came on really strong, but you don't understand the pull your words have exerted on me. I've been to that site many times, and read a lot of other lady writers' work, but when I read that first story of yours, it was like I recognized you. As though we had known each other in another time or place, but had lost touch. And I wanted to get it back."
He stopped talking and just watched her, his mind racing to think of other things to say to keep her from bolting. He knew that was what she was planning to do; he could see it in her stance, the set of her shoulders, the way she clutched her purse, the way she avoided his eyes. He had the impossible urge to kiss that hunted look right off her face, and it bothered him that he could not shake it, despite his best intentions to buck up and walk away. She was obviously not interested in him, and he had rather leave than be left. He gathered the tattered remnants of his dignity about him and prepared to leave, determined to handle the ache he felt growing like a ball of iron in his chest.
"I'm sorry I was offensive, Dawn. I'll go now. Enjoy the rest of your evening!" His voice was crisp and impersonal, and he grasped at his control, summoning up a smile before downing the rest of his drink, placing his glass on the bar, and turning sharply away.
"Mr. McCallum, please forgive my...lack of hospitality." He heard her voice from behind him and turned back to look at her. He said nothing, waiting, half turned, to hear what else she had to say. "Perhaps we can sit outside where it's quieter, and I can answer any questions you have."
He squelched the sudden urge to grin like a fool, recognizing the huge concession she was making, and feeling immensely grateful that he had been given another chance to try to persuade her to take him seriously, even if he was acting like an impetuous ass.
"Another glass of wine?" he asked, and ordered a second drink for himself when she refused one. This time he let her lead the way to a quiet nook on the wide porch that wrapped around the mansion that housed the town hall. Waiting for her to choose a seat, then sitting across from her, he sipped his drink and watched her try to compose her features and settle her spine against the high-backed wicker chair she had chosen.
"So, aside from wanting to have dinner with me, what would you like to know?"
Dawn had no idea how provocative a question she had asked the man who sat watching her the way she imagined a cat might watch a mouse. He looked hungry, and apparently he thought only she could sate his desires. She had closeted herself off from men a long time ago, but it did not stop her from recognizing the signs of desire in Scott McCallum's gaze. She wondered idly -- and surprised herself that she wasn't more frightened by the thought -- if he really was a stalker.
She watched him as she tried to decide on an answer, and when he said, "I'm not quite sure where to start. I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression!", she decided he wasn't dangerous, just crazy. The thought made her smile. Here she was just turned fifty, trying to find a way to avoid the amorous advances of a man who was at least ten years her junior.
"Are your stories based on personal experiences?" He asked the question he knew she probably heard most often from the many men he was sure had contacted her about her work over the years. He found himself desperate to know whether or not she was as experienced as the women in her stories.
Dawn smiled. If she had a dollar for every time someone, usually a man, asked her that question, she could probably keep herself in expensive perfumes for life.
"I'm sure the thought of such an experienced woman would make any man salivate," she answered, trying to keep the sarcasm and cynicism out of her voice, "but I have to confess that most of the stories bear very little resemblance to my life. There may be one event that triggers the inspiration for some stories, and my female characters may exhibit some of my traits, but as a whole these stories are entirely fantasy."
As soon as she uttered the last word, she knew she had given him an opening she hadn't meant to do, and she cringed inwardly, and hoped he would be less intuitively intelligent so he would miss it. Her hopes were dashed when he asked almost immediately,
"Fantasy? Are you saying the stories represent your sexual fantasies?"
His eyes watched her closely, his face expressionless as he sipped his drink, and Dawn groaned inwardly. He may be obsessed, but he was too damned smart for his own, or her, good. She wrestled with a way to respond that would not give away any more of herself than she was willing to give to a stranger.
"I think all writers' stories represent their fantasies," she finally said, and lowered her eyes to the table between them. She found she could not look him in the eyes and equivocate as she had just done. She was too bloody honest, and it irritated her to have to speak in half-truths, and angered her that he had put her in that position. Until she recalled that she had been the one to use the word which triggered his troubling question. She didn't want to be the pathetic woman who had no sex life, and who had no other way to relieve her sexual frustrations than to write them out in her stories.
His silence was becoming unnerving, and she finally raised her eyes to look at him, only to find him watching her with a small, knowing smile playing about his lips. Lips she didn't want to look at, or be aware of as more than a part of his face, a face she was not supposed to notice had high cheekbones, a tempting mouth -- my God, it was sin personified! -- and dark eyes to match the thick hair on his head. The cleft in his chin made her ache with a need to touch it, and the hint of a dimple was driving her crazy with desire. She felt herself coloring up, and stood abruptly, suddenly desperate to put as much distance as she could between herself and this man who was definitely a threat to her peace of mind.
"I'm afraid I must go back to the party, Mr. McCallum. It was nice to meet you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening!"
She hurried away, and Scott watched her run away from his question, from him, the smile on his face broadening. He had touched a nerve, and he was determined to explore it, like a surgeon looking for buckshot in a wound. He'd do his best to ensure that she didn't feel the pain that his probing might cause, but more than ever now, he intended to know the woman who had captured his imagination. He finished his drink, watching the night sky and making plans.
Two days later, after his second double shift at the hospital was over, Scott parked his white roadster in the spot in front of his townhouse. He sat in the car for a few minutes, just letting the weariness he had been suppressing rise to the surface. He was exhausted. Between working sixteen-hour shifts, and not getting enough sleep when he was home, he could barely hold a coherent thought. He was even too tired to be hungry. Another double shift was in his immediate future, so he dragged his body out of the low-slung car, and went inside. A quick shower later, he was sprawled in bed, naked and incredibly aroused. It never failed. He'd be home, and barely able to move, and yet, before his shower was done, he was hard and aching. Thoughts of Dawn assailed him in the shower, and he seemed powerless to spare himself the torture of an unrelenting hard-on. He sighed and rolled over, pulling the sheets up over his hips, in deference to his mother and younger sister, who sometimes came over with food while he was asleep.