tagRomanceKismet or Happenstance? Ch. 01

Kismet or Happenstance? Ch. 01


Happenstance*: n. (informal) a thing that happens by chance.

Kismet*: n. destiny, fate.

Did they seize an opportunity; or was it always meant to be? In the end, you decide.

* * * * *

"What are you smiling about?"

Her smile deepened as Sean's gruff voice broke the peaceful silence. She'd come to recognize that note of contented pleasure oh-so well. Time had no meaning as she lay here blissfully exhausted, her head pillowed on his bare chest, while he absently stroked her back.

He let out a low laugh when she drew her leg up over his thigh and gasped as she encountered his hardening shaft. The dull throbbing between her legs increased at the idea of being filled again, making her muscles clench in anticipation. It was as if he was still inside her, pinning her down, pushing into her, pushing her over the brink of pleasure with every measured stroke. She brushed her fingers across his chest in a sweeping gesture, too sated to lift her head and look him in the eye.

"Would you've imagined that when we met, we'd be here...like this," she mused, certain of his answer. She often couldn't fully wrap her head around all that had happened; yet curled up here with Sean it felt like it was always supposed to be this way. He released a slow exhale and gathered her closer.


That got her attention fast. Her eyes snapped open and she shot him an incredulous look when she saw no humor glinting in his blue eyes. "So you're telling me that that day at the bookstore...you knew we'd end up together like this?"

Sean wove his fingers through her rumpled curls; his mouth slowly eased into a grin. "I wanted to know you before the bookstore. And when we met that first time—" His other hand brushed her jaw, and he drew a thumb over her lower lip. The way his eyes followed the movement then drifted up to meet hers had her blood heating again. The smile had faded, replaced with something more predatory. "I knew I'd do anything—anything to have you."

He rolled over, taking her with him and settling above her with his hips cradled between her long legs. He laced his fingers through hers and pinned her hands above her ears. She raised her head to kiss him, her tongue gliding over his, mimicking what she wanted him to do to her when he slid into her again.

* * * * *

Thursday, July 13th, 2006.

Sean returned the book to its rightful place, deciding it was time to leave. Simon had lingered unexpectedly to talk with the fans who'd circled him after the book discussion had ended. But she wasn't here. Why did he notice?

Though he didn't hold any hope for her presence nor disappointment about her absence, he still scanned the collection of faces, wondering if he'd be able to recognize her instinctively. He'd caught himself doing it at all three of Simon's book events he'd attended. The habit defied logic and his attempts to suppress it. She was just words on a screen; their interaction with each other rather limited—she hadn't even posted in what...months? So what was with this fascination and why had it persisted so long? He wasn't that hard pressed to find the answer, especially now. His eyes just landed on a cute brunette in the Pop/Rock section. All he needed was five minutes...

"Don't tell me you're actually going to buy that."

The brunette's head popped up, looking surprised. "Um...I'm not sure. Why?"

He reached over and flicked the CDs forward until a duplicate copy appeared. "Because there are much better ways to spend your money." He frowned as he reread the price. "Eighteen-ninety-nine. Unbelievable."

"He's up for like several Grammys, you know."

Sean lifted his hands in mock surrender and grinned. "If the Grammys are your guide to great music then you're covered."

The brunette dropped the offending disk back onto the shelf and smiled up at him. She struck a defiant pose, then negated it with a flip of long, brown hair. Sean's smile broadened as he recognized the age-old lure.

"Okay," she closed the distance between them and put a hand on her hip. "Since you know so much, let's see what you pick out."

"Since you set the bar so low, anything's better. Follow me. "He took the petite dynamo's hand and led her down the aisle. She watched with curiosity and amusement as he sifted through the massive selection.

"I'm Nicole, by the way."

"Sean." He immediately went back to his task. "Ah! Here you go."

Nicole looked at the cover, then considered the back. "I've never really listened to their music."

He took a step backwards, as if she'd suddenly become hazardous material, and shook his head, his smile a teasing one. "And to think I was going to ask you for your number."

Nicole laughed. "So I shouldn't bother to give it to you then, huh?"

"It would be impolite of me not to accept it, besides I'm hoping you'll redeem yourself."

She took out her cell phone. "How 'bout we trade?"

"Sounds fair...on one condition though."

Her eyes became inquisitive.

"I don't want you calling me three times a day. I like to take things slow."

"It'll be hard, but I think I can manage," she retorted with laughter in her voice. She looked past his arm and he turned to see a young blonde watching them. Nicole nodded towards her. "I better go," she announced, her voice a bit reluctant.

Sean waved to the blonde stranger, causing her to duck her head in an endearing gesture. What was it about the shy ones?

"You don't want to introduce me to your friend? Very sneaky. I'll have to remember that about you." Her blue eyes flashed with humor and interest. "Save the witty comeback for another time, your friend's waiting."

"I'll give this a try and let you know how it goes."

"Good call."

"It was really nice meeting you, Sean. Bye," she said as she waved the CD in her hand, drawing out the moment.

"Bye." He remarked offhandedly and returned to browsing. He smiled when he caught Nicole and her friend looking back at him again.

"Wow. You're good!"

He turned around to meet a pair of mischievous brown eyes and a dimpled grin. A sudden, uncharacteristic bashfulness rendered him speechless. Maybe it was because he felt like a child caught in a naughty act. Or maybe it was because she was pretty. Pretty in an unconventional way, with golden skin that suggested a diverse heritage.

He walked over to the opposing shelving unit that stood between them. She was a study in restrained elegance, but for the wild, dark brown curls defying her sleek updo to frame her face. What eyes she had. "You're a nosy little thing, aren't you?"

She shrugged off his taunt, smirking. "I couldn't help it. You put on quite the show."

"So what do you have there?" She held up a CD.

"Not bad."

The dimple reappeared. "Gee, thanks."

He craned his neck over their barricade "What else do you have there?" She raised a book over the ledge; he took it.

"The Essence of Chocolate," he said before leafing through the pages. "You must be an amazing cook or it's been a while since you had great sex." She gaped at him. "You don't need to answer; I can already tell which one it is." She looked flustered as color rushed to her face. Flustered and pretty.

"Give me back my book." The playful note in her voice had faded a bit. Did he unwittingly strike a very raw nerve? He got a perverse sense of delight in seeing how she handled being on the other side of an embarrassing moment.

"Come and get it then," he challenged softly as he walked to the end of his aisle. Her graceful stride allowed him time to enjoy her as she came into full view for the first time.

She was tall, but not Amazonian. Her demure outfit—a shimmering amethyst blouse and grey pencil skirt with a thin black belt accenting her waist—was punctuated with a big bold ring on her left hand, sans wedding band, and a masculine looking watch. The little details were meant to catch a discerning eye. Nice. The sheer material around her neckline played up her femininity in teasing way, far sexier than any form fitting, skin baring number. Not that she needed overtly sexy clothing with that body. Unlike Nicole, there wasn't a scrap of girlish waif about her; she was all Vargas-girl-curves. His eyes drifted down to her long legs and black peep-toe pumps. Were those fishnet stockings? Now that got his attention.

"Can you hand me back my book, after you're done?" Her blasé delivery didn't match her expression, which was suddenly kind of...shy?

"Hi." He extended his hand. "I'm, Sean." Her hand connected with his and she returned his smile. Definitely shy.

"I'm, Ana."

He offered her the book. "Here you go."

"Thank you."

"You know, today's your lucky day because I can help you with that," he said as he pointed to the book, grinning as her face overheated again. "I'd make for a good sous-chef, guinea pig or whatever you need. Wait a minute," he paused. "You didn't think I was offering to sleep with you? I don't even know you!"

Ana's eyes darted around nervously and she leaned closer. "Keep your voice down!" she hissed.

"And I'm not that kind of guy," he continued.

She rolled her eyes in response.

"Riiight. You like to take things slow."

Her cutting wit and flashes of shyness kept him guessing what he'd find around the corner. The day just kept getting better.

"Don't get me wrong. Fast can be fun. Lots of fun. But I prefer to take my time, and make sure I cover every little detail, especially when it's a new situation, and we're still feeling each other out. Don't you agree, Ana?" His voice was slow, deliberate, almost wicked.

"I...yes," she husked. This side of her was adorable.

"How about dinner?"

"I-I can't. I already have plans for dinner."

She'd all but said yes to going out with him, and they both knew it. The look on her face told him so.

"I didn't mean tonight."

She crunched her lush mouth. "Okay," she halted, "I'll give you my e-mail so you won't have to worry about me calling you more than once a day after you've waited the standard three to five days to call. Or is it seven these days?"

He gave her a serious look in between programming her e-mail into his Blackberry. She shouldn't feel disappointed that he hadn't pressed for her number, but...

"I don't hang back for long when I want something enough." He paused long enough to let his words sink in. "And I promise to let you kiss me at the end of the night." He winked, and then shook his head when she started to speak. "Don't tell me you haven't thought about it already. I know I have. Enjoy your dinner."

And just like that, he was gone.

* * * * *

It was approaching midnight when Ana sunk onto the inflated mattress, the book in her hands the only luxury in her sparse bedroom. She reveled in the weight of it, the sight of text and mouthwatering pictures. This love of books made her feel...connected and grounded with herself, her history.

She remembered the other person who'd leafed through these pages: the dark haired, blue-eyed charmer in the navy business suit. There was something about a man in a suit. Something about the juxtaposition of his immaculate attire and impish charm.

He was obviously a seasoned ladies man, yet he'd had the audacity—or grace—to be sheepish at having been busted; she'd found it unexpected and...attractive. His boyish good-looks and playful warmth didn't hurt either. But knowing how these things went, she likely wouldn't see or hear from him again. Her mouth tugged upward. It had been fun though, the flirting, fun to feel that indescribable spark flare to life after so long.

It wasn't until next afternoon that she noticed the name and number scrawled on the third page. She shook her head, smiling in spite of herself.

Damn, he was good.

* * * * *

More soon,


*source: Oxford American Dictionary

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