tagRomanceWaiting

Waiting

bysusurrus©

I sat waiting for a table at a restaurant I didn't know, in a city I was only remotely familiar with. I'd learned a lot during the day, even if what I learned was pretty dull. It's how these work seminars often end up: you get good information, but unfortunately, it's typically anything but exciting. The best part was: there were four more days of it.

When I'd walked into the restaurant, I was informed that there'd be a twenty-minute wait. I had nowhere to go, so I figured: what the hell. As I waited, I overheard other people being told the wait was longer and longer. Apparently it was a pretty popular place. Before too long, people were being told their wait would be an hour.

I was watching the people come in while I waited - for lack of anything else to do - which is how I noticed her. She had the same fish-out-of-water look I probably had. when she told the girl at the counter that she was alone, and received word that her wait would be an hour or so, I expected her to leave to find somewhere else to eat. Still, she gave a name - which I missed - then came over and sat next to me to wait her turn for a table.

Suddenly, a brilliant - if foolhardy - idea came to mind. I leaned over and said to this woman I didn't know: "I don't mean to be pushy, and please feel free to ignore me completely, but I'm here by myself, too. I've been here a while already, so I expect my name to be called pretty soon. If you'd rather not wait an hour, you'd be welcome, and I'd be honored, if you'd share your dinner time with me."

After a moment, she turned. She was a fine looking woman, by my standards. "Are you speaking to me?" she asked. I heard an accent that wasn't readily identifiable in the quiet din of the room. British or something, for sure.

Now that she was addressing me, I was caught short a moment. "Uh, yeah, I was. I wondered if you'd like to sit at my table, when one comes available. It probably won't be long now. I've been here quite a while already."

She gave me a look of confusion.

"I'm not looking for anything," I quickly justified. "I just thought that, since I'm here alone, and so are you, that you might not care to waste the better part of your evening waiting for a table."

She turned a little more in my direction. "Were you eavesdropping on me?" I really loved her accent.

I laughed, "I've been listening in on bits and pieces of conversation ever since I got here. Not much else to do but try to avoid unnecessary eye contact."

She smirked at my comment, but asked, "Why would I care to spend my meal with you?"

All of a sudden, she had me backpedaling. "Well, I just thought maybe you wouldn't want to eat alone. I know I wouldn't mind the company." I said, smiling.

Just then, my name was called.

"That's me.

"The offer still stands," I said as I got to my feet.

I stood for a moment, facing the woman, while the girl called my name again.

Holding up a finger to the hostess in acknowledgment, I pushed, "Are you coming?"

Finally, a decision was made. "What the hell," she said. "I'm far from home, so what's a wee adventure?" She then rose and accompanied me to the counter.

"Actually, I'll need a table for two," I said to the hostess as we stepped up to her.

"Okay," she nodded, grabbing a second menu.

We followed the girl to our table, sat and were told our waiter would be forthcoming.

It felt more than a little odd, to be sitting in a restaurant with a woman who was a total stranger, but it felt good to have some companionship, even if we each kept to ourselves the whole meal. The waiter came after a minute or so and introduced himself, then took our drink orders. I ordered water, she got a glass of red wine.

"On the company's nickel, are we?" I commented, hoping I didn't sound like too much of a jerk.

"Maybe," she returned. "Paying your own bill?" she gave back.

"Touché," I smiled. "Sorry.

"I'm Elton, by the way."

She looked up from the menu and held out her hand. "Ellen. Pleased to meet you." I reached out and took her hand. It was small and cool, but she had a good grip, for a girl.

"Thank you for sharing your table," she continued.

"You're welcome," I told her. "I just didn't see where it made sense for us to eat separately, and for you to have to wait over an hour to do it. I'm glad you decided to join me.

"I hope it's not rude to ask, but you're not from around here, are you?"

For a little bit, I thought she wasn't going to answer. It seemed she was weighing everything I said with what she felt she could divulge safely in return.

"Scotland, actually," she finally said. "I'm here training for a new job."

I laughed a little. "Funny, I'm here for work, too. I just recently got done snoring through the afternoon."

Ellen laughed. "Dry, is it?"

She had a wonderful laugh. I wanted to hear as much of it as I could. "It's too bad what they're saying is stuff I need to hear, otherwise it'd be terrific for sleeping."

She said, "I think mine should be a little more dynamic. I'll know in the morning. That's when it all begins."

About that time, the waiter came with our drinks. He then took our dinner orders and was off once more.

I took a sip of water, Ellen lifted her wine glass.

"So, where are you staying, if I'm not being too forward," I asked. When she told me, I said, "Hey, that's where I am till Saturday morning. I've stayed there before for other conferences. I'm sure you'll like it.

"Is this your first visit to the States?" For some reason, I couldn't shut up. I think I just hoped to get to hear her voice. That, plus I was finding myself attracted to her, which often tends to turn me into a jabbermouth.

She didn't seem to mind my inquisitiveness, to my delight. "No, I was here on holiday once before. I enjoyed it immensely. When I found I was being sent here for my training, I was excited about coming back.

"What about you? Have you ever been out of the U.S.?"

At this, I had to shake my head. "I went to Toronto once, but I only barely count that. Southern Canada didn't feel all that much different than the States."

I paused a moment and added, "I've always wanted to see Scotland." Suddenly, I felt my face get hot. Why had I said that? Did I hope to earn points with my dinner companion? Fortunately, a glance at Ellen showed she wasn't offended by what I'd said. If anything, she was amused at my discomfort.

Choosing not to acknowledge any potential implications to what I'd just told her, she said, "It's lovely there. You'd enjoy it."

For a minute or so, it was quiet at our table. I wasn't sure what to say, and Ellen seemed unwilling to resume the small talk without prompting. Finally, the silence got to me, and I asked, "Training, huh? What kind of job is it?"

"Store manager. I'm looking forward to it. It's an American company, and they bring all management trainees over."

"Really? Heck, I wish I'd have gotten sent somewhere cool for training for my work. I just got shown the ropes by the senior guy in the department." I took a sip of my water. "Too bad you don't have time to look around and see what there is to see. It's the problem with work trips, you never really get to see a whole lot except for the inside of a conference hall or meeting room. You never actually get a feel for the place you've traveled to."

Ellen looked at me and asked, "My training sessions are out at four. Surely there should be some time to look around after that?"

I sat back. "Yeah, a little bit. Say, I get done each day anywhere between three-thirty and five. I've been here a couple times before, would you like me to show you around some?" To be honest, I hadn't gotten out and about too much the last couple times I'd been here, so I probably didn't know that much more about the place than she did. I think there was an ulterior motive in the back of my mind at that point.

For a moment, Ellen seemed shocked. I thought maybe I'd gone too far. First, out of the blue, I invited her to sit at my table, and after only knowing each other for maybe twenty minutes, here I was inviting myself into her life yet again.

I suddenly found myself feeling defensive. "I'm sorry. Feel free to ignore me or refuse me outright. I'll understand."

Instead of shooting me down completely, she smiled wryly and asked, "But how do I know you're who and what you say you are? How do I know you won't drag me into a shabby hotel, ravish me and leave me to find my own way back home?"

This woman was surprising me with her attitude. Of course, it could have been that, this far out of her usual experience, she was putting on a front to hide how unsure of herself she was.

Regardless, I played along. "You don't know. I might be exactly that. Maybe you'll just have to trust me."

Ellen laughed. There was a tinge of unease in it, but still, she said, "Let me consider it."

Suddenly, there was a lightness in my chest. I liked this woman. I hadn't really expected it - I'd really only figured on sparing her a long, boring wait - but she was rubbing off on me.

Our food arrived about that time, and the conversation ceased as we concentrated on our meals. We commented on what we thought of our orders, and I caught myself before offering her a taste. This wasn't a date, after all. We were still strangers, separated by more than just the miles between our homes. I had to remember that. I was moving things along awfully quickly, once I took time to think about it. The surprising thing was: Ellen was going along with it. Then again, she'd decided to sit with me in the first place, which was quite a leap of faith. She wasn't being inquisitive about my own premise for being there, so she was keeping some distance.

When we had both finished our meals and had turned down dessert, I picked up my offer and re-presented it. "So, would you like to have me show you around a little when you get done with your training?"

Ellen laid a credit card down on her ticket. "I think I would. That sounds lovely. Shall I meet you in the lobby of the hotel, since we're both staying in the same place?"

I shrugged. "Seems as good a place as any. At least we won't have to track each other down." The waiter took our payments, then returned a few minutes later. We each signed our receipts and stood.

"So, what are your plans for the rest of the evening?" I asked.

"I think I'll just stretch my legs a wee bit and walk some of this meal off before I go to bed. I only just arrived this afternoon."

Laughing, I told her, "Oh wow. Yeah, I'd think you'd want to crawl right into bed by now. It's probably early morning for you back home." We headed for the door, which was packed with people. I didn't even want to guess how long their wait was going to be.

As we stepped out of the restaurant, I nodded to the throng in the entryway. "Glad you took me up on my offer?"

Ellen laughed with relief. "Aye. I might be seeing a table right about now if I'd waited. Thank you."

I smiled and nodded in with a small bow. "You're very welcome. See you tomorrow, then?"

Ellen agreed, "Tomorrow." We then parted ways. I had no idea whether she was going back to her room or not. If so, she could have come with me, since we were in the same hotel, but she seemed to know where she was headed, and she was a big girl, so I wasn't going to treat her like a child.

I went back to the hotel, thinking about what I'd just set in motion, and how lucky I'd been that it'd worked out the way it had. Instead of taking me up on the offer of the table, Ellen could have just as easily treated me like some kind of predator and sicced the cops on me, rather than approaching it as it was presented. There was no doubt I was glad it'd worked out. Hell, I hadn't even expected to see her again after we shared the table the one time. That we were going to get together again was short of a miracle. Plus, she was a fine-looking woman, though I was pretty sure she wouldn't think so. Women are so geared toward downplaying their looks if they don't meet with certain criteria, not realizing that for the most part, we men aren't necessarily looking for a supermodel. Sure, we'll gape at the women who are, but we're not normally that narrowly focused where females are concerned.

Back at my room, I threw off my clothes like I usually do in hotel rooms, and sat down to review some of the information I'd collected during the course of the day. Even though most of it was going to make my job easier, it was mind-numbingly dry stuff - so my brain wandered. Needless to say, it wandered to Ellen. I wondered which room was hers, what she was doing... I started wondering about how her lips would feel against mine, what her breasts would feel like mashed against my chest... The more I thought about her, the more sexual my imagination became: What kind of panties did she favor? What was her bra size? What did she look like in only her underwear? And especially: What did she look like out of it?

With my imagination running wild with images of Ellen in various modes of dress/undress, I found myself with a hard-on and my fingers wrapped around it. Let's face it, hotel rooms are pretty dull places. You're bereft of your creature comforts, and typically anything you've brought along to entertain yourself with, you find doesn't interest you as much as you thought it might when you packed it. The laptop I had with me was a company-owned item, so surfing the web for porn was out of the question, and I was horny as hell. Finally, I just closed my eyes and let the Ellen of my immediate fantasies spur me on.

Of course, once I'd shot my load, I was again out of something to do, and of course, even though I'd just cum, I still wasn't sleepy. Fuck. I hopped in the shower and got that done, so I could sleep in in the morning, if possible.

Once my shower was done, I got an idea, fired up the laptop and got online to look up stuff about Scotland...

Day 2

Well, as suspected, the next day of my conference wasn't any more exciting than the first. The thing that got me through it was the thought of seeing Ellen again and getting to spend more time with her. When things knocked off for the day, I was invited to dinner by a couple of folks I'd met, but I just knew the entire conversation would be about the conference and what they were teaching us there. Thankfully, I had an excuse to bow out, an excuse I was more than happy to use.

High-tailing it back to my room, I changed into something more comfortable - my company insists on the shirt and tie thing, even at something like this - then made my way to the hotel lounge, to await my "date."

To my surprise, she was already there. I couldn't help the smile that came to my face at seeing her waiting. She returned it, and I stepped over to her.

"Been here long?" I asked.

She told me, "Maybe ten minutes. Not bad." God, I loved hearing this woman speak.

I sat across from her at the booth she was in. "So, you want to get going, or do you want to finish your drink?"

"It's only soda. Let's go." Ellen said, getting up.

We got out onto the street, with all the noise and activity that accompanied it. It was exhilarating, especially after the "fun" I had all day.

"So, where would you like to go?" I asked my companion.

She laughed. "This was your idea. Where did you want to take me?"

Oh my, what a loaded question, and presented so innocently...

I held out my elbow. "C'mon." She was right, I had offered to play guide, even if I knew only a little more than she did. She slipped her hand into the crook of my arm, and we started down the street.

We had maybe an hour before things started to close, so getting to a museum was out, since by the time we cabbed it, we'd have probably a half hour to see what we could see, and unfortunately, that wouldn't be worth it. Still, there was plenty of interesting stuff along the streets. It was getting on to evening, so the buskers were coming out, doing their bit to try to get the spare change of passers-by. This in contrast to the panhandlers, who were at it any hour of the day.

I'd wandered these streets a little each evening the couple other times I'd been here, and marveled at how alive the place seemed. Since this wasn't a common destination for me, other than these work trips, there was always something different that'd moved in, and something had always moved out. Sometimes what had come in was of interest to me, sometimes not, and sometimes what had gone was something I missed. It was change in motion, that was for sure.

There was an art cinema a few blocks over from where we were staying, and the theater district wasn't too far off, so that was always an option, too. I looked over at Ellen and smiled at the look on her face. Surely she was no bumpkin, but the energy of this place appeared to dazzle her. Shop windows were starting to go dark, and I was reaching the limits of my previous perambulations, so I covered myself with: "Are you getting hungry? There are a couple good places I know of a little way down here, and this part of town has plenty of great food."

Ellen looked up at me and smiled. "Maybe in a little while. I'd like to walk a wee bit more, if you don't mind. What's down this way?" she asked, pointing down a side street.

I finally had to admit, "I don't know. To be perfectly honest, the last few times I've been here, I've only managed a little exploring, myself. Sorry if I made it sound like I was an expert on the place."

Fortunately for me, she wasn't put off by my admission. "You're more of an expert than I am, having never been before. Let's do some exploring together, then."

There was no need to argue. A big part of my offer to show Ellen around was so that I could spend time with her; it'd be crazy to refuse.

We turned down the direction that Ellen had pointed and started walking. Things started looking a little rougher right off the bat, but it was still well lit, so we continued, though I had a suspicion we wouldn't keep going down this direction for long.

About halfway down the block, there was a tiny little cafe. I turned to Ellen. "I assume you've never eaten soul food before?"

She looked hard at the place. "I've heard the phrase, but I have to admit, I don't really know what it means."

I nodded toward the door. "C'mon. Let's add to your adventure, then."

Once inside, I wondered how long the place had been there. It felt like we'd walked back in time. The tables - an entire six in number - were clean, but looked like they'd been acquired maybe ten years after the Civil Rights movement had begun. At the tinkling of the bell attached to the door, a young black woman poked her head out of the back and said, "Take any seat you like."

I motioned for Ellen to choose a table, then sat across from her.

She looked around the place for a few minutes, taking it all in. To be honest, I was taken by the feel of age around us. The woman who'd spoken to us came out of the back and put down a couple standard size sheets of paper in front of each of us - our menus - then asked if we'd like drinks. We each ordered a soda, whereupon our hostess disappeared into the back once more, reappearing again with a can and plastic cup of ice apiece. She placed these at each of our places, then asked if we were ready to order.

"There's one pork chop left, and there's enough greens for the both of you, so get 'em if you want 'em. Once folks start comin' in, they'll be gone," she explained.

"Thanks," I responded. "I think we'll need some time to decide. My friend isn't from here, and has never eaten at a place like this."

"Okay. Just remember what I told you. I'll be back in a few minutes then," the hostess then retreated to the back again.

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