Won't Make It Easy Ch. 01byVintageVixxxen©
It had been a hell of a night. So horrendous, it had nowhere to go but up. But right now, Amara only wanted to see the bottom of her second madras cocktail to render the buzz needed to decompress.
She ran her own boutique shop, which was usually a smooth operation. However, tonight, her new sales girl was unable to reconcile the closing paperwork and had inadvertently set off the store alarm on her way out numerous times last week. Amara had reluctantly hired the girl only because of her eager can-do attitude, but she was no replacement for Shelly, whom Amara lost to maternity leave.
The shop was small enough that it only required Amara and one other person to relieve her, if needed. In any case, Amara was always willing to spend the six days out of the week the store was open devoted to her 'baby', her business. Lately, she found herself doing more at the shop than her usual managerial/owner tasks, and it was going on Nina's third month. Her nerves were wearing thin, and the satisfaction that she usually derived from a hard day's work was rapidly dwindling.
Such thoughts had been mulling around in Amara's mind since she flicked the switched to the neon 'Closed' sign on her shop door. She had sent Nina home ahead of her. Amara would figure the shit out in the morning.
Tonight, there was relief in knowing she had the freedom to indulge a bit since she kept the shop closed on Sundays. She found herself at 'Votives' on nights like this. True, a glass of wine in the jacuzzi tub at home would be nice, but every now and then the swank red velvet atmosphere of her favorite bar and lounge yielded a comforting escapism.
It was a secluded enough place that she knew she wouldn't be bothered if she didn't want, but a classy enough place to meet someone if she was feeling social. They kept the lights dim there, and keeping to its namesake, there was a simple votive candle arrangement at each of the scarlet covered booths. It was like a scene from her favorite show, 'Mad Men'. Intimate and sexy, down tempo tunes seemed to linger in the air, emanating from an unknown source.
"8 ball, corner pocket," Nathan called out his winning shot at the pool table across from the bar. Shoulda put some money on the fucking game he thought. But then again, he was just blowing off steam with a buddy on a Saturday night. A bet could have made things too serious.
"Damn, they don't believe in light bulbs here do they?" Nathan mused more to himself than anybody as he air targeted his game winning move.
"Fuckhead, the place is called 'Votives', not 'Spotlight'. Besides, lighting didn't handicap your ass from beating mine", Cooper added "this one isolated occasion." He got a kick out of busting Nathan's balls.
"Awww...don't start getting your panties in a knot. I'm in a charitable mood. I'll buy the loser a drink. What'll be, Coop?" Nathan teased in a lisp tone, "a white wine ssssspritzer?"
"No, bitch, that's your drink of choice,"Cooper said mockingly, "---Jack on the rocks."
Nathan propped his pool stick into the holding rack on the wall but not before swatting it towards Cooper as if wielding a bat. Cooper, who had been eying a slender blonde was caught off guard.
"That's two for flinching, fucker." Nathan punched Cooper's shoulder twice in quick succession, pointing his finger admonishingly at Coop's nose. "Tits and a skirt are your downfall, man."
"So you're the pot and I'm the kettle, right?" Coop retorted.
"Whatever, douche bag." Nathan smirked on the way to the bar. As much as he didn't want to admit it, his friend had a point. Nathan's break up was the whole reason they were there. A game of pool and a mind obliterating amount of whiskey was somewhat of a band aid to the open wound Carrie left on his heart.
Finding his girlfriend home early from her late night college accounting class was one thing. Finding her home at her place early with the maintenance guy's dick in her was something different.
When Nathan requested his drink order from the bartender, he was still in an oblivion haze of frustration and pent up rage from the series of events with Carrie. He had just been glancing at the UFC fight on the wall mounted flat screen, looking for distraction from his bleak thoughts, when he began observing the silhouette of a woman about three bar stools down the row from him.
From his angle of view, he could see that she had long, wild dark chocolate curly hair accented with golden highlights, a petite upturned nose, and full pouty lips that rivaled Angelina's. Her skin was like honey. She wore a snug fitting white blouse and a black skirt with a side split high enough to reveal enough smooth caramel thigh to distract the pope.
It was sort of exhilarating to watch the mystery beauty without her knowing. Nathan had a slight streak of voyeur but damn, who didn't or else what kept the porn companies in business? Nathan started to get turned on at the sight of the gorgeous woman, now untucking her blouse from the waist of her skirt, getting comfortable.
Apparently, she planned to hang for a while. So Nathan took his time, waiting out moments to see if the mystery woman had a male companion. But what man in his right mind would leave HER alone??? Nathan's eyes scanned her left hand from the short distance between them. No ring. But that wasn't much relief. In as scandalous a place as Vegas, men and women alike went out sans wedding bands. Hell, it wasn't called 'Sin City' for nothing.
Nathan decided he had bided his time long enough. It was beginning to become a torturous curiosity, the fact that he did not see her fully. Fully naked and crawling towards him on top of the pool table would be nice, but for now a face on meeting would have to do.
Nathan knew how to hold his shit together when it came to women, but this would be a balls-to-the-wall challenge. He approached her.
As if sensing his presence before seeing him, Amara tilted herself to the left on the tall bar stool, hitting Nathan right between the eyes with a smoldering look from her slanted cat like eyes. She reminded him of a young black version of Sophia Loren.
To hell with Helen of Troy! This girl was fucking breath taking, erection inducing. This was the face that could launch a thousand dicks. Sideways, front forward, whatever, this woman was a detonated sex bomb.
She almost robbed his vocal cords of the sound needed to speak. He did NOT want to risk a chirping Peter Brady type incident, so he cleared his throat before he spoke. "I hope your night has improved," Nathan spoke sincerely.
Questioning puzzlement crossed her features. Taking the comment at face value, she nodded slightly, "Thanks, it has. But what made you assume it needed improvement?"
"Well, you obviously came here after a hard night at work," his eyes slowly perused and paused at each feminine curve as if gesturing her attire. "...and you seemed to have placed a sort of invisible 'do not disturb' sign on yourself."
She giggled at that. "Well then, I guess my sign wasn't very effective now was it?"
"Maybe it was to most, but I'm not most people, so I took my chance," he lowered his voice, "and look, it paid off."
"So it seems." Amara was used to all kinds of men flirting with her---young, old, black, white, latin, almost anyone of the male gender imaginable. Usually they came on very cocky, talking down to her as if they already knew they could fuck her and leave her. Or, alternately, they were extremely intimidated by her. This guy didn't seem so usual at all.
His eyes were hazel green, glittered with wit and intelligence, and framed by masculine groomed brows. An aquiline nose, well shaped lips, hair sable brown and close cut. Skin fairly pale, but had the slightest tint of olive to it. Broad shoulders complimented a toned, athletic frame. Nice, very nice, Amara concluded mentally.
Just then, with lousy timing, Nathan spotted Cooper making his way from the semi-enclosed billiard area.
"Jesus, Nate, did you go to fucking Tennessee to ferment the shit yourself?"
Amara giggled. Nathan laughed a bit uncomfortably, waiting for Coop to catch on to the fact that his presence was unwelcomed at the moment. It was as if Nathan silently willed Cooper to see that he was trying to speak with--- damn! he didn't even know her name.
Cooper did a double take when he saw the beautiful female who had snickered at his comment. He introduced himself to cover his stunned reaction. "Fuck, I'm sorry, didn't mean to interrupt. I'm Cooper, Nathan's friend." Cooper went to shake hands with the vixen.
"I'm Amara," she said while placing her delicate hand in Coop's.
Nate felt a pang of jealousy that the siren gave her name to Cooper first. Shit, he was jealous Coop even touched her hand.
"Damn, Nate, if I were you I would have forgotten my drink too." Cooper said it almost low enough for just Nathan to hear. "Well," Coop slapped Nate's back in friendly gesture as he announced "I'm out, bro. I'm fucking beat. Later."
"Still up for the court tomorrow?" Nate asked.
"Sure, but will you be?" Coop not so innocently instigated.
When Coop left at the double door front entrance, Nathan took the opportunity to take the stool closest to Amara.
"He seems cool," Amara spoke, breaking the silence.
"Yeah, definitely. Known him since junior high. But he's not what I want to talk about."
"Oh really", she raised her brows amused "what's your choice of conversation?"
"I could suggest quite a few topics, but I wouldn't want to offend you."
She felt his eyes on her face and body. It was if anywhere he looked, there was a surge of tangible heat left below the surface of her skin.
"Would you like more?" He offered.
Uh-oh. "More of what?" She was completely disconcerted, lost in a fantasy of him propping her on the bar counter, ripping her skirt up, and fucking her senseless.
"More of your drink---what did YOU think I meant?" His eyes were lit with insinuation.
'More' in her fantasy was something different. "Too soon to say," she replied cryptically, shrugging off her embarassment at being caught in a daydream.
"Alright, alright...I let you get away with that one. Just so you know that counts as your 'get out of jail free card'."
At that precise moment, something electric sizzled between them. It could be described as 'chemistry', but that word fell short of the damn near reverence Nate felt just to be near Amara. He wanted her in more ways than one. He indulged in his own mental getaway. One where he could be free to tongue bathe Amara, feel and taste every crevice of her body one lick at a time.
Amara felt compelled to touch him. She slid her hand over to his knee and stroked upward, stopping at the pocket of his jeans. She then repeated the movement downward and back again.
She might as well have given him a fucking hand job for the immediate effect of her warm caress.
"...heading home" was the only phrase Nate comprehended from her last sentence.
Yeah heading home to work out some tension with the good old vibrator. But why be so specific? She knew she could have easily lured Nathan back to her place, but somehow that didn't feel right. She gathered her purse and suit jacket. Nate stood, leaving a generous tip for the bartender.
"I'll walk you to your car. It's late and the lot is pitch black."
"No arguments here," she said casually.
He held the door open for her to leave as they headed to the small parking area behind the lounge. He wasted no time.
"When will I see you again?"
Amara felt herself to be a pretty good judge of character. If she had thought that he had intentions of snatching her away to an unmarked van for some demented torture she never would have kept up their flirtation. So she went with her gut instinct.
"I'm free tomorrow, but you'll be meeting up with your friend," she said softly, hoping he would make time for her.
"Just for a morning basketball game. It's sort of a standing Sunday thing, but it definitely won't last all day. How 'bout I give you a call when I get out of the shower after the game?"
She wondered if he added the shower detail just to wreck her composure.
"Yeah, that'll work," she agreed a little unsteadily. She could envision him standing naked, his lean wet body drenched under streaming water. It was almost like a movie playing in her mind where just as the camera panned to below his waist---those sexy contouring male hip bones----
"Amara, could I get your number?" Nate was staring at her intently.
"Yeah, um, here's my business card," she fished one out from her purse, praying that it didn't come across as too impersonal. She just didn't think she possessed the capacity to remember her own phone number.
"It's got my cell on there."
"Good. I'll talk to you tomorrow, then."
They had just stopped short of her sedan. Taking her completely unaware, he stepped closer and reached for a long spiral tendril of her hair. He wrapped it around his fingers, feeling the silky strands. He planted the softest of kisses on her temple.
"Drive safe," he commanded in a sexy tone, releasing her hair.
His lips were soft, slightly damp, lingering in a hover above her forehead.
And he was gone. No corny come-ons, no slimy creepy touchy feely-ness. Just the touch of his lips and Amara felt like a goner.
Walking back to his truck slightly dazed, Nathan held her card like a prized possession. He sensed it was a privilege to get her number, and to know that he would see her within the next 24 hours was icing on the cake.
Shutting his driver's side door, he inspected her card. 'Moda Amara', it read in bold scrolling black text; underscored by 'Modern Vintage Fashion Boutique', then 'Amara Hanley-Owner'.
She seemed considerably young to own her own shop. She couldn't be more than late twenties, he surmised. He tried to recall her features as he went to sleep alone in his very cold bed that night. It was as though her beauty blind sighted him, and the only impression left was of her her laugh and smile. It was like nothing he'd ever known. Well, maybe like back in the day when a crush on a girl would be so thrilling, you couldn't conjure them up in your mind if you tried. That had been a long time ago. At 30 years old, he hardly experienced 'crushes' anymore.
In another bed on the other side of town, Amara was under her plush covers, grazing over her 36-D breasts with her fingertips. She wanted to imagine it was Nathan's touch. Her eyes fluttered half closed. Tingles of anticipation seared through her nerve endings. Her vibrator was no substitute for hot, thick cock. So, she threw the useless thing back into her nightstand drawer.
She had taken her fingers to her mouth, sucking to coat them with saliva to lubricate their trail down her warm skin. She had just hit the waistband to the front of her red silk thong. She ran her fingers lower, feeling the creamy moisture she had secreted steadily since meeting Nathan. There was no way she could pretend that her hand could be an adequate partner for her horny aroused flesh.
Amara drifted off without release, choosing instead to focus on remembering the sensation of Nathan's gentle kiss.
She woke up the next morning with a jolt of anxiety. Fuck! The closing paperwork from Friday night would have to be settled before opening Monday.
Amara begrudgingly slipped into a comfy soft gray tube top, matching sweat pants, and flip-flops.
At her office desk, Amara stared at Friday's deposit report, huffing out a heavy sigh. What on earth did this girl do?! And damn, she had to figure out this puzzle before she could even fix the damage done to the internal web system on the computer.
Just then, to her annoyance, she heard her cell vibrate from the pocket of her handbag. She flung her pen out of her hand in frustration and answered her phone in a clipped tone.
"Whoa, lower your weapons! This is Amara, right?" His voice was so sexy and deep.
"Y-y-yeah...sorry, just in the middle of some paperwork at the shop."
"Oh." His disappointment was apparent. "I can let you go if you want---but I'd rather get you away for maybe a short coffee break?"
"I'd love to, Nathan---"
"But---", he interrupted, hearing the hesitation in her voice.
"But," she laughed drily, "I really need to get this done, and I don't know how long it will take. How bout we set something up for next week?"
"That's possible. I'll check and see what I have going." Damned if he was putting the ball in her court. He wasn't going to make it easy for her.
Typical male behavior! Reject them in any slight way and all of a sudden you're on 'guy time' waiting for their ass to call you. Amara wasn't having it.
"Look, Nathan, I'm not gonna do the clichéd thing here, shut my mouth, and NOT tell you that I think it's BULLSHIT," she emphasized the word with the bitterness of relationships past, "that you're giving me the brush off because I won't drop everything to see you."
"Fuck, tell me how you really feel," he mumbled. He had underestimated her, neglecting to realize that she possessed a temper to match her fire-hot physical attributes.
She didn't bother waiting for any further reply. Like a woman scorned, she continued her tirade.
"You know, the fucked up part is that I was actually feeling into you..."
'Was?!' Damn, past tense was a bitch.
...."You were the first man of any man---white, black, pink, purple, whatever--- in a long ass time that caught my interest, said the right words in the right way.... whatever..." She sighed, running out of steam, dismissing him sharply with "Don't bother calling me again."
Nathan held his phone, agog. He never pictured their first phone conversation going like THAT. In his mind, there would have been mutual complimenting, words of anticipation for the plans they would make. Instead, he had to do damage control for her obvious previous relationship wounds.
What now?! Amara launched back in her wheeled leather desk chair at the sound of knocking on the glass door out front. She expected to see a stray customer being overly persistent despite the the obvious 'Closed' sign.
She expected to see---well anyone but HIM.
She crossed her arms over her chest, defensively. Just who the fuck did this white boy think he was?! She unbolted the lock, opening the door only mere inches.
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Does a frappucino count as an apology?" He asked in a solemn tone, bringing a tall coffee confection from behind his back.
"Welllllllllllllll," she dragged out the word, "since there's whipped cream," she paused thoughtfully, "it'll work." She held the door open for him with a flourish of her arm. "Come on in."
"Wow, this place is nice."
Nathan took in the Vargas type pin-up girl art on the walls, the sexy coquettish lacy frilled vintage style tops, bottoms, skirts, and dresses. He picked up a red, white, and blue nautical themed corset from the rack and held it up chin high.
"What do you think? Can I pull it off?"
Amara burst into laughter. "Maybe, but I don't think I carry it in your size. I could have it made special order if you like?"
"Nah, I'll pass. I think I'm too flat-chested to do it justice," he chuckled. Then seriously, "Did you design these clothes?"
"Yep. The designs are mine. I sketch them and send them out to a team who helps bring them to life." She monitored his reaction. He seemed genuinely impressed. Suddenly, his featured changed.
"Now that I know you did all these yourself, I can't help picturing, I don't know, whips, chains, leather body suits, ball gag masks..." he trailed off.
Maybe if he hadn't said that last part so nonchalantly, she wouldn't have found herself damn near choking on her first sip of blended coffee. As it was, she was sputtering it out left and right. She put her hand to her mouth to regain her composure.