tagRomanceYou Never Know Ch. 01

You Never Know Ch. 01


All characters in this story are over the age of 18.

I never thought I would fall for someone else's boyfriend. But that was before I met S. I'd known him about a year and a half and was attracted to him from the moment we met. He had a serious girlfriend – and made that clear – from the very start. That didn't deter me, though. I couldn't help myself. S. was one of the most physically beautiful men I'd ever seen in my life. He wasn't more than a few inches taller than me, but he made up for that in musculature. He was fit and hard in all the right places, and had a light green gaze that could stop a woman in her tracks. His curly, dark blonde hair was just begging for my fingers to run through it. I had to restrain myself every time I was close enough to touch him. He was a good ten years my senior, but he didn't look a day over 27. He was irresistible.

S. seemed to mention his girlfriend almost every other sentence, and it was clear in his expression and his voice that he cared deeply about her. But as we started to hang out together and talk one-on-one, I couldn't help feeling that at least some of the chemistry between us was mutual. Occasionally he would say something, just out of the blue, that would make me hesitate to answer...something that sounded distinctly like flirting. I would smile, and nod, and think unconscionably dirty things about him while staring him straight in the face. Still, I was never sure that he was really flirting. Maybe he was just being friendly, and feeling more comfortable around me as we got to know each other better. Maybe he was just a natural flirt. Some guys are like that. So I never flirted back too hard or made a move on him, in case I was wrong. I waited patiently, part of me wishing he would break up with his girlfriend and part of me feeling like a bitch for hoping that. It didn't help that I had never met his girlfriend. Without really knowing her, I could pretend that she was a selfish whore who didn't deserve S. I could hate her.

Every time I saw S., all I wanted to do was grab him and shove my tongue down his throat. You could tell the sex would be good just by looking at him. I didn't really want to take on all the stress and emotional turbulence of a real relationship with S. I just felt like he was something I needed to get out of my system. If I could only kiss him, I told myself, just once, all of the sexual tension I felt around him would be relieved, and I'd be able to move on. Unfortunately, this also led to a certain amount of awkwardness around him that I couldn't explain. I'd trip over nothing and stumble over my words, get distracted while we were talking and feel embarrassed that I kept staring at his lips, his chest, or worst of all, his crotch. It seemed like he didn't notice, though, miraculously, and I wondered sometimes whether he knew how I felt about him. Or, more accurately, what I felt about him: wet, hot, and extremely sexually deprived.

When I heard that S. was engaged, my heart sank. I had dreaded this day. And when the invitation arrived in the mail, I almost checked 'regretfully declines.' But I knew S. wouldn't understand why I said no and would be hurt. I mailed my RSVP back and immediately began the difficult process of steeling myself not to stand up at his wedding and object. I found that I suddenly had no appetite and only wanted to sleep all day. My performance at work, a small publishing company, started deteriorating too, as I was so distracted I had trouble finishing projects on time. Slowly I realized that I didn't just want to have sex with S. I wanted to be with him. I loved him. "This...could be problematic," I thought to myself.

S. invited me to come watch him drum in his jazz band in Harlem one Sunday night about a month before the wedding. He made a living off the generous tips he got, while his girlfriend was some kind of executive at a big company. I knew it was a bad idea; that any interaction with him could only make me fall deeper in love with him, but my resistance broke down quickly as I imagined how sexy he would look behind a set of drums. I dragged my roommate, J., along for a buffer, to make sure I didn't get plastered and throw myself at S. We found the little hole-in-the-wall along one of the side streets and walked in to meet S. in the hallway. He looked good enough to eat, as usual, and my mouth literally watered as I smiled at him. He led us inside to a table right up front, "so I can sit with you guys on my breaks," he explained. I glanced around but didn't see his girlfriend – or...fiancée – anywhere, and breathed a sigh of relief. I was dreading officially meeting her for the first time. We sat and ordered drinks, and chatted with S. about books and music until it was time for him to play. Just seeing him sitting behind those drums, you could tell he belonged there. He felt at home there.

Jazz wasn't something I listened to often, but the musicians were vibing off of each other so well and the energy of the place was infectious. Before long, our feet were tapping and our heads were bobbing to the beat. Watching S. play was like watching an artist at work. He knew instinctively when and where to hit the drums, and would even close his eyes in deep concentration now and then. I limited myself to one drink and took some pictures of him playing, making sure to snap photos of the other musicians from time to time so he wasn't constantly seeing the flash. I took some video too, thinking about how I could watch it later in the privacy of my own room.

S. took a break midway through and sat with us again. J. conveniently excused herself to use the restroom, and though we were surrounded by many others, it felt like S. and I were alone. He leaned in close so I could hear him over the chatter and the background music and told me how he had stalked my Facebook, looking at the music I liked. Our tastes were very compatible. My heart leapt and I thought, if only he knew how many times I had clicked on his profile just to browse through his pictures for the umpteenth time. We continued to talk about music, exchanging suggestions until my roommate returned. She arched an eyebrow at me and I smiled. She knew how I felt about S. I lifted my camera to take a picture of her and I and she coyly suggested she take one of S. and me as well. I gulped, and scooted my chair closer to him. He languidly draped an arm around my shoulder and pulled me in. I stopped breathing. I'm sure my smile looked uncomfortable and nervous, and I'm also sure he just looked perfect without even trying.

At the end of the night, J. and I were preparing ourselves to catch the train back to our apartment building when S. cut in and offered us a ride home. It was on his way. We, of course, accepted. I immediately wondered if I could somehow snag the front seat (without obnoxiously calling out "Shotgun!" on the way to the car). The gods were on my side that night, because his backseat was too crowded with junk for more than one person. J. graciously took that seat and let me have the front. I allowed my dress to hike up a little as I stepped into the car in a hopeless attempt to attract S.'s gaze. As we traveled along, I couldn't help but notice, once again, how fiercely masculine S. was. He drove like a man – one hand on the wheel, toothpick set in his teeth, speeding along the highway. No matter how recklessly he drove I felt safe with him. I almost forgot about my roommate, quiet in the backseat, and watched S. out of the corner of my eye. I longed to reach over and put my hand on his upper thigh, just to feel the hot muscle there.

We pulled into the parking lot and J. quickly thanked him for the lift and hopped out of the car. I unbuckled my seatbelt and turned to smile at S. His mouth stretched into a lazy grin and he leaned in for a hug. I held on for a beat longer than I should have, and as I released him, I couldn't help but brush my lips against his cheek. I heard him sigh, and he lifted his hands to cup my face and kissed me softly. My heart stopped and he pulled back. "I'm sorry," he croaked. "I didn't mean to – " I shook my head and cut off his words by grabbing his thigh like I'd wanted to and recapturing his mouth with mine. I could almost see the electricity crackling between us. He kissed me back initially, but when I tried to put my tongue in his mouth, he broke our embrace. "We can't," he said brokenly, his eyes looking a little wild, like he couldn't comprehend what had just happened. I exhaled.

"I know," I muttered, barely able to look him in the eye. "Thanks...for the ride." I stumbled out of the car, slammed the door behind me, and blew past J. where she was waiting for me by the entrance.

"Um, what just happened?" she asked, catching up with me on the way to the elevator. I spun around.

"S. kissed me," I said wildly. She gasped. "And I started to kiss him back but then he stopped it and I don't know what to do and oh, my God, I just kissed S." I pounded my finger at the UP button. J. dashed back to the entrance and peeked out. She rejoined me a second later as the elevator doors opened.

"He's still sitting there in his car," she told me. I buried my face in my hands, remembering the way S.'s lips had felt pressed against my own, and whispered, "Oh, my God." I sat in our kitchen and watched his car idling in the parking lot for twenty minutes until he finally left. It was a long time before I heard from him again.

S. asked me to get coffee with him the day before the wedding. I almost said no, but the man was irresistible. You couldn't say no to him. I rushed after work to meet him at a quiet café on the Lower East Side. It was obvious what he wanted to discuss. Before we had even sat down, he said, "Listen, do you mind if I just...say something, before you do?" I nodded. It was strange to see him again after what had happened between us. He looked different – still gorgeous as ever, just changed somehow. We sat and he continued, "I'm attracted to you. And maybe in another life, we could be together. But in this one, I have a fiancée, whom I love, and I'm marrying her tomorrow. It can't happen again." I blinked back some unexpected tears and tried to disguise them by taking a sip of my coffee. I hadn't really expected him to throw away his life with his fiancée for me...but I couldn't deny that my brain had a mind of its own, so to speak, and I had entertained daydreams in which S. broke off the wedding and ran away with me.

"Can I still come to the wedding?" I asked softly. S. smiled and grabbed my hand.

"Of course you can," he said. "I want you to be there."

"I'm really happy for you..." I whispered, but I couldn't look him in the eye. I was lying through my teeth. I wanted S. for myself and I was upset that he belonged to another woman when the two of us seemed to mesh so well. We stayed until we had both finished our coffees, but we couldn't get the conversation started like we used to and I felt relieved to go. He pressed a hand to my shoulder as I left and said, "See you tomorrow." I dreaded the wedding.

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