He caught my eye as I scanned the bar from the booth. He wore an emerald dress shirt that matched the eyes studying me. He leaned on his left forearm on the bar and his right index finger lazily traced the rim of his glass of amber liquid. The left side of his mouth spread into a cocky lopsided grin and accentuated the cheekbones and angled jaw of his long, thin face. His chestnut hair was shaggy and fell in layers to his shoulders.
I heard giggling increasing in volume from behind. I peered over my shoulder and Josie and Erin’s arms were wrapped around each other, their heads pressed together in secret whispers on their way back to our booth. They wore their work uniforms, fitted white polo shirt and black A-line skirts with their hair pulled back into ponytails. Erin’s grey eyes peeked at me through heavily lined eyes and her bright red lips cracked into a smile revealing her white teeth. They scooted into the booth across from me in front of their drinks still giggling.
“What is so funny?” I inquired.
They glanced at each other then leaned over the table conspiratorially.
“You know that guy in the green shirt at the bar?” Erin asked in return.
“What about him?”
“He stopped us and asked if you have a boyfriend,” Josie answered laughing.
“What?” I sat upright and fought the urge to turn his way.
“Yeah. He was waiting when we went to the bathroom.”
Our server arrived and placed a tray of nachos in the middle of the table.
“I’ve been craving these all day!” Erin’s eyes opened wide as she reached in for a chip.
Josie followed suit and crunched a chip between her teeth. I stared at the nachos feeling like my stomach was on a roller coaster.
“Aren’t you hungry, Siobhan?” Erin asked as she removed the ponytail holder from her platinum blonde hair and shook her fingers through her hair.
I checked back at the bar and Emerald Eyes was engaged in conversation with another guy. I grabbed a cheesy chip and shoved it in my mouth.
“He seemed really interested in you,” Erin volunteered.
“What did you tell him?” I picked up my mojito and swallowed a big gulp.
“Nothing but good things,” Josie chimed in and they snickered.
“You guys!” I threw my napkin at them.
Erin picked it up and threw it back. I caught it and laid it across my lap. We polished off the nachos while dissecting their shift at work. Two guys approached the table and asked Erin and Josie to dance. My friends agreed without giving me a second thought and ran off to the dance floor with the guys.
I pushed the empty tray to the edge of the table then sat back and stretched my legs out to rest my feet on the other seat. I closed my eyes and listened to a David Guetta tune with Sia singing about being titanium.
“Mind if I join you?” a deep male voice asked over the music without shouting.
My eyes flew open to Emerald Eyes standing next to the empty bench seat, holding his glass of amber liquid with a slice of orange and a cherry at the bottom, and smiling at me. I pulled my feet of the bench seat and sat up. “You.”
“I am me.” He nodded and placed his left hand over his chest. “Connor.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Siobhan.”
He set his drink down and slid onto the seat as I eyed him cautiously.
“Your friends told you I was asking about you,” he stated with a slight grin.
“They did. Why?”
“I don’t know why they told you,” he chuckled.
I pursed my lips together. “No. Why were you asking about me?”
“I have a thing for dark readheads,” he replied nonchalantly then grinned mischievously. “And I didn’t want to make a total fool of myself if you weren’t available.”
“Where’s your sense of adventure?” I quipped.
“Trying to pick up a total stranger at a bar isn’t adventuresome to you?”
“Not if you’re not willing to work up the courage to talk to them in the first place.”
“Can you blame a guy for wanting to cut to the chase?”
“Depends on the guy.”
“They never gave me a straight answer about you having a boyfriend or not.”
I raised my eyebrows.
He pushed his drink forward and crossed his arms on the table. “Am I on an adventure now?”
I mirrored his posture. “What if I don’t tell you whether I have a boyfriend or not?”
“Totally up to you.”
“And you’re willing to keep pursuing me while still in the dark about my relationship status?”
He gave that cocky lopsided grin again and picked up his drink for a sip.
“What brings you to the bar tonight?” I asked.
“Hanging out with my friends after a long week at work. I believe they decided to ditch me for your friends.”
“Decided to ditch you or you asked them to occupy my friends so you could have me to yourself?”
“Busted. But they don’t seem to mind. Neither do your friends.” He tipped his head in the direction of the dance floor.
I glanced over to see Josie and Erin dancing with Connor’s friends with almost no space between them. “Guess not.”
“Would you like to dance?”
“Where’s your sense of adventure?” he challenged.
“Fine. Let’s go.”
I slid out of the booth and tugged the hem of my navy Anthropologie tank down then smoothed out my black jeans. Connor grabbed my left hand as he passed me and pulled me behind him. A tingling shot up my left arm from my hand and a gasp escaped my lips.
He guided me to our friends on the dance floor and let go of my hand as he started moving to the “17 Crimes” remix playing.
I closed my eyes and my body moved as it wanted as I lost myself in the music. Connor watched me intently and made no move to do otherwise when I opened my eyes. The deejay segued into Ellie Goulding. I exaggerated my hips swaying as our eyes remained locked on each other.
Connor took my hand at the first chorus and led me out the front door until we were several yards away.
“What-“ I start.
He stepped in quickly, cradled my face in his hands and backed me against the storefront of the business next door. He guided my head up and descended upon my mouth with fire in his kiss. Our lips danced together as I opened up to him and wrapped my arms around him pulling him closer.
He broke away and rested his forehead on mine. “Hello, love,” he said smiling contentedly. “Sorry for crashing Girls Night, but I missed you after being gone for two weeks.”
©Debi Smith, 2013