The house lights flash.
“Time to go back in,” he says. “Let me get rid of these glasses.”
He takes mine, holding it between his fingers along with his, brings them to the rapidly emptying bar while I stand there, feeling a bit lost. Then he’s back at my side, his hand going to the small of my back as he guides me through the theater doors.
His palm is warm through the thin silk of my dress. And my sex is going so damp from this nearly innocent touch, I’m almost afraid to sit down. To try to hold still for another hour or more, next to him in the dark.
I manage to do it. But the entire time I am more aware than ever of his tall, muscular body next to mine. I don’t dare to look at him. I don’t have to. I can feel him. And I’m soaked the entire time.
When the show is over we stand and I feel awkward again. Do I simply leave and say good bye?
“Did you drive?” he asks.
“I took a cab.”
“Let me find one for you.”
His hand at my waist again as we walk out of the theater. I can hardly stand for him to touch me. To touch me but not touch me.
At the curb he waves a taxi down.
“I won’t be so rude as to ask for your address, so you’ll have to tell the driver where you’re going. But I hope you’ll call me.”
He pulls a business card from his pocket and slips it into my hand, grasping it with his fingers for a moment. He’s looking into my eyes, and even in the dark I swear I can see a dim green and gold glow in his. He is too beautiful, this man.
I want him to kiss me. I want to pull him into the cab with me. I want to take him home and f**k him. But I do none of this.
“Thank you for the drink. And for the conversation.”
He gives my fingers a final squeeze. “It was my pleasure. Call me, Valentine.”
I smile, nod, and he hands me into the cab. He shuts the door, and I give one last shiver.
The cab pulls into the night, and we are immediately stuck in traffic. I don’t dare look behind me to see if he is standing there.
I clear my throat, smooth a hand over my hair. His card is in the other hand. I should tear it up. Toss it out the window. But instead I slip it into my bag. I can throw it away later. That’s exactly what I should do. Anything else would be ridiculous. Unrealistic. And life has taught me to be realistic. I am the poster child for accepting reality, no matter how ugly. It’s this beautiful, nice man who’s thrown me off balance.
I know what I should do. But I close my purse, my fingers tightening on the metal clasp, as though I am still holding the card in my hand. As though I really can call him tomorrow, go on a date. One in which I don’t get paid.
I’m not the sort of woman who can afford to indulge in this kind of fantasy. I will toss the card the moment I get home.
The house lights flash.