Ella knew what Neil wanted when he called, what they both wanted. Did she dare? Was an hour of passion worth the lies, broken commitments, and the risk of getting caught? Yes.
Acutely aware she was the only woman in the place, she felt every set of eyes track her walk through the bar. Leaving several stools between herself and the next patron, she hung her purse off the back and used the rung under the chair to hop up onto the elevated seat. The bartender sauntered her way and Ella made her hushed request, "White wine, please."
He had to uncork a new bottle but she was relieved to see it was a decent California label.
Now she waited, sipping her wine. The negligible amount of calm she'd possessed when she walked in here faded with a self-conscious whimper. She glanced at the door then at her phone once again, checking the time and warring with herself about calling him. The more uncomfortable she got, the more she kicked her toe against the foot rail. Unfortunately, the sound drew the attention of a couple of patrons as well as the bartender. She hooked her heel over the stool support below. It was the only way to keep from fidgeting.
Ella felt exposed and out of her element sitting in a place like this, nice as it was, at two o’clock on a weekday afternoon. She wanted to fold herself up small enough to hide out in her purse, but that wasn’t going to happen. The minutes stretched on and her anxiety over being approached by one of these men increased. She sent out a silent mental message to those in the room. Just leave me alone. Ignore me. I’m not here.
A subtle brush, very faint across her back, made her turn. The warm body and even warmer smile on the handsome face gazing down on her caused Ella’s heart to start beating in double time. She breathed a big sigh of relief.
Neil looked too good for words.
He casually drew his hand over the back of her chair, his finger teasing her as it skimmed across her shoulder blades. His smile deepened when she let out a soft, involuntary moan.
“I hoped you’d come. You look beautiful, Ella.” He slid onto the stool next to her.
She felt the heat of her blush, the pounding of her heart. “You know I can’t stay long. I shouldn’t have come in the first place. Neither should you. What are we doing? If anyone sees me I don’t how I could possibly explain this.”
“I understand your fear.” He covered her hand and gave it a squeeze. “We’ll be careful. You need to trust me. Try to relax.”
"I’m trying. I am. It’s just ... the more we do this, the more chances we take that someone is going to find out."
She looked down at Neil’s hand, conscious of the weight, the strength in it resting over her own. Oh god, she was going to waver. She knew she would. She always did—but only for him. All he had to do was ask.
Then it came, his low, seductive invitation. “Stay with me, please? Give me an hour.”
I write stories I like to read--contemporary romances with identifiable characters and themes. Life is hard. Love makes it bearable. If you enjoy stories with heat and humor, I have a title for you.
I'm a pampered wife, lucky mom to three amazing sons and one wonderful daughter-in-law, and I recently became a very young grandma. I should probably underline the word very. Oh heck, why not the word young too? Nah, you get the picture. I'm also the daily monitor of one naughty dog with attitude.
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