Chapter |3| Perfect Night (UNEDITED DRAFT)

When he smashed the print button a big relief washed over him as the weight lifted off his shoulders. As soon as he was done focusing on wrapping up his proposal his mind drifted. Part of him was ashamed at where so easily his thoughts wandered. He didn’t even know her name but he did know that she was looking.

She was staring him down while she pretended to smoke on her balcony. Well, he supposed it wasn’t pretending because she was actually smoking.

She was sizing him up. He stood and headed towards the colored printer.

No, she was judging him. Probably wondering if she saw him creeping on her, but she knew he was. He made direct eye contact--

“Hey boss.”

Max brought his eyes to the man standing in front him with a stack of papers pressed into Max’s chest.

“I have a good feeling about this one. So, where did it come from? Ride Rough. Ride Hard. Ride Deep. I mean talk about inspired. You really captured the client’s message.”

Max smirked taking the papers. “Oh, I never reveal my creative inspiration.”

The man let out a goofy laugh and snorted after. “I wouldn’t either. All in color like you requested with the changes.”

“Excellent. Thanks Guisepe.”

Max flenched when the man slapped him on the back. “When you get your name on one of those big office, don’t forget me man.”

“Of course not. Have a good night.” He excelled and looked over the pages the man handed him before taking his own sheets off the printer.

She was younger than he thought. Her face in the light of day was soft and round with youth.

He was back at his desk organizing the sheets.

He could hardly focus on his damn task because he was distracted thinking about his neighbor. He took a cleansing breath forcing himself to focus. He was almost done then he could get home. The office was empty. He was the last one. He spent so little time at the office it felt strange being in the place and while it was void of life. After organizing the sheets and stuffing them in the proper manila folder he made his way to his bosses office.

He paused at the door to the empty office that he envisioned would have his name on it one day hopefully soon. He smiled and kept on to his bosses inbox where he dropped the file.

Now he could go home. He was exhausted enough to fall right to sleep maybe on the couch in front of the television.

An hour later he plopped on the couch next to his dog and rubbed her head mindlessly.
The sun was shining on her that morning while he was minding his business drinking is coffee and reading the paper. A mundane part of his daily routine. There was the sun, like a freaking sign from the heavens, splashing direct rays on her pretty face accenting her cat-like eyes and wide mouth. He could imagine that mouth working magic on him.

He stood up abruptly and wandered to the curtains. It was late evening; yet, he had energy like it was mid-day. He peeked outside and stopped when the light turned on in her unit. She walked inside and tossed her purse on the island. His chest tightened when the same man strolled in after her and closed the door. Max frowned. The man was loosening his tie and saying something to the pretty woman. It wasn’t something nice because she pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head before turning to him with a retort.

The man tossed his arms in the air and wandered into the bedroom unbuttoning his shirt, undoing his pants. She followed him into the room and touched his back. He turned on her batting her hand out the way.

Max balled his fist. For some reason he felt the urge to protect her, to shield her from whatever argument that was ensuing.

Not your place, Max. He closed his eyes and let the curtains close. Protect her from who? Her partner? Who are you? Just some goddamn nosy ass neighbor. That’s all.

He peeked out the curtains again and his breath caught when she pushed the man down on the edge of the bed. He was in just his boxers at that point. She rubbed from his thigh up to grab his penis through the underwear. She stroked up the man’s stomach, chest, all while she crawled on the bed over him.

She was talking too. Max closed his eyes finding is hard on as inconvenient as a thorn jammed in the side, pressing against his jeans. He rubbed himself through the heavy fabric. He could imagine her pretty, wide mouth whisper such obscene words all meant to spark his arousal.

He opened his eyes and continued his observation right when she was pulling down the man’s pants and kissing down his body.

The man’s sex sprung from the underwear hard and ready for her attention. She grabbed him and suckled his balls then licked up the length of his penis.

Max moaned freeing his own penis and stroking, imagining that was him. Imagining that he was the center of her attention. The sole receiver of her intimacy, her toy to play with. He moaned and let his head fall back against to wall next to the window.

He bit his lower lip as familiar heat started to run through his body in waves. The building force was welcome. The pressure was a call to a place he’d wanted to be.

He needed a woman. A real one not an unhealthy fantasy about his neighbor. No, he needed a warm body under his own, wrapped around him.

He started when his phone rang.

Shit! He swore tripping over his undone pants to get to the phone before it stopped ringing.

“Hello?” He tried to hide that he was short of breath.

“Max! Good, glad it wasn’t too late.”

He glanced quickly at his watch and bared his teeth. It certainly was too late, but nobody would say that to Dave. “I looked over your proposal for the meeting tomorrow.”

“Yeah?” He ran his fingers through his hair. Damn, he thought. He needed a haircut. “What’d you think?”

“I think you really captured our client in a way that is unique and creative. I’m sending over the package to them as a preview for the meeting. You’ll be at the meeting tomorrow right?”

“Yes, Dave. I wouldn’t miss it.” Was the man crazy? Did he think Max was doing all that damn work and stress to not show up for the meeting?

“Excellent! You know, I talked to the other partners, Frank and John,, and they agreed that if this automotive client bites on this one, there’s a corner office with your name on it.”

“Oh wow, Dave. That’s huge!” That’s what he was working toward the entire time.

“I know, right? We’ve seen you putting in the work and coming up with creative solutions that clients love. Of course Deep Mile will be your first account. First of many.”

“Absolutely.  I will take good care of them.”

“Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and we’ll see you in the morning.”

Fat chance of that happening with his mind caught up in places it shouldn’t be. “Bright and early, Dave. See you tomorrow and thanks for the opportunity!”

Max hung up the phone and grumbled adjusting his painful privates. There was little worse than not getting a nut off when you wanted. He grabbed his dog’s collar.

“Come on Bailey let’s go for a walk.”

He grabbed a cig from the pack and grumbled. He said he was going to stop smoking that was months ago. Smoking was a bad fucking habit he knew that, but old habits and stress didn’t combine to make good life choices.

Too old to change he liked to think, but that wasn’t all together true. He went from being a first responder to one meeting shy of a marketing partner all in just over three years. He never thought he’d go that way after twenty years fighting fires. It surprised all his coworkers at the time. He just wasn’t interested in climbing the ladder there anymore  He wasn’t sure why it came so natural to him in his new career field of choice. He looked up when he heard a patio door slide open.

His chest clenched around his lungs making breathing difficult when the pretty, slender woman leaned against her balcony and lit a cigarette.

His dog barked making the woman look down to them.

“Perfect night for a smoke.” He raised his cigarette in her direction and grimaced at his comment. What the fuck was that? He just felt like he had to say something.

“Yeah.” She replied. “Perfect fucking night.”



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