Magic of Place - 3 (UNEDITED DRAFT)

 

 

Gem dodged a drunk group of loud talking college kids and bumped into Steven. The feel of his strong warm hands bringing her back to a steady stance made her insides swim. She could have blamed in on the rather stiff cocktail she just consumed, but she knew better. Not that she would ever tell him.

“Thought you only had one drink tonight.”

She laughed pulling away from him and straightening herself up. “I’m far from intoxicated.”

He smiled over at her and for some obnoxious reason she blushed. She looked down at her feet and kept walking. He easily fell into stride with her as silence settled between them. There was however noise, lots of it, from people and their overly loud conversations, to music drifting out the shops, bars, and clubs.

She found she rather enjoyed New Orleans. She had ancestors from the place so every time she visited she felt a connection.

She fell out of her thoughts when he stopped walking. She looked at his face to find his eyes closed and his head bobbing to a beat.

She frowned trying to find the music he was obviously really attuned to. He grabbed her hand and pulled her across the street into a jazzy bar. She smiled when she heard the music he had and yes, it was worthy of his attention and the thickening crowd that was amassing.

He abandoned her hand when they strolled up to the bar. “Get what you want. I’m going to pee.”

She nodded and slid onto an adjacent bar stool waiting for the bartender to finish the previous order.

The handsome man made eye contact with her and presented a genuine smile. “What can I get you?”

“Water on the rocks and a pour of your best Scotch.” The corner of his mouth pulled up with his nod before he got to work. She looked over her shoulder when the saxophone took on a life of its own flexing the musicians skills. She smiled closing her eyes allowing her ears to enjoy the phenomenon. When she opened her eyes a moment later she made contact with a man across the space.

Damn. She thought turning back toward the bar when the man started her way.

“Hello beautiful.”

“I’m not interested, sorry.”

“Not interested? You don’t even know what I’m sellin’.” The man hiccuped and she looked over at him with her lip curled.

Sloppy. She thought before turning her attention back to the bar just when the bartender set the drinks in front of her.

“I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to guess.”

The man leaned on the counter as if that were an invitation. Sometimes she really hated liquor. It brought out the worse is most people.

“You don’t have to be here alone Miss…”

She glanced over at him hoping the disgust was rolling off her in waves. By the dumb look on the man’s face, he would never get it.

“Hey honey,” Steven’s familiar scent wafted past her and a sure, hand pressed against the small of her back. “Thanks for ordering for me.” She thinks she he went for her cheek, but she ended up turning to look at him at the same time and his lips landed briefly on hers.

Relief.

Relief? She wasn’t sure why that feeling washed over her. She masked the tingling sensation of her lips, of her swimming insides, of her desire to try the kiss again with intent that time. She smiled up at him as he slid between her and the man who called himself hitting on her. Steven paid the bartender completely ignoring the worm who after a couple seconds slinked away back into the wasteland where he came from.

“What did you get me?” He swirled the dark liquid.

“Who said it was for you?” She smirked over at him. Was she flirting? Oh god.

“I did.” He was leaning with both forearms on the counter top looking into the glass for a brief moment before glancing over at her.

“Scotch. Supposed to be the best they have.”

He raised his eyebrows then took a sip. “Hmm, not bad.” Another sip. “In fact surprisingly good for where we are.” He gestured around them and turned with his drink to lean his back on the bar. He was in full sight of her to examine. He was looking at the musicians and nodding his head gently to the music with a permanent smirk of enjoyment on his face.

Handsome.

She looked down in her glass.

It usually was the good looking guys who were jerks. She glanced up at him again while taking a sip of her water. Brown eyes, a round head with dark hair. In the sunlight, she remembered chestnut brown highlight scattered among the black strands. He took a tip of his drink. His attention moved briefly to the other side of him when someone squeezed in to the bar encouraging him to scoot closer to her. He was so close she could feel his body heat, smell his cologne and the deep play of flavors from his drink too. Heady and intoxicating the combination. First impressions were truly lasting and she’d be a fool to forget his ass-holish ways. It wasn’t like she didn’t know how to handle it. She’d dealt with it her whole life.

She took another sip then turned on her stool to look out at the crowd who started partnering off and dancing to the music. She smiled. There were fairy tales everywhere.

She sighed in her mind. She wasn’t foolish enough to think life in its entirety was a fairy tale, but there were moments, glimpses of that magic in so many aspects of it.

She started back to the present when he gently took her glass out of hand and placed it next to his on the bar behind them. He took her hand and coaxed her off the seat. She pouted looking behind them as the chair was quickly swallowed up by a lurking hopeful.

He placed both of her hands on his shoulders and pulled her a little closer toward him by the small of her back.

Magic.

Magical.

That moment. She allowed the music to soak in to her soul. When she closed her eyes the man’s evening shadowed jawline, dark eyes and sensual lips sprinkled her mind with pixie dust. She stroked her hands down the man’s chest and held him around his waist then rested her head on him.

Intoxicating.

The moment had her, caught her by the ankle so she settled in it. She looked up at him and he looked down at her and there was play in his eyes. His gaze fell to her mouth and hers to his then her mind quickly pulled up the unintentional kiss.

His hand slid around the back of her neck and tilted her face up to meet his lips as they descended toward her.

Nothing.

There was nothing accept the zinging energy that rushed from him to her and back again. She knew it was a ridiculous thing to think because logic told her the place was full of people, there was music, laughing, talking, others dancing, but they were ghostly whispered drowned out by the sensation of her connection to the man she was swallowed up in.

His arms pulled a little tighter around her and the simple gesture mad silly heat flood her innards. Her lips parted at his gentle request for permission of entry.

Weakness.

Her will collapsed along with her ability to make truly sound, rational decisions. She finally pulled away enough to find his eyes. She slid her hands around his neck and pulled him toward her so she could whisper in his ear. “I’m ready to leave if you are.”

 

|:|A/N|:|

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