Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sweet Surrender by Victoria Blisse

He noticed her body language. The way she sat defiantly in her chair, her back straight, her chin (and her breasts) jutting out proudly. That woman is angry, he thought, his body showing signs of arousal. She was obviously unaware of her beauty; just the kind of woman he liked. He wanted her, but slowly sipped his beer, knowing that timing was everything.

* * * *

She was upset, and that fact upset her even more. The prick dumped her days before they were meant to go on this trip. She didn't know why she decided to come on her own. Rebellion? Defiance? She hadn't a clue. Already she contemplated returning home on the next train.

The smiling seaside town of Scarborough seemed to be filled with reminders she was alone, when she should have a partner with her. The romantic double bed in the highest room of the guesthouse, the look on the receptionist’s face as she explained that she was on her own. The restaurant table set for two. The seemingly hundreds of couples strolling hand in hand along the bright, sunny seafront. She hated it all, so she retired to her room until the sun was going down and the singles came out in force. It was Saturday night and the bars were packed; she stepped into the first one not hosting karaoke and ordered a Bacardi and Coke. She determined to get drunk and start enjoying this holiday if it killed her.

Moments later she held back tears, realizing how pathetic she must look. Thirty years old, single, and surrounded by happy youngsters flirting, gossiping and pairing up. She prepared to rise, go back to the hotel and pack with the intention of boarding the first train home in the morning when a man appeared at her table.

"Hi, I'm terribly sorry for just approaching you like this, but I noticed you'd finished your drink and wondered if I could get you another whilst I'm on my way back to the bar."

He was smiling, the slight flush to his cheeks giving him a boyish charm quite impossible to resist.

"Okay, I'll have another Bacardi and coke, thanks." She smiled at him, her tummy flipping. He looked a little older than her, dressed casually in dark coloured slacks and a pin stripe shirt. He was well groomed, smelt citrus fresh with a tempting spicy edge and was obviously interested in her. She wasn't interested in hooking up with another drain on her finances, but spending a moment in his company couldn't do any harm, could it?

"So, you're not a local are you?" He said on his return, sitting down on the stool next to her.

"No, I'm not." She replied, not really wanting to elaborate.

"That's good. I like pretty tourists, they've not heard of my reputation." His easy and encompassing smile lit up his deep, dark eyes.

"And what reputation would that be, then?" She flirted back, involuntary pulled in by his charm.

"Oh, for being a right gentleman, of course," he replied, putting on a broad Yorkshire accent, hiding his posher, milder one.

"Oh, really? I guess I'll soon see. So, Mr. Gentleman, what brings you here?"

"To this pub? To pick up naive tourists of course."

"I meant Scarborough generally, but thank you for the warning."

She had forgotten her ex for the first time in weeks, and was enjoying the first flushes of flirtation, something she'd experienced far too few times in her life.

"I'm an artist," he replied. "I paint, I sculpt, but mostly I take photographs."

"There is a lot of beautiful scenery around here. It's a good place for an artist." She took a sip of her drink, and let her eyes linger over the strong, soft hand gripping his pint.

"And beautiful women." He grinned, his cheeks dimpling. "Scenery is nice, but on it's own it is unimaginative. Now put together an attractive lady and beautiful scenery and you've got magic."

"You just like ogling the feminine form, then." She teased. He was silent for a moment. His solemn face made her wonder if she had offended him until he broke into another unending smile.

"Yeah, that's about it."

The conversation came easily, and the flirting flowed from both sides, mingling and interchanging effortlessly. It was the perfect meeting, everything you want in a first date -tension, controlled lust, shared conversation, and the ease that comes from such a chance meeting. No pressure, and absolutely nothing to lose.

"I've not seen much of Scarborough yet, I only arrived today." She said in answer to a simple question posed to her. "I'm here for a long weekend though, so I hope to see a bit of it before I leave."

"Well, let me offer you my services as a guide. I know all the beautiful places and I would love to show them to you. I'd love to take some photos of you, if you'd permit me to."

The flattery was working, but she was wary of saying yes to a stranger, especially a stranger who evoked such a strong sexual need deep inside her.

He saw the indecision in her manner and added, "We can meet at the harbour of the south bay at mid day. It will be packed at that time on a Saturday, so you'll not have to worry about being alone with me. I promise you'll have a good time."

His eyes captured hers, and there something in their blue lagoon depths made her unable to look away and unable to say no, even though she sensed danger. The madness of it all sealed her decision; she said yes and swore not to regret it for a moment. As they made their way out of the pub, she put her hand on his arm.

"And just so I know, what's your name?"

"Tom." He smiled, "and yours?"

"Helen."

"I shall see you tomorrow, Helen." he grinned, laying a soft, non-threatening kiss on her cheek.

Helen thought about the kiss all the way back to her hotel, then all the time she was showering and putting on her pajamas. She thought about it as she lay in the big, wide double bed and smiled. Tomorrow was going to be fun and she was beginning to really enjoy this holiday.