Miami Nights

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Chapter 5

A slow, 20 minute walk later, Noah and Alina were sitting in Sam's Bayfront Bar & Grille where Noah worked. They were talking about what beverages they were going to order when a bartender approached them.

"Dude, it's your day off, can't you ever not work?" The bartender laughed.

"I just couldn't stay away, and also I wanted to bring my new friend Alina here," Noah gestured to Alina.

"Hi Alina, nice to meet you, I'm CJ. Are you new to town?"

"No, just visiting from Oregon, I'm not sure if I could handle this weather year round!"

They all laughed.

"What are you talking about? This is the best weather in the world!" CJ said as he held out his tanned arms from his Hawaiian shirt. "So what can I get you two?"

"I'd love a house margarita on the rocks with a salt rim please," she replied.

"Coming right up, beer for you man?" CJ asked Noah.

"You know it, thanks CJ."

While CJ grabbed their drinks, Alina looked around the restaurant. It was both trendy and classic with a bank of open-air windows looking out over the bay and another looking out over the street. The bar was in the middle with TVs hanging up around it showing March Madness games and other sports highlights. An alternative rock song played, though she didn't know which one, and the clinking of plates and animated voices filled the air.

"Here you go, one house margarita and a PBR for you, cheers kids."

"Just put it on my tab Ceej."

"Oh no no no you don't!" CJ and Noah both looked at Alina in surprise. "It's my turn to pay and I insist," she said firmly.

Alina locked eyes with Noah as she slid her card over to CJ. CJ sighed and said "Sorry man, gotta go with the lady," and left to add her card to the tab list. Noah laughed and tilted his beer up to take a sip.

Alina took a sip of her margarita and was shocked by how satisfying it was. Maybe it was the hot, humid air or this whirlwind of a day or maybe even the jet lag, but it was one of the best margaritas she'd ever had.

"Oh my god, this is so good," she exclaimed.

"I know right?" CJ replied from the register. "Noah made up the recipe for the mix, it's a little time consuming but people love it."

CJ circled the bar to help some new customers - an animated group of young women that were all wearing a shirt that said something about a bachelorette party.

Alina looked at Noah with surprise for what felt like the 20th time that day.

"Is there anything you can't do?" She asked.

He smiled at her, and she could see his dark blue eyes so clearly, she noticed the fiery yellow ring on the inside just by his pupils. He leaned close to her and she almost thought he was going to try to kiss her.

"I guess you'll have to find out," he said.


About an hour and a second margarita later, and Alina and Noah bid goodbye to CJ and headed back out into the heat. The sun was lower in the sky but the heavy air still lingered.

"You up for one more adventure?" Noah asked her as he put his sunglasses back on and waited for her to answer.
"Sure," Alina said hesitantly. "Do you think we'll have time before we meet up with the others?"
Noah checked his watch.
"They'll be done with the tour in about 45 minutes, we can do it, it won't take long," he replied.
Alina shrugged with a smile and said "Great, let's go."
They walked another three or four blocks before turning into a fancy apartment building. Alina started to get confused before reminding herself that this handsome stranger had not steered her wrong yet.
Noah checked in with the doorman and then opened the elevator for he and Alina to get on. He pressed a key fob to the pad inside and hit the button that said "ROOF."
"This is my Dad's apartment building. It's a little bougie for me but this view is super worth it."
The doors opened to an expansive view of Biscayne Bay, and beyond, the Atlantic Ocean. There was a beautiful sun deck above a walk-in pool with bronzed, sunning bodies sprawled out around it. There was a covered area with several bar height tables and grills in it for residents to use.
"Wow, this is amazing," Alina said as she took it all in.
"I know right?" Alina could tell Noah wasn't looking at the view, he was only looking at her and her reaction. He led her to the other side of the rooftop where they were treated to an incredible view of the city. Alina was mesmerized by all of the tall, glass buildings and skyscrapers. She felt struck by how quiet and peaceful it felt compared to the hustle and bustle of the city below and she breathed in the warm breeze.
They were silent for several minutes. Then a text came in from Alina's Mom asking Alina and Noah to meet them at an Italian restaurant in downtown in 20 minutes. Noah explained that they could get there in about 15 minutes. Reluctantly, Alina stepped on the elevator and looked at the clock on her phone.
"We'll have five minutes to spare, what magical thing can you make happen in that time?" She asked jokingly.
Suddenly, Noah was in her space and moving closer. His cologne and body wash scents filled her nostrils. Her heart began to pound so loud, she was sure he could hear it and heat pooled in her belly. He ran one hand down her arm before placing it on her hip, and held the other up to her face. Her mouth had gently fallen open in shock and uncertainty and he barely grabbed her bottom lip with his thumb and forefinger. Then he gently grasped her chin, tilted her face up towards his and gave her a gentle yet firm kiss. She could taste the beer on his breathe and the heat in her stomach suddenly felt like fiery butterflies. She leaned into him and took it all in: how good his lips felt, how she wanted to run her hands over his chest, how she wanted his hands to roam over her body. Before she knew it, the kiss ended and he pulled away.
"Oh I can think of a few things," he said with that smirk firmly in place.
Just then, the ding of the elevator sounded and the doors opened to the lobby.
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