In the Spring, before my April birthday, I had made the big decision to move to New York City from my little, comfortable home in Portland. I made the decision because I wanted to get into the fashion business and there’s no place more fashionable than New York City, that’s a fact.
That’s besides the point, moving to New York was a dream but I never thought about how lonely it would be to leave my family and friends, then uproot to a city that is filled with strangers. Don’t get me wrong, New York is beautiful, but when you’re alone it doesn’t seem as wonderful as I anticipated.
I live currently on the outskirts of New York, in New Jersey, but I’m only a subway ride away from where I’m destined to be. Right now, New York City is not affordable for me at all.
Since I’ve been in the area I’ve discovered some hidden gems about the city, one of them being the bar inside of Jensen Hotels, a very expensive hotel chain with the headquarters being right here in NYC. Jensen Hotels is far out of my price range, but they have an amazing bar on the lobby level that I stumbled across and I happened to come by often after work.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a job in the fashion business right now, but at least I’m one step closer to making that dream real.
After another shift at the bookstore, I found myself walking into Jensen Hotels, again. It’s 6:30pm and after the day I had, maybe a little bit of alcohol will make it seem a little better. I’m extremely discouraged with where my life is at, this place is turning me into an alcoholic. But who’s complaining?
Still wearing my uniform from work, which includes a white blouse, black pants and an old brown apron to keep my notepad and books, I walk into the bar. Having become a regular recently, the bartender smiles when he sees me.
“Avery, the usual?”
I nod my head, “Thank you, Brandon.”
As I take a seat at the bar, I tuck my hair behind my ear and take a book from my apron, one that peeked my interest. I had read it when I was in high school, something that seems like a lifetime ago, but I had loved it so much I wanted to relive the nostalgia once more.
“The Outsiders,” The male voice next to me says, seeming impressed, “I haven’t seen that movie in years.”
“The novel is better,” I point out, opening the book to the page I had left off.
The man shrugs before taking a sip of his drink, “I wouldn’t know, I prefer films to novels.”
Films? Who calls it films nowadays? I try not to laugh but I can’t avoid the smirk on my face. This guy said the most grandpa thing. Without looking at him, I reply, “You’re missing out, then. Nothing can compare to the original work, even if the movie does have Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.”
“You didn’t even acknowledge the outstanding performance from Ralph Macchio. And you call yourself a fan of this? I beg to differ,” He chuckles, sipping his drink again. Is this guy really challenging me?
I set my book down, quickly turning to face him, “Excuse me, but I--”
When I come face to face with the man, I stop in my tracks, not having expected him to be so attractive. With dark hair and bright blue eyes, I feel stupid for arguing with such a good looking guy over something so silly, but I also know part of me feeling like that is because I’ve become shy by his appearance.
“Yes?” He asks me.
“You’re right, Ralph Macchio did amazing in the movie.”
He seems like he’s about to speak but Brandon, the bartender, brings me my drink and sets it in front of me, “Here you go.”
“Thanks, B.” I grin before taking a long sip of my vodka soda, groaning in relief when it finally hits my throat. I needed this after a long day, and no one makes drinks better than Brandon, at least no one I’ve come across yet.
“You’re very familiar with the staff,” The random guy speaks again.
“I come here almost daily,” I snicker to myself, “I work at the bookstore down the street and it was raining one day so I ran inside here until it stopped, but it was a message from God because Brandon makes amazing drinks.”
“You don’t even stay here?”
I nearly spit out my drink, laughing at his comment, “For over $400.00 a night in the most basic room? That’s almost half of my rent in Jersey.”
He nods his head, replying simply, “That’s fair.”
“Do you stay here?” I counter.
“Yes, not always but tonight.”
Clearly, he’s living comfortably, “Good for you.”
I watch him finish his drink before waving Brandon over to us again, “Another whiskey.”
“Bad day?” Brandon asks, raising an eyebrow as he takes the empty glass from the man next to me.
“Bad is an understatement.”
When Brandon walks away, I tuck my book inside of my apron again, intrigued by the gorgeous stranger, “You wanna talk about it?”
“About your bad day,” I remind him, “I’m a good listener.”
“You are also a young woman that I just met,” He reminds me, “You don’t even know my name.”
I smile at him, tilting my head a little, “Okay, well what’s your name?”
He looks down at the table and chuckles to himself before answering me, “Alex.”
“I’m Avery,” I tell him, extending my hand to shake his politely. He pauses before taking my hand and shaking it, “So... Tell me about your day.”
Alex turns to look at me, not saying anything more to Brandon when he sets the drink in front of him, “I’d rather learn more about you. You don’t like the price of a room here but you can pay $15 for a beverage?”
Damn, he’s a clever one.
I shrug my shoulders a little before finishing off my drink, “Can you keep a secret? I think Brandon has a crush on me, so he usually doesn’t give me a tab.”
“Really?” Alex seems surprised, but he nods his head, “I guess being a beautiful woman has its perks,”
“I’d like to think so,” I joke before motioning for another from Brandon, “Don’t say anything, though. He’s a good guy and I don’t want him to get in trouble.”
“My lips are sealed.”
As I look Alex over, I notice he’s wearing a suit with the sleeves rolled up and the jacket tossed over the back of his chair, “What do you do for a living?”
Figures. Mr. Fancy Pants has to have a good job to afford a room here.
“Sounds boring,” I tell him, “I’m from Portland. I moved to Jersey last month because I want to get into fashion.”
“Like modeling?” Alex asks me.
“Oh god, no. I cannot model to save my life... I want to design, I took a class in college for fabric and design, it was really enjoyable.”
“How old are you, Avery? You seem very young but wise beyond your years.”
I realize that Alex and I have been hitting it off, although I’m not the type to hook up with random guys, I wouldn’t mind breaking that rule for someone so handsome. My age could change that potentially.
“Twenty-Seven,” I tell him, lying. I’m actually twenty-one, almost twenty-two, but five years can make a hell of a difference and the chances of me meeting this guy again is quite slim, “And what about you?”
“Thirty-Seven,” He answers.
I feel like he was fishing for my age because he wanted to know if it was okay for him to hit on me, after I tell him my fake age he seems to think it’s an acceptable age difference.
“Why don’t we have some drinks in my suite? That way you can see that this hotel is more than a bar,” He smiles at me, his teeth forming a charming, bright smile as he stands up, certain that I will accept his offer.
I stand from my chair, proving him right, “How can I say no?”
My mind is racing and I’m certain that I’m going to have my first hook up. He’s making it extremely obvious what his intentions are and I’m excited, to say the least.
Any other time I’ve slept with someone it had been a relationship, I never just hook up for the hell of it. But this is New York Avery, now. Portland Avery was different.
“Are you leaving?” Brandon asks me.
I nod my head, watching as he rushes to the register and brings back my bill. My jaw nearly drops, shocked that he suddenly charged me for my drinks. I wasn’t prepared at all. I pull out my purse, thinking of a way to pay when Alex stops me.
“Add it to my tab,” He says simply.
Alex grabs his jacket from the back of his chair before taking my hand in his, leading me out of the bar.
Alex’s suite is on the top floor and when we reach the door he takes out a swipe card to unlock it. He pushes the door open before turning the lights on and revealing a suite larger than my apartment. With a fireplace to the right of the room with a leather sofa in front of it, a small kitchenette on the left of the room. The windows are as large as the wall, overlooking the city, giving an amazing view of the lights.
There’s another door which I assume leads to the bedroom and a door beside the first, assumingly a bathroom. This isn’t a suite, this is a penthouse, for God sakes.
How rich is this guy?
I hear the door close and look towards Alex, “Are you kidding me? This is your suite?”
“Yes,” He furrows his eyebrows, “I wouldn’t just walk into a room that isn’t mine, Avery. Beautiful view, isn’t it?”
“Stunning,” I tell him, walking to the window and looking at Central Park from higher than I’ve ever seen it, “This view is amazing, maybe even better than the Empire State Building.”
“You’ve been in the Empire State Building?”
“No, but... It would take a lot to beat this view.”
“I have a pass for the building, my assistant gave a coupon book to my son but he isn’t interested in site seeing things,” Alex tells me, reminding me how old he is when he mentions having a son. “It’s in my laptop bag, I will give it to you. You don’t experience New York until you get to the top of the Empire State Building.”
I smile at his generosity, “Alex, you don’t have to. I’m sure there’s other people you know that would love it.”
“It’s a coupon book, people I know don’t really coupon,” He chuckles as he walks to the couch where is laptop bag is and pulls out the coupon book. He sets it on the coffee table before proceeding to the fridge, “Do you like champagne or are you more of a hard alcohol kind of girl? I have vodka, whiskey, rum...”
“Any coke? I love rum and coke.”
I can see him smirking as he grabs the rum and coke, “You’re a rare kind, Avery. I haven’t met a lot of women who go for the hard stuff.”
“Do you realize how much champagne I would have to drink to get wasted?”
Again, Alex chuckles, reminding me how sexy a many who laughs can be. All of my ex’s were so damn serious but Alex is something else, he’s attractive and charming. That’s a bonus, for sure.
“We don’t have to get wasted,” He tells me.
“Isn’t that what people do when they hook up?” I ask stupidly before slapping myself on the forehead, “I’m sorry, I’m assuming and I should not have said that out loud and I’m so embarrassed right now, please give me some alcohol.”
He’s more calm than I expected, walking over to me and surprising me when his hands rest on my hips, “Well, I was assuming we would hook up, too. But I don’t need alcohol to make a woman feel good.”
I stare up at him, his height towering over me. I have never felt so... horny. I feel bad for even wanting to have sex with him so badly but this man has charmed my pants off and the thrill of him touching me sends me off the rails.
“I’m okay with that,” I nod my head quickly.
Alex lifts my chin with his index finger and I get a better look at his icy blue eyes before he closes them and proceeds to lean in. When his lips touch mine I nearly turn to mush, an intense feeling running through my body.
Within a few short seconds our kiss has turned more forceful and driven. I wrap my arms around his neck, pulling myself up into Alex’s arms as he lifts me, holding onto my butt as he walks us to the couch, putting me down and getting on top of me.
His lips move down to my neck where he proceeds to kiss my skin eagerly. His hands slide up my blouse and when he pulls away I rush to unbutton the buttons on his shirt, getting them off pretty quickly.
I lift my back to pull off my dirty, old apron and I get my blouse off before Alex has a chance, causing him to laugh, “Let a man do some of the work.”
I fall back onto the couch, looking up at him with my chest heaving. I’m filled with adrenaline and when his eyes wander to my chest, I try to keep my confidence, but sex is such an intimate thing, it’s hard to not feel self conscious.
Alex leans his head down to my cleavage, continuing to leave soft kisses. He looks up at me with a devilish smirk on his face, he then proceeds to undo the zipper of my pants before tugging them off of my body.
I never imagined when I walked into the bar tonight that I would end up here, getting ready to sleep with a rich, attractive, older man, but here I am and I’m enjoying every second of it.