I raised my cell phone and exhaled. My finger hovered over the SEND button, my eyes glued to the two words on the screen:
I took another deep breath and sealed my fate, praying that my nerves would settle so I wouldn’t feel nauseous anymore.
There was no turning back now.
The sound of a toilet flushing drowned out the ringing of a phone nearby. A heartbeat later, the door across from me opened, and my nerves magnified.
“Are you going to stand out there all night?”
The smooth, deep voice came from the backlit doorway.
I didn’t have to close my eyes to imagine him anymore. His wide shoulders towering a foot over me, draped in an untucked button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His obsidian eyes staring down into the mine with a glossy look. His large hands gripping the frame and the door as he leaned into the hall toward me.
Our last—and first—encounter had been at a gangster/flapper-themed dance a week prior. My own stomping grounds, my own friends, my own comfort zone. It had been easy to fall for his charms, the way he held me close when we’d slow danced. The way he’d tilted my fedora back in the parking lot before kissing me softly, his fingers barely touching my cheek. The way he’d whispered in my ear that my decision to dress gangster had turned him on. My knees had buckled when he’d pressed up against my hip, proving his arousal.
It took all of my strength to function the next seven days, especially at work. Our late-night chats on the phone and the Internet did not help. So why was I so scared? He was handing me the moment I’d been fantasizing about...
“Maxi?” He propped the door and stepped fully into the hall now, the corners of his mouth turned down. “You okay?”
I backed against the wall, gripping my overnight bag on my shoulder.
It’s a mistake. I shouldn’t have come. What was I thinking? Wait, I wasn’t thinking. I—
His fingers brushed my cheek as he lifted my chin.
“It’s okay. Don’t be scared.”
“Who me?” My voice sounded shaky, and nowhere near confident, even though I smiled.
His frown deepened. Concern and disappointment battled within his dark eyes. “Do you not want to do this?”
“I do. I’ll be fine.”
I pushed away from the wall, marching into the lion’s den. The door shut loudly behind me, making me jump as I took in the surroundings. It was a standard hotel room with the bathroom to the left, a clothing rod in an alcove to the right, and a wide-open suite ahead with two lamps and a digital clock on small tables flanking the lone bed. A couch, table, two chairs, and a low dresser with a TV bolted on top finished off the furniture pieces.
Nothing fancy. But then, it wasn’t a special occasion. Well, not one that you’d rent a luxurious hotel room for, like for a honeymoon.
A soft snort escaped on the last thought. No, nothing important like that.
There was a tug on my arm, and I blinked. My eyes rose to meet his, and his gentle smile eased some of the tension.
“Let me take your bag.”
I released my grip on the strap, watching him set the duffle bag on the dresser beside the flashing but silent TV screen. He pressed a button on the casing, and the screen went black. Now it really was just the two of us.
Small sounds seemed amplified. The soft hiss of the air conditioning unit. The buzz of the light above our heads. The clunking of ice in the machine just outside the room. The gurgle of water in the corner hot tub by the bed.
Well, maybe this isn’t such a standard hotel room after all.
My heartbeat pounded in my ears. I tried to keep my breathing even, tried to wrap my mind around the whole situation. What I was doing. Why I was doing it.
A soft moan escaped when I thought of the possible end result, and something tightened in my gut.
“Maxi? Sit down.”
He took my hand and guided me to the bed. My skin tingled from the contact. My knees bent automatically, and then I was resting on the edge, my short stature making it difficult to sit and still touch the carpet.
“You look beautiful tonight.”
I blinked again and tilted my head up to him. No one had ever called me beautiful, save my parents. My eyes dropped down to the dress I’d chosen to wear to the dance tonight, a silky red, rose-patterned skirt topped with a black, sleeveless bodice that provided ample cleavage. It was one of my favorites, mostly because I felt beautiful in it, despite my oversized body.
A smile pulled at my lips, glad that he had liked it, too. “I-I’m sorry. I’m just a little...”
“It’s okay. I understand.” He sat beside me, still holding my hand.
For several minutes, the only noise we made was our breathing—his even, mine staggered.
How can he be so calm?
I kept my gaze on my own lap, swallowing heavily when it wandered to his lap...and the slight bulge there. He squeezed my hand every now and then. Finally, when I felt calm, I raised my eyes to his face.
He was watching me; the corners of his mouth were turned up. “I’m going to kiss you, okay?”
I tipped my chin in response, and then his hand cupped my jaw, drawing me closer. My eyes drifted closed when his warm lips touched mine. They brushed lightly at first and then pressed harder. I squeezed his hand, sucking down air, little squeaks of surprise reaching my ears.
His hand slid to the back of my head, his fingers burying into the gathered strands of my hair. When his tongue outlined my mouth, I shivered. When he nipped at my bottom lip, I gasped. And when his tongue slipped inside, flicking at my tongue, I moaned.
Shubam continued to ply my mouth with his until our tongues danced, tasting each other, and my moans became more frequent. He pulled his hand from mine and released the clip that held my auburn locks secure. The soft waves cascaded to my shoulders, whispering against my ears and cheeks before he brushed them back so he could hold my head more firmly.
My hand found his thigh and squeezed, eliciting a moan from him. Our bodies turned into each other, the nerves slipping away as he helped me scoot back on top of the quilt. When he laid me back against the pillows, I sighed, and anticipation replaced the anxiety in my tense muscles.