Amanda sat on a stool, in a hotel bar that reminded her of her youth. She had gone to places like this voluntarily when she was in her late teens and early twenties. She was scarcely twenty nine now, but that seemed like an eternity ago. She was not necessarily in this meat market voluntarily tonight.
This evening, she had run from her home after finding Joel with her best friend, in the bed they had shared for twelve years. She was unbearably wounded and unbelievably angry. The sight of her naked boyfriend fucking Angie with a driving need he had never shown her, made her stomach pitch.
She had stood there transfixed at the sight of Angie moaning with Joel’s every powerful thrust. Angie’s breasts heaved in rhythm with her moans and gasps. She was obviously in the throes of an ecstasy that Amanda envied. They were so lost in each other that they hadn’t even heard her enter.
Amanda closed her eyes against the images and finished her third Long Island Iced Tea. She had no idea how she drove here. It was such a frenzied blur that she scarcely remembered bolting from the house.
She checked her watch to find that she had been in this small bar for nearly two hours. The night crowd was beginning to pour in and with it; the band started to play.
Angie yelled her order over the too-loud, pulsing, music as ‘a suit’ sat down beside her. She still recognized the men who arrived directly from work looking to get laid.
“’Suits,’” she thought, “still the same, but he looks good… for ‘a suit,’” Amanda surmised as she eyed him cautiously.
Another half hour passed before she noted that he matched her drink for drink, and was getting an eyeful himself.
Amanda was still in her work clothes. She wore slacks that fitted to her form and a new, red, blouse that was cut all the way down to there, with stilettoes that completed the sexy ensemble. She had wanted to surprise Joel tonight and visibly grimaced as the images returned.
Suddenly, ‘the suit’ turned to her and opened his mouth as if to speak, but then he turned away just as suddenly. She swallowed the last of her fourth drink filled with curiosity.
Surely, there wasn’t a pick up line she hadn’t heard and turned down before, but she wondered why he seemed to be working up his nerve so intently, and consuming liquid courage like the bar was sure to run out.
Amanda realized she was inebriated but where was she going to go? “Home,” she asked herself, “Not bloody likely!”
She sniffed angrily, shook her head unconsciously, and slammed the rest of her drink. Still, she was intrigued. She couldn’t shake her curiosity about ‘the suit.’
Amanda nursed her drink until the next time he turned in her direction. She whirled her stool to face him, held ‘the suit’ with a glare and said,
“What? What could you possibly say that would make me consider you,” she spat with more venom than she’d meant to unleash. Amanda turned back to her drink sure that she had shut him down in record time.
Then she felt her stool being forced back to him. ‘The suit” firmly held her shoulder with one hand while the other raised her chin until their eyes met.
His voice was deep and excitedly nervous, but he calmly spoke the words he had been wanting to since he arrived,
“This is not you. Someone did this to you.”
Amanda tried to say something, anything, but he pressed his thumb hard against her lips and continued,
“There is so much you don’t know yet. This is going to sound a little nuts so please just let me say it.”
Amanda quit struggling and finally paused to hear him out.
“You don’t know it yet, but you are the piece of my soul that I’ve been waiting for. You’re beautiful, stunning,” he corrected without pausing, “You’re going to be my world, my everything. I want to hold your hand, give you refuge, safety, and love. You and I… we were destined to be.”
Amanda’s eyes brimmed with tears and she swallowed hard, unable to speak. ‘The suit” went on,
“This isn’t you. You’re not this woman who’s filled with pain.”
She shook her head but he immediately called her bluff,
“A man,” he started, “No. A real man doesn’t claim to love you and then destroy you. You are a loving, kind, and pardon me for saying it bluntly, but the most desirable, profoundly extraordinary, utterly fuckable
woman I’ve ever met. I want you, and I want you in my life right now. Take my hand and come home with me tonight. We’ll pick a chapel first thing tomorrow. We’ll exchange names when you feel safer. Take my hand.”
With tears trickling down her cheeks, Amanda took his hand, knowing that he was everything she had ever prayed for. He wrapped her slight frame into his arms and steered her through the crowd and out the door.
They arrived at his gorgeous home in less than twenty minutes. He put her in front of the warm glow of the fireplace, not letting her go for a second. She relaxed into his arms, hugging her knees to hide her face while she wept. It was the strangest, most overwhelming, mix of emotions she had ever experienced.
At last, Amanda knew with certainty that she would love this man forever, and she would never have to be fearful again.