Disclaimer...characters still not mine...dedicated to Lorraine….A sequel to 'Eggsnog'
Valentines day. A commercial holiday? Absolutely. But it's also a day for wannabe lovers to take a chance, and a day for established lovers to celebrate their love. I guess I fall into the first category. So here I am, just casually acting casual while waiting for my wannabe love to leave the locker room.
I know it's probably a huge mistake and that it will probably not end well. Possibly a slap in the face, or even a knee to the groin? Maybe yet another cry of sexual harrassment. But possibly, juuust possibly, it could end well and it's that scenario that the generous dram of expensive sixty year old single malt scotch I've drank is leaning me towards. Whiskey I have found is an excellent vessel for building up your courage, and yes, I've also found it can also take bad ideas, swallow and ingest them whole, only to give birth to even bigger bolder, bad ideas. So here I am and then suddenly, there she is, and for some reason I am surprised, and then I am surprised at my surprise...I have after all, been stood here waiting for precisely this moment. There she is leaving the locker room, already wrapped up in anticipation of doing battle with the cold Chicago weather.
As expected she makes straight for the elevator and as cool and nonchalant as I can, I follow. As the doors open she steps in and I realise my timing is off. I am forced to abandon my cool and nonchalant gait. Needs must, and I am all about need, specifically mine, so I sort of half sprint to close the distance, stepping inside just before the doors can close. She turns to look at me and gives me one of those smiles, the big infectious type that make you smile right back, which of course is what I do. Cool and nonchalant is back.
"You cut that fine, Robert." She laughs and it's music to my ears. "Any longer and you'd have been sliced in half. Are you finished for the day?" she asks, pushing the button to take us down.
I nod as the elevator begins to move and then, like a magician I wave my hand and stop time. Well, what I actually do is push the STOP button, but it has the same effect and I hear her breath catch in her throat.
"What are you doing?" she asks me.
I don't answer, but I do take a step closer to her. I know I'm encroaching into her personal space, but I'm now also very acutely aware that we're standing close, close enough that our bodies are almost touching...and that wins. I can hear her breathing and I can feel the heat coming off of her.
"I never thanked you for my Christmas present," I say, my voice so low even I'm impressed.
We've never spoken about that kiss since it happened, but I know she remembers it. I know she's thinking about it right now, because her eyes give her away and flick down to my lips and I watch the most endearing blush spread over her. It grows up out from the depths of her coat, spreading up into her neck and takes a hold of her, travelling to her face leaving her cheeks flushed and flaming, flaming and red, the most beautiful exquisite deepest shade of crimson I've ever seen.
"I also believe I was remiss in the gift department," says I, and I reach inside my jacket and produce the single red rose I've been carefully trying not to squish. "Happy Valentine's Day, Lizzie."
Her eyes light on the rose and she smiles this wide open beautiful smile. I counter with a goofy one...I am after all cool and nonchalant.
I take the smile as a good sign and step forward once more with a confidence I really shouldn't feel, but whiskey is also a great enabler for helping people do things they may or may not regret at a later date. My eyes are fixed on hers, as are hers on mine. She's watching and waiting and dare I say it, she's daring me? Well, gauntlet down, challenge accepted, I close the distance and I reach up my hand to the back of her neck, and gently pull her head down to mine. I don't feel any resistance and am heartened, so I kiss her lips gently, almost playfully, and then probe a little with my tongue. She opens her mouth to me, a green light if ever there was one, and in I go.
I push one hand up into that glorious mass of curls and let the other slide around her back and pull her closer, pressing my body against hers. A small moan escapes her mouth and I smile, pleased in the knowledge that the same dizzying effect she has on me must be the same for her. I reward her with a moan of my own. I feel her arms wrap around my waist and that's all the signal I need to turn it up and increase the kiss. I'm not sure at this point if I black out because I'm not aware of anything for a time. Just tongues and hands exploring, enjoying each other.
This is going well I think and I peel my mouth away from hers just a fraction. "So will you?"
"Will I what?"
I smile against her mouth. Of course, she's going to make me ask.
"Will you be my Valentine?"
"Well I have the rose and you have my lips. What more is there?"
"I was thinking dinner and candlelight..."
"Sounds lovely," says she. "But I doubt we'd get in anywhere at this late hour."
That's my Lizzie, her glass always half empty.
"Then it's a good job we have a reservation," I say because not only am I cool and nonchalant, I am also prepared, and my half full glass is about to fill.
I push the button and the elevator starts moving again, taking us down and we both shift our positions so we are stood beside each other, no longer touching, just two passengers on their way down... but I let my hand linger next to hers and smile when she brushes her little finger against mine before entwining them together.