|02-19-2007, 07:10 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Re-connection - by One Shy Writer (BHM, Romance)
(BHM, Romance)- after perhaps too long a delay, a saga resumes
by One Shy Writer
(A sequel to the much heralded "Flight," found here)
(Author's note: I've really gotten into telling the story with this one. If you don't have time -- or the desire -- to read a long story, this probably isn't for you. I'm loving these characters, and will probably write more about them.)
It had been two days since the flight on which I had the extraordinary pleasure of sitting next to one of the most beautiful people I'd ever met. I couldn't get him out of my mind.
That night after I got home from the airport, as I laid in bed trying fitfully and unsuccessfully to fall asleep, I let my mind replay our time on the plane over and over again, like a song on repeat. Except, instead of parting ways as we did, I'd let my mind come up with scenarios in which we didn't have to go home alone.
It was easiest to imagine him coming back to my place, and us curling up on the couch, or going out for a late dinner together and getting to know one another better. In fact, during that twilight awareness between being awake and drifting off to sleep, I couldn't remember what was memory and what was a product of my imagination.
Now, I was struggling to stay focused enough at work that nobody would notice that my brain was clear on the other side of the city. Specifically, it was in a quaint little coffee shop nestled into a strip mall in the older part of town, away from the high-rises and skyskrapers.
I had driven past the shop on my way home from work on the previous day, hoping to "accidentally" run into the store's blue-eyed shaggy-haired manager. Unfortunately, since his day started so much earlier than mine, it likely ended much earlier as well. And I didn't have time to stay and chat if I had run into him, so perhaps it was for the best. It was just nice to have a visual of the place where Derek spent his working hours.
I am a hopeless daydreamer.
When I wasn't imagining Derek at work, or wrapped up in a blanket on my couch, I was imagining how our dinner date for the evening would go. I had picked out an outfit in my mind, after a great deal of internal conflict. We were going to an Irish-named restaurant that was about five steps up the culinary ladder from a pub but with all the same atmosphere. It was in Derek's neighborhood, not mine, and I hadn't been there, but he promised it would not disappoint. I kept to myself that it didn't matter if we were eating out of a dumpster as long as I was near him again. I could save that for the second date.
I futzed through the rest of the day while nearly crawling out of my skin with anticipation. When four o'clock rolled around, I was out of the office like my arse was on fire and there was a big trough of water in the parking garage. If I flew, I could beat the worst of the rush-hour traffic.
I tried public transportation. It wasn't for me. While I did love Panama City, I couldn't stand the attitudes of so many of its citizens. If you didn't have a hard beach body and a perfect tan, you were second-class.
Okay, so I had a decent beach body; I got wolf whistles in a bikini. And I was tan as a byproduct of enjoying the Florida sunshine. But it was more a product of my environment and good genetics than something I worked hard to achieve. I wore board shorts and t-shirts to go grocery shopping, not tailored capris and high heels. I never went out just to be seen. That sort of narcissism never made sense to me. Those people never seemed real.
Derek was real. Aside from the fact that I was mouth-wateringly attracted to him the second I laid eyes on him, it was the whole package of a luscious body and a sharp mind that got my heart pounding.
And people of Derek's stature were painfully scarce in this corner of the world, let alone when coupled with well-paying steady employment and a good sense of wit.
No wonder my brain was buzzing.
I got home in record time, ran up three flights of stairs to the door of my high-rise beach-facing condo, shed my business attire like molting skin, and showered as if the shower was set to self-destruct in T-minus 1 minute. I dressed in comfortable khaki hip-huggers and a deep-red sleeveless blouse that revealed a dangerous amount of cleavage. So what if I didn't have to worry about convincing Derek to see me? I was fairly certain it couldn't hurt. Did my chocolate-brown hair in a fancy but easy to assemble up-do, brushed on a bit of makeup, and raced back across town.
I was an hour early.
So was Derek.
The evening was nice enough that I wouldn't have complained about sitting at the outdoor bar by myself, nursing a drink, listening to the music, people-watching and daydreaming, until Derek arrived. But apparently he couldn't wait to get there either. As I was getting out of my car, a familiar head of hair bobbed between vehicles on the other side of the parking lot. I took a few steps to the end of the row of spaces to be sure before saying something, and I announced my presence with a nervously delighted laugh. When Derek turned to see me, his face lit up like an airport in a snowstorm.
He looked amazing in cargo khaki pants, leather sandals, and a navy blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. I walked up to him as quickly as I could without breaking into an all-out sprint. As soon as I was within arm's reach, he leaned down, wrapped his soft, strong arms around my body beneath my arms, picked me up, and squeezed me close. I hooked my arms around his shoulders and hugged like both our lives depended on it. I took a deep breath, savoring the moment, and Derek's cologne, and the sensation of his body nearly enveloping mine.
We stayed like that for a very long moment, and probably would have stayed that way for hours, had a car not driven down the lane in which we were standing. Derek set me down gently. My hand immediately found his.
"Couldn't wait another hour either, eh?" I said, blushing a bit.
Derek gazed down at me, shaking his head slightly. "I just wanted to be here to see you make your entrance."
That got a laugh out of me. "My entrance?"
"I just figured if you were glowing as much tonight as you were when we said goodbye at the airport, all eyes would have to be on you by default."
Whoa. I was blushing so hard I was afraid my hair spray would combust. I was completely speechless. Derek paused when we got to the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and turned to face me. He took my other hand as well and looked down at me with an adorable mixture of nerves and impishness.
"And I was right."
(More in post three of this thread - all this was prologue; the good stuff starts then.)
Last edited by Observer; 05-15-2007 at 10:34 PM.
|02-28-2007, 08:03 PM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2006
We were seated at a small table outside, per our request. It was a beautiful evening, and it would have been a shame to spend it indoors. The waitress brought us both glasses of water, took our drink orders, and went on her way. We hardly noticed. And neither of us were looking at the menu. We were doing this awkward but adorable dance between observing our surroundings, making shy eye contact, giggling, blushing, and repeating the process. At one point, I bit my lip and extended my hand across the table. Derek picked up immediately on the cue and laced his fingers through mine. It was different, looking each other in the eye, than it was sitting or standing side by side. Vulnerability is higher when you have to maintain eye contact.
The contact of our hands was like briding a gap between us. Conversation flowed out like water unleashed from a ruptured dam.
"I've missed you so much," I blurted, at the same time that Derek said, "It's so good to see you, Alex." We both laughed.
"How's work been, post-training?" Derek asked. I gave him the bare-bones details of the monotony of my job, shaking my head as I pointed out the rewrite I was working on for the software that would inevitably result in yet another training course. Although, hopefully, I would be running the next one, rather than attending. Negotiations were in the works.
"What about the coffee shop? Did it survive your absence?" I inquired. Derek reported that things had gone better than expected, and despite the weekly shipment of food being far more than the store could possibly use in a week, there were no major snags. It was good to hear about his day, so comfortable and familiar, but the tension between us was building by the minute.
When this train of thought came to its natural end, we found ourselves staring each other deep in the eye. Unlike the minutes before, we didn't uncomfortably look away, but it was still a very profound and vulnerable connection. The energy between us would have been deafening had it been translated into sound.
"Alex, what the hell are you doing here with me?" Derek asked finally. I was so taken by surprise that I couldn't do anything but shake my head and look at him with a confused expression.
"What are you talking about?"
Derek leaned back in his chair, the wood joints creaking in protest. The chair was uncomfortably small for him, it was clear. It didn't have arms, thank goodness, but it was a very small seat for a very substantial man. I tried not to focus on this, because I knew that he was uncomfortable, and it was slightly disconcerting to me that I was kind of turned on by that. He stretched one arm over his head, resting his hand on the crown of his head. He mussed that beautifully shaggy hair a bit. He appeared to be wistful, confused, hopeful and nervous, all at the same time.
"You're this gorgeous woman. You've got your life together. You have an incredible corporate job. You have job security for life, and you'll probably always be financially secure. You could have any guy in this city." Derek gestured at the plethora of attractive men milling about. I hadn't noticed any of them until Derek pointed them out. "And here you are, at this restaurant, with this 400-pound loser whose only idea of a career path is to make coffee for people who don't bother to tip. What's the catch?"
My stomach fell through the floor. Derek had seemed so confident once I got him to open up to me. Where was this self-doubt coming from?
"There is no catch, Derek," I said lamely.
He leaned forward, scooting his chair back, resting his forearms on his knees. I couldn't help but notice how his belly filled most of the space behind his arms, and I couldn't tell for sure, but I'm sure I blushed a bit at that realization. God, he was so beautiful; I hated that he was giving himself such a hard time. "No, see. There has to be a catch. Beautiful women don't like me. In fact, when I can get a beautiful woman to even acknowledge me as a human being, I have to spend forever convincing her that I'm worth getting to know, that I'm not a slob, I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid, and I'm not disgusting. And then, even if I can convince her to go on a date with me, even if she likes me as a person, it comes down to my weight. Beautiful women can't get past the fact that I wear size 54 pants, or that I can't ride roller coasters, or that I can't buy clothes at department stores. So what I want to know is whether or not you can see past that, because I'm already falling for you, and if you can't, I want to stop myself before I get hurt. Again." His face was pinched, pained. I could tell that he hadn't planned to gush out like that, but once it was out, it was out.
Right about the time that it was crossing my mind that the most inappropriate place for this conversation was a very busy restaurant, the waitress walked up and asked if we had decided on what we wanted. I looked up at her in a daze. She stared at me for a moment, I remained speechless, and she walked away, saying she'd come back in a few.
I sighed, and leaned forward on the table, speaking in a soft voice so as not to broadcast myself to every patron in the place.
"No, Derek, I can't see past it." I paused to make a point. Derek's face fell. I continued. "And I don't want to. Don't you remember how we were on the plane? How... the way I touched you? I can't imagine you forgot that already. You told me I could touch you like that any time. Remember?"
"Yeah, I remember," Derek said.
"Well? Between that and me not complaining about sharing half my seat with you, shouldn't that have clued you into a little insight about me?"
Derek stared at me. I could tell he was thinking hard, but nothing was coming out.
"You don't get it, do you?" He kept staring, eyebrows furrowed together. "I can't see past it because I don't want to see past it. I like your size, Derek. I like your body. I think you're stunning."
I was blushing furiously at this point, because even though I meant it, it was a very awkward thing to admit. Especially since it was clear that he wasn't going to just accept my confession. In fact, he was speechless for a long time.
"You don't make any sense," he finally said, in a soft voice. He didn't appear angry, just confused.
I couldn't help but laugh. "Take it at face value, hon. A beautiful woman thinks you're beautiful. What's to complain about?" I gave him my best gentle, warm, inviting smile. I didn't want him to doubt me, and certainly not doubt how attracted I was to him.
He smiled back at me, though his was a sad one. He picked up the menu and started browsing. With a sigh, I did the same. We studied the entrees in silence for a bit. At one point, Derek mumbled under his breath, "I'm damned starving." I laughed softly. Without putting my menu down, I replied with, "Then eat."
Derek peeked over his menu at me. I winked at him over mine. There was still that awkward tension that comes after a vulnerability is revealed, but I was determined to make him feel comfortable again.
When the waitress returned, she looked to me first. I gestured to Derek to place his order before mine. Derek went ahead and ordered, choosing a steak and pasta combination. The steak he ordered was a very large 18 ounce T-bone. He also ordered cream of potato soup and mashed potatoes as a side. I grinned at him, and he blushed a little, but smiled shyly. "Can't go to an Irish restaurant and not get potatoes," he said.
I agreed, and told the waitress I'd have the same. Both her eyes and Derek's got wide, though Derek's expression was considerably more surprised. It was a large amount of food. The best part was, I knew I couldn't finish all of it. Oh, I was going to try. And in the meantime, I was going to make Derek feel comfortable because even if he was eating a mountain of food, he wouldn't be alone. Well, maybe it would make him comfortable. I hoped. Otherwise I was going to eat a lot of food for nothing.
(Part three coming right up. My muse has gotten past its case of ADD.)
Last edited by Observer; 05-15-2007 at 10:34 PM.
|03-28-2007, 06:18 PM||#4|
Join Date: Feb 2006
I put my hand back on the table, palm-up, just as before. Derek took my hand again, squeezing it tight. I rubbed his fingers with my thumb gently, just trying to ease his mind.
Speaking of minds, I couldn't stop myself from pulling the oldest trick in a girl's book. I asked the question that most men can't stand hearing: "What are you thinking?" Normally, I was above such cheap conversation tactics; I've learned to accept that a man will reveal his thoughts in good time, if you're meant to know them. But these were special circumstances. I was really afraid that Derek was going to withdraw from me completely. I genuinely felt that I only had one shot at getting this right.
Derek laughed softly. "Where should I start?"
I smiled gently. "Start with whether or not you believe what I told you."
"That you think I'm beautiful."
"I don't know what to think." he laughed softly; such a typical guy response. "I've never had anybody say that to me before."
"You said you've had girlfriends. You mean to tell me that none of them ever complimented you?"
"Oh, sure. They told me I had a nice smile, or great hair, or pretty eyes. But that's a lot different than what you said."
I shook my head sadly. "I can't believe you've never been with a girl who loved your body."
"Look at me!" Derek said, laughing, one hand on either side of his belly. He gave it a shake that almost gave me need for a clean pair of underwear. "If you really think all this is sexy, you're in such a small minority that I wasn't even aware of your existence."
Very slowly, a grin of an extremely devious nature spread across my face. He didn't remove his hands from their plant on his love handles. I was staring very intently at his beautiful mid-section, allowing myself to truly take in every detail of his body for the first time since we were stuffed into the plane's too-small cabin.
His legs were spread slightly to fully support the mass of stomach that rested on them. The flesh of his belly was firm enough to hold a mostly round shape; it filled the front of his shirt as flawlessly as if a balloon had been gently inflated beneath the fabric. I marvelled at its roundness; it wasn't quite a ball-belly, and it wasn't a completely shapeless pillow of fat either. It was the perfect mix of the two -- soft and round. So soft. So round. The apex of his belly came just an inch or two short of his knees when he was leaning forward, and curved gently into his chest when reclining.
His thighs were muscular, beneath the fat. In fact, the tops of them, I could see when he flexed his legs, had retained that cut that defined the area of the quadriceps. But past that, it was all soft and cushion. My mind had a hard time not imagining myself perched between those thighs.
His chest also held some amount of definition, which was surprising given the amount of fat covering it. It was clear that Derek was quite strong beneath all the glorious extra flesh he was carrying around. His breasts were round and soft, with curiously little sag. It must have had something to do with muscle mass. I didn't care. It looked fabulous. And delicious. I wanted to lay my head there. I wanted to wrap my arms around his fabulous belly and get lost in its softness.
I was definitely going to have to change my underwear if I didn't snap out of my trance.
Derek noticed. Mercilessly, he wasn't confused or offended. His grin matched mine, tooth for tooth, devious tilt to devious tilt. He gave the sides of his belly another shake, this one a little slower, a little more deliberate. My mouth went dry and my breathing became shallow. Derek's grin doubled in size. He spread his fingers wide and moved them slowly together, rubbing all the parts of his belly that I wanted to bury my face in.
"Okay, stop." I said. "Mercy. Please. I'm saying 'uncle'."
Derek laughed. "You're giving me the most salacious bedroom eyes I've ever seen. And you're blushing so bad I'm afraid I'm going to have to make a dive for the fire extinguisher."
"Well, do you believe me now, about being attracted to you?" I said, laughing to relieve tension.
"Actions speak louder than words, babe."
The waitress came by then with our soup. We immediately set into the food. It was creamy and savory, the potatoes were tender and flavorful, and the little chunks of bacon were clearly real bacon, not dehydrated leftover meat bits. Derek and I were both taking slow bites, taking the time to really enjoy the soup. Neither of us said anything. Then Derek caught my eye with a little twinkle. I raised my eyebrows. He started spooning the soup into his mouth faster. I grinned and put my soup spoon down, enjoying the view. Without being theatrical, Derek made it clear that he was enjoying indulging himself with the soup.
When he got to the bottom of the soup bowl, he looked sad that it was gone. I knew he was acting, but this was like a dream come true. I slid my soup bowl toward him. He laughed and broke 'character' for a moment. "You don't have to do that, I have to save room for dinner anyway."
I shook my head no, and nudged the soup bowl a little closer to him. "You opened Pandora's box, baby." He laughed, shrugged, and set into my soup the same way. When the waitress came by to remove the empty bowls, she came to the table to see me leaning on my elbows on the table, staring at Derek like I was about to strip him naked and have my way with him there on the deck, and two empty bowls in front of Derek. She blinked once, no expression on her face, then walked off. I could not care less. The main course was next.
(And hopefully you're still hungry)
Last edited by Observer; 05-15-2007 at 10:35 PM.
|11-08-2007, 01:08 AM||#8|
Join Date: Oct 2007
This is one of the best I've read in a really long time.
I love it, it's more real than most; although I love some of the BHM stories on here, I feel a lot of it is superficial. This one is so much deeper. Also, on a side note it's the only one I can read over and over again without getting bored
Thank you for writing this~!
“I can't prove it, but I can say it.” -Stephen Colbert
|11-26-2007, 07:30 PM||#10|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Eastern PA
I really, really, really love your stories, One_Shy_Writer. So realistic, great character interaction, and very natural dialogue. So...when's the next installment due? Soon? Please?
No, I'm not impatient. Whatever gave you that idea?
"Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?"
Sabriel, Garth Nix
|10-08-2015, 01:55 PM||#11|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Capital of the Great white north
I'm bumping this. It would be wonderful to see another instalment!
"Eat, Eat! You will gain weight and be more attractive!"
- Russian Tour Hostess of the 1980s, as reported in National Geographic