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BHM One Good Woman - by Ashblonde (~BHM, ~FFA, Romance)

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Busy writing
May 8, 2006
This story is a re-working of a story I wrote a few years ago, One Good Man, but now told from Will’s perspective. I used the same dialog, but re-built their little love story from his perspective. This was one with some autobiographical inspiration.... Will himself is based on a real man, and I do mean, a real man. I’ve always struggled with developing fictional male voices, but I just happen to know Will pretty darn well, so this reboot came together rather quickly and naturally.

One Good Woman
By Ashblonde

Part One

“Kurt’s on his way,” Will set his phone down and took a gulp of beer. He had just spent the last couple of days at a micro-electromechanical systems conference, exploring applications for his latest business venture. The sessions themselves were a bit of a bore, but the networking was well worth it, netting a dinner with a prospective client.

David, who was never as relaxed as Will was, glanced at his watch and tapped his fingers. David was Will’s business partner, but he also considered him his best friend. They met while undergrads at Duke. Will had bartended at a well-known Ninth Street bar, while David’s frat loyally haunted it. As students, they bonded over a common love of golf, craft beers, and advanced software technologies.

Will’s computer science focus was data aggregation and machine learning, while David was pursuing an industrial engineering degree. Inspired to turn their ‘bar talk’ ideas into reality, Will stayed on at Duke for his MBA and David picked up a masters in systems architecture from UNC. For their respective programs, they co-developed a thesis project creating a cloud platform for industrial processes that could use enterprise-wide sourcing and production data for higher operational efficiency.

Will had the gift of making the complicated sound simple, and the end result was a software concept they sold to a large engineering firm located in Research Triangle. The proceeds nested their bank accounts and a new business venture. They were both only 26 when they started up their consulting company, specializing in developing the next generation of IoT technologies.

“Hey Trevor,” Will stood up and greeted one of the young engineers he’d met at the conference. Trevor was with a chemical sensor company that he and David had been working with while developing their latest project. He was a tall, lean, good looking kid with tech smarts, but he still had a lot to learn about business.

“What’s up big man?” Trevor greeted Will with a warm smile. Will didn’t mind this. He’d been called ‘big’ since as far back as he could remember. If affability helped him in business, who cared? He was big, he figured, so why fight it?

“Kurt should be here shortly,” David shook Trevor’s hand, letting him know their customer would arrive soon.

Trevor ordered a beer and leaned back more comfortably than was appropriate at a business meeting. Will laughed to himself at how amateur the kid was, but reserved a small piece of envy in the way Trevor didn’t have to worry about how his body might spread out. Will would never dream of getting too comfortable in any pool bar chair without being sure it could handle him throwing his weight around.

Trevor looked across the bar and sat back up, “Check out the scenery over there.”

Will glanced over and observed two women: one a pretty blonde and one a brunette, or was she a red head? Her back was turned, half in the shade. When the sun’s warm rays touched her creamy, feminine shoulder, he could see some reddishness as her hair fluttered in the breeze.

“Wow, the blonde,” David murmured.

“I’d love to get a better look at Red,” Trevor had already coined a nickname for a woman whose face they had yet to see.

As Will looked back over, he observed two more women now greeting these ladies: one was a cute, chubby curly haired girl with a wide smile, and the other a less enthusiastic skinny brunette. Red, as Trevor had casually referred to her, stood up to greet her friends, and while she turned their direction, he saw her face. Wow.

Will wasn’t sure he had ever seen such beautiful green eyes piercing into his own, or that he could ever recall anyway. It could have been just another day of work, but it certainly wasn’t anymore. Not that entertaining customers on Hilton Head can ever be just another day at the office. Will knew he had been lucky in business, but not so lucky in love… as if luck had anything to do with either enterprise…

But how lucky would the man be who got a date with that girl? Will’s head was stuck in the idyllic moment that their eyes met, yet he was already despondent knowing he wouldn’t have a shot at being lucky with her at all. Even if he were single, he had a snowball’s chance in hell to get a woman who looked like that thinking about him the way he already thought about her.

Trevor was clearly smitten as well, trying to get her attention, which made Will’s carefully hidden envy grow deeper. He was the kind of kid who probably waltzed right into a date with a girl like Red. She glanced over again, but then after a moment, stood up to walked out toward the lobby area. Trevor ogled her body while Will nonchalantly observed her lovely shape. In a simple blue tank top and shorts she looked fantastic, clearly blessed with a strong, lean kind of femininity.

Will was jolted from his contemplation of her eyes by his phone buzzing, “It’s Kurt again.” Will took the call, and chatted briefly with him.

“I’ll meet him out front,” he told David and Trevor, and headed out toward the hotel portico. As he sauntered through the lobby, he saw Red was right in front of him. Before he could hitch up his pants to try and contain his bulk, her eyes were scaling up along his body, then connecting to his face. He usually didn’t mind being the fat guy, but at times like this, when a woman’s eyes were on him, he really wished he didn’t feel that jiggly sensation that was such a visible side effect of his hefty frame.

Nonetheless, he decided he might as well give her a taste of his southern charm anyway. Most women always smiled back. Even if this lovely creature wouldn’t find him attractive, it was always worth it to try and get a pretty girl to smile.

“Hello,” he grinned and nodded to her, channeling all of his confidence. Yes, he was overweight, but he had been told many times he was cute and had a great smile, so he was almost always willing to use those assets whenever necessary.

She smiled back, and shyly returned his greeting with a “Hi,” much to his relief. But what shocked him came next. After they passed each other by, just as he turned back to check her out from behind, she actually turned back to look at him too. Unfortunately, by the time Will had collected Kurt and returned to David and Trevor, the ladies had disappeared and it was all business talk from there.


After a lengthy but productive business dinner, the guys decided to return to the hotel for a nightcap, minus Trevor who had already taken off on an evening flight out. This left the grown-ups to discuss business, as Will had joked. Poor Trevor, he was such an inexperienced kid, he really said some stupid things to customers. It wasn’t anything Will couldn’t fix, but Trevor needed some coaching on professionalism, that was for sure.

Will excused himself for a quick break back to his room to give Wendy a call and check in with her. They exchanged the usual pleasantries, but he braced himself for the question, which inevitably came from her, “Are you being careful at those dinners?”

“Yes ma’am,” he took the path of least resistance. Of course he hadn’t been terribly careful. He couldn’t resist all the amazing food found at Hilton Head restaurants. “I took a nice long walk on the beach this morning too.” That part was actually true, he had been sticking with his morning walks. He loved the South Carolina beach far too much to miss the opportunity.

“Good for you,” Wendy sounded positive, which is what was needed to keep things calm when he returned home to her in Raleigh. To be fair, he had put on quite a bit of weight over the winter, and she was concerned for his health, she said, because she loved him. It was a good idea to try to drop a few pounds, she always suggested, and she was probably right about that too. It would only help him close deals and be more successful, she also reminded him regularly.

“I gotta go back to work,” he told her, subtly reminding her that he already was successful.

“Stick to club soda if you can,” she advised him.

Yeah, right. He was going to try to be healthier, but he wasn’t going to commit to an idea that silly. “Okay, talk to you tomorrow, love you.”

Will re-joined his colleagues at their table, and ordered a drink from the waitress. “Vodka and soda,” he told her, smiling to himself that he was, in fact, drinking club soda, just as Wendy had instructed.

“Those ladies from the pool bar earlier are here,” David pointed a couple of tables down. Will had walked right past them and had completely missed them. He glanced over and caught Red’s enchanting eyes for a moment before she shyly looked away.

Kurt looked as well, smiled and nodded, “This island is torture for a married man.”

Will’s glanced back at Red again, observing that she looked even prettier now. Torture indeed. He had Wendy in his life, but sometimes he couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to be with a passionate woman who enjoyed physical intimacy. He tried to block unfaithful ideas from his head, but they occasionally seeped in.

The blonde glanced over and smiled at David, prompting him to take action. “I know you guys are off the market, but I’d like to get to know her more. You mind if I invite them over?”

Will and Kurt shrugged in agreement, so David sauntered over to their table. Will’s heart pounded a little bit, but he had trained himself to stay cool around women, and that’s just what he would do with Red.

He overheard David ask them, "Would you ladies like to join us? We have extra chairs at our table and honestly, we're getting pretty bored with each other," he joked. "I'm David," he offered.

The three girls came over and she introduced herself. “I’m Alyssa,” she said, and sat down in the chair closest to him and his heart now pounded louder. Pretty name, Will thought, admiring her voice. It was lower but sweet and confident, giving her an air of intelligence.

He stood up and introduced himself, "I'm Will," he shook her hand, channeling his business confidence. He loved her handshake now too, it was firm and self-assured, matching her voice.

"Nice to meet you," she smiled warmly at him. He noticed her eyes cross his body, like they had earlier in the day, but again, not really disapprovingly. She looked more like she was just absorbing his size. The obvious way she observed his bulky physique was a little surprising, but not completely uncommon. People often had a way of ‘surveying his land,’ so to speak. After all, he was usually the largest guy in the group.

Everyone had already had a couple of cocktails, and the conversation flowed freely. Will’s infamous way with words streamed right through, and he relished how much he made Alyssa laugh. He knew he had a good sense of humor, and usually disarmed most people with it. He often thought he had done well in business more for his people skills than his technical acumen, although he was pretty good on that count too. His parents were both bright people with a lot of wit, and this passed down to him, along with the family tendency toward heaviness. He grew up in a big family, with a lot of laughter, shared over hearty meals.

When the girls went to the ladies room together, David grinned, “We need to get this project buttoned up so I can spend more time in Houston.”

Kurt smiled and joked, “I guess that’s another incentive to win the bid.”

“You really like Jenna,” Will observed, nodding, glad David was opening himself up to the prospect of dating. David hadn’t dated much over the last year since breaking up with his fiancé. She had cheated on him and as a result he had been pretty anti-woman for a while. Will was relieved to see him interested in someone new.

“She’s cute,” David played it down, but his grin revealed more. “You know, Alyssa seems to be hanging on your every word.”

Will smirked, having noticed her eyes on him, and shyly looking away when he looked at her. He just played it off though, “I’m an entertaining guy, what can I say?”

Kurt had been chatting with Kristen, in the mutual understanding that they were both married and there was no pressure to be anything other than new acquaintances. But for Will, he couldn’t really control the way he was feeling about Alyssa in the same dispassionate way.

When the girls returned, the music slowed down and David asked Jenna to dance. Alyssa looked up at Will and he went from his social comfort zone to a less comfortable place. Should he ask her to dance out of courtesy? Would she even want him to?

Before he could even come to a decision on the right course of action, a pretty boy sauntered up like he had emerged from a fog. With a European accent that Will couldn’t quite pinpoint, the man spoke to her. "I can't help but notice that you're the most beautiful woman in the room, and I would love for you to join me for a dance," motioning over to the dance floor.

For a moment Will almost laughed at the cheesiness of the line, but at the same time he felt defeated by the lean and stylish interloper. Then, almost as quickly as that wave of disappointment came over him, Alyssa did something he never expected.

"I'm very, very flattered," she smiled sweetly, delivering the response like she had obviously been hit on every single day of her adult life and was used to letting men down. "But I've been trying to get my boyfriend here to dance with me all night and he's finally agreed." she put her hand on Will's arm.

Will was confused, but he was still a fast thinker. He stood up and held his hand out for hers. She smiled sweetly and stood with him to walk over to the dance floor. As she glanced up at him, he leaned down to her ear, "I don't mind being a diversion tactic for the most beautiful woman in the room," he faked an accent.

"Well, you did end up being a diversion tactic, but I was going to ask you to dance anyway," she shared with a giggle, showing a more playful side, which he responded to with a grin, growing ever fonder of her personality.

With a new boost of confidence, he pulled her along toward the dance floor, putting his hand around her waist and guiding her closer to his body. It had been a while since he had slow danced with a woman, so he was a little startled to notice that his belly had grown big enough that he couldn’t even try to avoid it brushing along his dance partner. He secretly winced, hoping it didn’t disgust her, but her accommodating response was hard to read. Was she content with his touch, or just being nice?

As they danced, she didn’t say much. She had shown little hints of feistiness, but was still not very talkative. He felt desperate now to break the silence. "Are you always kind of shy?"

She laughed at that question and shook her head, "No, I'm the least shy person I know."

"Okay," he looked at her suspiciously. She had turned down one of the best looking guys in the room to hide out in Will’s arms, so he was a bit skeptical. "So why didn't you dance with the suave dude?"

"Not my type," she responded abruptly with a shrug, but no emotion and no explanation, so Will left it alone.

As they returned to the table, David announced an irritatingly responsible end to the evening. "It's late, kids, and I have to head out early tomorrow. But we should walk you girls over to your place. You shouldn't be out alone at night."

Will noticed as they walked along the resort grounds that Alyssa hung close to him, and again he caught her eyes scanning his body from the side. She was sending such mixed signals, it was making him totally crazy now. As if to make him even crazier, she turned to him as she was about to ascend the stairs to their villa. ”So you'll still be around tomorrow?"

"Yes ma'am," he told her, "I'm taking some customers out for golf and lunch, but after that I'm a free man until I leave on Friday morning." He sort of blurted it out, realizing after he said it that it could be taken as invitation, which given his relationship status already felt a little deceptive. He desperately wanted to see her again, but the implications were complicated.

"We'll probably be at the beach later in the day," she offered up in response like it was a completely welcome thing for him to have suggested.

He nearly whimpered out loud, imagining her in a bikini at the beach, but kept the line of conversation going along lightly. "If you make it up to the patio bar, you'll probably see me there." That was just drinks at the bar, after all, nothing deceptive.

"Cool," she smiled widely, and turned with her friends to go into their villa.

After the door was closed and they turned toward the hotel, David spoke. "I got her number," he smiled mischievously.

"Lucky guy,” Will smirked in a bit of jealousy, wishing he could have the freedom and opportunity to pursue something more with a woman like Alyssa.

"I’m telling you man, Alyssa really seemed to like you," David sensed his friend’s frustration. He was well aware of Will’s relationship issues with Wendy and wasn’t entirely supportive of him sticking with someone he seemed rather unsatisfied with.

"Maybe you’ll see her tomorrow," David offered.

"Yep, maybe,” Will sighed.

“If you see Jenna, talk up my good qualities,” David joked. “Have a good round tomorrow, but not too good,” he advised Will with a grin. Will was a notoriously talented golfer, and they had shared a long standing joke about how Will had to dumb down his game so as not to embarrass customers. “See you Monday, Man.”


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