A ‘Perfect’ Stranger

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“Okay! Details! Fork ’em over!!” All three girls lunged at me, and started showering me with questions. Collapsing into a fit of laughter, I told them what had happened. We sat and chatted for a bit, then it dawned on me that I needed to get home. I still had some stuff accomplished, and get gorgeous for my date.

Saying my goodbyes, I left the shop and shivered as the chilly air hit my skin. I flipped the heat on in my car, turned up the radio, and jammed my way back home.

Once back to my house, I was light on my feet as I scampered around, cleaning, organizing, doing dishes, basically anything that would keep my nervous energy in check.

At about five, I tossed my dust rag to the side and headed for the bathroom.

Drawing myself a nice warm bath, I added a generous amount of Patchouli oil to the water, undressed, and slid into the luxuriant water, letting my mind wander to this evening. What would happen. Where would we go? How would he act? What does he know about me? My eyes flew open, and I recalled past conversations with Chris Matthews. I sat straight up in the tub, sloshing water over the sides.

Was this a ploy? Did Chris set Drake up to ask me out?? Suspicious, I decided I’d get it out of one of them, one way or another.

I finished my bath, wrapping a big fuzzy towel around myself, and draped another around my hair turban style. Wow, I was one hot mama. Giggling, I turned on the stereo and danced around the room while I got ready.

At 6:58, my doorbell rang. I jumped. Glancing into the mirror, I looked myself over quickly. I’d chosen a green long sleeve button down blouse, tucked into black slacks, with a pair of high-heeled black boots. Underneath, was a matching bra and panties set. Black. Not that it mattered, at least I didn’t think so. Shrugging, my gaze traveled up through the mirror. I’d chosen medium sized silver hoop earrings and applied just enough make up to look classy, not overdone. I’d scrunched and dried my beyond shoulder-length hair and pinned it up, leaving little curly tendrils down around my face.

The second shrill ding dong knocked me out of my self-examination, and I rushed for the door. Arriving breathlessly, I threw the door open without bothering to see who it was. I knew it’d be Drake. And it was.

“You look stunning.” He offered me a single red rose.

“Thank you. You too.” I fumbled over the sentence.

“Are men supposed to be stunning? You couldn’t think of anything more manly than that?” He laughed and tried hard to look incredulous.

“Handsome. Rugged?” We laughed and the ice broke. I took the rose, invited him in, and headed for the kitchen to put it in water.

His back was to me as I reentered the living room. He too was wearing black slacks, with a charcoal sweater. ‘Hmm, his ass looks awfully nice in those pants.’ I blushed at my thoughts.

He turned and smiled, flashing those perfect teeth again. His hair was dark brown, almost black. His eyes were a deep brown also, but they sparkled with life. He still had a tan, and he was clean shaven, his jaw a prominent feature of his handsome face.

I stood there, looking my fill as he did the same time. He took in my hair, curly, twisted up on my head, with the red highlights in it, my make up, my outfit, and for a half a second, the look in his eyes told me he was wondering what was underneath.

He burst out laughing. “Well, are we going anywhere, or shall we just stand here admiring one another all evening?”

“Wow. That’s a tough one.” I said, smirking.

We ended up leaving, headed for a nice restaurant downtown. Over dinner, he discovered that I was a small town girl, with small town goals. I discovered he was a city boy turned somewhat country, due to following his job around. Our small town was almost directly in the middle of the two cities he did most of his business dealings with, even though they were both more than an hour away.

“So what make you pick the name “Sheer Pleasure” for your shop?” he asked, about halfway through dinner.

“Sex sells.” I laughed. “No, it’s actually spelled ‘shear’, as in, the scissors. I barely bother explaining anymore. People don’t get the pun, they’re too worried if they accidentally called a sex line.”

“That’s understandable. To be honest, when Chris was telling me about you, and the name of your shop, I wondered what kind of place it was.” Drake laughed and took a drink of his Rum and Coke.

“Yeah, I think people expect strippers to come out of the dispensary and dance around while they get their hair cut.”

The conversation continued to flow. We laughed, joked, talked seriously, ate, and drank our fill. I was more than a little buzzed from my Margarita, even though I’d been eating. It must’ve been a strong one. Drake seemed fine. ‘I must be a lightweight,’ I thought to myself.

Finally, we decided it was time to go, so we paid and headed for the car. I stumbled on the sidewalk, and his strong arms wrapped protectively around me. I looked up at him, my lips parted in surprise. He was staring down into my eyes, but they slid down to my mouth and I saw his eyelids lower, and swore his head moved closer. But before anything happened, he must’ve snapped out of it, and he gently set me upright, and stepped away. He did keep one hand on my elbow, steadying me.

Drake helped me into the car, and as he shut my door, I sighed. So close, yet so far. I wanted that kiss more than I wanted my next breath. Well, almost. If I didn’t have my next breath I wouldn’t get that kiss.. Giggling at the absurdity of my thoughts, I quickly hid my amusement as his door opened.

We mutually agreed that we didn’t want the evening to end, so we headed back to town, and stopped off at the park. Taking a walk, we held hands, and talked in hushed tones, as if we didn’t want to disturb the stillness of the night. Before we knew it, we’d been there almost an hour, and it was nearing eleven o’clock.

The drive back to my house was made in companionable silence. He continued to hold my hand, letting go of it only long enough to shift gears. Each time he did, my gaze was drawn to his hand. The veins that stood out vaguely against his skin, the sparse hair, the neatly clipped and manicured nails… the guy took pride in his appearance. And each time, that same hand I’d been admiring would reclaim mine with a gentle squeeze, and I knew that all was right in the world.

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