First Meeting

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“Alright, Richards. Nearly show time,” I muttered to myself as I slid out of the car. I walked around to the passenger side to get my briefcase and hand-outs, my two-inch black heels crunching on the gravel drive of the community building. My knee-length wool coat kept most of me warm against the early autumn wind, but blasts of unwelcome chill smacked against my shapely, stocking-encased legs.

Indulging in a tired sigh, I stretched my neck in hopes of getting some circulation to my brain. Doing community education and outreach was normally a very enjoyable part of my job, but it was now quarter to seven, I hadn’t had dinner, yet, and the salad and cottage cheese that I’d had for lunch was a distant memory by this point. I’d also been going strong since getting to my desk at 8:00 that morning, and I knew I wouldn’t be seeing home again until around 9:00. Oh, well. No one to miss me there except for my cat; my only hope was that she’d be happy with my attention for a couple of hours before I went to bed and not demand more throughout the night.

Gathering my things, I flipped through the little pad of contacts I always carried with me which also served as my “cheat sheet” of names. I’m shamefully forgetful of names and have been embarrassed numerous times by a sudden block, despite the little tricks and shortcuts I’ve learned through the years. I thumbed through the past few pages. Ah, yes. There it was. “Lion’s Club — 3 October 2006 — 7:00. Contact person: James Vincent.”

I’d spoken to Mr. Vincent a few times by phone. He had a nice voice, a very smooth baritone, and unlike some businessmen I’d dealt with in setting up other speaking engagements, he actually took the time to talk to me, often making me feel like I was doing him the favor by talking to him, as opposed to the other way around. I pegged him to be middle-aged, obviously involved in his community, and likely to be happily married with the requisite 2.2 (nearly grown) kids, and maybe a dog or two. It’s not like I was doing this job with the intent of finding a husband, but still, it’d be nice to meet a sweet, attractive man and see what progressed from there.

I made my way across the parking lot as confidently as I could, praying the whole way that my heel didn’t find that one sadistic rock that would send me tumbling to the ground with a sprained ankle. The brisk October wind snaked around my ankles, creeping up my legs to raise goosebumps along the bare skin of my thighs between stockings and garter belt. I knew I looked sharp, confident, yet conservative in my eggplant suit with the sedate white silk blouse underneath. Under this professional attire were my own little secrets: A white lace bra cupped and lifted my full breasts, but did little to hide their dark tips. The lining of my skirt caressed my ass, left bare by my black lace thong, and garter straps stretched taut against my hips from my garter belt to the tops of my black stockings. It gave me a boost of confidence knowing what little wisps of nothing hid beneath the outer shell.

Reaching the door, I stepped inside the warmth, the air a delicious mosaic of scents — men’s cologne, grilled barbeque chicken, yeast rolls and the spicy earthiness of mums. I gave my head a quick shake in hopes of resettling my short reddish brown curls after their tumble in the wind. Several club members were congregating just inside the door and welcomed me. I gave them my brightest smile and held out my hand to shake theirs. “Good evening. I’m Arane Richards, your speaker for the evening. I’m looking for James Vincent. Can you point him out to me?”

“Sure. That’s him over there in the burgundy golf shirt, drinking Mountain Dew.”

“Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your help, and maybe I’ll get to talk to you a bit later.”

I strode over towards James, enjoying the freedom to peruse him at my leisure. He was a big guy, a little soft around the middle, though certainly not fat and still very neat looking. Thick salt-and-pepper hair topped a face that gave testimony to his maturity and intelligence while still appearing youthful. Silver-rimmed glasses did nothing to detract from warm brown eyes, currently crinkled at the corners as he laughed at something someone had said to him. His laugh was rich and full-bodied, and it sent tingles down my spine.

He must’ve felt my gaze on him, because he suddenly turned in my direction. His laughter stopped, only to be replaced by a warm smile as his own deliberately slow gaze raked me from curls to heels and back up, pausing almost imperceptibly at the curve of my breasts under my suit. Raw heat followed in the wake of his perusal, and it seemed as if, in that single moment, he had learned all my secrets. My heart skipped in my chest at his smile. My gosh! Like his eyes weren’t incredible enough; his dimpled smile made my insides melt completely, and I felt warmth suffuse my cheeks.

I returned his smile with one of my own as I approached. “Mr. Vincent? Hello. I’m Arane Richards.” taksim grup yapan escort I held out my hand for him to shake.

“Call me Jim. It’s nice to meet you.”

“It’s great finally getting to meet you.” The hand encasing mine was strong, yet gentle, his handshake confident without grinding my fingers together. From this close, I could detect the subtle scent of his after shave gel and see his tight nipples beading under his shirt. The only jewelry he wore was a class ring on his left hand, the large blue stone winking under the fluorescent lights. He held my hand a little longer than was the social norm, but neither of us seemed eager to break the contact.

“Let me introduce you around to some of the folks,” Jim said, taking my elbow as he guided me towards the front of the room near the lectern. “First, you can put your stuff down here,” as he motioned towards a seat. I noticed the chair next to mine at the table had been claimed, and the way Jim moved those things around indicated that they were his. Interesting, I thought as delight did a slow roll through my system. “After dinner, we’ll have the business portion of the meeting, then you’ll speak. I hope you don’t mind sitting through that. It usually goes pretty quickly.”

“No, not at all. That’s fine. In fact, as I’m here telling you about my organization and what I do, this will also give me the chance to learn more about your group.”

Our arms emptied, Jim led me around the room, pausing briefly to introduce me to several of the men there for the meeting. I smiled and shook hands, hoping that I’d remember these names later, but resigned to forgetting them. All the while, I was cognizant of Jim hovering at my elbow, sometimes holding it, other times leading me around the room with his hand on the small of my back. Shortly thereafter, dinner was announced, and he instructed me to go first. We got our plates and went back to our seats. Dinner afforded us the opportunity to talk, mostly about our organizations and our professional lives, though we lacked the privacy to speak on more personal things.

Throughout dinner, I felt Jim’s leg pressed against mine, his actions hidden by the tablecloth. His heat spread through his khakis and through my stocking to my leg before traveling upward to lodge in my moist inner folds. Normally I find this invasion of my personal boundaries irritating, but there was something about him being there that felt right; I didn’t shift away.

“Um, I know this may seem pretty forward,” Jim started, obviously a bit nervous, “But I was wondering if you would be interested in going out for dinner Friday evening. Uh, if you don’t have any plans already. I’m sure you probably do,” he added in a rush. His look was still hopeful, though.

I smiled up at him, my eyes meeting his over my glass of tea, my full red lips wrapped around my glass. “Actually,” I said, “I don’t have any plans for Friday. Yet. However, this handsome man just asked me out for dinner for Friday, so it’s looking like that’s what I’ll be doing.”

A nearly imperceptible flash of relief passed over his face before he quickly masked it with a double-dimpled smile of white, perfectly straight teeth. My tongue involuntarily slid over my own teeth, anticipating the feel of Jim’s teeth against it. Whoa! Where did that thought come from? “How about 7:00?” he asked. “Would that work?”

I quickly calculated my day. If I did community outreach all day, then I could arrange to get home by 5, instead of the usual 5:30, giving me an extra half hour to get ready. “Sure! That’d be great. I’m looking forward to it.” I pulled a business card out of my purse, after scribbling my cell phone number on the back of it.

Soon after, the business part of the evening started. Jim as president got up to lead this portion of the night. As he spoke, his eyes seldom left me, and from my vantage point, I could see the slight bulge behind his fly. I was finishing my dessert as he spoke, indulging in a moist German chocolate cake. Knowing I had his full attention, I slowly licked my lips, capturing a stray bit of the caramel-coconut frosting. His eyes darkened. Then, again with our eyes locked on each other’s — the rest of the people in the room could’ve left, and we’d never have noticed — I swiped a bit of frosting with my finger before bringing my finger to my mouth, slowly sucking every… last… drop of the sticky sweetness off. I muffled a small delighted chuckle as he stumbled over his words and his breath hitched audibly.

The business portion of the meeting concluded and Jim introduced me to the group. I walked up to the lectern, grimacing inwardly at the dampness saturating my thong. Obviously, Jim wasn’t the only one who’d been affected by my teasing. I thanked him for the kind words, and as I brushed by him, I noticed his nostrils flare. Oh my gosh, was he able to smell my musk? The thought brought a pink tinge to my cheeks that I hoped my taksim masöz escort audience would attribute to nerves.

I spent the next twenty minutes fully in my element, talking about my work and our organization, as well as the services we provide. As usually happens during these events, people shared their stories and asked questions. I dared a glance over at Jim and noticed a smile on his face that looked rather smitten and… pleased? But we’d only just met. Why in the world would he have any kind of pride in me? Maybe he’s just proud of his club for the questions and comments they were throwing out, I figured, mentally shrugging it off.

I wound up my presentation and lingered at the front to answer questions and speak to people. Jim hovered nearby, ostensibly packing up his belongings, though taking much longer than so few things required. The last club members were streaming out as I collected my remaining handouts and stashed the rest of my business cards in my briefcase. I’d just closed my briefcase when Jim closed his, and I shouldered my purse, picked up my bag and headed for the door. Jim’s voice behind me made me pause.

“Arane. If you’d like, I can walk you to your car. I just need to turn off these last few lights. Can I help you carry something?” I turned and looked at him, unable to prevent the smile from tilting my lips upward as I noticed his own full hands.

“I think I have everything, thanks, but I’ll wait for you to walk out.”

Our heels echoed in the dark, empty, quiet building, and though I was cognizant of the fact that I was alone with a man I’d just met, my instincts weren’t buzzing a danger warning. Reaching the door first, I opened it, intending to let Jim precede me out. He juggled his own things, taking the door from me so I could lead the way to the parking lot. The gravel lot was dark, lit only by a streetlight near the road, leaving this section mostly bathed in shadows. Above us, the black velvet sky sparkled brightly with diamond stars. Two cars remained, parked ten feet apart.

We headed to our respective vehicles to put our belongings inside. I heard Jim’s feet crunching on the gravel as he walked towards me a little ways, and I watched him approach over the roof of my car. “Arane, I really want to thank you for coming out tonight,” he said as I was walking around to the driver’s side.

“Really, Jim, the pleasure was all mine. I had a fabulous time this evening, and I appreciate your group being so warm and welcoming to me. And receptive,” I added with a little laugh. “Receptive is always good.”

“Yeah, they’re a great bunch of guys.”

“How long have you been a member of the Lion’s?”

“About twenty years now, eight with this particular group. This is my second term as president, non-consecutive.”

“That’s fabulous! It’s great that you’re doing something that you love.” Pause. “Is your wife involved in the community as much as you are?” OK, I was fishing for information here, I’ll admit. However, short of coming out and asking, “Are you married?” it was the best way to find this out.

“Um, ex-wife, and no. She didn’t invest much of herself in the community. It was mostly my thing.”

A pregnant silence followed as we just listened to the night around us. The light at the street emitted a faint hum, and cicadas sang in the woods nearby. From off in the distance, tires softly whooshed against asphalt, and the dying leaves clattered as they blew in the autumn breeze, some dancing around our feet in the parking lot. I just stared at the stars, momentarily lost in the perfection of the moment.

I sensed more than saw Jim’s gaze on me, and I lowered my head so that my eyes met his. He looked at my lips, and as heat began to flood my body, I quickly licked my lips, my tongue darting out to slick over their fullness. “I get the impression that you don’t kiss on the first date,” he said.

“Sometimes I do, sometimes I…” As I was talking, he’d closed the gap between us. Before I could finish my sentence, his mouth descended to mine. The kiss started off slow and soft, with his lips gently brushing back and forth against me. Then he deepened the kiss, pressing his mouth more firmly against my lips, his tongue gliding along the seam of my lips, seeking entrance. Our mouths were our only point of contact; I knew I could’ve broken the kiss at any moment and backed away, and Jim would’ve let me. But I couldn’t. His lips and tongue were holding me to him as surely as any handcuffs would’ve — and with a hold that was harder to break.

After long moments of a toe-curling kiss, Jim broke the contact, leaving my head reeling. “I didn’t want to have to wait till our second date to taste you, in case you didn’t.”

I was touched and amused by his confidence, not just in stealing the kiss, but also in assuming we’d have a second date. “You know we’re going to have a second date? We haven’t even been on our first one, yet.”

“Yes. taksim otele gelen escort As a matter of fact, not only will we have a second date, but I’m seeing a third, fourth, twentieth, fortieth one in our future. If you can tell me honestly you didn’t enjoy that kiss, then I’ll take it back.”

No way could I have denied that. Well, I could’ve, but he’d have known it for the lie it was. I’d leaned into the kiss just a bit too far and I’m sure the pleasurable moan I’d heard was mine. Besides, I was so turned on just from this simple kiss that my hard nipples were showing slightly, even through my winter coat, a fact that, judging from the direction his eyes had taken and the way his breathing hitched, didn’t escape his notice.

I opted neither to feed his ego nor lie. “So, 7:00 Friday, right?” I asked, confirming the time for our date.

With a rich chuckle, he acquiesced. My insides did a slow roll in response to his broad smile, and my already tight nipples got impossibly tighter. Damn, this man had the most incredible smile, and all 9,000 kilowatts were directed right at me!

“I, uh, really need to be getting home. My day is starting to catch up with me,” I told him, though reticent to leave, truth be told. “You have my numbers.”

“Yep, and I should get you mine as well.” He dug a business card out, taking a few moments to scribble his mobile number on the back.

“Well, Jim, thanks again for inviting me to speak tonight. See you Friday.”

“You’re welcome. Thanks for com…” I took the “ming” into my mouth as I rose up to press my lips against his. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around me and my own arms stole around his neck. Even through the layers of clothes separating us, his arousal was clearly evident where it pressed against my lower belly. The kiss quickly grew more heated, with both of us straining and pressing against the other, bodies so close that not even the scantest ray of light could pass through. His hands dropped to my ass, cupping my cheeks through my clothes, pressing my feminine softness even more insistently against his throbbing member. I moaned as desire, thick and sensuous, unfurled within me, filling out every last part of my being.

Stepping back, I broke the kiss slowly, our lips continuing to cling until the last possible moment. “G’night. See you Friday,” I said, as I got into my car. The shutting of my car door underscored his replied “Good night.”

It was impossible to prevent the smile from staying on my face during the drive home and through my nightly shower. By the time I turned in for the night, my cheeks were sore from smiling so much, and I could feel the smile caressing my lips as I drifted off to sleep.

I was at my desk the next day typing up my report from the previous night (leaving out the most interesting parts, of course), as well as fine-tuning my two upcoming presentations. So engrossed was I in my work that the chiming of the office door bell barely registered. Gradually, I became aware of a stir in the office and the speculations and titters from the people with whom I work. Tomas, one of my dearest friends and the social worker on our team, came mincing back to my office. “Arane, honey, there’s someone out here to see you.”

“Hmm,” I replied absently. “Just send ’em on back.”

“Ah, no. You need to come greet this visitor personally.”

While Tomas certainly had a flair for the dramatic, seldom was he this mysterious. Then I thought, No. He wouldn’t. No way would Jim find me here. Would he?

With nervousness and excitement warring within my belly, I followed Tomas out towards the waiting area at the front of our office suite. As I rounded the corner, neatly sidestepping the fichus that seems to edge out into the walking path more every day, a huge array of flowers greeted me. The legs underneath belonged to a much shorter person than Jim; I couldn’t see enough of the delivery person behind the flowers to even ascertain if it was a male or female.

The arrangement was dramatic, bright and beautiful. Fragrant yellow roses stood next to happy daisies, their bright yellow centers standing out sharply from silky white petals. Yellow carnations and dramatic orange tiger lilies completed the arrangement that was housed in the most exquisite hand-blown glass vase I’d ever seen in my life. I was so absorbed in the beauty of the flowers that I was only peripherally aware that my coworkers were all standing around, waiting to find out who sent such a majestic arrangement.

“Well, who sent them?” Robyn, a colleague from another branch, asked.

Her words brought me out of my stupor. “Hang on, let me get the card. Impatient, aren’t ya?” She knew this last was said in jest. “Here, let me take those; I’m sure they’re not light,” I said to the delivery person before taking the flowers from him and placing them on a table. I quickly dug out a tip for him and returned my attention to the flowers. I snatched the card from its clear plastic holder and pulled it from its tiny envelope. My coworkers and colleagues leaned in, and it seemed as if the room itself was holding its breath in anticipation.

“Dear Arane,” the card read, “Thank you again for coming out and speaking last night. It was a joy finally meeting you. I’m looking forward to our date Friday. Sincerely, Jim.”

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