For days I'd watched you. Tracing the curves of your womanly form with an artist's eye; painting images in my brain to last long into the night. At first I would attempt a semblance of propriety, flicking my glances elsewhere when your sultry gaze met mine from under lowered eyelashes. Then, once I realized you were enjoying the attention, I stared more openly, more boldly; taking you in, absorbing your mannerisms, your silvery chuckle, the graceful line of a wrist as you reached for your drink, the way the fabric of your dress drew tight over your breasts when you stretched your arms back, yawning lazily.
Soon I realized that it wasn't just a one-way thing. There seemed to be something of a mutual admiration society going on here; at least, so I interpreted your own rather challenging stares. Several times I saw you run your eyes up and down my body, slowly, insolently. Saw your gaze linger on my waist, teasingly slipping lower; saw your breath catch as you watched me scratch my stomach and then "accidentally" slide it down to brush against the crotch of my slacks. There was a nice warmth there by now, a heat born of this very deliberate game we were playing with each other. I saw you shift in your seat, uncrossing your legs oh-so-deliberately; a ghost of a smile flickered across your face and was gone as you saw me accept the invitation and try to see up your dress to find out whether you were wearing panties or not. Frowning, frustrated by shadows, I muttered a very sincere "damn" and heard that purring chuckle again. What a minx, I thought, not for the last time.
Call-and-response, challenge and acceptance, offer and counteroffer. It was a strange dance we were performing, a bit like the ones seen in classic films where the dancers stretch out hands but never touch, turning slowly about a common point. Lack of touch, however, may be all very well for some, but it was inadequate for our needs, our hungers. Like the dancers spiraling inward about that point, like a comet falling into a gravity well, we were being drawn inward as well, spiraling in to an inevitable meeting. There was only one way this could end. We had offered, suggested, too much -- proffered our all and silently accepted the other's counteroffer. So now, how to pass the event horizon and begin the long slow fall?
Chivalry dictates that the man should make the first move. Very well. I pushed away from the wall where I'd been leaning, not missing the way your eyes flashed up to meet mine as I moved. There was a preternatural stillness in the air, a charged electricity, that somehow cut through the haze of smoke and the hum of conversation. With every step I took I felt the anticipation building. Yes.....it was long past time.
Very soon I had reached your side. You regarded me with equanimity but -- was that a hint of trepidation as well? So it wasn't all confidence and poise with you, there was a hint of vulnerability too. That was reassuring.
The silence stretched, spun out. Slowly, very slowly, I reached out a hand to your face, to touch your chin and lift it gently.
"Mario Puzo and Gabriel Garcia Marquez have a phrase for moments like this," I said softly. "They call it 'the thunderbolt'."
Silence from you, but not oppressive; invitational, rather. Waiting....
"You feel it too, don't you?" I continued, hand rising to caress your face gently, then tracing along your neck, up to run through your tangled curls. A slight tremor passed through you, but not a shiver of disgust, to my gaze; rather, a sweeping of sensation. "You know what this is. You know what I want, and you want it just as badly. The time for words is past....long past."
I let my hand fall from where it had been twining through your hair and took your hand. It was cool and firm in my own. I pulled gently and you rose to your feet gracefully, sinuously, willingly.
"Now. Where can we go from here?"
Finally, you spoke. Your voice was as sultry and smoky as I'd hoped, as I'd fantasized. I could see you tasting the words as you shaped them, very deliberately. "Anywhere that isn't here," you purred. And paraphrased Eliot: " 'And indeed there will be time / To wonder, Do we dare? And Do we dare?' Oh yes....we have plenty of time. But no space, not here. Let's go find some space, and a bit of solitude. How better to make a new acquaintance?"
I raised your hand to my face and brushed my lips very lightly over your fingertips, never breaking eye contact. "Then I'm glad to make your acquaintance," I said. "I am very pleased to know you...."
(Continued here, in part 2.)