Sunday, 16 November 2014

I don’t exactly know why he did it.


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http://writeworld.org/post/88854997656/i-dont-exactly-know-why-he-did-it
I don’t exactly know why he did it. He had a way of leaning over me and I felt as if he was going to bite me on the back of my neck. It unnerved me. He was very tall and that seemed to make the looming worse. It didn’t help that he was strikingly handsome with olive skin and black hair.
I was trying to play bridge and he had unnerved me so badly that I made a huge mistake. “What was trumps, again?” I asked.
The looks on the faces of the other players showed that I may not be invited next time. Forgetting what trumps were was a cardinal sin. They took their competition bridge seriously and in competition, or duplicate bridge, the other tables would play exactly the same hands. Each play mattered.
There was only one other table as some people had called in sick at the last minute that was why he had no table and was hovering... staring at my neck a lot, evidently.
“Have you made a mistake?” he asked as he leaned over me again.
“Are you sure you do not want to sit in for me?” I asked him, holding my cards protectively against my chest.
The other players looked desperate for him to accept.
“No, no,” he demurred.
At the break, I had had enough. I headed for him as the others headed for the snack table. “I need to talk to you,” I whispered.
He made a face of mock surprise. “Certainly.”
Everyone seemed to watch us walk outside.
I spun on my heel. “Stop it,” I hissed at him.
“Stop?” He had a slight accent. Spanish... maybe.
“Leaning over me... it-”
“Makes you shiver.” He smiled down at me. Again with the sense that he could eat me... and maybe not in a good way.
“No-”
“Yes, it does. It is ...observable.”
I blinked at him, stunned. “What?”
“The ... what do you call them? Goose bumps on the back of your neck. It is most entrancing.”
“Entrancing?” I repeated. My hand lifted and rubbed the spot. “It’s freaky and... odd.”
“It shows that I have the effect on you.”
The? I guessed English was not his first language. “And that-” I pointed at him “-stop with that.”
“That?” He obviously didn’t understand me.
“Honestly, is that how you always talk to women?” I waved my hand suddenly. “Don’t answer; I do not want to know.”
He raised an eyebrow and reached for my hand, lifting it to his mouth. “Normally, as you say, I do this.” And he kissed the back of it. His eyes sparkled.
I snatched my hand back and he seemed to understand that he had done something wrong. “I am sorry. I have upset you.”
I made some non-committal noise.
“I must take you out to dinner... to apologise.” He beamed at me.
My eyes narrowed. “Was that your plan?”
Another smile. This one looked raffish.
I smiled back at him before I could stop myself. He was starting to get to me. “You are looming again.”
He looked adorably confused. “Looming?”
I wasn’t sure when he had shifted from being annoying to being mildly attractive. Okay... very attractive. “Never mind.”
His hand reached up and brushed up the side of my face. I inhaled sharply and then those long fingers travelled past my ear and stroked ever so gently down the back of my neck. I made an embarrassingly loud sighing noise and almost fell into him.
“I like your neck,” he whispered to me.
Goose bumps popped up everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I had no idea it was so sensitive.
We just stood there and stared at each other with his hand resting on the back of my neck for what seemed like the longest time. Until our host, who had clearly drawn the short straw, poked her head out the door and made a throat clearing noise that suggested that break was over and they needed me back at the bridge table.
“Bridge,” I said.
“Yes.”
We hadn’t moved. “Can you play? Fill in for me?”
He gave an elegant shrug. “If you wish.” He gave me a look. “Will you wait?” A pause.
I nodded.
He tilted his head; it almost looked like a bow.
I felt as if I needed to explain. “I got a lift with Ruth, so I am technically waiting for her.” I pointed ineffectually towards the room... and Ruth.
Looming again, he gave me a smile that should be illegal. “I understand.”
I was utterly certain that he didn’t understand, or better, that he chose to misunderstand.
I ate too many brownies and drank too much coffee and tried very hard not to watch him. He totally ignored me, but I knew he knew I was there. He concentrated on the game.
~~~~~
After the games were finished I looked around for my lift home but Ruth was so annoyed, she had left without me.
I had to go back inside and ask the hostess if I could call a cab.
“Enrique could probably give you a lift.”
So that was his name. “He’s gone already.” Thank goodness.
“No, he just had to use the bathroom.”
Crap. He was still there.
Walking up the hallway, he beamed at me when he saw me.
“Ruth left,” I pre-empted before he thought I had stayed for him.
“And you need a... ride?”
“No, it’s fine, I’ll get a cab.” I suddenly realised that if he drove me home he would know my address.
I took one look at his face and knew that he had thought the same thing. He looked eager. No, not eager... expectant? Maybe hopeful?
“I will drive you,” he said and it was a statement.
He owned an expensive sports car. I huddled over to the side and looked out the window after telling him where I lived.
“What is wrong?” he asked.
I shrugged but said nothing.
After a minute or so he asked, “Angela?”
I hadn’t told him my name; he must have asked one of the others. I rather liked the way he said my name; it seemed to have extra consonants. “Slow,” I said.
He decelerated.
“No, not that. Me.”
He gave me a confused glance.
“I... need slow.”
“Why?”
“I j-just do.” I blinked quickly.
“Ah,” he said as if I had actually explained. “Your heart... it is broken.”
I couldn’t deny that. It was why I was playing bridge rather than trying to date.
He walked me to my door, held my hand and looked down at me. “We have...,” he waved his hand around as if he was looking for a word and then he just brushed my neck again instead of speaking.
I felt it; I really did. “Yes,” I agreed. “We do.”
“Slow,” I added after a pause. If he agreed to that, we might really have something more than just chemistry. I kind of hoped that we did.
Looking up at him, that hope was in my eyes.
He gave another enigmatic shrug. “Slow can be good.”
And then he smiled at me. That smile was a promise.
He didn’t try to kiss me, just pressed his lips against my hand again.
Glancing up at the house, he said, “I will drive when the lights they go on in your bedroom.” A wicked look. “The window?”
I pointed. “That one.”
A nod.
He waved when I peered out to see if he had kept his word.
I fell back on my bed and for the first time in a long while my heart felt fuller.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014