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1: The Great Kale Opening
Lemons and Cinnamon. He thought it might be coming from the buffet line as they moved from a darkened auditorium out into the open air of the atrium. There was always plenty of everything at these events, but, for no discernable reason, the attendees acted more like they were trying to get into the front row for their favorite concert, than get in line for mediocre salad. He was kinda jostled next to her when the smell of her hit him first. He got only sparing glimpses of her except for the back of her head, a bit of shoulder, an image more than anything.
Boredom, a bit of solitude, and the obnoxious matriarchal women doubling down on her carb choices got the better of him; he leaned over her shoulder to get a better look. She gave a nervous glance, catching him, even as he tried to shift his gaze toward the vegetable choice of the day. It was enough to make him realize that he never got in line next to the cute ones. Oh, there were some cute ones at these HR conferences, but they tended to be right out of college, they travelled in packs, and they were there to party. She was cute – even sexy – but approachable. And she smelled good.
The opening lines quickly went through his head like a decision tree; Enjoying the conference? was just lame as was Didn’t I see you at this one last year? Could he do funny? Before he could really think it through, he opened with “This event has come a long way if they are serving kale and quinoa on their menu. Last year, I swear it was KFC and El Pollo Loco battling it out for last place.” He attempted nonchalant as he grabbed his plate.
Her hand shot up to her mouth as she gave an overly polite laugh and smile, “I know, right. These things are usually some mash up of bad fast food with a smattering of something green. Too funny, spot on. I just wish they didn’t mess with my fried chicken man. I miss me some KFC!” There was a lingering smirk that made me want to crane his neck around to read her name tag.
“Oh, YOU are Lauren. Now I get it. Sorry, I was told when I registered to not tell you about the food or the fried food shortage this year. My bad.” It was delivered with such deadpan sincerity she actually stops and has a confused look on her face for just a second – but quickly recovers.
“Oh, you totally had me there for a second. For a moment there I was wondering what the registration desk said about me.” With this, she turned to face him and looked straight on at the name tag. Nice to meet you Christopher,” was met with a quick handshake while grabbing food. There was that smile again. “Listen, other than those gossipy bitches at registration who like to talk about my food issues, I don’t know anyone here . . . you sitting with anyone? Or can I join you and your friends?”
“Uh, no. I mean I was going to get more scoop on the attendees from the ‘reg bitches’ over there, but no. Let’s grab our food , I’ll get us a couple of ice teas and you find us a spot.”
“Deal, I will see you in a second.”
As she walked to the groups of tables, he got a second chance to look at her. She seemed late 30s. Those cute freckles on her face covered her shoulders and arms as her summer yellow sun dress – what do guys know – it was a fun sunny dress, tied with shoulder straps and down to near her ankles -showed off some time at yoga or pilates or something similar. Her mid length auburn hair just touched just below her neck and while it was hard to tell with her platform shoes, she was near 5’6. She glided across the room with both ease and purpose.
Ice tea, you are getting ice tea, his mind snapped back.
It wasn’t easy carrying two drinks and a plate of food, plus utensils, but this is where waiting tables in college paid off. She had a table for them in the corner. While a few crumbs suggested that table had been sat in before, they were alone with 6 other empty chairs around us.
“You got that? Here let me help you.” She grabbed one of the teas. “Thank you! I found a prime spot for us. OK, Christopher . . . or it is Chris? We have like a full hour before we have to sit and be quiet for this afternoon’s sessions. Tell me your life’s story – I want to leave time for Q&A, so you have 15 min. Go!”
The next 45 minutes or so breezed by as they both told each other about themselves. She learned about growing up in North Carolina, school in Boston, and now living in Northern California. That he manage a team of 6 for pretty good technology company and does these events . . . maybe 4 times a year. They connected on music and she even knew a few his more obscure singers and band likes. They skirted around his divorce 5 years ago. It was a factoid now and neither of them dwelled on it.
She was nearer to the separation and divorce than he, with hers just under 2 years in her rear view mirror. She said his name was “Dickhead” although later in the evening she called him “Dumbfuck” so he just figured they were balçova escort bayan interchangeable.
She was all West Coast. She grew up near Seattle and then school near San Diego, and before settling down there permanently, did a little time in LA. She liked her job, and her boss was good enough to send her to at least two of these events a year.
Then out came the pics of the kids. Her 6 year old daughter was a younger version of her mother. “We should set him up with my boy, he is right around her age. 7.”
They talked effortlessly about balance of work and kids, their lack of social lives, and with his one trial balloon question, learned that just like him, dating was a really challenge.
By now, they could have talked for a few hours more, but the room was about empty as most of the attendees were funneling out to check emails or call the office. Mostly they were just alone and using the phone as a crutch. Except for the pack of ‘just out of school’ little hotties a few tables away.
“I bet you our first free drink from the bar that they are gone – no where to be seen – by the time we have the next break,” she smirked. “I wouldn’t have stuck around at their age and I am sure with the opportunities near here, they start their party early.”
“Hmmm. Interesting. But, I think you underestimate their cheapness. I think they are here for the free bar for the cocktail party, but then they dash out of here as soon as it closes. So, if they are gone by the break, you win. If they are still here drinking free cheap rum and cokes, you . . . there is a bar here in the hotel. You have to come down and do one shot with me. Your choice, but I haven’t done a shot of anything in for-ev-er. Bet? Shake on it?”
She reached out her hand and it wasn’t like electricity, but his stomach did flip a bit and was lost – someplace else – for a couple of seconds before he realized she was saying “Oh, you are so going down. Bragging rights are a bitch!”
There was that smile again! Wowzers!
“Ok, we have to get back in. I have to call home but I will see you in there. And my free drink will be the best part of this day. Thanks for lunch, Christopher. See you back in there? Save me a seat – would be nice to sit next to you . . uh, someone. Nice to sit with someone.”
It was the way she said the full name that did it.
2: Floating on Toes
The next two hours passed slowly. She came to sit next to him a few minutes after the session started and although they did share a few laughs, not much was said until the break.
That same group of post-college kittens were laughing over coffee the center of the room. “They’re still here. Looks like I win,” pouring some hot black coffee into his cup.
“Not so fast m’ friend, the bet was – if I am not mistaken – was that they finished a round here for the cocktail party. This would be the break. You don’t know this about me but I studied law. Well, OK, I watched a lot of ‘Law and Order’ during college, but the bet is the bet.”
“Alright, let’s finish our coffee and get back in. There is still like an hour and a half to go until we see who wins.”
Looking back on it, he could see how she said this next part in just the right way – like she had planned it while the presenters droned on during the last sessions. Christopher was just too slow to pick up on these things while it is happening, but damn if this wasn’t just . . . well, perfect.
“Ya know,” she starts, while running her finger across the top of her coffee mug, “I don’t know about you, but I have had enough for one day. My brain is full of amazing insights from these folks and we have a whole nother day of this. I was thinking about just sitting out here at these tables for the next part – until the cocktail party, at least.”
She bit her lower lip just slightly – barely noticeable – and looked up at him through the tops of her eyes, floating up on her toes as she finished with “You want to, maybe, join me? Keep me company?”
The next 90-minutes were filled with another cup of coffee, after which they switched to tea, and some pretty personal stuff: marriage and post-married life, kids, little personal time, staying healthy and fit, and they even started to delve into some more intimate talk. He was opening up about how there is little time to date, although he did go through a string of one-night stands about 3-4 years ago. “They were super fun, and I wasn’t looking for love or anything, but I also didn’t make any connection with them. Only one or two of them seemed even remotely interested in me anyway.”
She was pretty openly flirty at this stage when she jumped in with “Oh, come on. Good lookin’ guy like you. I am sure there is some little PTA honey just dyin’ to snatch up a big hunkin’ piece of man cake like you,” as she devolved into some mashup of Southern drawl and drunken sorority girl. balçova escort
“Oh, come on. It’s not like that, but I appreciate that compliment. I think that was a compliment?” (again, guys are so stupid) “What about you? Low-cut blouses at the bake sale, a quick ‘oh, please help carry my bags out to the car, sir?’ I am sure you have your moments.”
“Well, I am really only looking for men and that just works for boys and cheap thrills. I will take care of myself before that,” as she turned beet, blushing red. “Oh my god, I . . . uh, I didn’t mean it that way. I mean, I do . . .but, in a healthy . . . why am I explaining this to you? Fuck.”
To date, that was the sexiest uttering of “Fuck” he’s ever heard.
Still blushing she brings us back, “Look, they are setting up the bar, let’s go get a watered-down drink and see if you win your bet or not.”
3: To Shot Or Not To Shot
“Ok, I concede – those girls are cheap. I think they each took three trips to the bar. Damn, any more than 2 or 3 for me and I am pretty smashed. So, I agree to your shot at the bar, but you have to have dinner with me or I will be asleep on a bar stool in like 20 minutes.”
“Deal. Dinner and a shot it is.”
After a pretty decent hotel bar dinner and a glass of wine – with their prior drink at the event – they were feeling pretty warm and a little giddy. “Ok we have a shot to do. I am having a great time and don’t want you too drunk on me. You up for it? Or do you want to change the bet?”
“I can only guess what you have in mind,” she said with a sly smile. “Ok, whatcha thinking?”
“How about this – I get to ask you 10 questions, only . . . say 5 of which can be sexual in nature. Give me honest answers to 9 of them, and one lie. If I guess the lie, I want a kiss . . . and not like kissing an uncle or something . . . I want a real kiss. If I don’t guess which lie, you get ask me whatever questions you want for like 5 minutes and I will answer with complete and utter honesty – no matter how embarrassing. Oh, and the lie has to be a good one. Not just a half truth or technicality or something. Something really different than your real answer. Deal?”
“Ok, this just got better than a shot. You are on. 10 questions, 4 sexual – not 5 – and I will lie on one. You guess which one,” she agreed. “But I have to tell you, I lost one bet today so I don’t plan on a second.”
“First three question, then. What is your favorite music genre? We will start easy. You a Rock gal, Country chic, Pop princess . . . what? Second, do you like dancing – or is it one of those things you have to be drunk to do? Third, best concert you have ever seen?”
“Those are good softballs to start. I used to be super Alternative – like black lipstick and everything, but that has softened a bit. Now just Pop-Alternative music, I don’t get to wear black lipstick too often,” she smirked. “Second, I love to dance; Go dancing or just dance around the house wherever I am, or whenever the mood strikes me. You are getting a visual of me dancing with the sweeper aren’t you? And, let’s see, best concert, hmmm . . . I would say Pearl Jam. I actually flashed a scalper for tickets with my friends. It was before they were so big that they still played smaller venues,” as she drifted off thinking about something else. “That was a fun night.”
“No shit. Pearl Jam. OK. That is amazing, but I think I might have to flag this one for the lie on the whole scalper thing. Let’s see how you do for the next 8.”
“You mean 7. Look at your trying to get another question out of me. Nice try,” as the teasing continued.
“OK, next three. These will test your bad-girl-ness. What was the most expensive thing you have ever stolen? Next, have you ever been arrested for anything? And last, if you could punch one person in the nose, who would it be? There has to be someone who pushes your buttons.”
“Oh, you ask good questions. Ok, I stole a bottle of Stoli – get it? I stole a bottle of Vodka when I was underage for my friends and I. Not much in the way of stealing – not like TVs or anything. I had a drunk and disorderly during college, but it was no big deal, charges dropped, and it was a bunch of us on spring break. They just made us sleep it off. Let’s see, punch in the nose. Well, you haven’t asked me my 4 sexy questions, so I reserve the right to say ‘you’ later,” she chided. “Oh, fine, I would say my former mother-in-law. She is so judgemental. Yup, she needs a smack,” Lauren was downright laughing right now. “What a fun question. I would not have thought about smacking her until you borought it up. Love it. ”
“Ok, these last 4 will test your resolve. Remember, you can drop out at any time and do the shot,” he was acting pretty flirty to, but the truth was he hoping to ask her a few good ones here. Christopher was definitely attracted and wanted to learn more about her; the flirting and tension, escort balçova plus the alcohol, was getting him turned on.
“When was the last time you had sex? What is your favorite position, or what do you like to do? If you are trying to impress or turn a guy on – I mean really get him going – what is your move? Last, do you keep your vibrator in your nightstand or under your bed.” Had this been a few hours early, he never would have had the nerve to ask these and would have expected to blow it, but she was openly teasing him and probably had not had a conversation like this in some time. He hoped she was faking shock, but secretly loving this.
“My, I am shocked. How dare you ask me such bold questions?” Then in rapid fire, looking him dead in the eyes, “two in the nightstand, one which I plug in, 6 months ago was my last time – with this guy I saw for a little while. I am pretty predictable with either reverse cowgirl, or being bent over something with the guy from behind. It depends on who is in control at the moment. So, what do I do for a guy?” as she leans forward across the table. “Well, I look him right in his eyes as I move in closer, and while pulling his earlobe in my mouth, whisper ‘I hope you like this because your cock is next,’ as I drop to my knees and go down on him, watching him the entire time.” She ended, leaning pretty far across the table – almost close enough to whisper those last words to him.
She let out a heavy breath and finished, “too bad I don’t get to do that too often. It is really . . . powerful, fun, exciting.”
While he was sure it was not noticeable, he felt like his hands were actually shaking and heart was going to jump out of his chest. It did take a visible minute to recover. She jumped into the pause.
“So, good questions. Which one was the lie?”
He learned later that is was not the last one!
4: Get Out Of Jail Free Card
“Ah, uhm, I am gonna have to go back to the beginning and go with the flashing the scalper. That was too amazing to be believable.” He was still too dumbstruck to really think.
“Final answer?” After a nod yes, she continued, “I told you I wouldn’t lose again. Nope, I have . . . ready for this? … never stolen anything in my life. I don’t even think a pack of gum when I was little. I win. Okay, let me go pee and I will be back to ask you your questions. Don’t go anywhere. Why don’t you order us another glass of wine while I am gone. See you in a sec.” She walked off doing a little ‘I won the bet’ dance around the corner to the restrooms.
Her timing to leave was perfect because he needed to regain his composure. He was back to normal and back with the wine just as she got back.
“All right, where were we. Oh, yes, my winning and my time to ask questions.” She was clearly enjoying this. “I spent some time thinking about this while I was away. I can ask you all the normal questions like ‘family size,’ or “what was your first car?’ or ‘who you think will win the series this year?’ Important, yes, but I have a get out of jail free card for the next 5 minutes . . . and you asked me some pretty direct questions so, my turn.”
“It was a sweet beat up Ford with a racing stripe and a bad muffler, by the way.” He was enjoying this too, so chimed in with “Do your worst. I have nothing to hide.”
“We will see. Rapid fire – favorite position, last time you had sex, are you a leg, ass, or tit man, and most unusual place you had sex in like the . . . say, last 10 years?”
“OK, you didn’t waste any time. Last time was about three months ago, most definitely an ass man, and a pretty public hotel balcony. I am pretty sure there were some office people working late in a building while my date gave me a celebratory blowjob and she was naked except for her heels, and I think a necklace, maybe some earrings.”
“So, do you like that – the naked and high heels thing? Or are you a lingerie guy? Do you like them slutty, kinda trashy, or do you like the more high-end sexy alluring look?” She was genuinely interested in the preferences.
“Oh, I think it depends. If for instance I was thinking for our first time, something fun and exciting, I would definately go for the simple, sexy minimalist thing. Once we have been together for awhile and we were living it up, playing roles, that kinda thing, then I would go for the cheap, slutty Frederick’s of Hollywood look. But there is nothing sexier than being naked and vulnerable and hot and nervous, don’t you agree? What about you – what is your look?
“Oh, no! You had your questions, no stalling. But for the record . . . I totally agree with you.” Her voice dropped a little and she retreated a little bit with this last revelation. But she jumped back in quickly. “I have a few more for you. When was the last time you masterbated, and tell me what you will do, specifically, tonight after you drop me off at my room?”
It was that same feeling when you get caught doing something bad – caught in a lie, or hand in the cookie jar. He was smack-me-side-the-head deflated – perhaps this wasn’t going where he planned, but he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. “Well, it depends on what we do before then?”
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