He pulled me back from the crowd covering my mouth with his coarse and calloused hand.
“Peyton. Don’t say a word.” His authoritative and familiar voice made me settled, then panic shot through me as I chased my thoughts for a reasonable excuse.

I’d had the day from hell, beginning with misplacing my car keys which resulted in being late for work and getting the stank eye from my boss. I’m not usually late but my boss chose to deliver a monumentally loud speech about work ethics which made me want to crawl back in to bed. I work in an office not to far from my apartment, doing administration work during the mornings. This is perfect because it gives me the afternoons to finish my online Diploma of Business Management. My boss is insane by the way. Bonafide. One minute she’ll have a calm, carefree demeanour and the next she’ll be waging war and of course, no-one is more right in the world than her. So when my bubbly best friend, Leah, called in to drag me to another one of her fresh meat’s band gig, I just grabbed my purse without hesitation. In my haste to escape the loneliness of my cramped, city apartment I’d forgotten to grab my phone. I didn’t plan on being out very long anyway and the bloody thing needed to be charged, again. Talk about a 21st Century crisis. Of course, I don’t usually care about making sure my (sometimes) rather intrusive technology on me at all times, but He does. I honestly didn’t think before I left the apartment, that was kind of the point. I just wanted to join Leah at Club Bar and drink a few G&T’s while she swooned over her latest crush.

Ben. His words sounded sharp, cutting into my ear and I let my body fall slightly into him. My eyeballs danced with my head, to see if I was right about the person dragging me away from the student filled dance floor. There was a tacky sticky feeling, as my feet lifted and stamped the old wooden floor as we moved back towards the Darkness of the dingy bar. Even though I could guess my would be captor, the panic wasn’t false. I was supposed to call him this evening, as I usually do, but more important than that I am supposed to send him at least a quick text when I go out. He likes to know I’m safe and it’s kind of a rule he has for me. He was meant to be working and we don’t usually make plans on Wednesdays so I wondered why on earth he was in my pub. It’s not like he goes to places like this, or even drinks? I silenced my thoughts and bit my tongue because either way it wouldn’t change anything.

“You wouldn’t believe how surprised I was to see you cross the intersection with Leah, then to see you coming into this bar.” He mocked me a little, I could feel his smirk sitting right in the sweet spot of my ear. My breath muffled through my tightly closed mouth, still clasped by his hand. His other hand strategically secured my other arm to the side of my body. I resented his strength to hold me in place, though I wasn’t squirming or fighting him off. I hadn’t seen him since last weekend and honestly was happy to be melting into him, especially after the day I’d had. I thought to wriggle out and resist for the sake of being stubborn like always but I didn’t want to tear myself out of the safety his embrace provided. He was stronger than me, but not in a gym addict kind of way. Though he did enjoy physical activity he just wasn’t like a lot of the other guys my age who I used to see at the gym, strutting more than running. I liked that he was into outdoor activities like walking, hiking and nothing overly strenuous. We were well matched for motivation that way and would never pass up an opportunity to have a relaxing day if the weather or our mood permitted.

A quick jolt of pain pinched at me, his hand hand moved to torment that pressure point on my hand. His thumb pressed hard into the soft flesh right at the back of my thumb. What a way to bring me out of my thoughts as he released me and spun me round to face him. Thank goodness I’d already finished my drink or we would both be a little wet right now!

“You are supposed to let me know when you are going out.” His trickster eyes searching my reaction with a half serious scowl. I could feel the warmth of my cheeks and the glaze in my eyes, flush from our little encounter. I motioned to pat my jeans pockets and leaned in closer, only just pressing my chest into his. I could only hope to affect him with my feminine charm, but I’d never know with how cool he always seemed. Only two layers of fabric separating us. I was smitten. I love that he followed me in here and surprised me. I love that his eyes were on me without me knowing and his audacity to creep up and pull me aside. He hunts me all the time.
“I didn’t bring my phone. I left the apartment in a hurry, sorry.” I whispered, coyly. Rocking back allowing my heals to find the floor I softly lifted my gaze to his.
“I see.” Ben replied huskily, almost murmuring the words with the intensity of his dark eyes settling on mine. My skin prickled, feeling his fingers run up my arms and his hands gently finding rest atop my shoulders. Now I had wished I’d worn a long sleeve sweater, that I might have escaped unaffected by the sensation. I twitched as the tickle of our contact spread through me and I know he read that on my expression even though he didn’t acknowledge it. His hands moving once more, sweeping my messy mop of auburn hair from my neck, pulling it behind me and holding it tightly in a pony tail. He yanked it it just enough to jerk my head back, and done for, my eyes rolled back too. Before I had a chance to compose myself, he snapped his mouth to the mound of flesh where my shoulder meets my neck and enveloped his body around me. Yep, done for. It was blissful and my mind whirled as the flesh there seared. He was quick to release me, but the nip was just enough to send me into a cloud. I almost didn’t see him leave or hear his parting words,
“Call me when you get home.” Then he was brushing his body passed me and disappearing into the bar. That asshole.

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