I am writing a series of flash fiction pieces set in O’Shea’s Pub. See Romantic Flash Fiction Anyone? for more information. Here’s the seventh one. May to December or older man / younger woman… I hope you enjoy it.
A man. A tall man, with broad shoulders that currently shaped his expensive looking overcoat to perfection, was stood in front of her at the bar. A flash of silver and white caught and held her attention as he turned his head. The contrast between the silver and black hair was startling. She squinted a little trying to see better and found herself taking a slow step towards him.
Yes, now she could see other silver hairs shimmering through the thick black and oh Lord! His stubble was mainly silver and white, with a bit of dark grey shot through for good measure.
Wow. She’d never realised that was a thing for her, but from the way her eyes were glued to his head, she thought she’d better take a look at the silver-fox romances in the library on her break. She could even do a quick Twitter shout out to ask for some recommendations from her book buddies.
Biting her lip in excitement (the thought of new books did that to her), she stepped around him and gave the bartender a shy nod as he gestured that he’d be with her next.
Standing next to the Silver Fox, she made sure to give herself plenty of space but couldn’t help looking at his hand that rested on the dark mahogany of the bar.
Left hand. No ring. Also no tan line.
Ok, he was probably divorced because if he was married he’d wear one. He’d want everyone to know that he was taken. His skin was tanned and she could just make out some callouses on the thumb that he was tapping against the wood and a few scars across the back.
He probably sailed the world on his yacht and had beautiful women in each port.
“What can I get for you?”
Abruptly yanked back into the real world, instead of making up plot bunnies, Jackie quietly ordered a pint of Black Sheep and looked around for a place to sit. Her feet were aching like nobody’s business after working all day at the library. She kept hopping from one to the other, trying to take the weight off. Twenty-eight was too young for bunions, right?
It was busy in O’Shea’s tonight, she’d be lucky to get a booth. Checking the time, she rolled her eyes. Her sister was always late, so she’d brought her Kindle. She’d learned her lesson there years ago. All her introvert anxieties about being alone in public magically disappeared when she had her nose in a book.
“Busy in here tonight, hey?” a deep voice rumbled next to her.
Taking a quick peek up and to her right, she met a pair of deep, deep blue eyes spanned by a wealth of lines. She managed a small nod and some kind of sound that she hoped he’d take as affirmation.
The lines around his eyes deepened as he smiled gently. “There’s a stool here if you want a seat.” He nodded his head to the opposite side of him and she tore her eyes away from his to see the empty stool against the bar.
She really wanted that seat. “Do you mind?” she asked quietly.
“Not at all. Here,” he stepped back a little, protecting her from the jostling crowd, so she could sidestep to it.
Her eyes went a little wider when she brushed against the front of him. She coughed and got comfortable, tucking her throbbing feet onto the rest. She didn’t know where to look. God!
“Better?” he asked drawing her eyes back to him.
This time she thought she saw a twinkle in his eyes but quickly talked herself out of that one. She nodded instead. “Thank you, I really needed that.”
“Long day?” He angled towards her, taking a drink from his glass of Guinness.
She sighed. It looked like they were going to have a conversation. This never went well.
“Yes, and I was on my feet for most of it. So…”
“So… Why are you here and not at home taking a hot bath?”
She shrugged awkwardly, her mind blanked out. She had nothing.
Warm blue eyes roamed across her face. “Sorry, was that a little too personal?”
Rolling her shoulder, she rubbed her nose and tried not to blush. “Kind of, yeah.”
“I guess we should really share our names before I tell you off for not looking after yourself, huh?”
She snorted out a surprised laugh and tried to figure out the ratio of anxiety and excitement she was feeling. Amazingly, excitement seemed to be winning 60 / 40.
“Well, yeah, I suppose.”
“Ted,” he stuck out his hand.
Jackie looked at it for a few seconds before she slowly raised hers. She had to swallow pretty deeply when his big, warm hand engulfed her own. She’d had no idea that that little circle of skin in the middle of her palm was an erogenous zone.
Apparently, she’d had no idea about a lot of things.
She couldn’t take her eyes off their hands: his so tanned and big, hers pale and small.
She tried to remember the last time she’d chosen to touch a man, but her mind was too busy computing the different sensations of his skin and the light dusting of dark hairs on the back of his hand.
Her heart thudded hard but steadily, this was attraction, she was sure, she’d read about it enough, but a strange sense of calm also settled around her allowing her to think about raising her eyes to his. She needed to see what he was thinking.
Her eyes were struggling to move past his amazing chest when she suddenly realised that she’d been holding his hand for ages, just staring at it. God! He must think she was a total weirdo. She tried to jerk her hand away, but his tightened and held her firm. Her eyes flew to his.
“Tell me,” he murmured.
Jackie shook her head a little dazedly. “What?” she whispered unconsciously moving closer.
Her eyes danced over his face. She couldn’t get enough of looking at him. She felt her lips moving into a smile to mirror his.
“Everything,” he said.
Thanks for reading.