From Come to Yourself, Mr. Jones, a novelette
Tyntsil stood there, watching her movement from across the room.
That slight, up-and-down motion of her leg in its thigh-high stiletto boot, until she seemed to have a sudden thought and uncrossed her legs, setting both of her feet on the bottom rung of her stool. Her back was to Tyntsil now, but he’d made up his mind. His furtive desertion of the VIP rooms of this choice hotspot in his home city was already worth it. She had to be the one he’d been anticipating tonight. He cut his way through the shaking and shimmying happening on the darkened dance floor and stepped up to the bar, speaking toward her turned head. “Good evening, miss.”
She didn’t move. She must not have heard him. He tried again. “Good evening, miss.”
Still no response. Was the music in the room that loud? He hadn’t planned on smiling yet, but he could feel one corner of his mouth pulling upward in amusement. He moved closer to her, folding his hands and leaning to rest both his forearms on the counter. He spoke in a low voice. “Hey…”
Upon the turning of her head toward him, the first thing he noticed was the glossy, dark red shine on her full, defined lips. Next to be noticed was the gentle curve of her nose, then, because of the sweeping fall of golden brown bangs, only one of her eyes was visible at first—a round, luminous drop of melted brown easing into view after a lift of curled lashes. That single eye searched his face, as if to ascertain that the low, spoken address had really been meant for her, and that this man standing beside her had been the one to issue it.
Seeming to gather that that had indeed been the case, her head turned further, the second eye joining its twin in the perusal of his face. Her look was slow, even methodical, and a ripple of excitement passed through Tyntsil, due to the parting of her lips, and he awaited an enticing reply. Yes, this was unquestionably the one he’d anticipated, and he consequently felt the corner of his mouth creep higher. He was all set to lean closer to her but was soon proven unprepared when a simple answer came to him. A clear, natural:
Tyntsil froze. He expected her to go on. But, of course, she wasn’t going to. He had been the one to approach her, hadn’t he? Not wanting to miss a beat, but sure that he must’ve missed at least two or three, he toned his smile down. “Looked to me, from over there, like you wanted someone to buy you a drink.” He raised an eyebrow. “Allow me the privilege?”
Her lips parted a second time, and again, Tyntsil almost leaned in, wanting to catch the full effect of what was bound to be a tantalizing smile coming his way. However, the rising of either side of her mouth, rather than sending another thrill through him, instead caused an unusual flipping sensation to occur somewhere within the left side of his chest. He found his own smile being hailed by the warmth of one that was gifted to such an extent to be, actually, sweet. “No, thank you, I don’t drink.”
Tyntsil’s smile lessened more, but this time the lessening wasn’t on purpose and ultimately left him without a smile at all. “You don’t?” He glanced at the bartender, at the other club patrons seated at the counter, and at the various glasses and cocktails sitting around the area, half-wondering if he had mistaken where this woman had seated herself.
But, just as he’d thought, she was in fact sitting at the bar.
And she didn’t drink?
He doesn’t make mistakes on Friday nights.
Come to Yourself, Mr. Jones