The book store loomed before her, its glowing sign a beacon of hope in the gloomy rain. If, according to her friends, the bar was, indeed, the wrong place to meet an intelligent stranger, then maybe this would provide a more successful hunting ground. Paige straightened her glasses and wrapped her hand around the straps of her shoulder bag. She paused briefly to steel herself and smooth her skirt, shaking her hair and inhaling deeply to settle her nerves. Pulling the door open, she breathed in the expected smell of paper and dust and scanned the store for possibilities.
In a large leather chair in the corner, an attractive older black man in a red button down shirt and grey suit jacket sat reading a leather-bound volume with gilded edges.
In front of the “staff picks” shelf, a tall, thin man with his hair in a bun stood, arms crossed, teasing the ends of his chest-length beard.
And a gentleman in a tweed newsboy cap and fitted tweed vest atop a crisp, white button-down shirt with jeans wandered slowly down the first aisle.
Paige walked toward the “staff picks,” as it was closest.
“Excuse me,” she said, as she reached in front of the man to collect a book,”have you read any of these? I’m not sure what to read next, and I’d gladly take suggestions.”
He looked at her and smiled, the pink of his lips just visible beneath the hair of his mustache. They looked soft and full, and his green eyes appeared open, sparkling even in the bright light of the store. She felt a flutter of electricity under each nipple as he smiled, his just-barely crooked front teeth white and glistening.
“Have you read this? He’s a great author…very funny, but thoughtful stuff. I don’t know what kind of books you like to read, so it’s hard to recommend. What’s your favorite genre?”
“I like suspense,” she took a leap, “and sometimes a bit of classic erotica…you know…the vintage stuff…Victorian…?” She felt the heat in her cheeks, and she hoped it was the attractive sort of blushing, the kind that would pink her skin just enough to glow beneath the brown of her cheeks. She also hoped it would make her look properly shy, the sexy type of shyness rather than the prudish type.
He smiled again, raising his eyebrows in interest, and licked his lips. “I wouldn’t know anything about that, but I could suggest a few more modern tales I’ve read…possibly Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille, The White Hotel by DM Thomas, or Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima? There’s also always Henry Miller and Nabokov.”
“I loved Lolita,” she replied, her red lips curling upward. She leaned back in front of him to replace the book she’d taken. “I haven’t read those others, but I’d love to try something new, especially as recommended by a man. I’m thoroughly interested in finding out what men find sexually appealing in literature and how it compares to what draws women.”
“I’m sure I could give you a bit more information in that direction…over a cup of coffee?”
Paige’s breath caught in her throat. She hadn’t expected it to be so easy.
“Uh….yes…um…I’d love to…” She wondered if taking him up on coffee would come across as too forward. Maybe she should simply take his number, wait a few days, and then arrange a proper date? She could hear her friends in the back of her mind telling her that going now would look desperate…that she needed to make him wait…to make him want her. But that all seemed so ridiculous. She’d come here to meet an attractive, intelligent man, and he appeared to have both qualities. What the hell would putting him off accomplish?
“There’s a cafe right next door, if you’re free?” he raised his eyebrows in question, his smile flirtatious and hopeful.
“Yeah, I’m free,” she had a suspicion that the question was referencing more than just her schedule.
He reached his arm out in front of him, palm up, encouraging her to go first, though he stayed close enough to open the door for her. When he did, his body brushed briefly against her full backside, and she wondered what part of him had touched her.
As they walked, side-by-side to the next door coffee shop, Paige wondered what the rest of the afternoon would bring. She caught his scent, subtle with a hint of sandalwood. His confidence was intoxicating, and she had a feeling she’d do anything he asked. Something deep within her hoped he would.
But first, coffee.
(If you’d like more info, the books referenced were found in THIS ARTICLE.)
This week’s Masturbation Monday prompt is a photo of the beautiful Cara Thereon. What I picked up on were the glasses, so my main character is modeled after Cara’s appearance.