The other day I mentioned on Facebook that I'd be sharing a short story with you, and here it is. Five days, five episodes to greet you each morning. Hope you enjoy it!
Trope: older woman, younger man
Subgenre: interracial romance
Heat level: sensual
Sadie Jackson’s trip takes an interesting turn the night before she leaves Chicago. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger awakens her desires and just might change the entire course of her life.
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5
He’d been staring at her for the past twenty minutes. Not in an impolite way, but definitely noticeable. Almost every time Sadie looked up, the man at the other end of the bar held her gaze until she averted her eyes. Other times, he seemed to study the glass of dark liquor cradled in one hand.
She looked at him because, well, he was a very attractive man. Neatly cut blonde hair, slightly darker facial hair, and no doubt a nice body beneath the powder blue dress shirt.
He looked about the same age as her son, in his late twenties or early thirties. For that reason, she couldn’t understand why he was even looking at her. She certainly wasn’t the most attractive woman in the place and was one of the most covered in her dark pants suit. Plenty of other women cast hungry glances in his direction and were closer to his age. So why her?
Ready to pay her tab, she waved over the bartender. Time for her to head back to the hotel. The conference was over, and this late-night drink had been a way for her to relax before going back to the room and getting ready for the trip home the next day.
“That’ll be all for you?” the bartender asked.
Sadie nodded. “I’d like to close out my tab.” It wasn’t much of a tab. Only two drinks, but that was enough to make her feel good and warm and relaxed enough to have a good night’s sleep.
The bartender drifted away and came back a few minutes later. “You’re all set.” He handed her the receipt and Sadie signed it.
She stood from the barstool and straightened her clothes, grabbed her purse, and came to a full stop. The younger man was standing right beside her.
“You’re not about to leave, are you?” His voice held a deep timbre, and now that they were closer, she saw his eyes were powder blue to match his shirt.
“As a matter fact, I am.” She couldn’t explain her reaction, but she immediately felt an electric connection to this man. He was much taller than her and much broader. About six-four, she guessed. Compared to her five-ten in heels, she felt as if she had to crane her neck back to look up at him.
“Are you saying I missed my chance?” A half smile lined the left corner of his mouth.
“Your chance for what?” Energy buzzed through her as she realized he had actually come over there to speak to her. He really had been checking her out.
“A chance for me to figure out where I know you from, because I do know you.”
She hadn’t heard a line like that in a long time. It was flattering that he would choose that way to approach her, but certainly not original. She was a little disappointed he didn’t have a much better line.
“You can do better than that, can’t you?” she asked, tilting her head to the side.
His smile broadened all the way across his lips this time. “I promise you it’s not a line. I feel like I’ve met you before.”
“Well, we haven’t met before. I think I would remember.” Sadie tucked the purse under her arm, signaling her desire to end the conversation and leave.
“You’re probably right. I like to think that I’d never forget a face like yours. Had I met you before, I would have remembered every single detail. Your voice, your style.”
His gaze ran over her from head to toe and the energy surged between them.
“My style? You mean the executive woman style, covered from neck to ankle?”
“You can’t deny that there’s something different about you when compared to the other women here. That’s another reason why I wanted to come over and talk to you.”
“Yes, there’s something different about me. I’m almost twice the age of every other woman in here, and you as well.”
His eyebrows shot to the ceiling. “You’re kidding.”
“I have a son your age, sweetie.”
“Is that supposed to mean something to me?”
“You would be better suited to one of the young ladies who’ve been eyeing you all night.”
“I think I’m old enough to know what I’m better suited for. I know what I like when I see it, and I definitely like you. If you won’t have a drink with me, can I at least walk you out?”
“Very. I hate to think that I was slow to move and missed my chance to get to know you better. I’m Mark, by the way.”
Sadie opened her mouth to say her name, but at the last moment decided to exercise caution. She didn’t know this man. She didn’t get a creepy vibe from him, but one could never be too careful. The most charming man could be the most volatile under the right circumstance.
“Olivia,” she replied.
Amusement filled his eyes, as if he knew she’d given him a fake name. But what did he expect? She didn’t know him and had no intention of getting to know him better. No reason for her to give him her real name, although she suspected that he’d given her his.
“Are you ready to go, Olivia?”
“Yes. My hotel is a few blocks from here.”
“I’m here for work, and I leave tomorrow morning.”
“That’s too bad,” he said, with what sounded like genuine disappointment.
He made her feel quite special. She hadn’t felt that way in a long time. Not since the love of her life, her husband, passed away five years ago. Perhaps that was why she’d kept herself closed off since then. Bradley had been good at making her feel wanted and loved. Since his death, the efforts of other men came across as paltry substitutes, where they tried too hard or not hard enough. But this man—this younger man—displayed close to the right amount of effort.
They walked around the bar, and Mark fished a few bills from his wallet and slid them beneath his glass.
Like a gentleman, he opened the door and let her exit first. Definitely a plus, in her opinion.
Then they were walking down the street toward her hotel.
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