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
“You said you’re here for work. What type of work do you do?” Mark asked.
They strolled down the sidewalk, abuzz with activity, as usual. Pedestrians passed back and forth from late night dinners or exploring the city on foot from one of the many hotels along the side streets. Chicago contained everything anyone could want—all sorts of entertainment, sporting events, diverse shopping options, and plenty of places to dine. To top it off, you got the big city feel but with a mid-western flavor. It was one of her favorite places to visit.
“I work in administration, at a university.”
“We have a little something in common, then.” He glanced at her.
“We do? Are you in administration, too?”
“No, but I’m an English professor at a small liberal arts college in California. I’m visiting my parents for the summer as I try to figure out where I want to teach next.”
“A man who knows his way with words. I better be careful around you. You’re not correcting my grammar as we speak, are you?”
“You don’t have a problem with grammar at all,” he said, giving her a sideways glance.
“How long have you been teaching?”
“Not very long. Only a couple of years since I earned my PhD.”
“In that case, you’re Dr. Mark.”
He chuckled. “Yes, and my mother is very proud, and after I earned my letters, she made sure to tell all her friends, everyone at church, even the people at the supermarket know I have a doctorate.”
They were both walking very slowly, as if neither of them wanted the conversation to end. As they neared the hotel where she stayed, Sadie experienced a sense of loss, as if they’d already parted ways. She already missed him, even though they’d only been chatting for a little while.
She stopped in front of the building, bright lights spilling from the doorway. “This is my hotel.”
He looked up at the brightly lit entrance, his face transforming into a thoughtful frown. “Would it be too much to ask you to continue walking with me, for just a few more minutes. I’ve been enjoying our conversation.”
The sincerity in his eyes moved her, but she also experienced another sensation. Doubt.
“Mark, let’s lay our cards on the table. What’s going on with you? Do you have some kind of older woman fetish?”
“Older woman fetish? Is that a thing?” Once again he looked amused.
“You’d be surprised what kind of fetishes there are. Look, this is all very flattering. And you’ve made me feel as if I’m quite the catch this evening, but this is where the game ends.”
“I don’t consider spending time with you a game, Olivia. I would like to get to know you better. I would even like for us to stay in touch, after you leave, if you’re willing.”
“You don’t even know where I live.”
He stepped closer. “Then why don’t you tell me.”
It was hard to ignore the chemistry between them, like a force of some kind, making her skin prickly and alive. “You could be a very dangerous man,” she whispered.
“What I feel is very dangerous,” he said, following her lead and speaking in a low tone. There was an earnestness in his voice and determination in the set of his square jaw. “There are charges going through me, and I can’t say that’s happened very often, can you? Do you feel any of what I feel, at all?”
Sadie swallowed, unsure how much to admit. After all, she barely knew Mark. She’d lied about her name, but didn’t see any point in lying about her attraction to him. “I know what you feel. I feel it too, and it hasn’t happened to me in a very long time.”
“When was the last time you were drawn to another person in the same way?”
“A long time ago when my husband was alive. He passed away five years ago.”
His brow wrinkled. “I’m sorry.”
Sadie looked down at her fingers. She continued to wear her wedding and engagement rings for two years after her husband passed away, but they were ringless now. “The time we had together were the best years of my life. Because of him I have two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. And he took very good care of me. I can’t complain.”
“He was a lucky man. I can already tell.”
Sadie laughed softly. “You must be quite the charmer at your college.”
“Like I said, when I see something I want, I tend to go after it.”
“And you want me.”
“ From the minute I saw you at the bar, although…I feel like I’ve known you before. Maybe that’s part of why the attraction is so deep. Maybe we met in another life…?”
“Then why didn’t you approach me sooner at the bar?”
“Because I knew when I approached, I couldn’t give you any old line. And to be honest, I didn’t expect you to leave so soon.”
“So I messed up your plans.” She laughed. “Okay, Dr. Mark. You want to keep talking for a bit, let’s walk down to the waterfront.”
“I like that idea.”
He extended his arm and without hesitation, she took it. They strolled on past the hotel to continue their walk.
The power and strength of his muscles beneath the dress shirt sparked a thrill of excitement. Sadie smiled to herself. She sensed that before the night was over, she’d do something wicked and out-of-character, but anticipated the bad behavior nonetheless.
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The Romance Studio
~ authors, prizes, fun ~
November 16-20, 2018