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PORCELAIN
Ella


I'm sitting alone in a bar. Christ, how clichéd is that? But it's true. Well, maybe not completely . . . I've got a shot of Jagermeister and a Heineken draft keeping me company. One flick of my elegant wrist and another shot or another beer appears before me. This place is nearly deserted, but then it's. . . three-thirty in the morning. No, I haven't been here all night but when I did walk in, I looked so out of place that I immediately felt at home.

Earlier tonight, I was in some swanky hotel bar. You know the type, discreetly lit so shadows fall half across the faces of the patrons. The kind of place where you don't ask for beer without getting a curious look from the tuxedo-wearing bartender. I'm in that kind of bar a lot. Most people would say I fit in, as I look the part, in crisply designed business suits and heels. I never feel comfortable in those places. Not like here, were the wooden floorboards creak as the bouncer walks, keeping an eye out for trouble and people only go in the restrooms if they are really, REALLY desperate.

Anyway, I sat there in that stuffy, too-expensive, fake velveted bar and pretended to enjoy myself. All around me I listened to the chatter of my coworkers. Here I don't drink Jagermeister and Heineken. No, that's too unladylike and God knows I must be a lady. Here I sip on wine, or some silly drink, like a Daiquiri or Margarita.

I cross my inanely long legs; my best feature, and pretend to pay attention to the conversation around me. When I get bored, I turn and face the mirror behind the rows of bottles. I'm not as young as I once was, but I still look pretty damn good. Long blonde hair, twinkling blue eyes, skin like porcelain, and a winning smile I've had since I was a child. Nobody likes a frowner, Mama ingrained in me, in her soft southern drawl. The same soft drawl I have. If you want to win, smile like you know you've got every other girl out there beat. I had that quite literally beat into my head until this smile became so much a part of me that most times it appeared on my lips without any conscious effort on my part.

The dim light twinkles almost dreamily off the liquor bottles that double in number sitting before the mirror. And I sit and watch the flow of people in that mirror, a pastime that could keep me occupied for hours. But the sound of someone calling my name pulls me from my surveillance. I turn to my left, thinking someone from the group was talking to me. I hear it again and realise it's coming from the opposite direction. I swivel in my stool, only to be met by warm brown eyes. For once, they're not shadowed by that ridiculous bandana and his dark silky curls fall softly over his forehead. I smile, acknowledging him.

I would've thought you went for something harder, he says, motioning to my barely touched wine.

You offering? I reply smiling. He doesn't answer, just motions to the bartender. A moment later Jagermeister on the rocks replaces my wine and a Heineken is placed before him. Damn the kid is good. And sneaky, too.

I take a drink and reach for his beer. He slides it back, out of my reach. If you are going to drink it, learn to take the sting, he says.

I think I should be pissed, but instead I take another drink. This time, I pay attention, feel the burn on my tongue, down my throat. And I find I like it, relish it actually. He grins, better, isn't it?

Yes it is. But instead I answer by downing the remains of my glass. He gives me another grin and offers the Heineken. I refuse and point to my empty glass. He says nothing and motions the bartender over. After my glass is filled, I look at him, really noticing him for the first time. I can't believe I work and travel with this man nearly everyday and I hadn't noticed just how fine he is. He's simply beautiful. The long wavy locks, deep eyes, and that body. His movements often remind me of a panther I once saw at the zoo, deliberate and graceful. When he's not bouncing around like a hyperactive kid. Even in this dim setting, I can see his muscles rippling under his shirt.

He caught me looking at him out of the corner of his eye and a grin, a rather smug grin, crossed his lips. His full, extremely kissable lips. Jesus, he's a cocky bastard, wearing that grin, but I don't care. It makes him all the more attractive, and he knows it. I know I should get the hell out of there before I get myself caught up in something I don't want to deal with, but I remain planted in my seat.

He turns to face me fully and the grin fades from his face. I'm about to melt on the spot from the look he's giving me. He stands abruptly and moves behind me, placing his hands over mine on the bar. I can feel the heat of his skin through my thin blue suit jacket. He leans against me, Fifteen minutes, your choice, he says. His lips brush my ear and I contemplate forcing him to take me up against the bar. He runs his hands slowly up my arms and down my back before slipping out of the bar. I don't watch him leave.

I have second thoughts the moment he's out of the bar. I look down at my hand and see a folded piece of paper between my fingers. He's really good; I never even noticed he had done that. I know I shouldn't do it, and even as reasons float into my head as to why I shouldn't, I know I will. I haven't felt really wanting in a good long time and he makes me feel wanted, desired even.

I end up waiting twenty minutes, just in case anyone who knows us is still lurking somewhere in the shadows. When I reach the room, the door's locked, so I have to knock. I hear some shuffling around and the door opens. Damnit, he looks even better now. He's changed from his jeans and shirt. Now he's wearing a pair of black Adidas windpants and no shirt. When he sees me standing in the doorway, he grins.

I almost gave up on you, he says. I don't say anything, just walk past him, and survey his room. There is hardly any evidence that anyone has even been staying here. I don't even see the jeans and shirt he just changed out of. Tell me, I ask, are you a bit of a neat freak?

He grins shyly and rakes a hand through his hair, Yeah, a bit. Gotta do something with my pent up energy. A smirk crosses both his and my face when he says that, followed by a brief silence. I can tell he's feeling nervous; he keeps fidgeting with his hands, toying with the strings that hang from the waist of his pants.

How did you know?, I ask. He looks at me quizzically for a moment, Oh in the bar? Lucky guess, he answers. You're lying, I reply. He doesn't say anything, but leans back against the wall, crossing his arms in front of him.

I wish he'd stop looking at me like that; he's going to melt me without having to remove one stitch of clothing. I slip off my shoes and stand at the foot of the bed.

Come here, he states softly. Oh, lord, how can I not? I step up to him and he wraps one arm around my waist, pulling me to him. His touch is downright electrifying. It's almost as if all his pent up energy runs just beneath the surface of his skin and shocks me. It's actually kind of arousing.

His free hand reaches up and strokes my cheek. So beautiful, he says in a low whisper. I turn my head away from him. It's not that I don't appreciate it, but so many people say that and don't mean it, that when someone does mean it, I have a difficult time hearing it. I want to tell him that, but I can't. He runs a finger under my chin and tilts my face back to him. It's hard for you to hear that?, he asks. I nod. It shouldn't be, but I won't say it again until you are ready to hear it. Alright?, he questions. I smile my response. How could such a sweet man exist?

He leans his face to mine and kisses me then. Sweet and a good kisser. I am a goner and I've only been here about twenty minutes. His tongue slips past my lips, gently exploring every curve and crease of my mouth. I wrap my arms around his neck, letting my hands roam through his thick waves.

When he breaks the kiss with a ragged breath, I can see his dark eyes are glazed with want. I'm almost positive my own eyes have the same look. He kisses me again and works on the buttons of my jacket, all the while moving forward so that by the time his hands are on my skirt zipper, I've backed up against the bed. He slides the skirt slowly down my legs, taking my Victoria's Secret with it. He kisses his way back up my body; gentle nips and licks on my thighs, to my stomach, kissing my breasts through the fabric of my bra. I tilt my head back and let out a low moan of pleasure. He takes the invitation and kisses my neck, one hand reaching behind my back to unhook my bra and remove it in one fluid movement.

My own hands roam over his muscled chest, down to the waist of his pants. I rub his cock through the thin nylon and a groan passes his lips, which are occupied with my earlobe. I push down on his pants and he breaks away, gently pushing me to sit on the bed. He swiftly removes his lone article of clothing and I get an eyeful of his hardened cock. We were all wrong; he's no damn kid, not with that.

He kisses me and pushes me back, until we're lying on the bed. His mouth works his way down my neck to my breasts. He draws wide, slow circles with his tongue before dragging his teeth across my nipple. I've got a firm grip on the bedspread as his fingers roam to and fro before settling on stroking between my thighs. He slips two fingers inside me while his thumb gently rubs my clit. I cry out, begging for him to fuck me.

His removes his fingers and I actually moan in disappointment. He positions himself between my legs and I can feel him rubbing against my pussy. His eyes ask me permission and I nod willingly. With one deft stroke he is inside me, filling me. Despite his earlier slow torture, there is nothing slow about this. His strokes are hard and fast, making me scream with pleasure.

My nails dig into the soft flesh of his shoulder as I climax, crying out his name. He follows soon after, his breath so ragged that cannot even muster his voice to call out.

He collapses beside me on the bed, kissing me and nuzzling his cheek in my neck. It isn't long before a soft, shallow breath, signaling that he has fallen asleep, replaces his heaving pants.

And the minute he is asleep I am criticizing myself. What had I just done? How could I do that? I'm freaking out, quite simply and I'm not sure why. All I know is that I must leave there. I gently dislodge myself from his grasp and dress. Before I leave, I turn and look back at him. He looks so innocent sleeping, his chest rising and falling evenly. Part of me wants to slip back into the bed with him. But it's the part that's screaming at me to get the hell out of here that I listen to.

And now here I am, sitting alone in this hole in the wall bar, kicking myself. I should never have left. He was so sincere, so honest with me. And I had to go and treat the whole thing like some meaningless one night stand.

But isn't that what it was, Debra?