In The Beginning
Madison (Aged 22)
I flopped down onto the couch in the clubhouse bar. It had been a long morning with my mother, helping her do some cleaning at the clubhouse. We’d finished up about half an hour ago and I was waiting for her to do a couple of other things before she could drive me home. My car was at the mechanics today being serviced so I was relying on her for a lift back there to collect it. I pulled my book out of my bag and flipped to the page I was up to. It was the latest Jackie Collins book and I needed to know what happened to the asshole who was cheating on his wife. Damn, nobody wrote a book as well as Jackie did.
I don’t know how long I’d been engrossed in the book when I heard a voice say, “So, it’s your birthday tomorrow. What are you doing to celebrate?”
I looked up to find J looking down at me. He’d just gotten back from a ride and was all sweaty but I didn’t mind; the smell of sweat mixed with the sandalwood scent he wore kind of drove me wild. On days like today, when he looked rough and ready after a ride, it was hard being only friends with him. I wanted more. However, I valued our friendship of nearly six years and didn’t want to risk losing it by taking a chance on something I knew wouldn’t lead anywhere. J wasn’t the kind of guy to settle down with anyone. He’d had a couple of girlfriends over the years but they never seemed to last long; six months was the longest I think I’d ever seen him with someone. Our friendship on the other hand, had lasted the distance.
He nudged my leg with his boot. “You going to answer me or are you going to keep daydreaming?”
“Shit, sorry,” I muttered as I jumped up. Thank goodness he couldn’t read my mind; that would have been awkward. “I’m going out to Hydes tonight, with some friends. Scott’s going to be there; do you want to come too?” I tried to ignore my desperate desire for him to say yes. Actually, it would probably be better if he said no because if he did come, things could get messy if I threw myself at him after a couple of drinks.
He smiled. “Sure, count me in. I’ve got some things to do but I’ll be there later on.”
My heart skipped a beat and the butterflies in my stomach went into overdrive. “Great.” Shit, was that the best I could do? Great? Lately, I was like a bloody school girl when I was around J; the things that came out of my mouth were embarrassing. Right now, he was so close to me that it was messing with my thought process.
He smirked and I watched as his eyes dropped to my chest that was covered by the tightest tank top known to man. It was a bloody hot day today so I was wearing very little clothing, and right about now, I was secretly thankful for that. I liked him looking at me this way. His eyes lingered on my chest for awhile before continuing their path down my body to my legs that were bare thanks to the short denim shorts I was wearing. The sensations this caused in me were like nothing I’d ever experienced. Sure, I’d had a number of boyfriends and wasn't a virgin anymore, but there was something about J; he made me feel things that both excited and terrified me.
His eyes finally found their way back to mine and he murmured, “Wouldn’t miss it, sweetheart.”
There was something in the way he spoke that caused me to stop and soak in his words. He hadn’t said it in the way a friend would say it; there’d been more to his words than that. I tilted my head and gazed up at him. He was watching me closely; his eyes were focused solely on mine now, not on my body. They burned into mine with an intensity that thrilled me. The world around me stopped and my attention was completely on J in that moment. Finally, I said softly, “Good, I’m glad you can make it.”
We stood staring at each other for a moment longer before my father interrupted us. “J, you got a minute?” he called out from the hallway.
J turned and nodded at him. “Be there in a minute,” he said and then turned back to me.
“I’ll see you tonight,” he promised, and then left me to go find my dad.
I watched him go; still stunned at the turn that conversation had taken. And shit, now I had to rethink my whole outfit for tonight; if J was coming, I had to rethink everything.
Eight hours later, I was happily tipsy. Okay, maybe I was a little more than tipsy but I wasn’t drunk. And J still hadn’t turned up. I’d been waiting for him all night but when he still hadn’t shown up an hour ago, I’d decided he wasn’t coming and had thrown myself into having a good time with my friends who had come and forgetting him; forgetting my extreme disappointment that he’d not come.
I was stumbling out of the ladies room when a strong arm curled around my waist and held me up; held me close to him. “Babe, how much have you had to drink?” he breathed into my ear.
His breath on my skin sent shivers through me and I instinctually leaned into him; the need to get closer was overwhelming. “A little bit,” I replied.
He chuckled. “Looks like a lot more than a little.”
I shrugged. “I was waiting for you and you didn’t come so I passed the time another way.” Somewhere in the back of my fuzzy mind, I was kicking myself for admitting that to him.
He froze and turned me slightly so that we were facing each other, his hand still gripping my waist. “Fuck, Madison,” he muttered, his eyes searching mine. “You want this as much as I do, don’t you?”