Brian is the head chef and kitchen manager at the restaurant where I wait tables. I’ve had my mind set on him for weeks, ever since I found out he and Vanessa, his long-term girlfriend who just happens to be the restaurant owner’s daughter, are on the outs. I see a chance one night after closing time, when we just happen to run into one another at the new late-night wine bar everyone is raving about.

Although we’ve never hung out after work before, he scoots over to the bar stool next to mine. He buys me an over-priced glass of red and we talk shop for awhile. He invites me back to the restaurant, a couple miles down the road, for a second glass, on the house this time.

The place is closed, the windows dark except for the lights behind the bar that stay on all the time, for the security cameras. He unlocks the door and goes straight to the office to eject the tape from the security system.

He pours two glasses of blood-red zinfandel and then we sit and talk at one of the dark upholstered booths with a lit votive candle between us, flashing darts of light against our faces. He pulls out a deck of Uno cards from who knows where and we play cards by candlelight. I feel soft and romantic. His deep voice is warm and soothing. He is funny. And polite when he asks me for a kiss. So we kiss and the kissing is so good that he invites me to his Marina Bay apartment for more.

We lie together in the darkness, on white sheets beside an open window where a huge shaft of moonlight penetrates the room. The breeze carries the sounds of the marina, the soft twist and stretch of the ropes, holding the swaying boats against the docks, the splash of the briny water against the seawall. The rhythmic slap and clang of the marina flag’s cord against the steel post.

He is on top of me, kissing, touching, testing my response. He is tentative, but driven and I allow him full liberty with my body. We laugh as we struggle awkwardly with the black pantyhose I have taken to wearing to work of late with a pencil skirt and ankle boots instead of the boring black uniform slacks. I thought it would attract his attention to me in a more direct way than just my usual flirty chatter at the food pickup window. I certainly have his attention now, and I revel in every moment, every touch. When he climbs between my legs and enters me, I finally feel complete. Satisfied. No more striving.

But, even greater than the pleasure of the physical act is the thrill of fucking Vanessa’s boyfriend. I never liked Vanessa.

After that night, it’s been like pulling teeth–a good month, to pin him down and finally settle on a date to go out together and really get to know one another better, away from the curious eyes and the gossip mill of our workplace.

And here we are.

Windy… the air is so cold. I shiver, but I don’t care. We order drinks. A Seabreeze and a frozen daiquiri. More small talk. I want to get to the mystery behind his eyes, find what is hiding there.

” I like Bob Marley”, he smiles, bobbing his head to the music wafting from the restaurant lounge.

But do you like me? Do you really like me? Do you want to care about me? Do you want me like I want you? I ask these questions in my head, though. I don’t want to scare him away.

To be continued…