Walking into the club on a Monday felt surreal. More so was coming straight from the office in a white shirt that stuck to my skin because of continuous nervous sweating and a black pencil skirt that probably had white patches on it.
I'm not usually this unkempt but my nerves had gotten the best of me. Somehow, I just wanted to prove to Daniel and myself that I'm not a slut or into one-night stands. I was going to tell him to his face, that he should forget about the other night completely, so that we can move on with our lives. That is, if I find him. I had no idea who he was, other than the fact that his name is Daniel and he’s been eyeing me for a while and just might be a regular. The most realistic thing to do would’ve been to come back on Friday to search for him, but I just couldn’t wait till then. I was a wreck.
Surprisingly, Hell Hole was packed even on a Monday night. My eyes scanned the mass of sweating, swaying bodies on the dance floor but the unmistakable face with hard angles, eyes of bottomless blue and the mop of midnight hair was nowhere to be found. Deciding to go hunting and determined to find him at any cost even if I had to come here every day, I started moving around the room. I'd hardly taken two steps when a familiar face came into view. It took me a while to remember where I'd seen him but once I did, I strode over to him, barely avoiding someone's fist as they practiced their Mick Jagger moves.
"Excuse me!" I yelled over the music to get the bouncer's attention. "Excuse me!" I yelled louder when he didn't appear to hear me.
"Yes?" Finally, he turned his eyes on me. "How can I help you, Miss?"
"Can you tell me where I can find a man named Daniel?" I asked when I'd finally crossed over the swarm. It would've probably be too informative if I'd asked him instead, 'Hey, do you remember the guy I fucked on Friday night? The one who took me upstairs?' But that would be utterly degrading. I was about to tell him that he might be a regular, but realization flooded his eyes so I didn’t have to speak up.
"Daniel Romano? Hey, you were with him on Friday!" Geez, there's no need to put a neon sign on it. I simply nodded, glaring at him for asking such a question.
"Sorry. My boss often reminds me to get a new filter." He said awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck. "Well...I haven't bumped into him today; I wasn't exactly looking for him. Mr. Romano can be anywhere actually; I mean it's his club."
"Thank you." I waited for him to leave before my jaw hit the ground.
Jesus Christ! I didn't only sleep with a guy from the bar, I slept with the bar owner! Could my day get any worse?
"Heard you were looking for me."
I would've jumped out of my skin had I not already felt the hair at my nape stand in attention. But I still jumped when he spoke right beside my left ear.
I whipped around to face him but that turned out to be a wrong move. He was bent at the waist so he could reach my height, but when I turned, we were eye to eye, our faces inches apart and he held an amused expression written all over his face. Most importantly, my voice seems to have eluded me all over again. Why does he have such an effect on me?
"So?" The corner of his lips tilted upward in a half smile, half smirk.
"I-it was a m-mistake?" I phrased it as a question. Well done Grace! Now he thinks of you as a retarded slut. I’d practiced this scenario in front of the mirror a thousand times since yesterday, but now, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what I had to say to him.
"Really?" His eyebrows lifted up to his hairline. "Because I clearly heard you asking Zach about me. Or maybe I'm mistaken and you're asking for someone else." He straightened and turned to leave.
"Wait!" I called out before he could leave and was greeted by a mischievous grin. Damn! I closed my eyes so I wouldn't have to see his face, so I wouldn't feel so intimidate by him. Daniel was a big man…in every single way. "Friday night," it felt embarrassing to say it out loud even with my eyes closed. "It was a mistake. I don’t do one-night stands. I don't know why I did but I'm not that kind of a person."
I opened my eyes to stare at his amused face with my mouth agape. Was he insulting me or did he think I was joking?
“S-so…we should just f-forget about it and p-pretend like we never met?” I asked, suddenly feeling unsure.
He sighed. “You see, Farfallina, I can’t do that.” He took a step towards me and I instinctively took a step back, but since we were in the middle of the dance floor, I found myself being thrust forward into Daniel’s arms by an overenthusiastic dancer.
The feel of hard, ripped muscles under my palm was quite exquisite, even though his thin silk shirt formed a barrier. Daniel was every woman’s wet dream come to life and the way he carried himself meant that he knew what he was capable of. I should stay away from him, this isn’t right. I should never have come to see him today or ever! But first of all, I need to stop touching him!
I went to move my hands off his chest but he caught mine in his larger ones and started pulling me towards the back of the dance floor, to where a set of double doors lay guarded by two bouncers. I dug my heels into the floor.
Daniel turned with his eyebrows raised and when I shook my head, he simply smirked and started to pull me forward despite my resistance. When we finally passed through the set of double doors, the level of noise considerably lower, I spoke up. “Where on Earth are you taking me?”
“What?” I gasped.
“To talk, Grace.” He looked over his shoulders with a stern look. “Or would you rather we talk in the middle of the dance floor with hundreds of people eavesdropping and where we can’t even hear our own words?”
“Upstairs sounds good.”
This time there wasn’t any bouncer guarding the door as Daniel unlocked and let us both in. The apartment was just as I remembered it, huge and equipped with the bare minimum of furnishings. All the lights were turned on and it helped me notice the color scheme of the living room for the first time. Steel grey walls with a darker grey highlights, different from the bedroom but still dark and lonely. It couldn’t get gloomier than this. Even the furniture was in different shades of black.
Daniel motioned for me to sit on the lone couch in the room, face the wide plasma screen while he went to the kitchen.
“Whisky or beer?” he asked.
“Beer.” I said as I took a seat and waited for him nervously.
“Here you go.” He handed me beer bottle while he drank from his glass of whisky. He took a seat on the small coffee table in front of me and soon seemed to take up all the space in the room.
Nervously, I took a sip of the ice cold beer and let the bitter taste distract my mind from the intriguing man in front of me. I was afraid of what might happen next. Already, being in this room was bringing back all memories of Friday night and I had to clench my thighs together when the familiar heat began to pool between my legs. To make matters worse, I could feel his eyes on me like a physical caress, like he was already undressing me. To be honest, I already felt naked under his gaze, stripped to the soul.
“Now,” his voice was thick with his Italian accent, husky, and it made pleasant shivers run down my spine. “How about that talk.”