She walked across the room, beautiful as ever, with her hair in a ponytail and her gymwear on. She was looking for her instructor who, I could see, was at the front of the room talking to another student.
She was always here Tuesday afternoons taking beginners Martial Arts classes. I stayed in the office, in the back of the room, off to the side and behind the closed doors and blinds. I watched her, was fascinated by her.
Her name was Savana Da Silva. From what I saw of her, she was self driven and focused. She always came alone, kept to herself, and had a determination that had gained her respect. The other students as well as the instructors here liked her. There was a sort of desperation to her focus, something deep underneath the exterior shell that motivated her, as does with all humans. But this girl was different, brighter. And yet, darker, too.
Sigh. So unexplored.
I found her so intriguing that I’d been here every Tuesday for the last six weeks, even though I should be out helping A-Team with the new scouts.
My distractions weren’t completely irresponsible though, I was more than confident that this was the best team of recruits we’d seen in years, far too long actually. They had proven themselves to be most effective. My Commander was also someone I had the utmost confidence in. She was the best we had, even if I was the only one who knew it.
My brother never could see someone clearly without being jealous. His ego had tainted his capabilities and I was better than him because of it.
She found and looked to be thanking the instructor. A huge smile exploded across her face and my breath caught in my throat. I groaned, longing and admiring all at once. My body reacted, as it always did when I witnessed her, thrill and excitement cracking like lightening through my chest and shoulders, down to my belly and I snatched it right before it made me hard, drawing it up and releasing it through my fingertips and in a long ragged breath. I ran a hand shaking with excitement through my hair and took another deep breath to steady myself. It was practically nauseating, this level of desire and the unknown… Would I ever have a taste?
She was leaving! This was always the worst part of my week, when I knew, as she turned her back and started to walk away that she would be gone for another week.
I scowled at the floor but as I lifted my eyes to catch that last glimpse of her stunning figure, I was paralyzed by fear.
Julien was walking into the gym just as she was walking out. She went to push open the door and he was already opening it from the other side, much faster than she anticipated and she tripped and fell forward right onto him!
He caught her, in surprise, and the minute he took a look at her I saw it spread across his face, that greasy smile that gave away his intentions of pursuit. And just before she looked up and met his eyes, he wiped it all away and put on his favourite ‘Princeton-esque’ smile.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!”
Her voice vibrated all the way through me, like magical music the first time you hear it, my senses heightened by my emanating fear. This was not an emotion I was comfortable with.
Time stopped as I watched with hawk like focus, their interaction.
“God,” he said, “Isn’t that funny?” He was about a foot taller than she so he had to look down at her, and at this closeness she had to angle her head upwards to meet his eyes. She looked a bit surprised but let it pass and righted herself fully.
Is she attracted to him? Does she feel that initial spark of chemistry when you first see someone who pleases you?
“Hi, I’m Julien.” Huge smile. “Do you take classes here?”
Fuck! He really wasn’t wasting any time, was he? Grimey bastard.
“Uhm, yes.” She said, obviously still a bit shook. “I started taking classes a few months ago. The instructors here are great. Are you looking to join?”
He smiled, smug as ever, knowing just what I did. She had set him up perfectly to deliver the fatal blow. Every girl loves a rich guy.
“No, actually I own the place.”
He let it hang in the air. Like any predator in nature, he knew timing was everything.
“Oh, wow!” She said, with a little too much enthusiasm, if you ask me. “I love it here! So far, it’s been exactly what I was looking for!”
PING. The shrill tone sounded across the open gym and faded slowly. She looked at her phone fleetingly and back to Julien. Her eyes never left his then, and his smile only grew more arrogant. She didn’t seem to notice, or care that he exuded a vastly inflated ego and his intentions were so obviously far from pure.
“Well, thanks for catching me. My day would’ve been rough if I’d totally bailed, and my ego bruised beyond recognition. It was nice to meet you, Julien.” And she extended her hand with a brilliant smile and focus.
I groaned again and looked at my brother’s eyes. Contact.
‘Why did he get contact!’
I bet she smells even better that close up.
I started to look away as she moved to turn and break contact, but Julien gripped her hand and she turned back, looking first at her hand with what might have been a frown, and then quickly smoothing it over to look him in the eyes again, questioningly this time. Her smile remained open and just a bit too interested, I’d say.
He paused just a moment, but it was enough, and she became slightly unsettled, one of his favourite moves. So Julien. I rolled my eyes.
“You’ll have to forgive my forwardness, but you’re absolutely beautiful and I just feel like I need to know more about you.” He smiled again, and paused again. Perfect control, his prey so close in his sights, “You have to let me take you out this week sometime. How bout dinner and a walk afterwards? I’d love to hear what interests you, what you like to do, and what excites you.” And with that, he released her hand. You could see clearly, she did not want to break the contact. She had leaned into him.
“Uhm, sure. I’d love to actually,” she replied.
This smile was different, more brilliant than the sunrise. And when my abs contracted it was so sharp that I sat bolt upright. Instead of getting hard though, I felt penetrating fear, like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
And that really was saying something.
She dropped a perfect hip as she gestured for him to pass her his phone, which was in his other hand.
“Here, let me give you my number. Just text me so I know it’s you. I’d stay and chat but I have somewhere I need to be.”
Without further adieu she handed it back, turned and walked out, leaving Julien typing in his phone. No doubt already sending her some douchy msg, bathing in the victory of an unexpected prey.
My heart contracted.
But she had no idea how dangerous he really was, and although I knew he wouldn’t physically harm her on their first date, I couldn’t let this happen. She would be in mortal danger if she got involved with Julien on any level, and I couldn’t let someone as beautiful as her fall through the cracks like so many before her. She was too special, too vital, and deep down I knew, I wanted her to be mine.
‘She IS mine.’
I had to stop her from meeting with Julien, or I’d never get the chance to look into those beautiful brown eyes and see her looking back at me. I decided right then and there to pursue her. I may have waited years before this, loathing myself and longing after her, as was my custom, but everything was different now. Julien had given me no choice.
I had to protect her.
* * *
I walked into the coffee shop and Angie was already there waiting. I was late and I knew she’d be pissed, so I wasn’t surprised she didn’t smile when she saw me.
“Sorry! I know I’m late. I ran into this super sexy guy at the gym, I guess he’s the owner?” I sat down and started pulling my Mac Book Pro outta one of my bags.
She just looked at me. “Anyways, I gave him my number and apparently he’s taking me out this week. That’s what he said anyways, we’ll see.”
Again, radio silence.
“How was your day, babe?” I gauged her response by looking in her eyes.
“Good. Though, I didn’t meet any super sexy guys.” And she laughed, finally.
I laughed too, mostly just glad she didn’t seem to be that mad.
“Ok, so let’s do this. What do you have for Instagram?” And after we grabbed our first coffee we went over our usual afternoon agenda, falling easily into our routine, posting on all the socials and answering comments.
This was one of my favourite parts of the day, when we could just hang out and laugh and be girls, creating magical things, from a place of openness. It would be edited and made to fit our brand standards in our late night meetings with theRoundTable, which was what I had started calling our badass little crew. But for now, the sun was shining on a beautiful day in the6ix, and I was happy to just play around with some ideas I had and see what came up in theProcess.
Angie and I have been friends since grade school and about a year ago she helped me get my brand off the ground by pushing me to my write my blog and work on my loungewear designs. She has an excellent sense of how to position things and just get shit done. Whereas I am more theInspired type, always on a new idea, never confident enough to finishing anything, let alone sell it. Over the last year we had completed more things with my brand than in the whole rest of my life combined!
We imagined and planned the rest of the afternoon away and by 4 o’clock I was maxed out on coffee and getting hungry.
“Well, I’m gunna head home and bathe. Movie night tonight?” I asked.
“Definitely! I have some of Ma’s lasagna left over. We can devour that. Dessert?” She knew I lived for dessert. “Ya, I’ll grab something on the way home, probably from Rosario’s again. Do you want cinnamon or strawberry this time?”
“Ok, I’ll see you in a bit. Put the coffee on the card, ya?”
“Ya,” she said, already going back to her emails.
“Vampire Knight?” I asked her. An anime show on Netflix we had found the night before.
“Defffffinitely!” She squealed and I responded with an equally excited giggle.
I kissed her cheek and left, excited to get back to moving about. I had sat for too long and my hips were tight. I reveled in the stretch that walking brought, all the while, my face to the sun. The street was busy, as Kensington Market always is in Toronto’s summertime. The farmer’s markets were full of colour and the rich smells of fruit and earth. But I was looking for my favourite little Italian bakery just on the corner up the street, Rosario’s.
I had been coming here since I first moved to the city and buying up everything I could, from mini cheesecakes to massive cinnamon twists. This place made me feel warm and safe, like a child again.
After I grabbed our basic necessities for the night I hurried back home, again enjoying the exhilaration of walking about in the warm weather. I climbed the stairs to the top floor of my building and down the hall to my apartment. I lived above a clothing boutique on Queen Street West and when I opened the door, Caesar and Dutchess, my two little kitties ran over, tackling each other as they did to get to me first. They were past their kitten stage and growing into beautiful young ladies.
“Ah, my beautiful babies. How are you today, Lovelies?” And I kissed and cuddled them both in turn and moved to put my things down.
Happy for another successful day of achieving my routines, I sighed as I walked through my entryway and into the open concept living room. I felt great and had already accomplished so much in such a short period of time that I felt I could relax and just gap; do whatever.
I showered quickly and got dressed, black and tan sweats with a black body suit and black socks and my black and gold house slippers, the boujee slider kind. I was obsessed with the Versace ones, especially for lounging around the house. I hadn’t washed my hair so I fixed my pony and walked into the kitchen to find a snack. I saw my phone on the counter, and as I passed it to grab a banana, I noticed a message. It was an unknown number.
Julien no doubt.
I opened it and it read,
‘Savana, it was so nice to meet you today at the gym. Your smile lit up my day and I’d love to take you out for dinner this evening, if you’re free. If not, tomorrow I’m also available at 7pm, but only for a quick bite and a drink. Let me know which works best for you. Hoping to hear from you and see you soon. –J’
I bit off a chunk of my banana and put it on the counter. While I chewed I typed,
‘Julien, likewise it was nice to meet you today! Unfortunately, tonight I have plans, but tomorrow I’d love to meet up for a drink!’
I picked up my banana again and just as I bit into it he responded,
‘Great! So glad you decided to meet with me. I’ll pick you up at 7pm. Send me your address.”
I paused. I really didn’t wanna send him my home address, I don’t even know this guy. He could be a psychopath! I laughed at myself and then sent,
‘737 Queen St. W’
‘Looking forward to it!’
‘Enjoy your evening! See you tomorrow at 7 :)’
As I put my phone down I felt a bit of dread, almost regret, but I shook it off and killed the last bite of banana.
‘I’ll be out in public, it’s no big deal.’
I went into the living room and opened the patio door. Dutchess came over as I was laying out my yoga mat for a good stretch. I put music on with my phone and relaxed into my breathing and stretching routine. My body felt great after my martial arts class. It was just basic conditioning right now, but I enjoyed starting from the very beginning. There were no expectations in those classes, and I loved that. I felt revived and stronger than ever just from a couple months of going for it once a week. It really cleared my mind. When I walked into the gym I was there with unobstructed focus. And like the dance floor, I felt that I could work out my greatest problems there.
Well, perhaps except for today.
Julien was beautiful, wasn’t he.
There was no doubt about that.
And that smile, my god, could make you weak in the knees for real, for real.
There was something unsettling in his eyes. Perhaps I was looking too much into it, but he seemed like a big, wild cat, a true predator. His eyes were startlingly green, a vibrant hue, accented by the ring of golden yellow around his pupil, which only made the blackness of it more apparent. He had a sort of slyness to his movements, too, just a little too fluid, too fast, too perfectly controlled. Guess that’s what happens when you own a martial arts training facility. He was absolutely impressive.
Yet I wasn’t impressed. Why?
I had had a reaction to him on a physical level, no doubt, and I was on the hunt for a serious relationship after a near decade of being single and enjoying my freedom as I saw fit.
So why isn’t he as interesting to me as he should be?
‘He really is just my type – tall, dark and handsome. Great smile, obviously with some level of intelligence if he could run a successful business, and he spoke very well. His grammar, thus far, was immaculate. And he seemed to have good manners.’
Hmm, so why the hesitation?
I leaned into my forward bend and breathed through it deeply. Maybe I just needed to see more of him. Tomorrow I would get to know more.
‘He really is sexy as fuck. Get over yourself and enjoy this, it’s not everyday a guy of this caliber gives you attention.’
Ah, there she is. theDucthess has risen folks.
My Prestigeous Ego, say hello to the Beautiful Readers come to hear our story. She loves attention, and to get on her good side you need do nothing more than admire and adore her.
‘Hello, Beautiful Being. This is really My story, but you’ll see that soon enough. I’ll give you a little teaser, for I do love to be teased. But I should warn you, don’t ever make the mistake of teasing without pleasing, not a Portuguese female anyhow. So I shall say this in full confidence of your prolonged pleasure – if you believe in us, this story will make you more powerful than you could ever imagine. We are living in the unknown unknown now, and you can too… for more exists than you can fathom at this moment and herein lies the journey to theTruth. Pain for pleasure… as is always required. Trust me though, it’s worth it, you beautiful thing you.’
I smiled, pleased with the feeling, took one more deep breath and moved over to my couch to meditate a while before Angela came over. My kitties cuddled up with me and as I pulled my blanket over my feet, the softness and warmth of it and my cats was so delicious I closed my eyes and felt sleep grip me and pull me down. I didn’t resist, it felt too good. I slept and slept and dreamed and dreamed. And when Angela shook me awake, it was with a slow drudge, as if from quick sand that I came back to consciousness.
“Hey, fuck,” I laughed, “I must’ve fallen asleep. What time is it?”
Dutchess yawned with me and Caesar stirred behind my knees. I was so comfy I hardly wanted to wake up, but I could feel my hunger deep in my belly.
“Seven,” she said. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
“Word? Damn.” I laughed again, peaceful and relaxed. “Let’s eat man, I’m starving.”
Angie’s smiled spread across her face, devilish and she looked at me, waiting for me to ask.
“Whaaaat did you bring?!” I knew it was something good.
“CHIPS!” She yelled. “Annnnnnd… GARLIC BREAD!” I laughed and jumped up grabbing Dutchess and clutching her against me, leaving Caesar, hardly bothered, but confused non the less, looking up at us from behind sleepy eyes. I could almost swear I saw Dutchess’ blue eyes rolling at me.
I give no fucks of your judgment little one! HA HA!
I was hungry and excited and we danced towards the kitchen to cook up a feast!
When we all sat down for dinner and a movie I couldn’t have been happier. This was my little family and I loved them with all my heart. We cozied up and put on Episode 4, Season One, Vampire Knight. I was fast becoming obsessed with this show, as I was with any, remotely decent, Vampire tale.
For as long as I could remember I was fascinated by Vampire stories and other mythical lore. From dragons to witches, angels to demons, it with a bit of sex or lust and a love story underlying it all… and oh ya, I was hooked. I could watch a show endlessly and over and over if I really got into it, and with only four episodes under my belt, I knew this one would be a favourite, forsure.
Kaname. He was the most powerful and the most beautiful, and he so obviously was devoted to her. And, of course, she was clueless and unique, beautiful in her own right. A good girl with a pure heart, strong will and, if my predictions were right, she’d have her moment in the dark, as we all do.
‘Sigh. Alas, he is perfect.’
Yes, perfect for her.
I mused a bit more as I packed a bowl and, after I took a puff, handed it to Angie. Dutchess lifted her nose to it as I blew out a milky white cloud of dense smoke.
Indica. Oh, my sweet, sweet Indica. How I love you so.
I was full and saturated, and comfy as could be on my chaise, stretched out with Ange beside me on the couch and Caesar between us, curled up in Angie’s feet. Dutchess was with me, as she always was.
I had gotten the kittens together from the shelter down the street. I quickly realized Caesar, though female, was the protector and the mature one around here, no doubt about it. Dutchess and I were the flighty ones, always off and inspired by some thought that few ever saw or understood. We were kindred spirits, Dutchess and I, so I named her after my ego, and when I was home she was always by my side.
The night played on, the show was even better than I expected, and when we finished episode 9 I told Ange I was tired and I’d see her tomorrow. She left and I realized I hadn’t told her about Julien and our date tomorrow!
Oh well, I’ll tell her in the morning.
I scooped up Dutchess and went to grab Caesar, and as was her custom, she growled and pranced off the couch herself, her head held high with dignity and pride. She led us into the bedroom and looked about before jumping up on the high bed and settling at the base, facing the door, as she liked to do.
I had one of those propped up, massive canopy beds. But it was makeshift, which I always thought made it more extravagant, not less. I had made the curtains and frame myself. My bedroom was dark and sensual, with hints of rich wood and cherry themes. Black and red with pops of gold, that was my go to. It was my brand, and it was my bedroom, that same colour scheme.
I pulled back my covers, plumped up my pillows and after carefully putting Dutchess on her pillow by mine I crashed into bed, falling completely into my relaxed body. I closed my eyes and with a deep breath I thought…
‘Something about those eyes…’
and then I was fast asleep.
* * *
I woke up to Dutchess curling into my chest, purring and pawing at her pillow, pushing herself closer to me. Caesar crawled up to join the cuddle fest.
Joy, pure joy.
I felt as if I could stay like this forever, with my little babes until sunset, and then I would be full of love and could get up and live my life. But, I sighed and stretched, mimicking a cat and got out of bed. I went to my bathroom and fixed myself, best I could before coffee anyhow, and went on to make that first glorious pot. I drank decaf, believe it or not. I realized about 2 years ago, that real coffee was completely unnecessary for me. In fact, it made me anxious and over time, just plain sickly. It took way more than it gave, so I moved to decaf and haven’t looked back since.
Really, it was an easy switch once I understood how caffeine was affecting my body. I’ve been really into stuff like that lately, self awareness. And really, self love. I’ve been reading so many self improvement books in the last few months, though I’ve always read and it isn’t exactly a subject that is new to me, but with my focus now, it’s like a craving this idea of learning and experiencing self awareness. It’s not obsessive but it is definitely aggressive.
I devour books.
I grabbed my coffee and went over to my little desk space by the patio and opened my MBP. Here I had natural daylight and though, not much to look at – the sky and the top of some houses, a few trees – I loved it here most. My little patio had become my oasis and I was lucky to have such a private and spacious one, though I wouldn’t call it big. I had a swinging love seat facing out, then a table with two upright lounge chairs on the other side. Plants and some hanging baskets – cute lighting, candles everywhere. You know, the usual.
I loved my morning routine, as soon as I sat down here I felt brilliant, like I could conquer anything I wanted to. Here, anything was possible. All I had to do was wake up, at my own pace, and get my mind right. I watched YouTube videos mostly. Make up tutorials from my favs, Carli Bybel, Jamie Genevieve, or MarieTV, which was definitely my current fav on the self improvement kick. Kyle Cease and Lewis Howes, or sometimes it would be music videos or sewing tutorials. Really, I never put constraints on my morning routine. I go wherever my mind or heart wants to go. And I have very diverse tastes.
This morning, I jumped on YouTube and started with a Summertime Makeup Look from Jamie Genevieve. She always made me smile and just feel good, so I loved watching her first most mornings. I felt a bit on edge today and I wasn’t sure until just then what it was.
Good morning to you, too. And I scowled inwardly.
I sipped my coffee and took a moment, savouring the flavour.
Yes, this would be an interesting day, wouldn’t it. And what was I to make of this mystery man? I ask theUniverse for a man, for a grand love if it is my time for it, if it’s what is truly intended for my happiness – a co-creation, if you will. And I would remain open to it. I was attracted to Julien, no doubt, but what was this sense, why the hesitation?
I sipped again. And again. I lit a cigarette and Dutchess hopped onto the desk, settling into her little spot by the window. She had a pillow and a small scratch post with tiers, and on the second level another pillow. She swooped up to the top and sat perched, so majestic in her elegance, atop her castle. She was beautiful. I watched her and sipped for a few moments more. She looked out at the world as if a monarch watching over her kingdom. It was inspiring, truly, her calm and grace.
‘He’s too smooth. There’s no way he’s gunna be into a long term relationships and you know you don’t wanna just fuck right now, so why go out with him at all? I mean, we could just fuck… I’d certainly love to experience that. You know he’d be great in bed, nobody with a body that nice and walks like that isn’t good in bed. The way he carries himself, is fuckin’ inspiring! And he’s obviously very successful, so he’s been with a bunch of women. If he wants you, you should go out with him. How often do you meet a young, gorgeous, wealthy guy in Toronto? Other than never of course. To meet a guy you’d have to put yourself out there, even once a year Savana! Geezus! And here comes this guy, who wants to take you out, and even if he just wants sex, you LOVE SEX! I LOVE SEX! LET’S GO HAVE SEX DAMNIT! You never really know what could come of it…’
Ya, ya, of course he’s all those things, and he likes me, sure… Or he must, since he asked me out, and so clearly usually gets what he wants. Six months ago I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to go out with a guy like him. So hot, and he owned a gym, and was clearly wealthy ‘cuz his shoes were designer and though I’m sure everything he wore was expensive, it wasn’t gawdy or overdone. It was just the right amount of flash…
‘Since when do you like flash anyways? Money means nothing and you know it, but at least the sex wouldn’t be bad, so really what have you got to lose? Even if you make the mistake of sleeping with him and he only wants the sex, girl we need a good fuck. For real. It’s been months damnit! And I’m EXHAUSTED BY YOUR IRRATIONAL JUDGEMENTS!’
I took a deep breath, came back to full awareness of my body, and Dutchess, and sipped my coffee again.
Ok, I’ll go out with him, but if I get weird vibes, we’re fuckin’ outta there.
‘No doubt. I’m coming! We should wear those new stilettos from TSOQ!’
And at that, Dutchess eyed me and crawled gracefully down to her bigger pillow where she could lounge and still watch the clouds that passed by, going about their business, as if it mattered to her.
More makeup tutorials.
I started to feel out what I would wear, and how I would do my make up, my hair, pair the shoes, etc. I loved doing this, planning and getting dressed up. Especially for a hot date!
I have a hot date.
It was weird to even say, but I was going through with this damnit!
I need to do this.
Besides, I always had my security grade pepper spray on me, and I’d tell Angie where I was going and if I could, I’d probably give her play by plays as the night went on. Just quick snip its, cuz he said a quick bite and a drink was all he had time for.
If we were only going to be out for a few hours I could wear those stilettos forsure!
Hmm, maybe I should wear a dress. It’s been like, forever, and my legs are so nice right now. I’d love to show them off.
‘Ya, definitely, a dress or skirt! YAY!!!’
I called one of my dear friends, Luca for a wash and blowout after my spin class. He had a free space about an hour after I’d be done at the gym, so I decided I’d have lunch at my favourite spot by my house, Parisco.
The food was home cooked by Olya; a little Ukrainian woman who reminded me of my Vavo. She was always bustling about the kitchen, had a warm plate and something delicious for dessert. My kinda spot.
The morning and early afternoon went by as peacefully as you could imagine. I enjoyed the hell outta my spin class, my favourite instructor was teaching today and she was badass. She just knew when to push and when to ease up, and the whole class was vibrant and energized by the end. I felt incredible and was excited to get some grub. I practically speed walked to Parisco which was only about 4 minutes away, especially walking that fast and sat down with a thump.
“Helloooo!” I rang out, and Olya’s round and pleasant face came peeking from the open door of the kitchen. She always had a full face of makeup on, and her hair was beautiful as ever. I noticed the new highlights immediately and noted that I would compliment them at some point during the course of my lunch.
“Oh, my Savana, Darling! How are you? We missed you yesterday!”
“I know, I met Ange at Second Cup for some work on theBlog. It was easier to meet there with her coming from work. You know how she is.”
And I got up to hug her as she came over with my tea and croissant. “How’s Matthew?” Her middle aged son who, though was successful enough as a real estate broker, still lived in her rather small two bedroom apartment with her and her new husband.
“He’s good, you know, always the same. What are you having today? I’ll go make and come sit,” she said, smile bright as ever.
“Ok, I think I’ll have the goat cheese salad with chicken today, please. Thank you, Olya!” I said as she hurried away to make me lunch. Erika, the server was cleaning a table and said ‘hi’ as she passed. She was so sweet, always a big smile. She was Ukranian too, as was the owner, but none of them were related, just good friends and friends of friends and family. They had created a great atmosphere in here, and I loved the place dearly because of it. It was so nice to be able to just run down the street and have a place that brought me back to my childhood so easily and in the most comforting way possible.
The door opened and two young guys walked in. They were a bit younger than me, maybe 23, 25? They went up to the counter to pick up a take out order and when one of them looked at me he immediately leaned into his friend and whispered something. My guess was it was something along the lines of, ‘yo, check out the girl’.
Inwardly I rolled my eyes, not in the mood for that kind of attention, but decided to breath it out anyways.
‘Ain’t my fault I’m so hot.’
Then the door opened again, and Julien walked in.
Without thinking, I practically shouted, astonished, “What are you doing here?!”
Just as quickly, and with wide eyed astonishment, he said, “I’ve been coming here for years! What are you doing here?!”
We paused, both frozen in a moment of mutual surprise and I, for one, had no idea what to say. I stayed in surprise for what felt like a long time, looking in those gorgeous green eyes.
He’s so beautiful, how come I didn’t see it before? He is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, especially in real life, and without any retouching. Ha!
Now, I laughed. A huge smile rolled up from my chest and I got up to hug him. I almost stopped myself when I realized what my body was moving to do, but he stepped forward into it just as I was getting up so I didn’t think a moment longer on it. It felt natural, like the most natural thing in the world to do, and what’s more, it’s what I wanted to do. On a mental and a physical level, I wanted to hug him and be in his arms; to wrap my arms around him was important to me.
It was weird, now that I think about it, cuz we hugged like old friends that ran into each other in a foreign country or something, we held it. He held me, and I him, and we just enjoyed the hug as if we knew each other.
It felt like I knew him.
That’s so weird, it was nothing like this yesterday.
“Julien, it’s so good to see you! I didn’t expect to see you until tonight, but I’m glad we ran into each other. Are you staying for lunch, you’re welcome to sit with m—”
That’s when I registered the look on his face.
He had blanched when I mentioned meeting him for drinks later, but I didn’t think anything of it until now. He looked sick, as if he was going to be sick. But that quickly changed to anger right before my eyes. Now he felt mad, and what I mean by that is this, his face went so completely calm that it was frightening. Again, like a large predator, but this time it was no cat, it was a beast of some unknown form. He leaned into me and grabbed my wrist, his eyes focused on mine, and so intense I couldn’t think or move or anything. I just stood there, staring into his piercing green eyes as the entire world faded into non existence.
He could’ve asked anything of me in this moment and I would’ve complied without question, but all he did was sigh, and run his free hand through his hair, and guide me to my seat. I sat without question and so did he. His eyes never left mine and I felt a bit faint when the world around us came back in to my peripherals.
What the hell was that? Did he really just freak out for a second there? And why.
‘He might be meeting someone.’
I remembered that I had asked him a question, “If you’re meeting with someone, or something, it’s fine. You don’t have to sit with me.” I started to ramble at the unknown expression on his face. He still hadn’t spoken a word.
“I was just grabbing a quick bite and then heading home,” I lied. I decided last minute I didn’t wanna tell him I was getting a wax and a blow out this afternoon in lieu of our date. The wax was mostly cuz it had been forever and I hated shaving my vajee and thighs, so it was a bit wild atm.
He smiled, still strained around his eyes, and said, “Savana.”
That one thing made my guts wriggle excitedly, and I stifled a little gasp as the shock of my name on his lips with that velvety voice curled around me like a warm, wet tongue.
‘JFC, get your head in the game, girl! What the hell are you doing thinking about that right now. Fix your face!’
Oh my, he is delicious.
A wry smile played out in my emotions but I kept it from crossing my lips. In but a moment, we had changed the energy between us, I could feel it. Whatever had angered him before was long gone.
‘Maybe it had nothing to do with me after all.’
“I’d love to have lunch with you, and I’m glad I ran into you just now. Very glad.” He smiled. “I only meant to say that I’d like to take you out earlier tonight than previously planned. Are you available?”
“Uhm, yes. Definitely! I can be ready by 5, is that early enough for you?”
He smiled wider this time and my breath caught in my throat at the magnificence of it. He had beautiful straight, white teeth, and his tongue was shockingly and perfectly pink. It was a weird thing to notice, I know, but it was just so beautiful, his mouth. I had to work to control the emotions coursing through my body.
“5pm then. I can send an Uber for you, or would you like to meet me instead?”
I was surprised he wasn’t offering to pick me up this time, maybe I really had over reacted about his asking for my address before. I did that sometimes, like we all do, jump to conclusions about people, make stupid assumptions.
He must’ve read my hesitation because he asked, “What is it?”
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
I continued, “It’s just, when you said before you would pick me up I was planning on wearing these bomb new stilettos I just got…” Pause.
‘What IS that emotion on his face? What is he thinking?!’
“But really, it’s not big deal! I have tonnes of shoes, I can totally just wear something else.”
His face was unmistakably radiating anger this time. I was so anxious about it I continued to ramble on for at least two more minutes, apologizing for nothing really, until finally he said, “Savana. I will pick you up.” And a bit snarky? “I’m glad you trust me enough to give me your home address, though we just met.”
Is that judgment?
‘What the hell? What’s his problem! Maybe it’s a test…’
My mouth hung open and I just stared. I didn’t know what to say, except I felt this weird need to defend my actions. Instead of acting on the impulse I observed it.
How odd… I actually feel like this is a different person. He has me intimidated. This is intimidation I’m feeling right now. What changed, and is it him or me?
“Julien, I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say.” And I let it just hang there, admitting my defeat in the matter. I had no idea how to react to this guy, or what to say. And it was even weirder that I was being so open and honest about not knowing exactly how to handle myself in this moment. He had me shook, and I was admitting it to him!
This is new.
“Here, give me your number again, I have a few phones and I left the other one in my car.” He handed me his phone.
I noticed immediately that it was the same phone but this one had a gorgeous red case that I couldn’t help but admire. It was like marble with deep veins running through a polished stone base, I’d never seen anything like it. I would’ve loved it for my own phone, which was the same model, the xPhone 50. It had the best camera on the market and it was perfect for a blogger like me with its super speed and app options. I made sure everyone on my team had one for work, so I wasn’t at all surprised that he had two phones. I had three myself, and an xPad!
As I typed my name and number into his phone for the second time I asked, “Will you tell me how you came to own a gym downtown Toronto after you order yourself something for lunch?” I paused with his phone in my hand to look up and meet his eyes.
He had been staring at me, and his face had grown peaceful, and… what was that underlying emotion?
Joy? Happiness? No, it was something more…
He seemed like a really content guy. The kind of person you wanted, so badly, to know their secret of living, what was surely, an extraordinary life.
“I’d love too, Savana.” His demeanour was intense, slways making eye contact and his posture was that of a trained dancer, so precise. He had the kind of presence that made most people uncomfortable in their own skin at worst, and intimidated at best.
I smiled massively at the sound of my name spoken in his voice.
‘What a beautiful thing that is.’
Yes, a beautiful thing. He is stunning, isn’t he?
And Olya came into view, bee-lining it for us, her focus intent.
“Hunny! I made your favourite!!” And as I smiled, a bit confused by what she meant, Julien jumped up and wrapped his whole self around her. She practically disappeared, as she was so tiny and he so tall. He had to be 6’3”-6’5” and Olya was what, 5’1” on her most limber day?
She giggled and wriggled, wrapping her arms around his waist. She smiled at me from under his arm, her eyes more alive than I had ever seen before. As he settled back into his seat, she looked to me with a huge smile, and we hung there in a moment of pure excitement. I didn’t know what to say but I hoped she would approve of him, and him and I.
I had always cared for her opinions and experiences in life, and when she took the time to tell me something, I listened. Her advice was precious to me, and so were her thoughts on any man I decided to get involved with. This would be our first test.
She just smiled, looking from me to him and back again. He smiled at her with such boyish charm that I could picture him when he was younger. So open and loving, so caring but also wild and free, his own man.
I bet from a young age he was the maturest person around him.
‘That means he has a dark side, Dear. Don’t forget your own experience with this. He may have anger or substance issues. 20% baby.’
He’s so beautiful, there’s no way there’s something in there I would walk away from. I could handle anything for him.
For a moment more, and in perfect comfort, we all just smiled at each other, and I tried to keep my mind from racing.
theGap, pure joy.
“So, what you gunna have?” She looked at Julien.
When I looked at him I thought for a moment I saw fear leaving his face. I was sure I saw it.
It was such a different energy than just a second before when we had all been smiling.
He smiled again, “My favourite please, Olya. And can I have a croissant and tea to start, as well?” He gestured to my plate and cup.
“Of course, Darling. One minute, I be right back.” And she hurried away.
He looked to me and smiled, big as ever. “How funny, that you know Olya also. She has been like a Mother to me for years now, or at least that’s how it feels when I’m here. Always a warm meal and big hug waiting. She genuinely cares how I’m doing, I never want to under appreciate that kind of love and attention.”
I just stared, so keen on his words. I was ashamed of being shocked, but more dominant was my pure, undivided attention to his whole demeanour. This was NOT the man I was expecting to have a drink with tonight. He was so pure, and down to earth, and there was something deeply sad within him.
Not defeated, but saddened by his burden. I wonder what it could be.
‘He’s too beautiful to be this sad.’
He really is beautiful.
“I know just what you mean, babe,” and I smiled casually, knowing I had assumed a level of comfort that was not likely normal in his social circles. Though casually dressed, he had an unmistakable air of sophistication.
I gauged his reaction by staring into his eyes.
He stared back, the emotion on his face was hard to be sure about, but if I had to bet my last dollar, I would say it was awe. At what, I couldn’t imagine. But he seemed surprised by the moment and not entirely sure what to say, as if he didn’t believe what he was seeing was true. He was happy, there was no doubt about that, his whole body radiated satisfaction. Though he seemed to hold an unnatural amount of strain in his jaw and neck. His chest was tight, but his whole demeanour said, interested.
‘He’s giving his undivided attention, no question.’
I spoke first. “I too, have been coming here for years. Actually, I live just up the block, so it’s like my home away from home. Or at least it feels that way. I don’t have much family that I’m close with and I like how it reminds me of my childhood.” I looked down and then back into his eyes. “A simpler time.”
“It is my turn to say I understand your meaning. I feel just that way. You actually explained it better than I probably ever could have.” And he gave a small laugh, raising his eyebrows and half smiling back at me. He looked, again, like a boy with his grin and perfect teeth.
Now he sat up and started to rub his hands together, keeping his youthful excitement, “So, let’s get this date started early! What do you do for work, Savana?”
And we both laughed at the abruptness of it. I sat more upright, excited by his enthusiasm, the energy seeming to course through me and to him, and back again. It was truly invigorating.
I talked him through my bar job that I hardly worked anymore, maybe two, three times a month. And he asked all kinds of questions about the people I work with and my favourite and least favourite parts of the job. He asked about my experiences in school and how long I had lived on my own, what my last, and really, only relationship was like – how it started, how it ended, who ended it. All of that.
I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable at all, getting so personal. I decided the moment he hugged me, I’d tell him anything he wanted to know that was mine to tell. So we ate, and chatted easily and comfortably with joy and laughter. It really was like catchin’ up with an old friend.
‘I don’t even know if I have ‘old friends’ like this!’
Ha! He’s so full, so whole. I don’t know …. He’s so intriguing.
We conversed with so much fluidity that the time flew by and I was surprised when I forked the last bite of salad into my mouth. It was delightful, as always, and I felt great and full of energy already. Especially sitting here with Julien. I didn’t wanna leave but I had to get to my appointment or I would miss it!
‘Then my hair will be shit and I’ll not be able to show him how good I am at packaging. This one deserves the nines, no doubt. I wanna show him how much I enjoy his company and how pretty I can be.’
We really are beautiful, and you’re right, he deserves the nines.
‘Let’s go home and play, shall we?’
“Julien, it was so wonderful to run into you, and if you’ve not gotten sick of me, I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight.”
Straight to the point.
“Savana, I can’t wait to see you tonight. Please, unless it’s an emergency, don’t bail on me, ok?”
“I wont, promise.” He started at that. It was slight, but I caught it.
Then he said, in perfect repose, “I have to go now,” and grabbing his phone off the table he went to the counter to pay his bill.
I took a moment to watch him. He was tall and, not slender, but slim and very athletically built. To me, he was everything I liked. He had beautiful, naturally tanned skin, his features were dark and his eyes brilliant, and other than that perfect smile and undoubtedly perfect figure, he had the most beautiful back of the neck I had ever seen. He was clean shaven and I loved a fresh cut in the back. It made my mouth water. I was surprised at the direction my body went, sensation wise, in that moment. It was vulgar to wanna touch yourself in a public place.. or better yet, to think about him touching me, right there on the table, or even more delicious, the L shaped couch in the corner.
‘Yes, Beautiful Being, it’s a weird thing to love, but I love it none the less. The back of a man’s neck and to the side, under his ear. Mouth watering goodness.’
Yes, he is stunningly beautiful, but who was the person I met yesterday? He was so different then. Is he this way now because he has decided he wants me, whereas yesterday it was all too sudden to completely reserve his natural behaviour.
Oh, Precious, Lovely Being, why are we all so complicated?
‘Sex. Couch. I wonder if he’s as good as he looks.’
He certainly doesn’t seem to have a modicum of insecurity.
After smiling at Erika behind the counter, who was so enthralled with him I could stare and take in her reaction without her noticing the rude behaviour, he seemed to hesitate before turning around. And then he did, and walked back towards me.
I got up and as he was coming close enough to touch, I reached out with my left hand and pinch his shirt, pulling him in for a hug. A smile crossed both our lips before he wrapped his long arms around me. His body was so warm and he completely surrounded me. I had never enjoyed a hug so much and I was a majour hugger.
This is where I wanna be.
He had a sense of calm in his presence that was like heroine. I knew I would need this more, and regularly if I was to survive here after.
“Julien,” I sighed into him, not completing my sentence.
But he went tight. I could feel him triggered by… what? It was so drastically different than the blissful moment before that I felt unsure about whether to let go or not. For a moment, I just tried to freeze.
He felt it, and released the hug, still holding me, he pulled back and looked down into my eyes.
“Savana, I should–“ but he stopped. He lowered his eyes from mine, and then after releasing a breath he said, “I’ll see you tonight.” And let me go fully.
I had my balance but I felt as if all the light from my life was leaving, had just left me.
Been ripped away.
‘Must he go?’
He turned and walked away without eye contact. It hurt like a chest wound. I stayed, watching him leave until I could see him no more, and after an unknown moment of time, the small café that I called my second home came back into my awareness.
He was gone.
‘But we will see him tonight so you better get your ass to your hair appointment or we are gunna look like shit!’
Ok, yes, let’s do it! OO-RA!
‘Thank god Logan had time for a wax today too! Luckyyy.’
“Olya! I’m going!” I waved and smiled at her, busy in the kitchen. She was always busy and rarely ever sat, even when she wanted to. “Erika, nice to see you, as always.”
She rang up my bill and after I left my usual 30% cash tip I grabbed my things and headed to see Luca. We had known each other for years, he used to cook at the bar I worked at a couple days a month and we had become close friends during our late nights when the bar was so dead we’d have time to talk for hours on end. He was married to a beautiful human, Norman, and they had a boujee life set up in the east village, pure socialites, but the best of kinds. We got together now and again for cocktails and always had bbq’s and little outings in the summer. They were also one of my favourite friend groups to go to cottage country with, as they had the standards and tastes that I liked.
I love my queer men.
‘Yes, I do. They are the most fun and easy to spend long periods of time with. Too much is never enough!’
He was in good spirits, as always. And we easily fell into catching up on the lastest details in gossip, personal and otherwise. Luca wore makeup, like a lot of gay men in Toronto, and some straight men too. Now that it was all over YouTube it was stepping out into the streets, and we loved it! We chatted about our favourite new highlighter from Maybelline New York, the Master Chrome ‘Molten Gold’, and raved with excitement about the rumours of more colours coming out later in the summer. I had heard of Rose Gold and he had heard about the Holographic trend supposed to be taking over runway and beauty. I was super excited about my latest post on instagram and the attention it was getting from some of my favourite brands, and he was stoking me up about how Covergirl liking a photo was a big deal, as they were so mainstream and most of my brand was directed at a more niche market.
We laughed as he worked his magic. He was very successful at hair dressing but his main, and widely unknown passion was in decorating cakes. He made elaborate and fanciful cakes for weddings and birthdays and any other occasion he found a passionate client for. He had always been on the go, and now he had found a routine and lifestyle that he truly loved. We bonded over that, amongst other passions and hobbies, and had always been able to laugh about the rest.
I loved Luca dearly, and was there when his mother had past away the previous Christmas. It had been a hard time for him because he and Norman had just gotten married and though it was to be their first Christmas spent with Norman’s side of the family, Luca felt he just had to get away. Knowing that I always spent my Christmas’ alone, he called me, and came to stay with Dutchess, Caesar, and I for the remainder of the holidays.
Surprisingly, it had not been a somber time, but a time of celebration. Luca had wanted nothing more than to remember and celebrate and hold in high regard the life of his mother, and all she had accomplished. We spent days and days going through old photographs and the storage locker she had left in Niagara on the Lake, his hometown.
‘It was a special time.’
As he washed my hair the conversations subsided, and I became still and quiet. This always happened when Luca gave his head massages. He had magical fingers and his energy was beautifully calm and reassuring. I felt so at peace here, in his salon, that I could never regret making the decision to budget for regular blowouts and cuts. I didn’t dye my hair, I preferred my natural colour even with the light greys that were slowly but surely making themselves known.
We did often play with the idea of dyeing my hair, many times actually, but we still hadn’t pulled the trigger on any one of them yet. He liked balyage, I liked dramatic colour change, like red or purple-ish black. But my natural hair colour was the darkest, richest brown with all kinds of natural highlights, though in most lighting it looked black. And because I was only half Portuguese, my skin tone was on the fair side of olive. The contrast was one of my best qualities, I always thought. And Luca didn’t contest it.
When he wrapped my hair in a towel and we walked back into the main room of the salon, and the noise, he asked, “So, what are we doing today?”
“Just a blowout, Darling. I have a hot date tonight!”
Knowing how he’d react to my withholding such juicy information for so long, I squealed with excitement and he lit up like a lantern!
“OH MY GOD! AND YOU WAIT UNTIL NOW TO TELL ME THIS!” he feigned anger.
I laughed out loud and sat in his famous barber chair. He put the cape on me and I smiled at him in the mirror, cheeky as ever.
“Tell me everything. Who is he? Where did you meet him? Is he gorgeous?!”
“His name is Julien, I met him at the gym yesterday, and yes! Good LORD, yes! He is brilliantly beautiful, and tall and sorta’… broody? But definitely handsome!”
And he started trimming my hair, even though I didn’t ask him to. He was already giving me a long side bang. I knew his style well and had learned to trust his intuition, it had never been off before. My hair was full and fine, and hung at any given time, to my natural waist with light layering around my face. I was open to anything that kept those basics and Luca always knew what I wanted even when I had no idea what I wanted. I had faith in him, so I continued.
“Actually, he owns the gym I take my Martial Arts class at, ‘member the new one I told you I was going to?” He nodded. “I tripped and fell right into him when I was leaving yesterday and he caught me. He didn’t waste any time in asking for my name and number so I gave it to him, no hesitation. I told you I was going to be more open and forward since asking theUniverse to guide me to a serious relationship. I was putting it to work, though I did feel a bit of dread or something after I first met him. But then today, I was at Parisco having lunch and who walks in?!”
“Oh my god! At Parisco?”
“Ya!” I said, mimicking his surprise.
“That’s so close to your house, maybe he lives in the area?”
“I duno, he said he had been going there for years! Which is so weird, cuz so have I and I’ve never seen him in there before, or even on the street. I surely would’ve noticed someone as beautiful as him if he was within my vicinity. I’m telling you, Luca, he’s not your average “good looking” guy. He’s stunning! Like a movie star. Pure GQ. I kid you not.”
“Woww! I hope I get to meet him.”
“Let’s see how tonight goes first, and then we can see about him meeting theFamily. But we had lunch together, and I think it went really well. Though he’s hard to read sometimes. I duno, I’m excited.”
“I’m so excited for you baby! A DATE! Hey everybody,” he said, turning to the whole room of clients and barbers, “my precious little Dumpling has a hot date tonight! Let’s all celebrate with a glass of bubbly, shall we?!”
Cheers and applause all around! I laughed and got giddy with embarrassment as everyone’s eyes turned to me. Luckily Steph at the front made a big show of the champagne being brought out and the attention quickly shifted elsewhere.
Luca ran his shop much like Barbershop, the movie. It was a community spot, where all were welcome, and there was almost always a reason for a glass of champagne. We kept a second fridge stocked in the basement with all the fixins of a good celebratory party. It was another of my favourite places to be, and sometimes I came by with Dutchess and Caesar to hang out and do henna on the clientele.
When I looked back in the mirror, my face had turned a flushed pink and I could feel the warmth and energy of my happiness.
Embarrassed or not, Luca always knows how to make someone feel special.
When my hair was done and looking fresh and gorgeous as ever, I checked my phone. Nothing from Julien, but I wasn’t surprised, or disappointed. Only excited to get home and start theProcess of getting ready to see my mystery man again.
‘And this time it won’t be by accident. Let’s see if we can impress the boy, as he has impressed us.’
I realized during my wax, while trying desperately to think of anything other than what was going on below the belt, that I had learned next to nothing about him during our lunch, other than the fact that he seemed to love Olya as much as I did, and he too, loved her cabbage rolls.
‘That’s not much of anything, is it?’
I love the way he treated her. And he did say she was like a Mother to him.
‘Does that mean he isn’t close to his own Mother? Or maybe she’s passed on.
Questions I look forward to getting the answers to in but a few short hours.
It was 2:30 then, so I had plenty of time to get ready, no matter what look I was going for, and my day had already been uber productive with hair, wax, and workout already checked off the list. Still, I was anxious to get home and get into it.
When I walked into my apartment, I was greeted by my Lovelies, as always and hurried to put on a pot of decaf, before packing a bowl and sitting at my window seat. I stared out sightlessly over the patio and as I lit my pipe I thought of his eyes during lunch.
So many emotions, so many private thoughts. I wonder if I will ever get a taste.
‘He really is the most delightful of delicious. I wonder if he likes to lick pussy?’
DUTCHESS! Geezus!! Relax, would you.
But I hardly meant it, and my body was already starting to react.
I guess I could have a short bath before getting into makeup.
I resolved to smoke, pour a cup of coffee, and after applying my pre-makeup skincare, jump in a bath and let my curiosity of Julien’s sexual preferences take over. It was a longer bath than I anticipated, but three orgasms had left me racked with desire but no less agitated physically. I had hoped to temper my physical longing so I could get through this date with a clear head, but it seemed I was bringing my desires along with me on this one.
Should be interesting.
‘You love it. Shut up.’
As I sat down in my beauty space, the kitties came and curled up in their spot, just to the right of my filming lights and set up. Dutchess pawed at Caesar’s ear, who seemed not to notice or care as she closed her eyes to take an afternoon nap. As I looked at them, I thought of how wonderful my life really was and how lucky I was to have them and everyone else who cared for the real mE. It was such a beautiful moment that I clasped my hands in front of my lips and smiled at them. Dutchess eyed me and purred, then she too, put her head down and slept.
I put on Harry Potter, one of my favourite things to get ready to, and began transforming myself into a living goddess…
No detail shall be left untouched!
It was thrilling and invigorating. I was so nervous and excited, but Harry Potter and his adventurous struggle kept me from focusing too much on any one thing. The hours drifted by as I pampered and primed. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was gunna wear when I finished my makeup, but it was down to this sexy little black dress I loved, a true favourite in my wardrobe OR a pair of black shorts, short but conservatively so. I could pair them with a soft gold, airy sweater with three quarter length sleeves. I could bring my cute little leather jacket and wear those new black stilettos I keep raving about.
‘Yes, the shorts.’
Yes, the shorts.
I switched off the lights and my camera and checked my phone.
‘FUCK! 4:30!? HOWWWW!????’
Relax. We’re ready.
Deep breath. I walked into my closet, which had it’s own room but was still modest, and grabbed what I needed. A small black purse with a long gold chain for the shoulder strap and a big gold hoop to carry it as a wristlet. It would go perfect with the gold hoops I had decided to wear in my ears.
My hair was down and lightly curled at the ends, giving it a wavy look, just how I liked it. It was easy to work with and had next to no product in it. I threw on a couple cute rings to show off the fresh manicure I had done two nights prior and I was ready. I looked at my phone, 4:45pm, and just then a message came through from an unknown number. It read,
‘Savana, I am early so please don’t rush, but I am outside. When you’re ready, come down.’
I smiled and responded with,
‘Be right there.’
‘Yes, it’s time. Goodluck.’
Thank you. Stay quiet, if you would. I really want this to go well.
‘It will. But no promises about staying quiet.’
And with a quick kiss to the kitties I left and locked my door behind me. I had brought only my keys, my phone, a lip gloss and my cards, a bit of cash for emergencies and that was it.
When I walked out of my building, Julien was parked a bit down the way, leaning against a black SUV. He looked proper.
How else can I describe to you the perfection of him?
He wore black jeans and a black, long sleeve shirt with a white under shirt intentionally peeking out the bottom. A small gold detailing I couldn’t make out at this distance was crested on his left cuff and over his heart, and black kicks topped it all off. He looked better than ever. His hair was more moody than earlier, hanging more in front, over one eye. He looked so sexy I could feel my body taking over my thought process.
Instead of panicking, I smiled, wildly excited to see him.
“Julien!” I beamed at him.
“Savana! How wonderful to see you again! You look stunning. Thank you for meeting with me.” And he threw his arms around me.
I giggled and jumped into his embrace, wrapping my arms tightly around him and burying my face in his neck. He smelled deliciously mouth watering. I clenched internally a little and actively tried to focus.
It was as good as I had remembered it. In the back of my mind there had been the fear that I had imagined our hug and the closeness I felt, in all it’s splendor. But no, it was as perfect as could be.
“Shall we?” And he gestured at the passenger side of his car, walking with me and opening the door. He held it for me as I sat, the excitement a trill in my ear, and after checking that I was comfortably seated, closed the door and moved coolly to his side and got in. He was all confidence and sexy swagger as I watched him move around the car, not overdone, just enough that it felt natural, like this is the way he has always moved.
He sat like a cat sits, with a natural grace that most creatures couldn’t dream of matching. And everything about the car smelled expensive but I didn’t care or notice. I was busy examining every detail I could see of him without being obvious and outright staring.
He had a ring on his right middle finger and a watch on that hand as well. It faced inwards and I couldn’t help but chuckle at that.
He looked at me, curious, after he pulled off the curb.
“What is it?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s just that I wear my watch on my right hand facing down as well. Most people wear it on their left wrist facing up…”
I rolled my eyes, pausing for effect.
“Cuz they say you’re supposed to,” he finished and laughed.
I looked at him surprised. “Yes! That’s exactly it!” And I laughed, too.
The city was busy and it took us longer than normal to get to where we were parking. He pulled into the underground garage near King and Spadina and I inwardly laughed.
‘If we end up at Westlodge right now…’
He’s gunna get to meet Donovan! Parisco AND Westlodge, literally my two favourite places.
“We’re gunna go for dinner at one of my favourite places to just come and relax.”
“Yo, if you say Westlodge right now…”
And he looked at me, clearly shocked, “You know it?”
“Of course I do, it’s one of my favourites!”
“Me too,” he said. “I’ve just recently discovered it, actually. A little gem amidst the rubble.”
I looked at his profile, impressed. “My thoughts exactly.”
As we exited the underground garage it started to rain lightly.
‘OH NO! MY HAIR!’
Relax. I told you to shut up!
“Give me your hand, let’s walk quickly so the rain doesn’t touch your hair.” And he reached for my hand. I happily put mine in his.
“Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight, Savana?”
Clench. “Yes, thank you. You too, look magnificent.”
He smiled at the compliment.
I was impressed how he accepted it. There was no insecurity in his demeanour, nor his response. He seemed genuinely happy to have my approval. It was refreshing and I walked with confidence into the restaurant. He opened the door for me and let me pass, putting his hand on my lower back as I did.
I felt every point of contact. It was delicious.
I like how he touches me.
As we entered through to the open second doorway and into the main body of the small restaurant, I turn to him and asked, “Do you mind if we sit at the bar. I have a friend who works here and he’d be disappointed if I came in and sat at a table. And I really do like the bar best of all.”
He paused and then smiled. I wasn’t sure what he would say next or how he would feel.
“Absolutely. I, too, love the bar here best of all. Though, not usually in other places.”
“That’s funny,” I said, moving towards the bar. “I’m just the same. I usually prefer anything but the bar actually, but this place is a special exception.
As we walked up to the bar, I spotted Donovan and he us.
“Have you met Donovan yet? He’s the b-“ They embraced in a bro-like handshake just as I was saying it and I shook my head and laughed. “Yes, of course you have.”
Donovan winked at me and was overly pleased to see me, and us together apparently. Julien never ceases to amaze me.
“Lovely too see you again, Darling. How are you?” I asked him.
“Good, always good. You know me,” he said and gestured for us to take our seats. The place was busy but the bar was relatively quiet. We took up two seats in the middle. Here, we could chat with Donovan and not be bothered by the other patrons chatting and eating their meals.
It was delightful to be in the warmth of my favourite spot with the new light and energy of Julien. And I was comforted by Donovan’s presence and obvious approval at my choice of date.
‘He really is perfect for me.’
Why did I have such reservations about him when we first met?
“Savana, I’m so glad we’ve met and gotten together today. All day I have felt as if an old friend has re-entered my life. And isn’t that funny, since I don’t really have any old friends I feel this good around.” And he laughed lightly.
“I realized, after leaving you this afternoon, that I really didn’t learn much about you, Julien.” I faced him in my barstool.
Did he pale slightly?
‘Hmm. Not surprising, I suppose. He must have at least some demons in his closet. You don’t stay wealthy without having misery, that’s forsure.’
Especially family money. Time to dig out that sadness, that oh so profound sadness that radiates from his Being.
“Where do you come from? What do you Love?” I smiled, and settling deeper into the back of my bar stool, I waited.
He took a breath in, and on the release, he said, “ I come from the same place you come from.”
I laughed at that, the irony of it. I was just thinking that exact thought. We really do all come from the same place, Earth. What does geography matter, in the larger sense of things? But If I knew the country he grew up in, the culture, I could envision glimpses of his life, and therefore see and feel through his senses. Or at least try to.
I want to feel what he has felt. I want to understand this man.
Now I frowned and tilted my head in a wry smile,
C’mon. You gotta give me more than that.
“Yes, of course,” he said, as if responding to my thoughts instead of my words. I only smiled, letting it slide. Again, I waited.
He sighed, a long, weary sigh, and started to tell me his story.
He had come from a wealthy family with powerful ties in Europe. His parents had been active members in the government there all throughout his childhood and he was raised with his two younger siblings, mostly in private institutions and they rarely met with their parents, but for the usual holidays and functions. His, was a family “establishment” and from what I learned of it, had military and government ties that ran so deep and powerful, I had no doubt of there affect on, at least, if not more, recent history. He talked of his people as if he was separate from them, though it was obvious to me he was not at all removed. They were likely still very active in his life. His underlying bitterness towards some of them, his brother and father especially, were obvious signs that these were all ongoing issues.
I listened, contented and with unadulterated focus. His story of his childhood was powerful and his way of telling it was beautiful. And though he tried to hide it, his most raw emotions were shining through the more he spoke. He is beautiful the way he holds eye contact. He doesn’t question his body or his voice, he just acts and speaks as he feels it.
There was no filter here and he was a beautiful being. It was wonderful to witness and even more so because he was there with me, speaking to me directly. He wanted to tell me his story.
‘I hardly thought this was where I’d be, and with whom, if you’d have asked me two days ago.’
That meditation was a powerful one.
He continued on with his young life experiences and extensive training all over the globe, which was basically like the rich kid’s version of University. Specialized Mastery of this, two years training with the blah blah of the blah blah. He went on and on about it. I couldn’t imagine having learned so much in such a short span of time, but I admired it and loved hearing about it in detail as he told it, leaning into all his descriptions of places and teachers he loved and why.
I wonder how old he is?
‘Shhh. I’m trying to listen.’
He seemed to have loved his earlier years training, when he didn’t have to choose his position within the organization and his obligations and responsibilities were less. But now, and for the last few years at least, he had run theInstitute, a program training all, on–ground personnel. While his brother, it sounded like, got more into the inner workings and politics of the family business.
His, was a consultant and tactics firm in weapons and security on what seemed an immeasurable scale. Some mass corporation I’d never heard of called EVD.
“My family is a big part of my life, obviously. But, in actuality, we’re not at all close. I do my own thing, live my own life. I’m in control. I have more say than I ever thought possible.” He sighed. “But that’s all in the past now.”
He looked at me with happy, and sad eyes.
“I know I told you I’d tell you more about me, but can you be satisfied with that for now? I really do wanna know more about you, Savana.”
And he smiled as I reacted to him saying my name for the third time. I smiled back, my eyes asking the internal question…
Did he know what saying my name did to me?
His expression answered,
‘He is playing with me!’
I smiled. I liked it. I wanted to play too.
I sat up, stretching slightly, and subtly but very sexy-like, recrossed my legs, lingering over the gap when they were fully opened and then sat back and settled once again into my chair, placing one hand in my lap and one propped on the arm of the bar stool.
I looked at him, staring into his eyes and watching every part of him to gauge his reaction.
It was obvious and evident he was present as he mimicked my body language and sat up with me, but he went near rigid when his attention was drawn to my bare legs. I had affected him. It was as if he was seeing my figure for the first time and he quickly snapped his eyes back up to mine rather than linger. He looked for a reaction, but there was none. This was one of my specialties. I could play dumb with the best of them, and in the most innocent way possible.
I saw him question my reaction, not quite sure if I had noticed his slip or not. He seemed puzzled, more than I expected him to be.
I smiled, not sure who’s move it was.
“Well, you certainly are an interesting young woman. I would like to see you again. Are you free any other night this week?”
I wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave or solidify another date, so I hesitated, “Yes, t-tomorrow, actually.” I said, trying and failing to sound casual about it. I was delighted he wanted to see me again. I hadn’t thought about it yet, but I was glad he asked me out again.
I never really made plans because I hated having the commitment of it, the lack of that simple freedom gave me unnecessary anxiety, so really my nights and mornings were always free, and mine to do with as I pleased, outside of basic obligations, of which I had very few.
‘Fuck, I shouldn’t have said the next night! He’s not gunna wanna get together again that soon! And he’s probably busy with work! DAMNIT!’
Wait and see what he says.
“Tomorrow might work actually. What time, is 10pm too late for you? I know it seems presumptuous of me, but really my thoughts are pure, I swear!” And he raised his hands in mock innocence.
“I’m just a majour night hawk,” he added.
“Nah, it’s cool. So am I. I love the quiet and the dark. Something about the unknown of it makes the lighting at night, say a candle, seem all the more miraculous, and consuming. I could observe that fluid glow for hours and lose an entire night, and often do.”
He stared, open mouthed, and then quickly and calmly said, “I know just what you mean.”
I loved his reactions to me, to everything I said and did. He seemed so present, and I don’t know how else to say it, but always so ‘there’ with me.
Have you ever felt that, Beautiful Reader, that type of camaraderie? A kind of instant connection? He is just so beautiful, I’m so in awe of him. As of now, I never want to leave his side.
‘Take me away Prince Charming, I am yours!!’
Oh, do shut up. Such a slat.
And I smiled at my Inner Child.
“Does that mean you want to go now?” I asked.
I finally looked about the room and realized almost everyone had left but us. Donovan was nowhere to be seen and the servers were clearing and setting the last of the empty tables. I knew though, they didn’t close for at least another hour or so, at midnight. We had been here talking while the hours ticked by…
But surely it couldn’t be later than 9 or 10, mayyybe?
“Well no, I don’t want to go anywhere, I would love to sit and talk the rest of the night away with you actually, but it’s getting late and they’re closing up. And although there’s a part of me that wants to invite you back to my place for a drink, or better still, see your home and how you live, I have an assignment tonight. We have a briefing in less than two hours.”
He looked at his watch. “Yes, two hours on the dot until we start. I’d love to drive you home and maybe go for a short walk, if you’re up for it? There’s a great ice cream parlour just down the road from your home, has the best Pistachio Gelato around. You know it?”
“Giuseppe’s! Of course I know it. I’d love to. Let me just use the washroom first.” I got up and straightened my jacket, pulling my purse up over my left wrist and up to my elbow. He grabbed my right hand and pulled me into a hug. I didn’t hesitate to wrap my arms around his waist as he held me for but a brief moment.
Much too brief.
When he pulled back slightly, I looked up at him through my new swoopy side bang, my arms stayed comfortably around his waist and his around my upper back.
“Better idea, how ‘bout I show you a quick tour of my apartment and use the washroom there. Then we can go to Geu’s and have you back at your car within the hour, tops!”
“Sounds perfect!” He said, equally enthusiastic.
He paused then and lifted his hand off my shoulder to cup my cheek. He just stared at me, looking deep into my eyes. I looked back at him, somewhere in the back of my mind wondering if he would kiss me, but it was too far away to hear it. He was so close, and warm, and my whole being reveled in the feeling of him.
Just then, Donovan came out from the kitchen.
“You guys headin’ out?” he asked as he walked out from behind the bar.
“Ya, we’re gunna grab some ice cream and call it a night,” I said, smiling placidly at him.
He gave me a big hug and when he went to shake Julien’s hand he said, “You take care of this girl, you hear me, Friend. She means the world to us.”
“I will do, My Good Man. Don’t you worry about her tonight. She’ll be home and in bed, safe and sound before you know it!”
“Bed, please! Don’t you know this girl only sleeps during the day?” he laughed, “bloody Vampire, I tell ya.” And patted his hand before releasing it and stepping back behind his bar, smiling all the while.
You could find Donovan here during the week, serving up drinks and good spirit. He always had a kind word and a neat whiskey for me, and I loved him dearly for it. He also DJ’d at the bar I loved to attend on the weekends and worked at occasionally. When I needed to shake off all the stress and worry of being a modern woman, I came to him. And on Saturday nights that club was ours.
Julien laughed with him and we all parted with good cheer. The city was dark and the street lamps were on, casting a candlelight-like vibe in the air. It was intoxicating being so close to him in such a gorgeous setting as we walked towards the parking garage. He held my hand gently, yet firmly in his. I had no doubt if I totally bailed in these new shoes, he’d catch me… again.
“I have to admit, Julien, when we met, I wouldn’t have thought you were this way.”
He smiled, “What way is that?”
“I duno, you just seem so much more down to earth than I expected. Especially for that classic rich guy line, ‘I own the place’. I mean, I know I totally set you up for it, but for both our sakes I wished I hadn’t.”
Without letting him ask what I meant, I went on, and he very politely waited for me to finish.
“We seemed to have crashed into each others lives quite abruptly, what with you owning the gym I frequent, and now, not one but two of my favourite places are yours as well. I would’ve said it was fate, but really, whatever it is, I’m glad I gave you my number. I usually never do it like this, but I swore to myself I’d try new things, and the most recent is dating… serious relationship things.”
We walked for a moment without saying anything. I was comfortable in the silence and didn’t feel the need to say anything more just then. So we walked and held hands, seeing but not witnessing the city around us.
I love being beside him.
‘Yes, I do.’
“I find you utterly impressive.” I looked up at him when he said it, not trying to hide my shock. He paused while we got into his SUV. I watched him as he walked around to the driver’s side and sat beside me.
“You have such a way of expressing yourself, I wonder how I ever got so lucky as to be here with you. I surely don’t deserve it, and yet you’ve given me your undivided attention all evening. You are such a precious thing, Savana. You can’t know how much I appreciate you.”
I froze inside, but watched him comfortably as he spoke. Having no idea what to say to that, I just let it marinate. This beautiful beast of a man was telling me he appreciated me.
‘I could die happy.’
Then you are too easy to please. Hush now, and observe for the both of us.
“I, too, find you utterly impressive,” I said, repeating his admonishment back to him as he reversed and took us back to Queen St. “You have been more of a gentleman than I would’ve dared hope for, and I’m ashamed to have judged you so quickly. I was sure you would try to fuck me and leave, so much like the rest of your brethren. But you have been kind and attentive, even raw and open. I am in your debt for such a wonderful evening.”
In perfect seriousness, he said, “You could never be in my debt, Savana. The pleasure will always be mine.” And he gave me eye contact upon finishing his confession.
I shone at the prospect of more of him in the future. And that’s when it hit me. I wanted to see more of him.
I want to know this man.
“It really is too bad you have to work tonight. I wouldn’t mind staying up all night with you… talking.” I added at the end, not wanting to come across outwardly sexual.
‘I would spend the night talking with him.’
I smiled. He smiled. It was delightful.
We turned onto Queen Street then, the traffic of earlier in the evening having completely subsided, and parked on the street in front of my door. When we got out we walked past my door before I remembered we were gunna go up so I could show him my apartment and use the washroom.
“Oops, let’s stop here,” I said and swung us around.
He let me lead.
I opened the door and led us to my apartment at the top and back of the building. I unlocked the door handle and pushed the door open. Dutchess and Caesar were nowhere to be found in the dark.
“That’s all you have, a lock on your door handle?” He asked, incredulous.
“Listen, judgy, we don’t get a lot of commotion around here and despite the door, I feel safe in my home.”
That’s when I heard Dutchess and Caesar growl in turn.
“Oouu, my babies can smell you. They’ve never met a man in here before.”
“I love cats,” he said as I turned on the light in the entrance.
“Make yourself at home in the living room, I’ll be right back.”
I walked him into the living room and went left to my bedroom, leaving him to sit on the couch and introduce himself to my cats. I had no doubt that Dutchess would let me know exactly what she thought of him later, based on her behaviour towards me. Caesar, I found a little harder to read, but she too, would let me know if she approved of our new house guest.
When I came out, I stopped dead at what I saw.
There was Julien, on my couch, and Dutchess on his lap, purring and pawing sweetly at his chest! Caesar was curling and rubbing into his legs, her tail swaying lovingly, and flicking back and forth like I had never seen before.
I was amazed.
Yes, he is impressive.
‘He’d stay if I asked. Bet you.’
Of course, but no. He needs to go to work, and I need space to think. Thank you though, your approval means theWorld to mE, my Precious Dutchess. He is perfect for you.
“Finding your way with the panel, I see. They aren’t usually so quick to warm up to people, you know. You should feel special.” I smiled my sweetest smile and walked towards him slow and casual, holding his eyes and his attention with my gaze.
“Do you have any cats, Julien?”
“I do, yes. Many, actually. But I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. Yours–“ and then he directed his attention to the cats wrapped around him– “you two, are beautiful.”
I didn’t mind the interruption to our eye contact. It was an indescribable feeling, seeing him so comfortably situated in my home. He seemed to fit in so well to my most familiar surroundings.
I could just stay here, like this, with him, forever.
‘Yes… sigh, me too.’
“Shall we get some ice cream? I wouldn’t want you to be late for your briefing.”
I used the military term comfortably after hearing him speak so passionately about his life earlier in the evening.
He stroked Dutchess and she purred at his touch, rubbing into his hand with her whole form. Caesar walked away, done with the lot of us. Still, she had shown more affection to him than the whole of my friends combined.
“Goodnight Caesar, I won’t be out late. Dutchess.” I scratched behind her ears before straightening. I took Julien’s hand and led him to the door and out into the hallway. It was nice to have that simple contact again. I hadn’t realized I was missing it until he touched me.
This is where I wanna be.
“We have to be quick about it, though. I might not eat anything. I’d like to be able to walk you home,” he said, sounding a bit nervous.
I wasn’t having any of that. “Nah, c’mon! You can have some of mine, at least. Hurry, let’s go.” And I walked past him and down the hall.
“Ok, let’s go,” he said and he followed behind me in perfect step.
I loved the way I felt walking with him, so secure. I wasn’t afraid of anything with him beside me. He didn’t stare but I knew he was always watching me, as I was him.
The rain had stopped long ago and it was a warm and lovely evening. I was excited to be out walking. The new shoes were more comfortable than I hoped. And I couldn’t have dreamed of having better company.
Giuseppe’s was quiet, with a young couple in the corner and two girls behind the counter. It was set up like a self serve buffet. First, you get your cup and choose your soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or gelato. Each had a multitude of flavours. And the toppings here were always great quality, fresh and delicious. I loved it. And it was the only ice cream shop that I knew about that was open 24/7.
So many wonderful options!
‘How is a girl to choose?!’
“What’s your favourite base?” I asked him, picking up my cup, a medium sized one.
“Vanilla Bean, no question. You?” he asked, following my lead and grabbing a medium sized cup.
I laughed and shook my head, pulling the lever for the hazelnut frozen yogurt.
“Me too! Figures.” and I laughed again, still shaking my head as I filled up half my cup with the creamy mixture. “But I love the hazelnut frozen yogurt too. It’s a close second.”
“Ya, I’m a fan, but my second is easily the mango sorbet.”
“Ooouu,” I said. “Good one. I love mango. And you’re right about what you said before, best pistachio gelato ever.”
We moved over to the toppings.
“Do you come here often, or live in the area? I was surprised to see you at Parisco, I feel like that place is such a diamond in the rough. No one knows about it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Ya, actually I just bought a condo not far from here at all. Tip Top Tailors, down on Lakeshore. You know it?”
“I do, yes! I’ve loved that building for as long as I can remember. My girlfriend and I used to live at Fort York, the buildings just across the street. You know the ones?”
“Yes, I looked in there as well, but a real gem of an apartment came up at Tip Top and I just couldn’t say no to it.”
“Well good for you. I hope it was one of those stunning ones facing west with the big, open, terrace style patios. Best real estate in Toronto, I always said.”
“Ah, Savana, you amaze me. It’s just the same.”
“What do you mean? That’s the apartment you bought, the western facing one with the stunning patio?!” I said, awed by the coincidence.
“They really are more like the terrace styles in Europe than typical Canadian patios. It felt so much like home, I couldn’t help myself. They’re over priced, but what’s the value of a dollar if not spent on the things we love?”
“I know just what you mean, though I don’t have two to rub together.” I laughed, not thinking twice about being myself with him. “And yes, I forgot you said your family’s roots are in Europe. It’s weird, but I’m just realizing that you must’ve grown up there?”
“I did, yes. Mostly, anyways.” He hesitated. “My siblings and cousins and I started traveling at a young age, and just kind of… never stopped traveling. You name it, I’ve been there, or at least passed through. That’s how it is for everyone in my world. All the children, of my generation, from these predominant and powerful families grew up being shipped off to this place or that, for one reason or another. Usually it was education, but as I said before, we have significant training in many military and political, even philosophical practices from all over the world. Our education is vast and incumbent.”
We had both finished with our topping selection and headed towards the counter where he was already opening his wallet to pay.
“Please, let me.” I said.
“I’d rather you didn’t, but if you insist, I’ll be a gentleman about it.” And he gave me a reluctant and mildly strained smile.
“I do, thank you.” I laughed at him and paid the $23 bill for us. We moved to a small table by the window. The chairs were neon pink and green and the tables were all orange and blue. It was a happy and colourful place, and I loved it the most for a bit of reward, or sometimes, dessert therapy, aka bathing in self loathing. Here, we had pleasure and a feel of naughtiness, in the most innocent way. A child spending their allowance on treats instead of saving for the rollerblades they’d asked for for Christmas. It wasn’t just ice cream, it was an experience.
“So, yes, Europe is definitely what I consider my home and my favourite home is located there, but lately I spend my time pretty well spread around the globe. I’m not always moving, but I do get around,” he said as we sat and made ourselves comfortable.
“Sounds interesting,” I said, genuinely wanting to hear more, but not asking anything more about it. I’d let him take the conversation wherever he wanted to go next. It felt so natural, so genuine. I was comfortable and intrigued, my attention never faltered, even once to the rest of the world around us. And I never felt the need to reach for a topic. There were small silences, contemplative moments and true conversational respect, we waited and listened tentatively.
“So what are your plans tomorrow?” He hesitated for a moment, “You’re still willing to see me tomorrow night, aren’t you, Savana?”
I smiled, charmed by the sudden desperation in his body.
So he would use his lacey vocals and my name to sway his desires and my influence.
“Yes, of course I am. I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing with my evening than spending it with you. We can discuss what we’ll do during the day tomorrow, if you text me whenever you have some free time.”
I smiled again and scooped up a bite of ice cream and a chocolate covered caramel chunk.
“My days are always the same and always different. What’s the same is my lack of alarm clock and/or solid plans, though I do meet with my best friend in the afternoons to go over our blog agenda. Other than that though, I usually do blogging, writing mostly, and some sort of fitness class. You saw me at the Martial Arts classes I take, but I also do Spin on Wednesdays, so today, and tomorrow I have Pilates and Yoga. Monday’s I use like Sundays, I relax and pamper, but I usually also choreograph dance at home for one of my businesses. It’s like an online health class for people that love to dance and don’t get to yoga.”
Another bite of ice cream.
“I also spend a chunk of time in meditation and self reflection. It’s an important part of my day. Hmm, let’s see… what else.”
More ice cream.
“I think that’s it really. So I’ll be relatively easy to get a hold of, unless I’m writing or meditating. I turn my ringer off for the hour or so that I’m doing that.”
He finished his ice cream in one big scoop and before he had swallowed all of it he smiled and said, “Can’t wait.”
And what a beautiful boy he is.
‘Yes, so beautiful. Can’t wait for a taste. Give me more ice cream! DAMN YOU!’
I laughed out loud, at him and my ego both.
Such a brilliant moment.
“Neither can I, honestly. It’s been the most amazing evening. I feel like I could ask for nothing more. You can comprehend and more, seem to like everything I say and like. You can’t imagine how rare that is in my life. Most people don’t understand me at all ”
He looked at me, serious, but said nothing.
“Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing people in my life, it’s just, in all my social groups, and I have many, none seem to understand, and relate to me so fully. I have relaxed today, truly relaxed around someone. And it’s been the highest form of pleasure. I have to thank you for that.” Abashed, I looked down.
‘Where did that come from?!’
Don’t trip, that was brilliant. Honesty. Raw emotion. Good job. So proud.
“I can think of better ways to please you.”
I gasped, stunned, and met his eyes, frozen in place.
‘Holy fuck, he just said that.’
“But I thank you,” he continued. “What you said means a lot to me, and I understand what you said about our connection. You express yourself so beautifully, and feel so deeply. I appreciate you, Savana. You are beautiful to me, truly beautiful.”
No compliment had ever meant more to me. He was… stunning, overwhelming to my senses, and blissfully numbing, like heroine to my brain. I felt high as a kite when I was with him, and I couldn’t get enough of his eyes on mine… on mE.
He loves me.
‘No doubt, this boy is struck dumb.’
I wonder what it is he finds so intriguing. I love myself, but what does he see that he loves?
‘Oh who cares! He loves me and that’s all that matters. Now say something cute and don’t fuck this up!’
I love you.
I laughed inwardly at myself and eyed the last bite before I took it.
“You’re gunna be late for work, Julien.” And I slipped the spoon upside down into my mouth as I met his eyes again.
“Ya I know. But probably not as late as you might think. Come now, so I can walk you home.” And he rose, reaching for my hand. I put mine in his and rose with him. We walked out together, him opening the door from behind me with his hand on my shoulder, his finger and thumb wrapping around the base of my neck.
I leaned in to the intimate touch,
And felt his body react with acknowledgement behind me. We walked in silence for a moment, hand in hand. I liked these moments when the electricity was crackling but the demeanours were calm and collected. Walking with him was a special treat, better than any flavour of ice cream. His closeness was caramel, his scent and touch were creamy vanilla soft serve, and his stare was a slipped in piece of tangy mango you didn’t know was there… an utter shock to your system.
I enjoy walking with him… let this be forever.
‘How sweet of him to walk us home. That should be noted. I love a gentleman.’
Don’t we all.
“I hope you don’t get in trouble for being late,” I said, my voice slightly breathy.
“I doubt it, they could hardly start without me. I called the meeting.” And he laughed, more humble than you might expect.
I was charmed, sure, but I was also aware of how my body was reacting to him. All around charged, that’s the only way I can describe it to you.
“Goodnight, Savana,” he said as we reached my door, stopping and keeping hold of my hand so I was turned to face him and sorta sway into his body. It was like a dance, how he moved. And you just wanted to play along, follow suit.
What an influence.
He wrapped his arms around me and just looked down into my eyes as he held me. I looked back up at him and took in the moment.
How perfectly beautiful, he is. I could stay this way…
‘Ya, ya, we all know… forever. Are you gunna kiss him if he kisses you?’
He won’t. Shut up already, you’re ruining the moment.
And then he kissed me, and I was surprised, caught in my own thoughts. But I recovered quickly and fell completely into him, adapting to the feel of his lips on mine. They were as velvety as his panther like voice.
Mine. Be mine.
He kissed me deeply and with true emotion. I had never felt anything like it, his hand cupping my cheek, then his fingers spreading and wrapping around my neck, his thumb on my jaw. He was passionate and intense about it.
A kiss he never thought he’d get.
‘I’ll never forget it.’
That first kiss…
‘What a thing.’
My body yearned, but he released me. I knew he would, so it didn’t cut as deep. I acted calmly and smiled up at him, elated.
Joy, pure joy.
‘Yes, he is glorious.’
“Goodnight Julien,” I hummed and, to my surprise, he scowled and walked away.
Not one for ceremony I guess. Ouch.
‘Don’t judge Him, you don’t know anything!’
Oh shut up!
I went home and immediately picked up Dutchess and had Caesar follow me to the nook by the window in the front. Together we sat and looked in the direction he had gone. He was long gone by now. No one was in the streets. And for the first time in a very long time, I felt completely devoid of a good man in my life. It was devastating.
How could someone have impacted my world so quickly? And why does he feel as an old friend would, so comfortable. But no, not like an old friend, because there is nothing at all familiar about him.
‘No, you’re right. He’s completely and vibrantly new.’
So inspiring. What did you think of him Dutchess. Did you like our mystery man? I turned my attention to her.
She looked at me as if to say,
-Of course I did.
And then to Caesar as if to say,
–It’s her you need to worry about.
Yes, of course, but still, she has never reacted that way to someone so far as I know.
I lit my pipe and took a long, slow puff. Dutchess purred and nuzzled my chest.
“Let’s go to bed, little ones. I’m tired and it’d be nice to get up early tomorrow.”
We all got up and pawed our way through the dark to the bed. I fluffed my pillows, pulled down the covers as the kitties jumped up into their usual spots. I went through to my closet and undressed, slipping into a small, silk cami dress.
‘Good choice. If only he were here with me. He’s so beautiful and I’d love to see more of his body.’
Mmm. Yes, I would. Utter perfection, if there could be such a thing.
I crawled into bed, so comfortable. It was delicious. I reveled in it for a moment before I realized I left my phone in my purse, which was still in the dining room.
Ugh, it’s too far.
‘But he might have messaged me! Get Up Damnit!’
No, too tired. Goodnight, sweet Dutchess.
‘Sleep well you beautiful beast, you.’
Look for the complete story available for purchase Feb. 27th on Amazon!
Thank you so much for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment if you loved the story! Book two is well in the works, My Beautiful People. I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it. Tai & Savana will be back for more in Book Two, coming fall/winter 2019, later this year… maybe sooner.