So I got this into my head, and it's sexy, and it won't go away. I may even continue it…
So review PLEASE.
Ok, a song to listen to whilst reading. It's stunning, really: Love Theme, Lisbeth Scott (True blood Original Score) It's available on iTunes (probably downloadable for free somewhere), and it is a really exquisite piece.
It was a night like any other, the bar owner thought to herself, plunging her fingers into her hair, to better scratch the scalp at the point underneath the elastic. Her bar was filled with the hum of familiar chatter; just a local tavern occupied by local people. She could probably name each face if she tried.
Table tops gleamed dully under the bar's amber lights, each face she saw cast golden in the synthetic candle bulb's glow. The dark wood floor creaked a little as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, heaving a sigh, chin resting in her hand. The town of Costa Del Sol was quiet at this time of year; tonight was uncharacteristically warm for May, and she'd yet to adjust to the climate. The fans whirred overhead, serving to make the air less stagnant, though she occasionally had to fan herself with a menu, to keep comfortable; despite the fact that her hair was tied out of her way, stray strands tucked hastily behind her ears, and her casual attire of black shorts and a gray cotton shirt to expose as much flesh as would be considered decent. She'd also flung open the windows, though the air was still, filled with cricket song.
Making casual chatter with her barmaid Susanna served to ease a little of her boredom. Susanna was working for a year to earn money to travel the world, she told her ambitiously, hands gesticulating wildly between drinks orders. She was only eighteen; A year for her which had been and gone with little notability.
Tifa Lockheart wished she could travel the world too. Though she'd never been the overly motivated type, like Susanna obviously was. She played things safe, kept to what she knew. And it hadn't got her anywhere, except running a decent bar in a holiday resort. Nothing notable. Just safe.
"Oh my god…" Susanna breathed suddenly at her shoulder, her well manicured hand covering her mouth, turning her head away, blonde ponytail swishing wildly. "That guy that's just come in… He's beautiful."
Tifa started to chuckle, raising her head to look. Susanna had strange tastes, more often than not. Her smile dropped from her face as their eyes met.
Time seemed to freeze, the fans slowing in their monotonous spiralling, the gentle breeze disturbing his dark hair. A rivulet of sweat curved its way along the nape of her neck, down between her shoulder blades.
He was dressed normally; a natural coloured shirt, dark pants, boots. Nothing that would catch her attention. But his face…
So pale, compared to most who lived around this area, dark smouldering eyes, striking bone structure, and sensuous lips, pulled into a thin line, in an expression that might have meant disapproval. He seated himself by the window, his eyes never leaving her face. She was unable to look away herself, gripping the edge of the bar with limp fingers.
"You are going over there." Susanna urged, prodding her fingers into Tifa's lower back. "He is so looking at you."
"Don't say things like that, I'm panicking as it is." Tifa turned around swiftly, eyes scanning the labels of the spirit rack habitually.
"Alright, if I order, you can take it to him."
"You are so cruel, I hope you know that. Makes me wonder why I am paying you." Tifa grumbled, scooping those pesky escaping strands of hair behind her ear again.
"C'mon, Tif, don't be so stiff! Countless hot guys hit on you in the summer season, and you never accept one offer. Not one. At least find out his name."
"Shit, he's coming over!"
"What? Where are you going?"
She spun on her heel, trying her damndest to look casual. His pale hands came to rest atop the bar, leaning forward slightly, knee-weakening gaze trained on her face, never blinking.
"Good evening." He said, voice as smooth as silk. She felt her insides melt a little. Damn that barmaid.
"I'm sorry about that, just a little dispute-- can I get you anything?"
His eyes momentarily left her face to scan the shelves around her. "I'm not sure if you'll have what I usually drink."
"Ask. I'll see what I can do." She answered smoothly, in a way that made her proud of herself.
Pinning her to the spot again, expression completely empty, he considered her. Though there was something…"A smooth Red wine if you don't mind. And…" He paused, the faintest quirk of his lips into a knee-weakening smirk. "One for yourself."
Normally she would laugh off a proposition like that. But there was just something about this man in particular… Susanna had known it, and she knew it now. He was beautiful. Intoxicating… and it kindled her curiosity.
Lingering only briefly in the cool of the wine cellar, she returned with her personally selected bottle, scanning the bar on her return, verifying his presence. He was waiting at the bar still, hands folded before him. Her heart gave a little leap into her throat. She swallowed it back down.
Uncorking the bottle expertly, taking down one thin-stemmed wine glass, she poured a small amount into it. Eyes never leaving her face, he pinched the stem between delicate pale fingers, teasing it along the surface top towards him. Raising it to his lips, he tasted it, closing his eyes momentarily to consider the flavours.
"Excellent choice." He concluded, fixing his dark eyes on her once more. She felt a swell in her bosom.
"It's a personal favourite of mine. They don't sell it anymore."
"Then you have wonderful taste, it seems. I wonder, won't you join me?"
She paused under his heavy stare. She never drank with customers. One rule for all. She didn't allow her barmaids to, most of the time at least. Most men who flirted with her here were blonde surfers, pretty boys who cared a little bit too much about themselves, and their hair rather than any other, she rarely had cause to accept. But did she have cause to decline him? She had to admit it to herself, she was attracted. Smiling softly, her eyes never breaking contact with his, she reached up to the glass rack overhead and plucked one down, setting it down gently before her. Returning her smile faintly, he filled their glasses halfway, and slid hers across the counter towards her.
"Take a seat," She suggested, pointing to the booth to the immediate right of the bar. He took both glasses, inclining his head to allow her to be seated first. So, a gentleman as well? This was going well.
They sat across from one another in a loaded silence. She listened to an outbreak of laughter from across the other side of the bar, heard Susanna rummaging around in the fridges for beers. She folded her hands before her on the table, resting an inch or so from her glass, seated rather rigidly, legs tucked beneath her seat to save the awkward event of accidental clashing of limbs.
Aware of his eyes upon her, she coughed softly in her hand, taking her glass of wine and bringing it to her lips. He admired the colouring of the tender flesh of her lips, the way her throat looked as she tipped her head back slightly to drink.
"Are you on vacation here?" She ventured, running her tongue over her bottom lip, to ensure the wine was totally gone. The heady flavours of plum, dark chocolate and the earthy undertones of the wood lingered on her tongue.
"Of sorts." He responded, taking a sip also. "I own a house not too far from here."
"Oh. Not that Costa is small, but I haven't noticed you. And you don't look like an local." She told him. "Are you new to the area?"
He gave a soft chuckle, lowering his head. "I am new, yes. My father owned the house, before he passed away."
"I'm terribly sorry."
He waved a hand impatiently. "No matter. It was a long time ago. I just never thought I would live here. Though it seems it has come in useful to me."
She considered him carefully. "You are not here for long?"
"For as long as I want to be." He replied, taking another mouthful of wine, swirling the glass by the stem. "Though I travel around as part of what I do for a living."
"What do you do?" She asked, the fire of her curiosity suitably fanned.
"I am a musician," He sank a little lower in his seat, enthralled by her inquisitiveness, by the way she leant a little closer. At this proximity, she could almost drown herself in those eyes. In this light, to her they seemed like crushes grapes, molten rubies, with melted chocolate hues. All framed behind dark, delicate eyelashes.
"Yes." It was almost a question, and she laughed behind her hand. "Is it that obvious?"
"Your hands give you away." She splayed her fingers before her face to illustrate. "I used to play once, but I could never afford to buy a piano in later years." She sighed, suddenly wishing things had been different.
"Tell me your name." He was leaning closer now, a gentle line of a frown etched into his forehead.
She almost couldn't respond. "It's Tifa."
"Short for Tiffany?"
"No. Just Tifa." She responded with a swift shake of her head, pony tail swaying with each movement of her head.
"I know who you are." Her lips were suddenly dry, though she daren't moisten them with her tongue. "You are playing at the Theatre in a few evening's time. I've heard your work before, and it's exquisite, though I never knew your face. You are Vincent Valentine."
"I am." He leant back again, as if he too had realised how close they were. Taking a more casual stance with one elbow resting on the back of his seat, he considered her.
"Why are you here of all places?"
"I like to soak up the atmosphere." He gave a casual flick of the hand. "I like to wander in the evenings. It helps to clear my mind."
"So you come to a bar?"
He laughed again, displaying perfect white teeth. "I have been searching in vain for a place which might cater to my tastes… and… It seems fortune had been in my favour this night." He was making her blush, though if he knew it, he said nothing.
"I should be glad of your patronage." She acknowledged him with a polite nod of her head. "Though I must not neglect my bar maid. I should get back to work, if you'll excuse me."
"I have appreciated your company, Tifa." He watched her rise. Raising his face to the light, the colours in his irises were set ablaze. She realised belatedly that his hand was raised to her, palm open and facing upwards. Hesitantly, she placed her palm in his, watching him with barely contained fascination as he drew it close and pressed his lips to the back of her hand. "Have a pleasant evening."
She would have liked to response with something cheery and polite, but her voice was being disobedient, to say the least. He drained the last of his wine, stood gracefully and crossed to the bar, where Susanna was stood by the cash register.
Busying herself with collecting up their empty glasses, she didn't notice he had left the bar; She hoped Susanna would have the discretion to save her any embarrassment by waiting till he was out the door, and halfway down the street before bombarding her.
"Oh. My. God." Came her barmaid's indignant voice seconds later. Scanning the room to confirm he had left, she released a deep, slow breath. "He was totally into you. He didn't take his eyes off you the whole time. And he kissed you hand? Who does that anymore?!" Her voice was a breathless squeak, as she draped her arm over Tifa's shoulders.
"He's a musician; I guess he knows what sort of effect he has on women. I may not be the first…" She reasoned, corking the bottle she had opened, and stowing it away beneath the bar. Not because, she told herself, he might return.
"But still. Wow. He paid for two glasses by the way."
She raised a brow at that. "He is playing in the Old Town Theatre in a few days."
"Really?" Susanna's eyes wend wide, glancing up from where she had begun to wipe down the bar. "You should totally go and see him. Maybe if he sees you again… he might ask you out!"
"Really Susanna, you amaze me sometimes with your totally unfounded optimism." She chuckled, grabbing a rag cloth from the sink to assist her barmaid. "I mean, the theatre is huge. What are the odds he'd spot me out of all the faces. Besides, I know his concert is sold out. I remember seeing a poster a few days ago."
"Damn." Susanna huffed, squirting the next stretch of counter with disinfectant. "That's pretty sucky."
"Well… I wasn't thinking anything would come of that encounter."
"Not even a little bit?" Her eyebrow shot up, disappearing behind her blonde fringe.
"Well, maybe a little. He's about the most attractive man I've seen in.. well--"
"--Your life?" Susanna suggested, joining Tifa in her laughter.
"I know it's not every day you meet someone like that, but it was just a one off probably."
"What did you talk about anyways?" Susanna asked, tossing her dishrag into the sink once more, and turning to fiddle with the spirit bottles, turning them all label first on the shelf.
"Oh, just where he was from, what he was doing here…" Tifa replied nonchalantly, crossing her arms across her chest.
"And? What was he doing here?"
"Something about looking for a bar that catered to his tastes." Tifa gave a shrug, teasing the elastic band out of her hair. It placed unnecessary tension on her neck, and her crown. Her nerves seemed to sag with relief, as she combed her fingers tips through her roots.
"And?!" Susanna tapped her foot impatiently on the wooden floor, eyebrows perpetually hidden.
"Well, he seemed to like it here. But he left after only one drink, didn't he? Probably looking for more bars, with more attractive barmaids." She rolled her eyes, stretching her arms about her head. "I won't lose any sleep over it."
Susanna gave her a reproachful glance though she said nothing more, as the set about clearing all the empty tables, and called last orders. Devoid of patrons, her bar seemed small, and empty. They worked together swiftly to clean the floors and tables, and shove all the chairs neatly beneath them. She shut each window systematically, before letting Susanna out the front door before locking it.
Her bedroom window thrown open to catch any whisper of a breeze, she lay awake, gazing up at her ceiling fan, whirling away silently, a cool breeze kissing her skin. Kicking off her shorts, she slept in her underwear, or at least she did when she managed to drift off. For unwelcome thoughts of an unexpected visit plagued her mind, and eventually, her dreams. She woke suddenly once, certain that there were a pair of multi-hued eyes fixed unwaveringly upon her, and she wouldn't admit to anyone, the nature of the dream she had woken from. It just didn't hold with her. She never dwelt on things like this.
Or at least, not usually.
What had been so different about him? His dark hair, falling just so into his eyes; those beautiful eyes. Pale pianist's fingers which she knew could create some of the most wonderful music she'd heard in a long time. Struck by a desire to listen to it right then, she rummaged around in her drawer and dug out her personal music player, and shoved in her ear phones.
Listening to it wasn't really helping to not think about him, though she realised that she didn't really mind doing so. Even it had been just a chance, one-off encounter, it had still made her feel… giddy, like an inexperienced teenager again.
As his fingers worked their way across the keys, drifting through melodies and heart-stopping crescendos, she finally drifted off to sleep.
So, what did you think about that? Phew, it was a sexy image I had in my mind, and I had to get it out. Sorry for being all menopausal in nature. Please review.