To everyone who reviewed the first chapter - muchas gracias. This chapter ended up being much longer (and much steamier) than I first intended, though something tells me you won't mind. Hope you enjoy it. :)
Note: T-rating emphasized.
Annie orders Mexican takeout from her favorite restaurant on the cab ride to Auggie's apartment. She's glad that they left when the bar when they did. Auggie's questions were starting to fluster her, afraid that he had caught onto her true motives.
She didn't let her hair down or tape her hemline up to be noticed by the college guys. Annie could care less about attracting their leering glances. She did those things for Auggie. Well, maybe not for Auggie, but because she was with him. When she's around Auggie outside of work, Annie always makes a conscious effort to look her best. Admittedly, she does it to keep the other women from hitting on him in her presence. She likes having him to herself.
"I think I have tequila around here somewhere," Auggie says, reading the Braille labels in his kitchen cabinets while Annie finds a Latin station on the radio.
The alcohol in her veins makes her want to dance. It's always been that way. At the bar, she'd wanted to dance, but it was so crowded that any attempt would have been pointless. But now the music flows out of his speakers in an enticing salsa rhythm and it's just the two of them. The sound of trumpets, congas, maracas, and other percussion instruments thrums through her body. Her hips oscillate without thought and her head sways from side to side with the beat.
She dances back over to his kitchen area, shuffling in her heels and letting the music control her movements. Auggie's back is turned to her, and she admires the way the muscles under his black top shift with his cabinet rooting. Annie slides up behind him and places her hands on his waist, right above his lean hips.
"Annie?" His voice is a little alarmed at her unexpected touch.
She runs her hands up his back and squeezes the muscles at the base of his neck to ease the sudden tension. "Relax."
She returns her hands to his hips and pushes them from side to side. "Feel the mood."
Bottles in the cabinet clang against one another as he fumbles to extract his hand and turn around to face her. "'Feel the mood'?"
She realizes that her word choice could lead him to think something other than what she meant. "The mood of the music, silly. Today is supposed to be a celebration! What better way to celebrate than by dancing?"
"I'm not much of a dancer," he says with a chuckle.
Annie reaches around him and pulls down the bottle of tequila he was searching for. "After a few more shots, I bet I can get you to bust a few moves."
"How about you cut up some limes?" he asks, avoiding the topic and taking the full bottle of tequila out her grasp. "Your hands are probably steadier than mine."
She would argue with him on that point—because, of every type of alcohol out there, tequila gets to her the quickest—but she takes a knife and cutting board out of the appropriate drawers and grabs a few limes from his fruit bowl. Even though she doesn't know the words, Annie hums along to the music as she cuts into the citrus, still moving the lower half of her body to the beat.
"How long 'til the food gets here?" Auggie asks, taking two shot glasses from another cabinet.
"They said half an hour. That probably means double that."
"I see," he says, bringing the bottle and glasses to the end of the kitchen island and perching on a stool.
Her fingers are sticky with the juice of the limes she's cut up. Annie stacks them in a small heap on a plate and slides them over to where Auggie sits. He carefully pours the first round, using the tip of his finger to measure the level of the liquid inside the shot glasses.
"Clearly you've done this before," Annie says, admiring his bartending skills, especially given the amount of alcohol he's already ingested.
"I still have a few abilities you don't know about." He winks and reaches for the salt.
"You're not the only one," she fires back, wetting the side of her hand with her tongue and sprinkling salt on it after Auggie passes her the shaker. She picks up a lime wedge and holds it between her fingers on the salted hand, then grabs the shot glass full of tequila. "Happy Cinco de Mayo!"
Auggie holds his glass up in salute and they follow the traditional order: salt, tequila, lime. It's so much better when all three elements are in her control, when she doesn't have to rely on a bartender to use the right amount of salt or give her a generous slice of lime. This is the way shots of tequila should be taken. Well, there is one other way, but Annie thinks Auggie is going to need some convincing before they can move to that stage.
She watches as Auggie swallows hard and almost laughs at his pained expression.
"Ah, c'mon," she says.
"This isn't cheap tequila, you know. Packs more of a punch."
"You can do better than that," she insists.
He wipes the side of his mouth with the back of his hand and tilts his head to the side, a grin forming on his lips. "Are you challenging me, Walker?"
"If this were a challenge, I'd already have you beat," she says. "Your form is terrible."
"I'm more of a beer man."
"No excuses. Pour us another. I'll teach you."
He laughs but grabs the bottle of tequila. Annie holds her shot glass out to him and his hand covers hers as he refills the tumbler. His fingers are strong and warm, but also soft and uncalloused.
"That's good," she says, still distracted by the sight of the man before her. The arms he usually keeps hidden under collared shirts in the office are especially eye-catching. She's always known that he's had muscles, but they look bigger and more defined in the sleeveless top. His hair curls on his forehead in a haphazard fashion, and his constant smile makes him look positively dashing.
He tops off his own glass. "Now, what did I do wrong last time?"
His words pull her from her thoughts.
"Where do I start?" Annie says dramatically. In reality he didn't do anything wrong. There is no official rulebook to drinking tequila. But she likes to play with him, so she tells him about his placement of the lime wedge and how he neglected to lick the back of his hand before applying the salt. She suggests that it's better to eat the pulp of the lime instead of just extracting its juice. And she tells him to add some flair.
"Flair?" he asks.
Annie bites her lower lip to contain her laughter at his tone. She runs a hand through his wavy brown hair—more because she wants to, and less because it's necessary to make her point—shaking the locks back and forth to make it look a little more edgy.
"You've got great hair," she says as she drops her hand from his head. "Use it."
He lifts a finger, points it at her, and wiggles it in her direction. "You're screwing with me now."
"Shut up and take the shot," she responds. "And do it right this time."
The second round goes down a little easier for both of them. Annie can feel the heat rise in her cheeks. This is the most she's had to drink in a few months. She's really starting to feel it now. And it feels gooood.
"How was that one?" he asks.
"Don't know. I wasn't watching," she answers with an airy giggle.
"Walker!" Auggie exclaims, but he ends up chuckling too. When they sober up, he gives a dramatic sigh. "Well, I guess we'll just have to do it again. Gotta get this technique down."
"Maybe we should wait 'til the food gets here," Annie says. "Too much tequila on an empty stomach is askin' for trouble."
"You said that it could be a while," he says, then adds in a teasing voice. "Besides, I thought you were tryin' to get me to dance? I ain't drunk enough yet."
She wants him to do much more with her than dance. For the past few weeks, she's been trying to get up the courage to ask him his thoughts on taking their friendship to the next level. She loves being his friend, but she'd be lying if she said that she was satisfied with only being friends with August Anderson.
"Oh, you are so on, mister," Annie says, taking up the tequila bottle. Sometimes the best kind of courage is of the liquid variety. Her hand wobbles a bit while pouring, but she manages to not spill any on the counter. "Get your lime ready."
The third shot almost goes down smooth. Annie stands up, aims for the trashcan, and shoots her lime peel toward the container. She misses by a good foot but cheers like she scored anyway.
"You're such a lightweight," he tells her as she stumbles against him before she regains her seat.
"I hold my liquor better on a full stomach," she retorts. "Mmm, stomachs."
She laughs at Auggie's perplexed expression at her apparent love for stomachs. She hadn't meant to say it out loud, but things slip when alcohol is involved.
"I was just remembering somethin'," she half explains.
"Does it have anything to do with body shots? You said you wanted to do one earlier."
Annie closes her eyes and goes back to when she was newly twenty-one and on Spring Break in Cancun with her college friends. What a week that was. She recounts what she can of the memories.
"You ever go to Cancun?" she asks, voice still reminiscent.
"You should. That's where I learned the art of the body shot, among other things."
Annie kicks off her heels, then stands up on her stool. Before Auggie can understand what she's doing, she steps onto the counter of his kitchen island and begins dancing to the Latin music coming from the speakers in his living room. The sudden altitude change makes her terribly dizzy and she sways precariously on the counter top, now moving completely out of sync to the beat of the music, not that she cares.
"Annie, get down. You're gonna break your neck," Auggie says, trying to reach for her ankles, but she dances out of his range.
"Calm down, I know my way around a bar top. Learned that in Cancun too," she tells him. "Or maybe that was New York."
"Annie, please," he begs.
She saunters down to the end of the countertop—careful to push aside the empty shot glasses and the plate of lime wedges—scoops up the tequila bottle, and drops down, sitting on the edge of the island with her legs dangling on either side of Auggie's body. She holds the bottle of tequila between her legs on the lip of the counter, waving it in his direction as though he can smell the alcohol.
With her free hand, Annie reaches out and rakes her fingers through his hair again. This time Auggie leans into her touch, tilting his head forward. She bends closer to him, until her head is near his ear, then whispers, "Wanna know a secret?"
He nods underneath her hand, which she lowers to cup the side of his face. Then she drags one of her fingers to the center of his lips, holding it there as if to keep him silent. "You can't laugh, 'kay?"
"Why would I—?"
"The dress is for you."
His lips twitch beneath her finger, stretching with his grin.
"Don't you dare," she warns, sensing that he's going to erupt in laughter at her confession. "I know it's silly, but how was I supposed to compete with all those college girls?"
Instead of laughing, he takes hold of the finger that is still resting against his mouth, turns her hand so it faces palm up, and presses a gentle kiss into its center.
"There wasn't any competition, Annie," he says quietly. "I don't have any interest in those types of girls anymore."
"But you could've had your pick. You wouldn't've even had to flex a muscle."
"You could've had any guy in that bar too."
"I. . ." Annie stammers. This is the moment to let it all come out. If it goes bad, she can blame it on the alcohol. "I already had the one I wanted."
There's a moment of pure stillness after she says it. Then Auggie's other hand comes up to her face, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear in an easy caress.
Annie gasps, but doesn't have the time to verbalize her surprise. Auggie's mouth moves in, finding her lips and kissing the breath right out of her. As the kiss deepens, he stands so that his height gives him better access to the recesses of her mouth. Annie is so lost in the moment that she hardly notices the way she falls back onto the counter—or the way Auggie follows her—until her head makes contact with the surface, jarring both of them.
Auggie hovers over her on the island. Both of his knees are between Annie's legs, which wrap around him and rest on his calves as though she's anchoring him in place. His hands are beside her shoulders. It's the most intimate position she's ever been in with her best friend, but it doesn't feel wrong. In fact, it feels the exact opposite of wrong. And she likes that feeling. She likes it a lot. Annie's pretty sure that it has nothing—at least almost nothing—to do with the alcohol she's ingested.
She licks her lips, saying, "Mmm, you taste like tequila."
"I suppose I would."
"I like it."
He rests his forehead against hers. "You know what I'd like?" he asks quietly.
She rolls her head back and forth against his. "What?"
"Another shot," he says. "A body shot."
Her heart palpitates chaotically inside of her chest as Auggie's fingers ghost circles into the side of her thigh near her hemline.
With her whispered confirmation, Auggie's hands slip underneath the fabric of her fitted black dress, inching it up slowly. Annie lifts her hips off of the counter so the dress can move freely. By the time the fabric has been bunched up to her chest, exposing her stomach, Annie has all but forgotten the reason she is on Auggie's kitchen island with his hands roaming the flat expanse of her stomach. Then she feels the lime being squeezed and rubbed in a line down the middle of her stomach. Auggie sprinkles salt over the wet trail, then reaches for the tequila.
"Got your lime ready?" he asks.
Annie feels for the plate of lime wedges, finds it, and grabs the first one her fingers come across. She places it between her teeth.
"Ready," she says around the piece of citrus.
Auggie pours the alcohol into the small, round indention in the middle of her stomach until the liquid spills down her sides and onto the counter. Annie tries to suppress her laughter at the ticklish sensation.
He lowers his head until his hair grazes her flesh, almost making Annie laugh again. Instead, her heart beats faster at the feeling. His tongue is hot and wet as it runs along her skin. The smoothness of his tongue rubbing the grains of salt into her skin is a delightful contrast. When he reaches her bellybutton, he sucks the tequila out, circling his tongue around to get every last drop.
Annie arches her back and moans at the sensation, thinking about all the wonderful things that his tongue could do to other parts of her body.
Auggie's fingers grasp her hair, and in another moment his mouth is covering hers, removing the slice of lime. He bites down on the lime, then removes the rind and says, "Satisfied?"
"Not nearly enough," she responds and threads her fingers into his hair, bringing his mouth back to her own.
Their second—or is this their third?—lip-lock is interrupted by a knock on the apartment door.
"That's probably the food," Auggie says.
"We don't have to answer it," Annie tells him, playing with the end of his hair.
Her stomach takes their momentary contemplation to protest.
"Apparently, I do," Auggie says in response to her stomach's growl.
He carefully slides away from her and off of the counter. Annie pulls her dress down again and also hops down from the counter, stumbling slightly. She leans against the counter and waits for him to bring the food back.
"Okay," he says, setting the brown paper bag on the island. "Wanna grab some flatware?"
"In a minute," Annie says, sashaying over to him and gripping the fabric of his shirt, tugging it out of his jeans. "But first, one more shot."
I know that some of you may want to know what goes down after that line, but I'm leaving it up to your imaginations. Let's just say, if it were me, things would move into M-territory. ;)
Now I'm putting my angst hat back on and returning to "Robbed." Thanks for joining me in this lighthearted diversion!
Reviews are loved. :)
PS - Thanks Phoenix, for the suggestions and locating my missing pronouns! Lol.