Gabriel’s Christmas party, the previous Saturday, had gone very well. As expected, the food was excellent. I certainly knew the menu by heart. Gabriel also had an extensive selection of single malts, and I got to sample a few that I hadn’t tried before. Despite the fact that Gabriel’s wife of 20 years had left him, six months before, the house and decorations were up to his usual standards. In their relationship, he was the one with the love of all things Christmas.
In addition to Gabriel, the food, and the extensive holiday decorations, I was sort of a fixture at the party. I’ve been there every year, I’ve got an outgoing personality, I’m reasonably attractive, and I can tell a good story. So people remember me from year to year, whether they see me during the intervening months or not.
For the first time in the 13 years that Gabriel had hosted the party, I went stag. I’ve never been married, but for every other party, I’ve had at least a female friend I could take, if not a serious girlfriend. But not this year. I don’t know whether I was fed up with dating, or simply enjoyed having my life to myself. Regardless of the reason, I was alone at the party, and so was Gabriel. He made a big deal of it, but I actually enjoyed it. Despite being 10 years older than me, Gabriel is looking for a 20-something sugar baby. I’m not really looking. At least, I’m not as serious about it as Gabriel.
In spite of my lackadaisical attitude towards finding female companionship, I went home with two cocktail napkins, three business cards, and what looked like a piece of wrapping paper from one of Gabriel’s Christmas gifts. Each one had a phone number written on it. The party was mostly all couples, but it seemed like half the women I talked to had a single friend they wanted me to meet. I took the phone numbers politely, said “thank you,” and hoped that Gabriel wouldn’t mind that a decent portion of the wrapping paper was missing from one of his gifts.
I didn’t really plan on calling any of the women, and I didn’t want to meet any of their single friends. Everyone else seemed to make a bigger deal out of it than I did. I’d had one steady girlfriend or another for the better part of 17 years, and I was enjoying just being a bachelor. I’m 32 years old, aren’t I entitled to a little freedom?
I quietly admitted to myself, however, that my freedom might not be the only reason that I wouldn’t call any of the women, wouldn’t meet any of their single friends. I couldn’t get my mind off the leggy brunette, the one from the Jazz Club. Perhaps it was her mystery. Perhaps it was her attitude. Perhaps it was simply her body. I don’t know. What I do know is that she was stuck in my thoughts, and I didn’t really want to get her out of them. So I was at the party without a date, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
After the big party, Gabriel always took a two-week vacation. Usually, he and his wife would go to Disney World. He didn’t fly—it was a two-day drive to Orlando—but they went every year. Gabriel is a creature of habit, more so than most people, and he’d made his travel plans even after his wife left him. He was determined to relax and find a sugar baby. I hoped he’d at least get to relax.
The Monday after the party, he was on the road, by himself, and I kept an eye on the business. It was a slow time of year for us, and most of our employees took their vacations in December. Practically alone in the office, I had little to do other than surf the Net. By the time Tuesday rolled around, I was looking forward to the Jazz Club, and hopefully, the leggy brunette who’d captured my interest.
The weather that afternoon was biting cold. The wind had picked up and the forecast once again called for light snow overnight. It was a slow night at the bar, and Julie, the cocktail waitress, quickly realized that I was in a talkative mood. She brought my first drink and we chatted while I packed my pipe. While I smoked, we talked amiably. She left several times, to take care of the few other patrons she had, but she always returned with a smile and we picked up where we’d left off.
I was most of the way through my third Scotch when I resigned myself to the fact that the brunette wasn’t coming. I decided to finish my pipe and then leave. I puffed quietly, closed my eyes, and leaned my head against the padded chair back. Without opening my eyes, I finished my Macallan and rested the glass on my knee. Then I sat in silence, listening to the soft Christmas music they were piping into the bar.
A little while later, I heard movement at the other end of the low table in front of me. Probably a couple sitting down at the other end of the couch, I thought.
“One drink, and then I have to go,” said a woman’s voice. She was sitting at the end of the couch, opposite where Gabriel usually sat.
I kept my eyes closed and decided to see what I could learn about them just by listening. Were they a couple? I doubted it. Were they just friends from work? Tough to tell. I couldn’t tell whether the other person was a man or a woman.
“What can I get you ladies to drink?” Julie asked.
Second mystery solved, I thought to myself. Friends from work, or girls’ night out?
“I’d like a Cosmopolitan,” the first woman said.
“And for you?” Julie asked.
In my mind, I could picture her turning towards the other woman.
“I think I’d like the Macallan Gran Reserva. Neat.”
I knew her voice, a rich, musical soprano. It was her.
My eyes snapped open and I stared at the paneled wood ceiling for a moment. I lowered my head, hoping that I didn’t appear too anxious, and looked into the sparkling blue eyes of the brunette. She was sitting in the easy chair opposite me, and when our eyes met, she grinned wryly and winked. I smiled tightly, trying not to let my eagerness show. Her eyes twinkled with laughter for a moment, and then she smiled at me and turned to her friend.
Julie returned a few minutes later with the women’s drinks, and then she moved to my end of the low table. She collected the empty glass from my suddenly slack fingers, and set a new drink—my fourth for the evening—on the table.
“I thought you might like another,” she said with an impish smile.
I rarely had more than three glasses of Scotch. It was such a habit that Julie knew not to even ask if I wanted a fourth drink. I grinned ruefully at her. She laughed quietly and gave me a friendly nod.
The brunette and her friend, the same leggy blonde from the week before, chatted quietly. I was trying not to eavesdrop, but it was difficult not to, my attention was so focused on the brunette. The blonde did most of the talking, however. The conversation was mostly about her day at work (she was a marketing manager) and the date she had later that night (a younger guy who worked in her company’s IT department). She finished her drink quickly, apologized to the brunette for having so little time, and stood to leave.
After the brunette resumed her seat, she leaned back in her chair, crossed her elegant legs, and looked at me over the rim of her Scotch tumbler. She was wearing a pair of pleated black slacks, slender at the waist, with an attractive flare that accented her hips. Her sweater was fuzzy white angora, long-sleeved with a high, rolled turtleneck collar. Although I’d hoped she would have been wearing a skirt, the sweater hugged her curves and assuaged my disappointment. When she moved, the play of shadows under her breasts threatened to mesmerize me, and I reluctantly tore my eyes away.
“Hi,” she said, eyes glittering.
I smiled. “Hi yourself.”
“Where’s your friend?” she asked, darting a glance at the empty couch next to me.
“Disney World,” I said with a chuckle.
She arched an eyebrow.
“It’s a long story.”
“So I guess our friends have deserted us.”
I nodded. “It looks that way. Do you think they can trust us by ourselves?”
She laughed musically and I grinned. “I think so,” she said. “Although it’s a school night, and I like to be in bed by nine o’clock.”
I looked at her in surprise, and then laughed at her brazen statement.
She took a sip of Scotch to cover her grin.
“That’s a very nice Scotch you’re drinking,” I said, changing the subject.
“I know what I like,” she said, looking directly at me.
I arched an eyebrow at her.
She took another sip and smiled coyly. “Actually, it is good. I think it’s better than the 12 year old. But I don’t know if the difference in taste justifies the difference in price.”
I looked at her and tried to keep the shock from my expression. I’d thought she wouldn’t have known much about the Scotch she’d ordered. I suspected she’d simply ordered the most expensive single malt they had, in order to get my attention. She’d certainly done that, on both counts.
“I normally like the Lagavulin 16, because it’s a little... saltier,” she said with a lascivious grin. She giggled at my expression and took another sip of the Macallan. “You look surprised.”
I tried to compose myself. “I guess it’s not every day that I meet a woman who knows single malts.”
“It’s not every day that you meet a woman like me,” she said without batting an eye.
“Touché.” I raised my glass to her in silent salute.
She returned the gesture and drained the last of her Scotch. She savored the taste and then looked at me over the rim of the glass, eyes ablaze. “I need to use the ladies’ room,” she said. “Will you excuse me for a moment?”
I nodded mutely.
“I’ll only be a minute.”
I nodded again and she picked up her purse. She stopped Julie at the bar and withdrew a small wallet. They talked for a moment, and then the brunette—I realized that I still didn’t know her name—pointed my direction and then handed Julie a credit card. Julie nodded and the brunette headed for the stairs. I almost choked when Julie looked at me and smirked.
I put my pipe back in its pouch and sipped my Scotch, listening to the soft music in the background. “Let It Snow” was playing, and I chuckled at how appropriate the song was at that moment.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, I hummed to myself.
It was too dark outside to see much, especially with the reflected light from the bar, but I could hear the wind moaning around the eaves of the big Antebellum house. I knew it would be bitingly cold outside, but the Scotch and the fire warmed me, inside and out.
And the fire is so delightful...
Just then, the brunette returned. Julie laid the credit card folio on the table and the brunette signed the receipt.
“I need to go,” she said to me. “Will you walk me to my car?”
“Sure,” I said, standing. “Just let me take care of my tab.”
And since we’ve no place to go...
“You’re all taken care of,” Julie said to me with a wink.
I looked at the brunette. She smiled—dazzling, even white teeth made her face light up.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
“Thank you very much,” I said to her.
It doesn’t show signs of stopping...
I gestured for her to precede me and we started down the stairs. Once on the main floor, I picked up my coat from the cloakroom and looked at her questioningly. She pointed to a three-quarter length leather coat and I helped her don it. She put on matching leather gloves while I shrugged into my own black leather coat, and then we opened the door and stepped into the night. The wind had picked up, and there were already flurries of snow whipping around us.
She thrust her arm through mine and we headed towards the parking lot.
And I’ve bought some corn for popping...
“You never did tell me your name,” I said.
“You never asked.”
The lights are turned way down low...
I grinned ruefully. Okay. “I’m Ethan,” I said, as if we’d only just met. “And you are?”
“Pleased to meet you.”
She just laughed and hugged herself to my arm. The wind was positively arctic, and I stuck my hands in my pockets to try to keep them warm.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
We reached her Lexus, and she unlocked the car with her key fob. As it turned out, she was parked next to my gold Rover. We stood between our two cars, and before she got into hers, I expected her to face me, which she did. When I went to speak, she pressed one gloved finger to my lips and silenced me. Then she kissed me, long and deep and full of heat.
When we finally kiss goodnight...
“Let me get the car started so it’ll get warmed up,” she said.
I nodded and she opened the door. Once she’d started the car, she took off her gloves, stepped out, and shut the door. She stepped close to me, and I’d just opened my mouth, to ask for her phone number, when I felt her hands at my pants. I looked at her in astonishment as she lowered my zipper. She grinned unabashedly and withdrew my soft manhood.
How I’ll hate going out in the storm!
An icy gust threatened to shrivel me further, but her warm hand wrapped around my flaccid length and she began massaging me. Despite the cold, I rapidly hardened in her palm. With a playful grin, she began gently squeezing my length. I quickly scanned the parking lot and was relieved to see no sign of anyone else. The sensations of the cold wind on my hot erection threatened to overwhelm me, and my head swam. She smiled wickedly, while her long, strong fingers continued to expertly caress my shaft.
But if you’ll really hold me tight...
Her fingers began tripping up and down my erection, caressing and teasing me. She gazed at me with lust-filled eyes, and I bent to kiss her. Her mouth opened, her head tilted back slightly, and she leaned against my chest. She never stopped stroking me as I took my hands out of my pockets and gripped her shoulders, pulling her to me. Her lips parted, and instead of kissing her soundly, I teased her. My lips brushed hers and she pressed forward; I pulled back and she moaned. The hand on my cock squeezed insistently, and I touched my lips to hers again, softly, teasingly.
All the way home I’ll be warm...
She tried to press against me, and I pulled back. When she settled back on her heels, I tilted my head to the side and kissed along the line of her jaw, causing her to shudder. The fuzzy angora tickled my cheek as I nuzzled her earlobe. She responded against me, and I kissed the hollow of her neck. The hand on my manhood stopped moving. She moaned softly and I grinned to myself. I pulled back, planting kisses along the soft skin of her neck and jaw, and then pressed my lips against hers with rising ardor. Our tongues danced against each other, and then I pulled back. Her eyes opened slowly, and I grinned at her.
The fire is slowly dying...
Her nose and cheeks were red from the cold, and her lips were red and shiny as well, although for an entirely different reason. She slowly focused on me and then blinked, as if seeing me for the first time. When she saw me grinning, she grinned as well, although ruefully. I reached between us and reluctantly pulled her hands from my erection. With difficulty, I managed to stuff it back into my shorts and zip my pants. I pulled her towards me, and she came willingly. She laid her head on my chest and wrapped her arms around me as I held her.
And, my dear, we’re still goodbying...
“We could go to my place,” I said into her hair.
She tensed up at first, and then slowly relaxed. Finally, she shook her head.
The snow began coming down harder and the wind suddenly died. Fat snowflakes fell all around us, shrouding us with their silent white beauty. She stepped back, looked up at me, and then smiled, taking the sting out of her refusal. Then a mischievous expression crept over her face and she kissed me quickly.
But as long as you love me so...
“I want to see you again,” I said.
She quickly nodded. “Next Tuesday.” She grinned at me, a teasing twinkle in her eyes. “My car’s probably warm enough by now. I don’t want to get stuck in the storm,” she said.
She kissed me again, pressing hard against my lips and darting her tongue into my mouth. When she pulled back, we were both breathless. She sighed, opened her eyes, and then opened the car door. In a moment, she was behind the steering wheel and buckling her seatbelt. With a wave, she backed out, and then drove off.
In the pinkish glow from the sodium streetlight, I stared after her, slightly bewildered, and merrily hummed to myself.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!