As the cab sped across the Brooklyn Bridge, she wound down the window, feeling the cool breeze against her skin, the twinkling lights of Manhattan dancing in her eyes. At night, it looked exactly how she’d imagined; the city that never sleeps, alive and brimming with possibility. She touched the worn leather seat of the cab, reminding herself that this was real; heart pounding in anticipation of her first ever weekend in New York.
Pulling up outside the Ludlow Hotel, she could see the blacks, greys, and taxi-yellows of the street reflected in the tarmac — glossy, thanks to a wet Friday afternoon. The rain had finally stopped, and the sky was clear, making for a cold first night. She tipped the driver, grabbed her bag, and headed inside.
The atmosphere immediately appealed to her; a warm Parisian vibe mixed with masculine rock ’n’ roll charm. Stylish locals huddled in the cosy nooks of the hotel bar, draping themselves over one another. She would be coming down here for a nightcap at the very least; maybe strike up a conversation or two.
After a quick change of outfit and a touch of lipstick, she headed back down to the bar. With every table and bar stool occupied, the quietly cool but friendly barman recommended she try out the bar across the street. It would be less crowded over there, he said, and the patrons less self-involved. Curious to find out if the bar — oddly named ‘No Fun’ — would be as welcoming as the barman suggested, she thanked him and made her way over there.
A little apprehensively, she entered the loud, bright establishment and made her way to the bar. There were just a few people present, some in groups, some by themselves; one of them was him.
She noticed him straight away, sitting alone at the bar. She took a moment to work out why she was drawn to him. He seemed entirely comfortable in himself and his surroundings. A hint of broad shoulders through his shirt. Thick, well-defined thighs suggested by the way he casually half-perched on his stool. As he shared a joke with the barman, his smile suggested a laid-back, approachable friendliness; he looked as though he could handle her playfulness.
Guided by instinct, she moved to sit almost next to him, despite there being plenty of room along the bar.
As she approached, he gestured to the barman to settle his bill. At that moment his jacket slid off the back of the stool and she caught it just before it hit the floor. She handed it to him, and they locked eyes briefly before he addressed the barman — “Sorry mate, I’m going to keep that tab open,” — in an English accent she hadn’t predicted. A surge of adrenaline rushed through her as a look in his pale blue eyes suggested this could be more than just an interesting conversation…
“Did you do that on purpose to check my reaction time?” she asked, teasing him with a playful sarcasm in her voice.
“Well, if I did, you certainly passed the test,” he replied, not missing a beat.
His charming retort disarmed her, but she rallied quickly, locking eyes with him again. “So, what are we drinking?”
Several Tom Collins later, and the conversation had flown by effortlessly. He was here on business; this was her first visit. They’d quickly realised they were both from London — though, he’d added, he felt like an honorary New Yorker, being on his hundredth trip or so — and they’d barely broken eye contact since, absorbing each other’s energy and indulging in deep conversation.
The barman delivered another round of drinks as they shared a raucous laugh. She felt his hand brush across her thigh — was that intentional? — and took in a slow, deep breath. Suddenly she felt like a prisoner in her own dress, resenting the fabric that kept her skin from his touch.
He appeared to think for a beat whilst maintaining her gaze, and a slight smile crept across his face. The look between them said everything — there was a new understanding here, a burgeoning intimacy.
She found herself focusing on his strong, handsome hands. She imagined them on her body, gripping her hips, holding her down, stroking her, pleasing her. The thought distracted her with a tingle of excitement whenever she glanced down at them.
He wondered absently if she’d known all along that he’d deliberately allowed his jacket to fall.
At this point, he thought, it didn’t really matter. From the moment she’d handed it back to him, and he’d ordered them one round, then another, he’d sensed a passionate intensity in the way she held his gaze. Beautiful green eyes he was happy to gaze right back into. He couldn’t help but admire her curves — the black dress clinging to her petite waist. The moment he heard her laugh — wild, uninhibited — he knew he was a goner.
She was outrageous when they got going; her sarcastic wit — something he rarely encountered in this part of the world — a balm to his soul. At a particularly loud outburst of laughter, he took the opportunity to lightly brush her thigh with his hand, wanting to gauge her reaction. In truth, he desired to touch her more intimately; to run his hands up her body, to pull her hips toward him. His gaze lingered on her elegant neck; her soft, glowing skin. He yearned to smell her, to kiss her. Her body became impossible to ignore.
The heightened magnetism between them was a new experience for him. The draw was instant, unexplainable, and irresistible. He took a larger than usual mouthful of Scotch, desperately trying to refrain from imagining the many dangerous ideas that were coming to him unbidden.
As the bar got busier and their dialogue developed, their body language shifted. Gradually, instinctively, they moved closer together, positioning themselves so that their knees interlocked. She could feel the warmth of his strong thighs against her bare legs, and he encouraged the increasing closeness.
Then, he pressed his knees together, squeezing hers; an indication that he wanted to take things further.
She reciprocated with a confident ease, placing her hand on his thigh — the movement disguised as an unconscious gesture. His thigh tensed ever so slightly when she did this, an excited response to her unexpected touch. He was casually cupping the base of the Scotch glass in his lap; the perfect position for him to run his little finger lightly along her hand.
She continued to talk enthusiastically, maintaining physical contact. He, listening intently, examined her eyes with his; confirming they had both felt the surge of excitement in this loaded exchange.
At the call for last orders, he suggested walking her back to the hotel. Whilst it was a gentlemanly gesture, it was pointless given the close proximity.
They found themselves standing quietly outside the hotel entrance, neither of them eager to part ways.
“OK, I think it’s clear where this is going…” she said, unafraid to express her expectations.
“And where is that, exactly?” he countered assertively, holding her gaze.
“Let’s see, shall we…” she said with a smile, reaching out her hand. He obliged, grabbing hold of it tight as he led her inside the hotel lobby.
He intuitively navigated the way, leading her through the intimate foyer, past the lounge bar to the elevators. The hotel barman from earlier glanced up from polishing glasses in order to wish them a good night with a knowing smile.
In the elevator, the energy was palpable. There, in the silence, an intense rush began to build. Their hearts pounded secretly beneath their coats; the wait was almost over.
Once inside the room, a fire ignited between them. He moved closer and took her face in his hands. Pausing for a beat, he looked at her in disbelief that he finally had her in his grasp.
Their eyes spoke for them:
His: You want me to take control, don’t you?
Then, he kissed her.
The moment his warm lips met hers, she lost herself. She touched his hands, still holding her face, no longer needing to imagine how it would feel. His firm grip reassured her he was going to take the lead, just as she’d hoped.
Their lips barely parted as he expertly manoeuvred her around the room. Now, here they were, with no words to say but every part of their bodies talking intimately.
He led her into the skybox, three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. The heavy drapes were open, revealing an intoxicating view of the city skyline — not to mention the possibility of an audience. The blinking lights of the New York City buildings provided the perfect backdrop.
He took a step back from her and paused. She smiled at him, wondering what he was thinking.
“I want to undress you” he asserted.
“I won’t stop you…” she replied.
He moved right up close to her, and she immediately felt the heat of his body. Her pulse picked up pace as he leaned in and kissed her neck, softly running his hands from the neckline of her dress down her arms, taking the fabric with him.
She gave a moan of pleasure as he gently teased the dress down off her shoulders. She felt the welcome sensation of a gentle warmth between her thighs as her arousal mounted.
He slid his arms around her waist, his face so close to hers that he could feel her breath move in and out rapidly with anticipation. His hands felt for her lower back, followed by the unmistakable sound of him slowly unzipping her dress. He held her gaze throughout every long second of this slow reveal of her delicate black underwear. He took a deep breath and slid the dress down over her hips, letting it fall to the floor.
He stood up, drank her in; here she was, exposed and vulnerable in front of him. Tempted as he was to devour her straight away, he knew he had to be patient; that it would pay to savour this unexpected encounter.
He stepped back, unbuttoning his shirt and exposing a well-sculpted body. She admired his broad shoulders, picturing him carrying her over to the bed. She moved towards him, her eyes continuing to follow the outline of his shape as she peeled his shirt away. With a mutual desire to feel each other’s skin, they instinctively pressed up against one another. Her hands on his warm chest, she could feel his pulse.
He moved his hands up her back and kissed her lips softly, moving her back towards the far window of the skybox. She was dimly aware of the sounds of emergency vehicles down on the street below, but their sirens faded as her ears rushed with blood.
She craved him.
He whispered in her ear with a calm, assertive tone, “Turn around…”
She did as he said, turning to face the skyscrapers of Manhattan; breathless as she witnessed the view, a shuddering thrill passing through her entire body. Whatever he had in store for her, she ached for it.
He stood behind her, his warm body pressed up against her back, and swept the hair away from her neck. She felt the heat from his soft mouth as he leaned in to breathe in her perfume. His lips caressed behind her ear, sending shivers ricocheting through her body.
He slowly slipped the bra from her shoulders, and her breath hitched as he enticed the straps to fall down her arms. Next, he undid the clasp and the delicate fabric fell away effortlessly, exposing her breasts. He ran his hands down her arms, taking the bra with him. She revelled in the seductive vulnerability of being exposed; of allowing him the privilege of seeing her naked.
He guided her arms up and, when their hands connected, he leaned against her, pushing her gently forward until her palms met the cold panes of the window. She spread her fingers, allowing his to fall in between, connecting to the chill from outside. She started to tremble as the cold sensation of the glass mingled with the adrenaline rushing through her body.
His now cool fingers traced back up her arms and, once at the apex of her shoulders, he scooped her hair away again, burying himself into her neck. They looked back towards the window together, their reflections mirroring this intimate moment back at them. He could now take in her full shape, and it excited him — a fact that didn’t escape her now that his groin was pressed firmly against her rear.