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This is an original work of fiction. The copyright belongs to this author. Any reproduction or use of this piece without express written permission from the author is against the law. Any likeness to real people is purely coincidental. All characters in this story engaging in adult activities are age eighteen or older.
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I am not a professional writer. I always appreciate honest, constructive feedback and comments from readers. However, it is unnecessary to make sardonic and rude comments berating a non-paid writer for a few mistakes or when the story isn’t your cup of tea. Thank you for your consideration.
I hope you enjoy!
Standing at the swanky bar in the hotel’s lounge, with its neon under-lighting, stainless steel counters, and black vinyl-topped barstools, twenty-eight-year-old Rhys Connolly could hear the din of the dance music and feel the pumping base coming from the banquet hall at the other end of the spacious hotel lobby. He sighed as he placed his right palm flat on the counter, his left hand on his hip, with the side of his gray suitcoat tucked behind his wrist.
The bar lounge was nearly devoid of patrons. There were two bar stations in the banquet hall where the reunion party was being held. The drinks there were free, so it stood to reason why none of the attendees would be in the hotel bar paying for drinks. But Rhys was.
The bartender wiped the counter with a black bar cloth as he made his way down the counter to where Rhys was standing. “What’ll it be?”
Rhys’ lips quirked at the barkeep’s thick Long Island accent. He couldn’t hide it if he tried. It was a reminder that Rhys was no longer in California, the place he now called home. “Good evening,” Rhys greeted the bartender with a friendly half-smile. “I’ll have a Sidecar. Thanks,” he replied with a nod of gratitude as he pulled a money clip from his left pants pocket and retrieved a ten and a five from the folded bills. He held the money out to the bartender, “Keep it.” The bartender thanked Rhys and walked back down the bar to make the cocktail, leaving Rhys alone with his thoughts.
Rhys hadn’t wanted to attend the ten-year high school reunion in his hometown in New Jersey. He hadn’t stayed in touch with any classmates, not to mention that the few other smart-geek students he’d associated with in school were not in attendance. He didn’t care to reinvent any relationships with these people, none of whom he would likely ever see again. So, what was the point in coming? There was none, in his opinion. Yet, he’d let himself be persuaded to fly across the country to attend.
For many of his classmates, nothing much had changed. Being in a well-populated affluent area within close proximity to New York City, why go elsewhere? Many of them lived somewhere within driving distance, and they seemed to belong to the same old social circles and cliques, even after having attended college and joining the work force.
Rhys, however, had attended the University of California at Berkeley and now lived in a beachfront home in Half Moon Bay on the coast of California, which is about thirty miles south of San Francisco. Following their only child, his parents had retired to northern California, so there was nothing tying Rhys to New Jersey.
He thought about what he’d been like in high school, and he chuckled with a shake of his head, remembering the tall, thin, young man with bad posture, ill-fitting glasses, and no sense of style. He’d been teased and name-called by some of the other students, and not necessarily the ones who are often stereotyped as bullies.
It’s probably unrealistic to think that anyone who is bullied escapes it without it affecting them to a certain degree, but it had been minimal for Rhys. He didn’t really relate to his peers. Their rituals of teasing, flirting, and game-playing seemed like a waste of time and energy to him. His interests lied in learning about computers and robotics. As smart as he was, he was in Robotics Club as well as a national tech competition team through his school. When he wasn’t doing a project for one of those or for school, there was always some personal geek-tech project that took up most of his spare time. For instance, by the age of fourteen, he’d built his own computer, and by fifteen, he was building websites.
It was during college that Rhys had ‘come into his own,’ as they say. He owed some credit to his roommate, Matt, who was a baseball player and a business major. Matt had not only easily accepted Rhys for who he was, which was a gawky, awkward computer geek, but Matt even invited Rhys to workout at the gym with he and his teammates. Rhys had been reluctant to go. He felt odd enough… tall and thin with no muscle tone, not to mention that fitness and gym equipment were foreign to him.
Matt assured him it was a piece of cake, and Rhys had an honest desire to improve his physique, so he went outside his comfort zone, and accompanied canlı bahis şirketleri Matt to the gym. Rhys was easily folded into the flock of Matt’s teammates, and the guys took turns instructing him on the various machines. Rhys had to admit, it wasn’t what he expected from a group of jocks, and he was grateful for it. Before long, Rhys knew how to use each piece of equipment, and he started to build muscle himself.
Sophomore year, Matt was dating a fashion major, Allison. She had a bubbly, bright personality and had a passionate way of talking about her major and the things that she loved. It was that passion that seemed to pull people in, like she was an enchantress, putting people under her spell to persuade them to do as she wished. At least that’s how Rhys thought of it. There just wasn’t any other reasonable explanation as to how she’d managed to talk him into being involved in one of her final class projects that required Allison and two friends to makeover hair and clothing for a person and present their “work” to the class.
While being on display in Alison’s class was quite possibly one of the more embarrassing moments in his life, in the end, Rhys had been so pleased with the results that he’d enlisted Alison to help him select some new clothing for his wardrobe, since style was an area where he felt completely inept. So, Alison began to educate him in fitted dress shirts, V-necks, cuts of jeans, styles of shoes, and everything in between. Rhys absorbed every meticulous detail.
Alison promised that when she was done with him that he would be turning heads. His formerly unruly brown hair was cut short on the sides and in the back, but longer on top, accentuating his natural curls, His new, more fitted style, complimented his physique that he’d worked so hard to develop over the past year. Rhys was skeptical, since he’d never received much attention from girls in high school, and while he might have been disinterested in his peers in high school, he became much more interested in his female peers in college, and couldn’t deny that he wouldn’t mind some attention from the fairer sex.
Good to her word, Allison was right, and Rhys began to receive attention from the young ladies on campus. It was fascinating to Rhys that college women seemed to appreciate his smarts, contrary to high school where all anyone seemed to care about was whether you were “cool or popular” or not.
While Rhys’ interest in socializing with his peers increased, especially with the girls, he managed his time well. He dated, while maintaining a nearly perfect grade point average, graduating at the top of his class and landing a fantastic job right out of college. Three years later, he was sitting in his dream job, working for the Fortune 100 computer and tech mogul, a leader in innovation in the computer and tech industry.
So, the Rhys Connolly standing at the bar that evening in his $1,200, gray, Tom Ford, three-piece suit, was a far cry from the skinny, awkward young man from ten years ago. Slender and fit with modest muscles, sexy curls that women loved to run their fingers through, eyes as blue as a cloudless sky, and a genuine smile, he turned heads in any room. His intelligence was celebrated at his job at the tech giant in Mountain View, California, where he was a computer hardware engineer, earning a sizeable six figure salary. He had every reason to be the confident man that he was.
The bartender delivered Rhys’ drink, with a curl of lemon peel on the edge of the cocktail glass. After swirling the golden liquid, he brought the glass to his lips, taking a long draw of the ice-cold, orangey-flavored liquid. As he was setting his drink down on the steel surface, he heard loud voices and a scraping sound on the polished concrete floor as someone banged into a chair. Obnoxious laughter followed. Rhys glanced over his shoulder to see who was causing the ruckus. Recognizing the two former classmates who had hassled him in high school, he rolled his eyes, let out an annoyed puff of air, and turned back to the bar, reading the time from his watch, 9:54 PM.
The next moment, the two men invaded Rhys’ personal space, sidling up to the bar on the left side of him, alcohol permeating from their pores. Nearly knocking into him, the one Rhys remembered as Trevor yelled to the bartender, ordering two cheap beers on tap. He then turned to Rhys, studying his nametag.
“Rhys Connelly…” Trevor mumbled, standing in a typical contemplative stance with eyebrows knitted, one hand across his mouth, and the other arm across his body supporting his elbow. The light bulb was slow to flicker on, but as it did, Trevor guffawed with boorish, drunken laughter, “Hey, geek squad!”
The one Rhys remembered as Mike, joined Trevor in the ridiculous laughter.
I guess these two never grew up, Rhys noted with a shake of his head. He offered a contrived half-smile, not looking at either man, and said nothing. He wasn’t going to engage in their petty derision.
“What? No goggles, geek?” Trevor taunted, canlı kaçak iddaa jabbing Rhys in the rib with his elbow.
Rhys exhaled, annoyed, and looked straight ahead at the bottles of liquor behind the bar as he muttered, “Contacts.”
“Here alone, I see,” Trevor scoffed. “Never could get a girl.” More laughter. “Guess some things never change.”
“No. Some things never do,” Rhys replied drily, though he was speaking of something else entirely.
It wasn’t surprising that the two had not noticed him inside the banquet hall earlier in the evening given the number of people in attendance, not to mention that he looked very little like what he had in high school. His transformation was like Patrick Dempsey’s from Can’t Buy Me Love to Grey’s Anatomy, though he looks more like the Game of Thrones character, Robb Stark.
Obviously, the nametag was what triggered the memory of the nickname they had called him back then and apparently, it didn’t matter that it was ten years later and the “geek squad” nickname was far from fitting anymore. Fortunately, their attempts to belittle him had no effect. Rhys was far too self-assured to let their childishness bother him.
Trevor was about to say something else to Rhys when something caught his attention. Rhys turned, to see what had caught Trevor’s eye, and he smiled at the sight of the attractive, young woman with shiny blonde waves of hair that cascaded down her back to the bottom of her shoulder blades. She was sitting alone, at a high-top table near the back of the lounge, swiftly tapping away on her tablet.
“Well, well… What — do — we — have — here?” Trevor growled lecherously. “Now, that is one sexy piece of ass,” he salivated, licking his lips. Gesturing her shape with his hands, “I’m gonna get me some of that.”
Rhys’ mouth was set a thin line as he made a slight shake of his head, a gesture that meant he wasn’t impressed with Trevor’s objectification of the young beauty. As Trevor set his pilsner on the counter, and turned as though he was going to walk toward the woman, Rhys put a hand on his bicep to stop him, “Don’t.”
“Why the hell not?” Trevor retorted with a snort, jerking his arm from Rhys’ grasp.
Rhys shared his observations, “I’d say she looks like she doesn’t want to be bothered, based on her furious typing and the fact that she sat all the way over there, away from the bar and the noise.” He beckoned the bartender with a raised finger, and when he arrived in front of Rhys, drying a cocktail glass with a black cloth, Rhys instructed, “Please send the lady a Grey Goose and Cointreau Cosmo.” Retrieving bills from his pocket, he placed them on the bar and then took a swill of his own drink.
“What the hell are you doing?” Mike sneered.
“What? You’ve never sent a woman a drink before?” Rhys asked with amusement.
“Waste of fucking money,” Mike ridiculed, both he and Trevor laughing.
“I beg to differ,” Rhys countered, with a grin, taking another draw of his murky orange beverage.
The three men watched as the bartender delivered the drink to the shapely blonde. He spoke to the woman and indicated Rhys. She made eye contact with him and offered a flirty puckered-lip smile, while holding the glass up to him and raising her chin slightly, in a gesture that said, ‘Thank you.’ Smiling in return, Rhys mimicked her gesture to say, ‘You’re welcome.’
The woman bit her lower lip gently, dropped her gaze momentarily and then looked Rhys in the eye, raising an eyebrow before returning to her work, typing away on her tablet.
“Well, that was successful!” Trevor scoffed mockingly, turning back to the bar and collecting his pilsner. “You obviously don’t know anything about women,” he whooped.
“Guess you could stand to learn a thing or two,” Mike snickered, taking several gulps of his beer.
“We’ll see,” Rhys disputed confidently, propping his elbows on the bar behind him. He grinned as he watched the woman close her tablet, place it in her purse, and elegantly lift the glass, with the stem between two upturned fingers.
“Hey, Trev, she’s coming over,” Mike said.
The three men watched as she approached, easily matching a runway model’s sashay, red heels clicking on the floor, hips swishing, wavy hair bouncing, and her left elbow bent as she held her cocktail glass out to the side. Her spaghetti-strap sheath dress was mid-thigh in length with a slit on one leg. The tight, deep red lace, clung to her every curve, leaving very little to the imagination as to what was under that hot little number.
Mike’s mouth fell open, and Trevor wore a wolfish grin, devouring her with his eyes. Rhys maintained his relaxed posture, leaning on the bar with just a hint of a smile on his face as he admired the woman’s physique as she crossed the room.
When she arrived, she stood directly in front of Rhys, her body mere inches from his, one knee bent, which popped her hip out in a sexy, provocative way. Rhys maintained his position despite her closeness… so close that her vanilla-cinnamon canlı kaçak bahis scent hung in the air, arousing his senses. Rhys had the urge to grab her around the waist, pull her to him, and indulge in the enticing curve of her neck, but he swallowed and breathed deeply, offering a playful half-smile instead.
Trevor greeted her with a suggestive tone, “Well, hello, there.”
As though she hadn’t even heard Trevor’s remark, she placed a hand on Rhys’ bicep, looking up into his grey eyes with her blue. In a sultry voice, she purred, “Thank you for the drink. It was just what I needed.”
“I thought you could use a distraction,” Rhys replied smoothly, the corners of his lips curled up in a teasing smile, a glint of mischief in his eyes.
The woman’s chuckle was genuine as she leaned her body into Rhys, her waist meeting the front of his trousers, since she was several inches shorter than him, even in heels. She broke eye contact only long enough to place her drink on the bar behind him, and then she smiled tantalizingly, “I can think of a much better… distraction.”
Rhys chuckled as he deliberately moved his left hand to her waist, giving a little tug to pull her body tighter to his, “Oh, me, too,” he said, matching her tone, “How about…” The rest of his words were lost as he leaned in and whispered in her ear, placing his other hand just above her neck, curling her hair around his fingers. When he was finished whispering, Rhys moved his hand from her head to join his other hand at her waist, his hands sliding up her sides, settling just below the swell of her well-proportioned breasts. In a low, roguish voice, he nearly growled, “What do you say we get out of here?”
Trevor and Mike just gawked, awe-struck, both unable to utter a single word as the scene unfolded before them. As they watched Rhys whisper to the woman, a noticeable blush spread across her cheeks, her lips parting slightly, and her blue eyes dark and lust-filled. She nearly melted in his arms as she breathed softly, “Yes, please.”
“What the… ” was all Trevor could manage, in his astonishment, and Mike chuckled both in disbelief and incredulity.
Rhys propped the woman’s chin on his forefinger, and rubbed the pad of his thumb over her lips and then trailing down her chin and continuing down her throat. At that gesture, her eyes fluttered closed and her lips parted slightly, her head rolling to one side. “We should go,” he suggested in a gravelly voice as he released the hold he had on her.
Pushing off the bar, he placed a hand on her lower back to escort her away. With an amused grin on his face, he addressed Trevor and Mike without looking at them, saying quietly, “Guess you could stand to learn a thing of two about women?” Not waiting for any kind of response, Rhys escorted her out of the lounge.
He held his hand on the woman’s back as they walked through the lobby with its marble floors and black and gray furniture, and rounded a corner to the bank of elevators. Rhys removed his arm from her back to press the call button for an elevator.
Eyes downcast, a smirk crept onto Rhys’ face, the corners of his eyes crinkling with that bit of mischief. He brushed the woman’s fingers with the back of his, and then slid his hand into hers, lacing their fingers together. Turning toward her, he confided, “I just couldn’t help toying with them,” his smile widening as their eyes met. “It was just so funny, Gwen. There they were telling me I couldn’t get a girl, and they were there alone,” he chuckled. “Guess they failed to notice my wedding band… And yours, for that matter,” he added with a snicker.
Gwen leaned in, and Rhys wrapped his arms around her, his hands settling in the hollow of her spine, just below her shoulder blades. He looked at her seductively and lowered his voice, speaking intimately, “You know, I can get a hard-on just watching how other men react to you… knowing I’m the one that gets to take you to bed.” He could feel her heart beating rapidly against his chest. His smile turned devilish and he needled her, “But we could go back to the banquet hall. I know how badly you wanted to come to this party.”
Gwen pushed Rhys against the wall between the two elevator doors, her body plastered to his. A thrill of desire sparked through his body, his pulse hammering in his neck. His restraint was waning, and he wanted nothing more than to wrap this woman around him and take her right there, but of course, he would never do that. Waiting the few moments to get back to their room was going to be excruciating.
Gwen’s hand traced down his arm as she looked at him, her eyes thick with lust, “After what you proposed in the lounge? Not on your life!” she chuckled. She glanced to the left and then to the right, just to make sure they were alone. Locking eyes with him, her hand slithered down his arm to his trousers, finding its way to the center, where she found what she was looking for, giving his steely rod a squeeze, she acknowledged, “Mmm, you weren’t kidding.” Hooking her left hand around his neck, she brought his ear to her mouth, “You have no idea how wet I am right now.” Her hot breath tickled his ear, then she nipped his earlobe before slinking her hands down over his backside, grabbing handfuls of his ass through his gray suit pants.
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