It was a out of character, but Amber couldn’t deny the rush as her Uber driver, Kevin, navigated the way to “Tongue and Cheek.” She sat motionless in the back seat trying to calm her nerves.
Just two minutes away, she noticed a text from Jonathon.
“Are we still good for tonight? I’m sitting in the bar at Bella’s.”
She’d totally forgotten about her loose plans to meet Jonathon for dinner and whispered “Fuck” under her breath before staring out the window for a plan.
Jonathon was a sweet guy and possibly what Amber was looking for, if it weren’t for the pain of dating. She enjoyed his company, and it was comfortable time, but she didn’t have that feeling in her stomach, or even a passion that reminds someone of plans on a Friday night.
Kevin pulled to the curb in front of “Tongue and Cheek” where a Valet opened her door. Andre was waiting inside and most of her being wanted to casually find, and surprise him. But, her conscience got the best of her.
She told the valet to wait a minute, then closed her eyes in mild frustration as she texted Jonathon, “Yes, on the way. See you soon.”
“Change of plans,” she told Kevin into the rearview mirror, “Do you mind taking me to Bella’s?”
“Not a problem.”
For the next 10 minutes, Amber felt that very human feeling of something being stripped away. The high, rudely ripped away by a Universe that seemed unfair. Her “chance” meeting with Andre would have to wait.
Johnathon sensed something was wrong guided by Amber’s distracted nature. She assured him she was fine, and felt a bit angry at his prying, but also knew it was time to get into the moment, or it would be a long night.
The wine was still in her system and she added another glass with a toast, “To our new friendship and the possibilities that life presents!”
Johnathon was happy to raise his glass and heard the words completely different as he looked across the table into her eyes. He was falling fast for Amber, but she was feeling a change inside. Something about the days’ events told her it was okay to be a bit more brazen with her desires. The magic some people can have on our lives, she thought.
Throughout dinner, Johnathon complimented Amber on her looks and outfits. Gushing compliments that felt nice, but a tad too close for her. She, on the other hand, steered conversation in a benign direction and hinted more than once about being tired.
At 9:30, Amber made a decision to end dinner and finish this night on her coach watching her show and drinking wine alone.
She pecked lightly at her desert and said, “This has been really nice. I’m glad we got to have dinner. I think it’s time for lala land.”
“Really,” asked Johnathon, “I thought we could grab another drink at Fischer’s.
“Oh, any other time, but I’m just wiped.”
He reluctantly gave in as he watched her hair fall across the side of her face, resisting the urge to push it back.
“Okay, maybe we can get together tomorrow?”
“I’ll take you home if you’d like.”
“No, it’s way out of the way, I’ll just get an Uber.”
He held her hand lightly as they stood outside of Bella’s waiting for her car. The Ford Explorer pulled up and Jonathon leaned in to kiss Amber and they exchanged kisses on the cheek. What was a woman to do if she didn’t feel a fire? An ongoing struggle, but it goes both ways.
Amber took a deep breath as she settled into the backseat again and said, “‘Tongue and Cheek,’ please.”’
It was nearly 10, and she doubted she’d even go in, but the simple excitement of saying the words made her flush. Barely 5 minutes later, her car stopped again. She told the driver to wait for a minute as she nervously laid her Louboutins on the concrete and stood looking at the crowd flowing from the doors of “Tongue and Cheek.” Amber swam against the current as hundreds of people rushed her way and she scanned them all for Andre.
When she spotted him, a chill ran up her spine and her impulse was to turn away. She took a few steps to her right, then asked herself, “What are you doing, Amber?” It was a simple question and she knew the answer. She wanted to hear his voice, be in his presence, maybe in his arms.
She casually looked again and her heart dropped. He was holding hands with a woman in the valet line. Amber’s eyes blurred as Andre leaned down to kiss the woman before opening her car door.
A flood of emotion ran through Amber. Regret, envy, and relief. The latter may have been the greatest.
Her Über driver was now leaning out the window asking her what was up. She did her best to melt into the crowd and climbed back in the car.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize the event was over.”
Amber gave him the address to her home and smiled to herself about her actions. Nothing happened, but it felt like a wild ride. She had a strange feeling of optimism that had been buried, and on some level was proud that she pushed her comfort zone.
Safely on the couch, Amber’s mind drifted to Andre. Was the woman his girlfriend, a hook-up, or, worse, his wife?
She replayed their work conversation, thinking about his deep voice, and how he looked walking away in his dress shirt. He was very much a cordial, but maybe he had similar feelings about her?
She was rarely smitten with someone and typically content with the simple pleasures in life. And certainly she’d never had these kinds of feelings for a black man.
But something clicked with Andre. Maybe it was his gentleman’s behavior. Maybe it was the safety and context of working together. Maybe it was the way his hand felt as it engulfed her newly manicured nails. Maybe, but the sight of his dark skin against hers made her sigh.
Amber tried to find something on television, but couldn’t get her mind off the buzz flowing through her veins. She flipped channels in her soft, pink, Victoria’s Secret pajamas and imagined Andre next to her on the couch. She closed her eyes and unconsciously ran her nail on up her thigh. The thought of his strong arms holding her close made her quiver. Her hand moved to her breast and lightly touched a responsive nipple.
Amber moaned softly and imagined his full lips exploring her neck, her cheek, and finally her lips. At that moment she would have given anything to be in his powerful arms, feeling his passionate kiss. It was electric, alive, and a bit taboo.
She imagined running her French manicure over his strong shoulders, across his face, down his chest. The contrast of her light hands on his dark body seemed too good to be true and she soaked it in. Lightly grazing his skin, giving him goosebumps as she explored his stomach.
More kissing, more soft moans, and more desire.
Amber slid her fingers inside the top of her waistband and imagined how it would feel to do the same with Andre. Reaching inside of his jeans to feel him for the first time. That mystery was always exciting, but with Andre it would new. It’d be the first time she’d ever held a black man in her hand.
She slid her hand into her panties and was not surprised by her level of arousal. Andre may not have been there, but his effect was real.
Amber moaned as she touched her wet lips. She moved slowly, wanting it to last forever. She imagined it was his hand, lightly exploring her for the first time. Telling her how sexy she was between kisses on her lips.
An orgasm was near and Amber tread lightly. She wanted it to be perfect. To leave her breathless, just like he would.
She slid one finger past her lips and her hips begged forward asking for more. She lightly rubbed her clit and it nearly took her over the edge. This would certainly be the best orgasm she’d had in months.
Just as she was imagining his thick, dark finger sliding deeper inside her, the phone snapped her back to reality by blaring a regretful ring tone selection in right in her right ear. She sighed, then searched under pillow to see who could possibly be calling her at this hour.
The words “Mom” on her screen snapped her back. Family calling this late at night was rare and she took a deep breath before answering.
“Hi, mom. Is everything okay?”
“Yes, honey, hope I didn’t wake or startle you. I just needed to know something about tomorrow.”
Amber sunk into the couch, relieved, and frustrated at once.