Not Safe for Work

By: L. A. Witt


Rick snorted. “I doubt that.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Because if you are, then I am, and…no.”

I laughed again. “Fair enough. To be serious, though, I do enjoy vanilla too.”

“So I read. And same here.”

God, this was weird. We were in the same booth, on the same wavelength, and if I kept playing my cards right—no, if he kept playing his cards right—we’d be in the same bed.

Except we hadn’t even touched yet. Verbal games only went so far.

We were way too out in the open for any contact beyond hands on the tabletop. Not even touching an arm or teasing the inside of a wrist with a finger. Maybe if we were a couple of twenty-somethings, it would’ve been different, but I came from an era where that sort of thing didn’t fly. And, well, old habits died hard.

But I still wanted to touch him. More than that, I wanted to see him squirm.

So, beneath the table, I ran my toe along his insole. “Footsie” seemed like a childish game, but the way his eyes closed and he slowly pulled in a breath, the way the hairs on his arm stood up and my own spine tingled—this wasn’t child’s play.

I did it again. His other foot moved, rubbing against mine, and I quickly put mine on top and pushed his back to the floor.

Rick’s eyes flew open.

Right then, the waitress appeared beside us. “Can I get you gentlemen—” Her eyes darted back and forth between us. Some color bloomed in her cheeks, as if she’d realized a second too late what she just walked into. A little quieter, she quickly asked, “Any refills?”

“Some more water please,” Rick said, the words spilling out one on top of the other. “Ice water.”

The color deepened. She swallowed and turned to me. “And you, sir?”

“Water, yes. Please.”

She was gone so fast, she may as well have just ceased to exist.

Neither of us spoke. I slid my foot off his, and he shifted as if he suddenly couldn’t get comfortable. When the waitress returned, she deposited our drinks and made a quick exit, and still, we were silent.

He took a few deep swallows of water. I left mine on the table but wrapped my hands around it, letting the cold bring me back to earth.

My body temperature slowly came down, though the same could not be said for my pulse, especially as I whispered, “Why me, Rick?”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

He tapped his fingers on the sides of his glass. “I did, but…I’m not sure I understand the question. Why not you?”

“Rick. You could have any man in this city.” I pushed my drink aside, folded my arms on the table, and leaned over them. “Why are you sitting in a bar with a middle-aged guy who builds models for a living?”

He studied me, and then slid his own drink to the side before mirroring me, leaning in so close our forearms nearly touched. “Because I’ve seen the way you carry yourself. I’ve seen the way no one intimidates you, no matter how hard they try.” A faint grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. He ran his foot up the side of my ankle, and I sucked in a sharp breath, which brought that grin fully to life. He went on, “And once I saw you on Leathr, and I realized what you really are, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to sit across from you in a meeting while I could still feel everything you’d done to me the night before.”

I blinked. Gulped. Reached for my water.

Rick sipped his own and, as he lowered the glass, asked, “That answer your question?”

“Yes, it does.” How was my mouth still dry? I took another sip. Then I looked him right in the eye. “It does leave me with one more, though.”

“Does it?”

“Mmhmm.” I nudged his foot down again and pinned it to the floor beneath my own. “What do you want me to do to you?”

“Only one real answer to that, isn’t there?” He pushed back a little, as if to make sure neither of us forgot what was going on beneath the table. “Whatever you want to do to me.”

I smiled, resisting the urge to reach across and squeeze his arm. “Humor me. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fantasizing a bit since this afternoon.”

Rick went for his drink again and whispered, “Started before this afternoon.”

Jesus…

“Did it, now?”

He nodded and drained his glass.

“Tell me.” I reached for my water, but let it go—might as well save it in case I really needed it. “What have you been fantasizing about?”

“Everything.” Rick cleared his throat. “I couldn’t even sleep after the first time I read your profile and realized it was you.”

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