For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Jay Andrew Allen challenged me with “It was the best of times…but not for long.” and I challenged Brett Myers with “Maybe I could sing you to sleep…pull the curtains, put down your beer and cigarette.”
Stubbing out his cigarette, Felix stood and smoothed down his suit. He’d sat and watched the others fumble, and he’d given them their chance to impress the newcomer, but enough was enough. He didn’t want her to leave with nothing but a laughable story of men from Santiago de Cuba.
He smiled and took long strides toward her. He caressed her with his eyes – appreciating the curve of her neck, and the way her white skin glowed through the hazy smoke filled room. The light danced over her hair but got lost in its wilderness, he thought. The dark depths appeared too impenetrably glossy. For a moment, he hesitated, something about this woman gave out such strength and valor that it seemed to answer a question he wasn’t aware he wished to ask. But it was only a moment, and quickly his natural ease returned, his smile radiating his intentions and his eyes innuendo.
“Hola, mi nombre es Felix. ¿Se interesa a bailar?” he said, grasping her hand with a mix of firm insistence and gentle persuasion. He’d not met a woman yet who had refused him. It was his inheritance – this way with the opposite sex. Sometimes it was also a curse – there was always temptation surrounding him. Urging him on. But he did admit to himself, it was a curse he could live with. He lived for this kind of moment – electric.
Her eyes lifted to his below lustrous lashes, and her red rouged lips curved into a gracious smile. He noted a dimple in her left cheek – but he did not ask her for a name. The band slowed to a familiar and slow rhythm perfect for the kind of dance he had in mind – lambada zouk.
She stood, and once more he allowed his eyes to travel her form. He knew she could dance – better than any woman here. So he took her hand, pulled her close from a spin, and let his grip guide her.
Her scent filled his lungs as their bodies glided over the floor. There was no resistance within her fluid movement, his every instruction – from the roll of his hand on her back to the gentle pausing fingertip – met with a corresponding roll of the hips, or rock in rhythm. He’d never met a partner he could guide with such grace. He closed his eyes, and allowed his senses to flood.
Her breath over his skin. The flash of the lights warm over his eyelids. Her silken skin dewy in the humid air. They rocked together, and he was far away, in love with the night. In love with life, and all its possibility.
Suddenly, beneath his fingertips, he felt her grow rigid. It broke his reverie, and he opened his eyes. Standing before him, hands folded across his chest, stood a solid looking man in a suit. His eyes flashed then grew cold. Distant. Did he want to fight?
He dropped his grip on the girl, and she hung her head as the suited man squeezed her forearm. Felix took a step back, surveying the crowd, who, sensing danger, had begun to move toward the outer reaches of the bar and eye this new stranger with trepidation.
Felix smiled, and spoke in English. “No harm done. Have a good night,” he said. The girl turned so he could see her face. Her eyes implored him. Gone was the strength he had seen in her. She now appeared as though she were nothing more than a young girl, or a bird. Yes, he thought. A bird, but one without flight feathers. A bird in a solid cage.
He smiled at her. Then he walked past the couple, threw money from his pocket toward the bar, and headed for the inky blackness of the door. He was not followed, and as he stepped out into the street, he tried to capture the beauty he had felt only moments earlier. His appetite aroused, he headed toward another bar. There would be another girl, he was sure.