Although technically Vanessa and Dario already know one another, this is the first time they’ve actually considered taking their friendship further. Since it’s a defining moment, it makes for a good first meeting.
Music played loudly and Vanessa heard voices in the back. Rather than walking through the house, she wandered around the well maintained lawn and found the party around the pool. Deb saw her coming and let her in the back screen door.
“You look good enough to eat!” she teased.
“I’ll take my compliments where I can get them. Thank you.”
“Nessa!” Dario rushed over. He wasn’t a quiet or a subtle man, but he was good looking, above average height, muscular build with black hair and the darkest brown eyes she’d ever seen.
Taking the bowl from her, he offered her a beer, or other beverage, and bustled into the house to put the bowl in the fridge. He came back with two bottles of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, handing one to her with a flourish.
“A lady as lovely as you, should have the best.”
“Thank you.” She took the proffered bottle and sipped as he watched. “Oh, that’s good! Yum!”
Dario smirked, ducking his head slightly. “Glad you approve. I have a cousin who works at the brewery in California. He keeps me supplied.”
“Can’t you buy this at the liquor store?” she smirked, raising an eyebrow as she sipped.
“Yeah.” He stretched, extending his legs, exposing a tasty patch of sculpted abdomen. “But it sounds better to the ladies if I tell them how much trouble I went to, to get it.”
Vanessa laughed, tossing her head back. “Should you tell me that? Doesn’t it spoil the mystique?”
“Maybe, but you aren’t the type of woman a man should lie to.”
That sobered her slightly. “Do I—come across…. How do I—? Do I seem—mean?” she stumbled and stuttered, trying not to seem needy or bitchy.
Dario laughed, shaking his head. “Vanessa, you are a whole lot of intimidating. But underneath beats the heart of a passionate woman—who can be scary as hell.”
“That doesn’t make me feel better, Dario. Just saying.”
He scooted closer, lowering his voice. “But the scary isn’t the real Vanessa. There is another, very different woman under all that intimidation. And it takes a brave, confident man to find it.”
“Are you saying you’re that man?” she raised an eyebrow.
“I’m saying that I’d like to find out if I am. You willing to give me a shot?”
She gave him a once over, taking in his thick black hair, fathomless eyes, full lips and square jaw. Dropping her gaze, she examined his broad shoulders and firm chest, washboard abs, powerful thighs and tight ass. He waited patiently for her decision.
“Yeah. I’m willing to give you a shot.”
“Don’t think you’re getting lucky after this party.”
“Hadn’t entered my mind,” he lied.
“Sure, it hadn’t.” She nudged him, laughing.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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