Authors: Nathan Stratton
All She Wants for Valentine’s Day:
A Contemporary Erotic
By NATHAN STRATTON
Nathan Stratton. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of this work prohibited unless the author grants permission.
Art credit: Nathan Stratton, with license from www.depositphotos.com.
Approx. word count: 8,675
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"Fifty Shades has got
Mark your Calend
Serving Mr. Stevens: Part One – The Contract
from 2/10/13 – 2/14/13!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cupid, Kiss My…
A Barroom Brawl
Chapter 4: Hot Bodies on a Cold Night
Chapter 5: All She Wants for Valentine’s Day
It was 6:30pm on a chilly Tuesday night in February, just before Valentine’s Day. And as usual, Tanya was just getting out of the gym.
She’d been coming to the gym a lot lately, straight after work, for an hour a day. Work was so stressful; she needed some sort of release after eight hours of office hell. And let’s be honest, it’s not like Tanya had much else going on in the evenings these days.
Six months ago, she’d broken it off with her live-in boyfriend, Warren – or as she preferred to call him these days, “He-who-shall-not-be-named.” Things had been going sour between them for a long time, but she’d wanted so badly to make it work that she ignored the warning signs, and she’d really given it her best shot. That is, until the day she caught him cheating on her – in
– with his old college flame. Enough was enough. She moved out the next day.
Tanya sighed, blowing her bangs up off of her forehead. She didn’t like to think of Warren, but it was hard not to remember the past, and to think about how different these past six months had been without him. She’d been so happy. Now, there was no one in the picture. And the prospect of heading home, once again, to her lonely studio apartment for another early night in front of the television – well, it wasn’t exactly thrilling.
Especially with Valentine’s Day coming up right around the corner, Tanya was really feeling the sting of loneliness. As much as she tried to hide it from herself, she knew that the gym was just a form of distraction so she wouldn’t have to reminisce about the past, lament her lonely present, or worry about the future. But it was hard right now, with all the Valentine’s-themed decorations assaulting her in every corner of the office, and on every other television commercial. It seemed like everywhere she looked, she saw hearts, flowers, Cupid and doilies. It was borderline inescapable.
“Cupid, kiss my ass,” she said, with a bitter laugh.
Lost in melancholy thoughts like these, Tanya wasn’t paying too much attention to her surroundings. J
ust as she was digging her keys out of her purse, the lights flashed on the car next to hers. She jumped, a bit startled, and her eyes shot up from her bag.
Standing not five feet away from her was the sexiest man she’d seen in her life. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with his sandy brown hair falling in wet curls around his head. He had that freshly-showered look to him, clean and masculine, with faint drops of water clinging to the outside of his tight white T-shirt. He carried a black gym bag in one arm, and a leather briefcase in the other: an odd combination, Tanya thought. And most surprisingly, he was grinning at her like they’d just shared a joke together, even though she’d never met him before. She wasn’t sure if it was because he’s surprised her or what, but she noticed her heartbeat had quickened suddenly, and she felt a bit flushed.
He stepped closer to her, smiling. “Did I scare you?” he asked.
“Uh, yup,” said Tanya. “You sure did.” She didn’t have time to think of a witty remark, so she decided to keep it simple. She figured honesty was the best policy.
He laughed, extending his hand. “Sorry about that. I’m Ryan.”
“Tanya,” she said, taking his hand lightly. After the startling jolt of the previous moment, she now felt totally at ease all of a sudden. Normally she got nervous and anxious around attractive men, but for some reason there was none of that feeling now.
She motioned to his T-shirt, which was so tight she could almost make out the faint lines of his muscles underneath it. “Aren’t you cold?”
He looked down at his shirt in surprise, as if he hadn’t thought about it before. “What, this?” he said. “Not really. Those showers are
Look, I’m still giving off steam.” He held up his arm, and Tanya noted with surprise that, indeed, the heat from his body was sending off a bit of steam into the February cold.
Just then, Tanya’s brain decided to sabotage her chances with this guy. “I guess you must really have a hot body!” she blurted out without thinking. She instantly cringed at the corniness of her joke.
Oh, my God
, she groaned inwardly.
Why do I always do that?
She had a habit of always saying whatever came to her mind – and sometimes, that got her into trouble.
She turned bright red and tried to salvage the moment. “Wow, I cannot believe I just said that.”
For his part, Ryan just looked amused. “Me neither,” he said, laughing. “Did you come up with that one on the spot, or do you say that to all the guys?”
Tanya paused a moment, looking at him with a coy half-smile. She was still a little embarrassed, but she was mostly just relieved that he didn’t seem turned off by the corny joke. She decided to play along. “Only the ones who deserve it,” she replied flirtatiously.
Now it was Ryan’s turn to pause. The expression on his face seemed to be saying,
Who is this girl?
He opened his mouth, but no words came out immediately. He seemed to be searching for the right comeback, but coming up empty.
“What’s a matter, hot stuff? Cat got your tongue?” teased Tanya. She didn’t know where this sudden boldness was coming from, but she definitely liked it. Normally she would never tease a guy like this after just meeting him, but somehow it felt natural with him.
Ryan burst out laughing. He had a
great smile, she noticed. “Alright, that’s it,” he said. “No woman talks to me like that and gets away with it. One more word out of you, and I’m going to have to take you out to dinner.”
Tanya cocked an eyebrow, folding her hands across her chest. “Oh, yeah?” she said. “What makes you think you can handle me?”
He took a step closer to her, so that their faces were just inches apart. The scent of his cologne filled her nose, and his hazel eyes held her own with an intensity she couldn’t escape from. His sudden closeness sent butterflies soaring through her stomach. They’d been joking around until this point, but suddenly all that light-hearted banter had disappeared in an instant.
“Trust me, I can handle you,” he said with a smile.
He held her gaze a second longer, just to further underscore the power of his words. When he stepped back from her again, it was as if she’d been released from a spell. She was speechless for a moment, not knowing how to react. Finally, she regained herself.
“Uh, s-sounds great then!” she said, her voice quavering the slightest bit. She started talking too fast, as she always did when she got nervous. “Why don’t I give you my number and we can, um, work something out? How about, uh, Thursday night maybe? Or, I don’t know…” She trailed off.
He looked at her in amusement, as if he clearly had something else in mind. “How about now?” he said.
She was sure her face went white at his words.
her brain screamed.
What are you, crazy?! I need to shower, change, do my makeup…
her mind started coming up with a million excuses why tonight was a horrible night for a date. But fortunately for Tanya, when she opened her mouth to speak, none of those excuses came out.
“Sounds great,” she said with a grin.